Trained by N.M. Pratt

Title : Trained                      Word Count:158 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb: Brendon is too young to be letting himself go. Overweight and desperate for a change, he goes where everyone goes for advice these days, the Internet. That’s where he finds Jared. Jared has an offer too good for Brendon to pass up; a free training program to help him build his clientele. What starts out as workout routines, and meal plans, slowly turns into friendship, all before they ever meet in person. Jared may be straight but will Brendon be able to resist his sexy trainer and friend when they finally meet and spend a night out under The Bay Lights in San Francisco? Or maybe a better question is, will a confused Jared be able to resist Brendon?

My Review: When Brendon wakes up one day and realizes that he has gained way more than the standard freshman fifteen after college, he decides to make some changes. Like most of us, he heads to an internet chat room to do some research. He is approached by Jared who tells Brendon he will train him for free. With killer meal prepping and vigorous workouts, they decide to give it a try. Even though they are not in the same city, Brendon soon starts seeing changes.

There is just something about Jared, he is easy to talk to and motivates Bren like no other. It is clear that they have formed a bond that moves beyond trainer/ client. Bren looks forward to Jared’s numerous daily texts which always leaves him smiling. Bren knows this is a slippery slope, as Jared is very much straight and has a model girlfriend. When Bren’s grandmother passed away, Jared initiates a phone conversation. He is very sincere and is there for his friend. Bren feels extremely close to Jared in that moment and he is encouraged to let lose and cry.

Things progress with them watching movies and exercising together while they talk on the phone. Their relationship is very sturdy for two people who have never met in person. This adds to the mystique however. This soon changes when Jared lets Bren know he will be going to his city for a photo shoot. They are both excited to meet each other. Nothing could prepare Brendon for the sex god that walks into the cafe where they are meeting. Jared is gorgeous and oh so sexy. He is everything that Bren would like in a man. The day is surreal but the emotions between the two men is very tangible. Under the beautiful lights of SanFrancisco, it is Jared who makes the first move and kisses Brendon. It is over before they know it and awkwardness seeps in. Jared begs and chalks it up as a stupid mistake, Bren is heartbroken at his apology.

Jared goes home and the shift in their relationship is obvious. Gone is the fun filled, flirty , easy going banter. Their texts only deals with the business at hand, workouts and food log. It takes them weeks to get over the hump and not until Jared apologizes for freaking out a bit for kissing a man. As the distance recedes , they become even closer than before. Jared starts owning his attraction to Bren. Their phone calls turn sexier as the flirting ramps up. When Jared starts inquiring about gay sex, Bren knows he is in trouble. He explains what turns him on knowing that he is revealing some of his secret desires for Jared. The unknown lures Jared in and he becomes bold with his sexy pics knowing that he is turning Bren on. Their late night calls become uninhibited and phone sex operators have nothing on them. They are wild in their explorations and all that’s missing is their physical bodies. Jared soon makes the decision to take another trip.

Their weekend together is intensely good and bad. Their connection is truly out of this world, but in public Jared rejects some of the most innocent touches from Bren. Bren is hurt,but holds it all in. They have a big powwow before Jared goes home , where all the niggling doubts come forth. Jared tells Bren that he can’t turn gay for him and that’s the end of that. Jared leaves as Bren’s world implodes all around him. The silence stretches on for months and Bren is a shell of his former self.

Jared finally comes to his senses and acknowledges that he can’t live his life worrying about others’ opinions. Jared was missing a vital part of himself, his other half, his best friend. He is ready to accept his love for Bren and he doesn’t care that he is a man. Bren is afraid to accept that it is real however, but he knows he can’t live without his soul mate Jared. When they come together, it is explosive and there are no doubts about whether they were meant to be together. Ten years into the future finds them married with two children who they adore. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.

P.S. For all the unconventional lovers who have found a deeper connection, before they even met in person. This one is for you. I am happy to be among the lucky few. I love my husband to pieces, but I would be scared to try the whole internet dating nowadays with some of the horror stories about online dating that you hear. I applaud everyone who has made it work. Here is to LOVE.

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