Title ~ Training Complex
Author ~ Leta Blake
Published ~ 10th May 2015
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
Buckle up – Matty’s back!
Figure skater Matty Marcus didn’t capture Olympic gold, but he won rancher Rob Lovely’s heart.
After Rob sold his ranch and Matty hung up his skates, they started a new life together in New York City. Now Matty has taken on a fresh challenge as a figure skating coach, and Rob’s second career as a physical therapist should be everything he’s dreamed of. But in the brutal heat of their third summer in the city, Rob yearns for the wide-open country, and the intensity of city life awakens Matty’s demons.
Matty asks for increasingly intense BDSM scenes, and his disordered eating and erratic behavior ramp up the stakes. Rob struggles to stay in control, and after a well-intentioned anniversary gift goes awry, he still thinks he can handle the fallout. But the concrete jungle is closing in and his coping skills are unraveling.
Their love is deep, but Rob will have to admit the truth about what he really wants before they both tumble into chaos.
As soon as I finished Training Complex I was kicking myself for not having picked it up sooner! I fell in love with uber flamboyant, bratty but lovable figure skater Matty and gorgeous, patient, protective ex rancher Rob, in book one: Training Season, because it thrilled me with its unexpected, emotionally grabbing plot, that just kept surprising me at every turn. I just loved that book!
Training Complex is closely linked to the events and conflicts in book one, that after an exhausting roller coaster ride love story, ended with their decision to stay in the city. A choice that becomes the crux of their problems in this story, and because Matty and Rob are such complex characters I'd say to fully understand the dynamic between them, it would be far more satisfying if you read Training Season first…not just that, its a bloody awesome read!
Matty shows his emotional upheaval both physically and mentally as his eating disorder rears its ugly head again, and his (many) insecurities…that mainly center around his now defunct skating career and present coaching abilities…come to a head; urging him to act out in needy, sometimes selfish ways that despite their closeness begins to cause friction between the two of them. He knows he's spiralling...the voice of 'Control' in his head constantly taunting him and driving his behaviour...and he struggles to fight against it.
The only way he can silence 'Control', is to seek out even more pain in his and Rob's heavy BDSM and kink play. Upping the intensity and amount of graphic, hard core reset scenes to try to re-centre himself. But this in itself begins to take its toll on poor Rob, who is silently suffering his own meltdown in the background. As a responsible, caring dom, he feels it's his duty to be there for his much loved and adored, highly strung lover but life in New York isn't working for him, as his heart belongs in the open spaces of the country. City life is exhausting him and he feels trapped. Their monetary situation is precarious, and as well as having to cope with Matty's idiosyncrasies, he still has to be there for his teenage, figure skating son Ben who he also loves deeply. Everything is closing in on him and in turn is affecting his emotional grasp on things, to the point where he feels his control as a dom is under threat. His only outlet being Sato, another another respected dom and therapist, he meets again through his work at the clinic.
" I think I can't fucking deal with this right now. I've got two new patients this week who are taxing my patience at every turn. I've got money problems that I can't solve, no matter how hard I try. I have a boyfriend with a fucking eating disorder—or disordered eating or whatever the hell. And now our BDSM play has spun away from me somehow. I'm not in control anymore and I feel fucking afraid of our kink play for the first time in our relationship."
Leta Blake conveyed the despondency and desperation they were both trying so hard to hide from each other, so convincingly, that I actually felt physically keyed in to their feelings. Seeing them both at times stripped raw emotionally was extremely touching for me, and I found myself filling up throughout the book, making it an all round fulfilling reading experience that really did move me.
Each of them pulled at my heart at different times, and in differing ways, because I could sympathise with both their anguish but although things did get extremely rocky, there was never any doubt in my mind they wouldn't survive their troubles. There’s no denying the depth and strength of love these guys have for each other, it’s so tangible you can almost hold it in your hands.
But it wasn't all doom and gloom. Like before in Training Season, among the poignancy, there were moments that had me smiling, giggling or laughing. When he's on form, outré Matty is funny and witty, bringing humor to the mix; especially when he and his snarky, slightly slutty BFF Elliot are together. Two over the top drama queens whose friendship and platonic love for each other is so obvious, they bounce off each other perfectly. I defy anyone not to fall in love with Elliot! In fact I’m hoping that there’s going to be a story for him out there one day. And outside of the hard hitting, emotionally charged BDSM action, there are some beautifully sensual, sizzlingly passionate love scenes that had my tummy flipping. So gorgeous!
All the supporting characters are brilliant...not just added as window dressing, but there to further enhance and drive the story towards its lovely satisfying ending. Leta Blake has created two memorable characters who took me with them on an emotional journey that I won't forget. A wonderful love story that despite its full on BDSM elements was still romantic and tender. I loved it!
Meet Leta Blake
Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake's educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.
Leta is generously giving away the choice of an ebook from her backlist to one lucky reader (not including Training Complex) so don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win.