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Publisher's Summary

A pregnant omega trapped in a desperate situation, an unattached alpha with a lot to prove, and an unexpected fall into love that could save them both. 

Kerry Monkburn is contracted to a violent alpha in prison for brutal crimes. Now pregnant with the alpha’s child, he lives high in the mountains, far above the city that once lured him in with promises of a better life. Enduring bitterness and fear, Kerry flirts with putting an end to his life of darkness, but fate intervenes. 

Janus Heelies has made mistakes in the past. In an effort to redeem himself, integrity has become the watchword for his future. Training as a nurse under the only doctor willing to take him on, Janus is resolute in his intentions: He will live cleanly in the mountains and avoid all inappropriate affairs. But he doesn’t anticipate the pull that Kerry exercises on his heart and mind. 

As the question of Kerry’s future health and safety comes to an explosive head, only the intervention of fate will see these desperate men through to a happy ending. 

This gay romance novel by Leta Blake is the third in the Heat of Love universe which began with Slow Heat. It’s 111,000 words, with a strong happy ending and a critically-acclaimed, non-shifter Omegaverse. It features alphas, betas, omegas, male pregnancy, mpreg, heat, and knotting.

Content warning for a violent and oppressive society regarding reproductive rights.

©2019 Leta Blake (P)2020 Leta Blake

What listeners say about Bitter Heat

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Soulful Narration of a Favourite Book.

I've read Bitter Heat 3 times in the past year. I love Janus and Kerry's story. I didn't have to sample the narrator before buying. I bought it because of him and the promise of his narration of a story I already loved.

Bitter Heat is the perfect title for this book because Kerry Monkton has lived through hell with his contracted alpha Wilbet Monhundy, and even though Wilbet is in jail, he can still brutalise his omega. The story doesn't concentrate on Wilbet, but the opening scene is intense.

Kerry is home in Hud's Basin with his Uncle Zeke, who raised him, to deal with his pregnancy. A pregnancy he doesn't want. A pregnancy his painful in-laws want to micromanage. The boarding house that Zeke owns will be shut up for the duration of Kerry's pregnancy... except there is a 'city alpha' who is going to stay at Monk's while he does practical work with the mountain's doctor, Dr Crescent.

From the beginning, Janus is intrigued with the berry and musk scent of the enigmatic and sad Kerry. Kerry doesn't want to like anyone else, he hides away as best he can and tries not to think of his future and the baby he's carrying. Definitely doesn't want to have feelings for this new alpha, Janus. But Janus is kind and patient and gentle. He inexorably pulls Kerry into his orbit as Kerry pulls Janus into his.

Janus has his own complicated backstory. He's in Hud's Basin to change for the better. He wants to give back and he wants to become a better man than he's been. He's also recovering from multiple bouts of flu and pneumonia and Hud's Basin has a lake with healing waters. He has an opportunity to not only nurse, but to be a doctor for people who need him.

Janus and Kerry stole my heart. Two men who have lost their way are found in each other's company. Michael Ferraiuolo gives them such compassion, it's everything I wanted and more. Beautiful storytelling and empathetic narration make Bitter Heat soulful and heartfelt listening.

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  • Dana Piazzi
  • 26-05-2020

Love this Omegaverse series!

One thing I love about this series is fully developed world building and plot. There is a lot going on in the world the characters live in and so many complications regarding the relationships between the mc’s. It makes for such an interesting read (or listen) but when I sit down to review the book, it’s difficult. I don’t know where to start and there is no way I can say all the things I want without giving spoilers. I have loved every book of this series so far and I really hope there are plans to continue it. ( I still need to find out if Ray and his mystery man from book 2 get a happy ending or if there is someone else for him. Though the betas can’t impregnate or be impregnated, they are one type of character that hasn’t fully been explored in the series.)

Moving on. In book 2, Janus was not a character I was fond of. He was arrogant and he was his uncle’s spy on his cousin Xan. He made things unpleasant for Xan and his omega husband Caleb, who Janus had a history with. In this book we see a reformed version of his character. He had suffered a debilitating flu several  times and he now has an interest in medicine. The jerk facade he used was melting away at the end of the last book and I had thought his affairs were his way of not trying to find love after the way he treated Caleb in the past.

So even though I didn’t exactly love Janus, he definitely was not the really bad character. There is more than just one antagonist in this story and series. It is the society that places the value of omegas as property. It is a world where carrying babies into the world is the most important thing that can happen, but the carriers are allowed to be abused and controlled and not allowed to make decisions about their own lives because the alphas believe themselves to be better. Unless the omega finds a compassionate alpha or even better, their Érosgápe, the world they live in sucks. And Wilbet Monhundy is a product of that world. Wilbet is Kerry’s contracted mate. Acting like a villain in all three books, he was finally arrested and charged for some of his horrid actions. I really want to hate his parents because they force Kerry to keep mating with the abusive alpha in order to continue their family line. And Wilbet’s alpha father at least admits how bad he is, but grandchildren are more important than Kerry’s safety.

