Series: Heat of Love 02
Author: Leta Blake
Genre: Contemporary, Omegaverse, M-preg
Length: Novel (460 pages)
Publisher: Leta Blake Books (11 May 2018)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts
Blurb: A desperate young alpha. An older alpha with a hero complex. A forbidden love that can’t be denied.
Young Xan Heelies knows he can never have what he truly wants: a passionate romance and happy-ever-after with another alpha. It’s not only forbidden by the prevailing faith of the land, but such acts are illegal.
Urho Chase is a middle-aged alpha with a heartbreaking past. Careful, controlled, and steadfast, his friends dub him old-fashioned and staid. When Urho discovers a dangerous side to Xan’s life that he never imagined, his world is rocked and he’s consumed by desire. The carefully sewn seams that held him together after the loss of his omega and son come apart—and so does he.
But to love each other and make a life together, Xan and Urho risk utter ruin. With the acceptance and support of Caleb, Xan’s asexual and aromantic omega and dear friend, they must find the strength to embrace danger and build the family they deserve.
This gay romance novel by Leta Blake is the second in the Slow Heat universe. It’s 130,000 words, with a strong happy ending and a well-crafted, non-shifter Omegaverse. It features alphas, betas, omegas, male pregnancy, heat, and knotting. No cheating. Content warning for brief sexual violence.
Review: Alpha Heat is the second book in Leta Blake’s Heat of Love series. It takes place a couple years after the first book and there are some ongoing plot lines which makes this best to read the series in order.
After really enjoying the first book of this series I really looking forward to continuing on with the series. I really like the depth and character development Blake showed in her writing back in book one. On top of that, I have discovered a relatively recent interest for reading m-pregs. M-preg is a pretty niche sub-genre in the MM world, and so it goes without saying that if you don’t like m-pregs or it doesn’t pique your interest enough to give it a go, this isn’t the books for you.
This book is an Omegaverse book – which is where for one reason or another certain men (the Omegas) have developed the ability to become pregnant. Despite not being a shapeshifter or paranormal m-preg, we still get the interesting connection between alphas and omegas which allows men to sense their true mate. In this world women became infertile and eventually died out, forcing humanity to adapt, hence the omegas. However, since this a relatively recent change in human physiology, pregnancy for men is possibly more dangerous for the men than it had been on women. Due to these limitations, it also means that there are very strict laws dictating how omegas can deal with pregnancy (these laws are analogous to conservative anti-abortion laws which are being shown on the media now).
However, this current deals with complexities of alphas and shows that alphas that find pleasure in being dominated rather than dominating an omega. Xan is one of those alphas and society tells him that he has to be ashamed of what he is – his desires cause gossip because many traditionalist believed that men with his desires are not real alphas.
Xan has struggled his since best friend, ex-lover and alpha mated an older omega a few years prior. He has struggled with society gossip of him being “unmanned” – the term for an alpha who needs to be dominated which is seen as unnatural. But he is part of an odd little friendship group that involves the alpha who had once upon a time helped his best friend’s Omega through painful heats. Pressure from his family and luck led him to entering a mating contract with an omega who was gossiped about in society.
Caleb is an omega with a secret of his own. Unlike his mate, Caleb accepts who is and has gone years being known as a frigid omega. However, other than going through heats where his hormones take over, and even wanting have a child of his own, Caleb does not experience sexual attraction as a “good omega should”. This gives the pair two problems. Xan needs to seek physical need for another alpha elsewhere, and because of how he is, Xan cannot physically fulfil Caleb’s needs when he is in heat.
This is where alpha Urho Chase steps in. He is a doctor who has compassion in spades. He finds it abhorrent that omegas must go through pregnancy because the law it geared towards omegas pumping out babies and boosting the population. He has been in mourning for years for his omega mate and son who had died. Yet he isn’t living in the past. He has “helped” a number of omegas through their painful heats which are only relieved by having sex with powerful alphas. His best friend, Vale being one of the many omegas he has helped. Urho finds it difficult to reconcile his attraction and acceptance for another alpha, when it comes to Xan’s desires and needs. Yet he feels protective of the omega who exists in the body of an alpha. And when he finds Xan hurt, he needs to help.
Much like the first book, these characters are all just a tad different and will intrigue some readers that want something a little more different than the normal. Because yes, even in the Omegaverse there are a lot of common tropes. First off, we get the same issues with an age gap between the alpha and the omega, where there is an older omega although the age difference isn’t quite so pronounced as in book 1. The omega involved identifies as something close to asexuality (maybe I’ve interpreted that wrong but that’s how I see it), while the alpha is ashamed as he needs another alpha to sexually dominate him. And while this isn’t truly a ménage relationship – there is something similar to one going on here.
Overall, this makes for some very interesting dynamics and brings together an unconventional mating/family that really does work. There are exploding sparks of sexual attraction between Urho and Xan, and yet there is also a deep affection between and love between Xan and Caleb, with affection slowly growing between Urho and Caleb. Urho and Caleb start out together for their united desire to help Xan, but you can feel that there is an emotional connection between them much like the one between Xan and Caleb. This is truly a complex story line with a lot going on and I loved it.