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Review: The Trainer


The third book in The Marketplace Series by author Laura Antoniou is titled The Trainer.

At the point, the reader is extremely knowledgeable about the marketplace itself as well as how the slaves are trained and sold. Therefore, this third title delves into the training and history of the actual trainers. Not anyone can be a trainer, as we discover. While many trainers may take it upon themselves to call themselves such, the trainers that are truly accepted and respected by the marketplace are those that have been trained by a Trainer of Trainers. One such Trainer of Trainers, also referred to as a Master Trainer, is Anderson who has been mentioned in previous books in the series.

We are introduced to additional recurring characters of the series in this book. First is the character of Michael LaGuardia, a California boy who is to be trained as a trainer. Second is the very formidable Master Trainer, Anderson.

In Anderson's house, a major training center for the Marketplace, we discover that dear Chris Parker has established residency. Both Michael and Chris are therefore training and becoming trained side by side by Anderson. The majority of the story takes place within Anderson's home, a townhouse in Brooklyn, New York. Michael LaGuardia is a born and raised Californian who has been training in an influential California marketplace training center run by Geoff Negel, a new age practitioner of the Master/slave relationship. Invariably, Mr. Negel is admired by some and scoffed at by others.

Michael has arrived at Anderson's to further and solidify his training. He has attitude up the kazoo and immediately begins to butt heads with the enigmatic Chris Parker. As the story continues, we discover Michael has made a major faux pas back in California and is now the punch line of far too many "here is what you should not do" stories.

He steps off on the wrong foot as soon as he arrives at Anderson's and he continues to trip over his own feet over the entire course of the book. It seems Michael is his own worse enemy. He is a hot head and does not realize when it is best to keep his mouth shut. This makes him nearly the complete opposite of the reserved and quiet Chris Parker so the juxtaposition of these two makes for entertaining reading. Especially telling is Michael's explicit and overbearing need to fuck all the slaves. This is so different than Chris' approach that the reader knows it will cause roadblocks and it certainly does.

The entire length of the story deals with Michael's training. He is the main character but Chris is also a huge factor. Michael is impatient and bored while Chris is reliable and studious. We learn a great deal more about the mysterious Chris Parker and in the end he is the one who brings out the best in Michael. Did our gentle readers have any doubts? Chris certainly has a way with people.

Robin pops up again for a bit when this book and her story, The Slave, meet in the continuity line. Robin, as you may recall, is the main character in the previous book of the series, The Slave. She was trained by Chris Parker and, as often happens in the trainer/slave relationships, has developed a bit of a crush on him. She also appears again later in the series.

The most fascinating character is the Master Trainer, or Trainer of Trainers, Anderson. A formidable female who becomes as mysterious as Chris Parker, she is an amazingly vibrant, solid and strong woman. It is refreshing to have a series with strong characters of both sexes. Not only do we have male slaves but female trainers. How nice!

The hedonistic California marketplace is displayed versus the conservative East coast marketplace, giving us a more balanced picture of the entire series. This middle book balances the plotline nicely and leads us further into the storyline, taking it up to more modern times. The original books took place, apparently, in the 1970's and 1980's. Now we are getting up to the 1990's and the computer age, which will turn the entire marketplace on its' ear.

If you manage to get the revised and expanded edition, it includes at the end a short story companion piece that is one of the stories included in the next book, The Academy. It gives you a preview of coming attractions but it also stands on its own as a delightful piece.

A wonderful book and highly recommended, I believe anyone interested in BDSM, S/m or Domination will certainly find this series educational as well as entertaining. For reference, at this point there are five published books in The Marketplace series.

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