Category Archives: Rachel Haimowitz

Power Play: Awakening by Rachel Haimowitz & Cat Grant

Title: Power Play: Awakening by Rachel Haimowitz & Cat Grant
Power Play Series Book Two
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: M/M, Erotic, BDSM, Contemporary, Romance
Length: 292 pages/Word count: 95,000
Book Rating: B

Review Copy Obtained from Publisher


Brandon McKinney is a man reborn. Newly awakened to the notion of consensual power exchange and the submissive urges inside him, he begs for a second chance from the man who opened his eyes to this world: Silicon Valley superstar Jonathan Watkins. But no birth is absent pain, and Brandon’s is no exception. He fears he’s not strong enough to see it through.

Jonathan knows better. He’s seen the iron core inside his new submissive, and the wounded heart inside him too. He means to teach Brandon to heal the one with the other. They have five months left on their contract, after all, and Jonathan has done more with less before.

It’s tough to stay objective, though, when you’re falling in love. Shame Brandon doesn’t feel the same. He’s only there for the three-million-dollar payout at contract’s end—a fact that Jonathan, nursing his own wounded heart, reminds himself of each day. For even as Brandon’s barriers break and his mind expands, even as he grows to love his place at Jonathan’s feet, he’ll never love life with a sadist—especially one who cannot escape the public eye.

This title is #2 of the Power Play series.

Reader discretion advised. This title contains the following sensitive themes: heavy kink.

The Review:

Power Play: Awakening by Rachel Haimowitz and Cat Grant is an intense read but it is not as physically and emotionally exhausting as the first book in the series, Power Play: Resistance. It is, as the title implies, a journey of self-awareness for Jonathan and Brandon as individuals and as a couple.

The tone of Power Play: Awakening is different from the very beginning. There is more give and take as Jonathan finally takes the time to get to know Brandon. He is much more patient and understanding, and he is a bit more forgiving of Brandon’s errors. Having said that, he is still, at the core, the same selfish sadist we saw in Power Play: Resistance. He continues to delight in torturing Brandon, counting out demerits and wielding his whip in punishment of Brandon’s infractions.

Brandon is initially the same man we met in Power Play: Awakening. While to all appearances he is more accepting of Jonathan’s expectations, his inner dialogue reveals he is still not as entirely compliant as he seems. Brandon still questions how living according to Jonathan’s rules are going to help him.

Without doubt, Brandon is emotionally crippled. His abusive past makes it impossible for him to connect with others. He cannot quell the inner voice that speaks to him using his father’s derisive and mocking tone. He is the perfect candidate for exploitation. It is little wonder that he will eventually do anything for any type of affection or praise.

The BDSM aspect of Power Play: Awakening is not as vicious or dehumanizing as it was in Power Play: Resistance. There is one intensely sadistic scene that is squirm inducing (not in a good way for me). It becomes the pivotal turning point in Brandon and Jonathan’s relationship. While I like where Brandon eventually ended up in terms of personal growth and self-awareness, I am not sure the ends justified the means.

Which brings me to the crux of Power Play: Awakening. Do Jonathan and Brandon have a genuine D/s relationship? The only thing I know for certain is Jonathan is a sadist not a Dom. Is Brandon a submissive? Or was he a victim of a sadistic, brutal man who isolated him and preyed on his insecurities and made him desperate for an emotional connection? Did Jonathan break Brandon? The answer to that question lies in whether or not you believe Brandon is a true submissive and their relationship is that of a D/s nature.

Without doubt, Power Play: Awakening is a powerful and compelling novel. Rachel Haimowitz and Cat Grant provide a fascinating and in-depth look into the world of BDSM and sadism. An incredible journey, Power Play: Awakening is a non-traditional romance that beautifully demonstrates there is no right or wrong way to love.

Read my review of Power Play: Resistance HERE.


