Release Day Review: Riot by Tillie Cole

Riot by Tillie Cole
Series: Scarred Souls #4 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: March 7th 2017
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

BRUTAL. INTENSE. PASSIONATE. THE WORLD OF THE SCARRED SOULS.

They call me 901. I am a monster, a killer, a champion. In the blood pit I am a god. I have no name, no family, and no identity. When master says fight, I fight…until I am the only one left standing. I have one goal, to fight so well that I am freed. I don’t need friends, I don’t need women. They are weaknesses. I am strong.

Until I see her. She is gorgeous and kind and off-limits to me. She was stolen as a child to be the worst type of slave and now master wants her. What he wants, he gets. With a smile, she melts my brutal heart. I have never wanted anything more.

I need to make a choice. Freedom or Love. I cannot choose wrong.

I hadn’t read a good dark romance in a while, so I was in the perfect mood for it when I started Riot! Tillie Cole writes some great dark romances, with intense alphas and obsessive love, which is what I was expecting to get in this final Scarred Souls novel, and I wasn’t disappointed. This finale is a heart-pounding, dramatic ending to this dark, gritty series that I highly enjoy. Every moment in the series has been leading up to this book. If you’re a fan of Scarred Souls, you’ll definitely want to get your hands on Riot!

“You are the Arziani Pit Bull. You are feared. But to me, you are safety.”

901 is the most powerful fighter, the Master’s champion, of the blood pit. He was taken as an orphan and groomed to be the violent, killing machine that he is now. He is undefeatable and unfallable… until he sees 152, the High Mona who the Master uses for his sick pleasure. 901 has always known that to accept a woman into his heart would mean weakness, but there’s nothing that can stop him from falling for 152 as they embrace each other in this dark, hopeless world.

901 and 152’s story broke my heart. The way they were forced into this life and broken down… it’s awful. But despite it all, they both manage to find light in each other. Their romance grew slowly and beautifully (if a bit cheesy at times), and it was the light that balanced out the darkness of this blood pit underworld. But is there a way for these two to escape this broken world? Or will they forever be owned by the Master?

“Inessa and Ilya. Ilya and Inessa . . . more than just our numbers.”

Riot might not be my favorite of the Scarred Souls series (that belongs to Raze), but it’s definitely a fantastic conclusion that fans of the series shouldn’t miss. The build-up to the climax of the story was so well done – I loved it! All of the Scarred Souls characters have been through hell and back, and I’m so happy with the ending that they all get in this novel. The whole story is action-packed, suspenseful, and crazy intense – basically everything you expect in a Tillie Cole dark romance. The heroes are over-the-top alphas, the heroines are the perfect balance to them, the world is unabashedly violent and intense. If you haven’t read one of her dark romances yet, you haven’t experienced the genre!

“Inessa,” he said in a husky voice, “without you here with me, I’d rather be dead. With you in my heart, and me in yours, I am alive.”


lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: Scarred Souls series

Raze by Tillie Cole Reap by Tillie Cole
  

#1 ~ Raze: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Reap: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Ravage: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Riot: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#1-2 ~ Scarred Souls: EbookPaperback • Goodreads


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ARC Review: Ravage by Tillie Cole

Ravage by Tillie Cole
Series: Scarred Souls #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 16th 2016
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Is finding one’s true love worth committing the greatest sacrifice of all?

Taken as a teen, prisoner 194 was stripped of his name and freewill, meticulously honed to be a ruthless machine. Even as he tries to fight his captors hold on him he knows that obedience is the only way to save his sister, who is the one person that keeps him from turning into a monster.

As a young girl Zoya Kostava barely escaped the brutal attack that killed her entire family. Now twenty five she lives in secrecy. That is until she hears her brother also survived and is living with their greatest enemy.

Zoya risks her safety and anonymity to find the brother she thought dead and is captured by a beautiful, brutal man. A man who both captivates and scares her, in him she sees a soul as lost as her own.

They both have so much to lose will they be able to save each other…and survive.

