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Training Season #1

Training Season

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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?

343 pages, ebook

First published November 11, 2013

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About the author

Leta Blake

60 books1,479 followers
Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and fan favorites Training Season, Will & Patrick Wake Up Married, and Slow Heat, Leta Blake has been captivating M/M Romance readers for over a decade. Whether writing contemporary romance or fantasy, she puts her psychology background to use creating complex characters and love stories that feel real. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her writing and her family life.

If you'd like to be among the first to know about new releases, you can sign up for Leta's newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bdn32H

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5 stars
1,019 (32%)
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1,173 (37%)
3 stars
635 (20%)
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186 (6%)
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85 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 596 reviews
Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,859 reviews5,634 followers
November 24, 2017
*FREE today (11/24/17) at Amazon US! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H3KTRMC!*

**4.5 stars**

This book has been tearing up my feed for the past few weeks. Tearing. It. Up. As with all books with a lot of hype, I was super nervous about how I would feel about this one. I am admittedly not a huge fan of femme MCs and will usually only read those kinds of stories from trusted authors. However, I was very excited to get this book as a gift and give it a fair shot. And I was beyond pleased by what I read. Beyond!

In a romance, you either have chemistry between the two MCs or you don't. Here, the chemistry was off the charts. Period.

My favorite thing about this book was the connection between Matty and Rob. It was beautiful, it was interesting, and it was HOT. I read a lot of BDSM so that portion of the book didn't bother me in the least. I got what Matty got out of that aspect of their relationship and I felt like it jived with the storyline. This wasn't a couple living a full on BDSM lifestyle with the "Sir" and "Master" stuff, but a couple playing with a few elements that suited them both, which worked very well for me as a reader.

I also loved Matty. He was bratty and focused and full of flaws- a totally realistic character. He felt like flesh and blood to me. He wasn't all perfect and roses and sunshine. He got pissy, he was needy, and he was broken in a lot of ways. I adored how Matty was with Ben (Rob's son) and how he was with his own family. I just fell totally in love with Matty.

Now, I'll briefly address the issues that most other people have with this story. First of all, the eating and training thing. Yes, Matty is a professional athlete and YES, he had to nearly starve himself at times. That is life for a professional figure skater! I thought it rang absolutely true. The author didn't sugarcoat it for us readers, she put Matty's backbreaking training schedule and difficult food regimen out there because it is an important part of the story.

Another thing about this book. It is a bit... intimate at times. There is a few moments that may ick some readers out (not me, by the way) or make them uncomfortable. However, I appreciated those scenes because being in love with someone is being vulnerable, being exposed, even when it is embarrassing or awkward. I understood the merit of these scenes and they didn't bother me in the slightest.

Now, I will say that the story felt a little lengthy to me in the middle and a bit under-edited, but it was SO unbelievably enjoyable. I haven't rooted for a HEA that hard in a long time. Very nicely done, Leta Blake!!
Profile Image for Baba  .
859 reviews3,836 followers
July 10, 2015
0 stars. DNF at 70 %. Full review posted December 17, 2013. I'm sorry but when an enema and shittin' in front of your partner is considered healing then I'm truly allowed to bitch.

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Je m'excuse, Stéphane, I know that you are not like Matty. Still, you have to suck it up because you're an excellent figure skater and a former two-time world champion. Plus, you're a fellow Swiss citizen and gay. Fits the bill. This bling bling gif depicts Matty...

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Eight songs later, he had glitter body paint smeared on his chest, his eyes done up in brilliant blues and greens, and bright, cotton-candy pink lipstick on his lips. Wearing only his track pants and the gold sequined vest, he was far from fierce, but still shiny, and that made him feel almost as good.

I should have hit Rob over the head with that stone...

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There is no nice way to say it. Before you engage in such a dangerous kink like you must have an extensive prep talk. What Rob did was so incredibly idiotic and risky, words simply fail me. This scene made me f@cking mad!!!

"Now, if you want me to stop, then snap your fingers three times, okay?" Rob, it would have been nice if you'd told Matty that was his safeword. Ugh. Despite Matty's panic and not being prepared at all, he just loved it! I still have to shake my head. No biggie though, it's only fiction, and I'm sure that nobody will be so stupid and imitate that crap. You know what I mean? We all have a role model function and in this case this screams big fat failure.

"Shh, I've got you. Trust me. I'd never hurt you."

Like I mentioned in my update, my best friend could tell me to trust her and then we'd do a bungee jump without any further instructions because she would never hurt me and she would catch me if I fell. I can't help being sarcastic. Besides, the icing on the f@cked up cake was when Rob ROMANTICIZED that idiotic kink by saying:

"Do you see the North Star? Wherever you are, whenever you see that, you'll think of this. You'll think of me here with you, taking care of you, and you'll never forget. Do you understand?

Hell yes, I got it. Not.

I was wondering too…I actually thought Rob must be psychic...

"I guess I was wondering how you knew I'd be into that. Into being kinky like that. It's like you've known from the beginning. Do I just scream kink monster, or did you know some other way?"
"I didn't know until we were in the middle of it, I guess."
*insert major eye roll moment*
"Have you ever done something like that before?"
"After my folks died, it was the first time I really felt free to explore who I was sexually. (…)

And we have another of those cases: taking care of psychological issues through BDSM kink. Mind you, it's not only a little bit of ass slapping though.

An incredibly well written and definitely erotic can be found in Power Exchange by A.J. Rose. I'd say he clearly knew what he did when he wrote this particular scene.

Matty wears a mink. I could have posted a real nasty pic of a livestock breeding but I thought we should better look at something cute. Yet we all know what that means.  photo ef66fc08-4403-4541-878e-bea36b9dab66_zps2145594d.png

"Not much," Matty said, wiping at his eyes, and trying to recover, but he couldn't stop laughing. "Nothing that I can repeat in front of a child. It's far too graphic. And not in the good way."
"Are you saying Figure Skating screwed you in the ass without any lube?" Ben asked.

As a side note
Ben is twelve (12). And Matty…hmm…not sure if he's an adult.

DAFUCK? My thirteen-year-old clearly lacks some vital life experience because such nonsense would never come out of his mouth.

Matty plastered an understanding smile on his face, because of course they couldn't fuck with Ben in the house. Matty was very loud after all. But it was still intensely disappointing. Is a quick mutual jerk off out of the question?

Guess what they are going to do? Yep, on the porch of Mr. Lovely's house Rob is going to jerk Matty off. Hey, no biggie, they are not in the house and Matty was so damn HORNY, after all. He really needed that.

"I never realized watching a figure skater eat would be such a sexy experience," Rob said. "I can't explain this, but I am so turned on right now."

Come again?

And then…

Matty dropped the spoon in the empty bowl with a clatter and met Rob's eyes. His cock was hard, and he felt hot all over, inside and out. "I am too."
"Just tell me, yes or no."
Matty swallowed hard, and he turned sideways in the chair, spreading his legs a little. "Yes. God yes. Please."

Please spare me.

Rob was on the floor between his thighs before Matty could say another word. He pushed Matty's track pants down, and Matty gasped and hunched over Rob's head when he sucked Matty's cock into his mouth. It was hot and wet, and so fucking good. Rob sucked even better than he kissed, and the kiss had been pretty amazing.

That was hot. Not.

"No. I'm trying not to come in my pants," Matty said. Thinking about Rob and a dildo had taken him to DEFCON 1 levels of arousal.

Uh-huh. Horny, told you so. All. The. Time.

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See previous comment. Baba takes a deep breath. ---> Matty is instantly hard. Just kidding.

Rob pulled his fingers free and Matty lifted his ass, begging with his body, wanting to be fucked so badly he felt like he might gag on his desire.

I had to gag too but for other reasons.

(…)It's all Brokeback Mountain hotness here, you know."

"So, can I ride, Cowboy?"
"Giddy up," Rob said so incredibly seriously that Matty had to laugh.

Clichéd, much?

"Yes, and he has beautiful hands. His hands are like an opera."
"He's like Montana in man form, and he even taste like Montana. Like pure white snow on majestic mountains. He smells like clean water--"
"The bad poetry is killing me, honey. It's got to stop."

It's killing me too and I wholeheartedly agree.


I wish I had listened to my gut instinct that told me not to read this book. Rob Lovely and Matty Marcus…that was a bad omen if I've ever heard one.
Well, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. Training Season is a wolf in sheep's clothing--sort of. Something was really off when this story slithered from being syrupy sweet into the world of BDSM, and bad BDSM at that. It just felt wrong and totally inopportune.

Also, I'm absolutely clueless WHY these two would have felt attracted to each other in the first place. Well, that Matty would want to get f@cked by Mr. Montana personified might be understandable but Rob? A super duper gorgeous rancher is lusting after a (bitchy) bling bling diva who's wearing a mink, a handbag, and is running around like she he has swallowed a paint box? Excuse me, but that's probably wishful thinking. I might be wrong though but I honestly didn't feel "it."

