Thursday, April 3, 2014

SERIES REVIEW: BEYOND (#1-3.5) by KIT ROCHA

Beyond Shame (Beyond, #1)   Beyond Control (Beyond, #2)Beyond Denial (Beyond, #2.5)Beyond Pain (Beyond, #3)  Beyond Temptation

Title: Beyond Shame (Beyond #1)
Genre: Dystopian/Erotic Romance
Publisher: Moira Rogers
Publication Date: 9/16/12
Format: Kindle
Pages: 351
Source: Author/won in giveaway, w/no obligation for review
Rating: 4.5 stars
 
 
All Noelle Cunningham has ever wanted is a life beyond–beyond the walls of Eden, where only the righteous are allowed to remain, and beyond her stiflingly restrictive existence as a councilman’s daughter. But only ruins lie outside the City, remnants of a society destroyed by solar storms decades earlier.

The sectors surrounding Eden house the corrupt, the criminal–men like Jasper McCray, bootlegger and cage fighter. Jas clawed his way up from nothing to stand at the right hand of Sector Four’s ruthless leader, and he’ll defend the O’Kane gang with his life. But no fight ever prepared him for the exiled City girl who falls at his feet.

Her innocence is undeniable, but so is their intense sexual attraction, and soon they’re crossing every boundary Noelle barely knew she had. But if she wants to belong to Jas, first she’ll have to open herself to the gang, to a dangerous world of sex, lust and violence. A world where passion is power, and freedom is found in submission.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15830843-beyond-shame?from_search=true
 
 
 "We survive because we stick together--no exceptions. If you join up, it won't be a free ride, but it'll be a good one."


I am more than a little angry with myself right now. I've had Beyond Shame for quite awhile now, but because it's dystopian, I wasn't all that interested. Silly me. As it turns out, it doesn't really matter if it's dystopian or contemporary or fictional, etc...as long as I get a great story, I'm happy. When you add in that Beyond Shame is an excellent erotic romance, well, need I say more?

Beyond Shame is about a society in the future, though I'm not sure when exactly this takes place. What is important is that the world has change. Apparently, solar flares threw the world into chaos, leaving society broken into distinct areas. There's Eden, home of the privileged; the Sectors, rough and ran by what seems to be gangs; and the commune farms, which seem like labor camps. How society was broken up isn't exactly clear, yet, and to be honest, I'm fine with not knowing every detail. But I will say that the potential is large and I hope it is eventually revealed.

Beyond Shame is Noelle's story, and I love how appropriate that title is for her. Noelle was kicked out of Eden (her city, her home) for exploring her sexuality. Eden is heavily controlled with righteousness enforced and desires punished. Found wandering in Sector 4, Noelle is rescued by Jasper, a member of the O'Kane gang/family. When Jas and Lex (a sexy, wickedly cool O'Kane woman) make Noelle's inclusion their mission, she's welcomed into a world with only one law: O'Kane's law. Here, ink is a promise, a vow, any flavor of sexual desire is welcomed, and everyone lives hard.

Noelle both welcomes the freedom, and thrives on the shame the exploration brings her. She wants Jas, even wants him to mark her with his possession. Jas wants Noelle, but wants her to explore her desires before making a decision. You know what this means? ANYTHING GOES. (And I do mean anything, WHOA.)  Noelle is almost overwhelmed by the options. She can play with Lex, O'Kane boss Dallas, any of the many members in any variety. But it all comes down to the fact that end the end, Noelle wants Jas. That choice isn't as simple as it seems, though. As a female in Eden, Noelle was never given a voice. Before she can truly be his, Jas is determined she will find it. But let me tell you, the journey is one steamy and fun ride.

Beyond Shame was fascinating. Besides the exploration of sexual freedom, we get the O'Kane life, which seems a lot like the contemporary MC stories. Loyalty, friendship, ruthlessness, and family all play a large part in the story. I am fascinated with and excited to explore more of the Beyond series.
 
Favorite Quote:
 
  Jasper's handprint was burned into her skin, but somewhere inside her the sharp pain had twisted. She was twisted, a dirty, wicked girl who wanted this crude mistreatment, who craved it.
  Maybe if he spanked her enough, he'd purge all the shame from her heart.
 
 
  She was an O'Kane. One night of uncertainty wouldn't change that. Nothing could change that. That was a promise tattooed into her skin--her loyalty in exchange for their protection. Forever.
 
 
Title: Beyond Control (Beyond #2)
Genre: Dystopian/Erotic Romance
Publisher: Moira Rogers
Publication Date: 3/19/12
Format: Kindle
Pages: 400
Source: Purchase
Rating: 4.5 stars
 
She refuses to be owned.

