Review originally posted here: http://thebookpushers.com/2013/03/19/joint-review-beyond-control-by-kit-rocha/
MinnChica: I’m always on the lookout for post-apocalyptic romance. When one of my favorite genres meets my favorite writing duo and they add in some super smokin’ smutty themes, it’s a match made in heaven! The second book in the Beyond series is just as hot as the first, and just as sweet. How Rocha is able to combine the right amount of smut with romance to create such amazing stories is beyond me! I was so excited to see the big bad Dallas brought to his knees by Lex, and it was EPIC.
E: Rocha hit all of my right buttons with Beyond Shame, the first book in the Beyond series so I have been looking forward to the sequel. As Rocha provided snippets and mini-excerpts along the way my excitement continued to grow. I am pleased to say that the wait was certainly worth it. Watching the actual dynamics between Lex and Dallas not to mention their continual sexual and emotional tension *fans self* was absolutely amazing. Yet it remained sweet, smutty, and set in a fascinating violent post-apocalyptic world.
Has: I so totally agree! I was looking forward to Beyond Control ever since I read the first book, because I was intrigued on how Lex and Dallas would finally get together despite their tensions over their issues. And I was so pleased this lived up to the promise because this was an intense, angsty and very sexually charged romance which I inhaled in one gulp. While Beyond Shame was like a tasty entree this was like a delicious main dish which delved into the world-building and characterization and with real depth and development to the on-going plot threads.
Thoughts on the Hero
Has: Oh Dallas, is a character who I love to wack something crack hard over his head. But at the same time, he’s such a well fleshed out and multi-layered hero with flaws that he has become one of my all time favourites which Kit Rocha/Moira Rogers has ever written. I loved we got to see his more vulnerable side of him in this book, especially when it involved Lex and how she draws that aspect out of him. It was beyond sweet, beyond passionate and definitely beyond sensual with their scenes together.
I also loved the elements of the political wrangling and posturing Dallas had to be a part of in protecting his people as well as his ambitions which added a lot of nuance and realism to his character.
Lou: I was so intrigued by Dallas in the first book. I wasn’t a huge fan of Noelle and Jasper in their book, but Beyond Control was so damn good. Dallas has an intensity to him that made the book so fraught with tension. He’s wanted Lex for so long but she’s pushed him away. I thought their romance was very romantic and their connection incredible. He had to straddle being the leader of the Kanes whilst treating Lex as an equal.
E: Dallas oh man! Talk about hard, intense, dedicated, controlled and yet lonely and driven. By the time I finished Beyond Shame I really wanted to know what made him tick and why Lex had so much influence on him. Seeing the other aspects of his character both within his relationship with Lex, the political posturing with the other Sector leaders, and how he interacted with members of the O’Kanes was brought into sharp relief. He showed so much about where he got his stability but also how Lex was his major vulnerability.
I really liked how he fought against his instincts to protect Lex through controlling her movements and caging her in because he knew that would only destroy her and any chance they ever had. Even with his insights he was still clueless at times about Lex and how her mind worked. It was good to see that he wasn’t omnipotent and had to learn how to apologize and do some groveling.
MinnChica: Ahhh Dallas…. What to say about the man who has it all, and whatever he wants, is laid at his feet. I love that he is a total hardass, and yet has a sweet side as well. I enjoyed the fact that he had such a depth to him that I never imagined. For all his kinky ways in both the first book and this one, he also had a strict code that he lived by for his partners. I thought it was kinda endearing to him. Plus, given his total badass nature, his willingness to do anything and everything for Lex was so awesome to read.
Thoughts on the Heroine
Has: I loved Lex in Beyond Shame, I love her upfrontness, courage and she did not take any shit from anyone even with Dallas who is her weak-point. She was the perfect foil and partner for him and that she was person who helped to cement the O’Kanes and in a lot of ways, she is their heart. This was such an emotionally intense book and I was exhausted but in a good way reading on how they got together because they played high stakes in a harsh world. And even though it was such a dangerous and stark world they are living in, the romance between Dallas and Lex was truly sweet and vulnerable and I loved how they drew aspects of that and made it a strength because it helped to ground them which is something they both realised in the book.
Lou: Lex is an incredible character. Her confidence about her sexuality was so empowering, and I loved that she didn’t roll over for Dallas. Yet Lex and Dallas were romantics at heart. I’m not a huge fan of menages and orgies, but Kit Rocha has created a world where everything feels natural. Lex has a strong relationship with Noelle from the first book, including a sexual one, but in Beyond Control we see just how much Lex and Dallas care about each other, and how their love is very personal and private. That’s what was missing for me in the first book. I didn’t get any connection from Noelle and Jasper.
