Finally, after months of taking time off reviewing, I'm back with a review over Kit Rocha's latest installment to the Beyond series. I was sent an e-arc by the authors a few months ago, but the book fell farther down on my to-read list than intended so I only got around to reviewing it now.
I have to say, however, that I don't have much to write here. I was worried when I first heard that the book would contain a romance between four characters that I would have problems with it- similar to my problems with Beyond Jealousy- and I was right. Before I go any further, however, here's the book's Goodreads description:
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.
I would like to start out by saying, my problem is not the fact that this book contains a polyamorous relationship. My problem is that I didn't believe it.
Much like in Beyond jealousy, where for the first three books we were lead to believe that Rachel and Ace would be the main focus, with perhaps Cruz getting his own romance later- thus causing a huge surprise to me when all of a sudden the rivals become lovers with no sort of transitional period, this book didn't have much of a lead up to me. Sure in previous books, things were hinted at, vaguely...but again, if it weren't for the fact that the main characters of this book were revealed ages ago, I would have been under the impression that the romance of this story would have been Mad/Scarlet or Jade/Dylan, not Mad/Dylan/Scarlet/Jade. Sure, Jade and Dylan have a stronger relationship, and Scarlet and Mad are more of a pairing, but it didn't seem like a realistic romance that would actually work. It seemed thrown together in my opinion, and that made the rest of the story less interesting. I didn't care much for the love scenes because it felt like they were written to be hot, but that was really it. If I don't buy the relationship behind it, and the scenes are supposed to be driven by a relationship, then I'll find myself flipping ahead and counting down the pages until the next chapter.
Sadly, I've been noticing a lot of scenes in the recent books after Beyond Pain (and there was even a scene in that book as well) that seem like their there to pander to a fantasy, and I understand that completely, but if that's it, if there's no substance beyond that, nothing leading up to it that would make it make sense, then I'll find myself losing interest.
In the end, this is probably my least favorite of the installments, Beyond Pain is still my favorite and I hope the future books go back to that a little more. I look forward to reading the next book, but I'm not quite as excited for it as I would have been for some of the previous novels.