Book Review – It Ain’t Me, Babe by Tillie Cole

by Maryse on May 5, 2014 · 16 comments

in My Book Reviews

It Ain’t Me, Babe
I was very excited to hear about this brand new “biker” book with it’s very original-sounding premise. I love the whole “running away from a bad situation, right into the arms of more trouble” theme. And there’s just something about a sheltered, inexperienced and abused woman running away from one commune (a religious one) and finding herself inside a notorious motorcycle club “compound” (that on first sight, look just like how she always imagined Hell would look like). eek GAH! I was imagining the freakout, and the very slow-to-warm-up build, and maybe even a slower burn between two complete opposites and I couldn’t wait to jump in!

But what made me even more excited were these awesome reactions from our fellow readers.

Melissa: Just finished It Ain’t Me, Babe. Absolutely loved it..4.5 starss!! Whew, really on a book high right now!

Jenn: It ain’t me, babe was amazing!!! Loved the story! Finished it in about 4 hours

Suzanne: I just finished Tille Cole’s It Ain’t Me Babe and it was AMAZING.  You have to read this, I am sure you’ll like it.It’s got the dark and violent edge like Madeline Sheehan’s Undeniable series but this is unlikely any other MC romance I’ve read.  I think you’ll really enjoy it!

Tiffany: Just Finished It ain’t me Babe and It was it Was a Very Good MC book..Different Twist with the whole Cult thing! Loved It!

Shannon: I sure hope that there are more books after It Ain’t Me Babe – I really want to read more on some of the characters – specifically Flame!  Good book!

Jean: … Started last night and COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN!! This is the exact kind of read I was looking for and so excited for everyone to read it! … Oh, and does anyone know if Tillie Cole will be continuing with a series of It Ain’t Me Babe?  I REALLY hope so….I loved all of the characters, even Flame, and definitely want (need) more!

Lauren: It Ain’t Me Babe by Tillie Cole was EXCELLENT!!! Best I’ve read in a while.

Sasha: Wow…I was feeling kinda over all the biker boys, but “It Ain’t Me Babe” was sooooooooo freaking good! Styx (*sighs”)… Really pleasantly surprised with this book and it had better continue on to become a series! I’m really hoping for a certain tortured character to be the next book’s main hero.

Yep! I couldn’t wait to dive in. I had a feeling I just might fall hard and I could tell I was in for a wild, tumultuous and emotional “ride”. <— Hehe. Get it? I said ride. ‘Cause they’re bikers. ;) Heh. rolleyes

And it was good. It had a bit of everything. A traumatized heroine that had a whole new world to discover. A larger than life (and scary-as-heck) MC Prez with a speech impediment. His bad-ass biker crew that always has his back. A crazy past that is slowly revealed. A budding love triangle when two potential “suitors” vie for her love (and I’m going to admit, I was kind of crushing on the er… other one). *sigh* Fated love… all that. Plus various bad guys (after all, this is an MC dealing in all sorts of illegal stuff), a building mystery, looming danger. And quite the twist, to boot!

But while I did enjoy it and wanted to finish it, there was something holding me back from loving it. I was so into the beginning (and the prospect of it as a whole) but eventually I found that I was able to put it down, and in fact, this one actually took me about three days to read. And that’s how I know I wasn’t that connected to it. If I’m really into a book I can read it in one sitting (in fact, I don’t want to do anything BUT read it… devour it, all at once). But for some reason…

Okay for those that haven’t read this yet… I don’t spoil it per se, but you might want to skip this next section as I analyze my reading experience of it (and them).

I suppose it all just moved a bit too fast for me. Quick emotional connections, quick acceptance of this “new world” (mind you she was finally safe from the constant abuse, so that sure helps!)

I would rather live in eternal damnation here on the outside than marry the man who sanctioned the relentless abuse of my true flesh and blood.

But still… this place was full-on raw and gritty and vulgar and.. well, you get the picture. I dunno. I guess I didn’t get to live that initial fear and trepidation with her. Mostly just the relief of finally being free mixed with the fear of being in the very world that the religious-zealots warned her was on the “outside”.

So this is what the outside world looks like, I thought. This is a world filled with evil? Viewing the happy smiling faces of the people we passed, I struggled to believe the truth.

Oh she had the reactions I expected (all of those, in fact), but it all just went by at a breakneck speed, for me. An entire month went by once she reached the MC (right in the beginning), and we didn’t actually get to experience any of it, and the connections forged during that time. We were told about it, but I don’t feel like I got to feel her and her new life, especially when it counted, for me.

So when it came to the love triangle, I didn’t really feel as if I knew any of ‘em all that well, and therefore didn’t find myself anxious or rooting for any particular outcome. I wasn’t as emotionally invested in any of them, as I wanted to be. When it came to love story, there seemed to be (at least to me) way more *steamy stuff*, which I found myself skimming. It was missing that sweet slow burn that I need, to find myself falling for the hero which in turn, would lead me to enjoying their intimate moments (and not skimming). Especially with a couple like this… with their kind of “issues” and lots in life.

“You have light within you, Styx, and I feel it shining through like the rays of the midday sun. It is beautiful. You are a good man.”

