A woman with no future…
Live fast, die young–anything else is a fantasy for Six. She’s endured the worst the sectors had to throw at her, but falling in with Dallas O’Kane’s Sector Four gang lands her in a whole new world of danger. They’re completely open about everything, including their sexuality–but she hasn’t survived this long by making herself vulnerable. Especially not to men as dominant as Brendan Donnelly.
A man without a past…
Bren is a killer, trained in Eden and thrown to the sectors. His one outlet is pain, in the cage and in the bedroom, and emotion is a luxury he can’t afford–until he meets Six. Protecting her soothes him, but it isn’t enough. Her hunger for touch sparks a journey of erotic discovery where anything goes–voyeurism, flogging, rough sex. He has only one rule: he won’t share her.
In Bren’s arms, Six is finally free to let go. But his obsession with the man who made him a monster could destroy the fragile connection they’ve forged, and cost him the one thing that makes him feel human–her love.
This is the third full-length novel by Kit Rocha (aka the dynamic duo of Bree and Donna), an incredibly detailed dystopian erotic series set in a harsh society divided into Sectors. The previous books have focused primarily on the workings of Sector Four, and the relationships between Noelle & Jasper, and Lex & Declan/Dallas. Both were powerfully written stories that grabbed your attention from the beginning. The strong character development has led to some very intense scenes (emotional and physical), and a legion of ‘beyond devoted’ fans. This book takes us back to Sector Four, but gives us a different perspective with the focus on Bren and Six, both outsiders now living in Sector Four after leaving their respective lives in Eden and Sector Three.
Let’s make no mistake – these are damaged characters. Both Bren and Six have been through some pretty horrific experiences, and they have had to withhold their trust of others in the past with good reason. They’ve arrived in Four because they couldn’t stay where they were any longer, so they are very much on the edge of Dallas’ family, although Bren has developed a relationship that has made him a valued soldier in Dallas’ staff. We’ve wondered about both of them throughout the past books, and it was gratifying to see how they have developed their relationship over time. There’s some excursions into the world of Three now that Dallas is in charge of it, and it’s a different place from the disciplined structure of Four under Dallas’ watchful eye. As it’s Six’s hometown, we are able to learn more about her previous life, and it explains a lot about how she became so broken.
Bren’s personality was unexpected. We’ve watched him gain the trust of the people around him, and we’ve learned about his propensity for pain, but we haven’t known much more about him. I didn’t expect him to be so overwhelmingly protective, nor did I think he would be so nurturing and patient with Six and it was a great to see someone who was willing to allow the person he loved to expand her horizons at her own pace. By teaching her to defend herself properly, he was able to slowly build her trust in herself as much as in him. That’s not to say he’s perfect – Bren’s a man with demons to fight, and in classic Sector Four style, he’s going to screw it up before he gets it together.
I was fascinated to watch Six as she began to open up to the idea of living her life as the strong woman she was meant to be, especially after she observed how the women of Four valued themselves. Watching Lex, Rachel, Emma and others as they stood their ground and owned their own sexuality allowed Six to change her self-perception, and to open herself up to the possibility of being an equal in her relationship with Bren. The immediate acceptance of the other women of Four of her and their desire to teach her about friendship and loyalty was an awesome part of Six’s character growth, as she learned that even the toughest chick in the room needs to know that her women friends have her back at times.
Any Kit Rocha book is going to contain some smoking hot scenes, and this book was no exception. There’s a voyeuristic scene with Lex, Dallas, Rachel, Bren and Six that was one of the best written erotica scenes I’ve read all year, and will make the fan favourite list for sure. There’s also a more intimate scene where Bren has Ace help him explain his desire for pain with Six that spoke volumes about how much these characters had grown to trust and depend on each other and it may just be my favourite of the book. Bren and Six needed to communicate with each other in every way, and they had to figure out how to be together while honouring each other’s strong character and personal needs – not an easy path for any relationship.
The story gives us a glimpse back into the lives of past characters, as well as introducing some new ones as it sets the stage for the next few stories. I love the multiple perspectives in these novels (no story has only two sides) and the world-building blows me away every time I open the books. We know these characters now, and we are invested in them as individuals. I can’t wait to see what’s up for them next – it won’t be easy, but it’s going to take us on a hell of a ride.
An ARC of this book was provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review. Beyond Pain is available for purchase now from Kobo and Amazon. This is book 3 of the series.