Fangirl Friday: Kit Rocha's Beyond series.
The other day I happened to be going through my old Kindle, deleting stuff and checking out books I had bought because I am a sucker for sexy covers. I had bought SO many books purely based on hot people on the cover it was kind of funny. I came across a bundle I had bought a while ago, the first three Beyond books and thought "well, why not?"
I had attempted reading the first book last year, but my mood was way off, and I just never got into it. Timing matters. This time around, I made my way through the first 4 books in less than a week, even though I was barely home! So what better thing to Fangirl over this week than the wonderfully gritty, uncompromisingly sexy, intense, sometimes dark, always intriguing Beyond series! (I will keep spoilers to the minimum! But there will be quotes from the books.)
Click through to read more!
The Beyond series are stories set in a post-apocalyptic world where the rich and powerful have claimed ownership of the country’s only self-sustaining city. Those who live within Eden’s walls must abide by a strict moral code or risk exile to the brutal, lawless sectors.Gangs and petty dictators rule the slums, but not all kings are created equal. Dallas O’Kane and his brotherhood of bootleggers are the only authority in Sector Four. Cross them at your peril. But pledge your loyalty, and you might be invited into their world of passion and power, sex and sin. Just remember: if you’re an O’Kane, you’re an O’Kane for life.
I'll admit that it took me a while to really get into the first book. Noelle and Jasper didn't really click with me till well into the book, and I was way more into the other characters and what was being revealed about this world we had just stepped into. Lex had me fascinated, Dallas had me a little bit in awe, I was already half in love with Ace, and desperate to know more about Mad.
But as you keep reading, you kinda feel like Noelle could be a reflection of the reader. Thrown unceremoniously into Sector 4, into the safe, strong arms of strong, silent Jasper. We're eager, curious, and falling in love with it all a little at a time. Oh and also we are SO intrigued by all the openness and sex and men who aren't abusive asshats.
“I don't know what I want. I don't know anything." "That's why you try things. Eventually, you stumble across the ones that make you happy.”It's all a bit overwhelming and you definitely start to understand the spell Noelle is under. Did we really want her to be sheltered even a little longer after being stifled in Eden? In the end I was basically just saying "Get it, girl" to Noelle every few seconds because she's finally free. (Small note for our Saucy readers: Now, the Wenches love their romance and/or erotica in so many forms, but for those who might not be into that, there is a LOT of sex, these books are HEAVY on the erotica. So I'd definitely recommend picking it up when you're looking for something like that.)
Jasper is the solid right hand man to THE O'Kane. You totally get why Noelle instantly falls for him. There were definitely times I struggled to understand the way he dealt with Noelle, and there were times I wanted to smack both of them for acting like angsty teens. But it all works out in the end and there is just so much hot sex on the way to their HEA that I just felt like I had no reason to really complain. I was definitely looking forward to finding out more about this post Flare future, about Sector 4, their beautiful open love policy, the cage fights that sometimes seemed way too sexy for their own good, and how our heroes and heroines fit into this world after Beyond Shame. And keeping my fingers crossed that Eden goes down in flames.
This Wench rates it:
I think I waited like a nano second after Beyond Shame to start this. I don't think there's anyone on the planet who will not be dying of curiosity about Lex and Dallas' relationship. It's complicated, intense, and maddening! In the best possible way. In another series, this would have been a fairytale courtship, becuase these two are so very meant to be. It's inevitable. But the journey here is what does it for me. All that angst, and pain, those insecurites, there's a lot to be worked through. We also get an up close and personal look into all the complicated political dynamics within the sectors. Each book so far has shown us a little bit more of the political going ons outside of Eden, and we get to visit Sector 2 in this one.
Getting to spend more time with Lex was predictably amazing. Even when Lex and Dallas clash and their chemistry melts stuff around them, I wouldn't change any of it for the world. Lex is amazing with everyone, her relationships with the rest of the O'Kanes rival Dallas's. I'd say she actually may have stronger bonds with some of them. And while we got a hint of the sisterhood Sector 4 has to offer the women that call it their home, it really is more apparent in Beyond Control. And Lex has so much to do with it. We also get to know more about Lex's past, where she came from, and more insight into how she became the Lex we know and love today.
