The intense and suspenseful run-up to war and the most complicated relationship dynamics in the series compete for our attention in Beyond Ruin. Ana and Chelsea could have talked forever about this book, and only scratch the surface. In this episode, our complicated quartet’s, Mad, Dylan, Scarlet and Jyoti, emotional scars and secrets are dissected and the ramifications of Eden’s surprising assault on Two are discussed.
Ana and Chelsea wrestle with all the forces drawing Mad, Dylan, Scarlet and Jyoti together and the misunderstanding & assumptions that nearly drove them apart as the O’Kanes gear up for war and the sector’s political landscape is forever changed.
Chelsea and Ana discuss all the tantalizing new knowledge about Sector One, Bree and Donna drop in Beyond Ruin, from its unique way of life, to the inner workings of the Rios’s family and their complicated Theocracy. Also mentioned in this episode are Gideon, Avery, Ashwin & Kora and Marciela.
Special Note: Long-time series fan, and podcast listener, Nikki sent us a little pronunciation guide for some of the Indian names in the books! We should have thought to ask and we apologize for mangling the pronounciation of Jyoti and Ashwin!
From Nikki: Ashwin is pronounced like Usher…Ush-win and Jyoti has two syllables, Jo-thi. (Chelsea got the th sound right in the episode!).
In this episode Ana and Chelsea discuss the storytelling and world-building nuggets embedded in these two “Beyond the HEA” vignettes, that explore the growth and changes to Lex & Dallas, Jas & Noelle and Rachel, Ace and Cruz ‘s relationships since the end of their books.
Both books are set as the Sectors and Eden are at the brink of war, and these couples & triads take some time away to be together and showcase how much the series has evolved since we first met them. We talk about the radical acts of hope and love in action that take place in these stories, from momentous choices to smaller promises.
Did you read the vignettes as your worked through the series, or did you discover them after the fact?
As the world building expands and the plot rapidly picks up pace, Ana and Chelsea spend this episode diving in to what exactly makes it feel just a little different than all the other O’Kane books. They discuss the underlying, often dismissed queerness of both the book and the series, while also noting the variety of ways female agency is expressed and the development of the main theme for the rest of the series: the ability to choose how one fights for the things one loves.
Along the way, Ana and Chelsea also discuss the old Hollywood feel of the novel, the appeal of spy novels, and, of course, the sex on the piano.
This book also sets up the final stages of the relationship between Mad, Scarlet, Jade and Dylan, whom become the central quad of our next book!
Both Ana & Chelsea adore Tatiana, her need for independence, her fierce pride and her determination to survive. And in this episode they breakdown why Tatiana and Zan clash even as she deeply wants Zan in her life & in her bed. Chelsea and Ana discuss just what submission has meant to Tatiana and what Zan has to do to prove that he can respect her needs and be the person she can rely on.
Ana and Chelsea also discuss one of their favorite moments in the whole series involving Lex and her kick-ass posse of O’Kane women and why it is thematically significant in the series.
In this episode Chelsea and Ana also talk about Gia, Lex & Stuart and the important of crafting and labor in the worldbuilding of the Beyond Series.
Finn & Trix‘s explosive second chance/reunion romance nearly tears the O’Kanes apart. Ana & Chelsea discuss how Kit Rocha combine high-octane action (pulse-pounding escapes, car chases, sneaky heists and armed stand-offs) with quiet emotional conflicts centered on the themes of addiction, acceptance, sacrifice, redemption and trust.
Beyond Solitude features the most explicitly Hufflepuff/Slytherin pairing yet in the Beyond Universe. Chelsea and Ana discuss how incredibly grumpy Derek Ford is and just how much they love brave and determined Mia.
They also breakdown the power dynamics at the heart of Ford and Mia’s tumultuous relationship, discuss what it means to be a resident of Sector Four without being an O’Kane and talk about everything we have come to learn about Sector Two.
Doubling your pleasure, Ana and Chelsea start this episode with a discussion of Beyond Temptation, Emma & Noah’s worldbuilding-heavy novella about painful & dangerous secrets, before getting down and dirty with our favorite triad, Ace, Cruz & Rachel in Beyond Jealousy.
Beyond hot-showers & self-sabotage, Ana & Chelsea deep-dive into Ace, Rachel and Cruz’s relationship dynamics, discussing what went wrong, and why we so love this story of learning to let people love you when you feel unworthy or unlovable. Also discussed are all the parents present or absent in Beyond Jealousy from Maddox’s ghostly mother, Ace’s late mother, Cruz’s distant mother to Rachel all too-present meddling father, Liam Riley and how it all connects to the radically different family the O’Kanes are building in Sector Four.
Ana shares how much she loves the variety and complex depictions of Latinx identity in the series and Chelsea expands on why she thinks these two books are a turning point in the series. Chelsea & Ana also discuss learning the difference between mfm and mmf and how that can make all the difference in whether a story works for them or not.
In this episode of Beyond the Sectors, Chelsea and Ana lovingly dissect Bren & Six, the cage-matches, the trauma, there-is-more-to-life-than-revenge tropes, flawed found family dynamics and the collision between the political and relational storylines as the O’Kanes try to unravel what has gone wrong in Sector Three.
Bren has been guiding and training Six as she gets to know the O’Kanes, face her past and learn to trust and hope again, but when a villain from his past re-surfaces his need for revenge exposes cracks in his relationships with the gang and almost destroys his relationship with Six.
Listen as we discuss Bren and Six’s relationships with their pasts, their kinks, the gang and each other in Beyond Pain.
Also mentioned in this episode are some of the future leads, Noah, Emma, Mad, Scarlet, Ace, Rachel & Cruz including a discussion of Ace’s role in helping Six understand Bren’s desire and need for pain.
Ana and Chelsea giddily discuss the tumultuous romance between the King and Queen of Sector Four. Dallas and Lex have been circling around each other for years, risk and desire in balance until an inflammatory tattoo changes everything.
In Beyond Control, high-stakes negotiations, dangerous double-edged offers, secret vulnerabilities and big mistakes endanger Lex and Dallas relationship and the unity of the O’Kanes. Chelsea and Ana discuss the complications caused by the intersection of Dallas and Lex’s public and private personas and just how close Dallas comes to destroying it all.
Join us as we unpack what is private and what is political and how Kit Rocha keeps expanding the world of the O’Kanes and raising the stakes in Beyond Control. This is the book that made us both realize just how special this series is.
Listen in as we discuss the power, consent, & trust dynamics in Beyond Control.
Also in this episode we gush about some of new characters we are introduced to in this book, including Gideon, Jade, Avery. We also update where Ace, Rachel, Cruz & Bren and Six’s relationship are progressing.
In Beyond Shame, Noelle Cunningham is cast out of Eden and finds not only sanctuary but love and family when she is rescued by Jas and the O’Kanes.
Bree Bridges and Donna Herren, the writing duo behind Kit Rocha, lay the foundation of their ambitious post-apocalyptic SFR/Erotic Romance series, in Beyond Shame, introducing key characters, themes and sketching out the political arc of the series. Chelsea and Ana talk about their favorite characters, their love of the worldbuilding and politics of #thesectors turned them into #okanesforlife.