Episode 20: Ivan

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Deacon

by Kit Rocha

We’re back, friends, with our final full-length installment for a little bit. Ivan is the third novel in the Gideon’s Riders books, and our last official novel for the moment. Stay tuned, though, because we’ve still got several short story episodes and an AMA with the author duo Bree and Donna all about the process of writing these books we’ve spent the last year diving in to!

This week, we dig into our most Regency-style romance to date, the forbidden romance between bodyguard Ivan and princess Maricela. We discuss found and biological families, the ways in which we talk about how to value life, and the importance and validity of love as a lasting legacy. As always, it was a blast, and we hope you have as much fun listening as we did recording!

As the sheltered princess of Sector One, Maricela’s life is defined by duty: to her people and to her family. Her wealth and influence have allowed her to build a better world, but they come with a price—the responsibility to secure political stability with a practical marriage. Maricela cherishes the idea of marrying for love, but there’s not much romance in the endless line of suitors interested only in prestige and power.

And her handsome, brooding new bodyguard isn’t helping the situation.

Ivan is the perfect, deadly warrior, a man trained from childhood to be the ultimate protector to the Rios family. His focus on keeping her safe is intense–and a little intoxicating. When the threat of danger cracks his icy control, Maricela realizes she’s not the only one fighting against temptation.

Ivan knows that the blood on his hands makes him unworthy of the pure-hearted princess. But from the first kiss, their forbidden affair feels inevitable. He can give her a glimpse of life outside her gilded cage and a lover who wants the woman instead of the crown. The only thing he can never do is promise her forever.

Because spurning her noble suitors to marry her bodyguard wouldn’t just be a scandal. It could set off a political firestorm that would tear Sector One apart.

Books Mentioned:

The Complete Beyond Series Book Bundle
Beyond the HEA Stories
Gideon’s Riders
The Silver Devils/Mercenary Librarians

Where to Find us on the Web:

Chelsea Outlaw co-hosts the Not Now I’m Reading podcast with Kay Taylor Rea.  She is @anoutlawlife on Twitter.

Ana Coqui reviews romance, SFF and more at AnaCoqui: Immersed in Books and Love in Panels and on Twitter

Episode 19: Deacon

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You can also read the transcript here!

Deacon

by Kit Rocha

We’re back, friends! This week, we continue our Sector One adventures with Deacon (a book we all know should really have been called Ana!) We dig even deeper into last week’s discussion of creating a theocratic community, as well as our love of Kit Rocha’s reformed assassins and the alluring overlap between tattoo artists Del and Ace. It was a fantastic conversation, and we hope y’all listening to it as much as we did having it!

Just a heads up: Chelsea’s new little at-home helper/intrepid Beyond the Sectors Infant Correspondant makes the occasional contribution, but this should be the last episode in which that’s an issue (god willing and the creek don’t rise)!

Ana has trained most of her life to achieve one goal: to prove that anything men can do, she can do better. Now she’s Sector One’s first female Rider, and being the best is the only way to ensure she won’t be its last. Distractions aren’t allowed–especially not her painful attraction to the reserved but demanding leader whose stern, grumpy demeanor has already gotten into her head.

Deacon has spent the last twenty years trying to atone for his past, but the blood he spilled as a mercenary and assassin will never wash away entirely. If his riders knew the extent of his sins, he’d lose their trust and respect. It’s easier to keep them all at arm’s length, especially Ana. But his newest recruit’s stubbornness is starting to crack his defenses.

And their sparring matches are driving him wild.

The passion sparking between them can’t be denied, but neither can the vengeance barreling toward Deacon. When his old squad comes back to punish him for his betrayal, Ana and the Riders are squarely in the line of fire. The only way to save his people may be to make the ultimate sacrifice.

But first, he has to convince Ana not to follow him straight into hell.

Books Mentioned:

The Complete Beyond Series Book Bundle
Beyond the HEA Stories
Gideon’s Riders
The Silver Devils/Mercenary Librarians

Where to Find us on the Web:

Chelsea Outlaw co-hosts the Not Now I’m Reading podcast with Kay Taylor Rea.  She is @anoutlawlife on Twitter.

