October 4, 2012

Review: Beyond Shame by Kit Rocha

Series: Beyond 1
Format: ARC (NetGalley)
Excerpt here
Release Date: September 16, 2012
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
All Noelle Cunningham has ever wanted is a life beyond–beyond the walls of Eden, where only the righteous are allowed to remain, and beyond her stiflingly restrictive existence as a councilman’s daughter. But only ruins lie outside the City, remnants of a society destroyed by solar storms decades earlier.

The sectors surrounding Eden house the corrupt, the criminal–men like Jasper McCray, bootlegger and cage fighter. Jas clawed his way up from nothing to stand at the right hand of Sector Four’s ruthless leader, and he’ll defend the O’Kane gang with his life. But no fight ever prepared him for the exiled City girl who falls at his feet.

Her innocence is undeniable, but so is their intense sexual attraction, and soon they’re crossing every boundary Noelle barely knew she had. But if she wants to belong to Jas, first she’ll have to open herself to the gang, to a dangerous world of sex, lust and violence. A world where passion is power, and freedom is found in submission.
This book and the corresponding review is recommended for readers 18 and up.

Erotic Dystopia. Something I've never come across so when I heard that BEYOND SHAME by Kit Rocha is one of those genre crossing books, combining two of the most popular ones these days, I have to read for myself if she pulled it off. 

BEYOND SHAME was lusty, physical and very carnal. I find it hard to imagine that Noelle Cunningham is this young, inexperienced but highly curious individual because though she was shy, she was fearless and unapologetic. The title is an apt description to her character. To summarize, Noelle is the daughter of a very influential counselor of Eden who got cast out after performing "impure" acts in a club. After getting literally kicked out, Noelle was found by Jasper McCray, a member of the infamous O'Kane gang, outside the walls of Eden and was brought to Section Four. With the help of Dallas O'Kane, gang leader, and the sexy vamp, Alexa Parrino, Jasper initiated Noelle to their gang where she's free to explore every fantasy she has and discover things she never even dreamed possible. 
She felt dirty, crude and broken and so, so good. Humiliation and pleasure twisted together, fed on one another until the illicitness felt better than the physical release. - Noelle
I love the world-building of BEYOND SHAME, it's classic Dystopia in my opinion. A very good contrast between light and dark, the privileged and the oppressed, righteousness and inequity. KRocha gave me a very good feel of her world and the rules that the citizens abide with to maintain their hierarchy and a semblance of order. The O'Kane gang reminds me of Sons of Anarchy, all leather and brawn, while the people of Eden are so upright, spotless, proud and has a sense of superiority. It was so interesting to see their worlds meet in Noelle's character and I promise you, you won't be disappointed. 

Noelle's refusal to conform was understandable which probably is the reason why she is very eager to surrender and explore her most deviant fantasies and it is in Sector Four where she found the permission and freedom to explore her sexual desires without repercussions aside from physical fatigue and the risk of falling for the wrong person. As far as illustrating these desires are concerned, KRocha delivered! She wrote it so vividly and effective you can easily discern how hot those heated moments are, how taboo and how excited Noelle is to finally enact her daydreams out. Throughout the length of BEYOND SHAME, the story is a tangled mess of limbs it's easy to lose track of who's with whom and where one ends and the other begin, this book is a literal clusterfuck where people love to congregate and fornicate, succumbing to their desires in wanton abandon shame is a word that will never apply. 
Coming from the city, Ididn't get it at first. Sex there is so taboo--so controlled--but it's so fucking easy here. The trick is understanding. - Amira
Inasmuch as BEYOND SHAME ramped up the temperature to boiling hot, I was hoping that the plot would be as solid as the sexual elements. I appreciate a well written and vividly imagined sex scene but at the same time I want the story to be mentally and emotionally present as well. I felt like these two were lacking in this book. The conflicts with the gang wars was a little hurried and the conflict surrounding Noelle's banishment was brought too late in the book it felt like a last ditch effort to give the story more substance and not just porn.

Overall I enjoyed BEYOND SHAME, it's daring, erotic and will definitely affect you. She was able to meld erotica and dystopia very well and I have to give her props for its success. Though I have misgivings, I'm still looking forward to reading Beyond Control, book two of the series.


  1. I received this from NetGalley but I haven't read it yet. I'm glad you enjoyed it but hopefully the lack of emotional and mental presents won't bother me. Great review! :)

    1. I hope you get to it soon, some people really love it because of the unique world she created.

  2. The world building sounds really interesting in this one. I hadn't heard of it before this review. I'm not one that reads a lot of adult, but I do read some and this might be a maybe one for me.

  3. Hmm I think I would pass on this one. While I like the dystopian world, I need more substance than hotness in my reads.

    - Jessica @ Book Sake


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