Thursday, April 20, 2017

Damnable Grace by Tillie Cole - Review Tour

Author: Tillie Cole
Publication Date:  16 April, 2017
Publisher: Self-Published
Series:  Hades Hangmen, book 5
Genre:  Dark Contemporary Romance, MC based
Age Recommendation: 18 and up**
Rating: 5 Stars

~ I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ~ 

Book Description:


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.**

My Review:

So getting to review this for Tillie Cole came as a little bit of a surprise.  I had signed up for the review tour and didn't make the cut, such as the life of a book blogger goes, but then unexpectedly more review copies were released and here I am.  That moment of 'Oh, my Gaaaaaaa....I have an early copy Damnable Grace in my hands!' lead to a lot of yelling and then total immersion into the story which then lead me into this horrible book funk I find myself in now.  What is there to say about this book except it will take over your world for however long it takes you to read it (for me that was a day because I couldn't put it down (unless forced to feed my children or whatever, damn them. *wink*) and it is going to tear you up and spit you out all raw and vulnerable, completely satisfied and more than ready for the next book.

Now honestly writing this review is terribly hard because for one I myself hate spoilers and for two, Tillie Cole has been very specific in asking that reviewers not spoil the book for readers and while I wouldn't do that anyway I am left a little bereft in what to say because this book is one gigantic spoiler.  There is SO much that goes on in this story, so many pieces that are revealed, so many new stories begun and old ones wrapped up.

So here is what I can say.  This is one hell of an emotional read.  Yes, all the Hangmen books can be be as difficult emotionally to read as they are swoon worthy, and beautiful.  Damnable Grace has taken that to an entire new level though.  I have seen many people say that this is the best of all the Hangmen books and while I don't totally agree, I think that Flame and Maddie from Souls Unfractured will always hold a special place in my heart for that title, I can absolutely see why this is being shouted from the roof tops by most Hades Hangmen fans.  There is simply just something so devastatingly heartbreaking and beautifully hopeful about AK and Phebe.  There story is one that will burrow deep into your soul and settle there like the coziest blanket you can imagine.  Of course every now and again some jerk, mainly one named Meister, is going to come rip it off the top of you and leave your body exposed to the harshest elements nature has to offer, cutting off your ability to breathe,  but then almost miraculously you will snuggle back down in your warm den of comfort, sweet oxygen will refill your lungs and your heart will beat again.  Damnable Grace is a story about finding the grace in despair, finding hope when you feel it has abandoned you, finding love when your mind and heart tell you you are unlovable.  It is a book about letting go of pain so you can find joy and seeing the beauty that surrounds you through the darkness that has been cloaking you.

You will love getting to know the 'Psycho Trio' better and you will fall more deeply in love with these three best friends who have become each others shield.  They are not what society would consider good men but they were all brought to this moment in life in deeply challenging ways and they are more than you may have ever expected.  We get glimpses of the rest of the Hangmen and it is nice to see how the couples that we have grown to love are doing as well as get hints as to what is coming next for this wild bunch of guys. This book is going to do more than just tug at your heart strings, it is going to try and rip them straight out of your chest so go in prepared and with lots of tissue.  If you didn't notice the disclaimer at the top please note that this is a DARK book.  If you have triggers for almost anything, please PLEASE consider that before you dive in.  These books are difficult to read, there are more moments in Damnable Grace then in any other Hangmen book that left me in tears and/or cringing.  This won't be easy to read but it will be worth every tear you shed and gasp you vocalize.

With out giving anything away I do want to leave you with a few links and and a few words. If you or anyone you love is dealing with the affects of PTSD please talk to them, please encourage them to talk to someone in their Chain of Command, in the Unit, at their medical facility, a private professional.  PTSD comes in all sorts of 'levels', it isn't a one fits all and there is no one size fits all solution. If you even feel like something isn't right in your mind or in the mind of your loved one, call some one.  You don't have to be alone, you aren't alone. Don't be afraid that this will hurt your Service Member or loved ones career, what matters most is their health and well being. The Military has come a long way and we have a long way yet to go, (I am a 20 year military spouse) but YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

**I am not endorsing any program listed below, (and there are many more than what I have listed here) they are just places you can start, they are places that can give you help and hope.  Please take a moment to look into them on your own and contact the program that you feel most confident in.**

Veteran's Chat (confidential)

With that, if you are a tried and true Hangmen reader you will be in love with this story.  If you are new to the Hades Hangmen world you MUST start this series at the beginning with It Ain't Me Babe otherwise you will be terribly lost and spoil a great deal if you go back to read from the start.  This series is so worth every moment of pain it will cause in your chest so I hope that you will pick it up and give it a go. If you are a Dark Romance fan this series should be at the top of your MUST READ list!