Ana Coqui reviews romance, SFF and more at AnaCoqui: Immersed in Books and Love in Panels and on Twitter

Episode 18: Ashwin

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You can also read the transcript here!

Ashwin

by Kit Rocha

Welcome, friends, to the brand new(ish) world of Sector One! This week, we launch into the world of Gideon and his infamous Rider’s, the soldiers and saviors of Sector One. We had such an amazing conversation this episode, we had a hard time keeping it around the hour mark!

We hit on our feelings about emotionally cold heroes, the role that religion plays in worldbuilding, and the deeply complicated man that is Gideon Rios. We see some familiar faces, and talk about what it feels like to be reading this book after the hugely climactic series end of the O’Kane books. We hope you have as much fun listening as we did talking.

Just a heads up: Chelsea’s new little at-home helper/intrepid Beyond the Sectors Infant Correspondant makes a bit of noise in the first 15 minutes or so. It calms down after that, and we did the best we could to clean it up, but just as a heads up!

Lieutenant Ashwin Malhotra is a Makhai soldier–genetically engineered to be cold, ruthless. Unfeeling. His commanding officers consider him the perfect operative, and they’re right. Now, he has a simple mission: to infiltrate Gideon’s Riders, the infamous sect of holy warriors that protects the people of Sector One.

He’s never failed to execute an objective, but there’s one thing he didn’t anticipate–running into Dr. Kora Bellamy, the only woman to ever break through his icy exterior.

When Kora fled her life as a military doctor for the Makhai Project, all she wanted was peace–a quiet life where she could heal the sick and injured. The royal Rios family welcomed her like a sister, but she could never forget Ashwin. His sudden reappearance is a second chance–if she can manage to touch his heart.

When the simmering tension between them finally ignites, Kora doesn’t realize she’s playing with fire. Because she’s not just falling in love with a man who may not be able to love her back. Ashwin has too many secrets–and one of them could destroy her.

Books Mentioned:

The Complete Beyond Series Book Bundle
Beyond the HEA Stories
Gideon’s Riders
The Silver Devils/Mercenary Librarians

Where to Find us on the Web:

Chelsea Outlaw co-hosts the Not Now I’m Reading podcast with Kay Taylor Rea.  She is @anoutlawlife on Twitter.

Ana Coqui reviews romance, SFF and more at AnaCoqui: Immersed in Books and Love in Panels and on Twitter

Episode 17: Beyond Forever

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Beyond Forever
by Kit Rocha

This is the second (and currently last) book in the O’Kane for Life novella series, and our final stop with all the favorites we’e gotten to know over the last dozen books. But never fear! We’re moving on to Gideon and Sector One, an entirely new world of adventure.

But first Ana and Chelsea discuss our ultimate Lex and Dallas story, a novella composed of flashbacks covering the beginnings of a relationship between the people we now know as the reigning king and queen of Sector Four.

Chelsea and Ana talk through the joy of getting to know a well-loved character’s backstory, the struggle to imagine what it would have been like reading the books knowing what we learn in this novella, and an incredibly poignant reminder that, occasionally, it’s good to remember how our heroes can serve as other people’s villains.

Before they were the King and Queen…

Six years before the Beyond series started, an ambitious bootlegger named Dallas O’Kane caught a very pretty thief named Lex with her hand in his safe.

The rest is very sexy history.

In Beyond Forever, follow Dallas and Lex through the turning points in their relationship, from the night he caught her trying to rob him, through his rise to successful bootlegger, to legend, to Sector Leader–with Lex always there, willing to give him the push he needs.

Books Mentioned:

The Complete Beyond Series Book Bundle
Beyond the HEA Stories
Gideon’s Riders
The Silver Devils/Mercenary Librarians

Where to Find us on the Web:

Chelsea Outlaw co-hosts the Not Now I’m Reading podcast with Kay Taylor Rea.  She is @anoutlawlife on Twitter.