Lex burns bright in this book, she's damn near impossible to ignore even when other people are sizzling on page, but when she's around Dallas, she's a goddamned supernova. Their interactions are beyond electric. And her absolute faith in Dallas making all her desires come true made me swoon.
"And what do you plan to do with all these fantasies?"
He smiled. No words, but the question had been rhetorical anyway. There was only one thing he'd ever do with a literal list of her deepest desires clutched in his fist. He'd make every single one happen.This was an important one for me concerning Dallas. This is where I truly understood HOW much Dallas cares. About his people, this home he's made for himself and his people, his place in the food chain outside of Eden, and Lex. I loved seeing that it wasn't just an act, to pretend to be a great leader, it was one hundred percent authentic. This man has given his name to all of the people under him who trust him with their lives. It's beautiful. And I'm not going to lie, made me a little jealous. Anyone else want to get O'Kane ink with me?
I adore books where I never for a second doubt the devotion a couple has for each other. Regardless of the things being said and done. And that might be my favourite thing about Dallas and Lex. Not for a second did I believe they would ever choose anyone over each other. And that part where Dallas fulfills her fantasy, the trust and love that took, blew me away. Sigh. I need me a Dallas, and I definitely need him to help me with that very same fantasy, thanks. Dallas made me sigh, a lot. Sometimes when I least expected it.
"If you can't stay and be Lex, I'll be Declan and go. Anywhere you want, anywhere you can be happy. None of this is worth a damn if you're not here."
This Wench rates it:
Full disclosure. This is my favourite installment so far. I did not expect that. And I love it when a book surprises me like that. Bren and Six completely stole my heart, and I don't want it back from them. I will attempt NOT to quote every single line that made me laugh or cry or sigh.
Six has had a difficult introduction to Sector 4. Thrown to the O'Kanes by the asshole Trent from Sector 3, she's been like a cornered animal, all snarls and claws and understandably wary. Even Lex hasn't managed to make any progress with her. The nicer anyone is to her, the more suspicious she gets and it hurts to see that. Bren is the only one she doesn't seem to have as much wariness to. And I understood that immediately.
She loved watching him fight in the cage, watching all those muscles move together so perfectly she thought the prissy bastards in Eden must be at least partly right about their God. Only a higher power could have created something as graceful and stunning and deadly as Brendan Donnelly.You guys, Bren... is just amazing. I fell for him pretty damn hard. The unwavering patience he has. His loyalty. And just his way of being still and quiet and just.. there! My heart melted into a puddle in the last book when he just held Six in the last book. Just held her. Because she needed it. And I knew I would absolutely adore him once I read his book. I was not wrong. Bren is the stuff dreams are made of. Unbearably sexy, sure of himself, strong, smart, and so very gentle when need be, and very, very determined. It is crystal clear why Six has chosen to trust and love him.
“What do you think the good stuff is?” she asked, desperate to prolong this quiet oasis of brutal honesty.
“Fucking? That damn sure counts.” A tiny smile tilted one corner of his mouth. “But so does everything else.”
Without taking her eyes from his, she touched his shoulder. Strong muscles flexed enticingly under her fingertips as she slid her hand down his arm and finally twined her fingers with his. “Even this?”
Bren’s smile faded as he raised their clasped hands and pressed a kiss to her knuckles. “Especially this.”
Watching Six accept the O'Kane's as family, to feel like she belongs, and to experience sisterhood with the O'Kane women made me weepy more than once. Her journey from the day Trent left her with Dallas to where she is now warmed my heart. It's not rushed, it's not convenient, and it might not be everyone's journey, but it's beautiful. Lex telling Six she could get O'Kane ink made me want to cheer for her. And when it's finally clear to her that she will always be an O'Kane, regardless of her status with Bren, I wanted to hug her. She's come so far!
The sudden burn in her chest scared her. It wasn’t arousal, but something far more insidious, more dangerous. Affection, digging hooks into the painful scars on her heart, and she had to laugh it off to keep from flinging his hand away and bolting. “Then you’re easy, Donnelly.”
This Wench rates it:“You’re not a guest.” He watched her intently. “This is your home.”
Home. Longing hollowed out her chest, a craving for a concept she could barely fathom, because it started with safety. “I don’t know if I’ve ever had a home before.”
