Reviewed by Amber
TITLE: Training Season
SERIES: Training Season #1
AUTHOR: Leta Blake
PUBLISHER: Self Pub
LENGTH: 343 pages
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?
I usually shy away from stories with overly flamboyant main characters. I don’t really know why. I’m just usually turned off by them. With that being said I have to admit I didn’t mind it at all with this book. I attribute that to a few different things. First, Leta Blake is a master wordsmith. I’ve only read one other book by her, The River Leith, and I loved that one too. So, I’m familiar what she can do with words. She built out Matty’s characters so much and so well. He had so many layers that I couldn’t help but just love him to pieces which endeared me to this wonderful story.
Matty Marcus is a world class athlete. Having made figure skating his entire life at a very early age, he is dedicated, focused and extremely driven. A few months out of a back injury he’s recovering and ready to start training for the upcoming Olympics. He’s given an opportunity to house sit for 6 months. The downside is that the house is in Montana and for City boy Matty, it’ll be a stretch but the money is good and he knows he has to do it. Once in Montana he doesn’t hate it as much as he originally thought. He’s able to work out, train and practice so it’s working out. He also didn’t anticipate his super sweet, incredibly thoughtful, and coincidentally gay neighbor, Rob.
Rob Lovely owns the ranch next to the house Matty is house-sitting for. When he first meets Matty, he is undeniably attracted and the feeling is mutual. Rob also has a 12 year old son from his 1st marriage and it just so happens his son, Ben is very much interested in figure skating. While Matty and Rob explore their relationship, Matty is able to help Ben improve his figure skating.
The whole saying, “meeting the right person, at the wrong time” describes Matty and Rob to a T. They are so perfect together and complement each other beautifully but they both know Matty’s leaving. The added BDSM was a very hot surprise. I liked that not every sexual encounter ended up being a scene. They scenes were scattered throughout the story, perfectly. Rob’s control and dominance were intoxicating. Being able to read Matty so well, giving him exactly what he needed without him having said a word, shows just how deep their feelings developed.
Strong plot, beautifully developed characters, smokin’ hot sex, tenderness, and love…this story was incredible. Bring on Book 2!!!!