Ana Coqui reviews romance, SFF and more at AnaCoqui: Immersed in Books and Love in Panels and on Twitter

Episode 16: Beyond Doubt

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Beyond Doubt
by Kit Rocha

This is the first book in the O’Kane for Life novella series, and one of our last two Beyond episodes before we officially switch to the world of Gideon and Sector One! But not before Ana and Chelsea get to fawn all over their joint favorite novella to date. We watch as Six and Bren figure out how to walk new lines, lead a sector, and form a family – and an HEA – that is all their own.
Chelsea and Ana are given the chance to discuss PTSD, trauma, the power of literacy, the shifting lines couple continue to draw over the course of a sprawling series, and of course the vital theme of the importance of an individual happily ever after.


Winning a war might be enough for most people, but Bren and Six aren’t interested in kicking back to enjoy peace. Not when they finally have the time—and resources—to tackle the mess left behind in the sector they now rule.

Especially the orphaned street kids.

Six remembers how hard it is to trust. Bren remembers how hard it is to be patient. Together, they have the skills and the power to make a better world than the one they grew up in—but only if they can be honest with each other about the future they want.

Not just for Sector Three, but for themselves.

Books Mentioned:

The Complete Beyond Series Book Bundle
Beyond the HEA Stories
Gideon’s Riders
The Silver Devils/Mercenary Librarians

Where to Find us on the Web:

Chelsea Outlaw co-hosts the Not Now I’m Reading podcast with Kay Taylor Rea.  She is @anoutlawlife on Twitter.

Ana Coqui reviews romance, SFF and more at AnaCoqui: Immersed in Books and Love in Panels and on Twitter

Episode 15: Beyond HEA Part 2

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Ana and Chelsea continue to discuss the Beyond HEA vignettes Bree and Donna wrote for their Patrons. All these shorts take place before the Gideon Rider Books and discuss how Kit Rocha continues to expand the worldbuilding and relationships beyond the original HEAs. All the stories discussed in the episode are now available for free to all readers on Kit Rocha’s website including Flash.

Efficient: Mia plots make Sector Eight a little less predictable and efficient and a little bit more like home.
Fierce Protector (6:30): A sweet little vignette where Hawk brings home a puppy for Jeni.
A Little Bit Bad (10:58): Zan and Tatiana’s sexy and playful interlude is interrupted by a badly timed delivery.
Flash (16:25): This flashback is set after Beyond Pain, where Flash and Amira share some sweet baby time together and Flash thinks about what kind of father he wants to be.

We will be back in two weeks to talk about Beyond Doubt.

Books Mentioned:
Patreon Shorts:
Efficient
Fierce Protector
A Little Bit Bad
Flash
The Complete Beyond Series Book Bundle
Gideon’s Riders
The Silver Devils/Mercenary Librarians

Where to Find us on the Web:

Chelsea Outlaw co-hosts the Not Now I’m Reading podcast with Kay Taylor Rea.  She is @anoutlawlife on Twitter.

Ana Coqui reviews romance, SFF and more at AnaCoqui: Immersed in Books and Love in Panels and on Twitter

Episode 14: Beyond HEA Part 1

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After a brief break Ana and Chelsea are ready to dive back into the Sectors, reading the Beyond HEA vignettes Bree and Donna wrote for their Patrons. For the next two episodes Ana and Chelsea will focus on the shorts that take place before the Gideon Rider Books and discuss how Kit Rocha continues to expand the worldbuilding and relationships beyond the original HEAs. All the stories discussed in the episode are now available for free to all reader on Kit Rocha’s website.

Creative Incentives is a short Ace/Cruz centric short where Cruz works to motivate Ace to work harder at his PT.
Cravings (8:40): Noelle and Jas, sweet cuddly interlude from a couple we typically don’t see in a homey domestic environment as they prepare their suite for the new baby.
Dessert (13:10): Bree and Donna write a great post-war slice of life interlude for Jeni and Hawk as they enjoy some hot domestic bliss in their farmhouse.
Ravished (18:08): Trix and Finn attempt to get ready for Halloween party and get a little distracted by some sexy pirate roleplay in Trix’s dressing room in the new Broken Circle.

