Power Play: Resistance, the review
Book 1 in a series
Publisher : Riptide Publishing (BUY HERE)
Genre : BDSM, Erotica, romance
Length : 267 pages e-book
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.
Billionaire tech genius, Jonathan Watkins, meets undereducated home builder, Brandon McKinney, in a dive bar in San Francisco’s Chinatown. It’s lust at first sight. After a few very intense sexual encounters and conversations that bring to light a mutual interest in green technologies. Jonathan wants to use his money to help Brandon realize his goal of his own business. He offers Brandon the opportunity to be his sub for six months in exchange for enough money to buy his own business. Unsurprisingly, Brandon is insulted and insists he isn’t a whore. Eventually, and with much soul searching, he does agree to Jonathan’s proposal. From there, they both proceed to screw everything up spectacularly.
Brandon refuses to accept that he finds pleasure in what he “should” find degrading or humiliating. Accepting food from Jonathan’s hand is not about being pampered in Brandon’s mind, it’s about being treated like a dog. Being tied up and flogged isn’t about safety and overwhelming physical stimulation, it’s about being trapped and tortured. To complicate things Brandon wants the pampering, safety, and stimulation but can’t get beyond his own personal hang-ups. He has no means to communicate this to Jonathan, as Jonathan has stopped talking in any meaningful way to Brandon. Soon, they begin to hate each other. Jonathan forces Brandon to abandon the contract with regular severe beatings and punishments.
With time alone for introspection Brandon comes to accept he wants many of the things Jonathan was offering. He also accepts what his role in their disaster was. He returns to Jonathan, who also acknowledges he made mistakes, and they agree to complete their contract.
If there is a BDSM format this book completely ignores it. I’ve read many where the couple has a bad scene, or the sub has to come to terms with his desire to submit. This is the first book I’ve read where weeks of the relationship is a disaster. There are positive moments during this time that allow Brandon’s later realizations of himself to be plausible, but for the most part in his mind he was beaten and humiliated. It was especially humiliating if he liked it. I also liked that it wasn’t only the sub who was at fault in the disaster. Too many times the top in a book knows exactly what is needed, he has a sixth sense that allows him to spot a sub from across a room, and it’s all the sub who needs to come to the realization that his kinks perfectly coincide with the distinguished top who has a world of experience. Jonathan screwed up. He wasn’t sure his assessment of Brandon’s desire to submit was true, and he wasn’t supremely self assured. Until Brandon returned he was left knowing he lost something that could have been great and that he was partly to blame.
The kink in this book was more than I usually read, and honestly, I didn’t find it all that sexy. I was, however, riveted to the book and stayed up until 3am to finish it. It is also part of a series. There is much to be resolved still at the end of book one. Given how late I stayed up to read, I would have to recommend this book highly despite it not being my usual cup of tea.
Rated 4.5 stars by Faye