Review: Deacon by Kit Rocha

About the Book

Cover Deacon by Kit RochaAna 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.

The Finer Details

Narrative Arc: Series

Series Detail: Gideon’s Riders, book 2

Series Arc: new relationship

Publication Date: August 29, 2017
Publisher: Self-Published
Length: Novel, 268 e-book pages
POV: 3rd person
Tense: Past
Pairings: Male/Female
Age Range(s): 30 to 39
Genre(s): Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic

Tropes and Tags: lover in physical peril, alpha hero, ensemble cast, bikers, body art tattoos/piercings, strong heroine, commando, redemption
Settings & Locales: Sector One
Ending: HEA

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Advance Review Copy generously provided by the author.


Back Porch Thoughts

Rating

Rating 5 Stars

5 Stars

Rating Info

Ratings stick closely to the GoodReads standards. Occasionally I’ll make note of half-star ratings and will typically round up on GoodReads reviews and other sites where I may cross-post.

Stars Goodreads  What this means to me
5 AMAZING This totally knocked my socks off, and I might end up a crazed fan (from a respectable distance).
4 Really Liked This was truly enjoyable, and I’d recommend it.
3 Liked It was good, and I’m glad I read it, but I may have had some issues.
2 It was okay I finished it & kept hoping for improvement. I definitely had issues.
1 Didn't like I read the whole thing but....
1 DNF Didn't like I read past 50% (at least) before giving up.
0 DNF No Rating I couldn't even make it to 50%, but I still feel the need to share my thoughts.

 

Review

“Girls can be Riders?”

YESSSSSS, you bet your ass they can.

One of the things I LOVE about this series, and the one that came (Beyond series), are the badass, capable women. Women who are smart, strong, and resilient in their own right. It’s never about some big badass Alpha-type swooping in to save the damsel in distress — in fact, it’s usually the opposite or damn near close to it.

In this apocalypse sexuality and skin color are, for the most part, incidentals. But…the patriarchy doesn’t seem to be dead quite yet. Getting there, because the women are awesome — they’re sector leaders, bootleggers, mercenary assassins and whatever the hell they want or need to be.

But not until Ana are they one of Gideon’s Riders.

Ana is a trailblazer, the first female Rider — and there’s never any question as to if she has the strength to fight, knows what her strengths are and how to use them to her advantage, and come up with super strategic, tactical maneuvers on the fly. She’s earned her place through grit and determination and an upbringing that ensured she knew she could do whatever her heart desired.

She’s the Wonder Woman of the apocalypse.

And I sorta feel like the book should have been titled Ana.

Her position comes with a whole boatload of pressure though — to train harder, fight smarter, not show weakness, not complain. Even if a badass dude whines about a blister on his trigger finger…she can’t. Ever. Because someone, somewhere might want to use that ‘weakness’ against her.

As the only female Rider, with no others to compare her to, she always always always has to be at the top of her game.

How fucking exhausting.

And ummm…what do you think folks are gonna say when they find out she’s screwing the boss?

This book is all kinds of introspective as to a woman’s right to take up space and play on the same team as an equal, along with the additional pressures that come from being the first in this field. It resonated in huge ways. Not only making me think about those who came before me, who made my path easier, but also in all the areas we’re still making our way and the absolute strength of character it takes to make changes happen in the ongoing fight for equality for all.

Just…wow.

And, okay, the love interest….Deacon. I mean, this book was named for him after all (still, shoulda been Ana).

I liked him well enough. Okay, I pretty much loved him and LOVED him and Ana together. Just…I don’t know. For a long while he’s kind of a self-loathing martyr because of a big ol secret that’s finally caught up to him. And that…doesn’t exactly do it for me in most cases. He’s got a lot to figure out and a lot of forgiveness he needs to find within himself. Plus an old friend-turned-nemesis that needs to be dealt with handily. Though he doesn’t handle this particular conflict in the best of ways, he draws strength from Ana (while also building her up because he’s awesome like that) and learns to adjust his thinking.

Sector One is the opposite end of the spectrum from Sector Eight featured in the Beyond series. It takes some getting used to after being immersed in the land of the O’Kane Bootlegger Orgies, where sins of the flesh are something to aspire to and fight for. Sector One reads somewhat as an irreverent utopia (or as much of one can exist here in this post-flare place) with its temples and shrines, where its leader is hailed as a god among the living. And whoa.

It seems to be on the brink of some serious adjustments, though. It probably won’t swing near to the wide-openness of Eight, but looks like they’re on their way to finding some secular balance. It’ll be interesting to see how Head Guy Gideon shepherds his devoted flock toward some possibly less spiritual ideals.

And lo, what a hint of things to come. I won’t say cliffhanger because Ana and Deacon are solid. But lookout, because holy-fizzoli the plot thickens with some little nuggets of OMG of what’s on the horizon.

Kit Rocha continues a powerhouse of excellence in storytelling — the kind that immerses me completely allowing the real world fall away for just a while, leaving me breathless and begging for more.

So. Deacon (the book that should be called Ana) is another MAJOR win.


About the Author

logo-kitrocha--okane-beyondseriesKit Rocha is the pseudonym for co-writing team Donna Herren and Bree Bridges. After penning dozens of paranormal novels, novellas and stories as Moira Rogers, they branched out into gritty, sexy dystopian romance.

The Beyond series has appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists, and was honored with a 2013 RT Reviewer’s Choice award. Find out more at kitrocha.com, or sign up to be notified of their next release.

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