Review: “Slow Heat” by Leta Blake

TITLE: Slow Heat
AUTHOR: Leta Blake
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Self
COVER ARTIST: Dar Albert
GENRE: Paranormal; Shapeshifter; Mpreg
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 354 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 16, 2017
PRICE: $5.99 -e-book / $14.30 –paperback
  

BLURB:

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 happy 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.


The one thing that stands out the most is the amazing world Leta Blake has created. It’s a dystopian-like society with very strict rules. What really impressed me was that the author took the time to think of the effects of male pregnancy. In fact, a lot of the storyline is in regards to the biology of humans with a wolf-like mentality. The reader is not left taking things as a fact but given the reasons.

Another interesting fact is that, at it’s core, Slow Heat is a May/December romance. Vale is an omega in his mid-thirties while Jason is a 19 year-old alpha. I love when authors go against the stereotypes. In fact, there are quite a few examples of it in the book. Not only is Vale older but he is also a professor while Jason is just a student. This to me is a prime example of how and where roles come to play in their relationship. Another pair who do not fit the typical mold is Jason’s parents. There is something special about an alpha male that cooks.

The book is appropriately named because the courtship of Vale and Jason is slow. They have to follow the rules of being bonded. I was starting to struggle with reading it because I feared the author had limited the possible outcomes. This was not the case. The omega rights and restrictions reminded me of battles we humans have had and are continuing to fight.

With all the groundwork and research Leta Blake did, I really think this should be a series. For one, I must find out what happens with Xan. He’s one of those characters that you love even when he makes you mad. I would like to see a change in omega rights. There is so much potential here for a beautiful series. Did I mention that I would really love a Happily Ever After for Xan?

***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of reading this ARC. My review is an honest opinion of the book***

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Review: “The Alpha King” by Victoria Sue

TITLE: The Alpha King
AUTHOR: Victoria Sue
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Victoriasue.com
COVER ARTIST: Drawn 2 Design
GENRE: Paranormal; MPreg; Fantasy
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 215 pages
RELEASE DATE: January 26, 2017
PRICE: $3.99 -e-book / $9.99 –paperback
  

BLURB:

The Kingdom of Askara has been torn apart by conflict for centuries, where humans exist as subservient beings to their werewolf masters. Legend says it will only be able to heal itself when an Alpha King and a pure omega are mated and crowned together, but a pure omega hasn’t been born in over a thousand years.

Luca is an Alpha-heir eagerly awaiting the choosing ceremony on his twenty-fifth birthday and the gifts granted by whichever omega he mates. His small pack is destitute due to the decisions of its ruling council, but being only an Alpha-heir, he has no authority to challenge them. Not until now—this moment he has waited a long time for.
Kit grew up as a street-rat, an unlicensed human who would never be more than a slave for whichever master owns him. Then one day he came across a young Alpha-heir, attacked and dying of poison, and found out their fates were suddenly entwined.

Luca needs to take over his pack and save his people. He cannot afford to be distracted. But when he meets Kit, he develops abilities indicating he is not just a pack Alpha, but the King his world has needed for a thousand years.

Is Kit really the cause of Luca’s newfound power, the true mate he needs? How is it possible when the young man isn’t even a werewolf, and as merely a human, a mating is not only forbidden, but for Kit, a sentence of death? (WARNING -Contains MPreg)


jologooptimummI was entranced by this book. It gripped my imagination right from the start and didn’t let go until the end, it’s action all the way, and the emotions it evoked were strong and deep. The story is unique, stunning, intricate and based around discrimination and the plight of a downtrodden minority in the kingdom of Askara where werewolves rule and the humans are second class citizens. That sounds depressing but don’t let that put you off, it isn’t, it doesn’t diminish the awesome, fully developed characters and intriguing plot which, despite the trials the characters go through, is essentially uplifting.

Luca is the perfect alpha with just the right amount of flawed judgment to make him real and with loads of love and compassion to counteract it. Luca and his unerring desire to do what’s right is one of the drivers behind this book. Kit, what can I say about Kit? He’s strong yet fragile and perfectly adorable! His capacity to suffer for the welfare of others left me breathless at times. The supporting characters are also well developed, and I’d like to hear more from Luca’s sisters and his friend Sam.

The premise of an ancient legend about an Alpha King and a rare, pure omega, born human, is so original, as are many of the other intricacies of the story. The author has created a whole world, complete with its history, to be explored. The situation that has evolved between werewolves and humans is cleverly thought out and plotted and supports the story really well.

