Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Review: Safeword by AJ Rose

Title: Safeword
Author: AJ Rose
Publisher: Voodoo Lily Press
Rating: 5/5 hearts 


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?


Whew! Talk about a follow-up novel! It's an intense ride the whole way through. I was literally on the edge of my seat until the end of the book. This is one of those novels that I knew was going to either be awesome, or fall flat because I loved the first one so much. AJ Rose pulled it off superbly. 

Gavin and Ben are obviously struggling with their inner and outer demons in the aftermath of Power Exchange. Then add in the pressures of job and family, and you have way too much heaped on an already overwhelmed couple. I was holding my breath about halfway through waiting for them to get kicked in the teeth. 

I think AJ dealt with the very intense trauma to his characters very well. I don't think that it was accelerated, and I felt like his characters were ready as he moved them forward. I liked how as a newcomer to BDSM in the first novel, everything was very well explained from the standpoint of someone new to the scene. I also really loved that in the second novel that wasn't repeated. It's already an understood fact. 

Honestly this was everything that a follow-up novel should be. I couldn't have asked for a better put together story that really built upon the lives of Gavin and Ben. I also loved the supporting characters. I just felt really attached to the story and was sad to see it end. Is there a third novel in the works AJ?  I'd love to find out what happens to Gavin and Ben down the road. 

I know you all want to know the gist of the novel, but really if I start talking about it, I will spill all the secrets that you should really just read for yourself. 

So if you want to pick up the sequel to Power Exchange, Safeword, then head over to 




You certainly won't regret it. It's an amazing read!