Heart Recaptured by Tillie Cole

This week is the release week for Tillie Cole’s latest book Heart Recaptured, Book 2 in the Hades Hangmen series and Ky and Lilah’s story – finally! Tillie very generously provided me with an ARC a few weeks back so I’m afraid I did get to read it first…but at last I’m now able to share my review with you!

Title: Heart Recaptured

Series: Hades Hangmen #2

Author: Tillie Cole

Age group: Mature new adult

Genre: MC dark contemporary romance

Release date: 14th December 2014

Synopsis

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00049]Even salvation can be delivered through the love of the damned…

Beauty can be a curse.

Faith can be a cage.

Only love can set you free.

A few long weeks after being reluctantly ripped from the comforting embrace of her sacred prophet’s religious commune—the only life she has ever known—a terrified Delilah is thrust into a world enveloped by evil and swimming in sin.

Steadfastly devout in her faith, and retaining the deep belief that her soul is innately tarnished as a branded ‘Cursed woman of Eve,’ Delilah is determined to find her way home to her people in The Order and away from the corrupt and damned outlaw motorcycle club—The Hades Hangmen—who hold her at their secluded compound for her protection—a ‘protection’ she strongly resents.

Delilah yearns to return home, convinced that only amongst her own people, and under the holy guidance of the Lord’s revealed prophet, can her Satan-spawned soul be truly saved. Conditioned her entire life to believe she is a witch… a life-long temptress… the devil’s whore… Delilah increas-ingly resents her beautiful face, her shapely body and her sensuous effect on men. But when a man of the motorcycle club—a deeply sinful yet stunningly beautiful man—is charged with her care, Delilah begins to see that this dangerous and moralless sinner from the ‘outside’ may offer her something she did not know could truly exist: unconditional love.

Kyler ‘Ky’ Willis loves his life: a daily abundance of brotherhood, liquor, the freedom of the open-road and—best of all—his pick of hot women. Raised a biker brat and now VP of the most notorious MC in the States, Ky has no shortage of club sluts warming his bed; a situation he takes full advantage of… until a certain blonde enters his life… a gorgeous pilgrim-blonde he can’t get out of his head… a pilgrim-blonde he and his club recently-rescued from some backward religious cult… and a pilgrim-blonde he’s been ordered to keep the hell away from and his whorish hands off.

When yet another in a lengthy line of drunken blunders forces Ky to reluctantly take charge of the pilgrim-blonde’s care, he realizes that there could be more to this woman than just supermodel looks and a stacked set of tits. He begins to see that she could be the woman who could do the impossible—tame his wild ways and capture his reluctant heart.

But the unyielding bonds of Lilah’s past are strong, her ‘people’ determined and, with a new Prophet in charge and hell bent on revenge, they are mightily reluctant to let her go…

Review

At the end of the first book in the Hades Hangmen series, It Ain’t Me, Babe, Styx and the other Hangmen stormed the Order to rescue Mae and her sisters. We re-join them at that moment seeing it from Lilah’s perspective; how she didn’t want to leave the only place she’s ever known. A month passes and Mae’s sisters, Lilah and Maddie are still hiding in the apartment upstairs, never stepping downstairs. Lilah seems to struggle a lot more than Mae did with the outside world – letting go of her old life. She firmly believes she is cursed and descended from the Devil – something which is so heart-breaking to read.

From the moment he saw her Ky’s thoughts have only been of Lilah, the blonde haired beauty and religious nut with the most stunning figure and lips he’d like to get better acquainted with. His crude language and no shame behaviour scare her off and he’s promptly ordered by Styx to stay away. But when the need arises Ky is forced to become Lilah’s keeper, introducing her to the outside world and trying to bring her out of her shell, something which proves difficult as the Order’s impression is still firmly influencing Lilah’s thoughts.

As Ky spends more and more time with Lil his feelings start to become more than just carnal and Lilah learns that there’s much more to him than just his crude behaviour. But Lilah’s attitude still remains firmly with the Order’s lies and each day she suffers with the way she looks and her perception of the way men treat her.

As Ky and Lilah become closer, The Order meanwhile are assembling, travelling from all around the world for one person – Prophet Cain aka Rider. And whilst he settles into his new role and rallies his new people in some truly disturbing ways, the Hangmen remain in the dark.

But when the truth comes out where will Lilah’s loyalty lie? With the people who she’s known her whole life, those who abused her, belittled her and told her she was pure evil, something which she still believes? Or will it lie with her new family, those that have taught her to be herself and tell her she is of no less worth than any other man or women in the compound, but they’re unknown to her, their actions seemingly unholy and barbaric? Will she stay with her sisters and the men she’s been avoiding for months now or will she return to the people she has grown up trusting despite their endless torture?

