Thursday, January 8

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 fiancĂ©, 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.

Let me be honest and say that I am not a fan of fighter romances. Despite me being a huge fan of sports in general, I never became huge on the fighting sport so I guess that's probably why fighter romances doesn't always appeal to me at first glance. But then this book was different and immediately caught my eye. 

As you have read, the blurb is rather wordy so I will keep my review my short.

I read this book in one go and it left me a messy wreck, thinking 'What just happened?' and then 'Wow!' I dove into the story, not really expecting anything but nevertheless getting the best surprises. It was exhilarating how the story unfolded. And oh, did I mention that this was the first time I read TC? Yes, I am definitely checking out the rest of her stuff. I just thought it was amazing how well the story was put together. The tiny bits just fit all so well as one. And the fact that this was a standalone made it an instant win in my books.

This was an almost-perfect read that had me tearing up. It was sad, gritty, romantic, heartbreaking, dark but best of all, hopeful. This read delivered the goods in spades!

Final verdict: 9/10. Great must-read.


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