I'm the first to admit that I prefer my men to be manly. Yet I'd like to point out that I really liked the effeminate Laurie, hero of Dance With Me very much. Also, I downright loved Logan, a supporting character of Six Degrees of Lust and Six Degrees of Separation. Despite Logan's fondness for makeup, he didn't act like a bitchy diva. Thanks for small favors. Also, when I feel the need to read about a bitchy woman (heroine), then I can read an M/F book. I don't want to deal with this kind of character in my M/M novels. Matty is narcissistic, bitchy, and needy with some serious hang-ups. I think he needs counseling and certainly not healing through enemas and BDSM. Also, she he lacks self-esteem and he has Plus, he's got some snobbish tendencies. Yup, snobbish, because Missoula didn't provide enough shops that fit his high standard. Too bad, Matty boy, could you not find a cute Louis Vuitton handbag? *pets*

There was an instant animosity between Matty and I. No biggie though, since there was insta-lust and insta-love, the insta-animosity just added up nicely. In fact, I don't have to feel bad about it because Rob said:

"Give her time. Not everyone can fall in love with you at first sight like I did."

Yeah, right. *snort*

The boring and mechanic sex left me absolutely cold. Being horny all the time doesn't equal chemistry. In my opinion these two shared ZERO chemistry. And the sex was neither scorching nor soul-quaking. Honestly, there is nothing soul-quaking when one dude is fucking the other one into the mattress and hits his ass with a quirt over and over again. You know somewhere along the line I just had enough of everybody being amazing and hot or blisteringly hot for that matter or everything being f@cking hot and amazing, yadda, yadda, yadda. Repetitiveness, much?

Between 38 % and 61 % I was bored out of my ever lovin' mind.

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Nope, that's not true. I don't have to make up shit to bitch about; the shit literally happened at 66 %. YIKES!!

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Rob inserted an enema in Matty's ass. Yeah, Matty was Rob's good boy and the fluid that filled Rob's ass and being in the tub on his hands and knees for Rob made him sooooo hot and amazing. Dafuck?!?!?!

"Your ass," Rob said, his voice deep and rough. "God, your ass."

I actually expected him to make some whinny noises. After all, we're on a ranch in Montana. To make this very clear, I don't need to read about enemas in my romance novels. But the f@cking icing on the cake was what happened in great detail afterward:

He sat on the toilet seat…

He'd never had Rob sitting in front of him, holding his hands, and staring at his face as he held back the urge to let fouled enema water erupt from his ass. He'd never thought that Rob would want to see that, or that he'd expected to share such a disgusting, private moment.
"Because I want it. That's all that matters right now. What I want. Not what you want or what you understand.
Yadda, yadda, yadda

He had to hold his shit for ten minutes.

As soon as "one" left Rob's mouth, Matty released. He stared at Rob's face, a flood of hot embarrassment rolling through him as the water purged from his bowels. He felt a flicker of anger deep down wanting to roar into a flame, a rage and a rebelliousness that wanted to tear up into the moment, spit in Rob's face, and tell him to fuck off.
But Matty held it down, tamped it back, and concentrated on showing Rob whatever he wanted to see. If that was this moment, right now, vulnerable and gross on the toilet, then he'd let Rob have that, dammit. Fine. Fuck him. And just as soon as he surrendered the anger, he felt something inside himself break and HEAL.
*really, really serious headdesk moment*

That disgusting crap doesn't fly with me, sweetheart!

F@ck me sideways, I had to read that shit twice to be sure I hadn't imagined anything I just read. HEALING through shittin' in front of your partner!?!?! WTF? I had to stop eating my breakfast because I was ready to throw up. This was the moment when Training Season was down to 0 stars.

After the enema Rob bound Matty to the bed and hit his ass, balls and legs with a quirt over and over again before he f@cked him senseless. Cowboys used that thing for thick-skinned animals like cows. Ouch.

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Matty was totally delirious...
"Offisher," and then, "Yesh, offisher, I'm okay."

"Are you hurting, Matty?" Rob asked, his lashes shading his eyes.
"Yes, " Matty whispered.
"Is it really bad?"
Matty choked on a small sob and nodded.

It's time to move on because I need to bleach my brain and...

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That's all.


Oh, wait, I'm not quite done yet. I've read a very interesting blog post. Please check out Romanticising BDSM and Review Backlash


I’m sure that every author is aware of the fact that their published books are open to criticism. And in light of a recent blog post I’d like to point out that I will continue to state my honest opinion about every book that I’ll be reading in the future. One pissed off author doesn’t impress me in the least and I have no intention whatsoever to change my way of reviewing the books I’m reading. When I love a book I will say so and when I don’t enjoy a story I will clearly outline WHY the book didn’t work out for me. To be very clear, I didn’t savage a perfectly good book just for having kinks I don’t enjoy. That statement pissed me right the hell off. Even without the and the toilet play this book was average at best.

Your Kink is Not My Kink But Your Kink is OK

Sure, that specific kink about toilet play is definitely Not My Kink But Your Kink is OK. That’s fine. On the other hand, I don’t need anyone’s permission to say I don’t like that kink! And even more so because I couldn’t find a warning when I read the blurb. Truth be told, I was reluctant to give Training Season a try and ultimately I read it based on one glowing review but also because I saw the book popping up in my GR feed all the time. So, here I stand, very surprised, a bit shocked and completely disgusted in the aftermath of what I’ve been reading. It’s perfectly fine by me that this reviewer loved the book and gushed about it. BUT. I have a right to voice my opinion and I thought SINCE WE ARE ALL ADULTS WE CAN AGREE TO DISAGREE. Also, if I had known about that enema and the crap about shittin’ in front of the boyfriend--I assure you--I would never have touched that book with a ten-foot bamboo cane. Plus, the is clearly an aspect of the book that bothered me as well. I’m not stupid, I can use my common sense. And it's obvious that this kind of BDSM practice is not what I call sane, safe and consensual. What Rob did was dangerous and ill-advised.

Besides, we all know how easily people can be influenced by the written word. Yes, this is fiction but it can turn into reality in no time flat when readers try to imitate that kink. I don’t know the US law but what had been the consequences if a couple would engage in that would have resulted with someone harmed? I suppose the “abuser” would have to face possible criminal charges. Matty did not Rob simply manipulated him and took advantage of the situation. While we’re on it I must get something else off my chest. The ever-present talk in BDSM books about connecting with your partner’s soul or soul-shattering, soul-quaking events or whatnot is honestly overdone too and most of the time it’s totally ridiculous. I think that only very few authors are actually skilled enough to pull that off and I clearly did not buy that in Training Season. I don’t need to practice BDSM to look beyond a character’s face or body. Yet I could never connect with neither Matty nor Rob. One of my favorite authors is someone who writes and practices BDSM. So, you see, I’m definitely not a BDSM hater, and I sure as hell don’t read BDSM books just so I can post a rant. As a matter of fact, a few of my all-time favorite books are BDSM-themed stories.

In consequence, it is incredibly important that authors add a disclosure to their blurb. I want to know about the toilet play. I want to know about a It’s also necessary to address the fact that Matty is wearing a mink. I don’t want to turn this review in a political statement or start a discussion about livestock breeding. Still, I would never wear a fur for reasons I don’t need to spell out for you because we know what happens to those poor animals. On the other hand, Matty wearing a mink wasn’t reason enough to DNF the book, it was “only” another reason to downgrade Training Season. Long story short, an author could avoid many negative reviews just by adding a proper warning. Baba not touching that book with a ten-foot bamboo cane simply means there is one rant less on Goodreads. I’m very careful and I don’t read every hyped book because I know myself very well. What others love isn’t a guarantee that I will love the same book.

And last but not least I’ll make damn sure to never touch a book with a ten-foot bamboo cane that has been written by Amelia C. Gormley. I’m sorry but that bamboo cane kind of stuck with me. Come to think of it I might need to delve deeper into my psych and do some serious evaluation. Maybe I have some hidden masochistic tendencies and need a severe caning to be able to undergo a soul-quaking and life-changing experience because…darn…it might help me to understand the healing and cathartic message of Training Season.

Now I’m done bitchin’.

Profile Image for Gigi.
2,156 reviews1,050 followers
May 28, 2017

*fist pump* I absolutely ADORED this book! Where do I even start? Ok, first off, I'm a pretty big figure skating fan, so my interest was piqued just from the blurb. Ice Castles was a favorite movie as a child, I rocked a Dorothy Hamill haircut during the 1976 Olympics, The Cutting Edge came out right after I graduated from college and I was living in an apartment with 3 other women and we wore out our VHS copy of that movie together over late nights with pizza and beer and one of my absolute favorite gay soap couples was Roman and Deniz, a gay figure skating pair from Germany. So, yep, pretty psyched!

Training Season is a beautiful romance set in the gorgeous open skies of Montana country. Matty Marcus, disgraced Olympic figure skater, is sent to Whitefish, Montana to re-train for the next Olympic games and basically get his head back together after a devastating and publicly humiliating loss at the last Olympics. This is his last chance, given his advanced age of 22. There he meets and quickly falls in love (against his better judgment) with 30 year old rancher Rob Lovely (best name EVER??) a charming, delightful soul with a bright, happy 12 year old son named Ben, who is interested in figure skating himself and also happens to contains some god-given talent. Both Matty and Rob proceed with their relationship knowing that Matty will leave after his 6 month stay in Montana and continue with his skating career and participate in the next Olympics which is still 2 years away. The fact that Rob shares custody with Ben's mother makes it impossible to even consider Rob going with Matty, even if he wanted to. So, we know early on there is gonna be some heartbreak. *sob*

Pretty basic boy meets boy, boy falls in love with boy, boys must separate for the greater good of both their career aspirations and their families, right? Um WRONG ! What stood out in this book and what it did to make my fuck yeah, 5+ stars shelf, was the passion between these two and how author Leta Blake turned some of the dirtiest, kinkiest BDSM sex acts into the hottest, most loving scenes I have ever read. I'm talking screen melting here folks! Because I am so anal about spoilers, and because I really believe you will enjoy the story more if you go into reading this without knowing some of these scenes before hand, I'm not going to list them here, but I will let you know that a few of them I actually would run, screaming from in a normal reading situation. Full-on gross-out mode! But not here. It was fucking HOT. AS. HELL. *fans self* And this just put that fuck yeah, 5+ stars cherry on this delicious sundae.