I LOVED the first two books in the Scarred Souls series, so I’m a bit bummed out that I didn’t quite love this third book as much. I enjoyed some parts, but as a whole it just didn’t live up to the previous books – I never really connected with the characters or romance, which was a shame because I was so excited about the main characters. Still, if you’ve been a fan of Tillie Cole’s dark romances like I have, Ravage is just as gritty, intense, and thrilling as you’d expect. The romance just wasn’t believable enough for me to truly love this book like I’d hoped to.

I was insanely excited when I heard Ravage would be about Zoya Kostava. Tillie Cole knows how to entice her readers, because that snippet at the end of book two had me salivating for more. Zoya’s family was murdered when she was a young girl, and she was assumed to be the only survivor until she finds out that one of her brothers is alive. But on her quest to reunite with Zaal, she becomes a pawn to a game bigger than she realizes, one with a target right on her brother. She is kidnapped by a ruthless killer… who turns out to be so much more than he seems.

“We are different. Me weak and you strong. Me a Georgian and you Russian, but our broken hearts are tired and old. Our spirits are low, though not broken. But our souls, though thoroughly tested and hardened through pain, are resilient.” Her lips twitched, and she added, “They are the same.”

Abducted and sold into underground slavery, Valentin and his younger sister were forced into horrifying conditions no child or person should ever go through. Valentin was pumped with drugs to become a mindless killer while his sister was forced into sexual slavery. But as mindless as Valentin became, he never forgot about his sister and only allowed the things to be done to him in order to keep her alive. His latest task given by his “Mistress” is to kill a man named Zaal, and his way in is through Zoya. But even as his captive and being psychologically tortured day after day, Zoya never gives up information on her brother, and her resilience astounds Valentin.

I had survived the massacre that took my family, but lying here, I realized that the years spent away in hiding I was simply existing.
And it took a monster to revive my heart. It took a killer to touch my soul.

I loved Ravage… up until the romance started to kick in. The main reason I wasn’t into the romance was because of how unbelievable it was. I never understood how or why Zoya and Valentin started to fall for each other. Their feelings developed too much too fast, especially after what Valentin makes Zoya go through. I started liking the romance better once Valentin became fully invest in Zoya, but I still couldn’t fully connect.

If you love the Scarred Souls series, chances are you’ll probably enjoy Ravage too. It’s another fast-paced, crazy intense, action-packed installment, just a little weak on the romance side. I’m still incredibly excited for more of the series – Valentin’s sister is the heroine of the next book, and I seriously can’t wait to read it!

3 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: Scarred Souls series

Raze by Tillie Cole Reap by Tillie Cole
  

#1 ~ Raze: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Reap: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Ravage: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Riot: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#1-2 ~ Scarred Souls: EbookPaperback • Goodreads


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Early Review: Reap by Tillie Cole

Reap by Tillie Cole

Reap by Tillie Cole
Series: Scarred Souls #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: November 10th 2015
Links: Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Raised as a prototype for the Georgian Bratva’s obedience drug, 221 fails to think, act, or live for himself; he’s his master’s perfectly-crafted killing puppet. Standing at six-foot-six, weighing two-hundred-and-fifty pounds, and unrivaled in to-the-death combat, 221 successfully secures business for the Georgian Mafiya Boss of NYC, who rules the dark world of the criminal underground. Until his enemies capture him.

Talia Tolstaia dreams to break from the heavy clutches of Bratva life. She dreams of another life–away from the stifling leash of her Russian Bratva Boss father and from the brutality of her work at The Dungeon, her criminal family’s underground death-match enterprise. But when she stumbles upon her family’s captive who is more monster than man, she starts to see the man underneath. A powerful, beautiful, damaged man whose heart calls to hers. But sacrifices must be made–blood for blood…life for life…souls for scarred souls…

I loved, loved, loooved this!!! Reap is an incredible, heart-pounding, romantic read I was utterly enthralled with. I’m such a fan of the way Tillie Cole writes – it’s dark, powerful, addicting. Her stories are riveting, and her characters are intense yet lovable. I had high expectations for Reap after loving Raze – and I’m so glad to say Reap is another winner from one of my favorite authors!

