Beyond Ecstasy by Kit Rocha (Beyond #8)
Released: May 23, 2016
Reviewed by Tori and Mandi
The O’Kanes have a reputation for working hard and playing harder—except for Hawk. He joined the gang with one goal: to ensure his family’s survival through the impending war with Eden. It’s been years since he had the luxury of wanting anything for himself. Now, he wants Jeni. From the first moment he saw her, he’s been obsessed with making her his. Not for a night—forever.
Jeni’s been lusting after the former smuggler for months, but he keeps shutting her down. She’s almost given up on getting him in her bed when he offers her the last thing she ever expected—a collar. Accepting it means belonging to him, body and soul. It’s a reckless gamble, but Jeni can’t resist the chance to slip under Hawk’s armor.
The only thing more shocking than the dark, dangerous pleasure they discover is how right it feels. But falling in love is even more reckless when forever is far from guaranteed. Because they aren’t just at war, they’re out of time—and every breath could be their last.
Mandi: The next to the last Beyond book (but don’t fret, a spin-off series named Gideon’s Riders is coming soon!). Honestly, this was not my favorite book of the series. I have two main complaints – I’ll start with Hawk and Jeni. For some reason they just didn’t do a lot for me. Hawk lives his life like he is going to die tomorrow. He has very strong feelings towards Jeni, so when he decides he wants to be with her, he goes all in 100%. He has grown up in a life where he had to fight to make things his. With a very large family, everything was shared. This prompts Hawk to kind of jump on Jeni when he recognizes his feelings.
He offers her his collar to wear, a sign to show she is all his – and while Jeni definitely has feelings for Hawk, to her it feels very rushed. After a short debate with herself, and with a little hesitation, she accepts the collar. There wasn’t a big build-up to it – it all happened a little too easy and I guess I just needed a little more work up to their relationship. Once they are in a relationship, Hawk must learn how to please Jeni, and how to provide her with a dominant/submissive relationship she enjoys. The dominant/submissive stuff didn’t do a lot for me but I think that is because I didn’t feel like I really got to know Jeni and Hawk all that well. For me, Hawk and Jeni didn’t have the depth in their character like Ace, Cruz, Rachel, Dallas, Lex etc…
What do you think, Tori?
Tori: I admit to being more excited we were finally getting Hawk’s story then caring who he was ending up with. For me, Jeni has never been a very viable character. She’s always hovered in the background and nothing about her really distinguishes her as an individual in the O’Kane group. I felt as if she was built using a little of every heroine we have grown to love in the series. I neither liked or disliked her-she is just there. Hawk was far more developed for me going into this book. I found his background-growing up in a polygamous like commune-very intuitive look into his psyche. He is an intense man who gives his all and currently feels his loyalty is being pulled in a multitude of directions. He is a natural caretaker and due to his upbringing, he wants, no, NEEDS someone all for himself.
As you said Mandi, neither of their backstories really prepared us for them as a couple.
This made the relationship somewhat suspect for me. The instant need to collar Jeni was an intimate look into Hawk. Again, he has lived his whole life having to share everything and he doesn’t want to share Jeni. A collar, like a ring, is a promise of monogamy even though Hawk knows inside, the O’Kane’s don’t preach monogamy though it’s not frowned upon either. To each his own is a motto they live by.
“The O’Kanes have a reputation for casual” she said carefully. “But I think people just don’t understand. None of it is casual. Ever.”
As we got deeper into the story, I started to see Jeni as more than just another O’Kane. Her characterization was slow to reveal, rather like the romance itself. She is like a chameleon who adapts to the scenery around them. Blending but not quite fitting in. This couple starts out fast and furious, then backs off to shore up the foundation for the overwhelming emotions they hold. Emotions that are as dark, intense, and unpredictable as the war that is coming.
I liked that Jeni turned down Hawk’s need to collar her in the beginning. She showed strength, intelligence, and compassion by not grabbing what she wanted in order to try to build something worthy of it. She is correct in that for all the time they have been around one another-they really don’t know one another. This couple makes mistakes ( a lot of mistakes based on assumptions and lack of communication) and in that I began to feel the realism of the situation and their romance. They not only try but learn from their mistakes. I will admit I wasn’t totally on board with the The D/s scenes though they are HAWT. AS. HELL. Emotionally deep and drenched in the eroticism Rocha does so well, there was a rushed feel to the whole set up so at times I was uncomfortable watching them.
“Not having you is bad. Not getting to keep you would be worse.”
The war and the more indepth look at the different sectors, their roles, and the people who inhabit them is what really held my attention in this installment. This has been a long reaching arc and we are finally getting to see the sectors go to battle against Eden. Either they will win or die trying but surrender is not an option. There is no turning back for the O’Kanes. They are the backbone of this war and so much depends on them. Never has the weight of responsibility ever been so heavy as it is resting on the shoulders of Dallas and Lex. As we all know that Rocha is planning a spin-off so characters from that coming series all come out to play, giving us hints and clues to what is in store or us. Muy excited. ASHWIN!!! *thud*
“Let’s see how those fancy motherfuckers like the dark.”
While Beyond Ecstasy isn’t my favorite installment in regards to the romance, the main conflict and the strong arc advancements help to balance that out. I look forward *SOB* to the final book in this series and to what Rocha has in store for us next.
Favorite Quote: “No rules except for the ones we make.”
Mandi: While we do see the darker side of this war in this book, I did wish we had seen more of it. More action, more violence – been immersed in the darkness for longer.
But I enjoyed going to Sector six and meeting Hawk’s very (very) large family. The threat imposed on the farmers was alarming and their dedication to their sector and the frustration of making them give that up tugged at my heart.
I was saddened to learn that this was the next to last book in this series, but then so excited to discover not only is Ryder and Nessa next (omg I love them already) but we get a spin-off series to look forward to.
“Nessa, this is Ryder, the guy who took over Five. And this is Nessa.”
Of course he was. Of course he fucking was, because if her hormones were anything, they were reliably self-destructive. Why fall for a nice, boring boy loyal to Sector Four when she could get the hots for a guy Dallas still didn’t entirely trust, a guy so dangerous he’d taken over Sector Five from the inside.
While this romance didn’t quite do it for me, I’m highly anticipating the final book. What a fun, erotic series this has been.