I'm HIGHLY RECOMMENDING this one to any and all fans of M/M romance. It was that good.

January 29, 2015
I can barely form coherent thoughts right now. This book made me so frustrated and weepy and anxious. And I loved every damn minute of it.

Matty and Rob were wonderful characters. One of them could knock on my door today, and I'd greet him like a long-lost friend. Rarely do I find MCs this unforgettable and this REAL.

Matty is a competitive figure skater who's stopped believing in himself; he's vain, a little self-centered, impetuous but also kind and insecure. He struggles with demons, starves his body, pushes too hard, and refuses to see anything beyond the dream that's broken him long ago. He's given the opportunity to regroup and make money on a small Montana ranch. He's a city boy, but the offer is not one he can refuse, so off to Montana he goes. There he meets the stunning, down-to-earth rancher Rob Lovely and his 12-year-old son Ben. Rob is strong but also lonely, caring, unpretentious, a wonderful dad, and, it turns out, an amazing boyfriend. But Matty has to choose between Rob and Figure Skating (the abusive boyfriend he just can't let go).

What made this book so hard to read is I understood the agony of Matty's impending choice, his feelings of failure, his drive. I understood but could do nothing about it.

The last fourth of this book killed me. I was crying into my pillow in frustration, staying up way past my bedtime because no way in hell could I stop reading.

Matty and Rob were so good together; their passion was so raw. This was possibly the most erotic book I've ever read (which is saying something, because smuttiness is my thing). Prepare for BDSM Lite (not role play and no Master/sub, but definitely kink, spanking, with overtones of domination and submission). BDSM can be harsh, but the sex scenes in this book are so incredibly well written and meaningful they never detract from the story.

The aspect of competitive figure skating is also handled with honesty and sensitivity. We see the physical and emotional pain of training, the self-doubt, the fickleness of the judges, the shame, the pettiness. I happen to love figure skating, but this applies to almost any sport, any athlete.

Bottom line: Prepare to go insane. Prepare to have your heart stumble and stutter. Prepare to FEEL.

Is it worth it? God, YES.

The ember of hope remains, and to quote Poe, "You call it hope, that fire of fire! It is but agony of desire."
Profile Image for Vio.
677 reviews
July 30, 2016
4.85 stars
This story was incredibly lovely, but damn how did a surprisingly innocent and sedate start, a glitzy and funny twink, turn into something so unexpected, believe me when I say the heat is on. Matty and Rob were wonderful, sharing this passionate and fiery love, I swear I could feel the glowing intensity. As if every time together was going to be their last, a beautiful experience. The kink and D/s was an eye-opener and written in a way where it felt natural and played with so much love. The pace, determination, injuries and obsession to succeed, was relentless and painfully realistic. Nothing was going to stand in Matty’s way, I’m not sure how you’d choose and what it would do to you. It must eat you up on the inside, wondering if you did the right thing. I admit there were tears, I wanted to hug them long and hard, as another reviewer said I loved Matty and Rob more than the story itself. The feelings and kink were awesome, I adored it. It’s landed on my favourites shelf, highly recommended.
Profile Image for Ingie.
1,343 reviews169 followers
September 30, 2014
Written December 9, 2013

5 Stars for a romance with a proper STORYLINE - so beautiful - so full of strong emotions - a drama about figure skating and special needs - ...a truly great novel to remember

"Training Season" has made me feel everything. My feelings have tried all ways.. and I'm emotionally totally exhausted after this amazing journey. There has been laughter, tenderness, love, anger, tears, surprise, impatience, desire, disgust, giggle, anxiety, fear, nervousness, happiness, great pleasure. I'm honestly impressed by this well-written romance.


...in my (humble) opinion a MUST read ~ loved by me, Ingela... or with some other better words; the always love-thirsty book romanticist. If there is heat, there is enjoyment. Absolutely satisfied and achieved during this reading. And in this case, not to forget, I'm a big figure skating fan. My very favorite winter sport to watch on TV.

For me IS "Training Season" much, much more than another "M/M romance". This novel have an "own" and interesting proper STORYLINE that engage for more than just the romance part. We're not just get another steamy love-story. This story is, in some ways, also a hard life-story.

~ I will remember "Training Season" for a long, long time. ~

After just one or two chapters, I saw the very famous american Ice Prince Johnny Weir () in front of me and it made the story even more real, realistic and believable.

These MC's are two "real human men". I can feel that they are of flesh and blood, with fully reasonable emotions, realistic decisions (good and bad ..) with both strengths and great agonies. ~ How much should really a professional athlete need to sacrifice for an old dream of gold and star-power. What is most important? Love ... and your everyday life ... or large Olympic victories and fulfilled childhood dreams?


Our main character Matty Marcus, whose story this really is, is a world renowned established twenty-two year old figure skater who didn't win his dream, the gold medal in the Olympics, he so long competed for.
“You're strong enough to let yourself hurt, Matty. That's the strongest person there is.”

Matty is cheeky and cool with lip gloss, eye shadow and an amazing shocking crazy taste in clothes. He is a sparkling beautiful, colorful peacock coming to a small town in Montana. He is now injured both physically and mentally and will, over half a year "babysit" a house and some horses while he begins to train for new seasons on all major Figure Skating competitions. He needs to overcome all the pain, and all the boredom on this godforsaken strange place, to get his own (big) demands and (possible) dreams fulfilled.

...But sometimes the unexpected happens Maybe the dream and the perfect life is something else?
“Yeah, but do I look like a rugged, plaid-shirt wearing, Brokeback Mountain kinda gay? No I do not,”
(...) “For eight thousand a month, Matty, you can't afford not to be.”

There, in the desolate and wintry Montana, Matty soon meets the blonde, manly and very attractive Rob Lovely. Rob is single in his thirties with a son, a ranch with sheep and cows and is openly gay (Yay!!). A fantastic (...both tender sweet and very kinky hot) steaming and tumultuous romantic tale begins. ~ ...and it was GRAND!

Training Season starts as an ordinary kind, funny and sweet M/M romance but this IS something else, something so much more.

I think it will take a long time before I forget some of the lovemaking scenes in this book. There is needs - special deep needs that need to be exposed and dealt with, in order to heal and energize and give new power, both to the soul, heart and mind. Rob sees and knows what he should do. Matty receives and opens. Both senseless HOT, kind of unique and wacky odd. Not real BDSM but very strong and beautiful. ...and Rob you're a savior and a guy with a strong and lovely soul to hold hard on. ~ Yummy you!! ..and congrats to you Lucky Matty.
‘Rob whispered in his ear, “Do you trust me?”
Shivering, Matty nodded.
“I want to hear you say it.”
“I trust you,” Matty said breathless.

Read, enjoy, be surprised and don't give up because, after a while, it becomes to be a both surprising and unforgettable heartbreaking love story. It was both painful and charming entertaining. Not least, it is fantastic well written and told, with a complete and well thought out life-story. A book about both a gorgeous gay guy, true love, pleasure, deprivation and elusive gains and victories. Nicely done, Ms Blake!
‘Robs voice was intense, almost as desperate as Matty felt. “Do you see the North Star. Wherever you are, whenever you see that, you'll think of this. You'll think of me here whit you, taking care of you, and you'll never forget. Do you understand?”

At last (!! - Yes, really..) ~ I must add; We also meet many wonderful second characters here.
It is really very liberating to, now and then, read an M/M book without any bad/cruel parents, any big homofobia, scary enemies or just dreary baddies or buddies. - In that sense, it was a sweet reading.
...what an fantastic good looking guy and perfect cover pic

One of this years, somewhat unexpected, "winner" maybe? I loved it.. a "keeper" to re-read som day. Recommended to all M/M and romantic romance readers ~ wholeheartedly and with conviction.

I LIKE - I don't have enough praising adjectives for this lovely book


Thanks, my BR-Ladies Bev and Andrea!!


...some lovely pics which gives you an idea of ​​this amazing story's wonderful Figure Skating prince, Matty (..or his real alter ego Johnny Weir):
Profile Image for Nancy.
557 reviews768 followers
September 1, 2018
Posted at Shelf Inflicted

Matty Marcus is a very talented figure skater, but poor performance and an injury have kept him out of competition. Now he’s short on cash and in order to be able to compete in the next Olympics, he accepts a six-month housesitting job in Montana for a friend of his mom’s. The natural beauty and tranquil lifestyle allows him time to recuperate from his injury and focus on his training without all the distractions of his friends and city life.

Rob Lovely is the handsome next-door neighbor and ranch hand that comes knocking on Matty’s door with an armful of firewood. Even though they are attracted to each other, Matty is preparing for competition and doesn’t need the distraction. But the heart wants what it wants and Matty and Rob inevitably fall in love.

