Beyond Shame by Kit Rocha {Amanda’s Review}

Posted 4 March, 2013 by Amanda / 18 Comments

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Beyond Shame by Kit Rocha {Amanda’s Review}Beyond Shame by Kit Rocha
Series: Beyond #1
Genres: Erotica, Romance
Pages: 354
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

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.

Unlike anything I have read before.

My Thoughts on Beyond Shame

Kit Rocha is a pen name for Moira Rogers (who I love), so when Kelly read and loved Beyond Shame, I knew I had to check it out, too. (Where Kelly goes, I shall follow.) Beyond Shame is the kind of book that you either read all at once or you have to stop and breathe before diving back in. It is overwhelming, but in a good, “I shall think all the thoughts and have all the feelings” way. In fact, this is what I told Kelly:

I feel all…FEELY inside. I am deeply intrigued and I know that I’ve never read anything like it. I’m just like, “I have FEELINGS AND THOUGHTS about this book,” but I can’t actually communicate what they are.

But I am going to try.

If you follow my shenanigans on Free Books Need Love Too or Twitter, you know that I’m a frequent reader of erotica. I’m not new to the genre, and I know that all erotica is not created equal–in more ways than one. I’ve read some really shitty erotica and I’ve some really well-written (and steamy) erotica. There are also plenty of kinks. Unless you count the tentacle sex erotica (which I find more amusing than anything), this is not an area that I’ve explored much…until Beyond Shame.

Here’s the thing. Beyond Shame has to be read with an open mind. It has BDSM themes, but the world the authors built is challenging as well. The BDSM themes fascinated me, because there is a quite a bit of underlying psychology that makes a BDSM relationship far, far different than a “normal” one. At the same time that I struggled to understand it, it was never over the top or so overwhelming that I had to stop. (Pun not intended. I think.) Noelle and Jasper were both characters worth exploring and learning and loving. Their romance is as compelling as it is non-traditional.

As much as I enjoyed the romance, the world building in Beyond Shame is what stole the show for me. Noelle comes from Eden–repressed, puritanical Eden. Though no where near comparable to society right now, Eden capitalizes on many of our underlying values that have stuck in American culture–even as sex continues to sell, sell, sell. Women are either good little virgins waiting for marriage or sluts; an in between, where women can enjoy sex just as much as men do without fear of receiving a negative label, does not exist. This is the juxtaposition of Eden and Sector Four.

But to call the women in Sector Four sluts would be to do them (and ourselves, as women) a disservice. Whether done intentionally or not (and I’m just reading into it), Sector Four attempts to find that middle ground. And if, like me, you have been trained by society to think in terms of virgins or sluts, Beyond Shame is overwhelming. And a little uncomfortable. But it is overwhelming and uncomfortable in a positive way so that, like Noelle, you are forced to confront your beliefs. And I liked that. I liked it a lot.

Beyond Shame is not going to be for everyone. Like I said, it requires an open mind. But if you want to push yourself–your beliefs, your exposure to what exists beyond the “vanilla”–Beyond Shame would be the place to start. Like all Moira Rogers’s books I’ve read, their Kit Rocha books are well-written and completely engrossing. If it hadn’t started Beyond Shame so late in the day, I would have easily devoured it in a single setting. As it was, I finally had to rip myself away from the book at 2am.



Filed under: Dystopian, Erotica, ESR: 8, Review: Amanda, , ,


18 Responses to “Beyond Shame by Kit Rocha {Amanda’s Review}”

  1. You’ve got me very intrigued. Not all BDSM is created equally. Not that I’ve read tons. Luckily my first by Cherise Sinclair was an example of a good one where neither character really was trying to dominate the other in a true sense. It was way more about trust & being cherished. But some BDSM can turn my stomach. I’m glad this one was a thinker & challenges the puritanical society norms that cause girls to not have a healthy view of sex. You know the one that requires are tools and not partners. Urgh!

  2. I’m not sure I could do much more than be amused by tentacle sex. Between the covers and the blurbs, those books bring it on themselves.

    As for good, solid erotica with a BDSM twist, it can be hard to find but, when it’s done right, it’s a great read. I feel like I might have read this book! (Okay, that’s terrible. But I’ve read so much in the past year that things fade pretty quickly!) I’ll have to check it out & see.

    • A tentacle for every hole, Mary! FOR EVERY HOLE!

      lol. I totally understand. Reading a lot will do that to you. (I’ve started reading books before only to realize 50 pages in that I’ve read it already and know what happens.)

  3. I love a book that makes me have all the feels and thoughts Amanda! I’ve seen this book around a lot and have been really debating whether or not it will be for me. I struggle in romances when the hero/heroine are also with other people in sexual situations, unless those people are going to be folded into the relationship to make it polyamorous and monogamous. I know that’s not the case here but it sounds like it’s all very well done so I’m still thinking about it:)

    • I liked it precisely because it DID challenge my thinking. There was a lot of exploring of sexuality and what it means, and it’s all integral to the overall romance between Noelle and Jasper. Also, did I mention there’s a four way?

      (Kelly told me the next book has a six way. o.O)

  4. Ahh, yes. This was the book I was SO UPSET over finishing because I wanted MOAR in this world. I love the characters – all of them. I love the danger and the heartache. And the sex was smokin’! Honestly, I love your review and how you saw SO MUCH in this world.

    FYI, Book 2 is just as compelling. <3 <3 <3

  5. You’ve definitely got me intrigued. I tend to steer clear of a lot of erotica because it’s overly cheesy. But you make this one sound like I’d probably really enjoy it. On the list it goes!

  6. Ooooh dystopian erotica for the shank through the heart. Have you read the Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh? I loves it so so much. This one sounds like that but with more of the freak. It may have to be pondered, the first chapter perused, and the pages smelled. Or, you know, just added to the list. Thanks for the review!

  7. It is a good thing I already have this on my nook otherwise you would be helping me to buy yet another book! I really like the idea that the erotica was different in this book. Each story that I read that is categorized as erotica has been different from the last. I just never know what I’m going to get out of the genre and that is the fun part of it.

    Thanks for the great review, so glad you enjoyed this one!