The Scarred Souls series is not for the faint of heart. It’s dark, gruesome at times, and yet I can’t stop reading it. Reap is the story of 221, also known as Zaal Kostava, and Talia Tolstaia. It could be read as a standalone, but I think it’s much easier to understand Reap if you’ve read Raze, because we also get some chapters in Luka’s POV, who was the main character in Raze. Reap is a bit of a continuation of Raze, though it is still firmly Zaal and Talia’s story.

For over 20 years, Zaal has been known as 221, an enslaved fighter who, under the influence of forced drugs, is a soulless killing machine for his ‘master’. He and his twin were abducted at a young age and forced into horrible, tragic circumstances. But it turns out that Zaal’s twin is none other than the one person Luka owes his life to, and Luka is determined to pay his debts by saving Zaal.

Talia, Luka’s sister, may be the daughter of one of the leading Russian mobsters, but she struggles with the responsibilities that come with the role. When she grows tired of the Bratva life, she runs away to a private beach house – but everything changes when Luka shows up with a feral, beast of a man and chains him up in the basement. Talia grows intrigued by Zaal, who’s the son of her family’s enemy, until her obsession with him grows and one day she can’t help but go to him.

Our desperate gazes met.
He took a deep breath.
Then he whispered, “You are … for me?”
And I knew I was done.
Trampled, heart-flattened, done.

This book kept tearing my heart open and filling it with love for the characters over and over again. My heart broke for Zaal, for the tragedy that happened to him and his family. I nearly wanted to cry, the story got so emotional sometimes. But then with Talia, Zaal finds family, love, again, and my heart would ache with happiness for the two of them. Tillie Cole has a talent at conveying such powerful love between her couples, and Zaal and Talia’s romance by far is my favorite.

“Zaal Kostava, you’ve stolen my forbidden heart.”

The Scarred Souls series is dark romance at its finest. The love story is stunning, written perfectly to balance out the dark parts of the book. I don’t know how Tillie Cole does it, but every time, I am just so blown away by the sheer brilliance of the writing and the gorgeous love between her characters. I have to admit, I loved Reap even more than Raze, and I cannot wait to get my hands on the third book (whose main character is one I’m SO excited for)!

“My heart, it is full, Talia. It is full, for you.”

5 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: Scarred Souls series

Raze by Tillie Cole Reap by Tillie Cole
  

#1 ~ Raze: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Reap: Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Ravage: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Riot: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#1-2 ~ Scarred Souls: EbookPaperback • Goodreads


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Surprise Cover & Synopsis Reveal: Reap by Tillie Cole

I’m so excited to share the cover and synopsis of Tillie Cole’s upcoming book REAP, the second book in the Scarred Souls series!

Reap by Tillie Cole

Reap by Tillie Cole
Series: Scarred Souls #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: November 10th 2015
Add to Goodreads

Raised as a prototype for the Georgian Bratva’s obedience drug, 221 fails to think, act or live for himself; his master’s perfectly-crafted killing puppet. Standing at six foot six, weighing two-hundred and fifty pounds, and unrivaled in to-the-death combat, 221 successfully secures business for the Georgian Mafiya Boss of NYC, in the dark world of the criminal underground.

Until his enemies capture him.

Talia Tolstaia dreams to break from the heavy clutches of Bratva life. She dreams of another life—away from the stifling leash of her Russian Bratva Boss father and from the brutality of her work at The Dungeon—her criminal family’s underground death match enterprise. But when she stumbles upon her family’s captive, who is more monster than man, she starts to see the man underneath. A powerful, beautiful, damaged man whose heart calls to hers.

