3 star review

January TBR Challenge 2016 – Review B Cubed by Jenna McCormick

TBR Challenge 2016Topic: We Love Short Shorts! (category romance, short stories, novella etc.)

I decided to participate in a TBR Challenge this year after lurking around them for a number of years. My actual owned TBR honestly isn’t that bad as far as numbers go, because I used to be too broke to hoard, and once I could I had mainly switched to digital, so it made sense to make my TBR as virtual as my books. Where I have gotten myself in a small bit of overload is that I then discovered ereaderIQ and I uploaded my whole wishlist to it and have been picking these books up either free or when they are under a dollar, often without considering if I even want them any more.

B CUbed

Born: Natural born humans are precious few and dwell in darkness.

Bred: Genetically engineered slaves who are the protectors of the Born.

Borg: The cybernetically enhanced enclave that split from the Born humans.

These three factions are all that remains of the human race after the world stopped turning. Scavenging in the darkness for what little is left, the war between them rages on though few know why. It begins with a child’s prophesy and can only end when they unite.

Or die.

From the moment he spies her silhouette cast by the bonfire, Cormack understands what it is to yearn for something he will never possess. Breds are made to provide for the natural born humans, dig their homes deep beneath the surface of the earth and to protect them from the ever-present cyborg threat. A Bred who reaches beyond his station will be recycled immediately, yet Cormack cannot get her visage out of his mind. Until he unearths a box, buried long before the earth stopped spinning.

Task Mistress Allora has no wish to brutalize the Bred worker she finds hoarding treasure, but as a servant of the colony that raised her from infancy, she is duty bound to report anything unusual to the Overlord, even if it costs the blue-eyed man his life. Yet something about the way Cormack watches her forces Allora to reevaluate her understanding of right and wrong. For this genetically engineered soldier is her only protection against the cyborgs who seek what they have discovered, a journal written by the prophetess Cassandra and a way to end the warring between the factions forever.

This month’s theme is “We Love Short Shorts”, which I actually kind of don’t. I usually only pick them up as part of an established series I am reading and I read them immediately, so there wasn’t a lot on my TBR that fit except for serials I picked up because they were free and by favored authors (but then I never read them because I looked at how much they cost over the whole span of the serial and I gave up). So this is as close as I could come. It is 106 pages, it has been on my TBR for a  number of years, and I actually bought it 02/12/2015 when it hit the low price of free. I think as much as anything I haven’t read it because I was toying with not starting the series until I had picked up the whole trilogy, but I still don’t have the third one. The rest of it is that it just fell off my radar. No time like the present though.

So I think this went on my TBR when I was having a major love affair cyborgs. Plus it is post-apocalyptic dystopian, which we all know I can’t pass up. I wish I could remember how I came across this book, but I have only recently been tracking in any sort of way why I added something to my list, and frankly I am still pretty horrible about it.

Anyway, about this particular book. It began with a prophesy before the world as we know it. Poor Cassandra, always born knowing the future but cursed that none should believe her. Or at least most. Unfortunately it is the ones who did that spawned the wars and horrors. There is very much a chicken and egg situation here. Did the things come about because that was what was always going to happen? Or did they come about because they knew and believed the prophesy and sought to twist it to their own ends? Having read the book, I still don’t really know because we just don’t have enough information.

This book is just super short, and really I think that is a shame, because the bones were there for something rather epic. But short as it is, as much as I liked it, it still left me feeling somewhat unsatisfied. I just wanted more. Now, there are more stories in the series, but it appears they don’t focus on these two characters to further the overall plot.

As for the two main characters, Cormack and Allora are two very interesting characters with histories and futures shrouded in mystery. There are also some slightly uncomfortable power dynamics from start to finish. It is often unsettling, I mean he is a slave and she is an overseer with the power of life and death over him. You get just the barest of sketches of who they are as people, but it is just enough to make them just real enough to actually care.

The BAM! Plot twists and the story is basically over. Seriously, the book is so much shorter than I wish it were, but I’ll definitely be pulling the next book out of my stack. I can’t wait to find out what else Cassandra has up her sleeve.

 

Born (B Cubed, #1)

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2.5 star review

Review – Nexis by A.L. Davroe

Nexis

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, this does not affect my opinion of this book or the content of my review.

In the domed city of Evanescence, appearance is everything. A Natural Born amongst genetically-altered Aristocrats, all Ella ever wanted was to be like everyone else. Augmented, sparkling, and perfect. Then…the crash. Devastated by her father’s death and struggling with her new physical limitations, Ella is terrified to learn she is not just alone, but little more than a prisoner.

