Pros: More plot than usual; inventive, wild sex
Rating: 5 out of 5
In Kit Rocha’s post-apocalyptic erotic romance Beyond Jealousy (Beyond, Book 4), we finally get to the heart of the Ace, Cruz, Rachel relationship! The tension between Ace and Rachel has been there for a long time–long story short, Ace broke Rachel’s heart due to feeling he wasn’t good enough for her. Rachel got involved with Cruz for a while, but that didn’t last either. Then Ace and Cruz started running together, bedding girls together, and sharing some moments of their own. Both of them, however, still have a thing for Rachel, and pretty much everyone except the three of them realizes they’d be better as a threesome than in any partial configuration. Meanwhile, someone’s still bootlegging O’Kane liquor, and Rachel may be in danger as events move toward a confrontation.
Finally a true “love triangle”. Most that I see are really love “lines,” where it’s two people on the ends with someone between them. In this case it really is a triangle, since Cruz and Ace want each other as well as Rachel. There’s plenty of raunchy, debauched sex in here, particularly of the f/m/m and m/m varieties. Ace is something of a sadist, but not in the villainous stereotypical way–he just likes to explore how pain can enhance others’ pleasure. Cruz is definitely dominant–toward both Rachel and Ace.
This installment’s romantic angle has more angst to it than usual. Ace sees Rachel and Cruz as perfect, and believes he doesn’t deserve them and that they’ll eventually realize they just want each other. It’s frustrating, of course, as the reader, and much like the other characters around Ace you just kind of want to shake him a bit. I do find it interesting that a group of people that’s so free with sex would see actually partnering up as such a permanent thing (they mark such things with tattoos). It’s intriguing.
There’s a bit more plot to this volume than some of the others. The O’Kanes are finally narrowing in on who’s making bogus O’Kane liquor and distributing it to Eden. There are explosions, and street fights. Several of the women also get in on the street fighting, which is nice. At the beginning of the series it seemed like the women were going to be stuck in gender-typical roles, but they’ve quickly evolved into a much better position. Rachel isn’t particularly a fighter (although she’s capable of it when necessary), but she does brew the gang’s beer (while Nessa does the liquor distilling). There’s danger in this volume, and I can’t wait to see where things go from here.