Beyond Jealousy by Kit Rocha

Beyond Jealousy (Beyond, #4)
Grade: B
Hotness Level: Inferno
Kink Level: Moderate Kink
Genre: Dystopian, Menage
Series: Beyond #4
Published: 3/16/14
Reviewed by Anne
262 ebook pages

Note: These Beyond books really need to be read in order.  I think you’d be pretty lost trying to jump in at this point, but don’t worry, they’re worth your reading time!

Rachel has had a thing for Ace since she first met him, but when he kept pushing her away, she fell for Cruz.  When she and Cruz broke up, she found herself with feelings for both Ace and Cruz.  To top it off, she watches Ace and Cruz circling their attraction for each other.  So it seems inevitable that they’ll see what happens when the three of them come together.

This was a very hot book.  It was also very intense.  It also turned out to be the kind of story that felt one way when I was reading it, and a different way.  When I was reading it I was totally absorbed and enjoyed it.  When I was done and thought back on it, I had some issues.

So here goes.  I loved the heat and intensity between the three of them.  I loved that it’s a menage that goes every which way – the guys have a thing for each other as well as for Rachel.  The way their relationship develops and their individual issues all seemed very believable to me.  The O’Kanes just accepted their triad relationship with no qualms, and that was very cool.  I really enjoyed their story!

But then after I finished and thought back on it… there were things that bothered me some.  Probably the biggest one is that their triad relationship is the first one ever mentioned in the series.  They were the first, but no one blinked an eye.  It seemed like there would have been some blowback about it.  I mean, these are the O’Kanes, so obviously they’re down with pretty much anything.  It would have made more sense to me to either mention that this had been done before or to have to do a little more groundbreaking work.  I also felt like the ending was a little rushed.  I would have liked a HFN rather than a HEA in this situation, because they all had a lot of issues to work through and not much time together.

However, I think all of this is colored by where the series is going.  It’s become a bit more complicated and political.  This absolutely make sense, and it’s clearly where the series was headed from the beginning, but I liked the simpler days of the first few books better.  This is definitely a personal issue for me.  I love a good series, but I generally enjoy the first books better because they are simpler.  Because the politics and details are getting more complicated as the series goes on – which they need to do, from a world building perspective – the books now have more of a suspense aspect to them.  There’s danger.  The characters’ safety is not a for sure thing.  I know that’s always been the case, but I saw that more in this book.  In fact, it’s getting unrealistic that no one gets killed.  And there’s my dilemma.  It’s part of why i don’t read romantic suspense.  I want things to feel realistic, and when a world is built and I have to worry about everyone’s safety, it’s not as fun a read for me any more.

All of that is a personal issue for me, and it reflects how I read the book and how I felt about it.  Still, I can say it was a good read and I’ll keep reading the series.  There are some teaser chapters building up to future books that leave me wanting to know more!  In fact, I hate cliff hangers, so I’m just pretending like I didn’t read the last chapter altogether!  (No worries, the last chapter isn’t about Rachel, Cruz, and Ace, it’s a cliffie about other characters in the series.)

A final word about what I like.  I will keep reading this series, despite the increased suspense, because I love the strong female characters and the O’Kane society that accepts each person for who they are.  The O’Kanes remind me of an MC (Motorcycle Club) except that their women are valued members of the gang.  I love that!

And now a final, final word… Kit Rocha does self-publishing right!  The book is really well formatted.  The ARC I received was darn near perfect and easily readable on my Bluefire reader app.  They’ve laid out a pricing plan that benefits the reader who buys in the first month.  So you can buy the book and not worry that next week it will be 99c.  I always know I’m getting a quality product with Kit Rocha!
Advertisements

Marked by Lauren Dane, Vivian Arend, and Kit Rocha

Marked – Kit Rocha book by 2/10/14 blog
17925723
Grade: A
Hotness Level: Inferno
Kink Level: Moderate Kink
Published: 2/10/14
Reviewed by Anne
305 ebook pages

I’m going to break this down into the 3 stories and review them separately.  As a whole I give the anthology an A.  It’s rare to have all the stories in a collection work for me like these did!  I highly recommend it, and the authors’ note in my ARC says that the ebook will be on sale for $2.99 until the end of February, when the price will go up to $4.99.  This book is a steal at $2.99!   I came away with 2 new series I want to follow and a great installment to Beyond, which I already loved.

Beyond Temptation by Kit Rocha
Grade: B+
Genre: Dystopian
Series: Beyond 3.5

Note: I really think you need to read this series in order to get the most out of it.  If you haven’t read it yet, go back to the start and read Beyond Shame – you won’t regret it!

So, Noah is not from Sector Four, but he’s doing some work that brings him under Dallas’ radar and he’s being brought into the gang.  He’s also looking forward to and dreading seeing Emma, little sister to his best friend.  They haven’t seen or talked to each other in years, and there’s some history between them.  Emma always had a crush on him, and he had feelings for her, but he’s got some secrets hidden that he doesn’t want her to know about.  He’s also having some issues seeing her as the strong and independent woman she is now, since his memories are full of her as a naive and innocent girl.

It’s a short story, so the main source of conflict is Noah’s big secret.  I don’t enjoy secrets.  The best thing about this one was the way Emma handled it when she found out.  She’s a strong woman and one who is offended at people trying to protect her by keeping secrets.  That was awesome!  Sector Four women in general are awesome, though!  

