Review: Training Season by Leta Blake

Posted January 29, 2014 by Jonetta in Book Review | | 0 Comments

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 18 years of age due to its use of one or more of the following: sexual abuse, violence against women/children, drug use, trigger issues such as rape or simulated rape.
Review: Training Season by Leta BlakeTraining Season by Leta Blake
Series: Training Season #1
Published by Self Published on December 3, 2013
Genres: BDSM, Contemporary Romance, M/M
Pages: 343
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Amazon | Goodreads

Unquestionably talented figure skater Matty Marcus is willing to sacrifice everything for his Olympic dream, but his lack of discipline cost him the gold once before. Now the pressure’s on. He needs a coach who can keep him in line, but top coaches don't come cheap, and Matty can't afford to stay in the game no matter how badly he wants to win.

When a lucrative house-sitting gig brings him to rural Montana, Matty does his best to maintain his training regimen. Local residents turn out to be surprisingly tolerant of his flamboyant style, especially handsome young rancher Rob Lovely, who proves to be much more than a cowboy stereotype. Just as Matty requires a firm hand to perform his best on the ice, Rob shows him how strong he can be when he relinquishes control in the bedroom. With new-found self-assurance, he drives himself harder to go straight to the top.

But competition has a timetable, and to achieve his Olympic dream, Matty will have to join his new coach in New York City, leaving Rob behind. Now he must face the ultimate test. Has he truly learned how to win—on and off the ice—during his training season?

The setup
Figure skater Matty Marcus is struggling to not only recover from a back injury but also his failure to medal at the last Olympic Games. A benefactor reaches out and offers him an opportunity to earn some serious money while continuing to heal and get back into competitive shape. He moves to Montana to house sit a home that has the handsome rancher, Rob Lovely, as a neighbor.

The issues
With Rob, the flamboyant Matty finds strength, courage and confidence to do what’s necessary to prepare for the upcoming Olympics. He also learns how to be submissive in the bedroom, being able to relinquish control without losing himself. Even though their feelings are deepening towards each other, Matty’s eventual departure looms over them as they struggle to come to terms with the probable end date for their relationship. And, Rob has a 12-year old son who shows promise as a skater with Matty’s help, complicating an already tough dilemma. Winning an
Olympic medal and doing everything he can to reach that goal is Matty’s primary goal.

What worked for me
Matty forced me out of my comfort zone with respect to m/m romances. He’s effeminate, dresses outrageously and wears makeup, leaving no question as to his sexual orientation. I was unsure if I could connect with him and here was the power of the story. Matty had to not only excel in his skating but also overcome the judges (and others) stereotypical thinking about his style. I loved that he never felt compelled to change any aspect of his identity, with full awareness of what it might cost him and the reactions of those around him. Rob’s embrace of all that was Matty and his patience with him made him so appealing. Their romance was at times sweet and always sensual. I loved their relationship, even when Matty made it difficult. He got under my skin and I ended up adoring him.

What was a challenge for me
Be forewarned that the sex is graphic, which doesn’t really bother me normally but there were some dom/sub scenes that pushed me beyond my limits. I actually found myself skimming over some of the encounters as I found them confusing to the story.

The bottom line
I loved the story, the romance and the sometimes bratty Matty. It’s my understanding that the author was channeling the Olympic skater Johnny Weir and this book helped me develop a new level of respect and appreciation for him. My perceptions were completely altered and that’s pretty powerful. I’m thrilled that the author created Matty and wrapped this wonderful story around him.

About Leta Blake

While Leta Blake would love to tell you that writing transports her to worlds of magic and wonder and then safely returns her to a home of sparkling cleanliness and carefully folded laundry, the reality is a bit different. For as long as Leta can recall, stories have hijacked her mind, abducting her to other lands, and forcing her to bend to the will of imaginary people. This absence from reality results in piles of laundry and forgotten appointments. In between abductions, Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.

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I LOVE reading and am just crazy about so many series and writers. I’m open to exploring new authors and genres and appreciate those who not only write well but can deliciously craft a character and a tale. Your suggestions for new authors and titles are very much welcomed.

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