Her only escape is to lose herself in Nexis, the hugely popular virtual reality game her father created. In Nexis she meets Guster, a senior player who guides Ella through the strange and compelling new world she now inhabits. He offers Ella guidance, friendship…and something more. Something that allows her to forget about the “real” world, and makes her feel whole again.

But Nexis isn’t quite the game everyone thinks it is.

And it’s been waiting for Ella.

YA/NA, can we ever really escape this genre. It is so ubiquitous and so tempting. Look at that cover, check out that blurb, can you see why I would be tempted?

So this is a post-apocalytic dystopian where there are strict class rules and little to no room for upward mobility. Ella, grew up on the lower fringes of the Aristocracy, and is a Natural, meaning that unlike most of the Aristocrats (particularly the Elites) she has not been Altered or Modified-though she does still have a thought modification chip as everyone is her world does. But her father, in one of those rare opportunities for upward mobility, creates a society altering virtual reality game that raises them to the heights of their society.

If you note all the random capitalizations, that is as the author intends, as there is an explanation in the initial info-dumping of the story about how they spell things differently now and they use more capitalization.

There are a ton of really interesting concepts, it is kind of like we are plopped down into a hyper technical Panem Capital, but instead of the 13 districts we have a virtual wasteland which all but the Aristocrats must scrabble to survive in. And I suspect that if I read more YA/NA I might recognize more of the motifs. It wasn’t that it is a poorly done mashup, the world building is cohesive enough. It is just that some things seem vaguely familiar, as if I have read the blurbs or seen the movie trailers, not enough to make me think of something directly, like I did with the Hunger Games, but just enough to catch my attention. And I think that all these concepts being jammed in were what made it such a slog. Plus, it took about the first quarter of the book to really feel like things were going anywhere and it just about bludgeons you to death on the life lessons of loving yourself and humanity’s penchant for destruction. There’s no subtlety at all.

But then we hit the 25% mark and things seem to speed up. I spent a good bit of that section with an uncomfortable lump in the pit of my stomach. Basically what is happening is this: Ella has her Real Life which is unabashedly awful, and Nexis Life which is mostly very good. In Real Life she has basically no one, and in Nexis Life she has friends in the form of the Trickesters and a boy she loves. In Real Life she needs to find out why the bad things are happening (that is very obtuse but I don’t want to spoil it) and in Nexis she is on a quest with her fellow Tricksters. I make it sound prosaic, but it isn’t it is really good and there is quite a bit of emotional growth.

And then at around the 50% mark things slow back down to a crawl. There is still a lot of emotional stuff going on, but the story itself seems to revert back to its snail pace and I almost couldn’t force myself through it. Yes we were able to see the relationship between Ella and Gus (her love interest) deepen. But somehow that didn’t seem like enough. And there were some action adventure sequences too, but that didn’t seem enough either. I know the whole thing is only around 300 pages, but it seriously feels like the longest book I have ever read.

And then bang, at around the three quarters mark we are back to warp speed and an enormous head trip. Actually several of them, and it was very well done, interesting and exciting. I became excited to see how the book would end and where the series would go. Then the author sets up for a freaking love triangle for the next book and the love interest I like better does something boneheaded too.

Honestly I struggled with how to rate this. It was hard for me to finish and there were parts I didn’t like. But there were parts I absolutely enjoyed too. And the entire concept was really interesting, and I genuinely like Ella and Gus, though his absolute enrapture over her is a slightly off-putting and one of those NA tropes I don’t care for. And I will almost certainly read the next one because I am fiendishly curious where this whole thing is going. But you know what? I have a feeling that I will start out a bit miffed when I do start it and I hope the author resolves the whole love triangle thing PDQ.

So where does that leave me? Not a stellar rating, but an OK one. And I think this may turn out to be a popular book, probably deservedly so. It is well written, intricate, and has some heft to it. It is just that I am at least a half step out of sync from this book’s primary audience.

And if you want another perspective and some more information on the history of this world, check out this blog.

Nexis

 

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3 star review

Review – The Twisted Souls Series box Set by Cege Smith

Twisted Souls Box Set

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, this does not affect my opinion of this book or the content of my review.

The complete Twisted Souls series is available in this box set collection:

The Soul Ripper (Twisted Souls #1)
In a post-apocalyptic world known as the Territory of Malm, infants are born soulless. With a hideous appearance and unquenchable hunger, they are kept out of sight until they are Chosen.

Long ago, the residents of Malm placed their faith in the Office of Souls to lead them and keep them safe after the human race was almost destroyed in the time known only as “Before”. But someone long forgotten has other plans, and that means unleashing unspeakable evil into their world.

