Very light and quick read. The story took a long time to develop and really wasn't nearly as juicy as the synopsis leads readers to believe. Rather than a story about Alayna, a woman being trained in bdsm by Logan, her ideal dom, it had a huge focus on Alayna not being able to orgasm and her trainer (not Logan) being very reluctant to train her except through a hands off approach. The book finally started to heat up in chapter 11. There are 13 chapters in the book.
The book would've been better entitled "An Invitation - Book One: Alayna's Training" because "An Invitation: Ariel's Pet" by Qwillia Rain is book two. Alayna and Ariel are sisters and both books take place simultaneously and contain two identical passages. IMO Ariel's pet was much better than Alayna's Training but I think both books would've been much better if co-written into one book.
I tend to agree with the other reviewer about the focus of this book. Alaynna couldn't experience sexual release. Then, she is paired with a Dom named Rick, who is engaged to another woman, who wants to help her achieve orgasm through masturbation. Rick isn't even allowed to touch her because Logan won't allow it. This leads to the viewer becoming frustrated at Logan for not being her trainer to begin with. The main reason Alaynna accepts the invitation by Logan's friend and partner, Dane, is to learn about her submissive nature and to learn how to achieve orgasm. She wants Logan to teach her about her body's responses, not Rick. Plus, a sub is supposed to pick/chose her Dom. She isn't even sexually attracted to Rick to begin with, which makes the reader roll their eyes at the stupidity of that pairing.
Logan is a man tormented by a past Dom/s relationship that went bad. The sub wanted Logan to push her beyond his ethical boundaries and enter into activities that put her in danger. A true Dom would never put his sub in danger, so he breaks up with her. After their breakup, he blames himself when she dies from her bizarre sexual act, at the hands of an inexperienced younger man, who has no knowledge of this kind of sexual "play". I put play in quotes because I don't consider being asphyxiated as play. Too much risk involved.
While the writing is written intellectually, the reader had to wait until the end of the book, before they got a taste of Logan and Alyanna exploring their sexual passion.
I was tetering about giving this book a three star. I would give it a 3.5 because the ending made up for the beginning, with the exception of Logan and Alyanna not having time to reach higher levels of sexual exploration and play. Too much time was spent with Logan's internal struggle and guilt from his past. It made the book drag on.
Alayna Valerian and sister Ariel are owners of the café Valerian's Root. Two incredibly handsome gentlemen have become regulars in the café and one afternoon she clears their table to find a business card with a web site and written instructions on the back. Clicking away on a keyboard reveals a site for a BDSM training establishment. Intrigued, Alayna sets up an appointment to tour the place as well as potentially learn to awaken her sexually submissive desires especially under the guidance of Master Logan.
Years after his previous submissive died, Logan still can't make himself take on another sub. His yearning for Alayna is fierce and all consuming, but even after she becomes a trainee at A Master's Gift for a month, he still can't make himself claim her for his own. As the days go by, the temptation of Alayna's submission increases to a fevered pitch. Logan's rigidly held control threatens to crack and he stands to gain it all, or to lose everything.
Alayna's Training is part of the multi-author series An Invitation but can be read as a stand alone with no loss of comprehension. Outside of the bedroom, Alayna is capable, dependable and intelligent. Inside the bedroom, however, she's relatively naïve and sexually frustrated. So, theoretically, Master Logan is the perfect match for her. He's a Dominant and can guide and coax Alayna to sexual bliss. The only problem is, he's afraid that he's the Anti-Midas when it comes to D/s relationships and doesn't want to destroy this woman that haunts his dreams, those he has when he's asleep and those he has when he's awake.
Logan is a wonderful, deliciously tortured Alpha male that one cannot help but feel for as he battles with all his inner demons. Alayna's almost too-patient submissiveness is the balm that soothes his heart, but at times it was almost unbearably painful to see her wait for Logan instead of participating more actively in galvanizing him into some sort of action or response. All in all, an entertaining, engaging read.