From the book description, you get the general idea of this story. A young woman is cast out of her family home, banished from the city and left to find her way in the gritty sectors outside the city walls. It's a dark world where civilization has been stripped down, and these sectors are ruled by gangs and their gang bosses. The setting, that dystopian world and all its complexity, was well-drawn and very visual to me. I could see it all. It's futuristic but basic, and it's the basic that puts that raw, untamed feeling here. It's hard and tough, and Noelle is like a kitten lost in the wild. But she does manage to find a saviour in this world: Jasper, a tattooed, bearded, tough guy. He's a cage fighter and also one of the LT's to Sector Four's bad-azz boss, Dallas O'Kane.
Noelle has been banished from the city for breaking the rules; she drank alcohol, and her second offense, fornication, was the last straw. This is one girl eager to learn, to live and to break free. Here, in O'Kane territory, she will do that. What the book description fails to tell you is just how hot this journey is, for Noelle and the reader. It was completely hedonistic as Noelle gives into sexual abandon, as she learns to accept that being bad and getting down and dirty are all good things here outside Eden. In this world, it's basic, and men and women readily take their pleasure. Jasper wants Noelle right from the first, but so does Lex.
I wasn't sure how I felt about Lex and this potential f/f action, but I have to say that it was highly erotic and seriously hot. And Lex ended up being one of my favorite characters in the book. Lex is a complex character, just a force of nature. There is so much sexual tension between Lex and Dallas, and you know there is much more in store on that score in future books. Add Dallas and Lex into the bedroom with Noelle and Jasper, and you get an incredibly arousing scene. Noelle has a lot to learn, and everyone is willing to help. All the action was graphic in detail, every word an erotic image, as Noelle's limits are pushed and she learns to find pleasure beyond shame. She wants to be bad and naughty, and this is the place to do it.
If you don't like reading multiple sexual partners and some f/f action, you might not care for this. But who knows? You might find yourself lost in the adventure with Noelle. It is very well-written sex, really erotica with nicely nuanced story and character, not to mention this wonderfully gritty and compelling setting. I do think the authors found a sweet balance between the overtly sexual and the smooth, more romantic side of things. Along with the raw, dirty talk and the bold sex scenes, there is a definite feeling of sensual romance to be found as well. Even if Noelle and Jasper are the couple to share and to invite others, you still have the idea that these two are in it togehter, above any other who might become involved.
The sex is pretty awesome, and if you're not used to reading bold, shameless erotica or erotic romance, you may be shocked. There are the multiple partners: Noelle playing with Lex; Noelle having some fun with Jasper and Ace; Noelle with Dallas, Lex and Jasper. (There is no m/m here.) It's all very arousing to see Noelle discover herself sexually. What does she like? Well, it seems she likes a bit of everything! Some light bondage and some light spanking included, but it's that feeling of submitting that I enjoyed most. But I have to say that Noelle, who was a bit of a blank slate at the beginning, turns out to be a much stronger character than anticipated. The same goes for the other women in the story. While I found all the men hot and alpha, and there are many here to wonder about and to want to read about, it's the women who stand out. Even in this world where men are in control, these women in the O'Kane gang know exactly how to deal with them, Lex being the most stand-out for me.
Noelle does have her moment. First part of the story, I was just along for the sexual joy ride; second part of the story, I got to see Noelle show Jasper a thing or two about standing firm. That was very enjoyable. A bit of a mini-grovel there, nothing too hard, but still nice to see a man be shown a lesson in some degree. The kitten found her claws. I would have loved a little more there. I feel as if I were just getting to see the real Noelle. As the story ends, more action is in store with this gang and the other sectors: territory wars, the city sticking its nose into sector business, and most of all, it's the other characters who are spicing and sexing things up.
I have to say that each character here added to the story, and I can't wait to see what unfolds for each and every one of them: Maddox, Ace, Bren, Six, Rachel, and of course, Dallas and Lex. Who knows who or what else will happen? This world and these characters are interesting, sexy and gritty, and I want to find out more about these characters and see what happens next for them in Sector Four. The story kept me interested, the characters kept me pulled in, and the primal sex kept me aroused. Beyond Shame is bold and shameless, wanton, eager and dirty, but there's also a story here with the sex, and it's a pretty good one.