I totally loved Matty’s flamboyant style and charming personality, and I loved how attentive he was to Rob’s 12-year-old son, Ben. But there were a lot of things that irritated me about him. His parents made a lot of sacrifices to get his career off the ground, and to me he took them for granted and squandered his talent. At least now he acknowledges his mistakes and is trying to make up for that.

Rob is a really nice guy, and though I don’t understand his attraction to Matty, he brings stability to their relationship. Their sex scenes, however, left me cold. They were repetitive, lacking in chemistry, and very unromantic. I could have done without the BDSM aspect of this story, as it felt out of character and completely unnecessary. I know Rob wanted Matty to do his best, but I’m not convinced that pain and humiliation is the way to help him achieve his goals or address his self-esteem issues. I also was disturbed that Rob felt he knew just what Matty needed sexually without considering his feelings or getting consent before engaging in high-risk practices.

On the positive side, there are a number of interesting and well-rounded secondary characters, male and female. I enjoyed reading about the grueling training and physical demands of figure skating and loved the breathtaking descriptions of Montana. The disturbing BDSM scenes detracted a lot from my enjoyment of this story, so I can’t rate it higher than average.

*Book provided by author in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jenni Lea.
802 reviews291 followers
December 8, 2013
After reading everyone else’s reviews I know there is no way I can put it as eloquently and intelligently as those so I’ve decided to just tell you how this book made me feel. Filters off, this is gonna be real and raw.



*deep breath*



Got it? Good.
Profile Image for Steelwhisper.
Author 5 books395 followers
December 10, 2013

Normally I would have given this 2.5* rounded up to 3* because while I ultimately was quite bored, and the far too many, repetitive sex scenes also were of the sleep-inducing, non-erotic variant, there was a true femme in this and a cute family.

The story unto itself didn't do anything for me. I didn't much like the main characters (it is telling that some of the side characters, like Bill and his lover, or the ranch hands were far more intriguing to me), and the whole setup suffered from such a humongous case of "OK-homo" that even for current-day USA, especially ranch country, this felt like a sugary tale of wishful thinking.

But as stories go it wasn't all bad, and even though there was lots and lots of telling, right into the sex scenes where I'd least expect that, it's a large chunk of writing and though somewhat bored I wasn't exasperated or disappointed too much.

Well, except for...

...the total and thorough BDSM-fail in this book.

Not only that I'm by now sick to my backteeth of reading yet another book in which BDSM is turned into some psychotherapeutic instrument by someone who clearly is just a hobby shrink. It apparently must be news for authors, but hey, the vast majority of BDSMers on this world do it simply for the fun and joy of it. But that's just one side, the other is that even though the author seems to have read up on some BDSM "mores" and "rules", she doesn't adhere to them.

SSC and RACK mean that people don't just have a safeword, they also need to consent and the consent has to be informed and mutual and agreed upon outside of a scene. Without that you do not have what the acronym BDSM stands for, instead you have non-consensual sadomasochism.

The first BDSM scene is sprung on Matty without him consenting to it ahead of it happening, without him being in any way informed of what would take place (No! The dom doesn't simply decide what's good for the sub!), and what is even worse, it is a practice which is high-risk and hence counts as edgeplay in most BDSM communities.

You get heated debates about breath play among even the most experienced hardcore players. This is a practice which kills around 1,000 people yearly in the USA alone, and that's only those who engage in it alone.

I have no idea from which corner this reckless attitude originates, but it sure as hell is nothing you spring on someone who has no idea at all what is happening. And before anyone risked me getting a heart attack or closing down my throat, especially without experienced help at the side, I sure as hell would want to be thoroughly informed and I would not want this to take place without that express informed consent. In one fell swoop Rob became someone I detested. Totally unromantic.

Contrary to what several readers stated, the BDSM which followed after this wasn't--to me--in any way positively contributing to the story. Not only that some of what was described would result in rather nasty injuries (no, you commonly do not singletail mucous membranes or very thin skin), there was no plan to any of the play either. Just stuff piled onto each other, which would not really go well together in a scene. Also, while some subs and bottoms do reach endorphin highs easily, it is by no means something which comes automatic or after the play described without a lot of prior experience of said bottom.

All of that did leave me very exasperated, and wondering just what for the BDSM was added. Maybe to exploit the current BDSM fashion?

Whatever the reason, the BDSM-fail is so pronounced that I deduct a whole point for this. The story would have profited from it having been left out.

However, all said and accounted for, I liked Matty being an unabashed femme, standing by that, and I would read other books by this author.
Profile Image for SheReadsALot.
1,838 reviews1,194 followers
August 25, 2016

Late year buzz book this "Training Season" is. And for good reason. It seriously delivered the goods - well developed characters, angst for those who crave the ordeal (aka me), hot kinky sex, solid plot and strong story telling.

My mind might short circuit during this review, so bear with me. I was going to go one way with this review but eh, I'm just going to barrel through. This book made my body want to cry but I couldn't. I thought I disliked certain aspects but looking at the story as a whole, I didn't. There were some minor hesitations hence why I am rating this 4.5 stars.

If ever there was a theme song for this book, it "Edge of Glory" by Lady Gaga. I've been singing it to myself while reading this book because it is just the perfect song.

A figure skater and a rancher? As a romantic couple? Huh? What? That's like choosing two random things like say a strawberry and a lamp to get together and make a romance. Because they have nothing in common. I read the blurb, thought to myself how in the hell is this going to work? But it DID! Who knows maybe strawberry covered lamps might be the recipe du jour in the future (probably not but rock with me).

Was this an epic love story? Mmm...not for me but it might be for some. I'm not rehashing the blurb or summarizing the plot because at this point, you've probably read tons of reviews. They are all great and showcase something different that stood out.

You have two opposites that on paper do not go together but in this story, they make it work. A flamboyant ice skater with Olympics dreams and a ruggedly handsome rancher who's actually gay and not in the closet. And while I love good GFY I am happy this was not the case in this story.

So let me just get to the stars of this program, huh?

Matty Marcus: You are one fine mess. I hope you know that!

I didn't like him that much in the beginning. And as I kept reading I think the reason why was because I possess a lot of similar qualities. Matty is one determined, selfish, lovable, neurotic, damaged, ball of glitter.

Matty after reading this book, I would not change one thing. You were who you were throughout it ALL and that should be appreciated! I might like you some, you know Bill's type of like for Angus. ;D

Rob Lovely:

No really...you are one of my fave heroes. You are fucking...I- *smh*

He possessed the qualities I love in a Dom. He knew what his sub needed to the bitter end, he was patient, not a macho alpha a-hole. He was...ROB I MOTHERFUCKING LOVE YOU!!! YOU ARE FUCKING-I-CAN'T PROCESS THE WORDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think I loved Rob pretty quickly even his porn star name. Matty it took some time. He was not obnoxious. I just had to learn to appreciate his specialness. He is special. And while I could gush about the kink (alright maybe a little: bondage, CBT, breath play, natural D/s for the motherfucking WIN!)

And Ben. He's a great kid but in the beginning he came off older than his age. Other than these two niggles, I had no problem with how the story ended. At one point, I actually *gulps* didn't want the two to reconcile. They made me that neurotic. (Don't worry I got over it quick) Everything had its purpose, everything fit even when I though there's no way anything happy can come out of this pairing.

*happy sigh*

So in conclusion:






Congratulations, "Training Season", you've skated your way onto my 2013 favorites list.

Thank you once more to my GR Secret Santa!! You are a prince (or princess) among men!

Profile Image for Heller.
974 reviews119 followers
December 4, 2013
Sometimes a book and the characters just grab you and won't let you go until they tell you their story. This was one of those books for me. I desperately needed to know what was going to happen between Matty and Rob but I also desperately needed some sleep because I work today. It was a struggle to not skip to the ending so I could get a bit of closure and grab a few winks but I resisted and managed to both finish the story and grab a bit of sleep last night. I'll be paying for it later but I have no regrets, it's one of the reasons that I love reading so much, finding stories that just won't let me quit them.

Matty Marcus is a figure skater. He's flamboyant, he's fabulous, and he's an elite athlete attempting to come back after a disastrous Olympic games and an injury. He needs to hire a new coach and in order for him to do that he needs money and he needs the freedom to train. He lands a cherry job of house-sitting for a patron in the wilds of Montana and the isolation will hopefully help him focus on the job at hand.

Rob Lovely owns a ranch just across the pasture. He's the boy next door who isn't the boy next door. He's a Dom and he helps Matty focus in an entirely different and fun way.

I'm not quite sure what it is about this book that enthralled me so much. The humour was wonderful. I started reading this at work last night and had a goofy grin whenever I came back from my breaks thinking of the exchanges between Matty and his best friend Elliot. They had me laughing so much. Matty is who is he and proud of it and the way his mind works was a joy to read.

The BDSM is integral to this story. It's not hardcore enough to scare away someone unfamiliar with the kink (well, maybe one scene is) but as a reader you need to be aware that's a prevalent aspect in the relationship between Rob and Matty. They gave a lot to each other and what they had I found beautiful. They always knew it was going to end so when that happened and the house-sitting gig was over it was devastating.

