Hail Mary by Lani Lynn Vale
Series: Hail Raisers #6
Genres: Romantic Suspense
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.
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I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links, meaning I’ll receive a small commission should you purchase using those links. All opinions expressed are my own. I receive no compensation for reviews.
I knew that this would be the book that tore me up. I just had a feeling that Dante’s story would leave me shattered and it did. Dante Hail has been through more than any man should. Both of sisters are dead (one at the hand of a crazed killer and the other by her own hand), his wife and two little girls died in a car accident that his sister caused prior to her death. On top of all of that he had a drunken one night stand with a woman who has brought him the child they created. She has brain cancer and needs him to protect and raise their daughter.
Cobie has also been through more than most. Her best friend is dying of brain cancer. They met years ago and hit it off immediately. They even went through cancer treatment together. Now, as she watches her friend fade away, Cobie is faced with the fact that her cancer has returned and she is too tired to fight. Enter a man that will both give her a reason to fight and break her down in ways she never thought possible.
These two deserve all the happiness they can find. Life has been good at times but so cruel that it is almost laughable. For Dante, having to take responsibility of Mary has brought him back into the land of the living. If you have read the last couple of books, you will know that Mary has Down Syndrome and Dante is uber protective of her. I love that she is special needs because I think had she not been Dante could have pushed her aside. Because she had special needs, she needed more than an average child. She needed not only his love and care but also his protection.
When he meets Cobie he is taken back with the way she makes him feel but at first is just trying to keep a promise and look out for her. He also makes her rethink her treatment plan. What he says to her not long after meeting her shows the kind of man that he is.
The world would be a lesser place without you in it.
Cobie takes what he says to heart and over the course of her treatment and recovery they get close. Closer than either of them planned, and that leaves them both on uncertain ground. In fact they have a clash at one point and I love what she tells him after some truly hurtful things he says to her.
Congratulations. You’ve officially made me wish I had cancer again. Hope that makes you feel good.
That scene above left me in tears. All I kept thinking was I knew that Dante could be cruel, especially in his pain but dang that was beyond cruel. Even for him however, what happen after is worth the pain in that moment.
Another favorite quote of mine from the book is about Mary:
I didn’t ever want Mary to feel like those things that made her different and special were oddities or things that she needed to hide or be ashamed of because they weren’t. They were what Mary, well Mary, and she was perfect exactly as she was.
She was a blessing, a gift- my gift.
Every time she is in a scene I found myself smiling. There was just something about her that was enduring and heartwarming. I adored her. This whole book from beginning to end was wonderful. Now, the first few chapters have a lot happening. They are really fast and really busy but it worked. They give a little of back story and bring you up to speed on the characters. Lani Lynn Vale made me fall in love with Dante (although I was already in love with him previously) as well as hate him at moments. That takes talent and it shows how truly talented she is. If you have not yet a Lani Lynn Vale book or this series then stop reading right now and click that buy link above. I promise you will find characters that you will adore and reread time and time again.
Another thing I liked was the glimpse of what is coming in Rafe’s story. Let me tell you that one is going to be epic!
This review was originally posted on Rita Reviews. It has been moved here in order to get all of my romance and mystery book reviews in one location.