Beyond Ruin by Kit Rocha: A Review
by Kiersten Hallie Krum
Hello Lady Smutters!! I have met my (first) deadline (admittedly late, but there’s a certain greatness to my lateness.) To add some shine to the luster of my euphoric return, I have, for you, today, a review of the newest Kit Rocha Sector Four, O’Kane wonderbeast Beyond Ruin–and a giveaway!!!
Unfortunately, the giveaway isn’t Mad from Sector Four, because in Beyond Ruin he gets not one, not two, but three lovers hooked up with him for good in a web only Kit Rocha could weave this tight.
Look! A blurb!
The explosive 7th book in the bestselling BEYOND series. The sectors will never be the same.
Adrian Maddox fled his royal life–and tragic past–in Sector One, choosing instead to join up with the O’Kanes. For years, he’s lived by one rule: love fast, love hard, and always be willing to walk away. He’s managed to guard his heart, keep it whole and untouched–until now.
They couldn’t be more different–Dylan, the brilliant, burned-out doctor from Eden who drowns his pain with drugs and self-destruction. Scarlet, the sensuous, sexy rocker from Three, a woman unafraid to embrace the world. And Jade, the whore turned spy from Sector Two, who battled addiction and came out stronger than anyone he’s ever met.
Separately, they make Mad long to open his heart, to tumble head-first into a sea of possibilities and wild love. Together, they make him burn, inside and out, with lust and unbearable, unimaginable pleasure.
Then one fateful moment shakes their world to its foundations–and leaves the sectors on the verge of all-out war with Eden. It’s the biggest fight the O’Kanes have ever faced, and Mad and his lovers are at the dead center of it. They could end up with everything they never knew they wanted–or lose it all. Including their lives.
So, this is Mad’s book and, I won’t lie, I’ve been waiting for his book for a loooooong time. Bits and pieces of his story and his connections to Sector One and his angst over being the grandson of the Great Prophet, treated like a god on earth whenever he’s in his home district and how the hell he got from Sector One to become an O’Kane of Sector Four have been teased through nearly all of the past six Beyond books. Me, I don’t like to be teased (mostly…) but I do like the fulfillment part, and that’s what Beyond Ruin aims to do with Mad’s story…and succeeds. Boy. Howdy.
This is a polyamory story with Mad finally addressing his feelings for Doc, Scarlet, and Jade individually and as a whole. Mad and Doc have been in a relationship with each other for some time. Ditto Scarlet and Jade, but each knows they are all tied to one another in unique ways and they’ve been discussing that for some time with their partners. They finally chuck it all out front and center and dive into having sex together as they cautiously poke at the emotional lengths to which they’re all willing to go to make their unit as a commitment foursome work…or not as the case may be.
As usual in Sector Four, the sex scenes are hot and highly emotional. There’s a lot to juggle in their big bed and pains are taken by characters and author to make sure everyone is being cared for on both levels. True, I had a few moments when I kinda wished I had a flow chart, or maybe Elizabeth SaFleur’s Sex Position Gumby for clarity about how one…part went where. But, once I let go of focusing on the “how does that work again?” component and let the emotions take center stage, any lingering muddled edges quickly smoothed out. Still, flow chart. Just sayin’.
Outside of the polyamory emo angst–on which, Kit Rocha delivers big time as per usual–what really pumps me up about Beyond Ruin is this book is a BFD game changer for the Sectors. As is huge.
That line of the tagline above–“The sectors will never be the same”–is not fucking around. The playing board of sectors and their leaders is not shaken up, it is tossed in the air, flung around the room. doused liberally in tequila, and set on fire. By the end of Beyond Ruin, Dallas O’Kane is facing the biggest fight of his life and it is all or nothing for everyone in the sectors…and beyond.
As a part of this game-changing action, Beyond Ruin takes us finally into Sector One, where the rulers are viewed as gods on earth thanks to the dubious inspiration of the Great Prophet, Mad’s grandfather who abused his power as religious and civil leader to disastrous results. As a direct descendant, Mad is next in line to assume the leadership of Sector One, now ruled by his cousin, a man Mad respects and loves a great deal. But Mad isn’t interested in ruling; he’s torn between the love he has for his family and the resentment he feels for being expected to live in lavish wealth and worship he feels none of them deserve while their people struggle in a post-apocalyptic world. Mad’s conflict over where he came from and how the sycophantic mindset of his family’s worshipers lead to his parent’s deaths over which he stills bears guilt strongly influence his angst over Jade, Doc, and Scarlet. It also becomes genuinely life-threatening a few times over.
