Author: Tillie Cole
Series: Scarred Souls #2
Publisher by: St. Martin's Press
Published on: November 10, 2015
Genres: Dark Romance, Romance
Page Count: 260
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.
Last year, Raze was the first book I read of Tillie Cole, and I remember thinking that was some dark shit. Oh little did I know!
Tillie has this amazing ability to write a story filled with tremendous pain and suffering, yet the unconditional love the main characters share can make it all go away with a simple touch of the hand.
“Something inside of me cooled. The rage that always ran through my veins calmed. It was still there, I could feel it bubbling under the surface, but her warm hand had calmed it. I took a deep breath. There was no pain, no poison, just the feeling of her.”
In the previous book we were gutted when Raze/Luka was forced to kill his brother in arms, best friend, and savior, #362. In that moment Luka swore that he would seek vengeance and destroy those who condemned 362 to this life in hell. As Luka continues to struggle with his own demons of the past while trying to fit into this new world, his plagued by nightmares, unable to rest until vengeance is his. When Luka finds out 362 had a twin brother, one who has been used to test a prototype “obedience” drug turning him into a thoughtless killing machine, Luka fears all hope is lost. 221 is too far gone.
“Are you…for me?”
When 221/ Zaal looks so innocently at Talia and asks her “Are you…for me?” well the flood gates just opened up! Thanks to Tillie’s amazing talent, I could see Zaal sitting in that darkened room, scarred, broken in every possible way looking to Talia, the first person to show his any kindness, and with such hope in his voice. Oye!!!
I loved everything about the characters – Their loyalty and devotion. Their strength and courage. Zaal was a bit of a contradiction that I enjoyed. Here he was this huge killing machine, yet his lack of memories and insecurities on how to respond give him this child-like sense. I think it was that innocence, like with Flame, that made me fall even more in love with Zaal.
Talia Tolstaia. My Talia Tolstaia.
I tried to find hate. I tried to despise.
I found only warmth. She was mine.
She had cleansed me. Cared for me. Cried for me. She
So why only 4.5 stars? Really, it should be more like a 4.95 stars. My only issue with this series so I often have no idea if I’m pronouncing any of the Russian words correctly. This in no way takes away from the story as Tillie does a great job with either telling is the meaning of the word or giving enough context clues. I just want to know I’m saying the important ones correctly. Like, is Zaal with a long A sound or a short A sound? Kinda would like a pronunciation guide to help a girl out.