Beyond Pain ~ Kit Rocha

  • Title: Beyond Pain
  • Author: Kit Rocha
  • Series: Beyond #3
  • Genre: Erotica
  • Format: e-book
  • Source: Own copy
  • Reviewed by: Erica
  • Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Description:  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.

Review:  This is the third book in the dystopian erotica Beyond series, and I have been mulling over this review for a few days now, trying to figure out a rating, because I’ve been endlessly hesitating between four and five stars.

That this book is good isn’t in question. It is very good, as I have come to expect from this series. I’m just not sure that I liked it as much as I liked the previous two. It seemed to me that there was just a shade less wall-to-wall sex, a smidgen less plot to keep me occupied. Whether that is actually true I don’t even know for sure, but somehow it just felt like that to me.

I suppose part of the issue is that I was probably not as invested in this book’s main couple, Bren and Six. Brendan Donnelly is the right hand man of Dallas O’Kane, the leader of Sector Four. Bren was born in Eden, the luxurious city in the middle of the Sectors, and he was trained to be a ruthless special ops agent. Used by his superiors to execute the dirtiest jobs that no one in Eden is supposed to know about, Bren eventually went rogue and ended up with the O’Kanes. His past has left him with some serious issues, even if these are deeply buried, and in this book they come to the fore.

Six was introduced in the first book, Beyond Shame, as a woman who belonged to Trent Wilson, the feckless leader of Sector Three. Wilson set up a trap to kill Dallas, and while trying to spring that trap he foisted Six upon the O’Kanes, thereby branding her as a valueless woman for whom he no longer had any use. Until that point Six had been mercilessly abused by Wilson, both physically and mentally, and it left her deeply scarred and unable to trust anyone.

This book does a great job of showing the slowly building trust and lust between Bren and Six, and there is the usual point where everything blows up in their faces and they have to try and pick up the pieces again. The sex is, as always, awesome. I really cannot fault it for either of those parts.

I think another part of the issue is that throughout the book there are teasers seeded in for the next instalment in the series, which will centre around Rachel, Ace and Cruz. Since Ace is by far my favourite character in this series, I think I was enjoying those foreshadowings more than the main body of the book, and I really can’t wait for book four to come out.

I think I’ll have to go with 4.5 stars. I can’t give it four, because it’s too good for that, but I can’t give it five either, because I enjoyed it just that little bit less than the previous two. Still highly recommended though.


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Beyond Control ~ Kit Rocha

  • Title: Beyond Control
  • Author: Kit Rocha
  • Series: Beyond #2
  • Genre: Erotica
  • Format: e-book
  • Source: Own copy
  • Reviewed by: Erica, Guest reviewer
  • Rating: 5 out of 5

Description:  She refuses to be owned.

Alexa Parrino escaped a life of servitude and survived danger on the streets to become one of the most trusted, influential people in Sector Four, where the O’Kanes rule with a hedonistic but iron fist. Lex has been at the top for years, and there’s almost nothing she wouldn’t do for the gang…and for its leader. Lie, steal, kill—but she bows to no one, not even Dallas O’Kane.

He’ll settle for nothing less.

Dallas fought long and hard to carve a slice of order out of the chaos of the sectors. Dangers both large and small threaten his people, but it’s nothing he can’t handle. His liquor business is flourishing, and new opportunities fuel his ambition. Lex could help him expand his empire, something he wants almost as much as he wants her. And no one says no to the king of Sector Four.

Falling into bed is easy, but their sexual games are anything but casual. Attraction quickly turns to obsession, and their careful dance of heady dominance and sweet submission uncovers a need so deep, so strong, it could crush them both.

Review: I thought that the first novel in this erotica series was good, but this one is even better. There are many books that can make me get lost inside their worlds and live along with the main characters, but there are not many books that involve me so deeply that they make me cry when things go south. This book made me cry, and that’s an achievement for something within a genre which is purported to be all about sex.

With that said, don’t think for a moment that the erotica tag on this is incorrect, or that the book is bland on the sexy side. It is every bit as filthy, debauched and deliciously uninhibited as the first novel. The highlight is a session involving two women and four men, centred on the pleasure of one of the women, and it’s searingly hot.

