Tag Archives: Dystopian

Review: Beyond Jealousy by Kit Rocha

Title: Beyond Jealousy
Author: Kit Rocha
Series: Beyond #4
Genre: dystopian erotic romance
Publisher: self-published
Format: ebook
Release Date: March 17, 2014

A copy of this book was provided by the authors for an honest review.

Publisher Summary:

She’s been looking for the perfect man. She found two.

When Rachel Riley sacrificed a life in Eden to protect the O’Kanes, she earned her place in the powerful Sector Four gang. But the former crime princess is tired of being everyone’s sweet little sister . It’s time for her to get wild, to embrace her fantasies as only an O’Kane can—with a delicious exiled soldier and the gang’s wickedly sinful tattoo artist.

A saint…

Lorenzo Cruz is a warrior, taught by his commanding officers in Eden that involvement equals distraction. Emotion is a liability, and desire a sin. In Sector Four, he finds decadence, shameless sex—and his own dark urges. No battle strategy prepared him for how Rachel makes his heart race…or the way his rival for her affections sets his blood on fire.

…and a sinner.

Ace Santana has a dirty reputation and a mind to match, especially where his new lovers are concerned. He’s eager to help Cruz embrace his dominant side, and to explore the lines between pleasure and pain with Rachel. But corrupting them quickly becomes an obsession, a need he can’t deny—and a love he never imagined.

Three hearts on the line means a hundred ways their ménage a trois could go wrong. After all, even O’Kanes do forever two-by-two. One of them could be the missing piece that makes them all whole…or a temporary diversion destined for a broken heart.

My Review:

This review may contain spoilers for previous books in the Beyond series. You could try to read Beyond Jealousy as a stand-alone, but you will be missing out on all the back story which makes this romance so special. Do yourself a favor and read them all.

You might think it’s easy to write a review for a book that is so good you wish you could read it for the first time all over again. Well, you’d be wrong. 🙂 But I’ll try to make this sound like something a bit more coherent than OMG READ THIS BOOK NAOW YOU MUST.

BEYOND JEALOUSY is the latest book in Kit Rocha’s incredible Beyond series and it tells the story of an unlikely romance, even for the wide open sexual landscape of Sector Four. After all, the O’Kane men and women have always paired off in couples, whether for a night or a lifetime. But a ménage is something new for the O’Kane gang, and none of the rules, as few as they are, will apply.

Ace and Rachel have been circling each other since we were first introduced to this world in BEYOND SHAME, but the reasons why they kept their distance, in spite of their obvious attraction, haven’t been fully explained until now. When Rachel found solace in Cruz’s arms, Ace was both pleased to see her cared for by someone far better than himself, and desolate at finally losing her. Yet that, too, was only temporary, leading to something nobody could have ever predicted: Ace and Cruz together, hooking up for threesomes with any woman willing to put herself in the middle.

But it’s Rachel they both really want, and it’s Rachel who can bring them together as one, if they’ll only let her. As the ongoing search for the people producing bootleg O’Kane liquor brings new violence closer to Sector Four, the forces which sent Rachel there as a sacrifice to save her family now attempt to use her to start a war between allies. It’s this new danger that will either cement the fragile bond between Rachel and her two men, or split them all apart for good.

After seeing the previous combinations of Ace and Rachel, Rachel and Cruz, and then Ace and Cruz, it seemed equally implausible and inevitable that they eventually would come together in a fully shared MMF menage. In retrospect, however, it made perfect sense. Each brought to the others the support and confidence they need, and any relationship between only two of them would always be missing that critical part of the puzzle. But it took the real threat of loss to make this clear, especially to Ace, who had so little personal self-esteem after years as a sexual plaything of the jaded women in Eden that he couldn’t let himself ever hope that someone would ever want him for himself, for always. But it was just as difficult a journey for Cruz, as he had to confront his repressed desires and everything he’d been taught about how wrong they would be. Seeing them both open up to their love for each other, as well as Rachel, is what made it worth the wait to read their story and it’s why BEYOND JEALOUSY is the best Beyond book of all (so far). 5 stars.

Review: Marked by Lauren Dane, Vivian Arend, Kit Rocha

Marked (Beyond, #3.5; Thompson & Sons)Title: Marked
Author: Lauren Dane, Vivian Arend, Kit Rocha
Series: Metamorphosis #1, Thompson & Sons #1, Beyond #3.5
Genre: erotic romance anthology
Publisher: self-published
Format: ebook
Release Date: February 10, 2014

A copy of this book was provided by the authors for an honest review.

Publisher Summary:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lauren Dane takes you into a brand new world in ALL THAT REMAINS. Summer Killian falls fast and hard when Charlie arrives in Paradise Village. But the heat turns all the way up when she learns Charlie is also with Hatch – the man she loved three years before. While she’s not sure she’s cut out for a triad, neither man is going to give her up.