The plot revolves around the emergence of a new Alpha King, Luca, after hundreds of years without one and his finding and keeping of his pure omega, Kit. I loved their first meeting when Kit was a 13-year-old human slave, and Luca was dying from poison and the treachery of his twin brother. This early meeting is the prequel to their eventual mating, seven years later, which nearly doesn’t take place! A lot of the emotion and twists in the plot are based around the misunderstandings and miscommunication of the facts surrounding the newly emerged Alpha King and the pure omega. Facts such as the transference of powers, telepathy and the possibility of pregnancy! There is also the chaotic hierarchy and subsequent conflict that exists, in the realm, as a result of history and the truth being buried for so long.

The plot is quite obvious at times with no real twists that I didn’t see coming, but I actually liked that as I could just sit back, read and enjoy it without having to think too much. Perfect. I loved the ending, it tied up all the loose ends for Luca and Kit while cleverly leaving the story of the secondary characters open for further exploration…I hope.

***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of reading this ARC.  My review is an honest opinion of the book***

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Review: “Wild Instincts” by Ethan Stone

TITLE: Wild Instincts
AUTHOR: Ethan Stone
SERIES: Seaside Shifters Book
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Garrett Leigh
GENRE: Mpreg; Paranormal; Shapeshifter
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 142 pages
RELEASE DATE: March 8, 2017
PRICE: $5.94 -e-book
  

BLURB:

Police cadet and bear shifter Tyson Dakota looks forward to his on-the-job training in Seaside, Oregon, working alongside his cousin, Chief of Police John Dakota. Their goal is to investigate the growing meth epidemic and identify the kingpin bringing the drugs into their community. All signs point to someone inside law enforcement working with the drug traffickers, and Tyson must find out who before the body count gets any higher.

Along the way, Tyson meets Amante, a charismatic and attractive man in town for reasons he doesn’t want to share. Tyson is drawn to Amante despite his secretive ways and is sure there could be more between them than explosive passion, if he could just get Amante to make his stay in Seaside permanent. But when Tyson’s pursuit of justice puts him at odds with Amante, they could lose more than their fledgling relationship.

They could end up losing their lives.


jologooptimumm

Meanwhile, the town of Seaside has a drug problem, and meth is becoming much more common. Tyson’s cousin, John Dakota, is the police chief so, when Tyson shows up for his first day on the job, he gets to see the problem first hand and learns it’s far worse for shifters because of their nature. The two of them become involved in investigating the issue.
Also, adding to the secrets in this story, John’s boyfriend is pregnant, and because seeing a man pregnant would raise a lot of questions, he’s confined to their home. It becomes clear that this is an important and integral part of this story as it unfolds.

The action and plot move fast when Tyson’s estranged father shows up. What’s his connection to Amante? What’s Amante’s connection to the drugs? Is he one of the bad guys or just being pulled along by events outside his control? What’s wrong with Tyson’s mother?
All these questions are answered, and the story is well finished off, including an epilogue which ties up some of the back story. I have to admit, although I loved Tyson, I didn’t really warm up to Amante at the start but, as the story unfolds and his position is explained, he becomes more ‘human’ and likable. The story is a good one and moves at a quick pace, but it’s not a long book.

I finished it in one sitting as I found I really need to know how everything turned out. This book is definitely worth a read, and I’m sorely tempted to dip into the rest of the series.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book***

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Review: “Wild Instincts” by Ethan Stone

TITLE: Wild Instincts
AUTHOR: Ethan Stone
SERIES: Seaside Shifters Book
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Garrett Leigh
GENRE: Mpreg; Paranormal; Shapeshifter
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 142 pages
RELEASE DATE: March 8, 2017
PRICE: $5.94 -e-book
  

BLURB:

Police cadet and bear shifter Tyson Dakota looks forward to his on-the-job training in Seaside, Oregon, working alongside his cousin, Chief of Police John Dakota. Their goal is to investigate the growing meth epidemic and identify the kingpin bringing the drugs into their community. All signs point to someone inside law enforcement working with the drug traffickers, and Tyson must find out who before the body count gets any higher.

Along the way, Tyson meets Amante, a charismatic and attractive man in town for reasons he doesn’t want to share. Tyson is drawn to Amante despite his secretive ways and is sure there could be more between them than explosive passion, if he could just get Amante to make his stay in Seaside permanent. But when Tyson’s pursuit of justice puts him at odds with Amante, they could lose more than their fledgling relationship.

