Published on: April 28th 2014
Published by: Self Published
Series: Hades Hangmen #1
Genre: NA Romance
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Sinning never felt so good…
A fortuitous encounter.
A meeting that should never have happened.
Many years ago, two children from completely different worlds forged a connection, a fateful connection, an unbreakable bond that would change their lives forever…
Salome knows only one way to live—under Prophet David’s rule. In the commune she calls home, Salome knows nothing of life beyond her strict faith, nor of life beyond the Fence—the fence that cages her, keeps her trapped in an endless cycle of misery. A life she believes she is destined to always lead, until a horrific event sets her free.
Fleeing the absolute safety of all she has ever known, Salome is thrust into the world outside, a frightening world full of uncertainty and sin; into the protective arms of a person she believed she would never see again.
River ‘Styx’ Nash knows one thing for certain in life—he was born and bred to wear a cut. Raised in a turbulent world of sex, Harleys, and drugs, Styx, unexpectedly has the heavy burden of the Hades Hangmen gavel thrust upon him, and all at the ripe old age of twenty-six—much to his rivals’ delight.
Haunted by a crushing speech impediment, Styx quickly learns to deal with his haters. Powerful fists, an iron jaw and the skillful use of his treasured German blade has earned him a fearsome reputation as a man not to be messed with in the shadowy world of outlaw MC’s. A reputation that successfully keeps most people far, far away.
Styx has one rule in life—never let anyone get too close. It’s a plan that he has stuck to for years, that is, until a young woman is found injured on his lot… a woman who looks uncannily familiar, a woman who clearly does not belong in his world, yet a woman he feels reluctant to let go…
Contains sexual situations, violence, sensitive and taboo subjects, offensive language and mature topics. Recommended for age 18 years and up.
Salome/Mae is by far one of the strongest female leads I have ever come across in a book. The strength to escape a place so horrific into a world which she has only heard sinful things about, and then to have to adapt to that new world and re-establish her thinking on everything is such a brave thing to do. She was an extremely likeable character and her view of the world and shock/confusion at simple things like a television was fun to read. One of the unique things about her is her ability to see the good in everything. She comes from this very strict place and finds her way to an MC full of violent men who trade illegal guns, sleep with prostitutes and murder without issue. But Mae see’s the kind and loving men underneath who will do anything to protect their brothers, club, old ladies and family and for her, that is all that matters.
“I have only ever liked one boy in my life. I have only wanted one man to have as my own. I have only ever had one dream since I was eight. Styx, the dream is you. You stole my heart fifteen yes ago and you still haven’t given it back.”
Styx, wow I loved him. Yes he was a bad boy, and not just a ‘tattood-drives a moterbike-has a temper’ kind of bad boy. He kills and tortures people, he trades illegal weapons and he drinks/smokes/swears and ‘fucks’ … a lot! But he is a unique bad boy for the simple reason that he can’t actually speak. I have only read one book before where the lead male can’t speak, but that character was a young teenage boy who had lost his vocal chords in a road traffic accident (What I Didn’t Say by Keary Taylor, if you were interested). But for Styx there is no medical reason for him not to be able to speak, except to a select few and even then everything comes out as a stutter. You’d think that being a mute in his world, he would get a lot of stick for it, but instead he uses it to his advantage and he becomes the Mute Hangman, a name that is feared by all.
“For the first time in my life, I feel wanted… like I finally belong. There is nowhere on Earth I would rather be than here with you. You do not cage me, Styx. You make me soar.”
I absolutely LOVED the MC. They reminded me a lot of the TV show Son’s of Anarchy (which is a must watch for anyone who has not seen it!). A group of violent men who are all about the bad, the illegal and the kinda crude. But when it comes down to it they are a family and they stick together, no matter what. To those that they love they are kind, caring and fiercely protective and even though they do a lot of bad stuff, you can’t help but love them. I love reading books where the ‘bad guys’ actually end up being the ‘good guys’. It just throws reality out the window.