Just how will a relationship between a Montana cowboy and NYC Olympic figure skater work out? I recommend you grab this one to find out. It's a gorgeous story filled with characters that leap out from the pages to tell their story but it's not all puppies and Christmas. It's good with the bad, happy with the sad and kiss with the cry. I loved it and I want you all to read it so we can talk about it.
Profile Image for Macky.
1,830 reviews233 followers
December 9, 2013
If I had to choose a word that described Training Season, I think it would have to be SURPRISING . I know I could have gone with Awesome! or Amazing! or Fantastic because they're stock words that tend to come out when you want to really enthuse but as much as I felt all those when I was reading it, I also kept thinking " WOW, I wasn't expecting that! "

It was almost like reading two different books ( its actually split into four parts and an epilogue ) when I first started I thought it was just going to be a fun, lightweight, opposites attract romance between a sparkly, flamboyant, outré, gorgeous little twinky skater and the drop dead gorgeous, hunky, macho Montana Rancher. He would shake up our little twinks life and put him in numerous comedy ' out of his comfort zone ' situations until true love would negate all the differences between them and skater twink and rancher would settle down on said ranch and end up living happily ever after. Well there was a teensy bit of that scenario going on but then ...SURPRISE!!!!!! Suddenly it kicks into gear and how wrong was I? Expectation flew out of the window and I was reading a different type of book completely!

There is SO much more to this story than funny opposites attract. More depth, more conflict and tons of emotion, that was so close to the surface it was palpable. As characters, Matty and Rob also kept on surprising me. Yes Matty ( who I adored) is all about the lip gloss, swish and Sashaaay but his drive and strength of will to push himself to the extreme limit for his skating and the internal turmoil he carries but buries because of fear of failure is at times painful and heartbreaking . Watching him struggle to choose between his love for Rob and his other boyfriend ' Figure Skating' wasn't always an easy read and the last quarter of the book had me biting my nails. How the hell was Leta Blake going to give these guys a HEA because I just couldn't see it happening. I admit to some tissue useage!

Then there's oh so loveable and fabulously named Rob Lovely.Another character with layers that you don't see coming. Starts with a bit of an "Aw Shucks" personality that would suit the lighter weight side of the story but as you get to know him and learn about his past, meet Ben his son and watch as he breaks down Mattys barriers with his easy acceptance of Mattys flamboyancy you begin to realise that once again ...SURPRISE!!!! This is not the man you expected from his first introduction in the story. When the two of them take their relationship to the next level and we learn that Rob is a Dom and they start to explore that side of their natures.... there goes the S word again! My god those scenes were unbelievably hot and sizzly but at the same time the feelings and sensations were so raw and real they practically jumped off the page. This isn't just an odd spanking here and there, its pretty full on intense play which doesn't pull any punches but I have to say that if you haven't dabbled in BDSM before, somehow I don't think you'll find it a hardship to read - just don't expect it to be light and fluffy. There are a couple of scenes that might have you gasping a bit but push through those because its so worthwhile.

And that was it throughout the whole journey, the story taking sharp twists and turns that had me on the edge of my seat, meeting secondary characters who added the needed touches of witty banter and sometimes laugh out loud humour, which luckily are well balanced against the angst , and who also act as emotional support to Rob and Matty's roller coaster ride relationship and thankfully that realistic but still hard won HEA that makes it so worth going through the heartache for!

Now I know why this is getting all the attention it deserves and like everyone else all I can say is read this and be surprised.... In a good way of course. Now I'll say it. Awesome!!!

After I finished I went on you tube and watched some of the lovely Johnny Weirs performances ... He is just adorable and I can understand now why Ms Blake used him as inspiration for Matty. Watching him skate just added the finishing touch to the book and made it feel real. He'll be in my head when I read this again.

Profile Image for Vivian.
2,839 reviews393 followers
May 24, 2016
This book made me a bit of a mess really.

Matty and Rob are beautiful together. Two-halves perfectly made to fit the other, beshert, soul mate, etc. The story is quite entertaining and done in three parts we see Matty's life change dramatically. I f***ing hated what Matty went through. Those moments in Montana with Rob were perfect--outside of time--exquisite.
Rob’s voice was intense, almost as desperate as Matty felt. “Do you see the North Star? Wherever you are, whenever you see that, you’ll think of this. You’ll think of me here with you, taking care of you, and you’ll never forget.

While I understood the demons chasing Matty, it still killed me to watch. Part of me is in awe of Olympic athletes--the incredible drive and self-confidence one must have to be so sure, to pursue so doggedly--inspiring. At the same time, part of me cringes--all those years dedicated--for what? How many make the podium let alone get advertising contracts? Maybe I'm a pessimistic, realistic, flawed and lacking the gift and therefore can NEVER understand the drive, but I just can't internalize that decision. Maybe it starts with small steps and just grows and the person just keeps going, but the price seems terribly high for the benefits or possible benefit.
But amazing isn’t always enough.

This book is beautiful and there is some incredible D/s, breath play, bondage, light CBT and spanking. Rob and Matty are breathtaking and burn so bright. Just lovely. I loved them more than the story. The story made me want to cry. I still want to, but I can't.

Favorite quote:
It all left Matty feeling like he’d been taken apart and put back together again. He almost wanted to ask if the seams were visible. Would anyone else know?
Profile Image for Sara .
1,446 reviews154 followers
September 3, 2016
I am stunned. I am shocked. I am bewildered, beholden and breathless at what I have just read. What did I just read? A wonderful story? The most complete love story that I have come across? A gorgeous tale of love, hope, loss, acceptance, forgiveness and just a stunning tale…all of the above? You bet your sweet ass. Your sweet bruised ass or at least my bruised ass as I feel it has taken a beating of beautiful words that are so raw it’s as if I my own soul has been scoured by this book. What’s that? A bit intense, Sara? Maybe? Maybe not. This book has wrung me dry, I am all cried out, my heart is in shreds, in pieces and yet there is needle and thread on the shelf to mend it but I don’t want that. Not yet.

There is a lesson here. I’m not sure just what, though.

Training Season, oh my. I saw this book flying across my Goodreads time line at super speed and knew it would be a book for me but I usually stay away from books when they are this popular. But…I was drawn to it. I wanted to wait, I wanted to dive in, and I couldn’t decide what to do. Thank goodness a lovely friend made the decision for me and sent it to me, damn she knows me well! I was thrilled to have the gah-whor-geous cover sitting on my Nook waiting for me. Have you seen that cover? *swoon* Can I crawl inside that coat with you, Matty? Pretty please?

So…as I was saying. I saw the book, read the blurb, knew friends loved it but per my usual stayed away from status updates/reviews so I would have my own take on the story. From the first chapter, hell the first page I was hooked. The words flew off the page in such vivid detail I could see it happening. I could hear Matty talking to his mother about the job with possibility, I could see the landscape as he saw it headed up to the Page’s ranch, I could feel the cold, and I could feel Matty’s anxiety. I could FEEL it all. Isn’t that why we read? To feel? That is why I read and the feels I got with this story were beautiful, intense and overwhelming and raw. Oh so very raw.

Matty Marcus…where have you been all my life? You young man tore my heart out. Your passion for skating, for being the best you can be at you sport and in life was remarkable. Your passion, love and responsibility for your family earned my utmost adoration. Well, that along with your fondness for a fine vacuum cleaner. But it wasn’t just you. I loved you when you were alone but the minute, the second, that one word that brought you to Rob that is when you really came alive.
“Well, Mama, I have met a man.”

“Does this man have a name?”

“Rob Lovely.”

His mother started laughing. “You’re not kidding, are you?”

“No. It’s a delightful name for a delightful person.”

Delightful? No I would say miraculous. I would say courageous. I would say Resplendent. I would say that Rob Lovely is one of the top men I have read in books…ever. Regardless of genre, that man is everything, the very thing I read romance for. I wanted to highlight everything that came out of his mouth. If he teased Matty, I went to highlight it. If he spoke to Ben, Bing, Bill or even the damn cows I wanted to highlight it. When he spoke the beautiful words to Matty I wanted to crawl inside the book, into his lap and cuddle with him. I have never read someone as strong, as kind, as giving and just as wonderful as Rob Lovely. The hills are alive with the sound of music and it’s is ME singing his praises!

The relationship with Matty and Rob had me on edge through this whole book. Not only was it simply gorgeous but with the time frame of Matty being in Montana I was worried. I hoped for the best but expected the worst. When it got tough, I did the same thing. When I started part three? Ugh. If I expected the worst I wouldn’t be hurt right? Yeah…that is a pile of cow patties right there. This book killed me. It ripped every possible emotion I had and I couldn’t safe out. I wouldn’t dare! How could I? It was wonderful, it was heartbreaking, it was sexy, hot, smart, and funny, it was hopelessly romantic and what the hell was I even saying?
He still felt shaken. It wasn’t anything he had experienced before and it felt so precious. He didn’t know what to say, or what to do. Fuck. It was all too intimate to break into words.

That right there. That sums it up with me and this book. This story was so damn good. Just so good. I am having a hard time putting my thoughts together. I loved the story, I loved Matty. I adored Rob and who he was and how he loved Matty. He just loved him, he accepted him and gave him so much even when he didn’t agree with what Matty was doing. He took care of him. He knew what Matty needed and Rob needed him. Their love was what I read for. It was exactly what I needed. This book has shot its way up to my favorites list and one of my top ten reads of the year.

Training Season, this story, it is written so vividly, the beauty of IT ALL, every bit of it just hit me in the gut and brought me to my knees... I cannot think straight trying to process everything that I have read. From first meetings of brought wood, to brownies, to eating soup, to rope, whips, shopping, skating on frozen ponds and lakes, declarations, heartbreak, uplifting acceptance, surprise appointments, inappropriate conversations at the table and…*sigh* this book, it was gorgeous.

