Power Play by Cara Dee
Title: Power Play
Genre: Gay Romance
Pairing: Daddy Kink
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.
After dinner, the coffee table in the living room quickly filled up with top-shelf alcohol and snacks, the number of bottles enough to give Dad’s rock-star past a solid nod. He still knew how to party. However… They were all fucking talk. In between sips of whiskey, crude jokes, a few shots, and the mandatory topic of “music today,” they mostly discussed their children. They’d clearly not done that enough while we ate.
When Dad said he didn’t get to see Theo—Casey and Ellis’s newborn son—often enough, I took a shot of vodka in hopes that the booze would liven shit up for me. Then Casey got into a discussion with Aiden about makeup for little girls. Casey’s daughter, Haley, was a couple years younger than my sister, and he looked to Aiden for advice since Isla was in her mid-twenties.
“I mean, how do you handle a situation like that?” Casey poured himself another drink, looking completely at a loss. “Ellis and I have decided that nail polish is all right, but unless it’s Halloween, we don’t want her face painted.”
I’d laugh if the topic didn’t bore me. Grabbing the bowl of peanuts, I got comfortable in my chair and flung my legs over the armrest. Madigan was occupying the chair on the other side of the table, and he looked fucking fine manspreading. Not that I was looking at his crotch or anything.
“In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter.” Aiden raised his glass. “Save your energy for when your little girl comes home with a man almost twice her age.” He took a swig of his whiskey. “Damn—he might even be your old college buddy.”
“That won’t happen here,” Dad said. “My baby girl’s never gonna date, and we’re working on fixing up Abel with Gray.”
I rolled my eyes and reached for my drink.
“A bit delusional, don’t you think, Lincoln?” Ellis chuckled.
“What is it with you guys and issues with age differences?” I asked. “Mom married your old ass, Dad. You should be grateful some of us are drawn to whiny curmudgeons.”
“I love you, Abel,” Casey laughed. “Lincoln, he got you.”
“He said us,” Aiden noted.
I winked at him. “That includes Gray. One day, he’s gonna come home with an older guy too.”
“We don’t want those we love and want to keep safe to be exposed or taken advantage of.” It was Madigan who spoke, and I narrowed my eyes at him. “Younger minds are often more impressionable.”
“See? Madigan gets it, and he doesn’t even want kids,” Dad said.
“Sometimes, that’s what we impressionable minds want.” I never once broke eye contact with Mad. “I can’t find what I want among my peers ’cause I want a guy who has more experience. While some look to a lot of places for support or guidance, I wanna look to him.”
In my periphery, I saw Casey watching us like a tennis match. Dad was muttering under his breath about not being an old ass.
“That requires a lot of trust,” Madigan murmured.
I trust you.
The realization that I trusted Mad implicitly, regardless of shit we’d gone through, wasn’t a shock, but it was heavy nonetheless. I swallowed and looked away, quick to distract myself by finishing my drink.
“You’re right, it does.” It was all I could say.
“You’re a smart young man, Abel,” Aiden told me.
“Only time I remember he doesn’t come from my swimmers,” Dad said with a dip of his chin. “He’s a hell of a lot smarter than me.”
“Stop it,” I groaned. Okay, so it wasn’t always I handled praise very well. Besides, he was selling himself short. I’d learned a lot from him.
“You know what?” He ignored what I said and moved forward. “Whoever you bring home, whether he’s old as fuck or jailbait, I’ll be on your side.”
I shook my head and smirked. Shit didn’t work that way.
“I have a feeling that comes with conditions,” Madigan muttered into his glass.
“I’m loving this.” Casey was enjoying the show or whatever. “We need more mixers. Abel, give me a hand.”
That's how Daddy is done! *claps hands*
Abel is a professional hockey player who suffers from Bipolar disorder.
When his dad had passed away when he was only 6, his dad asked his BFF to always be there for Abel, as he know he was "special".
Mad, being who he is, wouldn't have had it any other way. He is a Dom, and a huge nurturer and took his role pretty seriously.
Mad watched Abel grow up, but he never considered himself an "uncle" figure, but more as a best friend to Abel.
Well, until Abel confessed his True feelings and Mad stepped out of the picture for more than a year because he didn't want to upset Abel's mother (one of his closest friends). In turn, this sent Abel off into a talespin of self doubt, anxiety, and off his schedule, causing bad mood swings and depression. They got so bad on the ice that he got a two week suspension for bashing a guy pretty badly. That is how our story begins... And how Abel's stepdad figures out his real issue is losing one of his closest friends, and does a sneaky thing by telling Mad he's needed at dinner for a family emergency. The story then proceeds into their "make-up" and rebuilding their relationship and more.
So yes, this story is about an age-gap, but also has daddy kink. Like true lifestyle Daddy kink, not the fake stuff where they just call the older guy daddy. With Abel's disorder and needing a strict schedule in both health and activity, Mad steps into the role of enforcer, nurturer, and lover.
I thought Cara did an awesome job with the story, the disorder and the lifestyle. It all felt real and fluid. Even the scene with Mad, Abel and Abel's BFF Grey. Just, wow.
BUY THE BOOK
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I'm often stoically silent or, if the topic interests me, a chronic rambler. In other words, I can discuss writing forever and ever. Fiction, in particular. The love story—while a huge draw and constantly present—is secondary for me, because there's so much more to writing romance fiction than just making two (or more) people fall in love and have hot sex. There's a world to build, characters to develop, interests to create, and a topic or two to research thoroughly. Every book is a challenge for me, an opportunity to learn something new, and a puzzle to piece together. I want my characters to come to life, and the only way I know to do that is to give them substance—passions, history, goals, quirks, and strong opinions—and to let them evolve. Additionally, I want my men and women to be relatable. That means allowing room for everyday problems and, for lack of a better word, flaws. My characters will never be perfect.
Wait…this was supposed to be about me, not my writing.
I'm a writey person who loves to write. Always wanderlusting, twitterpating, kinking, and geeking. There's time for hockey and cupcakes, too. But mostly, I just love to write.