Books Mentioned:
Patreon Shorts:
Creative Incentives
Cravings
Dessert
Ravished
The Complete Beyond Series Book Bundle
Beyond Jealousy
Gideon’s Riders
The Silver Devils/Mercenary Librarians

Where to Find us on the Web:

Chelsea Outlaw co-hosts the Not Now I’m Reading podcast with Kay Taylor Rea.  She is @anoutlawlife on Twitter.

Ana Coqui reviews romance, SFF and more at AnaCoqui: Immersed in Books and Love in Panels and on Twitter

Episode 13: An Interlude

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Check back in two weeks from now for our first episode on the Kit Rocha shorts, “Beyond Happily Ever After”!

Hello, friends! Just a quick note to say that we won’t be around this week – Chelsea is currently still on maternity leave, and Ana is finally recovering from her whirlwind trip to RWA! However, we will be back in two weeks to discuss the first five stories in the “Beyond Happily Ever” series that we haven’t already discussed – which means we’ll be reading “Creative Incentives”, “Cravings”, “Dessert”, “Ravished”, and “6th Sense”, all of which are available online for free. So get reading and join us in two weeks for all our thoughts!

Where to Find us on the Web:

Chelsea Outlaw co-hosts the Not Now I’m Reading podcast with Kay Taylor Rea.  She is @anoutlawlife on Twitter.

Ana Coqui reviews romance, SFF and more at AnaCoqui: Immersed in Books and Love in Panels and on Twitter

Episode 12: Beyond Surrender

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Beyond Surrender
by Kit Rocha

This is the last official book in the Beyond Series but not the last Beyond the Sectors podcast! In this episode Chelsea and Ana gush about Nessa and Ryder’s romance and tackle the explosive and powerful way Bree and Donna close out their series and set up what is next for the Sectors.
Chelsea and Ana discuss passion, purpose, loss of innocence, isolation and loneliness, grief, revenge, justice and all the other consequences of war, and the power of the ADHD representation.
In Beyond Surrender, Nessa, the O’Kane Princess, everyone’s little sister and the secret to O’Kanes fabulous liquor finally meets her match. Ryder has lived and trained for one purpose his whole life, and just he finally attains it he comes to realize he has never learned to dream for more, that is until he meets Nessa. Together they will face the ugliest bits of war and dream of life after it.

Also mentioned: Ashwin, Kora, Dallas, Lex, Flash, Amira, Stuart, Finn and pretty much everyone else!

And Ana rants about Knitting and we talk about crafting and the Kit Rocha Etsy Store.

Books Mentioned:

The Complete Beyond Series Book Bundle
Beyond the HEA Stories
Gideon’s Riders
The Silver Devils/Mercenary Librarians

Where to Find us on the Web:

Chelsea Outlaw co-hosts the Not Now I’m Reading podcast with Kay Taylor Rea.  She is @anoutlawlife on Twitter.

Ana Coqui reviews romance, SFF and more at AnaCoqui: Immersed in Books and Love in Panels and on Twitter

Episode 11: Beyond Ecstasy

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Beyond Ecstasy by Kit Rocha

Going to war has consequences! In Beyond Ecstasy Hawk and Jeni have been circling around each other for ages but with the start of the war they feel they can’t wait any longer. Ana and Chelsea look at the ramifications this rush has on their relationship and discuss the thematic echoes to series themes that are reflected back in different ways in Beyond Ecstasy.

In this episode Ana and Chelsea also talk about the cultural differences between the sectors, agency, marriage rituals and finding overlooked strengths and building from disaster.

Mentioned in this episode are: Nessa, Ryder, Ace, Gia, Dallas, Lex and Aayla.

Books Mentioned:

The Complete Beyond Series Book Bundle
Gideon’s Riders

Where to Find us on the Web:

Chelsea Outlaw co-hosts the Not Now I’m Reading podcast with Kay Taylor Rea.  She is @anoutlawlife on Twitter.

Ana Coqui reviews romance, SFF and more at AnaCoqui: Immersed in Books and Love in Panels and on Twitter