"Hell, maybe she'd kiss one of them.
Or more than one.
She was a free woman now.
She was an O'Kane.
Her body belonged to her,
and if Jasper wanted claim over it,
he'd have to put his mark around her throat."
--Kit Rocha, Beyond Shame
Genre: Adult Dystopian, Erotica
Publisher: Moira Rogers, ebook
Publication Date: September 16th, 2012
Source: ebook provided by NetGalley
WARNING: THIS BOOK CONTAINS EROTICA AND SEXUAL SITUATIONS, MATURE READERS ONLY
Alright, I'm not gonna lie. I was able to totally identify with Noelle on one major thing. While reading this book I should have felt more shame or embarrassment...and I totally didn't. Oh my gosh, this book is hot. I love YA, don't get me wrong and I say this every time I read an adult book, especially a sexy one, but I gotta feel like a grown-up sometimes. AND it is in a dystopia...hells yeah!
Ok so this book goes so beyond your token sexy read. The characterizations are really, really good. The main 4 characters are complex and messed up in so many realistic and honest ways. Noelle is the new kid who comes from the privileged city of Eden who was cast out after partaking in questionable behavior per their standards. She goes from this clueless little girl needing to be taken care of to this assertive woman who, come hell or high water, will learn to stand on her own two feet. AND starting off as being totally clueless you would think her innocence would be super annoying and it so wasn't. She actually spoke up and learned the ropes pretty fast. You go girl.
Jasper is the man who rescues Noelle. He is the strong and silent type who falls for our heroine. He too has some depth and legitimate concerns and reasons for his actions. He doesn't blindly lash out like your typical "bad boy" meat head that you see a lot. Dallas is the leader of the gang and I should have disliked him for his 'take no prisoners' sense of violence and corruption but I found him so incredibly interesting...and hilarious. I don't know what it was but he was the one character I wanted way more background info on. There is a lot more going on underneath his surface and I wanna know what it is. Lex is the unwritten head woman of the group and this girl has got more issues than Vogue. Girlfriend doesn't know what she wants and when she thinks she does she switches to the opposite almost immediately. She was my least favorite of the 4. I am ALL for strong, independent women, but like Noelle says at one point, you don't have to push all the time. Her constant need to assert herself got old, real fast. But I still like her, she's just gonna have to earn a bit more of my love though.
So how the gang works is the men rule in the business world...and the women rule in all else. The whole dynamic of this group was so unique and refreshing. It is so amazingly twisted in that their idea of a relationship can easily look as if the males are the dominant ones in the relationship and the women bow down like slaves, but it isn't like that...in the least. The women have control over almost everything. They decide what they want, with who, and for how long. The men try to take the aggressive stance like they run the world but in reality, the women who choose to give up their "control" are still the ones running things. It is so twisty and interesting because giving up control, having it be a choice, is really where all the control lies. Oh I just loved it! And these men adore their women. They basically worship them. Tattooed, strong, fighting, killing men treating women with fierce protection and animalistic reverence. It's actually pretty endearing.
The foundation of the world building was a little lacking but the story surrounding it made up for it. This is the first in a 4 book series so this world isn't going anywhere. And it wasn't all about the sex. There is business and politics and emotions and a lot of crazy stuff going on. It brings up the intellectual level of the book ten-fold. It's not just about sex and the relationships between the characters. I really, really liked this book. The language can be quite obscene, as Ace would say, and I found myself blushing as deep as Noelle at some points but hey, that's kind of part of the fun, right?