Saturday, August 20, 2011
Training Days by Jane Frances
Publisher: Bella Books
Morgan Silverstone is the star of an extremely popular travel show on Australian television and understands the rule she has to live by. When she is in the country, she is totally closeted, but when she is overseas, she can play with anyone she wants to. Morgan has never challenged that situation before, but the train trip she's making across Australia with her crew is boring, so, when she meets Marie, a student from France who is backpacking across the country and has no idea who Morgan is, there doesn't seem to be any reason not to have a brief fling in her cabin.
Alison Brown (Ally) is a young architect who is becoming extremely well known in Australia, but all she cares about at the moment is getting into her cabin and relaxing. She's not very happy when she finds that she's not only locked out, but the sounds coming from inside indicate exactly what is going on. What happens next is a series of misunderstandings that cause Ally to believe that Morgan is straight, then gay, then that she wouldn't know how to tell the truth if her life depended on it.
For reasons Morgan doesn't understand, it becomes important to her to convince Ally of the truth and then to include her in her life. Just as the women are developing a relationship, Marie resurfaces to blackmail Morgan, and then incriminating pictures of Morgan with Ally are released to the press. The network demands that, to save her career, Morgan must deny the truth and give up all contact with Ally. Morgan faces the hardest decision of her life. Which is more important, the career she's spent a lifetime building or the happiness she might find with Ally? Can she ask Ally to live a lie for what they might share?
Training Days is a standard romance, but it has quirky little twists in it. At one point, when Morgan admits to Ally that she is gay, Ally thinks she's lying to cover up an affair with one of the crew. Morgan confesses to her deepest secret and she's not believed. It's fun to watch the two try to work out the situation and experience Morgan's frustration over knowing what exactly to tell Ally.
That Marie, who appears to be so innocent, turns out to be a threat isn't surprising, but the situation is aggravating. It's the one totally predictable situation in the book. The resolution of the conflict might be questionable in the US, but may be perfectly plausible in Australia. The book may be routine fare, but it's a good enough story to hold the reader's attention for a few hours. If you're looking for entertainment, this will suit the bill.