Review & Interview – Tara Sue Me – The Training – @BerkleyRomance @penguinusa



Today we have an interview with Tara Sue Me, author of The Submissive Trilogy, just in time for her newest release, The Training.


What got you into the romance genre?

I started reading romance in high school. I had always been a big reader, but up until then I read authors like Stephen King and Ray Bradbury. I was walking around a bookstore one day, looking for something new and happened upon OUTLANDER in the ‘Staff Recommends’ section. It had an interesting premise, so I bought it. I know OUTLANDER isn’t a traditional romance, but after reading it, I was hooked. I don’t think I read anything other than historical romance for years after that.

As far as writing, I’m not sure I’ve ever thought about writing anything other than romance. I think there’s something about a love story that touches all of us. The journey of two people coming together is something we all relate to. To be part of that story, even a fictional one makes me smile.


Where did you get the idea for your alpha male, Nathaniel?

I think Nathaniel found me! When I decided to write a contemporary romance, the first chapter of THE SUBMISSIVE played out before me, almost like a movie. Even so, I saw everything from Abby’s point of view, which means for a time, I thought Nathaniel to be cold and distant. He was very persistent, though, in showing me bit and pieces of who he was. In a way, he evolved for me throughout THE SUBMISSIVE.


It always seems like it would be hard to write realistic romance novels, do you do research? How to do you make your novels so realistic?

My number one pet peeve in reading a book is when characters act out of character. There have been authors I’ve stopped reading completely because they have a character do something I know they wouldn’t do. As a reader if I’ve invested my time in an author’s work over four books in a five book series, I want that author to respect my intellect enough to know that there are certain things a character won’t EVER do in book five.

When I write, I try to sink down so deep inside my character’s head that it feels like the character is writing the scene. That’s what makes everything appear realistic to the reader.

And yes, I research. I don’t have personal BDSM experience, but when I write about someone who has lived that lifestyle for ten years, I don’t want the reader’s first thought to be, “Are you kidding me with this?”


Your novels stand out among the genre, what are some of your thoughts on writing a distinctive romance novel among so many others?

I think a lot of it is writing style. My writing style is very similar to me in an everyday conversation. I like to joke that I can say the same thing as someone else with 40% fewer words. I write the same way and this used to bother me. I’d read another author and think, “Why can’t I write like that?” Now I realize it’s just the way I write and that’s okay. We’re all unique and distinctive, as authors we should let that come through in our writing.


You started writing at twelve, did you always want to be a writer, or is there another career that young Tara really wanted to do?

For a long time I wanted to be a doctor. I took all the pre-med classes courses in college and I’d planned out everything. Then I took Organic Chemistry and well, let’s just say I switched majors after that one!


Can you tell us one surprising fact about yourself, something we wouldn’t expect?

I can tie a knot in a cherry stem in my mouth in less than ten seconds.


Synopsis for The Training:


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…


 About the Author:

American Author Tara Sue Me in Los Angeles

Tara Sue Me lives in the southeastern United States with her family, two dogs, and a cat.  Visit her online at, or



Grade: B+

This is the conclusion to The Submissive trilogy. Abby and Nathaniel, are back in this book, and Abby is being trained as Nathaniel’s submissive, but there’s a slight problem. Nathaniel starts to fall for Abby, something he’d never do with one of his previous submissives. Will he be able to handle transitioning to the role of lover, friend, protector, from his previous role as Dom?

Overall, this romance story, falls in the vien of our popular genre defining romances Fifty Shades of Grey and Crossfire series, the man is distance, cold, powerful and just wants sex, the difference in this one in how much we delve into the world of BDSM. This book has a lot more to it then FSOG did, so readers, if you are unsure, understand that this is a completely different lifestyle choice, and this isn’t just a vanilla sex book. The work is well written and researched, and the characters play their roles quite well. The scenes are very described, and stay true to that lifestyle.

The main plot in the book is Abby & Nathaniel’s relationship, and how it’s going to develop, and where it’s going to go. We begin with submissive training, but really we’re just building on their relationship from previous books. It did seem that they reached the end without as many twists and turns as we’re used to in this genre, but I think the characters are written well, and act honestly, and that really reflects on their love for each other, and the reason they are trying for their HEA.

I didn’t read the earlier books before I read this book, but though I’m sure you’ll be thrown right back in with this book, even if you haven’t read the series, the author builds the characters so well, you arent’ at a loss. I suggest reading the whole series though, to get the whole feel for Abby and Natheniel’s relationship. I thought this was a wonderful book, and a change from the heavy hitting names we constantly hear in this genre. Tara Me Sue wrote a wonderful love story, that deals with a different lifestyle, but overall it’s the story of the love of two people, and what it takes to make it to forever!



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