Published on: June 16th 2015
Series: Scarred Souls #1
Genre: NA Romance
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(summary from Goodreads)
To take back life, one must first face death…
One man stripped of his freedom, his morals…his life.
Conditioned in captivity to maim, to kill and to slaughter, prisoner 818 becomes an unremorseful, unrivaled and unstoppable fighter in the ring. Violence is all he knows. Death and brutality are the masters of his fate.
After years of incarceration in an underground hell, only one thought occupies his mind: revenge…bloody, slow and violent revenge.
Revenge on the man who lied.
Revenge on the man who wronged him.
Revenge on the man who condemned him and turned him into this: a rage-fueled killing machine. A monster void of humanity; a monster filled with hate.
And no one will stand in the way of getting what he wants.
One woman stripped of her freedom, her morals…her life.
Kisa Volkova is the only daughter of Kirill ‘The Silencer’ Volkov, head of the infamous ‘Triad’ bosses of New York’s Russian Bratva. Her life is protected. In reality, it’s a virtual prison. Her father’s savage treatment of his rivals and his lucrative and coveted underground gambling ring—The Dungeon—ensures too many enemies lurk at their door.
She dreams to be set free.
Kisa has known only cruelty and loss in her short life. As manager of her father’s death match enterprise, only grief and pain fill her days. Her mafia boss father, in her world, rules absolute. And her fiancé, Alik Durov, is no better; the Dungeon’s five-time champion, a stone-cold killer, the treasured son of her father’s best friend, and her very own—and much resented—personal guard. Unrivaled in both strength and social standing, Alik controls every facet of Kisa’s life, dominates her every move; keeps her subdued and dead inside…then one night changes everything.
While working for her church—the only reprieve in her constant surveillance—Kisa stumbles across a tattooed, scarred, but stunningly beautiful homeless man on the streets. Something about him stirs feelings deep within her; familiar yet impossibly forbidden desires. He doesn’t talk. Doesn’t communicate with anyone. He’s a man beyond saving, and a man she must quickly forget…for both their sakes.
But when weeks later, out of the blue and to her complete surprise, he’s announced as the replacement fighter in The Dungeon, Kisa knows she’s in a whole lot of trouble. He’s built, ripped and lethally unforgiving to his opponents, leaving fear in his wake and the look of death in his eyes.
Kisa becomes obsessed with him. Yearns for him. Craves his touch. Needs to possess this mysterious man…this man they call Raze.
Dark Contemporary Romance. Contains explicit sexual situations, excessive violence, disturbingly sensitive and taboo subjects, offensive language and mature topics. Recommended for age 18 years and up.
I’m looking so gross in this video due to the fact that I have a cold and conjunctivitis, but nothing was going to stop me from reading this book! Just ignore the grossness!
Getting two Tillie Cole novels in one month is like Disney Land for a 5 year old. The Best Thing Ever!
Tillie kept pretty tight lipped about this one and we were given nothing except for the blurb. I really didn’t know what to expect except that this novel was going to be amazing because it was one of Tillie’s. Writing a review for this book has been super hard because trying to describe how amazing it is without spoiling it for you is a challenge!
I read a lot of books with strong male leads, the guys who are all macho and fight for their “ladies” etc. The whole bad guy thing was great, but it’s getting a little bit tedious now. This is where Raze is different. Physically he is strong, he can take care of himself, he has no problem killing people. He doesn’t speak and his body is covered in scars but far from making him look weak and damaged it adds even more strength to his character. But then his story starts to unfold and you find out who he is, you find out where his scars come from, you watch him struggle with his past and in those moments you realise how vulnerable he is and it makes you care for him even more.
“Open your eyes, baby,” I whispered, but Raze shook his head. My eyebrows furrowed in confusion, a twinge insecurity rippling through me, until Raze gasped and said, “I’m closing my eyes, so I can feel being inside you.” He placed his hand over his heart and rasped out, “I’ve seen too many bad things with these eyes. This, I will feel in my heart.”
Guys fighting, not going to lie, it is kinda sexy! As I said above, the whole bad boy punching people thing has been overdone, but in this story Raze has a reason to be fighting, to be killing; in the death match; which makes it a totally fresh idea. The fighting is described in such a way that you can imagine exactly what is happening, but if you are one of those people who is not into gore then this book is still safe for you!
“I killed because I had to. I had no other choice. I was already dead, no more than a number; stripped of morals, stripped of freedom and stripped of life. I was an animal conditioned to inflict pain without remorse. And you cannot kill someone who has no soul.”
We get this story from both Kisa and Raze’s point of view. Thankfully (because I find it gets a bit boring) it is not alternative chapter POV’s but instead Tillie follows the feel of the story and choses the POV of the character that can give us the most important POV for where we are at in the story. One great thing about the dual POV is that there are points in the book when Kisa and Raze at at different points with the knowledge they have. One may just know the end result of something whereas the other knows the situation that lead to that end result (I hope that made sense, wow this is hard!) The addition of flashbacks really helps the story to unfold and for both our characters and us to figured out exactly what is going on in this addictive story!
“Whatever our souls are made of—
His and mine are the same…”
It was intense, oh so intense! I’ve never read anything with characters in the Mafia before and I really enjoyed it. I had Rihanna “We Found Love In A Hopeless Place” on repeat in my head the whole time I was reading this book. Both Kisa and Raze are really put through a hell of a lot in this book, so it is really nice to have those little moments when they are together, the sweetness of their relationship really shining a light in the darkness of the storyline.
“You’re Raze, you’re death. Let’s fucking Raze hell!”
Finally, I love that this book has a soundtrack chosen by Tillie herself. I really like listening to music whilst reading and this soundtrack fits the mood of the story perfectly. I found myself listening to certain songs on repeat during some chapters, just to keep the mood.
I need the English Language to invent some new words to describe how much I love this book! There is only so many times someone can say “amazing”!
Re-Readability: Upon reaching the last page I immediately went back to page one and started reading again. So yes, I would say it has re-readability.
I would recommend this book to: Tillie Cole fans, fans of dark romance, fans of guys who fight a lot, fans of bad but also vulnerable boys, fans of a totally intense read.
Tillie Cole is a Northern girl through and through. She originates from a place called Teesside on that little but awesomely sunny (okay I exaggerate) Isle called Great Britain. She was brought up surrounded by her English rose mother — a farmer’s daughter, her crazy Scottish father, a savagely sarcastic sister and a multitude of rescue animals and horses.
Other books by Tillie Cole you should check out:
Sweet Home . Sweet Rome . Sweet Fall . Sweet Hope . Sweet Soul
It Ain’t Me Babe . Heart Recaptured . Souls Unfractured . Deep Redemption
A Thousand Boy Kisses
A Veil of Vines