25 Jan '12

A Nix Review – Power Play by Eliza Gayle (4 Stars)

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Jennifer is a Shibari model in high demand. A self-confessed pain slut, she uses Club Purgatory as an escape from the ghosts of the past. She refuses to submit, refuses to allow herself to yield to any man, so she lines up at the whipping post to be sent into headspace by a stranger and return home alone. There is only one man that unnerves her, one man that seems to make her want to yield and that’s the mysterious club architect Daegan.

Daegan has moved to the South to escape his own painful past. He doesn’t want to love again after losing his wife, but from the second he saw Jennifer in the parking lot of the club he found himself unable to look away. He suspects that she could be a true submissive, suspects that she needs something more than she allows herself to feel, but the walls around her are damn near impenetrable. When an after hour’s encounter in a darkened room at the club leads to indescribable fireworks, Jennifer finds that her body is ready to admit she wants to submit to Daegan, even if her head doesn’t agree.

When Daegan asks Jennifer to be his submissive for the duration of his project at Purgatory, she balks at the thought of ceding all control. When he starts to implement rules, which include giving up modelling for the length of the contract, she retreats rapidly. After her body physically rebels against the idea of leaving him, she returns and tries to agree to his many demands. But will their tenuous relationship survive the strains put onto it by the resurfacing of some faces from the past? And if it does, will they ever become more than a “contract” whilst the pair of them have so many padlocks on their hearts?

I knew from meeting Jennifer she wasn’t my usual type of heroine. I usually like the broken but tough type, but she was very much damaged and fragile. Reading her fight to supress her true nature was quite painful and I wanted her to find a man to love. Yes, I know that the whole “she shouldn’t need a man to fix her” movement may hate me for that comment, but this girl wasn’t getting fixed until she accepted her needs and it needed one hell of a Dom to do that. Enter Daegan, the mysterious Irish Dom with flowing locks and a bossy side. He wants to take care of her, wants to introduce her to true submission. My problem was that he wanted to do this and then leave her and I didn’t want her hurt. This is a big thing for me; usually I have no issues in wanting a HEA set up but with these two I was completely unsure as to whether or not it was a good match.

My mind was changed when I started to read the explosive chemistry between the two of them. The initial submission scene in the darkened room is now up there with my all-time favourite sex scenes. Yes, it was that good. It’s dark so neither of them can see but she finds it easier to submit to him when she can’t see his face and immediately experiences pleasures like she’s never known. It is at this point that they realise how truly wonderful they could be together and I, as a reader, began to see the merits of their relationship. Yes, they are both broken people; she has some truly horrible memories and he has the death of his wife in his recent past. Both of them have commitment phobias and fear of attachment, but they also both possess the thing the other is missing; both of them can help the other to break down some walls. When obstacles started to appear, I wanted them to magically disappear so a HEA could take place, but I knew that it was going to be that easy.

When I read the first chapter of this book, I got really excited. The main character is a Shibari model and I blooming love Shibari. Then Daegan made her give it up and I wanted to slap him in the head. I understood his reasoning; he was alpha dog and he didn’t want any other man getting her off (the “I control your orgasms” chauvinistic comment may have appeared and I *may* have called him an arse…) but I still was disappointed. However, the sex that was in the book more than made up for the lack of rope.

Overall, this was a very sexy read. With a very bossy, broken Dom and a fragile sub-in-denial, there is enough emotional angst to grip your teeth into whilst enjoying the smattering of incredibly hot smexing times. The dark room scene at the beginning is un-fricking-believable…

Nix

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