Soul Implantation Day 3675 starts out like any other, and follows the paths of six people who are destined to meet in the courtyard of the Fountain of Souls. They bear witness to a soul implantation ceremony gone terribly awry.

Not all of them will survive, and some will suffer a fate far worse than death.

*This novella was previously released under the title “The Soul Garden”.*

Twisted Souls (Twisted Souls #2)
The epic collision of good and evil that began in The Soul Ripper (Twisted Souls #1)

continues in Twisted Souls (Twisted Souls #2), the second installment of Cege Smith’s Twisted Soul series…

The survivors of Soul Implantation Day 3675 went into hiding as the rest of the Territory of Malm was ravaged by an old foe hell-bent on total domination of their world. As the focus settles on the last untouched outpost of humanity, Samuel, the new Head Master of the nearly annihilated Office of Souls, knows that something must be done in order to bring the human race back from the brink of total extinction.

Samuel’s secret weapon is Cameron, the last recipient of a soul from the Fountain of Souls. Cameron’s destiny has set her on a path to face down the ultimate evil and hopefully save mankind. Time is against them as the survivors discover that nowhere is safe from their enemy’s reach, and they must rejoin the outside world and fight before it is too late.

Soul Cycle (Twisted Souls #3)
The line between good and evil blurs even further in Soul Cycle (Twisted Souls #3), the third installment of the Twisted Souls saga…

Cameron, Samuel, and Malcolm survived the trap in the Office of Souls compound. Their goal is to reach Outpost Alanstown where they know they will have to confront their enemy. But as their journey begins, an encounter with a group of bloodthirsty Soulless Ones separates the group on the outskirts of West End, the capital city of the Territory of Malm.

In the meantime, in Outpost Alanstown, Chim retrieves Marius from the edges of madness. Marius finds himself in the difficult position of helping Chim in order to help himself.

What no one knows is that someone has been behind the scenes pulling the strings like a skilled puppet master, and that person is someone they never expected.

Answers from the past must be found before Cameron and Samuel’s true destinies can be revealed. The journey to the final battle is coming, but who will be there still remains a mystery.

A Soul to Settle (Twisted Souls #4)
A new evil rises as Samuel and Cameron race toward to Outpost Alanstown in the thrilling conclusion of the Twisted Souls series…

Facing a moral dilemma, Samuel realizes that everything he believed was right is wrong. He is confronted with the devastating truth that to save the Territory of Malm, he must first remove the stain of the treacherous legacy of the one who ruled before him.

Cameron teeters on the cusp of discovering her purpose.

This was just so trippy sounding I couldn’t resist. I am such an unreasoned fan of post-apocalyptic dystopians. And man, trippy doesn’t even begin to cover it. Babies in this world are born soulless, and it is creepy, not like Gail Carriger’s version of soulless at all.

So at first it is kind of mysterious, it is interesting and maybe even a bit frightening. And the end of the first story has quite a bit of action and a heck of a cliffhanger. I would NOT have liked to have been following along before everything came out. But when the second novella in the series starts up, it get a little… well it gets a little weird. And I don’t mean weird in a friendly nice sort of way. I get why the author made the choice she made. It truncates things in a way that makes her plot work the way she obviously intended. I just found this one aspect a bit offputting.

Honestly, the romantic elements of this story were the weakest elements in what is otherwise an interesting sort of sci-fi/fantasy/paranormal (honestly I don’t know quite what it is, it is a mashup) dystopian story, and while that takes up a significant portion of the plot, I think it may have been a stronger and better story without it, or at least done differently. Or that may be my particular bias, because this turned out to be a new adult in disguise.

On the other hand, that may not have helped, as I found Marius, one of the bad guys, the most likable and sympathetic out of the whole cast for most of the book. Chim was unmitigated one-dimensional evil. Cameron was stunted and one-dimensional for the vast majority of the book, though that really wasn’t her fault. But Samuel was the piece de’resistance, a man so willfully blind for so long is almost unbearable.

And for then first 98% of the book, the ending of my review had a very different angle. But the authors ending vompletely changed mine. It is hard to describe, but I vacillated between being almost too frustrated to continue, and being helplessly mesmerized by the events taking place. This thing twisted and turned on itself so many times it was impossible to know where it was headed. But that last 2% of the book, in a series full of twists absolutely turned me on my head. Absolutely nothing was like I thought, and that ending was nothing that I could have expected.

