Hallelulah Rising by Paula Marinaro
Series: Hells Saints Motorcycle Club #5
Also in this series: Raine Falling, Chasing Claire, Taming Crow
Published by Self-published on September 9, 2017
Genres: Biker / MC
Buy on Amazon
[blockquote]“It’s crowded places that I find difficult. And places where there’s too much noise or too much quiet.I’m afraid of the dark, too. Oh, and really, really bright light. So basically, it's everything. I’m afraid of everything.”
Hells Saint soldier, Hallelujah Thomas, would never forget those words or the woman who said them. Brave, Beautiful and Bad-ass—the mob boss’s daughter was everything Hal expected her to be and many things he hadn’t.
"I’m afraid of everything"— as soon as those words were out of Valentina’s mouth she knew she shouldn’t have said them, but she just couldn’t seem to think straight when Hal was around. So, of course, Valentina didn’t let that bad decision stop her from making another one. If she had not been driven by a strong desire to see Hal again—if she had allowed herself to take just one moment for clarity of thought— Valentina would not have chosen a wild biker party to test the waters of her still fragile mind.
The bitch of it is—that it always comes too late.
Amidst a backdrop of violence, death, and destruction, Hallelujah Thomas and Valentina Abruzzi struggle to find redemption for themselves— and for each other.
This is the fifth installment of the Amazon Bestselling series by Paula Marinaro. All the books in the series have been written to be enjoyed as stand-alones as well.
The Hells Saints MC is an auto-buy for me. There is a sense of family in this MC and I adore the characters even if I don’t always agree with their actions. The number one reason I read this series though is Prosper who I think is the best club president of them all. He’s not perfect by any means. Rough around the edges, tough as they come, he is certainly not a good guy to most people, but to his girls, his woman and the members of his club he is the best. He can be the wise voice of reason or he can be your judge, jury, and executioner if you cross him and I smile every time he shows up on a page.
I knew the romance between the biker and the mob boss’ daughter was going to be an emotional journey. Hallelujah is a Marine, sent home after a bomb blast in Kandahar left him scarred and broken both inside and out. Valentina was buried alive in a horrific earthquake and wasn’t found for days.
The PTSD both of them suffer is the main antagonist in the first half of the book. Their stories are heartbreaking and they both felt guilt for surviving when others did not. The PTSD manifested itself in their lives in different but equally distressing ways that they were desperately trying to overcome. They were each intensely aware of the other but were too involved in their individual battles to act on any chemistry. Circumstances threw them together when a brewing mob war meant Valentina suddenly needed to be guarded 24/7 and Hal was the best man for the job. At first, they not only denied the connection between them, but they fought like cats and dogs until they came to an understanding.
The first part of the book was emotional but felt slow to me. I was hoping some kind of action would happen. At the 50% mark, I settled in for a long, emotional but slow ride and not the action/suspense type book I was expecting. It was then all hell broke loose and we went from 0 – 60 in .5 seconds flat.
Needless to say, I freaking loved the second half of the book. It was brutal, bloody, and fast-paced. At one point poor Valentina had leaped out of the frying pan and into the fire. Faced with a new, deadly adversary she had no choice but to overcome her fears. In the middle of all the chaos, I found moments to smile, for instance when Valentina used a Yoda quote to get her through the biggest, deadliest challenge she’d ever faced.
Gianni both impressed me with how utterly badass he was, and also made me angry at some of the choices he made. I have a feeling there is more to come for him, especially since I didn’t like how some things played out.
When I finished, I had a smile on my face. The epilogue was perfect, giving me everything I wanted for Hal and Valentina, plus we get some time with Prosper giving out his pearls of wisdom. It also set up the next book nicely meaning poor Riker is in for a rough ride. I can’t wait.
Rating: 4- 0 to 60 in .5 Seconds Flat Stars
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