Beyond Control follows on directly from Beyond Shame, where Noelle and Jasper ended up becoming a couple in the fashion of the O’Kane gang, meaning they’ve been tattooed with each other’s names for all to see. This novel focuses on the gang’s leader, Dallas, and his unofficial queen Lex. Theirs is a constant push and pull of power, control, submission, obedience, desire and need, and the balance is becoming ever more precarious. Dallas, as the gang’s leader, cannot be seen to be defied by anyone, but Lex is not prepared to comply like everyone else, or at least not all the time, and certainly not just because Dallas expects it. These are two supremely strong personalities, and inevitably they clash.

Their interactions are played out against the aftermath of the previous book, in which Dallas had to kill the leader of the neighbouring Sector Three. This sector is now in chaos, and its fate is to be decided by the leaders of the remaining seven sectors. The balance of power here is just as precarious as within Sector Four, because all sectors are in essence rivals of each other, and there is always the threat of the city of Eden in the middle, which will not hesitate to stamp out any sector if it gets too successful or ambitious. The opportunities and dangers all of this presents are both a challenge, a temptation and a headache for Dallas, and Lex has to deal with him as well as his ambitions for both himself and her – ambitions which don’t necessarily align with her own.

When everything inevitably blows up in their face it hurts them, everyone around them, and the reader. I’ll say it again: I cried.

If you want your erotica with depth to it, and with relationships every bit as real and complicated as in the best romance novels, you cannot go wrong with this series. These people care about each other, and the only difference with ordinary romance is that they show it by having dirty, no-holds-barred, exhibitionist sex that’s every bit as sizzling as the best I’ve read before. I was gutted to discover that the next book in this series, Beyond Pain, has not been published yet.

Andrea at the Center ~ JP Kansas

  • Title: Andrea at the Center
  • Author: J.P. Kansas
  • Genre: Erotica
  • Format: e-book
  • Source: Author
  • Reviewed by: Erica, Guest Reviewer
  • Rating: 3 out of 5

Description:  “You’re going to here at the Center for a few months. It’s going to be the most enlightening experience of your life. When it’s over, you’ll be returned to where you taken from—a different woman.”

Young and beautiful Andrea is, without warning, whisked away to a secret location, where a mysterious group devotes itself to the pursuit of sexual enlightenment through the use of many sensual techniques. Gradually, she’s introduced to the ways of the Center by the people that gladly occupy it. Her sense of self and her understanding of sexuality are profoundly challenged, leading her to a new understanding of herself and the deepest sexual satisfaction.

Andrea at the Center, previously published by Masquerade in the 90’s, has been fully revised with titillating updates for our Pink Flamingo readers! J.P. Kansas will thrill you with his stunning tale of straight, lesbian and gay sex, bondage, exhibitionism and all sorts of sex toys and dolls! The excitement does not stop there, however. Andrea’s experiences are sure to arouse every fetish; from spanking and collars to threesomes and voyeurism. Andrea at the Center has everything you want in an erotic novel and more!

Review: As erotica goes, the ‘plot’ of this book is about as believable and well thought-out as a porn film. Our protagonist, Andrea, is snatched off the streets by a couple of random men, drugged and taken to the Center, which is some sort of all-encompassing sex commune. Once there she is told that she has been taken in order to ‘become what you are’, or something like that. Her family and fiancé have all received a notice from her that she was overcome by a sudden desire to spend a few months in Tibet, and that’s it.

Cue endless ventures into all kinds of erotic pastimes, some more believable than others, and some more agreeable than others. The book’s biggest strength is that pretty much anything you can think of is represented, short of bestiality. Unfortunately I’d say that is also its biggest weakness, because there are certain avenues in sex which I personally do not want to contemplate, never mind read about, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. There’s also a bit too much F/F for my taste, but again that’s personal.

Apart from that the very fact that Andrea has been kidnapped and is given little to no choice about participating in all this stuff makes me feel just a tad uncomfortable. There is some attempt to lessen the impact of it by making her enjoy most of what she’s doing, but still.

The language used is very clinical. Penis and vagina are virtually the only words used, except when people are talking, when they might say cock instead. I found it a rather strange contrast with the various goings-on, since I’m used to language in erotica being a bit more direct.