They could end up losing their lives.


jologooptimumm

Meanwhile, the town of Seaside has a drug problem, and meth is becoming much more common. Tyson’s cousin, John Dakota, is the police chief so, when Tyson shows up for his first day on the job, he gets to see the problem first hand and learns it’s far worse for shifters because of their nature. The two of them become involved in investigating the issue.
Also, adding to the secrets in this story, John’s boyfriend is pregnant, and because seeing a man pregnant would raise a lot of questions, he’s confined to their home. It becomes clear that this is an important and integral part of this story as it unfolds.

The action and plot move fast when Tyson’s estranged father shows up. What’s his connection to Amante? What’s Amante’s connection to the drugs? Is he one of the bad guys or just being pulled along by events outside his control? What’s wrong with Tyson’s mother?
All these questions are answered, and the story is well finished off, including an epilogue which ties up some of the back story. I have to admit, although I loved Tyson, I didn’t really warm up to Amante at the start but, as the story unfolds and his position is explained, he becomes more ‘human’ and likable. The story is a good one and moves at a quick pace, but it’s not a long book.

I finished it in one sitting as I found I really need to know how everything turned out. This book is definitely worth a read, and I’m sorely tempted to dip into the rest of the series.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book***

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Review: “Jerricho’s Freedom” by Jake C Wallace

TITLE: Jerricho’s Freedom
AUTHOR: Jake C Wallace
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: AngstyG
GENRE: Paranormal; Urban Fantasy; Mpreg;
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 334 pages
RELEASE DATE: February 13, 2017
PRICE: $4.89 -e-book
  

BLURB:

Jerricho never expected to fall in love with Rex, the sexy, construction foreman, but he did. Too bad tradition forbids Jerry from marrying for love. Prince of the clandestine Anzuni demon clan, a Baelso (bearer of children), and a virgin at twenty-four, tradition dictates that Jerry marry a man chosen for him. Despite his soul-deep love for Rex, Jerry has no choice but to follow through with his obligation as prince and marry someone he doesn’t love.

But Jerry isn’t prepared for his dominant, aggressive fiancé who is interested in marrying him only for the future title of king. Facing the reality that he will lose his virginity to the cold man, Jerry flees to Rex for one night of passion. When Jerry finds himself pregnant with Rex’s baby, however, the actions of his enraged fiancé release Jerry from his marriage obligation.

But just when Jerry believes he will marry for love, he and Rex are ripped away from life as they know it. Betrayals, kidnappings, cruel experiments, pregnant men, and the reappearance of the Anzuni’s greatest enemy force Jerry and Rex to fight for their lives, their love, and their unborn child…


jologooptimummWhere do I start with this book? It starts out as though it’s going to be a run of the mill, demon based, paranormal romance, and that would have been OK, but half way through it ‘shifts’, pardon the pun, and becomes a lot more complex. The plot expands to encompass science fiction, conspiracy theory, slavery and world domination for starters.

Jerricho, Jerry, is a librarian and he’s also an Anzuni Demon Prince. He’s approaching his 25th birthday which is when he’s expected to marry an obnoxious man of his parents choosing, Ty, and bear his children. Oh, and he’s expected to be a virgin when it happens! Jerry loves his parents and knows he must obey the laws of the Anzuni clan, but he would love to keep the hard-won freedom he’s had for the last few years. After meeting his ‘fiancée’ for the first time, he also desperately wants just one night with the human man he’s fallen in love with, Rex. Thanks to his friend Keith, he gets that chance. Jerry must leave after their one night and return home to his parents, and it breaks his heart and also Rex’s, but more importantly he later finds out he’s pregnant, and of course, Rex is the father.

Jerry’s world descends into chaos; he’s rejected and beaten up by his, so called, fiancée for not being submissive enough and for being pregnant. He also has to tell Rex the truth, not just about the baby but about demons and his royal status as well.

It’s at this point that the book shifts direction! There are forces at work against Jerricho and Rex who want to see the heir to the throne removed and are not beyond murder and kidnapping to achieve their goals…but that’s not all they want. These people are taking and using demons for their own profit. Imprisoning them and experimenting on them, turning them into sex slaves and worse!

In the second half, the pace of the story ratchets higher, and there’s no let-up. There’s always something happening, and the last few chapters are so fast paced I had to stop and remember to breathe. More than once the story could have been tied up, but thankfully it wasn’t. As a result, the book is quite long with lots of plot twists and just when you think everything will be alright something else bad happens.

I liked it a lot, but I can imagine it would be too much for some. Jerry and Rex are adorable, and the love they obviously share shines out. However, this isn’t a cosy afternoon read, it’s a dash from one ‘hold your breath’ moment to another. It takes some concentration, but the story itself pulled me along and made me read on until I knew how it ended and the ending is a very satisfying HEA.

 4.5 OptimuMM's

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book***

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