In this installment of the Hades Hangmen series, we focus on Ky and Lilah. She is devoted to the teachings of The Order. Unlike Mae, Lilah didn’t run from the commune, she was taken- rescued in the eyes of everyone but her. Ky and Lilah both have a lot to learn. It is a long story with many facets, but when it all comes together… oh the feels! So many feels! This is a book about what makes you beautiful. Who is really damned? Who is righteous? There is a strong message running throughout the pages of this book. It left me thinking… a lot. How often does a book do that to you?
When I finished It Ain’t Me, Babe, I was thrilled to discover that Ky and Lilah would have their own book. Ky’s character was developed quite a bit in the first book as he served as Styx’s VP and best friend. In the first book we kind of grew up with Ky and Styx and their friendship was pretty cool, much closer than one would expect from two guys living this life style. With Styx’s inability to communicate verbally, he and Ky formed a special bond. When this book starts, we get the same Ky we had in the first book and so much more. I love that Ky never pretended to be anyone but who he was. He is forced to spend time with Lilah and though he is kind and practices a great deal of patience, he is still Ky through and through. Lilah was a perfect balance for Ky. He was rough and she was so soft. I admit that it was difficult to read what she was thinking and believing, but of course, my mind has not been brainwashed since birth. It broke my heart to read what she believed about herself. I ached for her. The first book talked about the cult, but this one went into further detail and was hard to read at times. With her mind much harder to turn than Mae’s, it made it difficult to relate to her, but I did like her character very much.
I am completely in love with Flame. He is insane, but I suspect that Maddie will be able to tame him. He was so lovingly crazy-protective over Maddie that I couldn’t help but love the psycho. Maddie is a curious character. We don’t get much out of her, but I suspect that she is much stronger than any realizes. I think she is going to surprise us all when Souls Unfractured is released. The men of the MC each contributed to the story. For this being the second book, the development of their characters is surprising. I feel like i was sitting in the MC getting to know them right alongside of Lilah.
The one on one time between Ky and Lilah as he taught her about the outside world was one of my favorite parts. It was genuine and sweet. A simple conversation regarding breakfast was somehow wonderfully intimate. When the first bad thing (no spoilers, sorry!) happened to Lilah, the trust they had built through all those sweet conversations, shined through. He taught her so much about living, really living, about exploring who she is and having the courage to step outside of the walls and see the world. She taught him about beauty, love and simple pleasures. Yes, the one on one time were definitely my favorite parts.
“Lesson two, there is more to life than being caged in a protective bubble. You had it at that cult; now you’re locking yourself away here. Gotta take life by the balls at some point and squeeze those fuckers with the skill of a whore.”
This series is unique because of the plot. The ongoing storyline that cult and MC cross paths and the explosive response from both sides. What makes this book truly fabulous is that Tillie Cole is obviously a clever and well educated woman. She has a strong understanding of the underground worlds discussed in this book, but even more so, she adds all these little nuances to connect the story. The Greek Mythology, the biblical references, and I don’t mean your basic information, but the stuff you really have to have studies to catch, made the story all the more interesting. I think that was what first caught my attention when reading the first book. This is a smart book written by a smart woman.
The book had alternating POVs. This was absolutely necessary as the characters’ dueling thought processes were a huge part of books issues. Ky could only get so far into Lilah’s head, and she had a completely warped view of what he was thinking and feeling. I am grateful that we were given both POVs.
The worlds Ms. Cole has created with the MC, New Zion and even the KKK feel so realistic. I can picture them all perfectly. The MC is obviously the place we spend the most time visiting, but the way New Zion is explained to us by different people describing what they are seeing, offers us a clear idea of the hidden community.
I never found myself questioning the storyline or finding something so unbelievable that it distracted me from the story. Every part of this book had me feeling. I felt happy, sad, scared, angry, horrified, and really, really worried! Nothing in the writing or story diverted me from those feelings. I needed to know what was going to happen next.
The last 20% was OMG crazy! I never saw any of that coming. I mean, WOW. I was shocked, heartbroken and really scared at times. This is when I truly fell for Ky. His devotion was unparalleled to anything I have read in a long time. There was nothing predicable or expected in this book. I love it! The epilogue is perfect. We get the conclusion of the Ky & Lilah story that we need – staying true to the story and the characters. Then the epilogue sets us up for the next book in a delicious way. The story of the Hangmen is just getting started!
I give this book 5 stars and pair with a bottle of Jim Bean. Cheers!
Thank you to Tillie Cole for providing us with an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
*Just a tip for readers, there is a cheat sheet in the beginning of the book that helps you understand the terminology used in the story. I suggest reading this to serve as a refresher from the last book or to help with new information in this book.*
Excerpt from Heart Recaptured
“Mae! Get your fuckin’ girl under control, we need to split!” The man with long blond hair who had killed Brother Noah, my redeemer, shouted behind Mae, his blue eyes harsh in his command. He kept watching me, his blue eyes intense. From the minute I had left the cell, he had stared at me, continued to stare at me still.
Mae’s dark lover whistled from beside him and indicated for us to follow with a wave of his hand, but fear seized my heart, and instinct caused me to flee.
“Lilah!” Mae’s voice screamed as I darted into the throng of terrified sisters. My head whipped from side to side as I tried to find a place to hide, and seeing an entrance to the forest, I lifted my feet and scrambled in that direction.
But before I had moved a few steps, a large body wrapped me in his arms and lifted me off the ground, preventing me from getting away.
I screamed and screamed as a strong, unyielding arm clad with leather wrapped around my waist. I was terrified, tears pouring down my face as his legs picked up speed and started running.
“Please…please let me go!” I begged, but a mouth suddenly placed at my ear cut off my voice, long blond strands of hair—not belonging to me—falling on my cheek.
“Nope. You’re coming with us, sweet cheeks, so stop trying to run this sexy ass away. Although, I could watch that fuckin’ perfect peach of a view all day long and never get tired of it. But Mae wants you at the club, so you’re fuckin’ coming to the club.”
My breathing hitched at how this blond outsider spoke to me and I froze in his arms, not daring to move, worrying that if I did, I might meet the same fate as the slain brothers on the ground. Then, as I carefully tuned my head, I saw who held me in his arms, carrying me as though I weighed nothing—the blond man from before. The one who kept staring at me like I was something he wanted to devour.
The same man, who when my eyes first met his, an ache throbbed within my chest.