Pros: Some great themes
Rating: 5 out of 5
Kit Rocha’s post-apocalyptic erotic romance novella Beyond Solitude (Beyond, Novella 4.5) introduces us to two whole new characters rather than filling in some of the old ones. It’s kind of a little sideways to the series itself; you might remember that previously, at the end of Beyond Jealousy, something bad happened to Trix. This appears to take place before that happens, so you’ll have to wait a little bit to find out what comes next. In this volume, Mia, another woman from Sector Two (like Jade and Lex) escaped her Patron and made her way to Sector Four, determined to follow Lex’s example. Lex gave her a job acting as an assistant to Derek Ford, the guy who handles grain purchases for the O’Kanes, making him essential to their liquor operations. Recently he badly broke his leg in an accident, and he’s still recovering. The first time he meets Mia he’s not exactly in the best of moods, and finds her in his office. He makes a crude pass at her designed more than anything to get her to leave, but she comes back in the morning. Unfortunately she isn’t an O’Kane yet, and doesn’t have the ink, so her daily walk through one of the worst parts of Sector Four isn’t exactly safe. When her home is robbed and she’s put in danger, the simmering tension between her and Derek explodes into protectiveness–and a whole lot more.
There’s a lot less wild and crazy orgy-sex in this installment, but then the volumes that are novellas tend to concentrate more closely on a single pairing, in this case Mia and Derek. There’s a little f/f touching around the edges, but the focus is on the main m/f pairing. It’s still rough and raw and deliciously obscene. I also like that once we get past the first meeting–at which point I did not like Derek–he turns out to have a soft side.
Having been raised and trained in the infamous Sector Two as part of Orchid House like Lex, Mia is a very carefully-trained courtesan. (Although mind you, she’s very well-trained in plenty more than sex.) She wants a chance to be with someone because she wants it, not because someone has purchased her. Unfortunately, even Lex didn’t get away from Two without paying off Cerys for her years of training, and Mia has a lot less money than Lex does. It isn’t going to be a simple escape for her.
This isn’t quite as in-depth as some of the longer stories obviously, but it’s still a delightful installment.