Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Power Play by Cara Dee

Power Play
I was my own worst enemy. For as much as I depended on order and a structured life to easier manage my bipolar disorder, fire was irresistible and indisputably my favorite toy to play with. On the ice, it turned me into a hotheaded hockey player. In the bedroom, my attitude was my last defense, a front I wanted to see tumbling down. But lately, all I got was burned.

Love sucked. Correction: it sucked when you were in love with your parents’ closest friend and he didn’t feel the same. I admitted my feelings for Madigan Monroe over a year ago, and I was still waiting for a response. Now my balance was gone. My anxiety was all over the place, my fits of rage had just earned me a suspension from the team, I questioned myself at every turn, and being home for two weeks was gonna make it impossible to avoid Madigan.

I used to be his Abel, his sweetheart, his trouble. It’d been the two of us against the world since I was a kid. I’d even discovered we had kink in common! On paper, I was seemingly perfect for him. Maybe that was why his nonverbal rejection hurt so much. Or maybe it was because, recently, he seemed hell-bent on us “being friends” again.

Whatever. I was a loser, and I couldn’t resist him for crap.


Jewel's rating:

In a perfect world, I'd be your Daddy.

If Cara Dee writes it, I will read it. Full Stop. I admit I was feeling cautious here, being as how that the dynamic is DD/lb, and I was very unfamiliar with it. I had to do a little bit of research so that I would have an idea of what to expect. Honestly, though, I needn't have worried -- Power Play was damn near perfect. I loved it!

They bonded over Nutella and formed a friendship so strong, neither Abel nor Madigan ever thought it would break.

Four a.m. was for broken hearts and fools.

Take it from Abel, who is still nursing a broken heart and suffering the loss of his Mad. Madigan, who made Abel feel safe and normal. Madigan, whom Abel knew he wanted to marry, even when he was a kid. Madigan, who he's barely seen since sending that text over a year ago.

I think ive been in love with u since I was 12.

Madigan was stubborn, though. He had trouble reconciling the fact that he watched Abel grow up with the fact that Abel is now, all grown up. He had trouble getting past feeling like he was betraying Morgan, not to mention Ade and Lincoln by having feelings for their son. And then there is the little issue of kink and Madigan not believing that they could possibly have that in common.

“My sweet trouble…” he whispered against my skin. “I can’t fucking stay away from you anymore.”

I absolutely loved all the feels in this book. Cara Dee sure can write. I was sucked into the story and really felt for the characters. My heart broke when Abel was in pain and it soared when Madigan admitted his feelings, too.

Abel, who is bipolar and also suffers from anxiety and depression, needs structure and guidance. Things that Madigan had always given him. And Madigan with his bone deep need to nurture and care for Abel, while far from perfect, he was perfect for Abel. Both men felt very real to me and I loved their dynamic. It simply fit.

The kink, I thought, was well done. It was not a "sometimes" dynamic, at all, but rather Madigan was always Daddy, and Abel was always his little boy. I loved how, while they were definitely equals, Madigan was always watching out for Abel and making sure he had what he needed to thrive. Their entire relationship was very symbiotic.

I knew that the day I caved, there would be no going back for me.

I appreciated that there wasn't unnecessary melodrama. There was angst, but it felt organic. The relationship development was spot on and their romance felt special. I was in love.

I also loved Abel's relationship with Gray. Gray kept Abel sane during the year that Madigan stepped away, and they had something that, while not entirely platonic, it was not a romantic connection. They each filled a void in the other. And while your mileage may vary, I loved how Madigan nurtured that relationship rather than changing it.

Power Play just worked for me, there is no question. Recommended.


ARC of Power Play was generously provided by the author, in exchange for an honest review.

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