Book Reviews

Resistance (Power Play 1) by Cat Grant and Rachel Haimowitz at Riptide Publishing

Genre Gay / Contemporary / BDSM / Erotic Romance / Drama
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 17-August-2013

Book Blurb

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.

(Publisher's note: Contains heavy BDSM play. While consent is clearly established and frequently reaffirmed, some moments in Power Play push hard against the outer edges of consent.)


Book Review

This was an intensely difficult book for me to read. I had to get beyond a number of my own narrow viewpoints and truly look at the larger picture. Power Play is a different view into the BDSM lifestyle, more a view into sadism than I have ever read before and I'll admit, there were more than a few times that I put the book down and stepped away for a few moments. However, it was also the most liberating view of the lifestyle I have ever read. To actually experience, step by step, one man's journey to being a submissive when it goes against everything he's ever thought about himself was insanely freeing.

Brandon has been on his own since he was fifteen, thrown out of his home by his very abusive father. His mother died when he was young and he's fought hard for everything he has and for what he's made of himself. The opportunity to purchase his boss's company is one Brandon doesn't want to miss but no bank will give him a loan with the current economy. So he turns to the man who picked him up in a bar and agrees to a six month contract in exchange for three million dollars, regardless that it goes against everything he believes ("I'm not a whore!") because he figures he can handle anything for six months to get his dream.

Jonathan is an only child, a child prodigy raised by hippies and a self-proclaimed Dominant sadist. He's a billionaire with plenty of money to spend on entertaining himself. He sees something more, a true potential, inside Brandon from the very first. But, in order to reach it, he has to get past the prideful and very defiant man, to release him from his emotional shackles and gift him with the joy of submission.

Brandon was so easy for me to relate to. His anger, his stubbornness, his willful disregard of authority, his absolute refusal to bow down was as familiar to me as looking in the mirror. Jonathan was so much harder for me to wrap my mind around. I don't understand sadism and so I, literally, had to step away from his character emotionally in order to finish the book. I couldn't put myself into Jonathan's shoes, because I couldn't even locate the store he bought them from.

I thought this would be the story of one man's journey, but instead I discovered that both characters had walked a road and climbed a mountain together. Of course, Brandon is the one who carried the pain, the welts, and the bruising so you can understand that my sympathy lay with him and not with Jonathan. However, Jonathan didn't come out of this unscathed. Brandon tormented him simply by his extremely willful behavior. Jonathan had to spend a lot of time second guessing himself which, for a Dom, is not a happy place to be. In the end, Jonathan had to take his fifty percent responsibility for what went wrong, and he had to realize his own culpability.

By the end of the book I truly understood the concept of complete and utter power exchange between two people. This wasn't like the "normal" BDSM stories I have read where the Dom is exploring the sub's boundaries. There are no boundaries, only sadism to render a total power exchange. I won't lie. This is a tough story to read. There is very significant sadism occurring which isn't very safe and usually not consensual. A difficult thing to witness. I can honestly say the writing is phenomenal. The characters are unforgettable. I can't honestly say I liked the book. Like is too tame. It made me think. It made me feel. I won't forget it. That's the best praise I can give it.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Riptide Publishing for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 267 pages/91500 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 09-April-2012
Price $7.99 ebook, $16.99 paperback, $24.98 bundle
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