Raze by Tillie Cole
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.
Review by Amanda
WOW! After reading this book - I literally had to put down my kindle and walk away. This story is not for the faint hearted. It is gritty, hard core and almost painful to read at times. It is dark story telling at its finest and I promise will leave you reeling - asking yourself "What did I just read?"
This is the story of the Russian Mafia leaders children and centres around Kisa, Alik and Luka. Kisa is the daughter of the leader of the Russian Mafia. She is engaged to Alik - he is the son of Abram, the muscle of the mafia. Alik is also the prize fighter of the mafia. He fights in the underground, and is known as The Butcher. He takes pleasure in killing, is brutal and INSANE. The only person that calms Alik is Kisa - but she is also deathly afraid of him. She is not allowed out in public without him, unless it is to go to church. She is not allowed to wear clothing unless it is approved by him. Alik controls her, and by acquiecsing to his will, she knows she saves herself from his wrath.
Kisa had always felt that she was destined to be Luka - he was the other half of her soul, and they were a matched pair. They have been promised to one another since Kisa was born. Although when we meet them they are both only teenagers, we see that they are connected and that they are destined to be together.
"They were always mean to be together, one boy and one girl, two hearts split into two, sent to far-off lands on their own. For God wanted to see if true love could be tested. He wanted to see if two halves of one soul could find each other again, even against the odds. Years would pass. They would both be hurt. They would both be sad, but one day, when they least expected it, they would stumble into each other's paths. The question is: would they recognize each other's sould? And would they find their way back to love....?"
However, an event when they were teenagers leaves Luka and her brother dead. Although she is initially petrified of Alik - there is no one left to turn to and she takes solace in his arms and his friendship. She is claimed by Alik. They develop a dysfunctional relationship where Alik cannot see any reason without Kisa with him. He wants to marry her. He wants her with him at all times. He wants to rule her, dominate her, and he wants her chained to him.
We also get introduced to Raze/818. He fights in the Gulag, an operation run by the Georgian's. They recruit boys, train them to fight, fill them with testosterone and all kinds of other drugs to make them fighting machines. These boys are tortured and trained to within an inch of their life. Memories are wiped clean and soon fighting is all they know. Only 1 thing keep s 818 going all these years... REVENGE and the name Alik Durov. He has written this name inside of his cell - and although at this point he has forgotten what it means, because of all the drugging and torturing that has occured, he knows revenge is the only thing that will save him.
Only the victorious survive - the rest are cast aside. Known only by numbers - their humanity is stripped from them and they become unrecognizable from the boys they once were. As he grows up in these Gulag's, 818 is taken under the wing of 362. Both are fighting demons - they also fortunately never have to fight one another, as they are both champions of the Gulag and the Georgian's realise if either of them die, they will lose a lot of money.
One night at the Gulag - things go horribly wrong and the fighters are allowed to escape. Both 362 and 818 are freed and each of them follow their own path to get their revenge.
818 arrives in Brooklyn where Alik is fighting in his underground Dungeon, and manages to secure a spot. He is drawn to Kisa and the two strike up a kind of friendship. Kisa cannot understand initially why she feels so drawn to him - but soon the truth is revealed... IT WILL SHOCK YOU! A truly WTF moment.
The fighting scenes are brutal - and they are so well written, it feels as though you are sitting in the front row, and you can almost smell the sweaty bodies of the fighters.
818 is perfectly written. I actually don't know what more to say than that. He is abused, damaged, fragile but at the same time he is this maniacal fighting machine that wreaks chaos and destruction on the other men he fights. I was petrified of him, but at the same time, my heart ached for everything he had endured.
Kisa is a character that I couldn't really relate to, I wished that she had a bit more of a backbone, especially considering that she is a mafia princess and that her father is the head of the Bratva. I know she is damaged because of how she is treated by Alik - but I wish she had been a bit stronger.
I am giving this book 4 stars. I love Tillie Cole and her writing. Her books seem to be getting darker and darker. She has found a genre which she just excels at. This book will leave you gutted, and with a book hangover rivaling none!
Meet Tillie Cole
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 mother -- a farmer's daughter, her crazy Scottish father, a savagely sarcastic sister and a multitude of rescue animals and horses.
Being a scary blend of Scottish and English, Tillie embraces both cultures; her English heritage through her love of HP sauce and freshly made Yorkshire Puddings, and her Scottish, which is mostly demonstrated by her frighteningly foul-mouthed episodes of pure rage and her much loved dirty jokes.
