Unfortunately for him and Ben, a killer has noticed, has taken stock, and has set his sights on the D/s pair. Can Gavin outwit him, or will his first exchange of power be his last?
Warning: Some readers may find this book triggering and will wish to avoid it. There is off page and on page (male) rape as well as some fairly graphic violence (all on the part of the villain).
Gavin’s marriage is obviously a barrier to the HEA for Gavin and Ben and in some ways, I thought the author took the easy way out in having Victoria cheat on him. However, I did think the narrative clearly showed that Gavin wasn’t completely invested in the marriage and the fact that he knew deep down that he was gay but married Victoria anyway probably meant it was doomed from the start. I think, on balance, that Victoria wasn’t portrayed as 100% a bitch – sure she was cold, but I felt that she hadn’t always been that way – that we was perhaps reacting to Gavin’s increasing withdrawal. Because the story is told from Gavin’s first person POV, there wasn’t much about Victoria after he left and they didn’t have anything to do with one another after the divorce, so it was hard to get a greater bead on her. I’m prepared to give her character a pass however because there were some other wonderful female characters in the story and I did think Victoria was more than one note.
Midway through the investigation, Gavin is assigned a new partner, Myah Hayes and they quickly establish a rapport and a deep friendship. Ben’s business partner, Dr. Laura Ribaldi is also a very sympathetic character – although she is less involved in the story and not as deeply drawn. Myah has a little side storyline of her own and I liked the way it was woven into the larger plot.
Also, I think Myah is possibly a better cop than Gavin.
After leaving his wife, it is literally only a matter of hours until he and Ben hook up – Gavin has admitted to himself that he’s gay and he’s coming to grips with what that might mean, to him, his career and within his family and he also realised that he finds great pleasure in submission. Just to make things extra complicated.
I thought the suspense and romance were well integrated. I picked the bad guy straight away and I found it a bit surprising that it took Gavin so long to clue in. However, I read for the romance more than the suspense so I was able to go with it without too much trouble.
The sex scenes were hot and intimate as well. The relationship between Ben and Gavin progressed very quickly – within the intense context of the story, this made sense.
There was a bit of “as you know Bob” in the exposition about the BDSM lifestyle but it felt like that’s what would happen when a detective with no experience of the scene was investigating a murder involving BDSM and it was kind of necessary, so again, it didn’t bother me.
I really enjoyed this story. The last part of the story in particular was very intense and gripping. I enjoyed how the author fleshed out some of the secondary characters. I liked the writing and the story – I devoured this book in only two evenings (one very late!). I’m really looking forward to the next book, Safeword, which picks up about a year after the events of Power Exchange.