This is a short, sweet, and sexy story set between #3 and #4. We meet Noah, the hacker, and Emma, Ace's apprentice in the last book. I instantly loved Emma because of her easy relationship with Ace, and just the fact that she gave him some friendly comfort when he needed it. And then of course there was that PHEW! hot sex scene that Six and Bren watched, Dallas and Lex having their wicked way with Emma. So of course I wanted to read more about her!
Noah was a bit of a mystery, but it was clear Emma was a weak spot. And I'm glad we didn't have to wait a whole lot for them to indulge in their very obvious attraction to each other. Noah was pretty fucking sexy. And I always love reading about people from outside the sectors realizing the magic of Sector 4.
“He'd never notice all the ways Four was different. He saw violent men and half-naked women, not the things that mattered. Strength in the women. Compassion in the men.”This Wench rates it:
So before starting this I had been counting on an Ace and Rachel HEA. They seemed destined to be together, and it was going to be epic. And I was here for it. I wanted Ace to star in his own book, to be in the spotlight. So that might be my only complaint of this book. Once I got into this book, though, I did like it.
“We spark, angel. We spark so bright, and I always thought I'd woo you nice and slow and you'd adore me. But you only ever see the worst in me, and there's so much worst to see.”Anyone reading this series has probably been ITCHING for Rachel and Ace to get together from the first book. Ace is a lovable, playful, super sexual artist with a wicked sense of humour, but there's a lot more to him than just that, even if he doesn't always see it himself. And I just cannot blame Rachel for being crazy about him. He's damn near irresistible. We do find out a lot more about Ace in Beyond Jealousy, and it just made my heart ache for him even more. He deserves all the love in the world, you guys. And I'm so glad Cruz and Rachel are here to make him believe that.
Poor Rachel has been tortured by her feelings for Ace, her growing feelings for Cruz, and the hot mess it all seems to be. Man, that girl needed a break. It must be exhausting feeling all the things she was, seeing shirtless Cruz sparring, seeing shirtless Ace do anything, and just not being able to jump in there and make the most of it because you want more. And while I loved her chemistry with Cruz, (that scene where he jumps over the bar to kiss her... HAWT!) I really wanted her and Ace to heal each other after they've bruised each other's heart so much.
“I was so busy trying not to break Rachel's heart that I didn't see it shatter. I've been walking on the pieces for months, grinding them into fucking dust.”Cruz was a bit of a surprise for me in this, because I did not expect a stoic ex soldier from Eden to take the lead in making this happy threesome happen. But he did! And I never doubted his intentions for a second. Towards the end, no reader can doubt the depth of his love for either Rachel or Ace. The polyamory aspect was really well handled in this story. More so than I've ever read before. I not only totally got why they wanted to be together, I was actively rooting for them to just be happy together because they all clearly wanted it so much.
We do find out a lot more about Rachel's past, her father, Eden's illicit ties to the Sectors, and so much more. I do love all the background information we get in each book, there is just so much going on this world! The politics, the crime, the danger, it's all as compelling as the love and sex. And I love meeting characters we're probably going to see more of in the next few books. I do keep thinking about how everyone's livers are faring on that much alcohol, and whether STDs are ever a problem, but that must be my medical background, and it's a credit to the story that I often forget about those things LOL.“Separately, the two men drove her crazy, twisted her into knots of longing and thwarted desire. But together –
Together, they’d give her everything.”
I will admit that two of my absolute favourite things in this book didn't have anything to do with Rachel, Ace, and Cruz. One had to do with Bren *sigh* and the other was Lex comforting Mad when he has a very bad PTSD episode. She's amazing.
"Fucking hell." Lex climbed onto the bed and wrapped both arms around Mad with no fear, no hesitation. Exactly like she did everything else. "Honey, are you okay?"This Wench rates it:
The thing I love about these books is the sense of family, loyalty and love they gave me. You can't beat the sisterhood and brotherhood here. And while the world may be dark and gritty and dangerous, it also makes you feel alive and adventurous and like you might just belong in this kick ass world, wearing leather and tattoos and swearing your allegiance to the dangerous and compelling O'Kane. And that was the best thing for me, seeing a place for myself in a world I could not have fathomed I would fit in in before this. It is the ultimate fantasy. Full of filthy, kinky sex. Freedom to love how and whom you choose. Acceptance, and friendship. and beautiful belonging. A definite Wench recommendation! On to Beyond Addiction next! Can't wait!