I definitely feel bad for Kerry. At one time, it seems he was prideful and thought the city would be better for him than living with his pater in the mountains. After his contracted mate was put in jail, he did move back home, a broken version of himself. He seems to be a very gentle soul but he has a lot of mistrust. When he and Janus first meet, there is definitely attraction on both of their parts. But neither will admit to an Érosgápe kind of love. I thought at first they were being stubborn, but as the story goes on we learn more about what is happening.

This is definitely a story of highs and lows and moments of great worry that everything would work out for these two. I was so happy to see this other side of Janus and to see Kerry build trust in another alpha after all that he had been through. I have to say it again – I hope this series will continue on. I am so invested in this world and seeing omegas get more rights. (Hopefully?) I definitely recommend this book and the whole series. Michael Ferraiuolo is an excellent narrator who emotes well and really brought the story to life.

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  • Susie Umphers
  • 22-05-2020

Complications galore

I think this is my first mpreg book that starts with a MC already preganant. The fact that his partner is in prison starts the book with shadows looming over our couple and the tension ratchets up from there. All the characters are perfect for their roles in the story as both heros and villains and I just adore the world this author has created. I love a darker world where aspects of our world are brought into the plot and here we have reproductive/parental rights, rights of omegas that have to be fought for not always successfully, the penal system, employment discrimination, medical issues all sorts of juicy stuff. Michael Ferraiuolo is one of my favorite performers and he is perfect for this story. The timbre of his voice perfectly captures Kerry's fear, pain and love for his child and Janus and then changes to again bring Janus to life. All the secondary characters are vivid and distinct in this superb performance.

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  • Georgiana
  • 22-05-2020

Beautiful story with wonderful narration

I absolutely loved this story and thought it was beautifully written. Kerry and Janus’s story is an emotional one with a bit of angst, and I love me some angst. Kerry’s story was especially heart-breaking, but Janus was strong, loving and always there to help.

The narration was AMAZING! Michael’s tone was perfect for all the emotions. The characters were easily distinguished. I was easily drawn into the story as he brought the characters to life with his powerful performance.

I haven’t read/listened to the first two and I don’t feel like I missed anything.

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  • Candigirl
  • 08-06-2021

Beautifully written

This must be my favorite of Leta Blake’s books! The characters are magnificent, changing and growing with each chapter! The storyline is entrancing with tons twists and turns to keep you on your toes! I’d fully recommend this book for someone looking for a hot read with a great plot!

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  • Yvonne M
  • 25-01-2021

Great story.

I love how the author made you feel like you were in the book. The fact that Jamie was forced to mate with the monster was not good, but that is how he got to meet his real agapa.

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  • Well Read Romantic
  • 19-12-2020

great performance

I've thoroughly enjoyed this series. sad to have it come to an end. wonderfully narrated.

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  • Stephh Carvalho
  • 23-10-2020

Perfection!

This one is now my favorite in the Heat Series. I was waiting for Janus's redemption, and Leta gave me a wonderful story. Janus and Kerry are so perfect together ♥️♥️♥️

Michael's work was brilliant, as always. He gives live to the characters and I keep falling in love with them over and over. That epilogue made me cry - again. So sweet and all the love. 5 stars and many more!

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  • Lisa
  • 11-09-2020

Great addition to the series

4.5 stars. I really loved seeing Janus become a new and better person, a better Alpha. He's changed enormously since the last book. I liked Kerry and had such enormous sympathy for his situation and outright rage at what his in-laws put him through. But I have to admit that I found myself impatient with him quite a lot, with his stubborn outright refusal to even contemplate trying to find a way out. Though his development was slower, even reluctant, and I did get it, he got there eventually.

This has been a superb series, with serious, emotional issues, great characters and excellent writing and storytelling. Before this, I had never read mpreg but I'm glad I took a chance, and I'm so happy with how this one worked out. Terrific book, and the audio was oustanding, Michael Ferraiuolo once again gave an amazing voice performance and made the story live.

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  • Jen Valencia
  • 23-05-2020

Three for three!

Leta Blake's Heat of Love series is like my guilty pleasure. I don't read nor listen to a whole lot of omegaverse romances, but Blake's books are difficult to resist, not that I'd even bother trying. Narrated to perfection by the always amazing Michael Ferraiuolo, Bitter Heat is a story of love and redemption, and you'll understand why if you've read the previous books in the series.

