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REVIEW: Beyond Jealousy by Kit Rocha

Beyond Jealousy (Beyond #4) by Kit Rocha

Dear Ms. Rocha:

There are so many things I really love about this series and it’s not primarily the sexual interaction. The series is set in a post apocalyptic environment focusing on the city Eden and outlying sectors.

Inside the city, people are taught that woman are chattels and sex is something to be endured. The sectors are like the Wild West with each region ruled by different gangs who impose their own rules. What kind of life you live depends largely upon the leader of your sector.

In Sector Four, Dallas O’Kane rules. He’s not a kind and benevolent leader but his sector offers four things: access to premium O’Kane liquor, sex shows, fight matches, and the freedom to live as you wish.

Beyond Jealousy is the story of Cruz, Rachel, and Ace.  Rachel and Ace have been dancing around each other for years but for some reason that remains a mystery to me, Ace pushed Rachel away.  Beyond Jealousy is one of those books that I think would be difficult to read on its own and even though I’ve read the previous books in the series, I’m still befuddled as to the actual emotional conflict.

Because Ace believes he cannot commit to Rachel, he hurts her and along comes Cruz. Cruz was a former military leader in Eden but defected to join Sector Four as an enforcer.  In previous books, Rachel and Cruz had a thing until Cruz and Ace got together.

When Beyond Jealousy begins, there isn’t a struggle with Cruz accepting a menage but rather it is focused on Ace’s inability to commit to the threesome because he believes he is unable to commit. For some reason. Ace’s internal emotional angst was confusing and forced.

The external plot is that someone is making subpar liquor and selling it under the O’Kane label. Rachel’s family in Eden is caught in the middle. O’Kane and his crew will have to ferret out the true enemy and Cruz struggles with his fear of either Rachel or Ace being wounded.

The world is so interesting and I read this series because I want to know what is going to happen to these people. What is the end game? How will they all survive? As Dallas O’Kane grows in power, what kind of person will he be?

That’s not to say that the eroticism isn’t a strong part of the series. It is and in this book one of the more powerful scenes is the angry love / sex between Cruz and Ace. They fight and then make up in a way that a woman and man could not.

But while I love the world and care about the people, the lack of a believable emotional conflict with Ace was frustrating. I also don’t understand why everyone in Sector Four has an exhibitionist kink. It doesn’t ring true for me and sometimes it makes me feel like the women are often performing for the male gaze. I don’t think I remember a scene where two guys are going at it for the entertainment of Sector Four. The guys fight in the right. The girls fuck. Even though this is a world about female empowerment, this part of the story sometimes bothers me.

It’s still an evocative series and it treats women and sex in a very positive way. There’s no shame in enjoying your body or someone else’s body in any number of ways and we need books like that in our genre. C+

Best regards,

Jane

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

5 Comments

  1. Andrea T
    Mar 18, 2014 @ 11:45:55

    I only recently started this series, and flew through all the books and the novella in only a few days. I really enjoyed Beyond Jealousy, but having read your review, I do see your issues with the Ace/Rachel/Cruz relationship.

  2. Laura B
    Mar 18, 2014 @ 12:30:06

    I normally fly through a Kit Rocha book, but am having trouble getting engaged with this one. Like Jane, I’m having trouble buying into the conflict here. How Ace articulates it to himself seemed a bit forced.

  3. Jennifer M(OR)
    Mar 18, 2014 @ 13:43:28

    I had been looking forward to this book forever. I was so excited to read it. And then I read it and it fell kind of flat for me. I don’t know if my expectations were just so high that it couldn’t live up to them. I just didn’t feel the emotion. Without giving anything away I felt the ending was too convenient. I still love the series and am eagerly looking forward to the next one, but this one was a big disappointment for me.

  4. Cassandra B.
    Mar 18, 2014 @ 14:08:48

    I overall really enjoyed the book, but I do agree with your points. I was constantly wondering why Ace felt the way he did. I sorta understood at certain points, but mostly it did come across as forced. The part where he was looking at the dragon drawing from his childhood tugged at my heartstrings. Overall, the emotional stuff didn’t bother me enough to lower my enjoyment because I saw it as sometimes people get things/thoughts struck in their head (ie Ace could only love so much) and they just can’t get rid of it.

    Six and Bren’s book is still my favorite. While the sex is hot in these books, I am more interested in the world building and the characters. I loved the teaser chapter at the end of Beyond Jealousy.

    Also, I like that the group sex isn’t as prevalent as in the first two books. Honestly, the orgies are a little outside my comfort zone and it is a bit much. I also have to agree a bit with men fight and the women fuck complaint. Some of it makes sense. While you see the women empowerment (especially compared to other parts of this world), it is still a MC world with strict male and female roles overall. But some of it bothers me. Noelle character doesn’t sit entirely comfortable for me. She makes her own choices and I can applaud that, but sometimes her desires are too much and it is almost like she is treated like a child in need of reining in. Again, I understand that it is her choice and part of her desire, but it is not my favorite part.

  5. Clio Reads
    Mar 18, 2014 @ 15:56:29

    I’m only about halfway through Beyond Jealousy right now, but the way I’m reading it, it’s not so much that Ace is afraid to commit, but that he feels like Rachel and Cruz are more ‘right’ for each other (both from Eden, both innocent, both better people than Ace perceives himself to be), and eventually they’ll wake up and shake him loose. I’m not having trouble with Ace’s emotional conflict, but I can’t figure Cruz out.

    I agree with you that the exhibitionism of the women of Sector 4 is uncomfortable and doesn’t fully jibe with the sex- and woman-positive ‘feel’ of the series, and I agree with Cassandra B.’s comment about Noelle: she’s all Sex and no Sense!

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