Joint Review: Beyond Jealousy by Kit Rocha

beyondjealosyBeyond Jealousy by Kit Rocha (Beyond #4)
Released: March 17, 2014
Erotic Dystopian
Self Published

Reviewed by Mandi and Tori

Blurb: When Rachel Riley sacrificed a life in Eden to protect the O’Kanes, she earned her place in the powerful Sector Four gang. But the former crime princess is tired of being everyone’s sweet little sister . It’s time for her to get wild, to embrace her fantasies as only an O’Kane can—with a delicious exiled soldier and the gang’s wickedly sinful tattoo artist.

A saint…

Lorenzo Cruz is a warrior, taught by his commanding officers in Eden that involvement equals distraction. Emotion is a liability, and desire a sin. In Sector Four, he finds decadence, shameless sex—and his own dark urges. No battle strategy prepared him for how Rachel makes his heart race…or the way his rival for her affections sets his blood on fire.

…and a sinner.

Ace Santana has a dirty reputation and a mind to match, especially where his new lovers are concerned. He’s eager to help Cruz embrace his dominant side, and to explore the lines between pleasure and pain with Rachel. But corrupting them quickly becomes an obsession, a need he can’t deny—and a love he never imagined.

Three hearts on the line means a hundred ways their ménage a trois could go wrong. After all, even O’Kanes do forever two-by-two. One of them could be the missing piece that makes them all whole…or a temporary diversion destined for a broken heart

Mandi: I love this series. I love the dystopian setting, the extremely alpha males, the tough women and all the sex. Kit Rocha teased us a lot with Ace, Cruz and Rachel in the previous book. I was so desperate for their story and I wasn’t disappointed.

As I feel that these books need to be read in order to know the world, I’m not going to spend time rehashing who these characters are and how they get to this book. I’m just going to jump right into it. Menage’s are fun to read but the ending permanent relationship and HEA doesn’t usually work for me. But I think a menage works great in this world. Sector Four is all about family, loyalty – and sex. Having a relationship with three people is cheered in this world. It’s probably more the normal in a way and as I read this book, I couldn’t imagine one of them without the other two. We have Ace, the former prostitute, who feels broken on the inside. Terrified that what he has (a relationship with Rachel and Cruz) will never last. We have Cruz, one who needs to dominate. Who feels his loyalties pulled by Sector Four and Eden. And Rachel – the one known as shy, who was dropped into Sector Four as she took the fall for her father’s bad behavior. These three have angst y’all! A huge amount of angst.

I felt like we got into all three heads very well. The author devoted enough time to each individually to understand their background and what issues they were bringing into the relationship. Tori – I know you had some problems with the emotional aspect of this story. Let’s hear it.

Tori: I have to agree that this world opens up doorways to behavior and situations that wouldn’t work as well in a modern erotic romance. Life is at a premium and could end at any moment so the taboos concerning sex, violence, and drugs isn’t felt here. Especially as the Sectors are used to highlight the hypocrisy that Eden represents. I love the balance between the darkness and the humor. I love the eroticness that surrounds the storyline and the characters. I like the family based atmosphere that permeates the storyline.

I have, like you Mandi, waited a long time to see how Rocha would bring Rachel, Cruz, and Ace together and bind them to one another. The angst and emotional issues each deals with is felt from the very beginning. These people have problems. While I enjoyed their romance, (and I hesitate to call it that at this point), I felt the issues they each faced individually and as a group weren’t addressed enough between them. We hear their fears in their thoughts but they didn’t speak of them to one another in a way that would have had me believing their relationship better.  They used sex to bridge the connection between them, which is fine, but a bridge is only as strong as it’s supports and I didn’t see much support. What did you think of their emotional connection, Mandi? Did it click for you?

Mandi: There is one thing that I mention a lot for this author, especially when they write as Moira Rogers. There is never a ton of internal conflict with the protagonists. They all fall into a relatioship either very easily or right at the beginning of the book. While I said this book has angst, it’s more the yearning to have the physical relationship. There is definitely some fear about committing 100% to this relatiosnship, but yes – they use sex to sort everything out. I feel like these three could have shown more trepidation or like you said – more hashing out what they fear rather than submitting/dominating to one another in the bedroom time and time again. And we all knew Ace would be the one to freak out. But even his freak out was mild. I sometimes feel like this author doesn’t want to scare the reader too much – so they had the expected freak out at the end but it wasn’t super deep.

However, I also feel like because I understood these three so well – that I understood why each one was hesitant, that maybe they each worked out a big portion of their fears themselves. I get what you are saying, but it didn’t bother me in this book as it had in past books by this author. Their emotional connection clicked for me.