There was just *something* about how inexperienced she was, due to the extremely sheltered life she loved from birth, and how emotionally stable she seemed (despite the extreme abuse she survived)… that I dunno. The way she handled her knew life and their crude lifestyle? Her easy ability to connect and to become intimate? While I don’t doubt that this could happen, I didn’t get to feel the relatable progression from “alien” (which she essentially was in their world), to one of them.

Okay you can come back now!! :D

So instead of me being excited, nervous, swooning and dying to know what happens next, I felt as if I was a watching a fast-forward version of their lives from the outside looking in, with a lot of crazy stuff thrown in.

It was good. But maybe just a bit far-fetched and fast, for me. And I insist on the “for me” part, ’cause by the comments and emails I’m getting, this book is delighting so many of our fellow readers!

3.5 stars!

P.S. That said… I’m very interested in Flame’s book. Flame has that whole “Zsadist” thing to him. Scarred, constant evil glint in his eye, unapproachable, and can’t stand being touched. And that, of course, is calling to me. ;) Mind you, he has a bit more “crazy” to him than “Z”, but I gotta read it. LOL!

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Jaime May 5, 2014 at 10:40 AM

I felt the same way. It was ok and I finished it, but I didn’t feel much of anything. I wasn’t invested in the characters the way I want to be. I don’t like being told how characters feel. I want to live it.

Maryse May 5, 2014 at 10:42 AM

*phew* I was wondering if it was just me… you said it exactly right (for me). That is exactly how I felt, too.

So… I’m thinking “Push” is next for me, OR “Beautiful Ink”…

Julie May 5, 2014 at 10:50 AM

I couldn’t finish it. It was not a good MC book for me at all.

Jean May 5, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Maryse, I agree with the quick emotional connections and quick acceptance of her surroundings. I mean, how did she just accept the sex, drugs, killing, etc., after being so sheltered?! I agree it could have been more detailed, but I loved the whole concept and the twist in the end! I did have a HUGE connection to the “other one” in the triangle too….and my heart was actually breaking for him! So, now I need more! Haha!

Read Beautiful Ink next! I loved it!!!

Pam May 5, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Push and Beautiful ink were both fantastic

Niki May 5, 2014 at 1:20 PM

I loved the start of this book too! I read beautiful ink after it but did not enjoy it as much as everyone else. I just finished Push and it was amazing! So suspensful but funny too and the heroine is very feisty!! Now I’m in a little slump so am rereading Under Locke cuz its so good:)

Sara May 5, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Maryse, have you reviewed Nowhere But Here yet?

Cheryl May 5, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Push definitely sounds interesting, but I read it ends with a cliffhanger. Hate waiting for the next book!!

Maria May 5, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Overall, it is a good reading, and i really liked the original plot in the context of mc romances.

I didn’t think that the quick emotional connection and acceptance was weird. Mae and Styx had fallen in love way back. And in relation to the quick acceptance, although Mae had a sheltered life, she experienced really though stuffs. I think she clearly expresses that everything would be better than what she had.

The plot twist is really interesting, buuuut it was the part that i found somewhat weird….and i agree that things got really fast paced from here.

In relation to Beautiful Ink, I didn’t enjoyed it so much.

Lise May 5, 2014 at 5:41 PM

Very well thought out review, Maryse. I really liked this one, but agree with some of your comments.
I am 9% in Push and am feeling this one… ;-) *crossing fingers*

Heather May 5, 2014 at 6:15 PM

I agree with your review and I was sad about the “other one” I wanted him to be good….still think he had the potential! LOVED Beautiful Ink, read that.

Celeste May 5, 2014 at 6:30 PM

I couldn’t finish this. There were two things that bothered me. One, the level of crudeness in this book – there comes a point for me where the language used isn’t hot or titillating, it’s just trashy, and for me this book crossed the line in places. Second, I know the author spoke very passionately and respectfully of people who had suffered abuse at the hands of cults, etc., but I still feel like this was almost a glamorization of that experience, and I felt like the entire point of the book (well, the 30% I read) was to get Mae to lower her guard enough to have sex with Styx.

Amy May 6, 2014 at 1:49 AM

Nope, it wasn’t just you. I was loving this one initially, and then it just kind of…lost me. Okay, it would lose me and then grab me back and then annoy me (too much redundancy of certain things) and then I would be okay with it again. And what was up with the flip-flopping of a certain someone? Do you know who I’m referring to? Maybe it was just me. Or maybe I shouldn’t have finished it with a belly full of margaritas and then I could make more sense here. *hee hee* Come on, it’s Cinco de freaking Mayo!!

Between the two, Beautiful Ink was a little higher up on the star scale for me. You *might* enjoy that one a bit more. Or not. WTH do I know right now…other than purple margaritas are yummmmmmy… Mkay, leaving now. ;)

Jean May 6, 2014 at 8:01 AM

Amy, I liked Beautiful Ink better too, but did you think the end was a little rushed?

Amy May 6, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Jean, if you look at the ending as being from the “morning after” scene (trying not to spoil here!) to the end, then I would say no. But if you look at it from the tattoo shop scene – you know, the one with Gemma…er, I mean Sage ;) ) – then it would seem that it wrapped up a little fast. Make sense? Maybe I just need more coffee…

Jean May 6, 2014 at 9:42 AM

LOL! Yep, I think you need more coffee ;)

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