Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Pages: 272
Date: 10/12/2013
Grade: 5
Details: No. 1 Power Exchange
Own / Kindle

The blurb:

From the moment Detective Gavin DeGrassi steps into the world of BDSM to solve the brutal slaying of Dom George Kaiser, his course is not his own. Mesmerized by the context in which the victim lived and the images seared into his soul, Gavin has to find a way to navigate these unknown waters. With his personal life in upheaval due to a marital split, and his professional life uncertain with the assignment of a new partner, Gavin needs all the help he can get understanding the case.

Enter Ben Haverson, a psychologist and a well known Dom. With Ben’s help as a consultant on the case and attention to Gavin himself, Gavin delves deeper than he ever thought he would into the world of restraints and paddles. Forced to take a closer look at himself, his true nature, and his innermost desires, Gavin has a choice: keep the fear of submitting at bay, or dive in and solve the case with the knowledge he gains? When another victim is discovered, Gavin’s choice is made for him, and he’s pulled headlong into the deepest, most emotional journey of his life.

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?


Before I say anything about this story I need to say that this book contains what is probably the most beautiful and heart-warming dedication I have ever seen. Never have I been this grateful that I took the time to scroll back from the start of Chapter one, where Kindle took me when I opened the book, to the cover page. It would have been a crime to miss those lines of pure love.

And after that sentimental introduction it’s time to get to the business end of what is, after all, supposed to be a review of a book, not a dedication.

Is there anything more enjoyable than reading a book that provides a combination of favourite genres, past and present? Up until about two years ago 90 out of every 100 books I read would have been mysteries or thrillers. Even these days, when about half my reading is erotic in some way, shape or form a large percentage of the other half consist of murder and mayhem. So how wonderful to find a mystery-thriller that hits all my spots when it comes to erotic content, or, to find an erotic M/M romance which fulfils all my crime-related needs.

As you may have noticed, I rated this book 5 out of 5, and that’s despite the fact that the story contained one of my pet hates. I had the killer identified the moment he was introduced. I can’t say why because it may not be as obvious to anyone else, I never had any doubts. And that really is one of my pet hates. It just didn’t seem to bother me in this book, probably because I was far more invested in Gavin and Ben and their developing relationship than I was in the murders.

Sigh…Ben and Gavin. That is such a wonderful love story. Watching Gavin as he gets his opportunity to be true to himself and having the courage to grasp it with both hands was wonderful. Seeing how Ben deals with Gavin’s insecurities and carefully steers him to where he needs to be, even if Gavin isn’t completely sure about where that is, left me with a feeling of wonder and bliss.

“Ben had become my lighthouse after I’d been adrift for years.”

If I ever want to find myself a Dom he would have to be a Ben. Of course that means I would have to be a man, but now we’re talking semantics.

I was equally impressed with the descriptions and explanations of BDSM. This book doesn’t give its readers a fairytale like fantasy about Domination and submission. This  story paints a real, at times raw, honest and descriptive picture of the lifestyle and the community.

“It takes more courage to kneel before another than to stand beside them.”

The following quote of one of Gavin’s insights took my breath away:

“I wholly understood the words power exchange. In giving up my power to him, he was, in turn, giving me the power to realize my value, that what I had to offer of myself was worth giving to someone, and I had to trust that particular someone to cherish it.”

The descriptions of Gavin’s experiences and feelings as he submits to Ben are so well written that I felt I understood what it might be like to submit, could see the attraction.

“Train me, Ben. Let me submit to you.”

And to end this section of the review let me just say that if I needed proof that I should stay well away from even attempting to write true BDSM, this book provided it.

Over the course of reading this book I fell in love with three men; Ben, Gavin and their creator. I love a book where the author combines profound and beautiful sentiments like:

“…exquisite torture, absolute trust, and the knowledge that new heights could be reached by letting oneself go that far, trust in another that deeply.”

with lighter hearted but no less revealing sentences such as:

“…before dreams of being spanked in front of a crowd swallowed me whole.”

I think I’ve said enough. You get it. I loved this book, loved the writing, loved the characters, loved the story. It won’t be long before my review of the sequel “Safeword” shows up here. I can’t wait to see how Ben and Gavin’s story continues.

I’ll end with one more quote; just because it’s beautiful and I can.

 “Ben mapped the evidence of my submission as though inking our mutual desires into my flesh.”

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