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...
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ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley.
After reading Raze, I was so happy to hear that there would be a sequel. I’ve never been a fan of Russian mafia books before but after reading Raze, Tillie Cole changed my mind. The underground fighting is fierce, cold, and full of angst but the women are warm, caring, and so loyal to their men.
Raze is a must read before starting Reap because not only do you get 221/Zaal and Talia’s story, but you get more of the story of Raze/Luka and Kisa. You feel more of Luka’s pain and suffering he went through plus how strong Kisa and his relationship really is. I thought their love was strong in Raze but in this book, it shows more of the strength of their relationship. We meet Talia, Luka’s sister, in Raze and you can feel the loneliness she was dealing with.
“I’m on my own, have always been on my own. I’d give anything to have that soul-shattering type of love. But how that’ll ever happen in this life is beyond me.”
As Luka had suffered with the guilt of killing his one and only friend, 362, he vowed revenge on the ones who took 362 and made him a killer. Once Luka discovered 362 had a brother, he knew he would stop at nothing to save him, and that’s exactly what he did. I think that is one more reason I loved Luka. He’s fierce and loyal. Once he set his mind to do something, he always followed through.
After saving 221, he took him to his family’s home in the Hamptons, which so happened to be where Talia was staying while on vacation. She wanted a break from life, a place to get herself together. At first, she was scared of 221 but soon started watching the mysterious man from the cameras in their house. The more she saw, the more she was intrigued. She was entranced by him.
“He was…beautiful. Zaal was the most amazing man I’d ever seen.”
As time passed, she began to tenderly care for him and I loved her nurturing side. She didn’t let her fear stand in her way and took control of 221 and started teaching him the ways of the world. Being he was taken at such a young age, he had no idea of how to live and survive in the real world. Zaal just broke my heart at how naïve he truly was for a man who was so strong and taught to be a killer. Once Talia started showing him how life was truly meant to be, which was not a prisoner of another, he realized there was more to life than fighting. I felt my heart just smile because I could really picture everything he was seeing and how his eyes were opening up and taking in his new surroundings.
“You are…for me.”
Oh, just that one sentence nearly broke me. Every time he said it, I shed a tear for the broken man he was. As Talia and Zaal opened their hearts and souls to one another, she soon found out his family was an enemy to hers. They knew her family would ban her from seeing him and she would be alone again.
As Talia’s family soon understood that Zaal would be faithful to them, it made it so much easier for them. They truly had to fight for their future. This book was dark, twisted, had an amazing love story, and hot as hell between the sheets. I loved getting more inside their family, but I did feel there was one detail that I wanted more of. Raze is the first book I have read of Tillie Cole’s and I immediately became a forever fan and quickly read her other books. Her writing is in-depth and you can feel the emotions brought out in her books. I am ready for more of this series and can’t wait to see what happens next. I highly recommend this 5 star book.