A broken woman.
A damaged man.
A free spirit intent on saving them both.
Elysia ‘Sia’ Willis lives a solitary life. The only person in it is her big brother, Ky, vice-president of the infamous Hades Hangmen. She loves him, but she has absolutely no love for the outlaw MC he belongs to.
Raised in secret by her mother, Sia grew up separated from her brother and distant father. No one knew she even existed.
After the tragic murder of her mother, Sia spiraled into a rebellion against the rules of the Hangmen. A rebellion with dire consequences that now, years later, she still can’t escape.
As she lives once again in secret, happy on her own at her secluded ranch, a devil from her past comes calling. A devil who wants to possess her once again and take her from the simple life she never wants to lose.
And he will stop at nothing to collect what he believes is his: her.
Valan ‘Hush’ Durand and Aubin ‘Cowboy’ Breaux have finally found a home in the mother chapter of the Hangmen. The notoriously private Cajun twosome have, for now, put aside what chased them from their beloved Louisiana. But as threats toward the club build, Hush and Cowboy are given a task—protect Elysia Willis at all costs. Cowboy welcomes the job of watching over the blond-haired, blue-eyed beauty.
Hush fights against it.
Scarred by events from his past and a secret that plagues his everyday life, Hush refuses to let anyone else get close. Only Cowboy knows the real him. Until a certain sister of the club’s VP begins to slowly knock down his defenses, shattering the heavily built walls that guard his damaged soul . . . with his best friend leading the charge.
As lost and open hearts begin to meld, taking each other from indescribable pain to the never-before felt relief of peace, the newly-mended threesome must first endure one more rocky path.
Only then will they finally shake free of the shackles of their pasts.
Only then will they shed the bonds that have for too long held their happiness captive.
And there is only one way to survive that path . . . together.
You know going into a Tillie Cole book that you should:
- Have a box of tissues nearby.
- Have a block of time set aside to read uninterrupted.
- Know that she won’t pull any punches.
- Be ready to experience romance and love unlike any you have read about.
- Expect trigger warnings. (Specific to this book: Dark Contemporary MFM Romance. Contains scenes of violence and sexual situations.)
Crux Untamed is book 6 is Cole’s prolific series featuring an outlaw motorcycle club, the Hades Hangmen, and the women they save and fall in love with. In Crux, the series takes a slight turn, moving from the horrors of a religious cult to the very real issues of human trafficking and racism. There’s nothing pretty about this book except the love and acceptance that Sia, Hush, and Cowboy find together in an unusual relationship that seems perfect for these three broken people.
Upfront I’ll share that this was my least favorite of the Hangmen books, but it still moved me deeply. It has all the characteristics that I’ve come to expect from Cole, including the emotional response that she always manages to drag out of me. I liked all three of the main characters and I loved the depth that Cole gives to them, especially Hush and Sia. An added bonus is the look into the relationship that Sia shares with her brother, Ky, the Hangmen Vice President.
The centerpiece of Crux Untamed is how these three people share feelings of guilt and shame based on their horrific history and how that links them in ways not everyone will understand. It was easy to see why they all three needed each other, each one in different ways. I don’t know if it was that there were three people in the relationship or that there was just a lot going on, but I never felt that we saw enough of why Hush, Sia, and Cowboy worked as a romantic triad. There’s sexual chemistry (only between Sia and the men, there is no M/M sexual attraction or scenes) for sure, which Cole writes beautifully, but that seemed almost separate from their emotional connection that felt more like something the readers are told exists rather than actually seeing it. For me, the impression was there was a whole lot of sexual healing going on and not healing through a romantic emotional connection.
On the other hand, the friendship between Cowboy and Hush, completely separate from any romantic ties, was the most important relationship in the book. Cowboy’s support and love for Hush is beautiful. I loved that Cole chose to keep their relationship non-sexual, because sometimes friendship is more important than crossing that line into sex. Not only that, actually seeing a strong, loving relationship that doesn’t have to be sexual is important in a day that every emotional connection seems to lead into sex. When I look back at Crux Untamed, I realize that it’s Cowboy and Hush’s relationship, along with Sia and Ky’s, that really hold the book together emotionally.
Cole handles the themes of racism and trafficking with brutal honesty, which left me gut punched at times. Knowing that she does her research, it blows my mind that these things still exist today at the level she describes. Crux Untamed takes readers from Louisiana to Mexico with a strong supporting cast featuring all the Hangmen. Like my other favorite MC series, Reapers from Joanna Wylde and Chaos from Kristen Ashley, Tillie Cole keeps all her characters front and center, rather than using them as props. Viking steals the show too many times to count (even I would have punched him at least once for the outrageous things he says). Styx reminds us why he’s the president and feared. My favorite, AK, continues to be the steady voice of reason when everyone else is going crazy. And, we’re introduced to a couple of new Hangmen, which I can’t wait to learn more about.
This book is definitely not a standalone. While the story does shift, introducing a new enemy, there are nuances that you’ll miss if you haven’t read the previous books.
3.5 stars for Crux Untamed. Heat level: 5
I received a copy of this book in exchange for honest feedback.
Crux Untamed was published by the author in February 2018.