Power Play: Resistance

Rachel Haimowitz; Cat Grant
Power Play: Resistance
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Riptide Publishing
Release Date
April 2012
Book 1 of Power Play
BDSM, Erotic Romance, LGBTQ

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.

Book Review by Rebecca
Aug 09, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
294 people found the following review helpful
POWER PLAY: RESISTANCE is so incredibly intense I wanted to equally close my eyes and never stop reading at the same time. I felt the frustration and tension with the characters, leaving me nearly exhausted as both characters were. There is no HEA in this book – though there is a sequel – and nothing about this book is nice, fun, or even loving. That said, it was one of the most compelling books I have read in a very long time.

It all began with Bran who had a less-than-happy childhood. When we meet him, it is fifteen years after he escaped his father's abuse. Distrustful, confused and struggling, Bran is also resourceful, intelligent and charming. He dreams of becoming an architect but sees his dream as unattainable.

Along comes Jonathan, a self-made billionaire, jaded by a broken marriage and sustaining himself on one-night pick-ups. When he meets Bran at a local bar in Chinatown, a crazy hot back-alley interlude tells Jonathan everything he needs to know about him. Jonathan is an experienced Dom who senses the submissive side of Bran.

"Give me six months of your life, and I'll open your eyes to a whole new world."

The trouble comes when Jonathan makes Bran an offer of a six-month contract to be his submissive. Bran denies his submissive side – or maybe it is hidden so much he can't quite understand it - though he can't deny the shame he feels over being gay and having the urge to allow someone to control him, to bring order to his life.

Brandon accepts Jonathan's offer but not because he's eager to be a submissive; he wants the three million dollars Jonathan's offering so he can buy the construction company he works for, go to school and realize his dream of becoming an architect.

This is where the story really begins. Bran enters Jonathan's home and begins a process of redefining himself. The story is given to us from both men's perspectives so we see how each view their relationship as it evolves. Jonathan is a sadist who likes to inflict pain and be in control. Bran is not a masochist so their discipline sessions are intense, painful and emotionally draining – even for the reader.

At the crux is this very truth: Embedded deep within Bran is a submissive desperate for release. Bran has fought for himself his entire life that he doesn't know how to just let go. Despite knowing what Jonathan is trying to do, Bran can't stop fighting him. He suffers by both Jonathan's hand and his own head.

Both men struggle with Bran's resistance. Jonathan is certain he is not wrong about Bran's desires but questions his methods in bringing the submissive to the surface and healing Bran. He can't quite figure out how to convince Bran that it is okay to let go and trust Jonathan to keep him safe. The struggle leaves both men exhausted. It was difficult even for me because there are so many disturbing scenes in this book, the belief that there had to be a breaking point – a healing for Bran – kept me reading and reading and reading well into the night.

Bran learns a lot in this book, overcoming his shame to seek his dreams, but I warn you that readers only get a glimpse of the turning point. Remember this book is perfectly titled—Power Play: Resistance. You must go on to read the next book that is also perfectly titled—Power Play: Awakening.
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