Training Season (Lily G’s Review)

Title: Training Season (Training Season #1)
Author: Leta Blake and Michael Ferraiuolo (Narrator)
Publisher: Leta Blake Books
Release Date: June 1st 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance/Figure Skating, BDSM
Length: 12 hours and 12 minutes
Reviewed by: Lily G. Blunt
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5


A Montanan rancher and a flamboyant figure skater find lust, then love, but can they find a life together?

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?

This book contains BDSM elements.

After reading Leta Blake’s Slow Heat and loving it, I rooted around my Kindle looking for more of her stories and found Training Season, which I hadn’t read. I was about a third of the way through when the audiobook came out, so I stopped reading and started listening from the beginning instead.

Training Season is a lengthy story with a compelling plot, wonderful scenes and dialogue, and splendidly drawn characters. It’s an amazing audiobook that really bowled me over. In fact I listened to the last few hours well into the early hours of the morning because I couldn’t sleep until I found out what happened to Matty and Rob. There were lots of tears, as well as plenty of laughs along the way, and so many lovely feels because of these two very different but perfectly matched guys. I adored them both! Rob definitely lived up to his name—Lovely! And Matty, oh my heart went out to poor Matty and his ice skating dream.

The intimate scenes were smoking hot and loving throughout. I liked the way light bondage, spanking, and breathplay brought them closer together and demonstrated so much about their feelings and the connection and trust they shared. The scene in the corn maze came as a surprise, but boy oh boy, it was a sizzler! The story is so much more than a collection of sex scenes. It’s a beautiful romance that develops over the time in Montana and doesn’t fade when they are apart. Knowing Matty would have to leave in six months time added some delicious angst from the start.

I’m a fan of Michael’s audio work, but his narration of this story was simply superb. Outstanding, I’d say. There’s a host of characters and he portrayed each one remarkably. He’s one of the few male narrators who can make women sound like actual women. His voices for Margaret, Donna, and the host of other females were distinct and each depicted in a way to match their personalities. The same is true of the men. I LOVED Rob’s husky, sexy, commanding voice and I just broke when he and Matty were saying goodbye. Matty, Ben, Elliot, Matty’s father, and Justin were all unmistakeable. I also liked how Ben’s voice matured over the time they were apart. I sincerely hope Michael is chosen to narrate book #2.

Training Season Series

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Review Copy

Audio copy of Training Season (Training Season #1) provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.


Lily G. Blunt writes contemporary gay romance. She loves to explore the relationship between two men and the intensity of their physical and emotional attraction. Angst often features in her stories as she feels this demonstrates the depth of the men’s feelings for each other. Lily is forever writing imaginary scenes and plots in her head, but only a few ever make it to the page. There never seems to be enough hours in the day despite having left the teaching profession to concentrate on her writing!

Lily discovered the wonderful world of m/m romance novels five years ago via fan fiction and went on to write stories in her spare time. With the encouragement of her friends and readers she decided to publish some of her work. Lily subsequently self-published several stories via Amazon and later published short stories with Torquere Press, Wayward Ink Publishing, and Pride Publishing.

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