Trained (Renée’s Review)

Title: Trained
Author: N.M. Pratt
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: July 21, 2015
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance/OFY/Friends to Lovers
Page Count: 158
Reviewed by: Renée
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating:  5 stars out of 5


Brendon is too young to be letting himself go. Overweight and desperate for a change, he goes where everyone goes for advice these days, the Internet. That’s where he finds Jared. Jared has an offer too good for Brendon to pass up; a free training program to help him build his clientele. What starts out as workout routines, and meal plans, slowly turns into friendship, all before they ever meet in person. Jared may be straight but will Brendon be able to resist his sexy trainer and friend when they finally meet and spend a night out under The Bay Lights in San Francisco? Or maybe a better question is, will a confused Jared be able to resist Brendon?


Seriously, I hope this author has some back stories for me to read, because I’m going on a hunt as soon as I finish this.

This was, hands down, the best out-for-you book that I’ve ever read. It took the clichéd gay man’s fantasy of turning his straight best friend to the dark side, but completely nailed it in a way I couldn’t have expected.

Brendan and Jared meet in an online forum when Brendan wants to lose weight and be healthier. Jared loves to help train people to be more physically fit. What starts as communicating frequently regarding meal plans and exercise, after a few months, turns into a really strong friendship.

Brendan and Jared just click. On every level. Brendan knows he has a crush, but pushes the feelings away because it’s useless to pine after a straight man. And he wouldn’t ever want to lose what has become his best friend.

Brendan lives in San Francisco, and Jared lives is Los Angeles. After months of conversations, Jared flies to San Francisco for work and the two buddies finally meet in person.

It was game over. Take the initial emotional attachment that Brendan had to Jared and add that with his gorgeous looks. Brendan was a goner.

Told entirely in Brendan’s POV, we get to experience his struggle with his feelings. The character building and relationship development was so on point here. This book made me feel all the feelings. I had leaky eyes twice!!

But is Jared as straight as Brendan thinks he is? After so many months, we see how close these two have become. They can literally share anything with each other, and they have because they talk to each other every day on the phone.

“What about you? Don’t you get hit on, you know, looking like you do?”
“Looking like I do?” What could Jared see in Brendan that could even compare?
“Yeah. The eyes and the face you’ve got going on. Even I can see the appeal.”

Can you, Jared?

Then things….well they take a little turn.

But as high as Brendan feels after this particular turn of events, his world comes crashing down around him.

[…]Brendan could swear he heard pieces of his heart falling to the ground below.

Probably not a great idea to fall for you straight best friend.

[…]”but if I could find you in girl form, I think I’d have my soul mate.”

“Bren, I love you, so much.”
“But you’re not gay.”

Such a goddamn tearjerker, this was. It was so much deeper than I can explain.

My mom told me I looked like I had lost my light.

My heart was put through the ringer. But the ending was so, so worth it.

If I had one negative thing to say, it was that there were a few times where it nudged the edge of too cheesy for me. Otherwise – PERFECTION!

Highly recommended!!


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I love boys who love boys! I'm in my 30s, from the southern US, and my crack is m/m romance.