Friday, June 1, 2018

Slow Heat by Leta Blake Audiobook Review

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-30s, 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.

Audiobook Details
Length: 14 hrs, 7 mins
Narrator: Michael Ferraiuolo

Add to Goodreads –

Book 1
Audiobook Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Audible  ~  iTunes

Ebook Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I am still an mpreg newbie, but after listening to a really well-done shifter mpreg audiobook this past weekend, the opportunity to review Slow Heat arrived in my inbox and I decided to check it out. As this is an audiobook, the first thing I checked out after reading the blurb was the narrator’s voice on the sample to make sure I could listen to it. Shockingly, this is the first Michael Ferraiuolo narrated audiobook I’ve listened to, and it’s shocking because he’s narrated for several authors whose writing I enjoy so I’m not sure how I’ve missed him before now. Because of this, I cannot compare Ferraiuolo’s performance in Slow Heat to his other narrative performances, but I can say that I will be checking out more of the audiobooks he’s narrated. Ferraiuolo creates such unassuming voices for Jason and Vale, that when they get upset, hurt, or otherwise emotional, their strong emotions are a punch to the gut… or maybe I should say heart, and I think that’s why I spent a good portion of the end of the book choking back tears.

While this might be my first experience with Ferraiuolo, it’s not my first Leta Blake book. As expected, I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s writing. Blake has the ability to combine the scientific aspects of the alpha-omega bond and male pregnancy in the world she’s created with the romantic musings of a young alpha and the jaded experience of his older omega to pen a romance novel that kept me cueing up the audiobook every chance I could because I had to know if Jason was going to be allowed to claim his omega, over the self-punishing protests of Vale and the “an heir is a must” mandate of his father. Not only did Jason and Vale’s story have me hooked, but the secondary storyline regarding Jason’s parents had me fascinated. The dangers that Jason’s pater faced were heartbreaking (yep, more tears), but the parallels between Miner and Vale had me wanting to wring Yule’s neck. There is so much going on in Slow Heat because it’s a multifaceted storyline where the many threads must be woven together, and each is vital to the overall success of the story, even if we don’t recognize it until the end.

I think one of the things that struck me most about Slow Heat is that while its mpreg is complete and total science fiction, the author deals with it in such a way that the issues the characters face feel so real. Jason being rebuffed by his omega for being too young. Yule continuing the “we did it, so you too must suffer” mentality when demanding Vale contract for a live birth – even though Vale’s medical records showed he couldn’t and would likely die trying. The feelings that Jason’s bestie, Xan, developed for him and Xan’s subsequent gender confusion (for my lack of a better term) when it came to his sexual needs. The prejudices the omegas face are horrific, yet mirror how women were treated as chattel just two hundred years ago – and are probably still treated as no more than walking wombs in some underdeveloped nations. And Miner, poor Miner. I know that his experience was pivotal for opening the eyes of so many of the characters involved and they were lessons that none will forget anytime soon, but did the poor, sweet man have to suffer so much? As crushing as Vale’s rejection of Jason was, it was Miner’s ordeals that had me sobbing so bad my dog got on the bed to check on me. I had to keep pausing the book because I couldn’t hear Ferraiuolo’s performance.

I definitely recommend Slow Heat for someone looking to check out mpreg as it’s an emotional romance that will not only have you hoping for the couple’s future, but leave you thinking about the possibilities. But be prepared because Leta Blake is going to rip your heart out and rub her hands in malicious glee while Michael Ferraiuolo tap dances all over it. And never fear, it is a romance after all, so the happy ending the characters deserve is there, Blake and Ferraiuolo just make you earn it with your tears. As for me, I really, really hope that book two, Alpha Heat, is slated to be produced on audio because I need for Xan to find his place in the world and find his own happiness.

Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.

Connect with Leta

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Google+  ~  Instagram

Michael Ferraiuolo is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and the owner of Iron Works Studios in New York City. As a voice artist, Michael has appeared both nationally and internationally in film, radio, and over 100 audiobooks.

Connect with Michael

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Review Copy Provided by

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free audiobook copy of Slow Heat (Heat of Love #1) by Leta Blake, narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo to listen to and review.

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