Monday, August 28, 2017

[Jen's Review[: "Deacon"

romance novel covers, dystopian romance, Royal Pick, Deacon by Kit Rocha
Deacon by Kit Rocha
Publisher: Kit Rocha (August 29, 2017)
Series: Gideon's Riders, 2
Genre: Dystopian Romance

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.

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Jen's Review:

Obviously, I love romance. But if you asked me to name my favorite genre, I’d struggle-- because the truth is, outside of Updike, Franzen, etc, I don’t really meet books I don’t like. I am an equal-opportunity, poly-genre-ous reader. On the other hand, I absolutely have a favorite genre of movie. Most people would call it “action-adventure,” but I have my own name for the best examples of the form: Handsome Men Blow Things Up. And gloriously, we live in a time where we now get a fair amount of movies where Beautiful Women Blow Things Up, too. If my family suggests we go to a movie, I’ll say, “Does a handsome man blow something up? Then fine.” I’m a simple woman. What can I say?

The reason this is relevant is because Kit Rocha’s latest Deacon (or as I mentally called it Ana--more on that later) was the book version of my favorite movie genre. A handsome man and a beautiful women blew....okay, that’s cheap innuendo, but also true! Yes, that blowing AND ALSO actual explosions. It was completely dreamy. Ana is a young Rider, new to the squad, and Deacon in their leader. They barely even let themselves admit the attraction that flares between them, because she is afraid others will assume she slept her way onto the crew. However, the plot accelerates once Deacon’s hidden past comes to light. Ana is the only one who can help Deacon and the Riders figure out how to move forward. 

Yes, the action sequences and plot were tight, fast-paced, and interesting. It’s a Kit Rocha book, what did you expect? The book is a great adventure, but it is made even more delicious because two super-soldiers fall in love with each other. Despite the fact that Deacon’s name is on the cover, Ana was the real star of this book for me. I was so moved by her struggles as the lone female soldier in Gideon’s Riders. There’s two great stories about Ana in this book: the one about her falling in love with Deacon, and the one about her learning how to truly be herself.  I am just a sucker for a strong, independent female character discovering she can be competent, brilliant, and badass without giving up what makes her feel like a woman. She doesn’t have to be cold or unfeeling to be a great Rider, and her ability to love is her greatest strength. 

Here’s my one piece of advice about this book: If you haven’t read a Kit Rocha book, this would be a hard place to start. You could probably start with Ashwin, but it’s hard for me to get a good sense of that since I’ve read so many of them. Even as a dedicated Kit Rocha reader, I still think it’s beyond time (see what I did there?) for the author to include a quick and dirty guide to the sectors in the front matter of each book: a map, a timeline, and a character list. Yes, I realize that there is probably a website, but I’d argue it needs to be right in the book. At this point, the world they’ve created is so complex, and I can’t be the only one who needs reminders of the details. It would help returning readers review the basics and help new readers get up to speed. 

As always, Kit Rocha has created a dazzling, layered, inclusive, fully-formed and fascinating world---Deacon isn’t just my catnip, it’s like the book was custom written for me. I’m going to go ahead and make a very strong statement: this might be my new favorite Kit Rocha book. Which, if you knew how I felt about Dallas and Lex, that is really saying something. It’s 2017, and something about Ana discovering her inner-strength and power is just the inspiration I need to keep resisting our new national dystopia. 


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Jen received an e-ARC of this book from the authors.

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Thanks for the review, Jen! I couldn't agree more. It's no secret that I adore this entire world Rocha has created! And having finished up Deacon myself -- yes. Just yes. :)

Remember, since this is a Royal Pick, come back on August 31st for a chance to WIN an ecopy of your own!


Until Next Time,

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