Title: Power Play Resistance
Author: Rachel Horowitz and Cat Grant
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: This title contains heavy BDSM play and total power exchange. While consent is clearly established and frequently reaffirmed, some moments in Power Play push hard against the outer edges of consent.
What a book. What a story. I think this is one I need in paperback just to put on my shelf along with the others that I know are coming. This isn’t a story that is full of love, not by any means of the word. This is a hardcore BDSM story that revolves around a Sadist, whose name is Jonathan and the man he finds a sudden interest in, Brandon McKinney. Now Brandon isn’t, when he met Jonathan into the scene at all. He’s a hard-working young man who is striving to make something of his life. As a child his father abused him, many times he ended up bloody, a couple of times in the hospital. Bran, as he wants to be called, fights an inner battle over how he was treated as a kid. Once his mother died, he received the full brunt of the beatings. He left home as soon as he could and ended up in Chinatown and worked as a foreman on a constructive crew. He wasn’t making the best money but he made enough to keep his bills paid and food, if he was careful with it.
Jonathan is a billionaire, money is not an issue for him and he worked hard to get that. It wasn’t handed to him by any sense of the word and he was raised in a loving if not odd environment. His parents lived like perhaps gypsy’s or naturalists. Jonathan was home schooled until he went to college and ended up creating a bright future for himself. He married but was unhappy, as he needed more from his partner. He is all Dominate/Sadist.
Bran is an average man, that is until he meets Jonathan. They meet in a bar in China town and it’s somewhat funny because Bran is not a stupid man by any means of the word. And he’s sitting in this bar, drinking a warm beer, as that’s how the Chinese drink it, and Jonathan tries to order some expensive drink that this bar doesn’t carry. Funnier yet, they don’t understand English. Bran had a good laugh off of that one, watching Mr. High and Mighty trying to get a drink. He ends up helping him out, talks for a few with him and then when he sees Jonathan isn’t going to drink the warm beer, he takes it and goes and sit elsewhere, only Jonathan had other ideas.
Now, Bran is very head strong, he’s a man of his word, he’s determined and he’s troubled. He’s troubled because his boss is selling the company and Bran wants to buy it and wants to expand what the company can do for it’s clients. The man is smart, he wants to take it to a level that far surpasses other construction companies but he needs money to buy it. Where is a man like him going to get 3 million dollars?
Well, two or three beers later, has Bran in the alley on his knees giving Jonathan a blowjob, or better term here, Jon is actually forcing him to his knees, forces Bran to deep throat him, forces Bran to service him and Bran found himself hard and very turned on by this. Drunk as a skunk he was, but the next morning he wakes up on his bed, still in the pants he came in, dirty and in need of a shower.
Jonathan ends up finding Bran again at that same bar a week later and they strike up a conversation, they enjoy each other’s company and at that time Jon is an interesting man and Bran loves having sex with him. Then one day everything changed. Bran told Jon of his goals for that company and Jon, a man with oh so much money offers Bran a deal. Six months of his life and Jon will give him the money he needs to buy the construction company.
This is where the story really starts. This is where we see the true Sadist Jonathan is. And this is where we see how the power play comes to be. Bran is not a submissive man, and Jonathan is a Dominate man, and he has this need to hurt his partner/sub. It’s just how he’s wired. It’s what he needs and that’s not to say that he doesn’t care about his partners, it’s to say it is a part of who he is.
This story is much like the frog and the scorpion. I’m sure you’ve heard of that fable? Let me re-freshen it for you. There’s this frog and this scorpion sitting on the river bank, and they both need to get across. Scorpions can’t swim, frogs can, so the scorpion tells the frog to give him a ride to the other side and the frog says no way, you’ll sting me and the scorpion says no. No I won’t sting you so the frog says okay, hop on and he does and off into the river they go…midway guess what the scorpion does? Yep, he stings the frog and the frog says, now why did you do that? You promised you wouldn’t do that and now we’re both going to drown and the scorpion says…”It’s my nature.”
It’s my nature. Jonathan is that scorpion. It’s his nature to be a sadist. It is what and who he is, so he offers this Bran 3 million dollars to become his 24×7 slave. Bran says no, no way. But 3 million dollars is a LOT of money and it’s enough to buy him that company he so desperately wants. And what was six months of his life for that kind of money? He could withstand anything the short bastard could put out.
Now, I have to say here that the internal dialogue or the internal thoughts coming from Bran, funny as hell. Talk about stubborn pride? He’s full of it and Jon, he saw it and he set out to break him down, make him see that Bran IS a submissive man. However, Bran, in my opinion is anything but. He does it for the money, however, he could be taught to be that. His body does react, and Jon does turn him on, especially when he’s being a nice Dom/Sadist. Bran begins to respond and react as a good sub would. But he went through hell to get to that level. I’m not talking spankings and floggers here. I’m talking much more. Though there is NO BLOOD, no body fluids of any sort. Things get intense to break Bran and wow. The instruments Jon uses.
Don’t think that Jon is a cold-hearted bastard, he’s not. He does care for Bran more than he wants to admit and when Bran does leave him he is torn up. He does have feelings and that’s something I am hoping to see more of in the next book.
This is not by any means a light BDSM read. If you aren’t familiar with what the Sadist part of it is, look it up. If you think it’s more abuse than a D/s, spanking, bondage light play, hang this one up. This is a hardcore BDSM book that kep me flipping pages as quickly as I could.
Now, I love BDSM, love to read it. And this is the first story that goes to the levels it does in that lifestyle. A pure sadist working with a man who may or may not even be a submissive man. Is Bran in this only for the money OR is it something more? The ending when Bran goes back to him…I am thinking I had my answer but only the next story will tell.
Looking forward to it, ladies. Looking forward to it.
Reviewed By: Michele