Alexa Parrino escaped a life of servitude and survived danger on the streets to become one of the most trusted, influential people in Sector Four, where the O’Kanes rule with a hedonistic but iron fist. Lex has been at the top for years, and there’s almost nothing she wouldn’t do for the gang…and for its leader. Lie, steal, kill—but she bows to no one, not even Dallas O’Kane.

He’ll settle for nothing less.

Dallas fought long and hard to carve a slice of order out of the chaos of the sectors. Dangers both large and small threaten his people, but it’s nothing he can’t handle. His liquor business is flourishing, and new opportunities fuel his ambition. Lex could help him expand his empire, something he wants almost as much as he wants her. And no one says no to the king of Sector Four.

Falling into bed is easy, but their sexual games are anything but casual. Attraction quickly turns to obsession, and their careful dance of heady dominance and sweet submission uncovers a need so deep, so strong, it could crush them both.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16049677-beyond-control
 
 
"Whatever we do, we do it together."



After reading Beyond Shame with the kind of joy you feel when you discover a book that works for you in every way, I was a bit nervous to start Beyond Control. I felt sure that I would continue to enjoy the series premise, a future in which the privileged live in their beautiful city while the less fortunate battle for survival in the Sectors. I loved that those who appear to be the less fortunate actually live a better life. I mean, sure, it's tough. But there's freedom. At least in Sector Four, ran by O'Kanes. In Sector Four, the O'Kanes work hard and fight hard, and they fck harder. (Sorry if that seems crude, but if you're going to read this series you better get right with that word with a quickness.)
 
Beyond Control is about Dallas O'Kane, the king of Sector Four, and his would-be queen, Lex. Dallas and Lex play a large part in Beyond Shame, so we get to move into their story with a familiarity that's comforting. Also, it's like holding a ticking bomb. Their relationship is a battle of wills. Dallas wants Lex, wants her to wear his collar, his ink and be his queen. As a leader in a cruel and manipulative world, Dallas is not in a position to show weakness, that he cares for or needs anyone. Lex wants to be with Dallas, but is determined to never be under another's control again. She's fought hard for her place with the O'Kanes. She takes care of the ladies (especially Noelle, OMG!) and strikes fear and respect among the men. She is Dallas' perfect counterpart, but she needs what he doesn't want to give her, the freedom to leave if that's what she chooses. It's not that she wants to, but Lex needs to know she can. So we have a king struggling against his nature to give the woman she loves everything she needs, in order to truly be his.
 
I loved the rough yet tender relationship between Dallas and Lex. Given the debauchery they've participated in with others, you would think anything would go for Dallas. Not so. And in an interesting turn from such a sexually open man, I kind of adored that Dallas wanted the most intimate of moments with Lex for himself. Having said that, Holy Flaming Panties this book had its moments. And by moments, I mean Dallas and Lex begin to fully indulge in their passion. Lex and Noelle still, ahem... enjoy one another, with Jas sometimes participating. Then you have more of the merry O'Kanes joining in, with Dallas directing them all. I just... yeah. It's an understatement when I say that I ate that up with a spoon then asked for seconds.

I mentioned in Beyond Shame that I hoped we got more details about this future, and happily, we do. The politics between the Sectors and even Eden is explored more, and plays a part in the plot. I'm continuing to be fascinated with this dangerous and sexy world created by Kit Rocha.
 
Favorite Quote
 
 
  Grinning, Dallas smoothed a proprietary hand over Lex's hair. "What can I say. We like our women only mostly tamed. Where's the fun in a woman who'd never stab you just a little, if you pissed her off bad enough?"
 
 
  Her fantasies didn't mostly revolve around Dallas. They were Dallas, start to finish. Trust and belonging and a longing so razor-sharp it could carve you into a million pieces and leave you begging for more.
  Love.
 
  "See, Six? This is what makes life worth living. Men who don't know if they wanna fight or fuck, but will climb into a cage to figure it out in front of everyone in the sector"
  
 
 
Title: Beyond Denial (Beyond #2.5)
Genre: Dystopian/Erotic Romance
Publisher: Moira Rogers
Publication Date: 3/22/13
Format: Kindle
Source: Free on author's website
Rating: 4 stars
 
Free online read (or Kindle file download) of a deleted scene from Beyond Control, featuring Ace and Jared.
________________________

DABWAHA is a yearly event run by popular blogs Dear Author and Smart Bitches, Trashy Books where readers fill out brackets pitting beloved books against one another and then engage in a couple weeks of all-out warfare as they try to encourage people to vote in the best interests of their bracket–or in the worst interests of the brackets of people in the lead.

In 2013, Beyond Shame was one of the 2012 finalists pitted against some of our personal favorites in the Paranormal and Speculative Romance subgenres. In the tradition of bribery and mayhem, we offered to provide a deleted scene featuring Ace and his friend Jared at the O’Kane party held for the Sector Three recruits, as seen in Beyond Control.

