So I’ve reached the last book to review in my Tillie Cole series! (At least until Sweet Fall is released at the end of August anyway!!) And this book is a little different to those I’ve reviewed before….There’s still heart break, despair and a hottie to get your blood pumping…. but this time around? There’s a Biker MC and a religious cult thrown in the mix too…
Sinning never felt so good…
A fortuitous encounter.
A meeting that should never have happened.
Many years ago, two children from completely different worlds forged a connection, a fateful connection, an unbreakable bond that would change their lives forever…
Salome knows only one way to live—under Prophet David’s rule. In the commune she calls home, Salome knows nothing of life beyond her strict faith, nor of life beyond the Fence—the fence that cages her, keeps her trapped in an endless cycle of misery. A life she believes she is destined to always lead, until a horrific event sets her free.
Fleeing the absolute safety of all she has ever known, Salome is thrust into the world outside, a frightening world full of uncertainty and sin; into the protective arms of a person she believed she would never see again.
River ‘Styx’ Nash knows one thing for certain in life—he was born and bred to wear a cut. Raised in a turbulent world of sex, Harleys, and drugs, Styx, unexpectedly has the heavy burden of the Hades Hangmen gavel thrust upon him, and all at the ripe old age of twenty-six—much to his rivals’ delight.
Haunted by a crushing speech impediment, Styx quickly learns to deal with his haters. Powerful fists, an iron jaw and the skillful use of his treasured German blade has earned him a fearsome reputation as a man not to be messed with in the shadowy world of outlaw MC’s. A reputation that successfully keeps most people far, far away.
Styx has one rule in life—never let anyone get too close. It’s a plan that he has stuck to for years, that is, until a young woman is found injured on his lot… a woman who looks uncannily familiar, a woman who clearly does not belong in his world, yet a woman he feels reluctant to let go…
Dark Contemporary Romance/New Adult Novel.
Contains sexual situations, violence, sensitive and taboo subjects, offensive language and mature topics. Recommended for age 18 years and up*
When I first read the blurb for this book I was both intrigued and wary – having read some MC books before, I was wondering how Tillie Cole was going to pull it off as her previous books are nothing like this! But I should never have doubted Tillie’s writing ability because once again it’s utterly flawless and completely compelling.
In the opening scenes we meet a young boy named River who accompanies his MC President Dad to bury a body. Wandering away from the car he comes across a high metal fence around a large compound of some kind, and sitting at the edge is a young girl who must be either his age or younger. Seeing she’s crying he tries to talk to her but River suffers with an awful stutter and apart from his dad and best friend Ky he has to use sign language to talk to everyone else. But somehow he manages to talk to this girl making her his number three. This girl, though she barely speaks a word, enthrals River with her long dark hair and wolf eyes – she’s also his first kiss. His dad calls him away before he finds out her name and for years since he tries to find the compound again and the girl with the wolf eyes but he never does and the rest of the club believe he dreamt it all.
Salome (or Mae as her sisters call her) has lived in the commune her whole life – one of the four Cursed women whose beauty is believed to cause others to sin, she’s spent most of her life in solitude, locked away and treated abysmally for supposedly being created by the devil himself. Along with her two blood sisters and her best friend Lilah she’s suffered sexual and physical abuse since a young age but unlike her sisters Salome was chosen to become Prophet David’s (the leader of the commune) seventh wife on her 23rd birthday but after a horrendous event Mae manages to escape the commune but badly injured and finds herself outside the Hades Hangmen MC.
River, now known as Styx, has recently become the club President and finds Mae outside covered in blood and on the verge of death. Seeing her eyes he realises this may be the wolf eyed girl he discovered all those years ago and doesn’t hesitate to take her in. The rest of the story describes Mae’s new life in the world outside the fence, a world she was only taught is full of evil but now she realises she truly knows nothing about. She struggles with outside customs, the MC and her growing relationship with Styx – but can she ever really escape the commune’s clutches? And what about her sisters she left behind?
This story is full of grit and also tackles so many issues that I previously didn’t know anything about. Mae’s religious cult is something else – and the ‘Lord’s Sharing’ as they call the sexual abuse Mae suffers is horrifying, especially as the stories shared are based on true ones Tillie was told during her University studies. Again with Styx’s speech impediment, I really loved watching his journey as he slowly tries to find his voice for Mae. Much like all of Tillie Cole’s characters you can’t help but love those found in this book. Mae’s sweet naivety and determination to find herself a better life mixed with Styx’s strength and adoration of Mae makes for a great read.
Along with the fab characters, Tillie always adds a great twist into the story and boy is there an absolutely brilliant one in It Ain’t Me, Babe!! I loved her take on a biker MC book and the depth that the cult added to the story – it was completely compelling. It’s dark, gritty and hot as hell – with some hunky bikers to boot! Yet another Tillie Cole bestseller to add to your collection!
To read It Ain’t Me, Babe by Tillie Cole for yourself check out…
What did you make of It Ain’t Me, Babe? Let me know in the comments below!
Bring on Book 2!