Power Play, Cara Dee

Power Play by [Dee, Cara]

From the very beginning I felt.  Abel yanked those feels right out of me.  He has Bipolar Disorder and the one person that gets him, understands and anticipates his needs, is Madigan.  A surrogate uncle to Abel and his brother Jesse by nature of his close relationship with their parents, he becomes quite close to the boys.  But to Abel he was always more, much more.  When a 4am confession changes their relationship he didn't realize he'd be losing his best friend, protector, ally, and foundation.  He's not alone in that loneliness and struggle, but he doesn't know that.

Without an anchor, without balance, Abel is adrift and swinging from one extreme to the other.  His Bipolar Disorder is getting out of hand despite him taking his meds regularly.  The separation from Madigan causes him to ache fiercely and he's not sure how much longer he can hold out.  His best friend Gray helps to comfort him and act as a buffer when Madigan and Abel are in the same room but it's becoming increasingly clear that it's just not enough.

Madigan had his reasons for ghosting Abel.  He's a casualty of an adult's thinking.  Believing they always know what's best for the youths in their life they declare their feelings fleeting, immature because of their age, and misplaced.  When he learns just how serious Abel is he's powerless to avoid him any longer.

Together they discover the depths of their affection, desires, and kinks.  They are far more compatible than they ever thought they were before and it doesn't take long to get their relationship to the place both of them only dreamed about.

Now, I know very little about kinks, just the basics and that there are many and varied types and levels.  Each person, pair/group, desire, and need is different.  What I love about the kinky element in this particular story is how she develops the story and characters prior to us learning anything about the kink featured.  We get to know them, their motivations, desires, and needs before introducing the kink and how it plays in the relationship dynamic.  My favorite part is that Abel researches first.  He gets a hint and then sees how things align for himself personally.  The fact that he researches and takes notes is great because as much as he trusts Madigan in every way, he's aware that he needs to know the basics of what he wants before he explores their depths.  It's responsible, mature, intelligent, and educational for the uninformed reader like me.

I love this pair.  They work so well together in every way and when it comes time for confessions I'm already team Madigan and Abel.  And then there's the sexy times.  Seriously hot.  While I'm not really a fan of the Gray moment, I can't deny that it's hot.  The expression through touch is absolutely understandable because I can relate, but the extent included here in this story doesn't seem to really fit.  Yes, that was their dynamic before, but fitting it into Madigan and Abel's new dynamic seems a bit forced and out of place.  I feel that it should have changed to suit their expressions of comfort without trying to fit both sexual relationships together the way it played out.  So like I said, the scene was hot but in the context of the story and relationship, I didn't really enjoy it.

The story as a whole, though, I'm in.  Passion, connection, devotion, anticipation, affection...all of it was so present throughout the book.  I loved that once they were together they were in it for real and there was an emphasis on communication, expression, and honesty.  The angst came from when those things didn't happen as well as the reveal to family.  That was drama with a side of baggage, but was resolved realistically and with love and patience.  Abel's BPD wasn't brushed under the rug or dramatized but was addressed with authenticity and understanding.  The genuine way each issue was dealt with made the characters feel real and the story believable.  Add to that all the feels from mutual adoration society that is Madigan and Abel and you've got major win.

*$3.99 on Amazon!
 Power Play, Cara Dee

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