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Power Play: Awakening
Author: Rachel Haimowitz; Cat Grant
Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Release Date: June 2012
ISBN: 9781937551322

Book 2 of Power Play
Book Genre: BDSM, GLBT

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Power Play: Awakening

[SUMMARY] [REVIEWS] [COMMENTS] [INTERVIEW] [VIDEO]
OFFICIAL REVIEW
350 people found the following review helpful

Book Reviewed by Rebecca

[ Review Posted: Aug 11, 2012 ] - See all my reviews
The intensity of POWER PLAY: AWAKENING is palpable. Thankfully less dark than the first book but no less powerful, this book is another to add to my favorites list. Readers will not be able to read this book without being affected by it. It's that simple. Also simple is this fact: if you read Resistance, you must read AWAKENING. Then come back and tell me what you think because this book is so worthy of discussion.

Power Play: Resistance was all about Jonathan breaking down Bran. POWER PLAY: AWAKENING is the second half of the story where Jonathan builds Bran back up into this amazing man full of potential. And thankfully, readers begin to see more sides of Jonathan, exposing his background and allowing us to meet the man who introduced him to the BDSM lifestyle. Jonathan becomes a much more sympathetic character as he begins to adapt himself to meet Bran's needs. Both men evolve and it's a beautiful thing.

Their love story is anything but traditional, but no less beautiful. Jonathan and Bran come to a place where they learn to trust each other – thank goodness for the Big Sur house – and allow themselves to open themselves up to their developing feelings. Brandon starts to understand that he gains power through his submission and comes to rely on it. And while he still isn't as fond of pain as Jonathan, Bran sees the gift he gives to Jonathan every time he submits.

Unlike Power Play: Resistance, there are tender moments of redemption in this book. There are even interactions that feel more like a courtship or dating than solely training. The sexual encounters are just as graphic and some just as brutal but there is a progression of experiences as Bran accepts his role. While their relationship is still based on power and submission, it also encompasses love, which all made the experience of going through all these raw emotions worth it in the end for this reader.
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OFFICIAL REVIEW
316 people found the following review helpful

Book Reviewed by BookAddict (reviewer)

[ Review Posted: Sep 06, 2012 ] - See all my reviews
"You can't swing a cat without hitting a male Dominant in this city." Jonathan tells Bran. Seriously? Where is this city? I can't walk several feet without tripping over a submissive. For a Dom-less submissive, this city Jonathan and Bran live in must be amazing. In POWER PLAY: AWAKENING, Bran is back with Jonathan to finish out his contract. In the first book, Jonathan is supposed to be this amazing Dom who is much sought after by many a submissive. The first book captures Jonathan at his worst because he was not a Dom I would ever respect. He crosses so many lines and breaks a man for no other purpose than his own selfish desires.

I prepared myself for the follow up. There was no way Jonathan could redeem himself in my eyes. Within the first chapter, Jonathan not only turns from hated villain into loved hero Dom, but I'm also falling hard for him. Jonathan completely owns up to his mistakes to Bran, and in this story, we are allowed into Jonathan's mind more than in the previous. Jonathan tries very hard to help Bran and his methods are what he should have done all along. This is not to say the five months are perfect. In fact, there are several instances of one step forward and two steps back. Those are realistic and make the story more poignant.

Ms. Haimowitz and Ms. Grant do an excellent job showcasing the TPE D/s SM relationship. The breakdown of Bran's walls until he understands why he built up these walls was difficult to watch. As Bran transfers more and more of his power to Jonathan, it's a beautiful submission blossoming. Seeing Bran long to eat out of Jonathan's hands is sexy as well as endearing. Learning that Bran is more into BD with his preference for restraints, despite his adamant denials is definitely a hard epiphany. The hardest for Bran is the SM part. He does not handle pain well in the sense that his childhood of parental abuse is too tied with beatings. Unfortunately, Jonathan is a hardcore sadist. There were times I couldn't fathom how the authors would be able to overcome this obstacle. Ms. Haimowitz and Ms. Grant soar over this hurdle in a manner that is believable and moving.

There were a couple of drawbacks to this story, which did not decrease the five star rating. It's due to some of the secondary characters. Sabrina (the housekeeper) and Solange (a former submissive) are both despicable. They do not understand where Bran comes from and they are immediately judgmental. Both of them should know better. Yes, they are friends with Jonathan and are protective of him. However, that does not mean they should treat Bran so callously. Sabrina is the bigger disappointment with her lack of compassion and specifically her hateful words. It appears she can only tear a person down instead of help build a person up. She's spiteful and a poor teacher. Solange is just a jealous bitch. Her cruel words are uncalled for and if Bran were a lesser person, tattling on her, Jonathan will most likely cut Solange out of his life. She's petty.

The BDSM scenes and specifically the punishments are much milder in this story. If the first is about punishment, this second one is about self-discovery. While it is unrealistic to expect BDSM to be therapeutic and cathartic, this story thrives on both for Bran. Jonathan is completely masterful and while he still makes mistakes, he works them out with Bran. Bran's growth in this story moves me to tears. He makes Jonathan proud and the reader sighs with relief and pride. This lovely artwork in writing is highly recommended to BDSM lovers who enjoy a window side seat to a breathtakingly beautiful relationship in the making. Buy this book now!
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