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“You are in my heart. You are in my scarred soul.”
SO GOOD, SO GOOD, SO, SO GOOD!!!!
I love this series – a collection of dark and gritty romances tied together through family, loyalty, and a hideous shared nightmare. Tillie Cole has brought it all together for this final book, and she absolutely nailed it with a heart-achingly beautiful love story set in tragic circumstances, and a kickass ending that had my heart pounding and feels all over the freaking place. It’s everything that I wanted from this book, and I absolutely loved it!
This is the story of Inessa – sister of Valentin from Ravage. Stolen from an orphanage as a child, she was raised in a cruel Russian underground world where she was drugged and trained to be a whore. Stripped of her memories and her identity, she became 152, a slave to the drugs coursing through her system, and she knows nothing else.
901 is the champion of the Pit. Raised in the same world as 152, his path made him a warrior – raised and trained in violence, fighting and death is his world, and he knows only to win. But behind the brutal exterior is a man with pride, a man who wants to win at all costs, doing it in in his own way without bowing to the evil machinations of the man who controls his world – the infamous Master.
In a twisted game of manipulation, 152 is ‘given’ to 901 as a prize by the Master. She is terrified of the notorious monster, and he wants nothing to do with her – seeing her as nothing but a distraction and a sure path to death if he were to lose his focus in the ring. But there is something there, something between them that neither of them expected to find – a shared understanding of their situation, a bond that ties them together, and slowly, comfort, warmth, and so much more.
“You are the Arziani Pit Bull. You are feared. But to me, you are safety.”
I adored both of these characters. 152’s strength in the face of all that she endures is nothing short of miraculous. She’s an incredible character who goes through so much but who never loses her hope, and I absolutely love her. And 901 absolutely stole my heart. The brutal killer with the beautiful, gentle soul – who knew? Watching him come to the realisation of all that 152 means to him, and seeing his reaction to that, and the way it changes him was wonderfully written. And as the two lovers open up to each other in every way, I both cheered and ached for them.
He placed his hand over his heart and said, “You have made me feel, in here. You have made me want things I never dare let myself want. You have made me want to fight for survival, not pride. I no longer want to die on the pit’s sand, like a warrior. I no longer I want to die at all … You make me want to live.”
This is a beautifully developing love story. It’s well paced and emotional, and realistic given their circumstances, and I absolutely love the way it all played out. I could feel both of their walls crumbling towards each other and every little moment they were together was written with so much heart, I fell right alongside them.
“I had a choice,” he argued. Then, with a surprising tenderness, he pressed three light kisses along my neck. When he raised his head, he said, “I chose to take you. I chose to hold you close.” He inhaled. “I chose to make you mine.”
But they are still under the control of the Master, a man who is just as obsessed with controlling 901 as he is with owning 152. How can they ever find a happy ending when they live in hell and their lives are held in the palm of a madman?
And while this is all unfolding, Valentin is in New York with his new friends and family, and they are plotting a way to rescue Inessa and bring down the Pit once and for all.
I knew I wouldn’t fail. This was my family now. And we would all survive. We had to, there was no other choice.
The storylines converge in the most epic of circumstances which had my heart racing and my stomach churning as it all played out. It’s exciting, tragic and brutal, and the anticipation for each of the milestones on the way to the HEA builds fantastically – each of those small moments giving me a massive rush as I read with my hand to my mouth, feeling like I barely took a breath. And the feels! OMG, the feels are intense and I had tears streaming down my face more than once. But what a ride!
Through tragedy, we were both stronger.
And through distance, our love was stronger.
She was mine.
I was hers.
Her, the girl, whose soul matched mine.
And I, the boy, who was made perfectly for her.
This is a wonderfully written story. I’m sure I felt everything that Tillie Cole intended, and it’s one of those books that I wish I could experience all over again. It’s an exciting, brutal, action-packed, suspenseful and romantic story all on its own, but the characters from the previous book all play a part and not only did I love catching up with them, but the way that the series story arc all ties up is absolutely fantastic. Again, there were tears, and that epilogue left me with a massive grin on my face as all four of the stories are finished off beautifully.
I’ve loved this series. Dark, gritty and emotional, it’s not always an easy read, but it’s so well done, and definitely one that I’ll be rereading in the future.
Loved it – 5 stars.
An Advanced Reader Copy was generously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Scarred Souls Series
For more reads like this, check out our Dark and Edgy Recommendations page
And for more books by this author, see our Tillie Cole Author Spotlight