Having been born and raised as a Teesside Smoggie, Tillie, at age nineteen, moved thirty miles north to the 'Toon', Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, where she attended University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts honours degree in Religious Studies. She returned two years later to complete a Post-Graduate Certificate in Teaching High School Social Studies. She regards Newcastle to be a home from home and enjoyed the Newcastle Geordie way of life for seven 'proper mint', 'lush' years.
Tillie, from a very young age has been part of the theatre community and loves nothing more than to entertain through the mediums of cheerleading, dance, drama and singing (sometimes in the rain). She can also be found in nightclubs around the world imitating her favourite artists alongside her crazy BFF's - The Teesside Massive - or, sat on the front row at the theatre bopping along to her favourite musical, 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show ', clad in a only a maids outfit, clutching a bag of rice and sporting a vibrant shade of red lipstick.
One summers day, after finishing reading her thousandth book on Kindle, Tillie turned to her husband and declared, "D'you know, I have a great idea for a story. I could write a book." Several months later, repeating the same tired line, she was scolded by her husband to shut up talking about writing a novel and 'just bloody do it!' Immediately she set off on a crazy journey, delving deep into her fertile imagination. Tillie, ever since, has written from the heart. She combines her passion for anything camp and glittery with her love of humour and dark brooding men (most often muscled and tattooed - they're her weakness!).
After years of teaching high school Social Studies and following her Professional Rugby Player husband around Europe, they have settled in Calgary, Alberta where Tillie spends most of her days (and many a late night) lost in a writing euphoria or in her dream of pursuing a dazzling career as a barrel-racing, tasselled-chap, Stetson-wearing cowgirl... Ye-haw
twitter username tillie_cole
Claim Vol 2 by Ashley Suzanne
After a frightening, nearly unsuccessful bout of online dating, Loren Tena finally found the guy she'd been searching for. Nolan was the epitome of her idea of perfection. Loren's used to waiting for the other shoe to drop, and in this case, it came knocking on her door.
Face to face with her past, Loren has to decide which path to take: The one she'd already been down and failed or the new, exciting one leading her into the arms of her perfect cowboy.
Claim Volume Two should be read following Volume One. The final installment, Volume Three, will be released in February 2015.
Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher
When reclusive novelist Senna Richards wakes up on her thirty-third birthday, everything has changed. Caged behind an electrical fence, locked in a house in the middle of the snow, Senna is left to decode the clues to find out why she was taken. If she wants her freedom, she has to take a close look at her past. But, her past has a heartbeat... and her kidnapper is nowhere to be found. With her survival hanging by a thread, Senna soon realizes this is a game. A dangerous one. Only the truth can set her free.
Leo by Mia Sheridan
Evie and Leo met in foster care as children and formed a bond of friendship. As they grew, their bond turned to love, and they vowed to make a life together when they turned 18 and were no longer a part of the system.
When Leo unexpectedly gets adopted as a teen and he moves to another city, he promises Evie that he will contact her as soon as he gets there and come back for her in a few short years. She never hears from him again.
Now eight years later, in spite of the odds, Evie has made a life for herself. She has a job. She has friends. She's content. Then a man shows up out of the blue, claiming that her long lost love, Leo, sent him to check up on her. The attraction between them is undeniable. But, should she trust this sexy stranger? Or is he keeping a secret about what his connection to Leo is really all about and why Leo disappeared all those years ago?
THIS IS A STAND-ALONE SIGN OF LOVE NOVEL, INSPIRED BY LEO. New Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.
Beyond by Chantal Fernando
Olivia Reynolds lives a sheltered life. Daughter of the leader of their small community, she is treated like a princess, never allowed beyond the safety of the walls. When her father decides she must marry, she chooses the man she has secretly lusted after ever since she first laid eyes on him.
One of her father’s best men, Dane is as lethal is he is attractive, and Olivia is thrilled at the thought of being at his side.
Dane Mitchell doesn’t want to be forced into marriage. He is a soldier, a fighter, and has a bigger purpose in life. He doesn’t have the time to deal with a spoilt pampered princess such as Olivia, but owes his life to Evan, Olivia’s father. He accepts the marriage.
But that doesn’t mean he has to like it.
Frozen by L.A. Casey
Neala Clarke is a woman of her word, when she gives you it, expect her to deliver. Neala gave her niece Charli her word that she would get her a doll for Christmas. Never mind that there is only one week until Christmas and everywhere that stocked toys is practically sold out. Neala gave her word that she would get that doll for Charli, so she will move mountains to make it happen.