E: Lex was so complicated. I really liked how she broke away from her past and made herself into a completely different openly powerful woman. Yet she was also determined to ensure she didn’t leave any reason for Dallas to hold her past over her head. Seeing her go back and confront some key people from that past was also very insightful. I loved how she made the first move and practically dared Dallas to say or do something about it. Of course I don’t think she was quite ready for what he did. Her vulnerability to Dallas and how she gave him as many chances as she could without losing herself was amazing to watch. And then to see everyone bond to her and basically ensure Dallas knew he screwed up showed just how much people appreciated everything she had done for them.
Lex showed in so many ways that she knew what Dallas had to do for the O’Kanes and what she was willing to do to help others. But she also needed Dallas to continue to treasure her as a partner after they became lovers in truth not just as his lover. Watching her start to trust Dallas not just more than any other man but with herself was amazing because so much was at risk. If I didn’t already really like her as a character I would have fallen completely for her in Beyond Control.
MinnChica: I fell for Lex the moment she stepped onto the page in the first book. She was a free spirit, she loved life and there were so many different aspects to her facade that I couldn’t wait to delve in and find out more. As her backstory unraveled, I loved her even more. She was strong and given the way she was raised, she didn’t let life beat her down either. She fought for what she wanted to fight for, and also took every opportunity to help out any other woman in need. She has a soft spot a mile wide, and for that alone I adored her to pieces!
Has: I can’t spoil this scene because it was part of the ending and climax – but like Lou says it was linked with when they made love. But I think this scene really showed, Lex was not afraid to go into the heart of danger and to save people who she promised to protect. It also made Dallas realise how much she was important to him even above the O’Kanes and I think that was a turning point on their relationship.
Lou: My favourite scene has to be at the end where Lex and Dallas make love. There was so much intensity and love between them, and it came across as very romantic. We see Dallas’ vulnerability with his relationship with Lex where he wants her for himself and admits his jealousy.
E: Hmm so many scenes I liked. The love scene that both Has and Lou mention was a wonderful scene. I think the one I will pick for this is when they are having a discussion and Dallas asks if Lex trusts him. She responds that she trusts him more than any other man and Dallas said that he would work with that but he wasn’t stopping with that. To me that cemented exactly how much he wanted Lex not just for smexytimes but as a whole even if he didn’t know what that whole consisted of.
Of course I also loved when a certain individual received what he was due!
MinnChica: Oh man… trying to find just one scene that spoke to me above all the others…. I think I might have to go with the scene where Lex sees her sister again after all the years apart. It was such a sweet and heartbreaking moment. Lex gets the chance to see her family, and at the same time she also opens her eyes a little to just how different life is for everyone. Despite her hatred for the way she was raised, she also sees that the life she left behind wasn’t as awful as she thought. That her sister was happy and thriving. It might not have been until later that Lex really let it sink it, but that moment resonated with me.
Dislike about book
Has: I don’t have any real dislike about the book, because the pacing, side characterisations and the ongoing plot-lines were all solid and developed.
Lou: I suppose my only dislike of the book was involving the secondary characters, where I thought Ace and Rachel were starting to become close, when suddenly a new male character appears, which means triangle. I’m looking forward to their book but I’m unsure of how it’s going to play out.
E: I don’t really have any complaints. I just want more.
MinnChica: Ah man… is too much sex a complaint? No, than nothing here either!
Any other misc. thoughts along with grade
Has: I think Beyond Control really cements this series for me. I loved that the world-building which was explored much fully, which was my main gripe of the previous book. But in this book, you had political intrigue and wrangling, a heart-wrenching and tender romance which was filled with sexually charged love scenes (you will definitely need a fan when reading this book) and solid characterisation. I can’t wait for the next book, which will feature Six and Bren which promises to be just as good.
I give Beyond Control an A-
Lou: Beyond Control really delves deeper into the world building, and the romance for me had a deep emotional connection that I could believe in. My problem with the first book was that it was mostly sex without any depth going into the world building. Beyond Control is much different and goes into the details of the gangs and sectors, and we see the different sides to Dallas and Lex.
I give Beyond Control a B.
E: I thoroughly enjoyed Beyond Control. I was able to see into Dallas and Lex who already had a complicated relationship. I also got to visit the other O’Kanes and see how they were progressing as well as some hints for future books. I also liked the glimpse of the other Sector leaders and their personalities. Some clashes coming up I can imagine. Rocha did a wonderful job on this installment and it was well worth the wait. I am looking forward to the next one.
I give Beyond Control an A.
MinnChica: I really enjoyed the second installment of this series. I love the nitty and gritty world that Rocha created, and the chance to see even more if it in this book was perfect. I’m so anxious to see where we go from here, what happens with the new sector under Dallas’ control, and how some of the secondary characters will find their ever after. I love that all the characters stand out as ones I can’t wait to read next, and have fallen head over heels for this series.
I give Beyond Control an A-