Title: Slow Heat (Heat of Love #1)
Author: Leta Blake
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Page Count: 5,605 Kindle locations
Reviewed by: Renée
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.2 stars out of 5
A lustful young alpha meets his match in an older omega with a past.
Professor Vale Aman has crafted a good life for himself. An unbonded omega in his mid-thirties, he’s long since given up hope that he’ll meet a compatible alpha, let alone his destined mate. He’s fulfilled by his career, his poetry, his cat, and his friends.
When Jason Sabel, a much younger alpha, imprints on Vale in a shocking and public way, longings are ignited that can’t be ignored. Fighting their strong sexual urges, Jason and Vale must agree to contract with each other before they can consummate their passion.
But for Vale, being with Jason means giving up his independence and placing his future in the hands of an untested alpha–as well as facing the scars of his own tumultuous past. He isn’t sure it’s worth it. But Jason isn’t giving up his destined mate without a fight.
This is a stand alone gay romance novel, 118,000 words, with a strong HFN ending, as well as a well-crafted, non-shifter omegaverse, with alphas, betas, omegas, male pregnancy, heat, and knotting. Content warning for pregnancy loss and aftermath.
A for effort. I adore Blake’s writing style and story-telling ability. I’d never place Blake’s writing in question, so it’s the story that fell flat for me here.
This book didn’t know what it wanted to be.
1. Dystopian – Sure, technically. It does take place in a future where the world, as we know it today, is over. But it doesn’t read that way. There are phones with wires leading into walls – GASP! There are offices with desks, and books, paintings, and it all felt very 90s.
2. ABO universe, but no shifters – Sure, technically. But make no mistake, this read like a shifter book. There’re alphas needing to breed. There’re omegas in heat, overcome from the pain of excruciating lust. There’s knotting. There’s back arching and presenting one’s ass. There’s imprinting. There’s a wolf-god. There’s a wolf-Bible FFS. So while there may be no fur and claws to be found, I’m still calling BS on that one.
3. A book in the ABO universe dressed up but really about women and non-straight rights – In this respect, it didn’t feel like the 90s, it felt like 1800. The alphas are the male gender of current society. The betas are a third gender and pretty altogether forgotten in this culture. The omegas are the female gender of current society. But there are no females in this world. Everyone has boy parts….well externally at least. Omegas have a womb. And they are treated as the weaker and less than gender. Marriages are arranged with contracts in which omegas give everything over to their alpha. And they have no rights, especially with their own body. It’s illegal to prevent pregnancy and punishable by death to have an abortion. And an alpha who wants to bottom for another alpha? Unmanned. Abomination. Good times.
4. A romance – This is what I came for. But because of all the other crap (seriously, this book had everything but the kitchen sink), our MCs really didn’t get much page time. We didn’t even get to the declarations.
5. Sexy – That it was. It was downright filthy. Self-lubing buttholes, growly alphas, pleading omegas who need their holes stuffed. My girls parts were happy. But this wasn’t enough to make me enthralled with the story. And there weren’t as many scenes as one would think – like I said, not a lot of page time between the MCs.
Let me address an elephant in the room for a lot of readers. While there is mpreg in this story (in a major way), it didn’t include either MC. I know that makes a difference for some.
Major niggle: While I was uncomfortable enough with all the oppression stink in the room, our alpha MC has not one, but TWO on page sex scenes with someone who is not his omega in this book. I was downright squirming with discomfort, especially the second time, when he’d already imprinted on his omega. Squick.
So that’s where I am. After all that, I have no idea what I think or how to write a more coherent and organic review. So I’ll simply leave my word vomit here and let you take from it what you will. A for creativity though.