Retro Review: Beyond Shame by Kit Rocha

I am finally back to my review archive project. I read this back in 2013 and never did get back to the series after this one. Should I bother after all this time?

Beyond Shame by Kit Rocha

Released September 2012

Romance  |  Goodreads   |  Amazon

Source:  Purchased With My Own $
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.

My 2 Cents For Free!

An erotic dystopian novel? You have my attention. The world, ravaged by “solar flares”, has split off into “Eden” where the wealthy live in luxury and thrive beneath puritan rulers as long as they follow the rules. If they dare break them they are cast out and forced to make their own way in one of the less desirable “sectors”. The sectors are ruled by gangs who live on the wild side. They spend their time boozing it up, cage fighting for fun and screwing each other with no inhibitions. Their lives are very different from the sheltered, stifling rules of Eden.

Noelle has just been booted out of Eden for being a naughty girl and wanting to indulge in some sex and drinkies. Despite the fact that her dad is one of the biggest big wigs in Eden, she’s shunned and spit out and now has to find a new life. She’s very lucky that she happens upon Jasper and Lex who take her in and immediately make her a part of their gang which is ruled by Lex’s lover Dallas. Noelle soon learns there is little luxury and no free rides in Sector 4. You strip, suck dick or wait tables. She ends up doing all three and pretty much loving the freedom and sexuality she’s finally allowed to experience without guilt and shame.

I liked this book and will definitely read the next one but unlike a lot of people I didn't love it. I wanted to love it. I tried to love it. I honestly don’t know why I couldn't love it. It was violent and sensual and the characters were decently drawn but for some reason I just didn't find it amazing, you know? It was only pretty good and I kept putting it down to do other stuff or play Dragonvale. It took me over five weeks to finish it if my records are right. Despite all of the wild sexuality on display, the characters weren't able to grab at my emotions and hold my attention for more than a few chapters at a time.

Noelle secretly craves being told what to do and being in control of her partner's desires but I didn't feel that her secret wishes were always truly fulfilled when she was with Jasper. He was almost too nice to her sometimes (I know I’m crazy, right? I can’t believe I’m calling a guy who smacks her bum hard enough to leave marks and ties her up too nice, believe me!). There was also a little too much non-communication on Jasper’s part. He’s a tough guy, he’s stubborn and he’s very protective and Noelle is as smitten with him as he is with her but he’s the type to keep his feelings to himself, even going so far as to break off all ties with his love interest “for her own good” if he has to. That kind of thing always bugs me.

If you don’t already know, there’s a lot of sex happening in this book. The relationships between gang members are open even when they are committed to another and it felt right in this world and never forced. They somehow make it work. I enjoyed all that and the world building was only a little lacking but certainly not an afterthought. It was the relationship building between the main couple that didn't completely work for me. There are many characters, many complicated relationships and it seems like this book was an obvious setup book for more novels to come. I'm not complaining because I will more than likely buy them. In the end, this first book just wasn't as mind-blowing as I’d hoped but I am very interested to see what happens in future books with this group now that we've gotten to know a few of them quite intimately ;)

3 out of 5


  1. I wonder if this is the same Kit Rocha with a new fantasy book coming out in a few months?

  2. The synopsis does sound good. Too bad you couldn't love it.

  3. I do horrible with open relationships. I get jealous on everyone's behalf - even if they're all cool with it lol so I've passed on this one.

    They have a new series coming up about Mercenary Librarians that I'm interested in.

    Karen @ For What It's worth


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