♥ BLURB ♥
For years, Jared has existed on the fringes of both Eden society and Dallas O’Kane’s Sector Four gang. He travels between these worlds, protected by his money and power–money he earned selling his body, and power that comes from knowing secrets. He’s untouchable—until he starts a new life gathering intelligence for the O’Kanes.
Lili Fleming walked out of Sector Five with a gun, the bloodstained clothes on her back, and an icy determination to survive. She finds herself in a world where people live hard and love harder, and nothing’s more terrifying than how much the O’Kanes wake her up, make her feel—especially Jared.
Emotion is a risk he can’t afford, and a complication she doesn’t need. But neither can resist the lust simmering between them, and the sparks that could either melt the ice around both their hearts…or get them killed. Because the only thing more dangerous than loving an O’Kane is loving a spy.
♥ my review ♥
Full disclosure: I’m not a big fan of dystopian books at all. And while I like erotica, it’s not something that I seek out while choosing books to read. But I make an exception to this series by Kit Rocha. Not only is this book hotter than hot, it’s consistently well written with very flawed, very human characters.
Beyond Innocence is Jared and Lili’s story. We met Jared in the previous books as one of Ace’s best friends and ex-lover. For all intents and purposes he’s an O’Kane even though he doesn’t wear O’Kane’s ink, he is loyal to the O’Kane’s and his connection inside Eden made him a valuable asset for Dallas.
Lili Fleming was brought up in fear inside Sector Five. She was brought up that kindness and love has its price. Her past made her distrust people even those who act kindly towards her. She felt lost and terrified and out of her depth with the hedonistic O’Kanes. But then she meets Jared, and he arouses a slew of confusing feelings for Lili. Despite that, Lili found in Jared a kindred spirit.
I adored the development of Jared and Lili’s relationship. Both characters were both well fleshed out and their chemistry was sizzling. I especially loved Lili’s character. At the beginning of the book, she was weak and terrified, with almost no agency but slowly but surely, she gained confidence. Most of the time, the heroine gets agency by virtue of her love for the hero. It wasn’t the case here. Lili’s agency allowed her to take a chance with Jared.
Jared’s reluctance to start anything with Lili was palpable but he was never a dick about it. And when they agreed to start a relationship, he was patient with her and supportive. He challenged without ever pushing her to do something that would make her uncomfortable. Jared was just dreamy. His loyalty to his friends and to the O’Kanes was outstanding.
Anyone who’s familiar with the series know how much the authors pushes the envelope with their sex scenes. If you easily get offended by the myriad of sex pairings, then this series isn’t for you because this book has plenty but not as many as in the previous books. And there were a lot of tender moments between Jared and Lili. Lili isn’t like Lexi who or Rachel who both have very little boundaries when it comes to sex and being watched while having sex. The sex scenes in the book, reflected that. It never felt gratuitous to me because the authors did a great job of establishing the O’Kane’s as a hedonistic gang and Dallas O’Kane as its benevolent dictator.
I tip my hat to Kit Rocha for creating this richly drawn post-apocalyptic world of the series and its characters. I loved catching up with old characters and some newer ones that we haven’t really known yet. Overall, my favorite in the series so far.
ARC provided by Kit Rocha in exchange for an honest review.