Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review: Safeword by A.J Rose

Safeword (Power Exchange #2) by A.J Rose
Voodoo Lily Press
Novel: 333pgs
4 Pants Off

Everywhere Detective Gavin DeGrassi looks he’s reminded of his attack by the Breath Play Killer. It’s in the house he lives in with his partner and Dom, Ben Haverson. It’s in the sympathetic yet pitying looks he receives from his fellow detectives when he returns to the force after a year-long hiatus. It’s in the suffocating coddling of his entire family, and the relentless reporter demanding an exclusive of his ordeal.

Most of all, it’s in his lack of submission to Ben, who isn’t convinced Gavin’s recovered enough to trust the power exchange between them.

The miraculous recovery of two teen boys from a twisted kidnapper gives him heart, and Gavin's determined to prove he can handle anything despite increasing strain between him and Ben, painful nightmares, and panic when anyone touches him.

But his next case is too close for comfort: a friend and colleague found raped and murdered in a fate chillingly similar to what could have been his own, and this killer isn’t stopping with one cop. As the body count rises and taunting souvenirs are being hand-delivered to Gavin, he faces a frustrating lack of leads, a crushing need to prove himself, and a sinking suspicion the imprisoned kidnapper’s reach is further than originally thought. A miasma of uncertainty and fear threaten to suffocate him when he asks a question with which he’s overwhelmingly familiar: what happens when a victim is pushed too far?

Gavin Degrassi is back in the sequel to Power Exchange; he's healing up and trying to get his life back after being violated by a serial killer. There's also the reoccurring guilt he feels everytime, like he could have done more and saved all the boys who lost their lives to the Breath Play killer. After a year long hiatus, Gavin feels ready to head back to work, and with the support of his lover Ben Haverson, Gavin is feeling pretty confident he's ready to dive right back into work.

Thats until his first case feels too close for comfort, someone is killing cops and in a style that is all too familiar to Gavin. Bounded, beaten, and defiled cops are dropping like flies and suddenly Gavin isn't feeling as confident because it brings back bad memories of his own assault at the hands of a killer. To make a bad situation worse, it involves kids, a vile pedophile and Gavin and his partner Myah have their hands full and have to beat the clock before a killer strikes again. Suddenly, the killer is making everything personal by breaking into Gavin's home and leaving him little gifts. Just maybe his job is becoming too much, and its putting a strain on his relationship with the man he loves.

Alright, I have to say I enjoyed the first book a lot more which doesn't mean this book was bad, I just didn't fall in love. I still enjoyed it, but found Gavin to be the same as he was in Power Exchange his head wasn't in the game and once again most things could have been avoided. Hooray for a killer that wasn't obvious and the execution of the overall mystery were well done. Twisted and all kinds of sad, this killer really hit me in the feels; it was a sad out come to a very sad situation. 

The relationship between Gavin and Ben took the backseat in Safeword but it doesn't mean that their relationship didn't play a role. With what happened to them both in the first book there was some hurdles that needed to be jumped for things to be overcome. The BDSM part of it all was very mild, and I sorta missed what their relationship used to be but it was understandable as to why they went easy with D/s thing. My peeve is that Gavin felt like he had to leave his job, and in the end I felt like it was forced on him but that’s just my feelings. 

Overall, I really enjoyed it and it turned out to be a solid written crime novel. With lots of twists and turns along the way, the reader is guaranteed to be kept on his/her toes. 

Should You Read It? Yes, if you enjoyed the first book and wanted to see how Gavin and Ben's relationship progressed. I enjoyed it and found it to be a solidly written sequel.

4 Pants Off

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