All in all I would call this a very middle-of-the-road effort, which scrapes through at three stars only because it was a pretty easy read overall.


 

Beyond Shame ~ Kit Rocha

  • Title: Beyond Shame
  • Author: Kit Rocha
  • Series: Beyond #1
  • Genre: Erotica
  • Format: e-book
  • Source: Own copy
  • Reviewed by: Erica, Guest Reviewer
  • Rating: 5 out of 5

Description:  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.

Review: Wow. This book is erotica at its filthiest best.

Noelle Cunningham has been cast out of Eden, a city which restricts society so rigidly that even touching each other is prohibited for reasons other than necessity. Outside the walls of Eden lie the Sectors – sections of gangland territory where anything goes, and the only rules are the ones imposed by whoever is the leader of that sector.

The book itself never really touches on what happened exactly to make the world as it is. There is more information on this in the description above than there is in the book itself, and the only real references are the ones made to ‘pre-Flare technology’ or somesuch. It doesn’t really matter though; all the reader needs to know is that within Eden nothing is allowed and fornication is a crime, whereas outside nothing is taboo. And I do mean nothing.

When Noelle is cast out she stumbles into Sector Four, ruled by the O’Kanes, and literally into the arms of Jasper. Her attraction to him is instant, and this begins a slow venture into the world of lust, violence and uninhibited sex for Noelle.

If you like your erotica as straightforward sex, this isn’t the book for you. It features exhibitionism, BDSM, oral sex (lots of it), threesomes and foursomes, but it’s brilliantly written and draws you in. The characters are vivid, and while Noelle’s constant dilemma about whether she’s a bad girl for wanting sex is a little exasperating sometimes, it makes sense for her to be like that if you consider her background. All the other members of the O’Kane gang have their own distinct quirks, and it gave the book a depth and extra dimension that lifts it far above mediocre. I’m already looking forward to the next instalments in this series.


Dark Knight in Disguise I ~ Sandra Ross

  • Title: Dark Knight in Disguise I
  • Author: Sandra Ross
  • Series: Earthbound Angels #1
  • Genre: Erotica, PNR
  • Format: e-book
  • Source: Author
  • Reviewed by: Erica, Guest Reviewer
  • Rating: 1 out of 5

Description:  Erick Angell was an angel who had protested too many about the human race and been thrown in the world as a human. And he’s just one among men who’d been cursed with the living flesh and still could not be able to shake their nature as angels, defender of the light in a world full of blight.

Erick Angell wore a mask. A rich man, he sounded full of himself when Hollianne Talbot first talked to him on the phone. But she was instantly mesmerized when she finally met him and saw how beautiful he was. He seemed like an angel. What was more, he provided her with the chance to start a new life at a time when nothing was going on for her. He literally saved her. Like a guardian angel.

Erick wanted to be an angel to Holliane. Unfortunately, the feelings she was invoking on him weren’t entirely angel-like. For the first time in his life as a man, he felt stirrings of sexual awareness. What was more, he was feeling emotions. He was protective of her, he wanted to take care of her… and it wasn’t like anything he felt with the people he encountered in his other life as a dark knight.

Which was another story.

Can’t stand the suspense? Download and find out what happens next!

READER ADVISORY: This story contains content that may include sex and has erotic themes. All of the characters are 18 years of age or older.

Review: 
This isn’t a novel. It’s not even a novella or a short story, it’s an extended prologue at best.

Erick Angell is an angel cast down to earth for complaining to God about humans too much. Hollianne Talbot is an on-demand writer who has just lost her partner to an accident. Erick hires her as a live-in writer to write his autobiography, but going by the steamy cover art this is just a thinly veiled excuse to get jiggy with her. I’m guessing at that, because nothing actually happens – the above covers pretty much everything that happens in this volume.

Now, I’ve already established that this ‘book’ is short, but to illustrate just how short it is I’ll say that I finished it in about fifteen minutes. At this point my Kindle said I was 62% through, and a quick flick through the further pages revealed that the remaining 38% was promotional material for the author’s other books. Not this series, mind you, but another one.