As far as editing goes, the first two appeared very well-edited, or if there were any errors I simply didn’t note them. The third book saw a variety of small errors that caught my attention, like please instead of pleas. But overall for a self published book it is actually quite good.

So final analysis? Did I like it? I don’t know. I think I liked the premise of it better than the execution. I was honestly all set to give this thing 2 stars and be done with it. Is it really fair to change a rating based on such a small section of the book? Probably not, but the author did something so unexpected that it completely subverted my expectations, such that I can’t quite help myself from adjusting my viewpoint, and my rating. Do I wish the author had handled the main relationship differently and that more of the questions were answered? Absolutely, like I said this is better in theory than in execution. But there was just something about the way she stayed true to what is not precisely a happy ending in a way that fed into the world she built without shoehorning in the perfect happy ending, that it felt like a rewarding read in the end. I just couldn’t help upgrading my rating.

So I am giving this a generous, conditional 3 stars. Very generous considering it was only the last 2% of the book that bumped it up for me (though some of that initial low score was likely from previous admitted biases). Conditional on what I can’t quite express without entirely spoiling the ending. Closest that I have is that you should probably like new adult, not mind that the boundaries of science and magic are unclear, not mind that all the questions aren’t answered, and not need a complete happily ever after. Which all sounds rather grim, except it isn’t.

On a completely unrelated note (to the story itself), what I found myself feeling slightly curious about as I read through this serial compilation, is that when people put these together they don’t edit out the recap transitions. I know those are necessary and/or helpful when people are reading the various entries separately because of time lags or because people skips books or jump into the series randomly, but when they are all bound together in one book, I’d almost think you’d want to clean them up since they aren’t really necessary anymore. It just makes me wonder why people don’t. So that is my odd musing for this one.

The Twisted Souls Series (Box Set: The Soul Ripper, Twisted Souls, Soul Cycle, A Soul to Settle)
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4.5 star review

ARC Review & Giveaways – Beyond Innocence by Kit Rocha

Beyond Innocence
By Kit Rocha

For years, Jared has existed on the fringes of both Eden society and Dallas O’Kane’s Sector Four gang. He travels between these worlds, protected by his money and power–money he earned selling his body, and power that comes from knowing secrets. He’s untouchable—until he starts a new life gathering intelligence for the O’Kanes.
Lili Fleming walked out of Sector Five with a gun, the bloodstained clothes on her back, and an icy determination to survive. She finds herself in a world where people live hard and love harder, and nothing’s more terrifying than how much the O’Kanes wake her up, make her feel—especially Jared.
Emotion is a risk he can’t afford, and a complication she doesn’t need. But neither can resist the lust simmering between them, and the sparks that could either melt the ice around both their hearts…or get them killed. Because the only thing more dangerous than loving an O’Kane is loving a spy.


This is book 6 in Kit Rocha’s sexy post apocalytic series. Previous books I’ve reviewed in this series include Beyond Shame, Beyond Control, Beyond Pain, Beyond Temptation, Beyond Jealousy, Beyond Solitude, Beyond Addiction, and Beyond Possession. Needless to say, once I found them, I inhaled them. We’ve got a couple of giveaways here, and then my review.


From the author:a Rafflecopter giveaway

And from me, via the author(s), This giveaway is open internationally for anyone who is 18 and over and you can enter using the Rafflecopter form below. The giveaway ends on the 28th of May and the winner will be announced soon afterwards. The prize will be sent out directly by Kit Rocha or her assistant so by entering you are giving me permission to share your email address. Feel free to enter both:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received an ARC of this book from the author, this does not affect my opinion of this book or the contents of my review.

I really adore this series. For what is most certainly erotica, Kit Rocha has developed a richly nuanced post-apocalyptic dystopian world, somewhat reminiscent of the Hunger Games only with no grand games, and adults instead of children. And while the world is rather detailed, and the politics are interesting, it is the people who are the heart of these stories. And while old favorite characters are scattered throughout and take up prominent portions of the story, it is because they are integral to the story, it is because the O’Kane’s individually and as a whole ARE the story. The characters wouldn’t be the people they are without the relationships. It never feels as though they’ve been thrown in to keep fans happy seeing beloved characters, as happens too often in series.

Lili and Jared are probably the most damaged and interesting characters yet. And somehow, Lilli is the most out of place heroine as well. But she changes and grows, and makes a spot for herself that is uniquely her own.

Lili’s world tilted oddly, then settled while her mind continued to spin. Every time she was convinced she’d mapped out the boundaries of what her new life could be, an offhand comment shoved them outward again. Women could distill liquor and brew beer. Women could run businesses and have trades. Women could fight for money.
She didn’t know if she wanted to do any of those things… But now she knew she could.


