I initially grabbed Beyond Shame because it was free on Kindle, and then picked up its sequel, Beyond Control, because I was intrigued. Like many series of its ilk, it’s kind of more-of-the-same, kind of not, and YMMV on how much you enjoy each individual book based on how much you like the lead couple.
The series is fairly hardcore erotic romance, and it’s definitely out of my comfort zone, so it’s kind of hard for me to review it. Public group sex is the norm, there’s all manner of BDSM, and the relationships are fraught with power play of which I have no operable concept. My gut tells me that it’s responsibly written, and that the dynamics in play here are well within safe practices, but I can’t say for sure because it’s so far out of my comprehension.
Beyond Shame is the story of Noelle and Jasper. Some background of the world here, because it’s kind of cool and part of what drew me in: it’s a post-apocalyptic dystopian environment, and the world is set up as eight “sectors” around a central core called Eden. Beyond the sectors is basically ungoverned farmland, on which people work essentially as slaves. Eden is considered the only truly civilized part of society left, and it comes with a strict moralistic code that essentially means back to puritanical expectations for women. You can get literally expelled from Eden for the sin of fornication. So, if you’re the curious type, as Noelle was, you may find your ass out on the street in one of the sectors. Even if you’re a councilman’s daughter, as she is. When she lands out in Sector Four, she’s rescued by Jasper, right hand man to Dallas O’Kane, leader of the O’Kane gang, which controls Sector Four. Noelle basically makes friends in the gang through lots of sex, which was simultaneously pleasureable to read (as advertised, you know) and also strange, since barely any of it was any kind of sex I’d ever like to have, and also because there’s a whiff of “Hey, to join this gang you have to fuck all of us.” But in fact, that’s really not what’s going on, and Kit Rocha makes it really clear that in spite of Noelle’s sheltered background and the timidity that comes from going 0-100 in sexual experience, she’s clearly in control of what she wants and owns her own pleasure. Anyway, Noelle and Jasper are a match made in gang territory heaven.
Beyond Control is the story of Dallas and Lex, who along with Jasper, was Noelle’s spirit guide in the first book. This book had less of the group orgy dynamic than the first, but more complicated power play between the two. This book also had a whole political subplot about Dallas’ group taking control of another sector that had fallen into chaos, and how that made Lex a target. So on top of the two already squaring off against each other for control and balance of control in their relationship, there’s the added dynamic of Dallas having to appear not as in love with Lex as he actually is, which complicates their tête-à-tête because it makes Lex unsure of Dallas’ emotional involvement and if the games he is playing are just about sex or not.
If any of this sounds up your alley, I would say at least Beyond Shame is worth reading, especially since it’s free on Kindle. It’s hard to unreservedly recommend them because they’re definitely reaching to a niche audience, but hey. Despite not really being part of that audience, I enjoyed them.