Title: Core Training (Work Out #3)
Author: Andrew Grey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy Link: Amazon.com
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Length: Novella (86 PDF pages)
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
A guest review by Lily
A nicely written story with a May-December theme. I enjoyed it but would have preferred a slower pace to Hugh and Max’s relationship.
Hugh Douglas isn’t thrilled about reaching his fortieth birthday. But he gets an unexpected present when a waiter he knows, Max Pierce, flirts hard with him at the gym. They end up going home together and having the hottest sex Hugh can remember… and Max even wants to stick around afterward.
Starting a romance won’t be easy. Hugh can’t help but feel his age compared to the much younger Max, even though Max makes Hugh feel rejuvenated. Max is dealing with daily doses of abuse from his alcoholic father, but Hugh can offer support from his own life experience. If they can help each other, it just might be enough to make a life together work.
Work Out Series
This is book three in the Gym Series and is a nice addition to the series. Hugh is not too happy to be celebrating another birthday but things begin to look up when sexy, and much younger, Max comes into his life. They hit it off and soon Hugh, a die-hard one-night stand man, finds himself contemplating a relationship. It won’t be an easy thing to work through his own commitment phobias as well as Max’s family issues but when their hearts get involved they’ll find the strength to work together towards a happy future.
I’ve read and enjoyed the first two stories in this series, Spot Me and Pump Me Up. Andrew Grey’s stories typically feature likable men who despite a tendency to quickly fall in love are always interesting to read about. This book is no exception. Hugh and Max are well drawn protagonists and despite the insta-love feel of the story I enjoyed their romance. I would have liked a slower pace in their relationship but despite that small issue their story was fun and sexy as well as a bit emotional.
The subplot of Max’s family life with his alcoholic father was very sad but since Hugh had a bit of personal experience in that area he’s able to help Max start to deal with it for the first time in his life. I felt it was a good point that the issue of Max’s father wasn’t miraculously fixed in the story. Instead it’s portrayed more life like as Max, with Hugh’s help and encouragement, begins to realize that he isn’t responsible for and can’t fix his father if he doesn’t want to be helped.
Another part of the story I enjoyed were the scenes in the gym where we get to visit with Dan and Lonnie from the previous books. Lonnie brings a lot of humor to the book with his one-liners just as he’s done in the previous ones.
Overall this was an entertaining story with likable characters. The relationship does progress very quickly and has a HFN ending which felt more realistic than a full blown HEA ending would have been. Fans of the author are sure to enjoy this installment in his Gym Series. The story can be read as a stand alone but all three are nice quick reads. Recommended.