This whole world is eye opening for her, like nothing she’d ever imagined. And I don’t know if this aspect is just increasing, or it has always been in this series and I am just really noting it because of the last book I read, but THIS is how you mix feminism, erotica, and BDSM. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t highly politicized, but it is definitely a theme. And I think Lili is a perfect foil for it, and Jared was surprisingly (to me) tender, and wile not perfect, he was perfect for her.

“The first time you kissed me, I felt like the desert, and you were the rain. So much rain, I thought you’d wash me away. But, I’m not the desert, I’m the flowers.”


Of course this wouldn’t be a book about the sectors and the O’Kane’s without drama and intrigue, and Jared provides this in spades. The political machinations are really speeding up toward a large confrontation. And Lili provides a giant piece of the puzzle.

She wasn’t the desert or the flowers. She was a g——m diamond, formed under terrible pressure, as hard as the rock Logan had put on her finger.
And she’d cut the f—k out of anyone who didn’t get out of her way.


Beyond Innocence was sweet, tender, and raunchy, everything I’ve come to expect from this series. So now we’re set up for some real conflict in the next books, and a possible endgame is in sight. The next book should be coming out this winter and I can hardly wait. 4.5 stars

Contestheat

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4 star review

ARC Review – Beyond Possession

Beyond Possession
by Kit Rocha

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. 

This is listed as book 5.5 in this series. You can read previous reviews here and here.


This is a novella in what is a rather gripping post-apocalyptic dystopian world. While the author states she tries to make the novellas more accessible to new readers, at this point I don’t think it is possible. The world building and characterization of the other main characters in the series are simply too far along. So new readers, don’t start here, and don’t read this review if you don’t want spoilers for the previous books.

I really enjoyed Zan and Tatiana’s story. Zan is recovering from when he almost died attempting to protect Trix. Tatiana on the other hand is struggling to maintain her balance in Sector 4 as her father was the ruler that O’Kane over threw in order to come to power. O’Kane isn’t universally loved so this puts her, and her sister, in a hard place. When rebellion starts brewing, and her sister trapped on the wrong side, few choices falls down to none. Since this is a short story, there isn’t much to the courtship process, so Zan and Tatiana’s connection relies on back-story not seen on the page, which I infinitely prefer to the insta-connection. They are sweet and sexy, and Zan for all his dominant ways was remarkably sensitive to Tatiana’s needs. And Tatiana for her part recognizes this and learns to bend and to trust, but I appreciate the level of independence she maintained compared to some of the other heroine’s in this series. This book is grittier than the previous one and gives us some new insight into the politics within Sector 4. Overall 4 stars, but I couldn’t rate it any higher because Tatiania seemed a bit shoehorned into joining the O’Kane’s. I absolutely cannot wait for the next book, because that one should be another full-length one.

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3.5 star review

ARC Review – Beyond Addiction

Beyond Addiction
by Kit Rocha

Beyond Addiction

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. 

This is book 5 in the Beyond Series, a post-apocalyptic erotice/romance series. You can read my previous reviews here.

Trix was left hanging with one hell of a cliffhanger at the end of the last book. That is rather expeditiously resolved at the beginning of this story, when she lands right back into Sector 5 and the hands of her former lover, Finn. Finn is a man on the edge, a man who only wants a front row seat with no exit plan to the ruination of Sector 5. But, when Trix shows up everything changes. While he doesn’t start out wanting to change his path, he does have a new goal.

Despite the action, this book seems both more relaxed and introspective. Overall, I’d say this book was less about Trix and Finn (though don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of sizzle), and more about expanding the world building. And that is the thing about these stories; they are creating such a novel, raunchy, post apocalyptic-dystopian world, that these books just aren’t stand alones. While this is absolutely not my favorite story or couple, I still enjoy the world that is being built and can’t wait for the next one.

But one more thing, I’d love to find out more about Ryder.

3.5 stars
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Uncategorized

Kit Rocha-Beyond Series

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.

I sat down and devoured the entire series in a couple of days so I am just going to post all the reviews on this one post.

Beyond Shame (Beyond #1)
by Kit Rocha

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.

Beyond Control (Beyond #2)
by Kit Rocha

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.

Beyond Pain (Beyond #3)
by Kit Rocha

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.

Beyond Temptation (Beyond #3.5)
by Kit Rocha

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.

Beyond Jealousy (Beyond #4)
by Kit Rocha

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.

Beyond Solitude (Beyond #4.5)
by Kit Rocha

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).

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