Darcy Hart is a people pleaser, when he is asked last minute for a doll by his adorable six year old nephew Dustin, he of course, says yes. However, Darcy faces a dilemma, the particular doll he needs is sold out everywhere. Darcy makes one last attempt to get the doll at a local toy store, and finds out they have only one left in stock, but he also finds out he is not the only person interested in claiming the doll.
Neala and Darcy go way back, playing in each other’s play pens kind of way back. They are not friends, more like mortal enemies, and both of them wanting a single doll was the start of a series of events that no one could have predicted, not even Father Christmas himself.
Anger and pain brought them together, but their passion might just set them free.
Dimitri wants only one thing: revenge. His stepfather, Hendrix, has caused him nothing but pain and heartache. At last Dimitri can take something—someone—important to Hendrix and make him pay: Jess.
Jess is feisty and strong headed. Her past haunts her and connects her to the dangerously dark Dimitri in an unexpected way. Dimitri keeps his secrets locked deep inside, and Jess is drawn to this broken man like no one before.
With little to cling to besides their haunting pasts, both could have been doomed to lives spent raging against the darkness that holds them prisoner. Instead, it seems that as their pain draws them closer together, it is their desire that will set them free.
After the first sighting, he’s fascinated.
After the first smile, he’s infatuated.
By the first kiss, he’s obsessed.
Nolan sees Chloe through a window of a bakery in downtown Manhattan. At first sight, something about her calls to a piece of him he thought was lost. Without thinking, he begins watching her, and when the moment presents itself, he strikes, claiming Chloe for himself. For a man who is used to getting what he wants Nolan wont let anyone or anything stand in his way.
Even salvation can be delivered through the love of the damned…
Beauty can be a curse.
Faith can be a cage.
Only love can set you free.
A few long weeks after being reluctantly ripped from the comforting embrace of her sacred prophet’s religious commune—the only life she has ever known—a terrified Delilah is thrust into a world enveloped by evil and swimming in sin.
Steadfastly devout in her faith, and retaining the deep belief that her soul is innately tarnished as a branded ‘Cursed woman of Eve’, Delilah is determined to find her way home to her people in The Order and away from the corrupt and damned outlaw motorcycle club—The Hades Hangmen—who hold her at their secluded compound for her protection—a 'protection' she strongly resents.
Delilah yearns to return home, convinced that only amongst her own people, and under the holy guidance of the Lord’s revealed prophet, can her Satan-spawned soul be truly saved. Conditioned her entire life to believe she is a witch... a life-long temptress… the devil’s whore... Delilah increasingly resents her beautiful face, her shapely body and her sensuous effect on men. But when a man of the motorcycle club—a deeply sinful yet stunningly beautiful man—is charged with her care, Delilah begins to see that this dangerous and moralless sinner from the 'outside' may offer her something she did not know could truly exist: unconditional love.
Kyler ‘Ky’ Willis loves his life: a daily abundance of brotherhood, liquor, the freedom of the open-road and—best of all—his pick of hot women. Raised a biker brat and now VP of the most notorious MC in the States, Ky has no shortage of club sluts warming his bed; a situation he takes full advantage of… until a certain blonde enters his life… a gorgeous pilgrim-blonde he can’t get out of his head… a pilgrim-blonde he and his club recently-rescued from some backward religious cult… and a pilgrim-blonde he’s been ordered to keep the hell away from and his whorish hands off.
When yet another in a lengthy line of drunken blunders forces Ky to reluctantly take charge of the pilgrim-blonde’s care, he realizes that there could be more to this woman than just supermodel looks and a stacked set of tits. He begins to see that she could be the woman who could do the impossible—tame his wild ways and capture his reluctant heart.
But the unyielding bonds of Lilah’s past are strong, her ‘people’ determined and, with a new Prophet in charge and hell bent on revenge, they are mightily reluctant to let her go...
I tried hard not to fall for the bad guy.
My new roommate, Blake, is a jerk—an unemployed artist with a chip on his shoulder. I can’t stand him unless his hands are on me. He makes me desperate for him, and everything he makes me feel.
And then there’s my new boss, Pierce--successful, charming, and extremely good-looking. He goes after what he wants, but what does he see in me?
I try to stay away, but I end up in the arms of exactly who I was hiding from. And when I find out what’s being hidden from me, my heart twists in ways it never should.
I thought I knew him.
The way he kissed me.
The way his hands traveled every inch of my skin.
I thought it meant something, but as it turns out, it was all lies unspoken.