Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Power Play: Awakening

Power Play: Awakening
Rachel Hamowitz & Cat Grant
Published by Riptide Publishing
256 pages
Available on Kindle
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview.
4 / 5 cupcakes

When we last we left off with Jonathan and Brandon in Power Play: Resistance, their Dominant/submissive relationship had gone through a bit of a rocky patch. Brandon realized that he wants to be with Jonathan, Jonathan realized that he needs to treat what they have as a relationship just as much as an opportunity to exert his Dominant side, and those two crazy love birds decided to give it another whirl.

But of course it does not come easily to either of them.

Whereas Resistance focused on Jonathan breaking down Brandon, Awakening is the story of building Brandon back up. It's also something of Jonathan's story, as we get to know him better. We meet the man who introduced Jonathan to the Dominant lifestyle, and we also meet a female ex-sub of his. Whereas Brandon's issues were obvious, Jonathan's are more subtle; he has to change every bit as much as Brandon if their relationship is going to work.

If Resistance was the set-up, Awakening is the payoff and the love story. As Jonathan and Brandon come to terms with themselves and each other - as they  fully trust each other with all that they have and are - their feelings intensify. Brandon begins to understand that with submission comes power. The power to overcome everything that has held you back, the power of confidence and trust. He also comes to see the power in giving himself to Jonathan for the latter's sadistic needs.

This is an unconventional love story, to say the least. And not because it's about two men. It's more the way they come to love each other, through domination and submission, through pain and pleasure. Unlike Resistance, there are moments of sweetness in this book, of courtship and love.

About the sexy times: they are every bit as graphic and brutal as those in Resistance. But they are not repetitive; Jonathan takes Brandon through different experiences, and because of the love story aspect, the headboard rockin' takes on a different sheen. It's still about power and submission, but it's also about love. You know, feelings and all that stuff.

Will you like Brandon more? Eh. I don't know. I still am not a big fan of his, although goodness knows the man fully gave of himself to Jonathan. I just couldn't warm up to him the way I think I was supposed to. Now, Jonathan, on the other hand? I love him.

If you read Resistance, you must read Awakening.

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