The chances of our plucky little self-pub novel surviving round one were always tiny, but we planned to share the story either way. So for all of you who voted, or didn’t, or just want to read about Ace being dirty and in denial…enjoy!
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17668619-beyond-denial

 
So. Beyond Denial is a quick and dirty deleted scene from Beyond Control. I love Ace, the O'Kane tattoo artist. He's always willing to lend a hand (or a tongue) to his friends and clients. It was nice to see him get a turn from his friend Jared, especially when it helps lessen the sting of Rachel's rejection for a bit.

I hope we get more prostitute/sweet guy Jared in the rest of the Beyond books.

 
Favorite Quote

  "I like the way you look at her. You'd fall head first into making her scream, and drag the rest of the world along with you."
 
 
Title: Beyond Pain (Beyond #3)
Genre: Dystopian/Erotic Romance
Publisher: Moira Rogers
Publication Date: 8/26/13
Format: Kindle
Pages: 350
Source: Purchase
Rating: 4 stars
 
A woman with no future…

Live fast, die young–anything else is a fantasy for Six. She’s endured the worst the sectors had to throw at her, but falling in with Dallas O’Kane’s Sector Four gang lands her in a whole new world of danger. They’re completely open about everything, including their sexuality–but she hasn’t survived this long by making herself vulnerable. Especially not to men as dominant as Brendan Donnelly.

A man without a past…

Bren is a killer, trained in Eden and thrown to the sectors. His one outlet is pain, in the cage and in the bedroom, and emotion is a luxury he can’t afford–until he meets Six. Protecting her soothes him, but it isn’t enough. Her hunger for touch sparks a journey of erotic discovery where anything goes–voyeurism, flogging, rough sex. He has only one rule: he won’t share her.

In Bren’s arms, Six is finally free to let go. But his obsession with the man who made him a monster could destroy the fragile connection they’ve forged, and cost him the one thing that makes him feel human–her love.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16049679-beyond-pain
 
 
 
 "You don't have to fight. Let me do it for you."
 


After the crazy-sexy Beyond Control, lead by the dynamic Dallas and Lex, it was quite the change of pace to step into Bren and Six's book. They were both likable characters, no doubt about it, but both were so quiet that it's harder to get a feel for their struggles and desires.

Brendan Donnelly is probably the deadliest O'Kane. Growing up in the slums of Eden, then trained by military police to be a deadly weapon, he's a tremendous asset to the O'Kanes. The betrayal and disgrace that led to his exile from Eden still burns, leaving Bren bent on revenge.

But...BUT, Bren has a soft side when it comes to Six. Six was brought in to Sector Four in Beyond Shame. Six was born in a sector where women are nothing more than breeding machines. She ran away, only to be captured and traded to the evil leader of Sector Three. Six has steadily become a part of her new home, but only feels comfortable with the quiet Bren. It's no surprise their friendship also holds a strong attraction, one they do act on. But Six is so slow to trust -rightly so. It's Bren's job to make Six realize she is safe with him.

So obviously we have another wicked hot book in Beyond Pain. The tone is different, more subdued, and giving the personality of these two, it makes sense. We don't get the group participation (Boo!) but in Bren and Six we do have some watchers (Yay!). With the title Beyond Pain, you might expect a lot of BDSM, but it's not like that at all. What I like about this series is that even when it's rough or, I don't know, hardcore (?) it's not really. And no matter how many participants you have, each couple, each participant, is centered, knows what they want and where everyone stands and it's all about being happy and free. Yeah, it's hot and the authors really go for it, but it's feels more realistic, I guess. Realistic, that is, if you live in a place where anything and anyone goes and it's pretty much the more the merrier. I'll just stop talking now.

Also, things are really changing in Sector Four. The O'Kanes are becoming more powerful and are taking on bigger risks. The biggest change is the women. Not only are they sexy and strong, but under Lex's leadership, are taking an active role is the duties. So cool.

Having said all of this about Beyond Pain.... HOLY CRAP, ACE AND CRUZ!!!
 
Favorite Quote
 
  A hoarse cry rose in her throat, and she pressed her open mouth to his skin to muffle it. But that only brought the taste of him into her, and she wanted so much more because she'd been so, so wrong. Nothing about Sector Three could dirty him. He'd kick aside the rubble and build something beautiful out of it.
 
 
  Maybe she couldn't be like Bren and push toward the pain like a lover, but she knew how to weather it.
 
 
  "I'll show you," he promised, already panting in her ear. "Every day, I'll show you how much."
  Shivering, she freed one hand from the cage and twisted it in his hair, hauling his head back so he had to meet her eyes. "You deserve love. Say it."
  "I deserve better." He pressed closer with a grind of his hips. "I deserve you."
 
