Review: The Training by Tara Sue Me

Tuesday, October 8

Title: The Training*
Author: Tara Sue Me
Series: The Submissive Trilogy #3
Genre: contemporary erotic romance
Publisher: Penguin
Format: ebook and print
Date/Year: October 1, 2013
Reviewed by: Michele

*This book was provided to reviewer by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Summary from the publisher:

For fans of E. L. James and Sylvia Day. Before there was the fan fiction that became FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, there was The Submissive Trilogy... In the enticing conclusion to Tara Sue Me's seductive and scandalous Submissive Trilogy, the submissive and her dominant explore just how long they can make the pleasure last...

It started with a hidden desire. Millionaire CEO Nathaniel West has always played by his own strict set of rules, ones he expects everyone to follow - especially the women he's dominated in his bedroom. But his newest lover is breaking down all his boundaries and rewriting his rule book. Abby King never imagined that she would capture the heart of Nathaniel West, one of New York City's most eligible bachelors - and its most desirable dominant. What began as a weekend arrangement of pleasure has become a passionate romance with a man who knows every inch of her body and her soul - yet remains an enigmatic lover. Though he is tender and caring, his painful past remains a wall between them. Abby knows the only way to truly earn his trust is to submit to him fully and let go of all of her lingering inhibitions. Because to lead Nathaniel on a path to greater intimacy, she must first let him deeper into her world than anyone has ever gone before..

My Musings:

This review may contain spoilers for THE SUBMISSIVE and THE DOMINANT, the first two books in the Submissive trilogy. You could read THE TRAINING as a stand-alone book, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

After the riveting start in THE SUBMISSIVE and a somewhat tepid retelling of the same story from the hero’s POV in THE DOMINANT, we now get the touching conclusion to Abby and Nathaniel’s love story in THE TRAINING. Our hero and heroine have finally realized that they should give their chance at love one more try, and they both work hard to overcome their doubts about themselves and each other. During this time of reconciliation, Nathaniel and Abby learn to harmonize their need for a part-time Dominant/submissive relationship with their fragile new status as boyfriend and girlfriend, but the road to the perfect balance is not easy, and it takes some help from Nathaniel’s mentor in the BDSM lifestyle to show them the way forward.

Although I loved THE SUBMISSIVE, I found THE DOMINANT somewhat less enjoyable since it was basically the same story, although I did appreciate being able to understand what had gone before from Nathaniel’s point of view. What helped make THE TRAINING a success for me was having both Abby’s and Nathaniel’s POV available, each moving the story forward rather than simply recapping what had already been described from the other’s perspective. I got a much better handle on their individual concerns and motivations, and was relieved that the author was able to avoid the spectre of “head-hopping” which derails so many books with multiple first person narratives. Best of all, the ups and downs that occur between Nathaniel and Abby throughout THE TRAINING only help to make their Happy Ever After even more enjoyable when they finally get that happy balance that they’ve worked so hard to achieve together. (And yes, I did cheer when I saw there was an epilogue. I love epilogues and this one was sweet.)

THE TRAINING is a satisfying conclusion to the Submissive trilogy and I recommend it to readers who love a tender romance along with their kinky sexy-time reads.


Overall: 4
Sensuality level: 4 (heavy BDSM including anal sex and caning) 

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