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Training Season

Narrated by: Michael Ferraiuolo
Length: 12 hrs and 12 mins
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Can a cowboy’s firm hand discipline this feisty figure skater - on and off the ice?

Matty Marcus fears he doesn’t have what it takes to achieve his Olympic dream. His self-esteem is at an all-time low after figure skating coaches and skating judges have told him he’s not skinny enough, good enough, or masculine enough to win.

Matty wishes he could afford the kind of coach he needs, a top-notch one who specializes in keeping their skaters focused. But those coaches are ridiculously expensive, and Matty is financially strapped.

Until a lucrative house-sitting gig brings him to rural Montana.

And to Rob.

No one has ever looked at Matty the way rural cowboy and single dad Rob Lovely looks at him. No one has ever touched him, loved him, and healed him from the inside out. No one has ever made him feel so valuable and adored. Worthy. Strong.

No one has ever taught Matty how to fly. Or how to lose.

Rob might be a cowboy who knows nothing about figure skating, but after only a few months, he’s trained a new kind of bravery into Matty’s soul.

However, to achieve his Olympic dream, Matty will have to face the ultimate test. Has he truly learned what it means to win - on and off the ice - during his training season?

Training Season is a MM romance with a feisty, flamboyant figure skater and an easy-going dominant cowboy, opposites attract, hurt-comfort, single dad, winter holiday highlights, love beyond reason, multiple steamy scenes, and a well-earned happy ending. This book contains BDSM elements.

©2013 Leta Blake (P)2017 Leta Blake
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Marty and Rob ♥️

What a stunning audiobook I was engrossed such an interesting read.
Sport plus food ! Such issues.
Loved everything about this book thankfully there is book two.
Let’s Blake your words with Michael Ferraiuuolo narration made perfection...

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Profile Image for Carra at Making it Happen blog
  • Carra at Making it Happen blog
  • 26-07-2017

You'll find a wonderful love story here!

This is one of those rare instances when I’ve only listened to the audiobook version of the story and not read the ebook version beforehand. I usually prefer to read the ebook first so I can see how the audio compares to my expectations based on what I read, and how I interpreted the characters myself. I was very pleased with Michael Ferraiuolo’s narration—I thought he did a fantastic job giving all of the characters unique voices, and clearly demonstrating their emotions. The pacing was just right as well.

As for the story itself, it did feel like it moved a bit slowly at times for me. This aspect was mostly made up for with the characters, who I did like quite a lot, especially Rob. He’s responsible, strong and caring, and I thought he was perfect for Matty. Matty’s character does play into some stereotypes, but I admired his dedication and strength to make a comeback. The two of them falling for each other was beautiful, and the amount of emotion and feeling was deep enough to make them having to part quite agonizing.

Some of the BDSM aspects though I was not comfortable with, there were two scenes in particular that I didn’t care for even if one of them (breath play) was meant to show Matty's trust in Rob. But those aside, the remainder of the intimate scenes were pretty damn hot, and show just how much the two of them were falling for each other.

There’s a huge amount of emotion at the end of the second and in the third and fourth parts of the story, enough to give my heart some really strong tugs and you might have found some watering eyes as well. I mean, the time Matty and Rob were apart when Matty returned to his full training and competing was hard—not just for them but for me as a reader/listener too.

For the story, I give Training Season 4 stars…the narration, a definite 5—the emotional impact of the narration was definitely a huge plus for this story for me. This book is meant strictly for readers/listeners 18+ for adult language and sexual content, including some BDSM elements that may make some readers a bit uncomfortable. But if you look past those, there’s a great love story to be found.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Kate M
  • 09-06-2017

Very good

This was a very good book💕it was also a very steamy book🔥🔥which I love. It was sad at times, having to make a chose between your dream and your love is extremely hard. The author ended it awesome. I can't wait to read more books! 👍👍

4 people found this helpful

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  • OMGReads Blog
  • 17-07-2017

Training Season (Training Season, #1) by Leta Bla

What did you love best about Training Season?

I first read this book last year and was absolutely blown away by it. It's a subtle read, there's nothing in it that, at first glance, is really groundbreaking. But I think it's the subtlety and the reality of it that makes me love it so much. I received a copy of this audiobook as a reward through the author's Patreon, so maybe that means I'm a bit biased, but honestly, this was such a great audio experience of a book that I already loved.

Matty is such a wonderfully complex and flawed character. He and Rob are amazingly sweet and perfect and heartbreaking to read. Their story is one that, from the beginning, is tainted with a little sadness and regret, as Matty's time in Montana is limited and Rob's world is centered there. It's hard to see how an HEA is possible, but they jump right in with both feet and no regrets and no holds barred, and their love for the other is tangible. I teared up a bit when I read this book the first time, but listening to some of the heartbreaking scenes brought them to life. I was bawling like a baby, sitting in the parking garage at work, not wanting to stop listening. (My coworkers asked me that day if I was ok. It was hard to explain that my heart was breaking for fictional characters.)