So for you Tori, their insecurities are still present?

Tori: Yes. They weren’t addressed until the end, so I can’t see any of it really going away. None of them feel the others will stay and I wasn’t reassured that those feelings were gone or at least softened.  They made promises and we’ll just have to see if it works. BUT, now I sound like May (giggle,) you are correct in saying that this series doesn’t really dwell on the emotional conflict as much as one would assume and that adds to the appeal in some ways. I normally like the relative fast romance set up. Perhaps because we watched this relationship evolve since the beginning of the series, privy to all the angst, conflict, thoughts, ect…I expected more to be revealed from them on a mental and emotional level. I wanted to see them work it out on all levels.

Now, I know YOU liked the smexytimes, Mandi, but how did you feel about the ongoing storyline involving the bootlegging of O’Kane brew? I felt the romance definitely overshadowed the arc. We finally learn who’s behind the illegal bootlegging, with some misdirection tossed in for good measure, but the reasons why are still a little iffy. I did wish more time had been spent flushing out the details. Anytime spent learning about the other sectors makes me HAPPY!!

Mandi: I could have used a little more page time with the bootlegging story. I love to see this world outside of Sector four. The authors do a nice job in world building and I love the action and the background/side stories we get with the characters. I definitely would have been happy if more page time was devoted this. But I was happy with all the sex too (what?) We get all the combinations – and as expected – the angry shower sex between Ace and Cruz was my favorite *wink*

Cruz grabbed him by the throat and rolled them, putting Ace against the wall again, still grinning, still gripping Cruz’s dick, because the flash of temper proved his fucking point.

When he crashed their mouths together, Cruz told himself it was the only way to shut the other man up. And for a second, the thought even that wouldn’t work, because Ace jerked away, and Cruz knew words would follow, words that would rip him open, show him for what he was. Dark and bent and anything but heroic.

“Get your hand on my fucking dick already,” Ace snarled instead, before sinking his teeth into Cruz’s lip.

Overall, this book worked for me. I have so much fun reading these characters and this world. AND – if you go to Kit Rocha’s coming soon page you can figure out who will be in the next couple of books and this excites me greatly.

Rating:B

 

Tori: Overall, I enjoyed. We finally get the story we wanted and some advancement in the arc. Now, I will admit, the sex was scorching HAWT and Ace and Cruz knew what Rachel needed and were able to supply it multiple times. *wink* And in multiple ways. Angry shower sex FOR THE WIN!! However,  I did have qualms about it in general which I have already addressed. I felt the sex took over the romance and we lost out there.

I plan on continuing to read as the Rocha crew has informed me that the next few heroines will be right up my alley and the world and characters is just too irresistible.

Rating: C+

Tori’s Favorite Quotes: 

“I’ll always come back to you. And I’ll always bring him with me.”

*******

“She’d take it if he wanted her to. She’d try anything, because she was perfect. She was fucking perfect.”

*******

She pulled back to gaze up at him, her blue eyes troubled. “Is that how you feel about them? That they’d better hide all their ugly stuff because you don’t want to see it?”

*******

“Ace is cute and all, but I’m dying of jealousy over Cruz. I can’t even look at his cage fights straight on. I might get spontaneously pregnant or something.”

Goodreads l Author Website l Series Guide

Kindle l Nook

Comments

  1. CarrieB says

    Great review, ladies! My feelings were very similar – I felt like the triad was emotionally unbalanced. I got Ace-Cruz and Rachel-Ace, but not really Cruz-Rachel. I certainly didn’t get a solid feel of all 3 in partnership (but maybe it’s because I just don’t “get” poly relationships).

  2. Sheena says

    I liked it…I can’t stop thinking Cruz is just an interloper. Lol! I love Ace and his vulnerability. I don’t really like poly relationships which may be while I am luke warm on this installment. I keep thinking how amazing a Ace/Rachel epic HEA would have been leading to an even more Epic Cruz book, oh well! All in all the world building is amazing.

  3. Melissa T says

    I thought the book was good but I would have wanted more relationship building. I didn’t get a strong feel for the love between Ace and Cruz. From the other stories we knew they had become friends but it just wasn’t as believeable that they were in love with each other as much as they were in love with Rachel and her with them. But I loved the glimpses we got into the other characters and what will happen next.

    Now I want to go re read Beyond Pain because Bren is my favorite and the glimpses of him in this book just made me love him (and Six) more.

    • Mandi says

      Thinking back – If Rachel had not been in the picture, I could see Ace and Cruz messing around with each other but not being in love. I think they each truly love Rachel, but maybe not IN love with each other. So I agree.

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