Friday, May 27, 2016

ARC Review: Beyond Ecstasy (Beyond, #8) by Kit Rocha

The O’Kanes have a reputation for working hard and playing harder—except for Hawk. He joined the gang with one goal: to ensure his family’s survival through the impending war with Eden. It’s been years since he had the luxury of wanting anything for himself. Now, he wants Jeni. From the first moment he saw her, he’s been obsessed with making her his. Not for a night—forever.

Jeni’s been lusting after the former smuggler for months, but he keeps shutting her down. She’s almost given up on getting him in her bed when he offers her the last thing she ever expected—a collar. Accepting it means belonging to him, body and soul. It’s a reckless gamble, but Jeni can’t resist the chance to slip under Hawk’s armor.

The only thing more shocking than the dark, dangerous pleasure they discover is how right it feels. But falling in love is even more reckless when forever is far from guaranteed. Because they aren’t just at war, they’re out of time—and every breath could be their last.

Jewel's rating:

First things, first -- this is not a stand alone novel. The Beyond series should be read from the first book, onward. So do not start with this book, or you will be lost. Ok, now, moving on...

If you've read this series, then you'll know that war is coming. Eden has decided that the Sectors are gathering a little too much power and they cannot abide that. They've sent assassins in to remove certain powerful individuals and to try to divide loyalties. And Sector Two was left in ruins. So going into Beyond Ecstasy, the remaining sectors are gearing up for war. And they know it won't be pretty or easy, but it will be worth it to finally be out from under Eden's thumb.

The couple that is featured in Beyond Ecstasy is Hawk and Jeni. They've been circling each other for what seems like forever. And when they finally collide, I thought my Kindle was going to overheat.

Hawk is a touch old fashioned. It was cute and charming and so damn sweet. He's also a very durty boy. He's been watching Jeni since she arrived in Four and he was half in love with her before they ever spoke a word to one another. Hawk was raised out on the farms, where romance isn't really practiced. Couples marry and have children because they are needed to work the farms. Not that they don't love each other, it's just a different way of life. So, Hawk is a bit stunted when it comes to matters of love and romance. All he really knows is that he wants Jeni, and not just for a night, but forever. When he looks at her, the rest of the world ceases to exist.

Before now, Hawk always felt like his darker, dominant, urges made him like his abusive father. And he has trouble seeing the difference. His father was a brutal man. Hawk, though, isn't. He wants -- needs -- willing submission and to be able to deal out pain and pleasure that his partner needs and wants. He never ever ever wants to really hurt his partner. Not ever. And before becoming an O'Kane and seeing that his urges could be used responsibly and before Jeni, he was lost.

And Jeni, like all the O'Kane women, is fiercely independent and not too keen on jumping head first into something without thinking it through just a bit. She wants Hawk, but she doesn't think she can have him and she's not thinking a forever kind of thing. It isn't that she doesn't want forever, she's just never let herself have that dream. Especially now, when their world could litterally end in a blink of an eye. Jeni lives life on her terms and though she wants and needs to relinquish control in the bedroom, she isn't a damsel in distress and she doesn't need a man to make her feel whole. But she wants him, all the same.

What I loved about Jeni, was that she was smart, and driven. She has an amazing memory for things she's seen and read and she uses that skill to help other people wherever she can. That skill is both a boon and a huge responsibility, and one that I'm sure Eden would love to have. But Jeni is an O'Kane and neither the ink, nor the oath are temporary.

Man, oh man, how I love this series! Things aren't just heating up between the Sectors and Eden, they are poised to explode! Food supplies are low and so is morale, for those that think there is no hope of survival. The O'Kanes are pulling their resources together in determination to not just survive the coming war, but to win it. And everyone has a job to do and all their skills are put to use. And when it comes, it comes fast and people do lose their lives. But hope does live on.

I love what Sector Four stands for. I love that the O'Kane's are really what a family should be. I love that the women are fierce and that the men celebrate that fierceness. They work hard and play hard and when they love, they do it right.

So, Beyond Ecstasy is where things come to a head. They are at war. A war that I assume will conclude in the next (and last) book in this series. And I've loved every moment of this journey so far. Beyond Ecstasy does a fantastic job of setting up the last novel, as well as the spinoff series that is upcoming. Fans of this series will not be disappointed! I cannot wait to see where the story leads.

Review copy of Beyond Ecstasy was generously provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review.

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