 
 
Title: Beyond Temptation (Beyond #3.5)
Genre: Dystopian/Erotic Romance
Publisher: Moira Rogers
Publication Date: 2/8/14
Format: Kindle
Source: Purchase
Rating: 4 stars

Kit Rocha returns to Sector Four in BEYOND TEMPTATION. A promise to a dying friend backfires when Noah Lennox finds that the girl he was supposed to rescue is all grown up--and wearing O'Kane ink. He wants to protect her from the secrets of their past, but she wants him. And an O'Kane woman always gets what she wants.
 
 ** Beyond Temptation is currently part of the Marked Anthology, and will be released on its own in June**
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20929184-beyond-temptation?from_search=true
 
 
 
"She was an O'Kane, and her family would always have her back."


Beyond Temptation was a quick yet meaningful trip back into the Beyond world. It focuses on Emma, a character who starting getting page time in Beyond Pain (I think). The only things I knew about Emma is she's Ace's apprentice at the tattoo shop and that she occasionally plays with Jas and Noelle (still my favorite couple). The novella also features Noah Lennox, hacker/tech genius who's been mentioned a few times in O'Kanes efforts to clean up Sector Three.

Apparently Noah and Emma grew up in the same sector, with him being her older brother's best friend. Dallas uses that connection to pull Noah out of hiding and get his help bringing the leader of another sector down. There's a lot of politics going on here, and I'm really loving how Rocha continues to expand and strengthen the world-building as the series progresses. The explanation about how society was broken down by the solar flares was a nice detail.

Of course, the reconnection between Noah and Emma was the focus. I liked both and I found them together to be really sweet. And, it would be a Beyond story without an O'Kane woman getting thoroughly pissed off at her guy and giving him hell before walking away. I didn't really get on board with Emma's side in this situation, but I do love the strength these women always command.

It's not absolutely necessary to read Beyond Temptation, but it's a very good novella that gives a lot of insight to life in all the sectors, especially Four.


Favorite Quotes

  Holding her gaze, Noah rose and gripped the hem of his shirt, teasing her with the possibility of bare skin. "Does your room have rules?"
  Her palms itched to explore, and she curled her hands into fists at her sides. "Just the same ones we have everywhere else. If everybody says yes, anything goes."
  His arms flexed as he hauled his shirt over his head and let it fall. "Then touch me."


  Maybe that was the method to Dallas O'Kane's madness, the only way to reconcile his mercenary reputation with the contented loyalty of his people--even the women. No, especially the women, because that was what was different here. Emma could be anything she wanted, do anything--or anyone--she wanted, and her happiness was part of the puzzle. The women here were woven in with the men, stronger and better for it.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Beyond Series
Beyond Shame (Beyond, #1) Beyond Control (Beyond, #2) Beyond Denial (Beyond, #2.5) Beyond Pain (Beyond, #3)   Beyond Temptation Beyond Jealousy (Beyond, #4) Beyond Solitude (Beyond, #4.5)  Beyond Addiction (Beyond, #5)
(covers lead to GoodReads page)
  
 

Purchase Links
 
 

 
About the author
Kit Rocha is actually two people—Bree & Donna, best friends who are living the dream. They get paid to work in their pajamas, talk on the phone, and write down all the stories they used to make up in their heads.
Beyond Shame was their first dystopian erotic romance. They also write paranormal romance as Moira Rogers. You can find them on the web at the following places:
 

 
 
 
Photobucket


11 comments:

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  2. Erotica and dystopian... I have honestly never heard of those two being combined before and OMG am I ever intrigued. These definitely sound like fun reads. Great reviews!

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  3. Sounds like a very steamy series, awesome review Andrea. Been looking at them for a while

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  4. I love the idea of how open and accepting this world is and that the women seem to be treated equally but I know it's just not for me.

    I've tried a few books with menage/voyeurism ect - even from authors I love - and I just don't enjoy reading it.

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  5. I will admit that dystopia usually takes a back seat to other books I want to read too. But you're right - doesn't matter if it's a great story. Glad you enjoyed this series.

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  6. *Pulls out fan* Yeah I really need to read more of this series. I read the first book a couple months ago and I can't wait to read the rest of the books especially since the first one was so hot.

    Thanks for the great reviews!

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  7. I have not read this series but would love to for a fair and honest review

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  8. Definitely sounds like a HOT series. Wonderful reviews. I just might have to check this out.

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  9. This sounds like a very sexy, and steamy erotic dystopian series! Very intriguing! Great Reviews Andrea :)

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  10. This series...I'm so glad you told me about it. Guilty pleasure.

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