Much like so many of us I’ve been anticipating the arrival of this book for so long now and when my ARC arrived on my Kindle I did let out a little squeal! Ok it wasn’t a little one it was a full blown scream – it was an exciting moment okay?! This book is quite different to the first as Mae wanted to escape her life, she left willingly and was more open to forgetting the Order’s lies and embracing her new life with the Hangmen but Lilah is taken against her will and still firmly believes everything they told her which makes for a very different read.

I’m not going to lie some of the content about what the Order do to Lilah is truly horrific and if extreme violence and abuse isn’t something you like to read then I’d tread carefully when reading Heart Recaptured. Having said that I’m so glad that Tillie did put it in, not only is it exquisitely written, bringing the story to a whole knew level but knowing that everything is based on true tales Tillie was told whilst at university made the whole story so much more poignant. I loved Lilah and her pain felt so real I did shed the odd tear, especially at the end – oh god THE END, I’m pretty sure my heart broke. And Ky? Sometimes he really was a bit of a loveable idiot but gosh love him you will. And then there’s the rest of the Hangmen…..can I have all of them?

This series has to be one of my all time favourites – its definitely got it all, romance, drama, angst, buckets of emotion…You will live their lives with them, their pain, happiness and heartbreak will become your own and once you start you’ll never be able to stop until you’ve reached the last page. If you thought Styx and Mae’s story was something special you haven’t seen anything yet…

A story that’s both heart-breaking and panty-melting this is definitely one unmissable, 5 star read – if you don’t one-click this RIGHT NOW then there’s obviously something wrong with you.

And if that didn’t convince, then here’s a cheeky excerpt….

Excerpt

Ky stalked toward me, his white shirt tight over his taut torso, his blue denim pants loose on his legs. As he approached, he ran his hand through his messy long hair, chewing slowly on a small, thin wooden stick gripped between his teeth.

I could not speak, could not think, could not breathe. My free hand reached behind me, resting on a shelf to keep me upright. The smoky smell of Ky washed over me. My heart was frantic and my blood rushed through my veins.

Ky’s nostrils flared as he approached, his blue gaze drinking in the sight of my modestly covered frame. He did not stop three steps in front of me as the brothers were required to do in the commune. He did not keep an appropriate distance, as a man should with a woman in public. Oh no, instead, he closed in until his impressive height towered over my head, his chest pressing flush against my breasts.

I could feel his intense gaze. I squeezed my eyes shut, too afraid to face this devilish man. I lost all composure when he was near. He was crude, grossly promiscuous, and although my mind warned me of his evil and seductive nature, my heart betrayed my virtue and strived to have him close. His beautiful face and body tempted me to take him into my body. He was my very own forbidden fruit, one of which I had to keep far far away.

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 More about Tillie

Amazon & USA Today Best Selling Author, Tillie Cole, is a Northern girl through and through. She originates from a place called Teesside on that little but awesomely sunny (okay I exaggerate) Isle called Great Britain. She was brought up surrounded by her English rose mother — a farmer’s daughter, her crazy Scottish father, a savagely sarcastic sister and a multitude of rescue animals and horses.

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Being a scary blend of Scottish and English, Tillie embraces both cultures; her English heritage through her love of HP sauce and freshly made Yorkshire Puddings, and her Scottish which is mostly demonstrated by her frighteningly foul-mouthed episodes of pure rage and her much loved dirty jokes.

Having been born and raised as a Teesside Smoggie, Tillie, at age nineteen, moved forty miles north to the ‘Toon’, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, where she attended Newcastle University and gradu-ated with a Bachelor of Arts honours degree in Religious Studies. She returned two years later to complete a Post-Graduate Certificate in Teaching High School Social Studies. Tillie, regards New-castle to be a home from home and enjoyed the Newcastle Geordie way of life for seven ‘proper mint’ and ‘lush’ years.

One summers day, after finishing reading her thousandth book on her much loved and treasured Kindle, Tillie turned to her husband and declared, “D’you know, I have a great idea for a story. I could write a book.” Several months later, after repeating the same tired line at the close of another completed story, she was scolded by her husband to shut up talking about writing a novel and “just bloody do it!” For the first time in eleven years, Tillie actually took his advice (he is still trying to get over the shock) and immediately set off on a crazy journey, delving deep into her fertile imagina-tion.

Tillie, ever since, has written from the heart. She combines her passion for anything camp and glit-tery with her love of humour and dark brooding men (most often muscled and tattooed – they’re her weakness!). She also has a serious side (believe it or not!) and loves to immerse herself in the complex study of World Religions, History and Cultural Studies and creates fantasy stories that en-able her to thread serious issues and topics into her writing — yep, there’s more to this girl than profanity and sparkles!