But sacrifices must be made—blood for blood… life for life… Souls for scarred souls…

Buy Links:
Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Kobo

Reading Order: Scarred Souls series

Raze by Tillie Cole Reap by Tillie Cole

#1 ~ Raze: Ebook • Goodreads
#2 ~ Reap: Ebook • Goodreads (Nov. 10, 2015)

about the author button

Tillie ColeAmazon & USA Today Best Selling Author, 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.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads


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Review: Raze by Tillie Cole

Raze by Tillie Cole

Raze by Tillie Cole
Series: Scarred Souls #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: December 29th 2014 (republished June 16, 2015)
Links: Ebook • Audible • Goodreads

TO TAKE BACK LIFE, ONE MUST FIRST FACE DEATH…

Conditioned in captivity to maim, to kill and to slaughter, prisoner 818 becomes an unrivaled and unstoppable fighter in the ring. Violence is all he knows. 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 wronged him.

Kisa Volkova is the only daughter of Kirill ‘The Silencer’ Volkov, head of the infamous ‘Red’ 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. 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. But Kisa becomes obsessed with him. Yearns for him. Craves his touch. Needs to possess this mysterious man… … this man they call Raze.

Ahhh!!! I loved Raze! It was just, wow, what a thrill of a read. I honestly couldn’t put it down – Tillie Cole had me hooked from start to finish with her incredible storytelling. Raze is dark, gruesome, painful… yet it’s also surprisingly romantic – I was taken away by how sweet the love is in this book. I seriously LOVE Tillie Cole’s dark books, and she’s once again done an incredible job with Raze. It’s an incredible, heart-pounding, sexy read I highly recommend!

“Out there, all the men betting on your strength, on your will to survive. You’ll become addicted. You’ll live for the kill… live to see the life force drain from your opponents’ eyes. In that cage we’re both Gods and monsters.”

Raze – also known only by his fighting number 818 – has been living in a dark, cruel world since he was a boy. It’s like a worst, painful nightmare come to life… but Raze is surviving by being the strongest, the fastest, the best at killing. And his main goal is to get out and get revenge against the man who sent him into this nightmare.

Kisa is the only daughter of one of the top mafia bosses in New York, so her life is basically all planned out for her. She’s to marry Alik, the heir to one of the other mafia bosses, even though he’s a cruel, manipulative man and she doesn’t love him. The only boy she ever loved, her best friend, died when he was young. Now, the weight on her shoulders grows heavier and heavier as the days grow closer to her and Alik’s marriage. But then Raze suddenly appears in her life, a mysterious fighter at her gym who intrigues her like no other.

He was smelling me, a deep rumbling growling in his chest as he inhaled my floral perfume. The attention he was giving me was almost primitive… Neolithic. It was like Raze had been stripped bare of any manners, ripped from the Stone Age and stripped of any boundaries.
And I’d never been so captivated, so mesmerized by someone in all my life.

Tillie Cole has created a fantastic set of characters, and she’s written them so well. I adored Kisa and Raze as much as I loathed Alik. Raze is just so deliciously alpha – so primal and MALE. I loved him, and I loved Kisa. My heart went through the wringer with this book – my emotions were going haywire for them. Hurt for both Raze and Kisa’s awful situations, hope that they’d somehow get through it all in the end. Tillie Cole is truly a masterful storytelling – I was addicted to this book from the very first page.

As cruel as the worlds that Raze and Kisa live in are, there’s also so much joy and love between these two characters. The romance took my breath away – the mystery in this book is a little predictable, but it nearly didn’t matter because I was so swept up in it.

“Can I have you?”
… “You can have me, solnyshko. You can have all of me. You always have, and you always will.”

Raze is a stunning, emotional, dark read that’s certainly not for everyone, I highly encourage everyone to give it a try. The writing is powerful and the story is riveting. It seems Tillie Cole only gets better and better with each books she releases!

4.5 hearts
lacey


Reading Order: Scarred Souls series

Raze by Tillie Cole Reap by Tillie Cole
  

#1 ~ Raze: Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Reap: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Ravage: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Riot: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#1-2 ~ Scarred Souls: EbookPaperback • Goodreads


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