My heart broke for Kerry Monkburn, an omega who has suffered at the hands of an abusive alpha and who now carries his offspring. The fact that it is Janus Heelies who becomes his pillar of support may be surprising, but this is where the whole redemption angle of the story comes in. The story is heavy and oftentimes dark, but that element of hope is there. Four stars for the story, five stars for the performance, so 4.5 stars overall. 🖤

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  • Karen
  • 21-05-2020

Incredible redemption story! Loved it so much!!

Ever since Alpha Heat I’ve been anxiously waiting to find out how Janus would fare and if he’d get a chance to redeem himself and find the happiness and love he yearns for. He was such an awful, but also such a tormented, almost tragic character. We only got hints of Kerry in Alpha Heat, but enough to know he is a very deserving candidate for true love.

Kerry, as an omega, has very little rights and no way out of his hellish contract with the man who tormented and abused him and so many other omega’s for years. Kerry goes through some really dark times when he discovers he’s pregnant with the child of a man he considers a monster. His pregnancy and all the turmoil and difficult decisions that come with it are handled so very thoughtfully in this story. I loved that Janus did his utmost to be there for Kerry instead of judging him from a place of ignorance and privilege.

Kerry is a man without hope and seeing him ever so slowly fall for Janus, learning to trust, taking that leap of faith, was so satisfying. It reminded me all over again of why I love, no need, romance novels in my life. The draw between Janus and Kerry is undeniable, even when their love seems doomed from the start, so there’s certainly a lot of angst but also the absolute wonder of falling in love, and all the heat and tantalizing sensuality that comes with that.
The world-building in this book, and series, is amazingly intricate, with so much food for thought in its approach to religion (“mainstream” and pagan), family, love and last but not least, gender roles in society. The omega freedom groups are facing almost impossible odds, but I sincerely hope we’ll get to see some changes for the better in coming books.

I loved seeing Caleb and Janus together as friends and the glimpses we get of Caleb’s happy life with Xan, Urho and their children were a treat. I only wish we could’ve gotten a scene with Janus and Xan bonding or finding more on page closure.

The epilogue was surprising in its focus and brought tears to my eyes, because it was so moving and unexpectedly emotional instead of just a sweetly fluffy look into Janus’ and Kerry’s HEA.

Narration: in a word – amazing! Michael Ferraiuolo absolutely nails it again! What a great performance. His grasp of these characters and how he manages to make them come alive, it’s just incredible. I loved the voices he did for Kerry and Janus, and adored the accent for Kerry’s pater. I also love how consistent he is with the voices of recurring characters like Caleb.

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  • Starwarslover
  • 08-05-2020

all the yes!

this was holy smokes amazing.. sexy.. hott.. interesting. fast paced.. narrator hit the personalities and emotions perfectly. i loved it

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  • Pixiebell
  • 06-05-2020

A Story of Healing and Redemption

Bitter Heat is the third in the Omegaverse trilogy Heat of Love by Leta Blake and I would advise reading/listening to at least book 2, Alpha Heat, to get a better understanding of both of the main characters backgrounds before starting this book.
The whole Omegaverse world building is very intelligently designed and original when compared to other Alpha/Omega books available and addresses some dark and sometimes disturbing situations such as domestic abuse and suicidal ideation.
The developing story and relationship between Janus and Kerry is beautiful despite Kerry’s fears and reluctance but janus’ patience and nurturing gives Kerry what he needs most, trust.
I do hope this is not the end of Leta’s journey into writing Omegaverse, she is the best! Please continue 🙏

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  • Cassi
  • 05-06-2020

SO GOOD

This is such a unique world that Leta Blake has created in this series and I love all of the books. They're so well intertwined that you should really read them all in order but you won't regret it. She has such a deep world and does so good with the world building. Her characters are so well developed and the supporting characters are fantastic. The journey physically, and emotionally that these tow go on is a little intense as a reader kind of keeps you on edge through the whole book and you don't want to stop until you get to that HEA but its great!

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  • Erryn Barratt
  • 25-05-2020

Érosgápe brought to life

Érosgápe – some alphas and omegas are not just contracted mates, but are Érosagápe, bound deeply by spirit and flesh.

This was a term I’d never heard of before listening to Leta Blake’s Bitter Heat. In fact I had to ask a friend who owned the book to spell it for me. Helpfully, Ms. Blake added her definition. This word is critical to understanding the motivations of various characters within her world. It’s also something I wish there were more of – a love bound by something beyond human understanding.

But I digress, as I so often do. This is the third book in the Heat of Love series and although I own the first two, I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t yet listened to them. I had hoped to before digging into this one but I didn’t get the chance. I plan to go back to listen to those, especially book 2 that sounds like there’s a very interesting triad. I’m so glad I didn’t let my deficiency in listening to the other books hamper me from listening – and enjoying – this one. This is my way of saying, don’t worry if you’re jumping in at this point.

