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all hearthfires & holocausts

eating books. bleeding words.

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R.J. Palacio
The Chaos of Stars
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Beyond Shame

Beyond Shame - Kit Rocha BEYOND SHAME is a well-written erotica with a full-fledged plot, a rarity in my experience with the genre. After the solar storms, the land was divided between Eden and the sectors. Eden houses the wealthy and their families, their society founded by the righteous patriarchs. Women are bred to be dutiful wives and gracious hostesses. Sex is forbidden before marriage, and alcohol is forbidden altogether.Noelle Cunningham, daughter of a prominent councilman in The City, is banished for breaking the rules. Thrown beyond the city walls with nothing more than the dress on her back, she is found wandering the streets in a drugged stupor by Jasper, the tattooed lieutenant in the O'Kanes--the most powerful and dangerous gang in the Sectors, who make their living distilling and distributing alcohol.Noelle is invited to become part of the gang, where the men are dangerous but loyal, and the women are free. While Noelle tries to find a place for herself with the O'Kanes, she discovers a side of herself she never knew existed. A side that feels and needs and burns. A side that shames her even as it excites her beyond reason. Noelle must come to terms with her desire and her shame before she can have what she truly wants - Jasper.I really loved the setup in BEYOND SHAME, and am looking forward to what I hope will be more books in a series. I really enjoyed that the plot included intrigue and suspense unrelated to the erotic elements of Noelle's growth, which is not something I've found often in erotic novels.However, I was disappointed to find that for all the demonizing of the way women were treated in Eden, Noelle basically traded one patriarchal society for another. Sure, in Sector 4 Noelle could drink as much as she wanted, and sleep with whomever she pleased, but was she really free? I don't know. Still, I am looking forward to reading more from these authors, and definitely recommend to anyone looking for more than just porn without plot in their erotica.