Monday, March 25, 2013


Pages: 400
Date: 24/03/2013
Grade: 4.5
Details: No. 2 Beyond

The official blurb:

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.”

In my review for Beyond Shame” I expressed my desire to find out more about the other characters mentioned in that book and especially about Dallas O’Kane and Lex. This book proves that sometimes wishes do come true because this is the story of Dallas, the King of Sector Four and Lex the fiercely independent girl who is drawn to him but refuses to submit to another person ever again. Having fled Sector Two and her destiny as a paid submissive to rich men, Lex has gone through too much to even consider anything less than honesty and equality in a relationship. Dallas, on the other hand, wants nothing less than Lex’s complete submission to him; he wants her to be the queen ruling next to him but on his terms. Terms that may just demand too much from Lex, no matter how attracted she is to the leader of the O’Kane’s.

And so commences a game of push and pull. And a very intense and sexy game it is. This is life in the Sectors, where sex is a way of life as well as a form of currency and both Lex, with her extensive training, and Dallas know exactly which buttons to push to get the desired reaction.

A lasting relationship requires more than mind blowing sex though, but finding the middle ground between that which each of them wants and that which they are willing and able to give may just prove to be one step too far for both of them. Failure however could have devastating effects for Lex and Dallas as well as Sector Four as a whole.

Once again Kit Rocha managed to pleasantly surprise me with her book. As much as I liked Beyond Shame, I loved this book more. Dallas and Lex are fully fleshed and credible characters. It is very easy to understand where each of them is coming from and the problems and heartbreak they face as a result of that. This is not the sort of book where one character appears to constantly undermine the relationship while the other just keeps on giving. These two characters are equals in every aspect of the story and that makes the story all the more captivating.

Sex plays a major part in this book because it is the way of life in the world this story is set in. And while nothing is left to the reader’s imagination and some may find the descriptions too graphic or violent, the authors are very careful to ensure that the scenes described are consensual. In fact they go out of their way to spell out that while women may submit to the men in these stories, they are never abused or taken advantage of. And as much as the book seems to be all about sex, there are some very touching romantic moments as well:

“I’ve always loved you. (…) I’ve always wanted you. They don’t have a word for how much I need you. Everything good I am, everything good I’ve ever done…it’s all you.”

More sector politics and other relationships are starting to take (further) shape in this book. It is clear that more books will be required to resolve the organisation of the Sectors as well as to bring the various other couples together. I’m especially glad that the authors give us brief glimpses of other characters while concentrating on the two main ones. In some series of books it seems as if the various couples take turns; one story doesn’t start until a previous one is concluded. Of course in real life these things happen simultaneously and it is nice that these books reflect that. My curiosity has been stimulated by glimpses of what is to come as well as satisfied by a further look at the relationship between Noelle and Jasper. On the other hand, this also means that now I can’t wait to see what will happen next to Six and Bren or Ace and Rachel. But with the next book expected to come out in autumn I guess I can wait…just about.

I also want to point out that the authors have made a bonus story “Beyond Denial” about Ace available on their website. Ideally this story should be read after reading the first two books but for those who would like a taste of Kit Rocha’s writing it provides a perfect sample.

This is a very sexy, captivating and satisfying dystopian series; a well plotted and superbly written story that will have you frantically turning the pages and thinking about the characters long after you turn the last page.

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