Our entry in Sector One also introduces the bad ass, super devoted Gideon’s Riders, the elite secret police force intensely loyal to Mad’s cousin, Gideon, who rules Sector One and equally reverent of all members of the royal family, like Mad. If the Riders feel like delicious sequel bait, well you’re not wrong. They will be the focus of the next new Kit Rocha series…coming soon.
Jade does some unhappy walking down memory lane too as the BFD game-changing action erodes the power structure of Sector Two. Jade is called upon to fill the vacuum and come to terms with her own history involving Sector Two and her past as a famous and powerful mistress during which she was a skilled spy for her sector leader along with the addiction that was eventually forced upon her and what she did to defeat it. Doc, Scarlet and Mad must come to terms with the way this changes Jade status (and location) if they’re to make their foursome unit strong enough to survive the perils of the Sectors.
Clearly there is a LOT going on in the Sectors in Beyond Ruin and while this may be the titular “Mad’s book” in fact, a whole lot of dangling threads are being yanked the hell out and snared up together in new complicated knots. Which makes me all…
I’m a back story whore–gimme, gimme more–so I dig hard all the delving Beyond Ruin does in fleshing out what makes these characters who have influenced events sometimes dramatically in books before, but have not had their own real chance to shine, finally take center stage. I also deeply enjoyed seeing the inner workings of the Sector world shatter and reform. I can’t wait to see what happens next–and I admit to being a tad scared some favorite characters are heading toward bloody ends. Beyond Ruin takes serious narrative risks, which expertly set the stage for the upcoming last two books of the series. For any O’Kane fan, it’s a must read.
Are you new to Sector Four? Want to see what all the hubbub is about the O’Kanes? Well, how about a handy book bundle of the first three Beyond books to get you started? Thanks to the generosity of Kit Rocha, I have a book bundle of Beyond Shame, Beyond Control, and Beyond Pain to give to one lucky Lady Smutter. Simply click the button to follow Lady Smut and then leave a comment and let me know what you love most about the world of Sector Four or, if you’re a newbie to the Beyond series, what tempts you most to start reading? I’ll pick one lucky winner and announce the name on my post next week.
Be sure to check out all the Lady Smut love for Kit Rocha
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Singer, writer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten Hallie Krum avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities straight is hard enough work. She writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense and her first book will be available to buy on April 14th. Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.
But wait, there’s more! Enjoy these blurbs about the bundle giveaway to whet your appetite. And remember to leave a comment to win!
Blurb for Beyond Volume One
All Noelle Cunningham has ever wanted is a life beyond the walls of Eden, where only the righteous are allowed to remain. But ruins lie outside the City, remnants of a society destroyed by solar storms.
Those ruins house the corrupt and the criminal–men like Jasper McCray, bootlegger and cage fighter. He’ll defend the O’Kane gang with his life, but no fight prepared him for the exiled City girl who falls at his feet.
Her innocence is undeniable, and so is their attraction. But if she wants to belong to Jas, she’ll have to open herself to a world where passion is power, and freedom is found in submission.
Alexa Parrino escaped a life of servitude to become one of the most influential people in Sector Four, where the O’Kanes rule with a hedonistic but iron fist. There’s nothing she wouldn’t do for the gang–and for its leader. But she bows to no one, not even Dallas O’Kane.
Dallas fought to carve order out of the chaos of the sectors. Danger threatens his people, but his liquor business is flourishing, and new opportunities fuel his ambition. Lex could help him expand his empire–and no one says no to the king of Sector Four.
Falling into bed is easy, but their sexual games are anything but casual. Attraction quickly turns to obsession, and their careful dance of heady dominance and sweet submission uncovers a need so deep, so strong, it could crush them both.
Live fast, die young–anything else is a fantasy for Six. She’s endured the worst the sectors had to throw at her, but falling in with Dallas O’Kane’s Sector Four gang lands her in a whole new world of danger. They’re completely open about everything, including their sexuality–but she hasn’t survived this long by making herself vulnerable. Especially not to men as dominant as Brendan Donnelly.
Bren is a killer, trained in Eden and thrown to the sectors. His one outlet is pain, in the cage and in the bedroom, and emotion is a luxury he can’t afford–until he meets Six. Protecting her soothes him, but it isn’t enough. Her hunger for touch sparks a journey of erotic discovery where anything goes–voyeurism, flogging, rough sex. He has only one rule: he won’t share her.
In Bren’s arms, Six is finally free to let go. But his obsession with the man who made him a monster could destroy the fragile connection they’ve forged, and cost him the one thing that makes him feel human–her.