I really enjoyed Training Season and Vespertine, so was anxious to dig into this book. I’ll be honest and say I’m not always a fan of mpreg, having read several bad ones early on. Friends encouraged me to try again, and I’m glad I did. I especially enjoyed Piper Scott and Virginia Kelly’s dragon series and, now, this Heat of Love book. Ms. Blake’s take on the world of omega pregnancy isn’t a light one. This is a dark almost dystopic world – especially for the omegas. They have few rights and once contracted they are now subjected to the whims of their alpha. In some cases that works out, in others – like Kerry’s – it’s a disaster. So, to be clear, this is a dark book. I yearned for Kerry to be able to break free of the hold his alpha and the man’s family held over him. I wanted to rip up the contract myself. But I understood Kerry had to deal with this in his own time and in his own way. Some of those ways were extremely self-destructive, and my heart nearly broke several times.

This book is a challenge. There are no easy answers. There are unpleasant characters. There are untenable situations. There were moments I felt perilously close to giving up hope.

Then there was Janus. Apparently he played a significant role in book 2 but having not read it, I was in ignorance and therefore had no opinion of him. He came across as someone who wanted to help by becoming a nurse, but was ambitious enough to want to get ahead in his education so headed up the mountain to train with a doctor up there. He’s appalled by both the conditions as well as the fact the ‘doctor’ isn’t a real doctor. His city sensibilities were offended, to be sure. But, as time progresses, he adjusts to the simpler way of life. He’s living at a boarding house operated by Kerry’s pater. Little does he know the man has a hidden agenda.

Kerry doesn’t want to get to know the alpha living in their home. Doesn’t want to form attachments of any kind, except with his pater and his bird Kiwi. Watching Kerry and Janus do their dance of sorts, I knew there was something special between the two of them. They bonded over Kerry’s pregnancy, even if Janus wasn’t the father. When he learns of the extent of Kerry’s plight, he even seeks outside help. His caring his clear. And apparently omegas need regular sex to prepare for the birth of their baby. Janus is willing to help Kerry out in this way as well.

This book is a romance, so I knew I was going to get a happy ending. I didn’t expect to endure so much pain and heartache to get there. I recommend you have tissues close by – if you’re a sentimental sap like me.

On to narration – I really like Michael Ferraiuolo. He has a soothing voice that worked well with this book. His Kerry and Janus were spot-on to what I’d expect and his voices for Kerry’s cultured in-laws contrasted beautifully with Kerry’s pater and the other mountain folk. This book took me through many highs and lows and I’m so glad I made the journey. Obviously I recommend the book and I definitely plan to go back and read the previous two.

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  • Belinda Zamora
  • 23-05-2020

Love truly does conquer all

I absolutely love this addition to the series.
Poor Kerry has lived a life no one should ever be subjected to.
Janus has not been a very likeable character for me previous to his story.
Leta Blake absolutely redeemed him in the most emotionally compelling manner.
This book was full of angst and nail biting suspense for me.
Michael Ferraioulo has done a stupendous job of making these characters come to life so vividly and poignantly.

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  • Allison's Book Corner
  • 22-05-2020

Great

This was a very entertaining audiobook.
I really enjoyed it.
I can’t wait to listen to more from Leta and Michael.

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  • Mari Cardenas
  • 22-05-2020

Loved it!

Bitter Heat is book 3 in the Heat of Love series by Leta Blake and I guess it could be read technically as a standalone, I suggest reading book 2 at the very least, though. If you haven't read the previous books, you're really missing out in this fascinating 'verse. 

We met Janus and heard of Kerry in book 2 and frankly, I didn't like Janus at all and I felt sorry for Kerry. While reading Bitter Heat, I still felt sorry for Kerry, for all he had to suffer and continued suffering at his contracted Alpha and his in-laws's hands. He was depressed and borderline suicidal and some of the scenes at the start of the book aren't easy to read because of what he feels cornered to do. And Janus, well, he definitely grew up and matured, becoming the kind of Alpha his friend Caleb knew he could be. He was so sweet and supportive with Kerry and while there's a twist that is revealed in the end and that was hinted throughout the story, I loved that neither of them was aware of it, forcing them to get closer and fall for each other through their interactions. T

Overall, Bitter Heat is a fantastic addition to the series and that extended epilogue more than made up for some of the angst Leta Blake dished out. ;)  

Michael Ferraiuolo's performance is flawless, as always. He's just so versatile and has such a pleasant tone and wide variety of voices, that I can't not recommend this audiobook to anyone who loves this type of story.

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  • Chrystal
  • 11-05-2020

🎧 LesCourt Reviewer 🎧

Bitter Heat(Heat Of Love Book 3)by Leta Blake.This story develops nicely. A good combination of world building and character development. I really enjoyed this story. If you like M/Preg this was a good listen.
The Narrator Michael Ferraiuolo did a fantastic job bringing these characters and story to life.

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