Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Review: Power Play: Resistance by Rachel Haimowitz and Cat Grant


Give me six months, and I'll give you the world.

Brandon McKinney has scraped and sacrificed for what little in life he's ever had. Though it's been fifteen years since he escaped his father's abuse, the damage remains. Trust seems as far out of reach as his dream of becoming an architect, and though he's come to accept being gay, he can't deny the shame and confusion he feels at other urges--the deeply repressed desire to submit.

Jonathan Watkins is a self-made Silicon Valley billionaire whose ex-wife took half his money and even more of his faith. Comfortable as a Dominant but wary of being hurt again, he resorts to anonymous pickups and occasional six-month contracts with subs seeking only a master, not a lover.

When a sizzling back-alley encounter cues Jonathan in to Brandon's deep-seated submissive side, he makes the man an offer: Give me six months of your life, and I'll open your eyes to a whole new world. Brandon doesn't care about that; all he wants is the three million dollars Jonathan's offering so he can buy the construction company he works for. But he soon learns that six months on his knees is no easy feat, and shame and pride may keep him from all he ever wanted-and all he never dreamed he had any right to have.

Reader discretion advised. This title contains heavy kink. While consent is clearly established and frequently reaffirmed, some moments in Power Play push hard against the outer edges of consent.

My Thoughts:

Truthfully I have absolutely no idea where to begin so forgive me if I ramble a bit.
I am not a stranger to BDSM books, not in the least and for the most part I really enjoy them. This book left me gasping and wondering what the hell just happened?

Brandon and Jonathan meet in a bar and have a sexual encounter in the back alley that leaves Brandon with cum soaked pants wondering how the hell he just got off from that. Later Brandon and Jonathan meet and Jonathan proposes that Brandon be his submissive for a term of 6 months, at the end of which he will be paid the sum of 3 Million dollars. The money is Brandon's main drive and after exhausting all his other options he reluctantly agrees.  So this far I am thinking okay, this I can handle, it's not so bad. Boy was I wrong! Jonathan admits that he is a sadist. He gets off on inflicting pain and it is a must for him. He needs it, not necessarily every time but that is what drives him.
Both Brandon and Jonathan have issues. Brandon has a history of abuse and working/struggling just to make ends meet. He had a troubled childhood and it just sets this contract up as a recipe for disaster with Jonathan being a sadist, and Brandon coming from abuse. Jonathan also worked for everything he has and was very successful at it.  He grew up in a commune surrounded by hippies and learned very early on that he liked inflicting pain. I believe that has a lot to do with the man he became.
Brandon is a smart ass and very prideful. He is not someone that I would peg as submissive at all. He is outspoken and just not what I would think any submissive would be like. Jonathan on the other had is Dominant all the way and it definitely shows.
One of the good things about this story is that it is told from both perspectives. We get to read from Jonathans Pov and we see the internal war that Brandon is constantly having. This was almost a must given being that part of the contract was that Brandon not speak unless first, asking permission or being asked a direct question.

While this is classified as heavy BDSM it also borders on torture & abuse. This may just be my opinion, but let me tell you this pushed hard on ALL my limits as a reader. Most of the toys I could deal with... Most. When the black fist came out along with the stun gun I was ready to toss my kindle down and go pick up something safe like a friendly Nursery Rhyme book or Dr. Seuss! Yes I was only reading, it was not happening to me, but I was able to feel Brandon's terror. I was afraid and I had to stop and cuddle with my hunny for a little while. At least until I caught my breath and was able to be sucked back into the story once again. I have never read a M/M book before that had "fisting" in it. Yes I have read a M/F/F and I hated it. Given I was not previously reading about anal fisting but instead vaginal fisting I can not imagine what Brandon was going through. I cringed, I cried, I was shaking, I wanted so badly for it not to be true, but I continued on watching Brandon break. Despite everything that I have said these two did have a connection, and I believe it is one that runs very deep. While we do not get to see it in it's full glory, we get subtle hints of it and it is definitely there in the end. I am hoping that it will show more in the next book.
I wanted so bad for these guys to find love within the pages of this book but that would have made this book more like 3 times longer than what it was. I know that this is only beginning for these guys and I am anxious to read Power Play: Awakening I just need a little more time to processes before doing so.

If you are still with me after reading all of that, I am at the point where the entire thing becomes a contradiction. Not the book, just my feelings on it. I couldn't walk away from it for very long just long enough to be able to breathe again yet I was dreading each new scene because I just knew it would be worse than the last. While I did not like, or agree, or condone most of what happened within these pages, it was so well written that it made me feel. I mentioned earlier that I cried, but it was not simply tears it was an ugly cry but I smiled and shook with terror too. Not many books can pull that kind of emotion out of me. I think that if you can handle your BDSM on the heavier side then this is definitely a book that needs to be given a chance.

**I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**

My Rating: 5*

Book Buy Links:
Riptide Publishing
Barnes & Noble

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