Review: Heart Recaptured (Hades Hangmen #2) by Tillie Cole

Goodreads Synopsis:

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 increasingly 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…

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

Chick and Brain Review: 5 out 5 stars

It comes as no surprise that I loved this book just as much as the last, however it is for a different reason entirely. Although this narrative is about Ky and Delilah, it seems to be more focused on them as individuals and how that brings them together in the end. The bible thumping princess falls in love with the reformed man whore. It does seem like it a story that has been told many time before. Cole takes the time to develop both characters  so perfectly that we forget that was what the point of the story was to begin with. We feel as if we are reading a narrative about two individuals that happen to end up together, instead of a narrative that was meant to be about them being together from the start. We need the story to be written in this manner in order to better understand how the couple got to the end point in the story. For these two characters the journey is the most important part of the narrative, more so than the end result.

Delilah, man is this chick fucked up in the head. Delilah has known nothing else but the prophet and his teachings her entire life. She is accepting of the atrocities that we as readers could never fathom happening to us, and she holds them as certain truths that will lead her to heaven. Even with being shown how life continues outside her precious commune, how her “sister” Mae has grown as outside the oppression of the prophet and his teachings, or even how she has found the love of a man that is outside of the faith she is unable to let go. Delilah is unable to believe in what she sees and hears around her. This goes beyond brainwashing for Delilah, but as it being her core values. They are screwed up and make no sense, but that are all she knows. They are what she was taught to believe from a young age as truths of how the world works. So not only does she have to over come the horrible things that she believes that are happening to her by being outside of the compound, but for us as readers we have to watch her basically overcome the world as she knows it. That takes amazing strength of character and will. Cole is an amazing writer to be able to imagine or even begin to write this type of character. You could say I am reading way to much into this, but when I read this I was reading a complex narrative about a girl that knows nothing about the real world, but able to overcome all of that and find a love the rings true. This is not just a story about sex and violence, although those parts are very nice to read, but a journey of the individual through life.  The trials and tribulations that all of must face at some point in time when we are forced to face our demons, whether we want to or not. When Delilah gives herself freely to Ky, we are all like okay this is it! Finally everything is going to click in her head and she is gonna stop with this stupid cult nonsense. What a mind fuck Cole gave us by having Delilah running! However, honestly think about for a second. How would we as readers take that situation? All those first time insecurities floating around in our heads along with the other BS that Delilah is dealing with, trying to tell me your ass would not bolt as well. For her it was not a freeing experience but a damning one. How so very realistic! And then she goes all postal and cuts herself up, just wow. The whole dynamic of the story reaches its climax at that point, but Cole does not stop there. Delilah’s journey continues all the way to the very last pages of the story.

Ky begins like any other Hangman in the story, a drunk man whore. However, as we continue through the narrative we are given a inner glimpse into Ky as a person. We learn more about the relationship between Ky and Styxx, but most importantly we learn about Ky’s up bringing in the club. Although the character development for Ky is not as drastic, we still see the dramatic changes brought about by the presence of Delilah in his life. Ky needed Delilah in order to become better or even to have the desire to become better. By become better these two are able to blossom and create something beautiful with each other.

I know I keep going back to the same point, but I am floored about the character development of Delilah’s character in this book. I feel drawn to Delilah in a way I have not been drawn to a character in a long time. Her growth and her journey through the entire narrative inspires me to be a better human being. The things she has had to endure makes everything I deal with seem like child’s play. If she can make it through all of that then I can make it through anything. Probably not the message Cole was looking to convey with her book, but that is what I got from it take it or leave it. Don’t judge a book by its cover right? Well also just because a story is about sex and violence doesn’t mean that it can not have a great message that can apply to the “Bigger picture” that is life.

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