Daily Archives: 17 April, 2017

DAMNABLE GRACE (Hades Hangmen #5) by TILLIE COLE : REVIEW

Gritty, dark romance. The storyline continues through each book.
To be read in order. 

SYNOPSIS

EVEN THE BROKEN, THROUGH LOVE, CAN FIND GRACE…

Secrets never stay hidden.

The burden of guilt never lifts from the heart.

Born and raised in The Order of David, Sister Phebe knows nothing but cult life. Head of the Sacred Sisters of New Zion, Phebe was groomed from childhood for one purpose: to seduce. Prized as a harlot, as a New Zion whore, Phebe is taken from the doomed cult by Meister, the notorious leader of the Aryan Brotherhood. Taken as his possession. Taken to be the woman who will obey his every sexual demand. Under his heavy hand, Phebe finds herself in a place much worse than she could ever have imagined… with absolutely no one to help. And no glimpse of hope.

Xavier ‘AK’ Deyes is content with his life as Sergeant-At-Arms of the Hades Hangmen. Leader of the infamous ‘Psycho Trio’ and ex-special ops sniper, AK knows how to fight. Experienced in warfare and schooled in military operations, AK is vital to the Hangmen. When his Vice President needs help retrieving his missing sister-in-law, Phebe, from a Klan-funded trafficking ring, AK volunteers to go in. AK remembers the redhead from New Zion. Remembers everything about her from the single time they met—her red hair, blue eyes and freckled face. But when he finds her, heavily drugged and under Meister’s control, her sorry condition causes him to remember more than the beautiful woman he once tied to a tree. Saving Phebe forces hidden demons from his past to return. A past he can never move on from, no matter how hard he tries.

As AK fights to help Phebe, and in turn she strives to help him, they realize their secret sins will never leave them alone. Kindred broken souls, they realize the only way they can be rid of their ghosts is to face them together and try to find peace.

Despair soon turns to hope, and damaged hearts soon start to heal. But when their deep, painful scars resurface, becoming too much to bear, the time comes when they must make a heavy choice: stay forever damned; or together, find grace.

Dark Contemporary Romance. Contains explicit sexual situations, violence, disturbingly sensitive and taboo subjects, offensive language and very mature topics. Recommended for age 18 and over.


DAMNABLE GRACE is now available to purchase below

          


ALSO! Be sure to Pre Order I DO, BABE, the Hades Hangmen Novella
Releasing 23rd April – Pre Order links below

          


**Spoiler Free Review**  by Gitte & Jenny

4.5 compelling Stars

‘I tipped my head back and looked at the stars. I knew I’d never see them the same again either.’

The Hangmen are BACK and we know we say this often, but it really feels like we’re back with ‘old crazy arsed friends’ every time we get to hang out with them. This time it was AK’s story and we were so excited as we’ve loved the Psycho Trio since day one. Saying that; we love them all, but he’s always intrigued us. We knew there was a deep sorrow in his heart and we finally got to hear him voice it.

“Strangers to our kind of pain, people who have yet to be thrown onto the same rocky road, will not recognize you as a fellow traveller, desperately seeking what lies at the end of the path. Forgiveness. But those of us who have already been walking the road for miles will see you. We will see within you a kindred spirit.”

Once again we have to mention what a talented Author, Tillie Cole is. She can write about such harrowing themes yet there are always moments of pure beauty amidst the horrific. We become completely swept up in her stories; her words carrying us away on a journey that grips our hearts and our very being. It’s the sign of a magnificent Author when you can honestly say that after five books you’ve loved every single one and immediately start counting the days for the next one to drop on your kindle. Redemption, guilt, self-realisation, forgiveness, second chances, hope and persevering and overcoming personal brutality head on – it’s incredible the experiences and life recoveries we live through alongside the characters in this series.

“I’m tired. I’m just so tired of never sleeping. Never closing my eyes because of the shit I see when I do. Of being unable to think of anything in my past because I can’t fucking deal…”

We were gripped from the very first page and were shocked that despite being seasoned dark romance readers we actually found that certain scenes turned our stomachs. There’s fiction and then there’s the so disturbing it’s incomprehensible how someone could ever be okay physically afterwards. We knew Phebe’s story was going to break us, but we were not prepared for the ferocity of torture this poor soul had to live through. Her connection with AK was unquestionable; two souls damaged in life each repressing their true feelings as well as memories putting on a façade to survive. Quiet strength and compassion ran through them both.

‘She didn’t push me. She didn’t ask what I might be hiding. No, she just ripped open my fucking chest, bared my soul, then left it out on display for her ocean-blue eyes to see.’

For us this was a book of two halves. The second being what had us absolutely engrossed as the intensity of the emotion, family and friendships had our hearts overflowing with both sadness and happiness. By the time we turned the last page we had tears running down our cheeks. Oh how we love this group of bikers with all our hearts.

“I watched you, wondering why you portray yourself as two people. Then I believe I found the answer – because you wish to find happiness in the shoes you fill now…Not the shoes you once wore. The ones that caused you pain, blistering both your feet and heart…for good.”

