“I was his universe. Like he was the Earth and I was his sun.”
“Reap” is the second installment in Tillie Cole’s ‘Scarred Souls’ Series and it can be read as a standalone since it features two different characters. Since in this second book we met again some characters from the previous installment and their story continue here, I recommend you to read the first one as well. This second book in the series was as fantastic as the first. It was gripping from start to finish, is was dark and raw, twisted, but it was also romantic and emotional.
“He looked every inch the unpolished savage I’d believed him to be.”
221 was raised as a prototype for the Georgian Mafia’s obedience drug. He’s a fighter, a killing machine, a damaged man who doesn’t remember who he is or that a long time ago he had a family. He knows only his master’s face and voice. The drugs destroyed him and he practically lives as a slave. He doesn’t speak or think for himself. He knows he’s 221, just a number.
221’s life change when he is freed from his ‘master’ by Luka Tolstoi (the male main character from book1). Luka has his own demons and his own regrets. He still thinks about 362, his only friend when he was just a number, a prisoner. He still feels guilty for what happened with him, so when he finds out who 221 really is, he’s more determined than ever to do the right thing, to help him become a man.
“Yes, he was vicious. Yes, he was wild, but in that split second there was something more. Something of the real Zaal Kostava still lived inside him.”
Talia Tolstoia is Luka’s sister and the daughter of one of the Russian Bratva boss. She’s a Bratva Princess working as a sponsor recruiter for the Dungeon. She’s strong and independent and she always had been on her own. She wants to be ‘normal’, to be ‘plain old normal Talia’ and to find love.
When Luka brings 221 at the Tolstoi’s estate where Talia is, Talia feels sympathy towards this damaged man. She is drawn to him from the start. He intrigues her.
“…he mirrored how I felt. Especially of late, I felt broken and scarred on the inside. He looked broken and scarred on the outside.”
But when she finds out that this savage man is Zaal, the only living heir of the Kostavas, a sworn enemy of her family she doesn’t know what to do or how to act. He’s forbidden. She knows she should stay away from him, but as the days pass and she cares for him their connection grows and she realizes that he’s the only man for her.
All these years Zaal was alone. No one cared for him, no one spoke to him, no one touched him. But Talia cares for him, she tries to help him how she can. She has a power over him. She takes his pain away and she makes him feel safe.
“Reap” was beautifully written and like the previous book in the series is a story about survival, love and healing. Fast-paced, raw and gritty, gut-wrenching and touching, this story held my attention from start to finish. I enjoyed the plot a lot, but what captured my heart was the relationship between these two characters. I loved them together. And their connection was so wonderful, palpable and they simply melt my heart. They made me swoon so many times. They were perfect together and their tenderness towards each other was fantastic and it simply made me happy.
“I’d showed him the sun, but he’d shown me true freedom. He’d shown me what it was to feel wanted, needed, vital to someone else’s happiness.”
Talia was an endearing character from the start. I liked her much more than Kisa’s character, the female MC from book1. She was so kind and attentive with Zaal and I loved how she cared for him. I also loved how compassionate she was with him and how she truly believed that he was the one for him, fighting for him and doing anything in her power to be his.
Zaal’s story broke my heart. I felt so much for him. He was such a broken soul, but Talia was there for him from the beginning, giving what he needed and so much more. With Talia he was sweet and gentle even if he was ‘just a savage’. I loved how their relationship progressed, how they became ‘more’.
“He devoured me with his mouth.
He dominated me with his strength.
But my heart, my heart was giving itself to him. With every thrust he made inside me, another piece of my heart broke and melded into his.”
All in all, “Reap” was a wonderfully written, unique, refreshing, emotional tale and I highly recommend it!