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.
“Hey, I get it. I get it hard. He’s stern but bangable–that’s a deadly combination.”
The above line made me cackle so hard. i know this isn’t Reyes’ book buuuut I just had to sneak in a wee thing about this guy before i got into Ana and Deacon.
Reyes captured my heart. Sarcastic, flirty, oh so queer. Can’t help but fall for that guy. And he uttered my fave line, one that I need on a button pin ASAP: stern but bangable. An accuratedepiction of Deacon. Even Ana had that mantra running through her head.
Alright soooo! KitRocha once again wowed me with their amazingly, well fleshed out characters. I loved Ana. The only female rider, she has a lot to prove. Carries the weight of every little girls expectations and hopes on her shoulders. That they too can be Riders. Although it’s a bittersweet dream really because Riders are set up to die for the royal family.
This author duo does big casts really well IMO. As with the Beyond series we have the Riders and other secondary characters, plus O’Kane cameos!!
I’m always in awe of how every single character feels real, and never one dimensional, even if they barely get page time. I’m always so drawn in.
This book reeled me in from the beginning. Held my attention as we learn some truths about Deacon. Had me fanning myself at a certain Ana/Deacon sparring scene…helloooo delicious tension.
And can I just say damn…Ana and Deacon’s first sex scene was so hot…scorching levels
but the after. Their banter. Heart eyes all over the place.
Also this…poor Ana…it’s all over lol
“A wide grin curved his lips as he caught his shirt. “Yes, ma’am.” Oh, God. Now he was being charming. Relaxed Deacon was bad enough. But charming, teasing, sweet Deacon?”
Another thing I love? How casually queer everyone is. I’m prettyyy sure Ana is queer, i go that vibe from her. It’s hinted at that Lucio, one of the Riders might be ace? Well at least that’s how i read it. Isabela, of the royal family has two husbands and two wives. There was even a discussion about her sister Maricela potentially entering an arranged marriage with a woman to secure some family alliances. I mean that is amazing right?
I also want to point out an important thing. The passage below, so subtle, can easily be read and just move on BUT to me I appreciated the reference because I read this as I had my hair wrapped in my silk scarf and ready for bed. This is so authentic! Ana is a black woman and yeah wrapping our hair to sleep is a thing that happens. So I was thrilled to see this.
“I’m going to visit my aunts.” Ana touched her fingers to the silk scarf she’d wrapped around her hair in the darkness last night. “Aunt Naomi’s going to braid my hair. And Aunt Olivia will send me home with more donuts than Zeke needs.”
The depiction of Ana on the cover alone had me squealing because omggg she’s stunning right?? But to me this shows the authors at least put some work into her character, making her fully fleshed out and real! So thank you for that, truly. It’s so easy for white authors to sayyy a character is black and basically make them these cardboard cut outs but this seemingly innocuous detail??? Stuck out to me. This is probably my third book seeing a black woman referencing her head scarf to sleep, and one of those was written by a black woman so. When the nuance is gotten in even small ways like this? i notice!
Kitrocha continues their build up to the next couple for book 3 by including their POV. I loved Ana and Deacon but I’m also intrigued by what’s to come for Maricela and Iva. Hell, I’m interested in allthe potential/budding relationships. Especiallyyy for the boss man himself, Gideon.
I’m that person who falls hard for well done secondary characters and this book has loads! Hell this series! How this dynamic writing duo makes every single character so intriguing i just don’t know but well done!
This book seals Ana as my next book girlfriend. She was badass and vulnerable and held the weight of being the first female rider on her shoulders and I just loved her okay?
ALSO THAT ENDING???? From Maricela’s POV. I wish book 3 was out tomorrow because I really need it nowwww!!
There are some things unanswered like who TF is gunning for the Riders? And I’m so excited to get these answers!
So go grab Deacon ASAP. Ashwin, book 1 in this series is also FREE right now for limited time, so perfect chance to start in on this. Althouuugh as i always say, if you haven’t yet read the Beyond series please start there! You’ll get a better sense of everything that’s going on 😀
And oh look handy link for you to check out the series that started it all 😉