Some further research on Amazon reveals three further parts to this series, and each of those subsequent parts is priced at around £2/$3. Amazon also gives an estimated page count for each of these parts, and they all come in at about 50 pages or so. To me this says that this whole thing is one novel (and not a very long one at that) released in four parts. The first part is free at the time of writing this, but I’m not sure that Amazon allows books to be free permanently, so the total price if you want the whole thing is at least £6/$9. To me, this would only be acceptable if it was made clear to the reader that this is the case, but I can’t really find anything in the description that does so. The only clue is in the fact that all four parts have exactly the same cover art.

Unfortunately there is more, because the writing itself needs work. There are no spelling mistakes, but the tense is all over the place. I think the author’s intention was for this book to be written in the past tense, but she constantly drifts into present tense, often using both tenses within the same sentence. Almost every sentence is a paragraph all by itself, and even the longer paragraphs don’t have more than three sentences at most. Chapter breaks seem to have been determined arbitrarily, often happening in the middle of an action.

This book could have potential, if the author hired an editor and combined all separate parts into one. As it stands I cannot give it more than one star.

Pleasure Unbound ~ Larissa Ione

  • Title: Pleasure Unbound
  • Author: Larissa Ione
  • Series: Demonica #1
  • Genre: PNR, UF
  • Format: Paperback
  • Source: Own Copy
  • Reviewed by: Valerie
  • Rating: 3 out of 5

Description:  In a place where ecstasy can cost you your life . . .

She’s a demon-slayer who hungers for sensual pleasure-but fears it will always be denied her. Until Tayla Mancuso lands in a hospital run by demons in disguise, and the head doctor, Eidolon, makes her body burn with unslakable desire. But to prove her ultimate loyalty to her peers, she must betray the surgeon who saved her life.

Two lovers will dare to risk all.

Eidolon cannot resist this fiery, dangerous woman who fills him with both rage and passion. Not only is she his avowed enemy, but she could very well be the hunter who has been preying upon his people. Torn between his need for the truth and his quest to find his perfect mate before a horrific transformation claims him forever, Eidolon will dare the unthinkable-and let Tayla possess him, body and soul . . .


**Warning: I am giving my review an R-Rating. It is meant for adults. Considering the nature of the book, it is also clearly meant for adults.**

Review:  Take 2 scoops each of paranormal romance and erotica, a dollop of urban fantasy, a generous sprinkle of demons and a dash of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and you get Pleasure Unbound. This is what I would call a bubble bath book; sexy, light and fluffy. It was a bit silly and ridiculous, but once I accepted that, I allowed myself to turn my brain off a bit and enjoy the humor, whether it was always intended or not.

The world-building was not too deep, but it was interesting. I really liked the concept that the demon world is the flip side of humanity, that demons are mostly evil with good exceptions versus there being evil exceptions to the basic goodness among humans. Plus, there were some kick-ass fighting scenes, which always make me happy.

**Spoiler Alert – detour to avoid spoiler content**

Another aspect of the book that I really appreciated was Tayla’s difficulty in reaching the Big-O. Romance authors are so gratuitous with their orgasms that we see the achievement of multiples during virgin deflowering scenes. HUH? I think we can all agree that while we’d love to see fireworks every time, but it is not just reality for most of us. I think this made Tayla much more relatable and Eidolon more endearing for his determination to get her there. Now, as for the lame insta-psychology healing of deep mental trauma, well, not quite as well-played.

Speaking of Eidolon, for a demon he was a bit of a Marty Stu. He heals everyone who comes into the hospital, even if they are the enemy (Hello, Tayla). He takes beatings on behalf of his ego-centric brother with a tortured soul. All he really wants is to find someone to love & raise a family. Aww, do they have picket fences in the underworld?

As for Tayla, she is hot mess of a demon slayer grappling with the discovery that *gasp* she is half-demon. Didn’t see that one coming (said with the barest hint of sarcasm). I was bit disappointed in the Buffy societies gullibility and lack of knowledge. They were portrayed as this elite order with a long history of demon slaying, and yet they knew very little about demons and were very easy to infiltrate. Hmm. Maybe they needed Giles.

**Spoiler detour – you are clear of spoilers beyond this point**

I personally prefer a book with more depth and plot, but I can definitely see the appeal in this book for its intended audience.