“Well?” Ky asked.
Tanner ran his hand over his head. The brother hadn’t attended one of our cookouts or slutfests in weeks. Not that he ever entertained himself with sluts—still too hard for his piece of pussy down in Mexico. He’d been busy trying to track down Meister. Unlike most of the white-power shit Tanner and Tank grew up with, this Meister was untraceable and off the grid. As much of a computer whizz kid as Tanner was, Meister was proving to be one slippery fucking snake to pin down.
“Gotta be honest, I didn’t think I was anywhere close to finding anything on this prick.” Tanner nodded toward Tank. “We knew of him, of course. I knew he had dealings with my father and uncle, just never met him myself. He’s Aryan Brotherhood, but works closely with the Klan. And there’s nothing on him. No email traces, no invoices, no texts. Nothing.”
I gritted my teeth and glanced at Styx, who was listening closely. Ky wasn’t originally gonna tell the prez about the plan to get Phebe, because of his fucking wedding, but that didn’t last long. Styx knew something was up with his VP. He read him like I read Flame and Vike. So Ky fessed up, and Styx was all for the plan. He’d had to push his wedding back by a month anyhow to get the pastor Mae wanted to conduct the ceremony, so he had time to kill.
“But you found something?” Ky translated as Styx signed.
Tanner sighed, the black circles around his eyes showing how hard the brother had been working. “I got something.” He shook his head, and my blood ran cold. I knew whatever he had found wasn’t good.
Tanner opened the file in front of him and threw a photograph toward the prez. Styx looked at it, then gave it to Ky. “Some middle-of-nowhere ghost town?”
Ky passed the picture around. Vike handed it to me, and I studied it. It was an aerial shot, and the picture was grainy, but from what I could make out, it was just a huge piece of land scattered with decrepit old buildings.
I passed the picture along. “Fucker owns this?”
Tanner faced me. “Yeah, or at least his father did. He’s dead now, but the deeds are still in his father’s name. Been in the family for decades. Took me a while to trace it.” He shook his head. “Meister is notorious among the Klan. Right, Tank?”
“Yeah,” Tank agreed. “Never met him either, but we’d all heard of him. Prick has been mobilizing for years for the race war they think is coming. Real serious, Oklahoma-City-bomb shit. From what we’ve heard, the guy has a one-track mind when it comes to advancing the white race. You think Hitler was fucked up? Well, imagine if he had a kid who was one built motherfucker, with a fucking carbon copy of his psycho mind; and you’ve got Meister. Fucker ain’t even German. Just wishes he was, spouting German phrases around like he’s born and bred Berlin. Delusional asshole.”
“This ain’t gonna be easy,” Tanner finished, looking at me, Vike, Flame, Hush and Cowboy. It was the five of us who had agreed to go looking for Phebe. Hush and Cowboy nodded at me to let me know they were still in.
“So he’s in this ghost town?” Ky asked, translating Styx’s sign language again. “If so, we’ll all just go in and get him, make the fucker talk and tell us where he’s got Phebe.”
Tanner sat forward. “He ain’t just living in the ghost town or hiding out. That’s where he has his enterprise.”
“Enterprise?” Ky echoed. It was his own question this time.
Tanner nodded. “From what I can tell, it’s a fucking brothel. Members of the Aryan Brotherhood, Klan, or Klan sympathizers, can go there for a night or a few days at a time.” Tank shifted uncomfortably next to him. “Ain’t sure, but I’m thinking it ain’t just getting your dick sucked and fucked. It’ll be real fucked-up shit. If Meister’s reputation is anything to go by, we would be walking into an organized, armed hellhole.” Tanner’s eyes darkened. “I get the Klan has a reputation for being full of backward rednecks. I ain’t gonna lie—growing up, most of my father’s cronies were that way. Thick as fuck and couldn’t do shit without screwing it up. Skinheads, lower-ranked soldiers, you know?”
“But there were some members that weren’t,” Tank continued. He cast an embarrassed glance at Tanner. “We weren’t, for starters.”
Tanner nodded. “It’s not the norm, but some of us were good. Smart, strong fighters, or just outright fucking psychos. The skinheads and rednecks are the foot soldiers. The likes of us, the likes of Meister, are the fucking SS. The planners, leaders, the generals—the ones who believe in the cause so much that they’re fucking lethal with what they’ll do, what they’re capable of. Meister is true Aryan Brotherhood; he’s preparing for war. He’s the real fucking deal.”
“And now he’s in our neck of the woods to stir up shit?” I asked.
Tanner nodded. “Comes from northern Texas. Never moved our way before. But the Klan are building day by day, joining forces with other white supremacist gangs—like the Brotherhood—and with the shit that’s on the news twenty-four-seven, blacks and whites at each others throats, he’s moved to the headquarters.” The brother’s jaw clenched. “To my father and uncle, who’ll be protecting him from being found out by the feds.” He sighed and ran his hand down his face. “From what I can figure out, this ghost-town brothel of his has only existed in the last year or so. He’s looking to fund something.”
“They ain’t dealing guns?” Cowboy drawled. “I thought that’s what Rider said the contract with the cult was for?”
“Rider was sure it was guns. At least it was when he was dealing with the Klan—it was all about arms. The Klan was selling them on and taking a cut.”
“His fucking twin,” Hush spat. “He changed the arrangement, didn’t he? When Rider was locked up in cult prison?”
“Think so,” Tanner said after a few seconds of silence.
“Then what the fuck are they dealing? What was Judah giving them if not Israeli guns?”

Tillie Cole hails from a small town in the North-East of England. She grew up on a farm with her English mother, Scottish father and older sister and a multitude of rescue animals. As soon as she could, Tillie left her rural roots for the bright lights of the big city.

After graduating from Newcastle University with a BA Hons in Religious Studies, Tillie followed her Professional Rugby player husband around the world for a decade, becoming a teacher in between and thoroughly enjoyed teaching High School students Social Studies before putting pen to paper, and finishing her first novel.

Tillie has now settled in Austin, Texas, where she is finally able to sit down and write, throwing herself into fantasy worlds and the fabulous minds of her characters.

Tillie is both an independent and traditionally published author, and writes many genres including: Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels.

When she is not writing, Tillie enjoys nothing more than curling up on her couch watching movies, drinking far too much coffee, while convincing herself that she really doesn’t need that extra square of chocolate.

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