Title: Training Season (Training Season #1)
Author: Leta Blake
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: November 11, 2013
Page Count: 343
Reviewed by: Jewel
Heat Level: 5 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
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?
Wow. This book was so good! The character development was top notch and the story just grabbed me and didn’t let go. Training Season earned a spot on my favorites shelf with every emotion it wrung out of me. The story is told from Matty’s perspective.
Matty was quite a character and pretty much a diva. Rather flamboyantly gay and quite the colorful personality with a wardrobe and makeup to match. It’s all a front, though. Matty stopped believing in himself a long time ago and along with his self doubt comes self destructive eating habits and self imposed failures. Getting sent to house sit in the middle of nowhere Montana wasn’t exactly his idea of a good time and he fully expected it to be more like the punishment that he feels he really deserves. Especially since he wasn’t allowed to have guests, he was geared up to be bored out of his skull for six months, but figured he could at least spend his time training as much as he can without having a coach. Also, the money really was better than good, so he sucked it up and went to Montana.
Rob Lovely owns the ranch next door to where Matty is house sitting. Matty figured he’d see some prime male specimens in middle of nowhere Montana, but he also figured most of them would rather kick his ass than talk to him. Rob was a surprise. A little older than Matty, Rob is in his early to mid 30’s and has a 12 year old son. Rob is handsome and built like the rancher he is. Rob is intelligent, well read, perceptive and very toppy. Yum.
They both know that Matty is leaving in a few months and so any relationship they pursue has an expiration date. But, their attraction is strong and the sex beyond mind blowing (OMFSM is it!). That Rob just seems to really “get” Matty is a bonus that Matty doesn’t want to spend much time pondering.
Added to all that is the fact that Rob’s son Ben shows some talent for skating and wants to be a figure skater, too. Matty gives him some informal lessons and Ben really shows promise. It’s scary just how right Matty’s relationship with Rob feels on all levels.
Rob and Matty’s separation after Montana was heartrending for me. Most of the last 20% is spent with Matty trying not to think about Rob too much and trying like hell to realize his dream. My only real complaints are that it took so long for them to get back together, and as such, I would have liked for the ending to be bigger. But, man, this book is good! I’ll forgive it.
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