Author: Kit Rocha (aka Moria Rodgers or Bree & Donna)
Series: Beyond #7
Source: eARC from author
Description: 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.
My thoughts: A dystopian future, political intrigue, lots of sex, and a happily ever after - what more could you ask for in a story? And Kit Rocha delivers that with every single book in the series.
The political posturing and scheming has been a growing issue in the past few books but in Beyond Ruin it really comes in to front and centre. As part of one of the strongest groups in the Sectors, Mad, Scarlet, Dylan and Jade will join the other O'Kanes in playing a critical role in what happens next, now that Eden is drawing lines in the sand.
Four people trying to figure out how to love each other was always going to be complicated and messy so it seems fitting that it takes place against a background of the first volleys of open war. While I found it interesting to see them figure out how they all fitted together (figuratively and literally!) I had two favourite overarching things in this book: how the four of them grew individually and getting to see more of the other Sectors. Jade was my favourite, stepping up and pushing forward to find a version of herself that she knows she can be, trying to embrace all of her past and make it into a good future, for herself and those around her. But Scarlet was also a favourite, being one of the quieter ones in the background, more of the glue holding other people together and with all the doubts which can come with holding that sort of position. And then there is Mad, one step away from the throne of Sector One, forced to spend a lot of time in Beyond Ruin looking at why he's running so hard away from any ties there and the status his family have there as religious leaders as well as sector leaders. There's a fascinating world in Sector One and this book gives the most detailed picture of it so far. (There's just two more books left in the Beyond series, then Kit Rocha will write a spin-off series, set in Sector One - there are several characters introduced in this book who I can't wait to get to know better in that new series.)
Decisions are made early on in Beyond Ruin which decisively bring the O'Kanes onto a path against the rulers of Eden. Then when you think you're starting to guess where things might lead, something else happens, forcing the hands of the sector leaders. Then something else. My favourite twist came near the end - yes, there's something of a cliff hanger at the end of this book, but the story is wrapped up enough that this is a good stopping point. I'm desperate to see what happens next! While I wait for the next one though, I'm going to get stuck in to a re-read - there are so many developments, reveals and hints in this books that I know I will have missed things on my first read through. So excuse me, I've got a sector war to get back to.
I'm giving Beyond Ruin 9/10 - definitely one of my favourite books in the series so far!
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Here's the blurbs for the first book in the series, Beyond Shame:
BEYOND SHAME (87,000 words, 354 pages)
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.