Author: Tillie Cole
Series: Scarred Souls #3
Publisher by: St. Martin's Griffin
Published on: August 16, 2016
Genres: Dark Romance
Page Count: 334
Format: eBook, Paperback, Audiobook
Is finding one's true love worth committing the greatest sacrifice of all?
Taken as a teen, prisoner 194 was stripped of his name and freewill, meticulously honed to be a ruthless machine. Even as he tries to fight his captors hold on him he knows that obedience is the only way to save his sister, who is the one person that keeps him from turning into a monster.
As a young girl Zoya Kostava barely escaped the brutal attack that killed her entire family. Now twenty five she lives in secrecy. That is until she hears her brother also survived and is living with their greatest enemy.
Zoya risks her safety and anonymity to find the brother she thought dead and is captured by a beautiful, brutal man. A man who both captivates and scares her, in him she sees a soul as lost as her own.
They both have so much to lose will they be able to save each other…and survive
*Cannot be read as a standalone*
As a young boy, 194 and his little sister, along with others, were stolen in the night from the orphanage and brought to the Blood Pits. Like our previous dark heroes of the Scarred Souls series, 194 would spend the next 20 years being pumped full of various obedience drugs and turned into a pristine killing machine. Unlike Luka and Zaal, 194 remembers everything – every moment of torture, every cut inflicted upon him by Mistress turning him into an ugly beast. He never forgets who he is or that his little sister, 152, is depending on him to save her. He must bide his time and do Mistress’s bidding until he can find a way to escape with 152.
“As the years passed, I became a ghost in the night. I became the deliverer of death. I was torture. I was pain. I was the fucking nightmare none one ever saw coming… until it was too late.”
When he is sent to capture his next target, Zaal, he takes the mysterious woman lurking outside of his home. 194 knows this Georgian woman is somehow the key to Zaal, and he’s is prepared to inflict any level of torture to get the information he needs. Trained to hate Georgian’s, he takes some level of pleasure out of trying to break this strong-willed woman, until suddenly he feels something more than anger and rage.
Zoya, having lived her life in hiding View Spoiler » with the memories of her family being massacred, « Hide Spoiler is caught off guard when she realizes that her captor, when not in a drug induced rage, is just a broken man. Having been told of what her twin brothers experienced, Zoya believes she can save this broken soul by giving him the one thing he’s never had – affection.
Now yes, part of me did find myself asking “is this an extreme case of Stockholm Syndrome? “ but through various flashbacks, Zoya recalls a story her grandmother told of a monster who lived in the woods. When most children were terrified of such a beast, Zoya felt compassion for this monster and wanted to help him in some way – and now she finds herself with that opportunity.
It should go without saying that I love Tillie Cole’s books. Each of her series are so different from other books of similar genres. Thinking of this book compared to others of the series, I think the characters are more defined. This may be because unlike the other males, 194/ Valentin remembers his past and this will naturally make the character have a wider range of emotional and physical reactions. In Tillie’s writing, I have come to expect stronger female leads, and this book did not disappoint. Zoya was the perfect blend of sweet innocence and fierce loyalty. With her, you never doubt that her love is totally unconditional.
I cannot wait to read the next installment of the Scarred Souls series View Spoiler » when for the first time the receiver of the obedience drugs and years of torture is a woman, 152, Valentin’s little sister « Hide Spoiler.
Other Books In The Scarred Souls Series