What about Michael Ferraiuolo’s performance did you like?

Michael Ferraiuolo does a great job of narrating this book. His voices for Rob and Matty are on point and his pacing is perfect as always. He gives the words feeling while keeping them distinct and easy to follow.

Any additional comments?

There is a HEA/HFN by the end. No worries there. If you want to stop reading Matty and Rob's story at the end of this book, you definitely can and be left satisfied. Though I don't know why you'd want to. Their story continues in Training Complex.

Reviewed by Annie L for OMGReads Blog

3 people found this helpful

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  • Dana Piazzi
  • 12-07-2017

Great story and awesome narration

The narration: There are quite a few good narrators in the m/m romance genre and it’s hard to create a favorite list, but Michael Ferraiuolo is up there in my preferred narrators. He is good at creating characters with strong voices and also ones with a slight lilt and softer tone. It was perfect for the effeminate character Matty and the rugged rancher Rob. I would definitely say his narration adds to the story and I’m glad I listened to it.

The story: I have only read a few books by this author in the past, but I’m going to have to start reading a lot more. The story starts with Matty taking a job that pays enough to fund his figure skating passion and his determination to reach the Olympics. The couple whose house he watches over demand that he entertain guests while he stays there, but it isn’t long before he meets the neighbor who turns Matty on, but doesn’t ping his gaydar at all. After he realizes his mistake, he begins a friends with benefits kind of situation even though he knows that Rob could possibly distract him from his goals, and possibly become someone important to him.

Matty’s time at the ranch is temporary, though. The bulk of the story takes place in Montana at the farm/ranch. I loved seeing their relationship develop and I felt like the two men really brought out the best in one another. Matty gave Rob joy in his daily life, he tutored Rob’s son in figure skating, and made them both sweet treats, Rob gave Matty his care and concern. He supported his goals to return to Figure Skating even knowing it would mean the end to their time together. I was a little heart broken about what had to take place because I could really empathize with Matty. He couldn’t give up his dream, but his casual arrangement had definitely become more. Rob also gives Matty the discipline and dominance he needs. There is some BDSM in this book but not the sort that has clubs or contracts, but safewords are in place and their play together is kink-filled and hot. Alas, Matty does finally make his move when the couple who own the house return.

The part of the book after Matty left is interesting. It is neat to get this view of his talent and his training. But Matty never has one hundred percent of his heart in the skating because Rob still owns part of it. It would easy to skim this part because it features a lot of longing on Matty’s part and not much satisfaction. The story takes a new turn when Matty sees Rob’s son, Ben, far away from their home in Montana. Ben admits that a lot of things have changed in their lives, but he is closed lipped about exactly what has changed for Rob. As Matty’s heart sank, so did mine. I felt the fear that the two wouldn’t be together, even though they had been apart years, I was rooting for them. I don’t want to give anything away, but I thought the author created a very nice ending. I do look forward to reading or listening to the next book in the series if it comes out on audio.

3 people found this helpful

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  • LGB
  • 16-06-2017

Amazing story and superb narration!

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

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

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

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

3 people found this helpful

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  • Beach Bum Books
  • 25-09-2017

A galaxy of stars

What did you love best about Training Season?

A galaxy of stars for Michael Ferraiuolo's performance of Leta Blake's Training Season. Lovely story, authentic settings, wonderful characters, and intelligent writing. Highly recommend this one.

2 people found this helpful

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  • David
  • 29-07-2017

Real good

Only thought that the story dragged a bit, could have been an hour shorter. Enjoyed it.

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  • Violet Marshall
  • 25-06-2017

A Fantastic Narrator And Story!!!

Any additional comments?

Because this is an audiobook I am going to break it into 2 parts first the narration. This is the first time I have listened to a book done by Michael Ferraiuolo. I am unfortunately very selective on the sound of the voice when it comes to audiobooks. And Michael is mid-range for me but what I did find out is that he is an incredible narrator. He gives this book life and each character has their own voice (meaning you know who is talk at all the times) and that is very important in an audiobook. So even though his voice isn’t my preference, because of the quality of what he does he goes onto my very good narrators list now.

This is the first book in The Training Season Series. What a tremendous book the writing was amazing. The characters were well developed and thought out. The plot was entertaining and it was steady throughout the book. I found the story and characters fantastic. Matty Marcus and Rob Lovely are the MC’s of this book. There was humor, skating, cows, broken ice?, Olympics, lots of sexy moments, a teenage son, a purse and so much more in this book. I thought that this book was fantastic the length was great and there was a lot of detail and substance. You may find yourself needing a box of tissues too. I can highly recommend as a great read. I voluntarily read an advance copy of this book for an honest review.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Belen
  • 17-06-2017

4.5 Stars

Any additional comments?

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

2 people found this helpful

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  • FancyFace
  • 06-06-2017

WOW!!

Amazing!! I loved this book very much and the narration was excellent. More please...

4 people found this helpful

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  • BevS
  • 01-07-2017

4.5 stars overall....

I loved this story, and I know 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 4.5 stars.