AUTHOR KIT ROCHA
Details: No. 3 Beyond
Own / Kindle
From the author’s website:
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.
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.
God, did I love this book. This is my third venture into the sectors, my third visit with Dallas O’Kane and his people and with every single book I get drawn deeper into that dystopian world. With every subsequent title I grow more attached to the people in Sector Four. Every time I finish one of these books the need to get my hands on the next installment grows more desperate. And, it has to be said, this book is my favourite so far.
I mean, what’s not to love? Two broken people - beaten so hard by life that they should be on their knees, begging for mercy and yearning for death - finding each other and the strength to love and trust although every instinct tells them not to expose themselves to hurt once again.
Take Six. A girl who hasn’t heard her given name for so long that she’s all but forgotten it. A girl who has been used, abused, abandoned and betrayed so often in her young life that it is a miracle she is willing to even consider trusting some one again.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever had a home before.”
But, despite her history, despite every instinct telling her that it isn’t safe to trust anyone, she is willing to try. Because of Brendan.
Bren – sigh – at least as broken as Six, he goes out of his way to make her feel at home in Sector Four and safe with him. He wants her, desperately, but refuses to push her:
“I wouldn’t do anything you didn’t want, but it doesn’t stop there. I wouldn’t do anything you weren’t sure about, either.” (Bren)
And it is the fact that Bren doesn’t ask, never mind force, her to do anything she might be uncomfortable with that makes it possible for Six to start trusting him. He seems to instinctively recognize her fears and needs and acts accordingly, always careful not to push her further than she is comfortable with.
“But he handled the bomb the way he handled her, every movement gentle, every touch precise, as if he knew all the ways she could shatter into dangerous pieces.”
But Six is not a weak damsel in distress. She may be uncomfortable with emotions, she may find it impossible to believe that people could accept her just for what she is, without judging her past, that doesn’t mean she is a whimpering mess. She is a strong woman, determined to make herself stronger. And Bren helps her get there, just by believing in her.
And Brendan understands Six well enough to not ask her for anything she can’t give him. All he wants from her is whatever she is willing to give him.
When his past pushes itself between Bren and Six, both of them need to reflect. And both of them need to listen not only to their hearts but also to the words of their friends in order not to lose that which has so carefully been established.
“Trust is the prize and the fight’s not about winning it or keeping it. It’s about deserving it, and that’s a fight a man’s got to have with himself. Every fucking day.” (Dallas to Bren)
I’ve read other series of books; series centered on a group of people in which each book concentrates on a certain relationship. When they’re done well, series like that are a pure delight because they give the reader the opportunity to keep any eye on past and future main characters, on how the world the story is set in develops; it means that the reader really does get the opportunity to get an answer to the question that so often springs to mind when a book is over – “I wonder what will happen next”. But most series will only give the reader glimpses of the other characters. They will surface as familiar names, be given a token paragraph and disappear again to make room for the stars of the current installment. What I LOVE about these books is that the authors take it further. Yes, each of the Beyond titles concentrates on one developing relationship but the older stories continue, the characters from previous books continue to develop and play a real role and those who will feature in future books have had their stories started in earlier titles. Kit Rocha has dropped her readers into a world that becomes more established, more real, with every subsequent title. You never stop learning more about this world and these characters, old and new, and that, for me, is the ultimate reading experience; total immergence.
The story is perfect. We get the against the odds love story, the angst experienced by both characters. There is a real and realistic dilemma almost tearing them apart. Add to that a dark but convincing world, true loyalty and friendship, strong women and tons of hot sex and you know you’ve found yourself one of those reads that will stay with you for a long, long time. But, most importantly for me, these books don’t have protracted drama. They don’t need it. There are no easy solutions either, though. This is a story set in a dystopian, fantastical world that feels more real than the setting in the average contemporary novel does. Bring on “Beyond Jealousy”; especially after that very enticing taster at the end of this book.
“He had her. Beautiful, dangerous, flawed, lonely Brendan Donnelly had her, and she was going to give him everything.”