Before I get into my actual review for this book I really need to explain a thing or three...I am so not a fan of MPREG ore even knotting for that matter...it's just a no thanks, never going there for me and yet somehow here we are. I'm also not a fan of fisting and thankfully while that's mentioned in this book it's not an on page thing...thank the wolf gods.
For as much as these things are on my 'no thank you' list when it comes to a good story my resistance has it's limits and when the opportunity to review the audio book for 'Alpha Heat' crossed my path I read the blurb and then I looked at the blurb for 'Slow Heat' and then I went and dug out my big girl panties, my grabby hands and said 'bring it on' and that's how I came to be here. Listening to a story on audio that I've repeatedly said 'No thanks' to and to be honest I don't regret it in the slightest because in spite of all the things I don't like about this there was so much more that I ultimately made me want to give this a chance.
First of all is the fact that this is one hella', hella' good story. I was gobsmacked by how much I enjoyed this one. Seriously folks I did not see this one coming. I figured it'd be different and at the very least I'd enjoy it and I definitely did.
I'm not sure I can really explain this story without turning this into a very, very long review. So I'm just going to try and touch on what really stood out for me and first off it was the world that Leta Blake has created with this first story in her 'Heat of Love' series.
Let's start with the fact that this is not a shifter story...oh, there are alphas, betas and omegas but what there isn't are shifters. But in their place we're given a society that reflects the hierarchy of the social order of wolves as well as being reflective of gender to a degree.
Leta Blake has managed to create a very different world than what I've come to expect when the words 'Alpha, Beta and Omega' are involved and really to go into the details of some of the things that I really liked about this story would require some pretty wordy explanations to allow me to make some kind of sense so I'm going to try and talk more n generalities of the story rather than specifics.
At not even 20 years old Jason Sabel is just coming into his own and learning what it means to be an alpha. So finding his erosagape (destined mates) may be what he thinks he's ready for on a physical level but when his mate turns out to be Vale Aman, someone whose approximately 15 years his senior and seems t have a past the real question becomes 'is he mentally and emotionally ready?'
Jason and Vale have a lot of strikes against them and in spite of the fact that they're 'destined mates' it really doesn't mean love at first sight. There's definitely a slow burn going on here as well as that unwilling attraction that comes with being 'destined mates' you know that purely biological attraction that happens when genetics are involved.
Jason may be young but he's determined to be the alpha that Vale needs and to make Vale see that they belong together, while Vale wants to do what's best for Jason...his Alpha and Vale's sure that he's not what's best for his alpha.
I loved the interaction between Jason and Vale as they got to truly know each other and developed a relationship that was based on more than biological attraction.
'Slow Heat' is on the surface a simply romance set in an alternate reality but when you look beyond that what becomes clear is that there is nothing simple about this story...sure there's romance, there's also a complex society with it's own rules but it's society that like the one we live in is slowly changing. .It's judgments and values are being questioned by the people they seem to be restricting and even by some of the people who seem to benefit the most from them. It's also as about family the ones we're given and the ones we make. Jason has is father and his patter (equivalent to a mother). While Vale's family is gone and he's been left to cobble together a family of a different kind but no less of a family. Both of these men have lives that will be drastically affected by their union.
While I only gave 'Slow Heat' 4 stars, for someone who had 'MPREG' firmly planted in the 'no go' zone this one was a total success for me. Am I off to search out more MPREG stories...no, they're still not something that interest me...in fact I'm actually off to finish listening to 'Alpha Heat'. So probably not more MPREG but always more really awesome stories and speaking of really awesome have I mentioned that Michael Ferraiuolo is the narrator for this book and as narrators go I'm not really sure they get any better. Without a doubt he knocked it out of the ballpark on this one. His voices were unique, superb, consistent and gave the story the depth and emotion it so richly deserved. There are more than a few awesome narrators out there and for me Michael Ferraiuolo is absolutely one of my top 5 and nope I'm not even trying to rank them anymore because there are five of them and they're all #1 to my ears.