Hi everyone! This is Julia of The Broke and the Bookish, formerly blogging on my own at The Competitive Bibliomaniac.
I read mostly historical romance, but can often be found reviewing paranormal romance, young adult books (mostly distopian/fantasy), fantasy/sci-fi, classics, and the occasional non-fiction book about languages.
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I am going to put this out there first and foremost: This is the
first second erotic romance that I have read. (I forgot I read one that was historical and kind of poorly written..) So I feel like I may have a fresh take for you all...
Let's give a SCORE
Beyond Shame takes place in a dystopian world that is hardly recognizable as descending from today. There is a city, Eden, where all the rich people live exploiting those who live outside the walls to earn their fortune. Rules are strict in Eden and when out main character, Noelle, makes the grave error of drinking and fornicating, she is thrown out.
She stumbles (literally) into Jasper and another of Dallas' gang who run the sector in which she was expelled into. They take her back to the club where she must learn to "wait tables, dance, or suck dick by the end of the week or she's out".
The story is really her coming to grips with her own repressed sexuality and sense of self. She spend a lot of the book exploring herself and pushing her limits all while growing in her relationship with Jasper.
What a cast of characters. There are really four characters we focus on (with a few additional secondaries with seeds for sequels). I've talked about Noelle in the story section. She is a pretty strong characters. Jasper on the other hand, comparatively, looks weak. Not just compared to Noelle but compared to Dallas and Lex, too. Dallas and Lex are the couple for the next book.
The characters really drive the story, and there wasn't a point where I was bored with them. They all have interesting personalities that I look forward to seeing in future books.
I've never read a romance that had so many others in the bed with the couple. There were only a few scenes where they were having the sexy times alone. That said, I didn't necessarily think it hindered the couples emotional development toward each other. Plus they were pretty hot scenes.
Jasper did get a little frustrating in the way that he treated Noelle at the end of the book, but over all I though their romance and emotional development pretty believable.
I was engaged and kept turning the pages of this story. I thought the world building could be a little clearer though. Sometimes I just wanted them to put their pants back on and go back to the market so I can get a better hold on this super interesting world! The writing itself is good. Like I said, it kept me turning pages.
Overall, I thought it was a good book. I found it very enjoyable and the world really interesting. I would recommend this to any sci-fi fans looking for something with lots of adventurous sex.
This was originally posted on GR in Feb 2013