4 stars · Dark · Friends to Lovers · Panty Melter

Raze (Scarred Souls #1) by Tillie Cole

Raze Book Cover Raze
Scarred Souls Series #1
Tillie Cole
Fiction, Dark Romance
Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
January 6, 2015
270


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.

ARIANNA’s review

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I have read many books from Tillie Cole, but none of them was like this one for me. I’m a sucker for dark, gritty and twisted reads and this romance mafia was all this and more. To say I’m glad I finally give this book a try would be an understatement. If you haven’t read this book yet my advice is to consider reading it ASAP. This story didn’t disappoint. It was gripping from start to finish even if at times it was a little rushed and predictable. The writing was flawless and the hero a damaged man you will root for from the start.

“From now on, you’ll be known as fighter 818, and if you want to live, you’ll learn how to fight and how to survive here, in hell.”

Number 818 (Raze) was taken since he was only a young boy to a place where he became a cold killer, a killing machine, a fighter who not only fights for entertainment, but fights to stay alive. Kill or be killed. That’s how Number 818 lived since he remembers.

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His brain was shut down blocking out anything but the need to kill, erasing his knowledge of who he is and where he is from. He knows only one thing – that he must get revenge on Alik Durov. For what exactly? He doesn’t remember, but he knows and he feels this man wronged him like no one else. And he will find him and he would kill him no matter what.

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Kisa Volkova is a Russian Mafiya princess. Her father is one of the three “Red” Bratva Kings in New York, the top boss, the one who rules the Russian underground in the city. Her fiancée is a sick, twisted, possessive man who controls almost everything in her life. She knows very well her role as the Pakhan’s daughter and the fiancée of the best death match fighter Bratva has. Even if she ‘has enough time’ to fall for her fiancée, she never forgot her first true love.

Kisa and Raze meet when Raze saves her from being raped and possibly killed. They part ways, but they meet again when Raze comes to fight for Kisa’s father in order to be close to his target, Kisa’s fiancée Alik Durov. Even if both of them know they should stay away from each other for different reasons, they are drawn to the other immediately. Something starts between them, something that could destroy them.

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I enjoyed this one more than I expected. It wasn’t my first Mafia romance and certainly it won’t be my last, but I have to say this book surprised me in a very good way. Tillie Cole did a fantastic job portraying The Bratva World. The story not only was gripping, but was gritty and intense as well. The first half of the story was fast paced which I loved and kept me at the edge of my seat multiple times. The second half was more sweet and emotional and at times maybe a little OTT and cheesy, but I enjoyed it as well. Like I mentioned before, the story was predictable, but the execution was pretty good. There were also a few times when everything was a little too convenient for my taste.

I liked the hero, Raze. He was for sure an intriguing man and IMO his character was better developed than Kisa’s. I really felt for this broken man and I fell for him from the start. Kisa was just an ok character for me. She felt a little flat and there were times when she really annoyed me. Raze and Kisa’s connection was fantastically done and their sexy times were sweet and/or sexy and intimate.

Overall, this one was an entertaining read and I’m looking forward to read the next installments in the series.

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