Guest Review: The Training by Tara Sue Me

Posted March 5, 2014 by Judith in Reviews | 0 Comments

The Training Judith’s review of The Training (The Submissive Trilogy #3) by Tara Sue Me

Now, in the enticing conclusion to Tara Sue Me’s 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.

This third book in a BDSM trilogy about Nathaniel West and his sub Abby King takes up right where the second book ends.  I suppose a reader could begin with the third part of the story, but I don’t think that will allow the reader to grasp the full significance of much of the action in this third novel.

All the way through the relationship between this Dom and his sub, there has been that sense of fear and insecurity that has plagued Nathaniel.  He has been well trained but now he has encountered a woman he has desired long before she ever knew he was alive, a secret he has been reluctant to share with Abby and one that has become a metaphor for Nathaniel’s unwillingness to open himself up fully to a woman he wants in his life more than he has ever wanted anything.  Even as his insecurity and subsequent behavior drove Abby away, now Nathaniel must learn himself in a new way even as he is re-learning how to relate to a woman who has come far more fully into an understanding of herself.

I think this book has, by far, explored the way in which the lifestyle of BDSM is for many a critical tool for self-discovery.  It is a fertile field for those who would abuse the power exchange and there is no denying that there are those who have deep and dark needs that are extreme.  But even there can be found Doms who are caring and careful even as they explore “edge play” and its more extreme forms of erotic pain.  For Abby, being with Nathaniel is the fulfillment of a dream, a goal she has long held close to her heart.  But throughout their time together, Abby has learned what it means to be a sub who holds, in the final analysis, the true power in the relationships and at a critical time–during a time explore in Book Two–she was not afraid to use that power to stop Nathaniel in his tracks.  They are now back together, but the playing field, so to speak, has changed and while Nathaniel is still very much the Dom, Abby’s understanding of who she is as a person and as a powerful woman and as a sub has changed dramatically.  Thus, Nathaniel’s response to her has changed as well.

This will probably not be a favorite among readers who are not interested in the BDSM lifestyle as lived in a 24/7 format.  But as has become known by many of us, BDSM is never the same;  every relationship is as different as the people involved in that relationship.  The boundaries are different, the hard limits are different, the needs and personalities are different.   This story has been well written and while I am not qualified to judge the validity or the authenticity of the BDSM content, it seems to me that it squares with the writings of a number of authors who have been judged to be “right on” and who write knowledgeably about the lifestyle.  I do know that this book has been written with a good sense of literary flow, keeping the story moving forward, keeping the characters balanced between their external actions and conversations with their internal monologue.  There is great emotion here and I think a careful reader will perceive that both these individuals are taking tentative steps in restoring their relationship, regaining trust with one another, re-establishing the limits and boundaries which will guide their interaction.

This has not always been an easy trilogy to read.  The writer has been adept at crafting her characters so that readers feel that they are not only observing the progress of the story but are privy to the inner thinking and feeling of these two people.  Some of the group activities in this book will probably bother some readers.  But, after all, this is a book that seeks to “tell it like it is” and involves couples who are loving toward one another but who are not afraid to share their love with others.

I found this book to be quite compelling and recommend it for those who are open to the various facets of the BDSM lifestyle.  I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.

The Series:
Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This book is available from NAL Books. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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