Review: Training Season by Leta Blake

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?

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.

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