“We were always fated to be together. He is my everything. He is my entire world…Styx is my salvation.”
I’ve never really known all that much about religious cults. I’ve heard stories, bad stories, but it’s not really something that I hear about where I live so I didn’t know just how bad it can get. But the thought that there are people out there, taking advantage of vulnerable people like this, it made me mad. Tillie Cole wrote about the Order in such a way that you couldn’t help but hate the people and the whole idea behind it.
“The boy River had grown into Styx the man and, despite his flaws and his harshness, he was all I wanted. All I had ever wanted.”
Tillie Cole is no stranger to writing about difficult things, but for me, this was one of the most extreme things that I have ever read. The way that Cole manages to bring us into this world filled with so many horrific people and events but then for us to still be able to actually enjoy the book is a very skilled talent.
“Live free, ride free, die free.”
I finished it in 4 hours and have been rendered completely speechless. Such a phenomenally written book with a unique story. This book has no faults whatsoever. It is flawless from beginning to end and has everything that is needed: great characters, an amazing storyline and an epic romance for those of us who crave it. Tillie Cole is AMAZING. I’m so glad that I found her. This is the third book of hers that I have read, and she never fails to leave me speechless. Her ability to write an enjoyable yet VERY powerful story with such a difficult theme is a talent that deserves to be recognised, and I truly hope that A LOT of people read this book and experience the awesomeness that is Tillie Cole!
“Because if Styx was damned to hell, so was I. I would follow him into the fire.”
I would recommend this book to fans of: Tillie Cole, dark romances, healing romances, bad boys, Sons of Anarchy, books that feature religious cults, books that feature difficult topics
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.
1) You include some pretty serious themes within this book, especially within Salome’s storyline. How difficult was it to write about it and what kind of research did you do to make it as true to real events as possible?
The difficult scenes were actually the reason I wrote the book. I, fortunately, met survivors of religious cults during my time at university and was horrified by some of their testimonies. The women I met and worked with were some of the most inspiring and brave people of my acquaintance.
Over the years, I would talk to people about cults and, in most cases, people in general knew very little about any existing, or past cults. This shocked me. Yes, I studied religion for my degree, but I did not realise how little awareness there was about this issue. As a writer, I knew I wanted to shed some light on situations and acts, some women in these cults must endure. Now, I will say that many so-called ‘cults’ (I prefer the term New Religious Movements, cult has a bad stigma) are genuine and are made of good and honest people, but some cults, unfortunately are deeply troubled and led by opportunist and corrupt people.
I just hope I have done the women I met justice. Their voices needed to be heard.
2) Who’s POV did you prefer to write from? River/Styx or Salome/Mae?
I genuinely enjoyed both. Females are always easier, simply for the fact that I am female! But I always find the male PoV interesting. Trying to imagine how they would think, how they tick, always makes the writing process exciting.
Salome will always be special, though, simply because through her story, I was able to address the issues I wanted to showcase.
3) If ‘It Ain’t Me Babe’ was made into a film, who would be your perfect casting?
Argh! I always struggle with this! David Gandy looks kind of like how I imagine Styx. As for Ky, Travis Fimmel from Vikings would be a good choice or maybe Chris Helmsworth. As for the rest, I don’t know!!! I am super intrigued to see everyone else’s ideas!!!
4) Favourite quote from ‘It Ain’t Me Babe’?
I have two:
“Sinning never felt so good.”
“There is nowhere on earth I would rather be than here with you. You do not cage me, Styx. You make me soar.”
5) You are hosting a dinner party, which 5 characters from any of your books would you invite, and why?
Styx (IAMB)—because I’m kinda besotted with him!
Mae (IAMB)—To hear how her life changed since escaping the cult.
Romeo (Sweet Home)—for the same reason as Styx!
Tink (Eternally North)—Because he’s friggin’ hilarious!
Cass (Sweet Home)—Same reason as Tink! Laughter is the best medicine for anything!!!! Well, that and some major eye candy!!!!