Now let me hop on my soap box for a brief moment:

The kink in this book was so well done. So often kink is played out in dungeons, clubs, and playrooms what have you, but there are times when the kink is simply the rolls of dominance and submission and those rolls can be played out in so many ways. You don’t need a special room for a scene to happen; you need the trust, acceptance and the power play for them to happen. There were two scenes in this book that floored me; completely reduced me to Charlie Brown style sobs with the beauty of the submission, the confidence of the dominance and the absolute trust between two partners. You cannot have a relationship without trust and these men have it in abundance. When it comes to kink; you have to understand that while they physicality of the scene is important, it’s the mind set of both the Dominant and the submissive that is most important. The ultimate submission is what gives both parties the euphoria. The trust and acceptance of the submissive that the dominant will take care of them, to push them farther than they have ever gone but also be aware and in tune to recognize WHAT their submissive needs is nothing short of amazing and the two scenes I speak of show that immensely. The words they are what drove those scenes. The play by play and the emotional connection you get to the story, to the characters and to their mind set was beyond anything I could have hoped for. It had purpose, it had substance and it had beauty. It was again, so well done. I applaud the author for that.
Profile Image for Ami.
5,809 reviews499 followers
December 15, 2013
When I read this, Training Season was basically the flavor-of-the-week. It gained attention on Goodreads and more people were reading it. I am grateful enough for my unofficial Secret Santa who provided the book for me.

Now, let’s start with the negative part first …

What I Feel MEH About

This is a long book – and unfortunately, in the middle part, it FEELS long. The book is dragging its feet like a reluctant child. I don’t know if some scenes are completely necessary (e.g. there is a scene on a lake with this annoying character, Kevin)

I am not in particularly charmed by Rob.

Also does anyone feel that Ben (Rob’s son) sounds younger than twelve years old?? Or is it just me?

What I Don’t Completely Like

Now let’s get to the main course, shall we? The D/s tone or call it BDSM if you will. I could see how a lot of readers enjoy this – calling it intense, passionate, well-written, and hot. But there are also readers who are turned off by it – seeing it more as sadomasochism rather than consented BDSM. I find myself standing closer to the second camp, which is also the minority group.

I will be completely honest; I don’t know anything about the lifestyle and I don’t have enough knowledge to analyze it. I will see this as mainly as a common reader –for me, the main question is what does the BDSM actually do to the story?

Personally, BDSM or D/s tone is a tricky subject. I enjoy it as porn, or if I know that the book will completely be PWP. However, when it comes to romance, I need to know whether it is necessary, whether it actually played a significant role. Including BDSM or D/s tone in a romance story can work if I feel like it is an inseparable part of the characters, relationship, and plotline.

Unfortunately, I don’t feel it here …

What is the purpose? For Rob to make Mattie suffer through pain and submission, because Figure Skating gives him pain as well? That is what Matty has to endure to push through? Then what is the reward at the end of the day? Because well, So what’s the point? That it is okay to let your dream change, and exchange the pain/pleasure of Figure Skating to pain/pleasure of being with your lover? Do we really need BDSM for that?

In addition, the first introduction to BDSM element,

So, no, I don’t see this practice as loving way to help Matty pushed himself to be the best. It just drags the book. It is not because I feel disturbed by the BDSM element — I just don’t see the point.

What I Wholeheartedly Enjoyed

Despite this – it is still an entertaining book. I admire Matty – I loved his unabashed way he embraced his inner femme. He’s unapologetic about it – even if he comes to the small town, Matty won’t bend down. I love it when Matty becomes Yuliya, the female Russian, when teaching Ben. I love it that he spends detailed attention to his make-up and clothing. He’s out and he is proud, bitches! I love his family too – most notably his suffering father (laugh). And when Matty’s heart aches, I want to hug him tight and give him all the love he needs.

Final verdict –

I like it but I don’t love it. If you are looking for a long story, a journey of one figure skater to achieve his dream and the lessons of love he finds along the way, in an unthinkable place no less, this will be good for you. It has the right ingredient for emotional story. For the BDSM part, it is definitely up to your perspective on such issue… your mileage may vary.

Profile Image for Eli Easton.
Author 74 books2,612 followers
December 10, 2013
This book is truly amazing. Matty is a competitive figure skater who failed in the last Olympics and has dreams of coming back and winning gold at the next one. He's flamboyant and fabulous, very gay and proud of it. He takes a ranch-sitting job in Montana for six months from a skating patron because it's easy money and he can focus on his skating without the distractions of friends and the big city. Enter the next door neighbor, Rob, a gorgeous Montana rancher who is openly gay and who falls at first sight for Matty (of course, who wouldn't).

There's so much to love and admire about this story. I loved the descriptions of the beautiful Montana scenery. I loved that, despite being a fish out of water, there was no plot wasted here on homophobia and hate. People in the town of Whitefish were very curious about Matty, and there might have been some distant sneers, but there was also Rob, an out rancher, and his friend Bill, who ran the local gay club. This book wasn't about small town narrow-mindedness and thank God.

I loved Matty's strength and beauty (as Rob puts it). I take it he's loosely based on Johnny Weir, who is just adorable. And Rob, the rancher, was a nice surprise. He wasn't stereotypical at all. He had a lot of depth and maturity. His "toppiness", his ability to understand Matty, and give him what he needed, was intelligent and exciting.

I loved the imagery of a major world figure skater skating on a little iced over pond on a Montana ranch. It's very "Ice Castles" and you can feel the impact that Matty has on Rob's life and heart, as if a beautiful bird landed on the window of a prison cell. (OK, that may be taking it a bit far, but you get the analogy). Rob is not really happy ranching, he's rather stuck maintaining the family farm. Having a glorious creature like Matty show up next door is just too good to be true. For Matty, having the studly hot next door rancher, "Montana personified", turn out to be gay is like every sex fantasy made real. Only Rob turns out to be much more than that.

These two are wonderful together and they fall so deeply in love. The author does a wonderful job of building their relationship and she takes the time to do so. And it's not only Matty and Rob's relationship, but Matty's relationship with Rob's son, Ben, and Rob and Ben's with Matty's family. These are built scene by scene until you are totally invested in Matty and Rob as a couple as the only possibly sane way for reality to go on.

The book gets very angsty when it's time for Matty to go home and go back to the world of figure skating. There was a point at maybe 80% where I thought I couldn't really take it anymore. But finally we get an HEA and it was worth it.

Besides being a lovely romance, I admired the examination of Matty's fear of failure on the ice and how Rob helps him overcome it. Though this is not really a BDSM book, nor do I really like BDSM, there were scenes in here in which their sex play goes in that direction, but it's for a very good, real, emotional reason and it totally worked for me.

Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Jenni.
255 reviews38 followers
December 12, 2013
Post-book euphoria alert!

What a breath of fresh Montana air!

I mean...clear skies, snow-capped mountains, free-roaming wildlife, wide open spaces...oh my gosh.
What's that?
Have I ever even been to Montana?
I mean.
But who cares?
This book was fresh Montana air, I'm telling you!

I loved the setting.
I loved effeminate Matty.
I loved rugged rancher Rob.
I loved the pond.
I loved the ice skating.
I loved the CORN MAZE. (Holla, North Star.)
I loved Matty's mom, Angus & Bill, Anja, and a host of other supporting characters.
I loved the kid, Ben, even.
I loved the separation and the angst.
I loved the epilogue.

Yup. I kind of loved the whole entire book.

Couple of things.

I don't know where you came from, Leta Blake, but howdy!, and I'll be seeing more of your books soon.
Profile Image for Breann.
587 reviews112 followers
July 9, 2015
There was so much hype, hype and more hype surrounding this book that it made me kind of weary about reading it. It can’t possibly live up to all the love surrounding it, right? Well, it did! It so did.

Guh. As soon as Matty and Rob meet… BOOM! instant, crazy hot chemistry. Chemistry that I could just feel right away, burning up the pages with such intensity, and that was before Matty even knew that Rob was gay. They formed a genuine friendship with each other first and I love that. I freaking love that in my books. So, that sold this book for me right there. They just… had so much chemistry. There really isn’t any other way to say it.

Oh, Matty. How I love Matty. His character was so real to me and I loved being inside his head. He’s pissy, bitchy and can be a total brat. At the same time, he’s caring and loving and thoughtful and has this all-consuming need to be the best. Such a need that he’ll do anything to further his career, no matter what it does to his body or to his relationships. He wants what he wants, and he’s going to get it. Determination, this boy's got it.

Then! Then there was Rob. I thought I loved Matty… but Rob? *sigh* He’s just so… dreamy. And sexy and loving and bossy. And he’s so completely in love with Matty, that parts of their story just gutted me. Completely crushed my heart. And his boyfriend he had at the end there? Good! That’s what Matty gets for doing what he did!

I’m not quite done gushing yet… the side characters! Oh, the side characters. Ben, Matty’s mom, Anja, Bill, and even that weird lady at the grocery store. All of them! They all had a purpose and were so utterly likeable. I want a separate story for each and every one of them.

