Reviewed by JustJen
Title: Power Play
Author: Cara Dee
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 276 Pages
Publisher: Cara Dee
Release Date: January 30, 2018
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: 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.
Review: This is, by far, one of my favorite daddy kink stories to date. It contains some very different dynamics, which I thought were done really well.
The story begins with Abel as a young boy and explains the importance of Madigan in his and his family’s lives. It shows how well these two know each other, how Madigan has helped Abel through the years and just what he means to Abel and his now parents. He is one of the family, yet he isn’t family. Abel is bipolar and has managed his disorder through various medications and structure that has enabled him to be successful as a professional hockey player.
One text message changed all of that when Abel confessed to Madigan how deep his feelings actually ran. And Madigan took a major step back from Abel’s life after that, causing him to eventually spiral downward. His agressiveness is getting worse, it’s affecting his job, from which he is now on a suspension. His actions border on self-harm, mentally and physically. But, Abel has had to grow up somewhat quickly and is a bit mature for his age in some respects. In others, not so much. But, he knows what he wants, does the research to find it on his own, and when that fails, decides to do what he can to make sure Madigan is in his life in some fashion.
Much of this story is Madigan fighting with himself over wanting Abel in that way, but he finally gives in and decides to help mentor him once he learns Abel is looking elsewhere for kink. One thing that bothered me, however, was how quickly Madigan did an about face and the two moved forward, even though I wish it had happened sooner. They explore more of a daddy/boy relationship and Abel’s interest in being a Little (learned quite a bit about that).
Abel also has a bff with whom he has carried on a friends with benefits relationship for many years. As both are basically looking for the same things, they both were content with being together in that capacity for the safety and security it provided. And while they don’t carry on with it once Abel and Madigan explore their relationship, there does come a time where he is pulled into their fold. Some will hate this part, some will not. I happened to enjoy it for what it was – comfort and security they each needed with Madigan there overseeing/orchestrating and thereby providing what Abel needed, as well as his friend.
This story ends on a good note with everyone important in the know and things heading in the right direction for this interesting couple. I would have liked to have seen more of them navigating their relationship, but I really liked what we did get. The sneak peek at the next book was a real eye opener and has me salivating already. Remember that sweet bff of Abel’s that I mentioned? Well, it looks like he is going to be put through the wringer next in classic Cara Dee fashion, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!
Overall Impression: I really liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*