Trained by N.M. Pratt: It is a feels-good-low-angst and slow-burn story

TrainedTrained by N.M. Pratt

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was exactly what I was looking for. A feels-good-low-angst/slow-burn story. Friends to lovers. Self-discovering. *sigh* such a sweet story!

Brendon is a 22 years old guy who isn’t happy with his body. He’s determined to get in shape because if he can’t catch a man with his glowing personality, he’ll do it with his killer body. That’s what leads him to enter in a health chat room where he meets Jared who turns out to be exactly what Bren wanted. Someone that will hold him accountable and that will tell him what to do. Including workout routines and prep food.

“Brendon: 5 a.m.?! You’re going to kill me, aren’t you?
Jared: Probably.” […]

Jared is a 26-years-old-straight guy and he loves helping people to get fit, so he starts training Bren through messages because he lives in LA and Brendon lives in San Francisco. Jared is such a committed trainer, he’s always telling him how to prep meals, what routines he’ll do and he even wakes him up at 5 a.m. to go to the gym! (I need someone like that to push me to go to the gym)

One way or another, their relationship goes from being a “business relationship” to a friendship. They start talking more about their personals lives, they watch movies together, and they comfort each other.

After month keeping their relationship through messages and phone calls, Jared flies to San Francisco for a job and they FINALLY meet in person.

Even though they’ve been talking for months, they’ve never seen each other, not even in photos. But that didn’t stop Bren from having feelings for his very straight friend Jared and when he finally sees him in person he’s a GONER.

“Jared said he did some modeling, but nothing could prepare him for the man he saw enter the small café at 1 p.m. on the dot.”

Bren knows best that falling for a straight man, but his connection with Jared is so strong that he can't help it. And obviously Jared cannot help it either, that leads him to be in a very confused state where he doesn’t know what to do and he even says some rude things to Bren telling him he wished he were a woman! God, I hated that.

[…]"but if I could find you in girl form, I think I'd have my soul mate."

Things got a bit awkward between them until Jared decides to leave his “gender issues” aside because his feelings for Brendon are so strong that he can’t keep himself apart from him and that’s when things become way interesting in here (if you know what I mean)

“What’s it like?” Jared asked in a whisper.
“What’s what like?”
“Being with a guy, you know, sexually?”

I’m not quite sure to call this an OFY or a GFY, I’m kinda having troubles with that right now. However, this was quite unique for me; the author approaches the romance in a particular way, leaving the labels aside. Focusing largely on the idea of falling in love with someone’s personality regardless what they have between their legs. It also shows that’s not easy to get to this conclusion because Jared was REALLY confused and because of that he caused so much pain (to himself and to Bren). It took him long enough for him to understand what he really wanted and undoubtedly, that was Bren.

[…]“You’re an attractive man, I won’t deny that, but that’s not it. It’s you that makes me want this, not your body or your gender or anything other than you.”

My heart melted with this story. I was insanely happy with that ending; it was the perfect HEA.

It was a bit cheesy at the end and it made me winced a few times. The writing was beautiful and I like that the story was told only from Brendon’s POV. I liked to read his emotional struggles and I like that on one point I was with him guessing the way Jared felt, reading too much into Jared’s actions and words.

Seeing how their relationship was growing was wonderful, it felt kind of realistic. They were real for me. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a well-written slow-burn. It was a very nice read.

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