After six years of teaching high school Social Studies and following her Professional Rugby Player husband around Europe, they have finally given up their nomadic way of life and settled in Calgary, Alberta where Tillie spends most of her days (and many a late night) lost in a writing euphoria or pursuing a dazzling career as a barrel-racing, tasselled-chap wearing, Stetson-sporting cowgirl… Ye-haw!

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This Week’s Hot Reads

So Today I’ve decided to share what I’ve read throughout my week and my mini review of it. Enjoy!!

1. Opposition (A Lux Novel ) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

This is the last book in the Lux Series 😦 In the final epic battle between Luxen, Arum and Mankind, we finally get to know whether Katy and Daemon will have their happy ending – will they ever be free of Daedalus or the Luxen? And after the major cliffhanger at the end of the previous book where Katy is left with 2 Origins and a pregnant, slightly crazy, Hybrid after her Luxen family are pulled away by their invading kind – I was dying to know what happens. And I wasn’t disappointed – I mean how could you when Daemon Black is concerned?! One of my all time favourite series and a finale well worth the wait – 5 Stars ∗

2. Precarious (Jokers Wrath MC #1) by Bella Jewel

As a die-hard Bella Jewel fan I couldn’t wait to read this! At first set in a prison, Ash is working as a prison guard and is one of the best. When she hears a biker is coming in for shooting a family she’s intrigued to see what he’s like as she hasn’t really encountered one before. At first he won’t talk but she senses that there’s more to Krypt than meets the eye. But after being caught in the crossfire of his daring escape, Ash is taken by Krypt to his MC and hidden away. He’s a criminal, albeit a very hot one, and a murderer too, but he’s the only thing keeping her alive – the question is, will she be able to resist temptation when it’s just the two of them locked away in the mountains? I’m a big fan of MC books and this one didn’t disappoint me, it was gritty and HOT – and the storyline was awesome. Yet another 5 stars

3. Breathe With Me (With Me In Seattle #7) by Kristen Proby

The With Me In Seattle series has been going on for a while now, usually after 7 books I’d start to get a bit fed up but with each book focusing on a different couple as well as the gorgeous Williams and Montgomery men this series has had me coming back for more. In book 7, it’s Mark Williams’ turn after he’s reunited with his childhood sweetheart Meredith Summers. We know from previous books that Mark is a bit of a player, but we never really understood why. It turns out that whilst in high school he gave his heart away to Meredith, a hopeful dancer, but when it’s time for her to go off to dance school she ends things to focus on her career. After a painful event brings them together, can they forgive and forget and start a new life together? I love the characters in this series – they’re funny, relatable and so damn hot! I loved the book, but as it’s not my favourite story in the stories it has to be 4 stars

4. Sweet Fall (Sweet Home Series #3) by Tillie Cole     (ARC for Book Blog Tour)

This book I can’t talk too much about as I was given a review copy for my special review post next week as part of the official release book blog tour! This is Lexi and Austin’s story – we know from the previous books that Lexi is the gothic cheerleader and Cass’s best friend, and Austin is the tattooed bad boy of the Crimson Tide. Both of them have secrets – secrets that could kill them both. Lexi’s story is heart-breaking and I felt honoured to be reading something so personal to author Tillie Cole, who I think is nothing short of AMAZING by the way! With their problems trying to tear both of them apart and destroy their lives, can they finally find peace and save one another? This book is just something else, I think my heart broke at least a dozen times and I definitely cried a few times too! If I could fall in love with a book, this would definitely be the one!! I can’t wait for you all to read it when it’s released next week and stay tuned for my special review on Friday 29th. 5+ stars it’s so bloody good I had to add the + on – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED 

5. Loving Cara (Love Under The Big Sky #1) by Kristen Proby

As you can see from my reading list this week, my love for Kristen Proby had me coming back for more! Loving Cara is the story of small town teacher Cara and ranch hand Josh. Josh’s twin brother Zach is away with the army when his soon-to-be-ex-wife comes to the ranch to dump their teenage son Seth who she no longer wants. Seth is difficult and moody so Cara is hired to tutor him over the summer. Having gone to school together Cara and Josh waste no time getting to know one another again. After a series of events Cara and Josh find themselves stuck together and growing closer by the day, but is it really going to be that easy? A really sweet enjoyable read, perfect for the summer holidays but not particularly fast paced nor heart racing so 4 ½ stars +

So those were the books on my kindle this week – all of them are great reads and I’d definitely recommend you go and check them out! Stay tuned for the end of the week where I’ll tell you what I’ve been reading this week!

Have you read any of these? Or do you want to? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

It Ain’t Me, Babe by Tillie Cole

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…

♦♦♦♦♦

It Ain't Me, Babe by Tillie Cole

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*

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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…

Amazon.co.uk (UK) or Amazon.com (USA)

To find out more about author Tillie Cole check out her website or Facebook page

What did you make of It Ain’t Me, Babe? Let me know in the comments below!

Bring on Book 2!