Take a ROCKY RIDE with New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Vivian Arend as she leads you back to the Six Pack Ranch. Anna Coleman might be the law around Rocky Mountain House, but bad boy Mitch Thompson knows that under the stiff RCMP uniform is a woman with a passion for speed and pleasure that matches his own, and he’s not giving up until she’s his.

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.

My Review:

I’m usually wary about reading anthologies for review, since I’ve often found them to be more work than pleasure, but when I heard MARKED included another visit to Kit Rocha’s Beyond series, I knew I had to have it. It also helped to have only three longer novellas included, instead of a dozen or more shorter stories. Although the stories take place in different authors’ book series, each ties into the motif implied by the anthology name by including at least one or more scenes regarding tattoos and the meaning they have for the characters in that world.

BEYOND TEMPTATION is the first novella in MARKED, and if any story belongs in an anthology about the meaning of tattoos, it’s one featuring the O’Kanes and their infamous ink. I’m not sure, though, if a new reader to the Beyond series would be able to get into it as quickly as someone more familiar with that world. (I actually went back and read the first three books again first, just to be sure, and let me tell you, those books more than hold up to a second read.)

We met Noah and Emma briefly back in BEYOND PAIN, when he was the only one with the technical savvy and connection to get vital data back to the O’Kanes from the other sectors not under the gang’s control. At that time, it was obvious that the history he and she had shared in Sector 5 went deeper than just his friendship with her now-late brother. But it’s only BEYOND TEMPTATION that we eventually learn what had brought them together before and what threatened to keep them permanently apart. Emma’s brother had been trapped by his own addictions fed by the evil in Sector 5, and that legacy lurks behind every moment of sorrow for Noah and Emma. But as a newly inked O’Kane woman, Emma has the strength and security to go after what she wants, and she won’t let the mistakes of the past keep her from the man she’s meant to be with. It may be shorter than the usual Kit Rocha story, but the extensive world-building already established in the previous Beyond books helps make BEYOND TEMPTATION a thoroughly enjoyable read and an essential installment in the series. 4.5 stars

After experiencing the joy of being back in Sector Four, I was a little concerned that the rest of MARKED couldn’t possibly live up to my now-lofty expectations. Little did I realize that the second story, ROCKY RIDE, would be just as good, if not a tiny bit better. This was my first Vivian Arend story, and it began with a (somewhat literal) bang. In that opening scene, Constable Anna Coleman meets up with her secret boyfriend and local biker dude Mitch Thompson, out on an isolated country road for some incredibly hot and heavy sexual fantasy fulfillment. When their amazing sex is over, Anna retreats behind her policewoman persona once again, leaving Mitch to wonder how a girl like her will ever be brave enough to go public with a guy like him. But as Vivian Arend then so perfectly shows, the two of them aren’t that different after all, when the facades (and clothing) are all stripped away. Even when it seems like they can’t make a real go of it, especially when so many other people are against them based on their prejudice against him, true motives and true love ultimately win out, making their reconciliation all the sweeter. ROCKY RIDE not only made me want to continue Vivian Arend’s new Thompson & Sons series, but to go back and check out her Rocky Mountain Heat series which preceded it. 5 stars 

It’s a rare anthology where every reader loves every story, and Lauren Dane’s ALL THAT REMAINS was that one story in MARKED I did not love. It takes place in a post-apocalyptic version of Earth where a devastating virus has killed most of the women, and resulted in the birth of fewer female children being born to those who survived. This has resulted in a dramatically different society in which more people are in committed triads instead of couples, and where women and their sexuality are celebrated and protected from both censure and physical harm. Summer is a young woman living in Paradise Village somewhere in what sounds like it used to the northwest part of the United States. She has settled there in support of her sister Dulce, who lost her own two husbands and their shared children in a tragic train crash years earlier, and has never completely recovered from the loss. Summer has enjoyed intimate relationships with other men, but never been interested anything long term until she meets Charlie, a stranger to the area, and finds herself immediately attracted to him  Charlie is looking for a woman to complete his own triad, and much to Summer’s surprise, the second man in the relationship turns out to be Hatch, the man who was Summer’s first true love and who broke her heart when he left her behind several years ago. Now he’s back and wants to her to join her and his beloved Charlie in a permanent commitment, but there can be only sex between them until Summer can learn to forgive and Hatch can learn to leave his itch for wandering behind.

It was difficult for me to connect with ALL THAT REMAINS, most likely due to it not having enough pages to contain all the back story details. In a full-length book, I could have discovered for myself what life was like for Summer when she was growing up on the New Earth commune and falling in love with Hatch. and what happened to Hatch when he was traveling west to follow her after she’d moved to Portland with her family. But because ALL THAT REMAINS is a novella, all of that was told instead of shown, and it left me searching for an emotional grounding that all the beautifully written sex scenes simply couldn’t provide. 3 stars.