Kit Rocha’s Beyond series is a post apocalyptic dystopian series where after the apocalypse the world is split into sectors where each one is pretty different. Think the Hunger Games without the explicit child abuse but with a hard pornographic edge. The entire series is EXTREMELY adult content and features sexual relationships in a variety of configurations, voyeurism, and BDSM. There is no real info dumping so you glean information about the world and culture around the characters as you go through the stories. Personally I tend to prefer that approach, but if you are the sort of person who needs more background at the start, then this is probably not the series for you.
Noelle Cunningham grew up in the sexually repressive Eden sector. This sector is the top of the heap but keeps strict control over the citizens. She was thrown out for relatively minor offenses and is rescued by Jasper McCray, the right hand man of Dallas O’Kane who leads Sector 4.
This story requires huge amounts of willful suspension of disbelief on the part of the reader to accept that Noelle goes so dramatically from a straight laced prude to a bisexual, submissive exhibitionist. So it is hardly surprising the hero has trouble believing it too. That being said, it is a fun and sexy story in an interesting world.
Dallas “Declan” O’Kane leads Sector 4 and manages their bootleg liquor business. Basically he is the leader, the king, of the gang. Alexa “Lex” Parrino was originally from Sector 2, an area where the industry is high priced mistresses/prostitutes, and that sector divides up into different “Houses” which provides different types of women to wealthy “patrons”. She escaped from there and ended up in Sector 4 where she was taken in by Dallas and was instrumental in getting women into the O’Kane gang. She is the de facto leader of the women and her and Dallas have been dancing around each other for years.
The characters are a bit more believable than in Beyond Shame and the chemistry between these two very alpha individuals is pretty explosive.
Six was “rescued” from the leader of Sector 3 previously and is struggling to find her place and re-establish the self confidence she has lost. Brendan Donnelly is Dallas O’Kane’s left hand and former Special tasks soldier out of Eden. He’s an exhibitionist, sado-masochistic dominant who thinks he’s incapable of real relationships.
The relationship between Six and Bren is so far the slowest going of the series and Six shows the most growth and character development of anyone in this series. There are of course significant misunderstandings and the ubiquitous stupid man moment, but for all that it is an enjoyable story.
Currently available as part of the MARKED anthology, will be released as a stand alone novella in June 2014.
Emma escaped from Sector 5 under pretty negative circumstances. Noah is the computer tech that sector 4 has been searching for. He’s also Emma’s teenage fantasy. Emma is take charge, she knows why she is with the O’Kane’s, who she is, and what she wants. Noah on the other hand has difficulty seeing her as anything but his best friend’s little sister. Sparks really fly between these two.
This is a m/m/f with m/m, m/f/m and m/f scenes. Easily the raunchiest of the books in this series.
Emma has been with the O’Kanes for a while since the took the fall for her father’s Eden sector brewery business to save them and the O’Kane’s. She has been trying to shed her good little sister image. Ace Santana is the bad boy tatoo artist who handles O’Kane ink and has spent the last little while unwittingly breaking Emma’s heart. Lorenzo Cruz is a former Eden Special tasks soldier (was in service with Bren) who is struggling to lose his inhibitions and pre-conceived notions. Out of the group of them, you’d think it would be Cruz who had the most baggage, but foul mouthed Ace actually had the most to hide.
This is a full on poly/menage relationship, but it is better done than most because each pair has their own relationship. It doesn’t feel as forced or as unequal since it isn’t two people devoted to one person, they are all equally devoted to one another.
This is what I affectionately label “plot porn”. Mostly it is about the sex and titillation, but Kit Rocha has also built an interesting post apocalyptic dystopian world. There isn’t any info dumping so you have to glean what the world and the culture is for the most part. Mia and Ford are hot together and they mesh well with each other. There’s the usual misunderstanding and a bit of drama, but it doesn’t seem contrived, it fits well with what we learn about the cultures and the sectors as well as the personalities of the hero and heroine. I’ll be reading the rest of this series once I get my hands on them. (this is from the review from Alpha’s After Dark- and as you can see I did gobble up the rest of the series).