March 08, 2015

Review(s): Power Exchange series by AJ Rose

I’m going to admit that I didn’t want to read Power Exchange, the first book in AJ Rose’s Power Exchange series, for a long time because of the hype around the book. Usually I stay clear of these books because I often don’t like them as much as others do. However, when the first book was on sale, I decided to give it a shot.

I loved the first and second book in the series while I didn’t like a lot about the third one. All the books contain violence, and they’re not for the faint-hearted. But let’s start from the beginning, right?

Power Exchange
Though there were times when the explanations about BDSM exasperated me a bit, AJ Rose did a great job at describing the dynamic between sub and dom. The mystery depicted was okay, though I guessed pretty early who the culprit was.
My main focus and interest was the couple, Gavin and Ben. I quickly fell in love with Gavin, who found the strength to be the man he always wanted to be, with Ben’s aid. The relationship between Gavin and Ben was wonderful. Add some memorable side characters (Cole, Gavin’s younger brother, and Myah, Gavin’s new partner, for example), hot sex scenes, and you’ve got a winner.
Power Exchange is definitely a recommended read.

Safeword is the second book in the Power Exchange series. After the ordeal Gavin and Ben went through at the end of the first book, they have to overcome some major obstacles to rescue their relationship. I really liked that AJ Rose didn’t gloss anything over, and showed that both men had to overcome their traumas. They needed a lot of time and care to re-establish the BDSM aspect of their relationship, to build up the necessary trust again. There was a lot of tenderness between them as they slowly navigated their relationship back on an even keel.
The mystery part was harsh and violent again. At times, I found myself scowling at my Kindle, not wanting to read on because I feared what the author would put Gavin and Ben through. Of course, I still read on, but sometimes I felt absolutely horrible for them.
Safeword is another recommended read for me.

Consent is the third book in the Power Exchange series, and it’s by far my least favorite. If you want to read this book, please read the warning label carefully. While I did read the warning, I didn’t think it would be worse than the other two books. I was wrong.
While I still loved Gavin and Ben’s relationship, they didn’t feel as in tune with each other as before. There’s also a threesome scene, which I found okay. I like moresomes, but it felt somewhat disconnected, and it also came out of the blue for me.
I’m not going into details about Myah’s abduction, but I’ll say that the violence depicted in this book was incredible disturbing. I get that the author wanted to paint a realistic picture, but for me it was way too much—too detailed, too cruel. A wonderful side character got broken, and I could only enjoy parts of the book. Numerous times I thought about putting it aside, but always hoped for a good ending. There was sort of a happy ending, though it didn’t really add up to the rest of the book.
If you think you can stomach a lot of violence, then Consent might be for you.

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