The characters were there, the chemistry was there… why 4 stars? Well, while I liked the first 70% there seemed to be a lot of the same over and over. Sex, food, training, sex, food, training. And on and on. I was starting to get bored and had a feeling that this was going to be another one of those books that I just don't get. But then the last 30% happened and OMG! I was back. I was so back in this story. I loved how everything about Matty's career and his relationship with Rob was resolved. I loved that he didn’t really get all he wanted cause that’s what happens in life, you gotta make choices and with those choices comes heartache and sacrifices. It was real and believable and I loved every angsty second.

Okay… the BDSM. I’m all about slutty, kinkiness in my books.

"Sometimes it was awesome to sit back and let another person take control. So long as they did really good, dirty, hot things to him."

Yup. I totally get it. But they went kind of far, kind of fast. We have Rob being a Mr. Bossy-pants and then that? Ya know, the corn maze? It was a little much for me to find believable. But, for reals, their sex was sssssssmokin’ hot. Just… damn.

Ropes and whips and felching, oh my!

*dreamy sigh*

*still dreaming*

This was some goooooooood stuff. Crazy chemistry, memorable characters, realistic drama, slutty goodness… this has it all.
Profile Image for Kaje Harper.
Author 75 books2,513 followers
December 9, 2013
I found myself pulled along by this book, both enjoying and annoyed by figure skater Matty Marcus and his attitudes, adventures and development. It's refreshing in a way to have a main character who is immature and self-centered, and yet fairly sympathetic. We see so many perfect heroes. And Matty pays the price more than once for his idiosyncratic approach to life.

Matty reminds me of some real people, where enormous talent is just not matched by a dedication and work ethic, and organizational skills. The result is almost success but not quite, and intense disappointment. Those emotions were clear and well done in Matty, with the undercurrent of self-loathing, because people like that are smart enough to recognize that they bear some responsibility for their failures. The skating part of this book really worked for me (other than Ben's level of untaught talent. The raw ability and self-training to get to an Axel on a bumpy pond, without any help, is Johnny-Weir level. A self-taught Loop or Lutz, sure, that can be done (My daughter did it, with a competitive gymnastics background). But Ben felt too good and too opportune for coincidence. Ben's maturity level was all over the place, for a kid of twelve. Although a cute kid.)

I liked Rob a lot, and felt badly for him, because Matty's self-absorption did give Rob the short end of the stick. He was an interesting man, with a lot of facets - I loved the out-and-gayness of him and his friends. There is a lot of good banter in this novel. The addition of the BDSM to this story was imaginative, and added depth, in the way it placed Rob in the relationship. It made emotional sense to me. The sex scenes were hot, but also loving, even in the most BDSM moments.

There were a few slow passages, and a fair number of want-to-kick-him moments. And talk about not communicating, guys! But it was unique and felt real and was a fast engaging read, especially to a longterm skating fan like me. The issue with judges recalled Toller Cranston, back in the day, skating his heart out and losing to more masculine, less unusual, skaters. At times, what Matty, and Rob, went through in this did catch at my heart. Well worth a read.
Profile Image for Debra.
2,002 reviews231 followers
July 28, 2015
There were just so many good things about this book and there have been so many good reviews with recaps, this will just be a short list of what worked for me.

I have to begin with Matty. I loved his unapologetic flamboyance even in the face of Montana manly men and . His dedication to a sport that seems to smack him down at every turn and to his family, causes him to have to make some choices that he is not sure are right and even hurt those who love him most. However, as self-assured as he is on the outside, there is something that is holding him back.

Rob is almost too good to be true. He loves Matty for who he is even if it is bound to cause him unimaginable heartache. He knows what Matty wants and what Matty needs and is willing to give it to him. When the two men are together either in or out of bed they really are perfect for each other. The sex is very hot and the BDSM aspects were well integrated into the story.

The secondary characters were all outstanding. Matty and Rob's friends and families are supportive and honest and add some humor. This book brought out so many emotions. There was laughter and tears, happiness and heartache. There is a HEA but it is not quick or easy and when I started reading I did not want to stop.
Profile Image for ☆ Todd.
1,349 reviews1,486 followers
June 13, 2017

An amazing book.

I loved Matty and Rob, but that whipping scene squicked me the hell out. BDSM is *not* my thing at all. At least the safeword was funny as hell.

One part of the book that felt was a little forced was when Matty was with his best friend, Elliot (stereotypical bitchy queen) and the story goes to 3 inch metallic leather high heels, purses & makeup.

Yeah, not so much and it felt really fake and out of place in the story. But the funny thing was, when Matty's campy persona of "Yuliya Yasneyeva" came out to train Ben, *that* felt like Matty. When he was just having fun with it, not when it sounded like he had an actual vagina.

But minus those few sticking points for me, I loved the book. And I'd have read the whole thing if for no other reason than Bill and Angus' hilarious wedding vows.

5 Stars -- in spite of Elliott and a few girly, vajayjay squad scenes. : )
Profile Image for BevS.
2,722 reviews2 followers
June 30, 2017
***Audio review***

As you can see from my book review below, I loved this story and Leta has sweated blood and tears [and spent an awful lot of money] bringing this to her readers. Michael did a great job for the most part too, I loved his Matty voice...in fact I loved every voice, his female ones are brilliant and Elliot was a hoot [such a drama queen], BUT... his Rob voice came across as stern, old (even though he was only supposed to be 29 or so) and without much intonation IMHO, and to be perfectly honest, that spoiled things slightly for me so as far as the audio goes, I'd give this 4 stars.

***Book Review***

Shortie review. No need for a lot of waffle. 5 Double Toe Loop Golden Glittering stars for this story that has left me an emotional wreck. Unbelievably good, and Matty and Rob's story will stay with me for quite some time.  photo 5stars1_zps363ee26c.jpg

Thank you to my wonderful buddy read partners-in-crime Ingela and Andrea, it may have been a slow start girls, but we definitely got there in the end, woot!!
Profile Image for oshiiy.
317 reviews45 followers
November 7, 2021
4 stars ⭐️
Leta Blake: Welcome back to the Leta Blake world again!
Me: Thank you, it's a pleasure! DON'T EVER STOP WRITING!!! 👿

I'm binging her books, but at the same time, I'm afraid there may not be any book left for me to read from her :::shudder:::

I'm a sucker for a BDSM story coated with emotions and turmoil substances. I'm not surprised that Leta Blake gave me what I wanted to read forever.

Matty Marcus and Rob Lovely really fit as a couple. They had great chemistry and banter.
Matty was something. I loved him so much. He was sassy, bratty, snarky, and I loved how the author didn't sugarcoat him as a character because he has flaws too. I loved the realistic picture I could get my MCs.
Matty was a feminine guy. I totally liked it. Because it was how he and Rob fit in the frame.

Rob Lovely was lovely as his name. He was so kind and amazing to Matty. Simply I could not get enough of both of them.

And then there was Rob’s son, Ben! He was amazing as a child. I loved how he and Matty got along with each other. Ben was full of fun.

The story didn't mainly prioritize BDSM, but they became kinky halfway through the book. Needless to say, both Matty and Rob were so hot together!
Profile Image for Catherine.
1,571 reviews232 followers
January 2, 2016
*** 4.5 Lovely, Glittery North Stars ***

There are few things I love more in life than a book about what happens when two very different worlds collide; they’re just so full of promise and wonderful creative possibilities! So, when I read the blurb for Leta Blake’s new novel Training Season, about an over-the-top competitive figure skater forced by circumstances and injury into close contact with a rugged Montana Rancher, I knew I was going to be putty in Ms. Blake’s hands.

And I was.

How can I possibly describe Rob Lovely in a way that will do his character justice?! Rob is probably one of the most wonderfully complex characters that I’ve come across in a long while. He’s sweet, thoughtful, intelligent, and compassionate. He’s a caring father, a good friend, and a man who knows his own worth, yet consistently puts others before himself. I think the thing that got me – deep down on a gut level – was his calming, sturdy presence; it was the kind that sort of sneaks inside of you when you’re not looking, wraps around your heart, and warms you from the inside out. I loved that. I also loved the way that he saw Matty – really saw him – and accepted everything about him without judgment. I wish that everyone had someone like that in their lives.

And while Rob is the strong, unyielding presence in the story, Matty brings the glitz, the glam, the fun. Matty is flamboyant, unapologetic, and fearless. You can love him or hate him, but he isn’t ever going to pretend to be something he’s not. I loved his potty mouth and naughty mind, his drama queen antics, and his general enthusiasm for life. It was all infectious! But Matty’s also so much more than sweetness and light – the man is driven, ambitious, loyal, and so vulnerable it nearly flays your heart in parts.

There were so many aspects of this novel that deserve to be recognized. In addition to two wonderful main characters, Training Season also had a whole cast of amazing, dynamic secondary characters, was incredibly hilarious, and had love scenes so dang hot I worried that my Kindle was about to spontaneously combust. The D/s aspects of Matty and Rob’s relationship was so fucking well-written that most scenes left me equal parts turned on and strangely emotional (except for the FREAKIN’ CORN MAZE - that just plain turned me on)!

But the thing that really blew me away about this book was the realism of its romance. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading about grand romantic gestures and those perfect movie magic moments where the characters are gazing into each other’s eyes, the music is starting to swell and the rest of the world seems to recede into a blurry background, but that isn’t the power of this book. No, the power of this book is far simpler than that. There was no dramatic Hollywood moment for Matty and Rob’s first kiss, or their first “I love you,” their parting, or even their eventual reunion. Instead, all those really important milestones that the characters experienced together seemed to slip into those quiet in between moments – those moments that would otherwise be completely unremarkable except for the fact that their whole lives have just changed. I believe that it’s a rare talent that can make those ordinary moments seem extraordinary and Ms. Blake should be commended for this.