Filed under BDSM, Cat Grant, Contemporary, M/M, Power Play Awakening, Rachel Haimowitz, Rated B, Riptide Publishing, Romance

Power Play: Resistance by Rachel Haimowitz & Cat Grant

Title: Resistance: Power Play by Rachel Haimowitz & Cat Grant
Power Play Series Book One
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: M/M, BDSM, Erotic
Length: 267 pages/Word Count: 91,500
Book Rating: B+

Review Copy Obtained from Publisher


Give me six months, and I’ll give you the world.

Brandon McKinney has scraped and sacrificed for what little in life he’s ever had. Though it’s been fifteen years since he escaped his father’s abuse, the damage remains. Trust seems as far out of reach as his dream of becoming an architect, and though he’s come to accept being gay, he can’t deny the shame and confusion he feels at other urges—the deeply-repressed desire to submit.

Jonathan Watkins is a self-made Silicon Valley billionaire whose ex-wife took half his money and even more of his faith. Comfortable as a Dominant but wary of being hurt again, he resorts to anonymous pickups and occasional six-month contracts with subs seeking only a master, not a lover.

When a sizzling back-alley encounter cues Jonathan in to Brandon’s deep-seated submissive side, he makes the man an offer: Give me six months of your life, and I’ll open your eyes to a whole new world. Brandon doesn’t care about that; all he wants is the three million dollars Jonathan’s offering so he can buy the construction company he works for. But he soon learns that six months on his knees is no easy feat, and shame and pride may keep him from all he ever wanted—and all he never dreamed he had any right to have.

Reader discretion advised. This title contains the following sensitive themes: heavy kink. While consent is clearly established and frequently reaffirmed, some moments in Power Play push hard against the outer edges of consent.

The Review:

Power Play: Resistance by Rachel Haimowitz and Cat Grant is a very intense, emotionally and physically exhausting read that breaks all the rules in BDSM. With heavy sadism and sometimes barely consensual sex, it is not for the sexually faint of heart. It is a powerful novel that is so strongly compelling and riveting that it is impossible to put down.

Bran McKinney is tough, macho and very much in control of himself and his life. He is a self-made man who has put his painful abusive past behind him. He is actively pursuing his goal of owning his own business but he is frustrated by his inability to secure a business loan. Bran leads a solitary life and his sexual encounters are brief with no emotional ties.

Jonathan Watkins is a charming billionaire who denies himself nothing. He is a Dom and sadist that avoids relationships by engaging in emotionless hookups and the occasional contract with submissives. He is so confident in his perception that Bran is submissive, Jonathan offers him a deal that Bran finds impossible to refuse. Bran will receive three million dollars if he will become Jonathan’s sub for six months.

Their D/s relationship is an unmitigated disaster of epic proportions. Bran has NO idea what is he agreeing to, and Jonathan fails miserably in giving Bran the guidance he needs. Jonathan is determined to break Bran and he will stop at nothing in his attempt to strip him of his pride and inherent strong will. While there are some aspects of submission that appeal to Bran, he is not a true submissive and Jonathan is unable (or unwilling) to accept this very important distinction.

The struggle between Jonathan and Bran is raw and gritty. The punishments that Jonathan metes out are harsh and quite sadistic and so incredibly painful it is sometimes difficult to continue reading. But it is impossible not to want to know where Ms. Haimowitz and Ms. Grant are going to take Bran and Jonathan next. Will Jonathan break Bran’s spirit? Will Bran concede power and control? Is there any possible way to salvage the fragile relationship the two men shared before entering into their contract?

Power Play: Resistance by Rachel Haimowitz and Cat Grant is a commanding novel that will stretch your boundaries as much as it does Bran’s and to some extent, Jonathan’s. Their D/s relationship is not all bad; both men gain valuable insight and information about themselves from their experiences. They both grow as individuals and as partners. While I would not classify this as a romance, there are some romantic elements to their relationship. The ending is the perfect beginning for Power Play: Awakening the next installment of this provocative yet extraordinary series.


Filed under BDSM, Cat Grant, Erotica, M/M, Power Play Resistance, Rachel Haimowitz, Rated B+, Riptide Publishing