Tillie Cole promised a #DarkRomanceRevolution and she most definitely delivered with the latest installment of the Scarred Souls series. Ravage is NOT for the faint of heart or anyone who wants a romance filled with wine and roses, but then again if you are even considering reading this series you know better than to expect any of that. It is dark, intense and disturbing and yet even at it’s most brutal you can’t help but feel your heart ache for what both 194/Valentin and Zoya are going through.
What makes a Tillie Cole book an experience, no matter if you love it or hate it, is the way that she hooks you from the first page and takes you on an excruciating emotional roller coaster of a ride and yet gives you everything you never knew you wanted in a romance, even if it’s dark and disturbing. Valentin/194 is someone I should hate, and yet knowing how he came to be 194 and why he did what he did, my heart ended up bleeding for him. Becoming a monster wasn’t what he wanted to do, but what he had to do and yet even this monster has a heart.
Zoya is the epitome of a strong, compassionate female. She has survived the massacre of her family and has been able to stay alive and out of the clutches of the people who committed the crime. True, she has been in hiding since, but she hasn’t curled up and died. The strength she showed while under 194’s hand was unbelievable. Most men would have broken, but her loyalty to her brother never wavered. And her capacity for forgiveness and compassion was amazing, I’m still in awe that she was able to go there after all she’d been through, but she did.
Valentin and Zoya’s relationship can definitely be classified as a Beauty and the Beast/Stockholm syndrome type story. I’m not going to deny that I got a bit of whiplash when their captor/captive relationship changed and said “What the fuck?”, and am still processing that part because holy hell was it brutal, but what came after and how they fought for each other, especially with how hard Zoya fought, it ended up working for me. This is a dark romance and not everything is going to make sense and be all neat and tidy, hell even Valentin and Zoya admitted that things are messed up, but they formed a connection and understood and accepted each other, the good, the bad and the ugly.
While the majority of the book is told from Valentin’s and Zoya’s POV’s we do get a bit of Luka’s aka Raze’s thrown into the mix and yes I did a total fangirl happy sigh because I’m totally #TeamRaze & #TeamLuka, Raze holds a special place in my heart since it was my first book by Ms. Cole and I haven’t looked back. I really liked seeing what was going on through his eyes because as much as he is the next Bratva king, he is also still a bit of an outsider which gives him a wider world view. And with this book we are finally getting closer to the final showdown with the Mastermind behind the gulags and drug testings and it looks like we’re in for a hell of a fight.
Dark. Intense. Disturbing. Brutal. Not for the faint of heart and yet will pull at your heartstrings. That pretty much sums up Ravage. This book is not a standalone, you must read Raze and Reap to fully understand the various relationships between the characters and what it going on with the series story arc. And if you like your romance dark, this is the series for you!
~ ARC received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~
Taken by the Jakhua Clan as a teen, 194 was stripped of his name, his identity, and his freewill, meticulously honed to be a ruthless, soulless killing machine, trained solely to spill blood and stop hearts. This is a role he resents with every fiber of his being, but one he embraces to gain back the precious leverage the Georgians wield as their weapon of control: his younger sister, 152.
Mzia Kostava is in shock. After fleeing her mafia family's massacre in Georgia as a child, Mzia lives in secret, hiding from her enemies in the dark shadows of Manhattan. At age twenty-five, believing all her family is dead, word reaches Mzia that her brother Zaal is very much alive... and living with their family's greatest enemy: the Volkov Bratva in Brooklyn.
Yearning to be reunited with her beloved Zaal, Mzia risks her safety and anonymity for the brother she had mourned since childhood. But just as she reaches Zaal's apartment, Mzia is seized and taken captive by a strange man, who is strong, dark, and brutal... Unyielding, he demands her utter obedience as he locks her away in darkness. He is highly skilled in torture and inflicting pain, and demands to know everything about her brother Zaal and everything about her. He is a man that'll do anything to get what he wants.
Sometimes love requires the sacrifice and betrayal of those held most dear. But is finding one's true love worth committing the greatest sacrifice of all?
Tillie Cole hails from a small town in the North-East of England. She grew up on a farm with English mother, Scottish father and older sister and a multitude of rescue animals. As soon as she could, Tille left her rural roots for the bright lights of the big city.
After graduating from Newcastle University with a BA Hons in Religious Studies, Tillie followed her Professional Rugby player husband around the world for a decade, becoming a teacher in between and thoroughly enjoyed teaching High School students Social Studies before putting pen to paper and finished her first novel.
Tillie has now settled in North America, where she is finally able to sit down and write, throwing herself into fantasy worlds and the fabulous minds of her characters.
Tillie is both an independent and traditionally published author, and writes many genres including Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels.
When she is not writing, Tillie enjoys nothing more than curling up on her couch watching movies, drinking far too much coffee, while convincing herself that she really doesn’t need that extra square of chocolate.