In other good news, Noah is a red head and likes dirty sex.  It turns out Emma does, too, and we get a lot of it.  This wasn’t my favorite in the Beyond series, but it still rates a B+.  They are all just so good!

Rocky Ride by Vivan Arend
Grade: B+
Genre: Contemporary, small town
Series: Thompson & Sons #1

Anna is a straitlaced cop with a good reputation.  Mitch is a mechanic with a biker look to him.  They’ve been meeting on the down low for sex, but he wants to push her for an actual relationship.  Their small town has some small minds that see biker and think criminal.  Mitch has to convince Anna to give their relationship a chance.

This story starts out with one of the hottest opening scenes I’ve read in a long time.  It’s a great start to a solid story.  Watching Anna relax and let her guard down made for a good read.  I got very frustrated at the choices Mitch was making toward the end of the story, but then Arend redeemed herself by having Anna really call Mitch out for his choices!  

The weak point in the story was the prejudice against bikers, or rough looking tattooed guys.  I haven’t ever really considered that as a big deal – but maybe I just don’t understand?  In any case, I just went with it and it worked.

The sex was hot, the heroine was independent and strong.  I loved it!

All That Remains by Lauren Dane
Grade: A
Genre: Dystopian, Triad*, futuristic
Series: Metamorphosis #1

Set in a post-plague future, which Dane describes on her website as not dystopian (and I agree) Summer meets a new man in her village, Charlie.  Summer isn’t too surprised when Charlie mentions he has a partner (in the physical sense) but she’s shocked when she meets him and it’s Hatch, her first love.  Summer and Hatch may still have feelings for each other, but there’s a lot of history between them and it’s not all good.  The three of them have a lot to work through if they want to make a commitment to each other.

This story was all the best of the Lauren Dane Brown Siblings/Delicious books I love, set in an interesting future where women are only a small portion of the population and very valued.  Summer is another strong woman who is sure of herself and doesn’t need a man (or men) to complete her.  She’s not ashamed of her sexuality – that was refreshing to read!  

Really my only complaint about this story was the overuse of the phrase “raining honey” which pulled me out of the story every time it came up.  Other than that, everything worked for me and I can’t wait to read more!

*Note – I used to mark any book with a 3 person (or more scene) as a “ménage” book.  I’m now using ménage for an uncommitted encounter(s) and triad for a story about the committed relationship between 3 people.

Beyond Pain by Kit Rocha

We generally only put up one review each day, but I loved this book so much (and I don’t want to shuffle the rest of our reviews!) so I’m putting it up as a second review today!  One of my favorite reads of the year so far!  ~Anne
Beyond Pain (Beyond, #3)

Grade: A
Hotness Level: Inferno+
Kink Level: Moderate Kink (menage, flogger)
Genre: Dystopian, Futuristic
Series: Beyond #3
Reviewed by Anne
247 pages

Six was abused and discarded by the former leader of Sector 3. Bren has been looking after her since she first arrived. He’s gets her like no one else in the O’Kane gang does. And because he gets her, he knows he can’t make a move until *she* is ready. She’s got to heal some and find the parts of herself she lost in Sector 3. This book is the story of what happens when Six is ready, and it’s awesome!

For all the action that happens and the continuing story arc of the politics in Eden and the sectors, this is a low conflict story (my favorite!) about the developing relationship between Six and Bren. And, oh, is that relationship sweet and hot!

I’ll get this out of the way right away… sex between Bren and Six is scorching. There’s one particular scene that involves the two of them watching Lex, Dallas, and Rachel… I have no words. There are also a lot of scenes between just Bren and Six and I love that you can see their relationship grow with each encounter.

As much as I liked the sex, I think my favorite part of the book was the strength shown by all the O’Kane women, but especially Six and Lex.

“There was a secret in these women that went deeper than the ink around their wrists, and sometimes she thought if she watched for long enough, she could unlock it for herself.” (p.8)

Lex has been strong throughout the series. We get to watch Six come into her own. We get to see how the O’Kanes truly value each member for the assets they bring to the gang. So when Six figures out what she wants to do, even though it’s not something an O’Kane woman has done before… well, they stand behind her because they recognize it’s something she would excel at. And this happens more than once! Very cool.

When you take this gang and it’s leadership that value women on an equal level with their men, and then you add in the sexual freedom and openness… well it’s just awesome! Seriously , this is a world where it’s ok for a woman to want sex, and to want as much of it as she’d like. No slut shaming. It’s incredible! And the writing is so strong, it’s easy to believe in it.

Another thing I loved in this story is that when one of them goofs up and things go bad between them, they both are hurt but strong, and it’s not easy for them to get back together. Because the characters feel so real, their hurts feel real and it takes some work for them to repair their relationship.

This is book 3 in the series, and it would be best if the books were read in order. (Start with #1, Beyond Shame.) Each book is the story of the main couple, but there are several story arcs going on, and the book will be appreciated so much more if you’ve read the others.

If I have any disappointments in this book it’s that there were a couple scenes I’d hoped to see in this book that weren’t there. [ we didn’t get to see Six’s induction ceremony (drinking in) and we didn’t get closure with Miller yet (hide spoiler)] I hold out hope that we’ll see both these things in another book, though! I’m also excited to learn more about other characters. Emma and Noah, of course, along with the whole tangle of Rachel/Cruz/Ace. There’s also a stripper in Sector 3 who Six pointed out as being really intelligent. I want more of her!

I highly recommend this series!!