Rating: 4.25 stars
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Length: Novel

Jason and Vale are out of town for a romantic weekend away when the unexpected happens — Vale goes into heat. A snowstorm has them trapped with no phone or condoms, and Jason and Vale have no choice but to act, lest they leave Vale in intense need and pain. When Vale ends up pregnant, both men are terrified, as Vale’s internal scarring means a healthy pregnancy has always been thought impossible. Jason wants Vale to abort the pregnancy, as he doesn’t want to take any chance of losing the man he adores. But Vale knows this is likely his one and only opportunity to have a child, and when his doctor indicates his body might be able to handle the pregnancy after all, Vale wants to seize the chance. As the months pass, the men alternate between excited and terrified as Vale gets further along in his pregnancy. But Jason and Vale love each other deeply, and in the end, that love is enough to see them through.

Slow Birth is book 2.5 of Leta Blake’s excellent Heat of Love series. It runs fairly concurrently with the events of book two, Alpha Heat, and is best read following that story. This book assumes knowledge of events that happen in that second story and will have some spoilers if you haven’t read it. There are also places where scenes are repeated here from a different character’s perspective. I haven’t read Alpha Heat in a while, but I had no problem following along here without rereading, however I definitely appreciated being familiar with the story.

This book reconnects us with Jason and Vale, my favorite characters of the series. I love their relationship dynamic and so I really enjoyed getting another book that focuses on them. This story is not particularly plot-heavy; most of the book is following along with Vale’s pregnancy, as well as lots (and LOTS) of steamy sex between them. To be clear, lots of sex here, folks. That’s not to say that there isn’t any substance. There is some definite tension, particularly early on as Vale and Jason grapple with what to do about the pregnancy. Jason feels like he really failed Vale by not being prepared for the surprise heat and not being able to solve the problem without getting him pregnant. He is absolutely terrified of losing Vale and I could definitely feel the emotion here as he wants the baby and wants Vale to be happy, but is just so scared of what this could mean for Vale. For his part, Vale wants the baby both for him and for Jason and wants to seize this chance while he has it.

As I said, most of this story is following along with Vale’s pregnancy, from the early days when they grapple with what to do, through telling all their friends and family, and eventually to when they travel to Virona to stay with Xan during the flu epidemic. I enjoy stories that give alternate points of view on familiar events, and I particularly liked the later parts of the book when they are all together in Virona. The climactic ending with Vale delivering the baby, Caleb in heat, and Janus overcome with the flu all at once was still exciting and intense, even having already viewed it from other perspectives in Alpha Heat.

I feel like even though the plot here is very simple, this story enhanced my enjoyment of both the first two books in the series and I really loved reconnecting with Vale and Jason. So if you are looking for more in this series, and particularly if you want some steamy goodness between the main characters, definitely check this story out.