A few weeks ago, Solange read and recommended Training Season by Leta Blake giving it ☆☆☆☆☆. She loved it so much and got such a positive reaction from you guys—the readers— she asked Leta to participate in the ridiculousness of 5 Awkward Questions.
1. What is your favorite romance book and/or series? Name one you wrote yourself, and one you didn’t.
My favorite romance (at the moment) would have to be Ginn Hale’s The Rifter serial. I loved the world building, the personalities of the main characters, the side characters, the angst, the deep abiding love, the EVERYTHING.
My favorite book that I’ve written is…hopefully not written yet. I feel like I definitely have miles to go before I’m where I want to be and maybe even farther before I don’t feel a little frightened of my books. Of the books I’ve released, I’d say that Training Season is definitely my favorite.
2. Do you have any tattoos? If yes, where are they and if it’s in a naughty place, can we have a picture?
And the award for the most boring answer goes to….! I don’t have any tattoos, alas. I’ve never found anything that I wanted on my body for the rest of my life. If I ever do, then I’ll get one. I do have some very pretty silvery stretch marks, though, from pregnancy, and I consider them life’s tattoos.
3. Favorite sexual position?
I’m a lazy Libra and like all the positions where I get most of the pleasure and yet do very little work.
4. If you could have written any book, like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, any at all, which would you chose and why?
I’d have written Deathless by Catherynne Valente if I could, simply because her delicious word porn brings me to my knees.
5. First childhood celebrity crush?
My first tv character crush was Apollo from the original Battlestar Galactica. When I was a kid, I totally loved the good boy characters. Other people liked Starbuck, but I loved the steady, nice, sweet Apollo.
My first celebrity crush was Michael Jackson. Man, I adored him when I was eight.
BONUS: Take a picture of yourself right now and send it to me along with the answers.
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?
Rob held the agricultural journal he was reading a bit higher, trying to see it over Matty’s body. “I’m devastated on your behalf.”
Matty narrowed his eyes. “I thought you liked my family.”
“I do. I’m sorry they can’t come for Christmas. I was ridiculing your vow to always be in New York for New Year’s Eve.”
“Uh-huh.” Rob flipped a page and yawned widely.
The day before, Rob had helped Terry, Dino, and Bing wrangle some cattle that had trampled a fence and gotten into the woods near the national park. It’d been exhausting since three of the cows had decided they were not going to budge from the apparently delicious patch of dry, brown winter grass they’d discovered under a tree. To make it worse, once they’d driven the adventurers back onto Rob’s land, a bunch of snow had dumped on them as they’d mended the fence.
Rob had dawdled over breakfast, and was lazing around with Matty. He’d mentioned something about getting caught up on the books, but he hadn’t moved from the sofa yet, and it was verging on nine o’clock. Matty shifted on Rob’s body and made himself more comfortable.
“I’m trying to read about the possible advantages of adding a milk goat operation to the ranch, sweetheart. You’re kind of in my way.”
“The advantages of a milk goat operation. Did I truly just hear those words?”
“Goat milk soap is all Bing talks about.”
“I feel like I’m in some kind of insane alternate universe where if I look out the window I’ll find Amish buggies. I will, won’t I?”
“If you’re lucky. Otherwise it means you’re stuck in Montana getting fucked by some crazy sadist rancher.”
“God, that sounds like a really bad sex book you’d pick up to read on an airplane.” Matty scooted a bit on Rob’s body, making him grunt. Matty spread out his hands to demonstrate the title of the book, knocking the journal away. “‘Big Sky of Desire’ by M. O. Lester. The story of young, lithe figure skater, Bobby Barker, trapped for the winter in a small Montana town and robbed of his innocence by the lecherous attentions of his sadistic neighbor, Mark Beauty. Tied down against his will and struck with leather horse whips, Bobby realizes his own inner strength and love for rough sex—”
“I have leather horse whips, actually,” Rob said.
“You do?” Matty sat up, nearly smacking his forehead against Rob’s chin.
“Of course. Have you seen my ranch?”
“Oh my God, go get them!”
Rob laughed, pushed Matty off, and stood up slowly, stretching. “Actually, I was thinking we should head into Missoula to do some shopping. Most of the shops stay open late this time of year. I have some things I need to get for Ben. Last I checked, you need to pick up a few things for your folks.”
Matty blinked. “You’re passing up whips for shopping?”
“You’re bitching about shopping?”
“I feel so torn!” Matty pulled at his hair. “Oh my God. You suck.”
“Go on, take care of the horses and get ready. I’ll pick you up in an hour.”
“Two. I have to look my best if we’re going into the city. Someone might actually see me in the city.”
“People see you here.”
“Yeah, but they don’t even look twice now. My fashion goes to waste. It’s like I’ve become boring to them or something.”
Rob kissed him and rubbed his thumb over Matty’s lower lip. “Never. Impossible. And I’ll pick you up in one hour.”
“If I say yes, can I have whips later?” Matty asked a little breathlessly.
Rob frowned. “I’ll think about it. I don’t like the idea of marking your skin.”
“Don’t turn into a prude on me now,” Matty whined.
Rob kissed him again. “Don’t push me. Or you might find there’s a price.”
Matty clasped his hands together over his heart and called out as Rob left the room, “Would that price be leather horse whips?”
“Go home!” Rob yelled back.
Matty flopped on Rob’s sofa and stared up at the ceiling. “Oh my God, horse whips,” he whispered to himself, trying to figure out how he was going to lose his erection.