There was only one thing that stopped me from giving Training Season the full 5-star treatment, and that was the pacing of the plot after

Verdict: This book was an absolute gem – one I know I’ll be drawn back to re-read many, many times. I highly recommend it to anyone that is open to reading a fabulous book that will challenge you to examine your views on life and love, on dominance and submission, and on the lengths to which you’d go to make your dreams a reality.

~ * ~

OT side note: Can I just take a second to say how much I loved the dedication of this book!? I think the legislation that was recently passed in Russia is downright inhumane and my heart goes out to everyone living there that is currently being oppressed based on their sexual identity. It is my sincerest hope that the world’s athletes – gay, straight, and everything in between – make us proud at the Sochi Olympics next year and take a stand against Putin’s tyranny.
Profile Image for Shile (Hazard's Version) on-hiatus.
1,092 reviews795 followers
August 1, 2017

This story was sweet, hot and kinky and heartbreaking.

Rob was such an amazing, inspiring character. I adored him, He was a hard worker, caring, considerate, loyal, and so full of love.

“The Room was darkened, and Rob struck a match to light candles. As the comforting scent of jasmine and vanilla lifted from the candles around him.

Matty, some might not like him at first, but I did. He came off as bratty and obnoxious but as the story progressed, we see the real him, he was just an insecure guy who really craved love and approval. I felt sorry for him just wanted to hug him tight.

It all left Matty feeling like he’d been taken apart and put back together again. He almost wanted to ask if the seams were visible. Would anyone else know?

Matty’s Mum, I loved her,

“Honey, are you being safe?'
'I wear my seat belt, yes.'
'Does this Rob Lovely wear a seat belt too?'
Matty sighed. 'Mother, seat belts should be worn at all times when in a moving vehicle. Didn't you teach me that?'
'So long as we're both talking about condoms here, then I'll leave it.'
'Consider it left.”

Matty and Rob were so good together; their chemistry and passion was so real I could feel it, the sex was hoooot and Kinky...

Part 3 and Some of Part 4 tore my heart.

I Loved it !

Profile Image for Simone - on indefinite hiatus  -.
678 reviews43 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
May 30, 2018
DNF after 1 hr of listening

I think I go, do some knitting and wait until my mojo is back...

Matty is a brat and I don't want to listen eleven more hours to his thoughts. Not even Michael Ferraiuolo can save this story for me. Sorry! :(
Profile Image for Optimist ♰King's Wench♰.
1,765 reviews3,848 followers
April 17, 2014
I wonder if Johnny has read this fictionalized account of his life.
The resemblance is uncanny.

Anyhoo, I ❤ Johnny. That bitch is fierce.

Sure, he can be a crab sometimes, but *shrug* he's a diva. What do you expect? Comes with the territory.

Rob Lovely is… lovely.

Make no mistake, Johnny is star of this dope show, though.

This is the first time in a looooonnnnngggggg time I can remember really, really liking ALL of the secondary characters. Yes, even Kevin with his weirdo, brazen and half ass cruising attempts.

Rob and Johnny's relationship is touching and romantic and heartbreaking at times. I really have to hand it to Ms. Blake; she could make a killing if she partnered up with Kleenex. Evoking emotion is her forte. I was grateful for the comedic breaks, though some bordered on slapstick and that's never been my thing. The best was that scene where Rob falls asleep…
*catches breath*

Ahem. Anyway. Moving. On.

The kexy (kinky + sexy. Yes, I'm channelling the unicorns & making up words. I'm also tired of typing kinky & sexy)

Some I found tantalizing…
Really, any time you give me kink AND some angry sex I'm gonna get essssited, but… all the scenes were kinda the same. Wench needs some variety.

"But amazing isn't always enough."

It might seem dour, but I really appreciated this message. It's far from quixotic but it's realistic. Sometimes your best just isn't enough and you have to let go and move on.

My major quibble with Training Season is twofold but they're interrelated. I liked it, it got to me at times, but the pacing… It needs to be tightened up. There's only so much vacuuming, dishes, cleaning of trinkets with a toothbrush and lip gloss application I can take. Generally speaking, if I'm reading a book and find reasons to get on Tumblr or *gasp* see what's on TV, it's not good. Another sign of tedium is if I start reading a book, pick up another one, read about two pages of it and drop the first one like it gave me scabies, it's not good.

Aside from the overabundance of the mundane, I feel like I got pummeled with the whole leaving thing.





I must be a SUPERSTAR


Which requires sacrifice.

But… *cue Whitney Houston/Dolly Parton song*

*head desk*
I get it. And the t-shirt that came with it. And the matching magnets. And the souvenir cup. And I saw the billboard. And a random inundation by owl letters.


So, some good, some needs improvement, some annoying, some kexy hotness has me hovering in the 3.5 Starish range which I'll round up to 4 because stubborn GR refuses to give half stars.
Profile Image for Jo * Smut-Dickted *.
2,038 reviews462 followers
December 8, 2013
I feel like a better title for this book would be "Perfect Season" because that is what it was all about to me. It's what we want: perfection. It's what we want to see in others: perfection. It's where we want our lives to be - the place we want to live. It's just not always the most realistic viewpoint to carry.

I'll spare you the blurb, which actually describes this gem perfectly.

From the characters to the prose to the level of angst and love this one delivers a Gold Medal winning performance. I loved both characters - though sometimes I didn't like them very much. It felt absolutely real. We all strive for the Perfect Season in our lives and so very rarely do we get it - until we look back on what we've done, seen, loved, and worked towards and realized that it really was all for a reason. Sometimes we get kicked down so hard that we think we're so far underground we won't see the light of day, well, ever - and yet we keep going. The drive, the motivation, to do something like Matty is doing seems foreign to many - but people who have it, who give like that, who commit like that, it's overwhelming, painful, endorphin producing, rewarding, and downright costly. All at the same time.

What great fortune to also find a book that contains BDSM but is not about it. No fancy schmancy clubs here with paraded twinks naked with collars. No discussion or negotiation, no BDSM101 lecture, nada. No "Boy" this and "Sir" that protocol. Just honest need, want, and desire that gets expressed with a more D/s theme running through. I will definitely say that this one has two kinks that are neither common nor comfortable for a great amount of people: breath play and medical (enema). Yet I would challenge anyone to read this and not to understand what was going on, how these fit in to the story, and come away with the thought that it was those things that identified the book. Because they just so don't. The scenes's are memorable for how they express the characters relationship and growth and understanding. They are expressions - of something far greater and far more importance. Divine.

A top 5 pick of the year for me. I very rarely stay up until 4am to finish a book. I did here and didn't regret it one bit and didn't even wake up tired. I woke up with this feeling that I'd just left my Grandma's house on Christmas day after all the food, festivities, and love and I so want to go back to that place again. For that moment, in that time, at that place - it was, for me, The Perfect Season

Profile Image for *J* Too Many Books Too Little Time.
1,921 reviews3,440 followers
July 23, 2016
4.5 Stars

This will be short and sweet because...well it's the weekend and time is limited. Bottomline I found another hidden gem amongst my book pile.

I think I avoided this one mostly due to the length. And it did take me a bit longer than I like to read it, but it was well worth it in the end.

Matty and Rob had great banter and chemistry. Nothing makes me happier then some good humor in my books. It was a bit on the insta lust side but then you can see and feel the feelings developing.

Things get a bit kinky a bit before the halfway point. I wasn't exactly prepared for this, and I can't say I loved it but it didn't turn me off necessarily either. These two were definitely super hot together.

You know from the blurb that there's going to be some angst. Matty's dream is to get another chance at an Olympic medal so Montana is just a stop for him. So basically the story builds up for the inevitable to happen. But I will say, it all played out in a way I was okay with.

Definitely a recommended read.
Profile Image for BWT.
2,152 reviews218 followers
June 28, 2017

Michael Ferraiuolo rocks this narration! He brings out Matty's stubbornness and desire and Rob's strength and comfort. His character voices are on point and, quite simply, enhanced my listening experience. This audio was fantastic!

I absolutely adored, loved, cherished, cheered, and cannot extol enough eighty-five percent of this book.

Part Three and some of Part Four devastated me. Devastated. Me. I felt as though Leta Blake ripped my heart out, chopped it into little pieces, threw it in a garbage disposal, turned it on, and then laughed while I bled out on the floor. And I was going to skip it when listening...but I couldn't stop listening to Michael Ferraiuolo!

I usually loathe when a story has the whole "but it's necessary for us to break-up/separate" storyline... So, frankly, kudos to Leta Blake for writing that and still getting me to love Matty and Rob.

I was so enthralled by this story, I cannot even begin to describe it properly. Apparently I can describe it grossly (see above), but not properly.

I can only hope Michael Ferraiuolo is going to come back and narrate Training Complex too!


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

This review has been cross-posted at Gay Book Reviews.


I had this book in my TBR for so long! I always felt like this for not reading it yet:


Because everyone I know who's read it adored it. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.

So I finally pulled it off my TBR shelf, dusted it off (metaphorically) and opened it up. And what did I find, you ask?

I cannot recommend it enough. To everyone.

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