Despite how traumatic this series is from one book to the next, the thread of hope flows from the start with added humour dispersed throughout. Tillie Cole highlights the essence of human traits and strengths though they be extremely magnified and amplified by her words. This is one series where we’ll never fail to anticipate the next book as we care so deeply. We highly recommend this MC series and recommend reading it in order as it’s got a continuous storyline.


THE HADES HANGMEN SERIES
Contemporary Dark romance – Must be read in order

It Ain’t Me Babe Book One
                    

Heart Recaptured Book Two
                    

Souls Unfractured Book Three
                    

Deep Redemption Book Four
                    

Damnable Grace Book Five
                    

I Do, Babe Book #5.5 Novella
          


FOR MORE FABULOUS TBB TILLIE COLE RECOMMENDATIONS, CLICK BELOW

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Filed under Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny, Tillie Cole

A HANDFUL OF FIRE by ALEXIS ALVAREZ :: REVIEW

Standalone – taboo romance, emotional second chance at love

SYNOPSIS

Single father Gabriel Baystock is rich and powerful, educated and handsome – and helpless when it comes to ensuring his son Michael recovers fully from a childhood cancer. He’ll do anything, even hire award-winning child therapist Shai Bonaventura.

Shai is drawn to brooding, sexy Gabriel, and while she falls in love with the little boy she’s hired to help, she loses her heart to his father. Their powerful chemistry is off the charts hot, and Shai thinks he might be the one to help heal her own demons, even if it means crossing professional boundaries.

But when old secrets from Shai’s past are revealed, it’s not clear if their fragile relationship can survive the harsh reality of the real world…or whether they have the courage to fight for what they really need.

This is an 80K word, stand-alone romance with no cliffhangers and a beautiful HEA.

Warning: This book contains graphic language and sex scenes hot enough to melt your Kindle.

A HANDFUL of FIRE is available to purchase below 

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

4.5 stars

“Life goes on, and if you let it, beauty comes back, all by itself.”

Alexa Alvarez is a new to us author with A Handful of Fire being our first taste of this very talented lady’s work. The synopsis for this story grabbed us immediately and the story soon pulled us in. There is an intelligence and flair to this authors writing we really admired.

For a man in his early 30’s, Gabriel Baystock has had his fair share of heartache and challenges. Losing his wife, nursing his 10 year old son through cancer, and trying to reconnect with him in remission has broken this man. Career and monetary wise, Gabriel is comfortable. He’s successful and wealthy, yet emotionally, he’s stilted finding it difficult to open his heart,

Ten year old Michael, Gabriel’s son is a gifted genius. Michael is very aware of his illness, the possibility of the future and is quite wise beyond his years. No little boy should have gone through what he has at such a young age and Michael bears the emotional scars that come with that. Michael and Gabriel have drifted apart, unable to communicate, both carrying the pain of loss and uncertainty. Gabriel consumes himself in his work, shutting off emotionally to those around him. Michael’s coping mechanism is to act out, become sullen, rude and basically doing anything for attention. Both Gabriel and Michael harbour their own fears, with the thought that he could possibly lose Michael terrifying him.

“Every single fucking time I look at him, I feel this incredible rush of love that’s so powerful, it terrifies me. Because I can’t lose him. If I lose him, I’m going to fucking fall apart, and I’ll never come back together, and I can’t let him see that.”

Michael and Gabriel both need help, and it is here they meet Shai Bonaventura, the manager of Therapy Outreach. Shai is a caring and well-respected Therapist and the perfect person to connect with and help Michael and Gabriel find their way back to one another to reignite the father/son bond. However, an attraction develops between Gabriel and Shai which is off limits and forbidden, though neither can stave off the temptation for long.

“We’re both scarred. We can heat each other.”

For Shai this is an emotional and physical coupling, for Gabriel it is a physical release. Whilst he has feelings, he can’t allow himself to bend to them, preferring to keep his heart caged tightly.  Physically, these two are in sync. The sex between them was off the charts erotically charged, but trusting and submitting to his spiritual and emotional side is a turbulent journey neither is prepared for.

‘I’m afraid that with Shai, I’ll need to open up my heart in ways I’m not willing to do. Shai’s not a surface kind of girl. I just don’t know if I’m ready to have someone plumb the depths.’

Whilst Gabriel and Shai’s relationship issues are an intense part of the story, we found the emotional pull as readers came from young Michael. It was this little boy who drove the story. It is through his pain, his little heart, his hopes and fears, his need for attention and love that we found the emotional crux of the story really hit us. Alexis Alvarez perfectly delved into the psychological part of Michael and Gabriel’s emotional healing and the developing relationship between Shai and Gabriel, so we came to experience more depth of character. Her sensitive, pragmatic approach did sometimes feel a little text book but in no way did this impact the story which was beautifully, thoughtfully and intelligently conveyed.

“Love doesn’t wait, Gabriel, for the right time. It just….comes.”

We’ll certainly be putting this author on our radar for future reading. Alexis Alvarez’s, A Handful of Fire was a poignant and powerful piece of storytelling. Her words felt refreshing, passionate, tender, tempestuous and gripping.

 

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Filed under Alexis Alvarez, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny