Title: Hail Mary
Series: Hail Raisers #6
Author: Lani Lynn Vale
Genre: Romance Suspense
Release date: February 9, 2018
Mary Persephone Hail
Hail—well that speaks for itself.
Her name is painful to think about. Mary, his newfound daughter, isn’t a wished-for child. Persephone, though? Yeah, destruction is a fitting description. And Hail? Yeah, that’s just the final f-you.
The moment that her mother drops her off on his doorstep, Dante’s hell becomes complete.
Or so he thinks.
What can make life worse after losing one’s wife and kids, you ask? Here’s what: being given a baby that depends on him for her survival. Finding out that the baby’s mother is dying of brain cancer, and has a husband that he never knew about. A husband that Dante knows in the marrow of his bones is trying to kill her just as surely as the cancer eating her brain.
Dante’s a bad person. He’s done some not so nice things, and now he’s being punished for his misdeeds. Karma is finally catching up to him.
This child that he’s been stuck with is of his flesh and bone. This child is his salvation. This child is the final nail in the coffin of his wife and daughters’ too short lives.
He doesn’t want this child.
But this child will save him whether he wants her to or not.
With the help of a friend—yes, a woman friend—Dante finds his way back to life. But what he finds when he gets back isn’t the same life that he left behind. Turns out, he has to start living a new one. One where he’s suddenly having feelings for a friend that helped him get through some tough times, and loving a daughter that won’t let him quit.
Lani Lynn Vale’s Hail brothers have the ability to bring readers to their knees, overwhelmed by all that these alpha males have endured and hopeful that each one of them will find the woman he can’t live without…the woman who will open him up to all that life offers and give him everything he needs to move forward instead of dwelling on the past.
Out of all of the Hail men, Dante Hail is the one who has been completely lost to the darkness ever since he lost his wife and girls due to a set of heartbreaking incidences. Through his brothers’ stories, readers have witnessed Dante’s downward spiral; he’s a ghost of the man he used to be and for years, he has shut out his family…shut out the world, resolving to simply exist with the festering wound of loss, afraid to start living again because any attempt to go forward seems like a betrayal to Lily, Jade, and Toni.
I wasn’t sure what to expect as I started Dante’s story. I knew that it would be emotional…I knew that it would be a harrowing task for Dante to pull himself away from his grief, anger, and heartbreak, and I was prepared for him to resist any attempts on his family’s part to help him move on. But what I wasn’t prepared for was how broken the heroine of his story would be…shattered in a different way that Dante but still carrying the same shadows behind her eyes and the overwhelming feelings of devastation and loss that are difficult to rally against.
Dante and Cobie’s story actually plays out for a few years – it begins with their individual struggles and then once they connect, it illustrates just how much they start to depend on one another and even though both of them find it difficult to start living again after everything that they’ve endured on their own, their connection is not something they can deny and while Dante pushes Cobie away a handful of times because he feels like he’s betraying his deceased wife, he grows to accept what is happening…the feelings that he’s developing for someone who is not Lily, and even though that realization damages him in significant ways, it also sets him free and helps him to reflect on his good memories with his family instead of dwelling on everything that he lost.
It wouldn’t be a Lani Lynn Vale story without elements of suspense and drama, so as Dante and Cobie work through their personal issues and pull themselves out of the hellish existence they’ve been living, they also must deal with a mutual enemy – one that has caused more damage than either of them could have ever imagined and as this person wreaks havoc behind the scenes, when the story’s climax is reached, it’s way more life altering than they or readers would have thought possible.
The character who stole my heart was Dante’s daughter Mary. She absolutely saves him from himself…from the pain…from the grief because she is a ray of blinding sunshine in his darkness. She may be a child with down syndrome, but she’s more so a little girl who loves life and who radiates adoration for her father and for all those in her life who understand just how special she is.
Lani Lynn Vale continues to write intriguing story lines with complex characters who readers watch transform, in both positive and negative ways, as their stories are told. And all I can say is be prepared to endure a wide range of emotions as Dante and Cobie’s story plays out on the pages of Hail Mary.
4.5 Poison Apples
“How do I articulate how amazing this story is?” – Cali Gals
“Thanks Lani for a couple so beautifully broken that it makes me want to wrapped them up and never let go.” – One Last Page Book Blog
“Another amazing read from Lani Lynn Vale. Again.” – Books After Fifty…