Holy. Fucking. Hell.
Wow. Just wow.
Not gonna lie, I was a little…concerned when I got the ARC for this.
Not because I didn’t want to read it…
…and not because I didn’t want to feel forced to read and review it, for SURE (which is why I say no to a lot of ARCs).
Because I am that lazy.
But because, in this case, I was really worried about not liking it.
Thus, I was very uncertain how this one would go for me.
And, while I would never skew my opinion/review to be higher just because something is an ARC – this is not a dig at anyone else and I’m not trying to suggest others do this – I am talking only about myself…
…I also feel really shitty about negatively rating something I was lucky enough to be given free and early by an author whom I love and admire.
Ya’ll know I am NOT afraid to write a stinging negative review if needs be, but I truly prefer to love and gush.
Well, as much as I am capable of gushing.
But anyfangirling, as I was saying.
This was me about 20% into this book when I recognized I was really enjoying it:
At 50% when I realized I was totally gripped by it:
And, finally, at 75-100% when I had the realization this was the best thing I had read in a long time:
Tillie Cole is just a master at making emotions jump off the page and into your heart.
She also isn’t afraid to make you uncomfortable – and to put your characters in positions and circumstances that are going to make you feel uncomfortable.
And not just for the sake of shock value, either.
While so many authors make tragedy or hardship feel empty or like a constantly overblown plot device (that usually falls flat for me), Cole has this ability to capture those moments and make them feel authentic.
Not only that but, in this case, this book was the culmination of the emotions of the three books which preceded it – and I didn’t even like two of those books.
So just imagine how much you will love this one if you did.
Needless to say, I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to read this, it’s definitely going on my “Top Reads of 2017” shelf.
I hope you all love it as much as I did.
Tillie Cole’s delivers another great, dark and gritty tale that blew my mind. ‘Riot’ is gripping, unique, emotional and like the other previous three installments in the series, it kept me at the edge of my seat the entire time. I really enjoyed the other books in this series, but this one was something else entirely. I loved every minute of it from beginning until the end. A story about love, healing, family and sacrifice, ‘Riot’ is intense, brutal, gut-wrenching, yet so heart-warming at times. If you are a fan of this series, I know you will love this installment!
“I owned this sand. I owned every soul freed in this ring. In the Blood Pit, I was a god.”
901 has spent all his life as a prisoner, fighting for Master Arziani, the head of Arziani Georgian mob crime. He’s the Blood Pit’s undefeated champion, the Russian Pit Bull. He’s rough and raw, tattooed and scarred and he doesn’t know his name or his age. For years, he had been trained as champion, no one being able to taking him down. The only thing 901 appreciates is his privacy. He doesn’t have friends, he doesn’t get attached, preferring to keep for himself. He doesn’t want someone to mess with his head and with his fighting skills, so unlike other prisoners, he always refuses the females Master offers him after a fight.
“You are more,” he told me roughly. “My more. 152, my more.”
Stolen by the Arziani Georgian crime mob as a child, 152 was raised and conditioned to be a Mona, a slave used for her body, to give males pleasure whenever they wished. She was with Mistress Arziani for a long time, but Master wanted her back, so she returned in the Blood Pit. Now, she’s Master’s new personal consort, Master being the only one who can touch her. 152 had been under the imprisoning influence of the Type B drug, so her memory is not clear.
Master needs to break 901, to have him fully under his instruction, so he decides to use 152 to accomplish that. He offers her to 901, hoping his champion will eventually break. 901 tries hard to resist 152’s beauty. He wants to keep her away, because he knows caring for her will make him weak, but as they spend more and more time together, 901 realizes that 152 makes him feel more alive than ever.
“Standing here with him now felt different. Something had shifted between us. It was indescribable. It was raw, but it made me feel alive.”
Tillie Cole’s fourth installment in this series is thrilling, intense and held me captive the entire time. My stomach was in knots from the very beginning and I devoured this story in one sitting. Loved everything about these two characters’ story. Tillie truly outdid herself with this one. ‘Riot’ gave me all the feels and I loved every minute of it. For me it was the best book in the series. I loved the engrossing story-line, the story’s intensity, the suspense, the danger and all the dark and gritty elements as the story progressed. And I loved how these elements were perfectly mixed. ‘Riot’ has everything to make any reader be immersed in this beautiful, forbidden story.
“You have made me feel, in here. You have made me want things I never dare let myself want. You have made me want to fight for survival, not pride. I no longer want to die on the pit’s sand, like a warrior. I no longer want to die at all. You make me want to live.”
I loved the two main characters, their portrayals and how their backgrounds were gradually revealed. 152 is such a wonderful heroine. I loved her strength and how despite the fact that she’s a slave and despite all the abuse, she never loses her hope. 901 is a great hero, a real alpha-male who all he wants is to protect his woman. His possessiveness, hiss gentle soul, his vulnerability made him such a wonderful character.
“You are the Arziani Pit Bull. You are feared. But to me, you are safety.”
I absolutely loved the way these two characters’ relationship unfolded and all their moments together. Their relationship progressed naturally and every single one of their scene together is so well written. Some scenes are so emotional, so heart-warming and the bond between them is so powerful, so well-portrayed. These two characters together are simply beautiful. Tillie Cole did such a fantastic job with the romantic aspect. I don’t have words to tell you how much I loved the tenderness between these two, the way they touched each other, their first kiss, which btw, melted my heart.
“You are in my heart. You are in my scarred soul. You are my male. My Ilya . . . I am not free if I don’t have you.”
I loved the pace of the story, the multiple POV, the action-packed plot and of course the supporting characters. As for the epilogue…simply perfection. It put such a big smile on my face.
If you are a fan of this series, you have to read this final installment ASAP. All in all, ‘Riot’ was everything I hoped it will be – dark, gritty, brutal, filled with action and suspense and of course, romance.