When we decided to have a BDSM week here at SSBR, there was absolutely no hesitation in what Tina wanted to re-read as her favourite BDSM… The Power Play Series from Rachel Haimowitz and Cat Grant… BDSM at it’s best!!! And I have to admit having read them myself I have to agree!
Power Play: Resistance (Power Play #1) by Rachel Haimowitz & Cat Grant
Authors ~ Rachel Haimowitz & Cat Grant
Publisher ~ Riptide Publishing
Genre ~ M/M BDSM Erotic Romance
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.
“Give me six months, and I’ll give you the world”
Jonathan is a sadist, there’s no point in downplaying his craving to hurt people and he’s not afraid to get what he wants. When Jonathan first meets Brandon he can feel his hidden submissiveness, and sees the potential in him, wanting to set it free, and hoping that Brandon will learn to trust him. Jonathan doesn’t hide who he is, he freely admits that he is a sadist, he likes to inflict pain and needs to be in control.
Brandon is a tough guy, after escaping his abusive father and living on the streets, all he wants is to fulfil his dream of becoming an architect. When Jonathan makes the offer to pay him three million dollars for six months of submission, Brandon is determined to take the chance. He agrees to live as Jonathan’s slave, and experience the total power exchange. Brandon’s biggest problem is his stubbornness, he’s had to fight for himself for so long that he doesn’t know how to submit. Deep in his heart he knows what Jonathan is trying to do, but Brandon is unable to let go of the hard won pride he has had to build for himself alone in the world from such a young age, he just can’t stop fighting. Jonathan wants Brandon to trust, to open himself to a new world and… Just.Let.Go.
Power Play Resistance is one of my top favourite BDSM books and I was looking forward to re-reading it for the upcoming BDSM week on Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews. When I read it the first time… nearly two years ago now, it was like a never ending roller coaster ride of emotions, mainly because of Jonathan. It wasn’t that I didn’t like Jonathan, I understood him up to a certain point, but I sided more with Brandon, I wanted to beg him to just forget about the money and run as far away as possible and never come back.
So I was curious to see if it would have the same impact the second time round. And what can I say? It was like reading it for the first time, all the emotions, the thrill, the pain, the devastation, the desire, the insecurities… it all came flooding back… the story kept me on the edge of my seat, the nail-biting tension was barely tolerable and this time round, I had a better understanding of Jonathan. I felt his exhaustion, his hope in trying to break through and crack open that hard shell without destroying Brandon’s soul, wanting to convince him that it’s okay to let go and trust that he can keep Brandon safe.
"Learning to trust someone like that, so deeply, so completely. Learning to move past your strongest barriers, face your deepest fears...It would change your life, Brandon. And not just because of the money waiting for you at the end."
I was so angry with Brandon… yelled at him to finally grow up, swallow his damn pride and stubbornness and let Jonathan feed him. Damn, he signed a contract, he had the opportunity to thoroughly acquaint himself with the topic, he could have asked questions, set limits, walked out or used his damn safe word, but he kept making the wrong choices. Over and over again.
Resistance is BDSM at its best and Rachel and Cat did a marvellous job of coming up with a very different kind of BDSM book. The writing is excellent and the characters are complex and perfectly elaborated. I was caught up in it right from the beginning, felt the pain and the raw exhaustion, and struggled along with Jonathan and Brandon, all the way to the end. I just couldn’t bring myself to take a break… even though I knew what was coming.
“My Control? Is a gift, as surely as your submission is.
I break you down to build you back up,
to make your life better.
Do you think it’s easy for me, having you here?
Fighting all the time?
Do you think I want this?”
Overall, Power Play Resistance is a fascinating, sensual, erotic story that pushes your boundaries and is a painful and exhausting read. After finishing this book the first time round I had no idea which direction Rachel and Cat would take Jonathan and Brandon’s story and had to wait anxiously for the continuation. Now… I can just plunge into the sequel and accompany them on their journey of Awakening.
Check back tomorrow when we will be bringing you Tina’s review for Power Play:Awakening (Power Play #2)
About Rachel Haimowitz
Rachel is an M/M erotic romance author, a freelance writer and editor, and co-owner and Managing Editor of Riptide Publishing. She's also a sadist with a pesky conscience, shamelessly silly, and quite proudly pervish. Fortunately, all those things make writing a lot more fun for her . . . if not so much for her characters.
She originally dipped her toes into cable news and book publishing, decided the water was cold and smelled kinda funny, and moved on to helping would-be authors polish and publish, writing for websites and magazines, and ghostwriting nonfiction.
Her first novel, Counterpoint: Book One of Song of the Fallen, released in August of 2010 with Guiltless Pleasure Publishing. Things pretty much spiraled from there, and now she plans to release four or five new stories each year. She loves playing with shorts and novellas just as much as sinking her claws into the worldbuilding fun of a novel.
When she's not writing about hot guys getting it on (or just plain getting it; her characters rarely escape a story unscathed), she loves to read, hike, camp, sing, perform in community theater, and glue captions to cats. She also has a particular fondness for her very needy dog, her even needier cat, and shouting at kids to get off her lawn.
More books by Rachel Haimowitz
About Cat Grant
Author of hot, emotional ménage and m/m contemporary romances. Love. Honest. Real. :)
More books by Cat Grant
Rachel will be gifting to one very lucky reader a signed copy of Power Play: Resistance which will be signed by Rachel and Cat.
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