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
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…
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….
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.
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!