Author: Tillie Cole
Age group: Mature new adult
Genre: Dark contemporary romance
Release date: 30th December 2014
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 fiancé, 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.
Gunshot after gunshot and the tumult of shouting pounded through the stone ceiling as I paced the small area of my dank cell. Above me was a stampede, the thunder of hundreds of feet; prisoners were on the loose. And here I was trapped in this fucking cell!
I need to get out. I must get out! I screamed inside my head as I ran my hand over the metal bars keeping me trapped inside.
Charging the door of my cell, my right shoulder slammed into the metal. It didn’t even shake. Wrapping my hands tightly around the bars over the “window,” I scanned the dimly lit hallway, its flickering dull bulbs swinging back and forth from all the heavy movement upstairs. This level of the prison, the Gulag as it was known amongst the inmates, was reserved for us champions, the most prized of the death fighters. The fucking killers, the murderers, the monsters they’d created to want nothing but to feel rage and spill blood. We were jailed in the bowels of this shithole, no chance of escape. Our cells were too far apart to ever see another fighter except when we were training.
My breathing became ragged. Bellowing in frustration, I pulled on the steel bars, my arm joints creaking with the enormous pressure I put them under. My bulging, drug-created muscles corded with the effort. I roared out a final yell when they refused to budge.
The shot they’d just given me was making my skin crawl and was evoking the need to fight. I was scheduled to fight later tonight. I felt rage, nothing but rage.
I needed to kill. It was the only way to stop the rage.
The first shot had been fired about thirty minutes ago, I guessed. I didn’t know; time had no meaning in the Gulag.
I could hear the other fighters shouting, screaming that they’d been released, could hear the screech of cell doors being wrenched open, the screams of men dying.
I was fucking incensed.
I wanted blood.
And I needed to fight!
My blood boiled under my flesh, fiery, searing, preparing me for a fight to the death. To do what I did best—maim, slaughter… kill.
Roaring out, I released the cell bars and once again began pacing the cell. My eyes, even in the dark, focused on the wall and the name engraved in the stone. Alik Durov. Underneath was an address. Brooklyn, New York. Below that, a motive. Revenge. Lastly, there was a clear instruction. Kill.
I had no memory of writing it down, no memory of my life before this place. Didn’t know if I ever had a life outside of these stone walls. My brain had shut down, blocking out anything but the need to kill, erasing any knowledge of who I was, where I was from, and why I was in this fucking shithole. But one thing was certain. I had written that name, that address, that motive, and that instruction. When I stared at those jagged letters carved permanently on the wall in my line of sight, anger consumed every cell in my body and I knew, without a doubt, I had to do what the inscription commanded.
But I had to get out of this place first.
The sound of the hallway door slamming open echoed off the walls. I rushed to the bars to see what the fuck was happening. My skin was itching with the need to break free, to join the fight… to get my revenge.
The clinking of cell doors opening made my heart race faster. My knuckles cracked with the intensity of my grip on the bars.
“Get me the fuck out!” I growled as I heard heavy footsteps approach my cell. My cheek pressed hard on cold metal as I stretched to see who was coming, my hands rocking the cell door until blood began to ooze from the constantly splitting skin on my fingers.
“Go! Go!” a male voice ordered a prisoner, and I heard a man running away. “They’ve been overpowered. Head for the east gate.”
They’ve been overpowered. Hearing these words spoken out loud, I lost it. Wildfire pulsed through my veins. Running to the back of my cell, I charged the door, my shoulder dislocating with the force.
Seizing my right hand, I popped my shoulder back in place. “GET ME THE FUCK OUT!” I bellowed, my voice sounding as sharp as razors.
The light above my cell flickered off, plunging me into darkness, but it didn’t matter. I could hear everything, I’d learned to embrace the dark. Thudding on the stone floor made its way toward me. My roaring and bellowing increased.
Suddenly, the footsteps stopped and I could hear the sound of heavy breathing outside my cell.
“Get. Me. The. Fuck. Out,” I warned. I caught a nervous flicker of movement to my right.
Two men were pussying out of facing me head on.
“It’s him,” one of them whispered as my jaw ticked in annoyance. “It’s 818.”
“I won’t tell you again. Get me the fuck out, or when I find you, I’ll snap your spines,” I threatened in a low voice, as the bars creaked louder with the pulsating power of my anger.
The men still didn’t move. I could smell their fear and it just fucked me off even more.
“Get him out!” a voice ordered from behind and, suddenly, the familiar face of 362 came into view—my greatest rival but the man I spoke to and respected most.
362 grabbed a key and unlocked my door, his broad chest bare, black sweatpants covering his legs and his long black hair hanging down his back. He swung the door open and met me toe to toe at the entrance. His brown eyes bored into mine as my chest pumped with adrenaline. Then he smirked and slapped me on the arm, laughing. Shaking my head, I sized up the two men who blocked my way and then I smiled. I could kill the two weak fuckers in seconds. Snap their necks before they could fucking blink.
The smell of piss filled my nostrils as the two men stood frozen, wide eyes fixed on me. Then the tension of the moment was shattered when a gunshot rang out from upstairs.
I loved the dynamics of the characters and the grittiness of the story. It added so much to it and pulled you in, rooting for Raze even though he seems unsavable. Raze proves that even the darkest creatures deserve a chance.
Cole knows how to write a tale that will take you to the darkest depths but bring you out on the other side. Her books are unconventional. They are not your standard love stories. The characters all have a depth to them that make them multidimensional.
I enjoyed reading this book. It is out of my comfort zone. Highly recommended to those looking for something different and good to read.
4 out of 5 Stars!!!
Amazon & USA Today Best Selling Author, Tillie Cole, is a Northern girl through and through. She originates from a place called Teesside on that little but awesomely sunny (okay I exaggerate) Isle called Great Britain. She was brought up surrounded by her English rose mother -- a farmer's daughter, her crazy Scottish father, a savagely sarcastic sister and a multitude of rescue animals and horses.
Being a scary blend of Scottish and English, Tillie embraces both cultures; her English heritage through her love of HP sauce and freshly made Yorkshire Puddings, and her Scottish which is mostly demonstrated by her frighteningly foul-mouthed episodes of pure rage and her much loved dirty jokes.
Having been born and raised as a Teesside Smoggie, Tillie, at age nineteen, moved forty miles north to the 'Toon', Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, where she attended Newcastle University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts honours degree in Religious Studies. She returned two years later to complete a Post-Graduate Certificate in Teaching High School Social Studies. Tillie, regards Newcastle to be a home from home and enjoyed the Newcastle Geordie way of life for seven 'proper mint' and 'lush' years.
One summers day, after finishing reading her thousandth book on her much loved and treasured Kindle, Tillie turned to her husband and declared, "D'you know, I have a great idea for a story. I could write a book." Several months later, after repeating the same tired line at the close of another completed story, she was scolded by her husband to shut up talking about writing a novel and "just bloody do it!" For the first time in eleven years, Tillie actually took his advice (he is still trying to get over the shock) and immediately set off on a crazy journey, delving deep into her fertile imagination.
Tillie, ever since, has written from the heart. She combines her passion for anything camp and glittery with her love of humour and dark brooding men (most often muscled and tattooed – they’re her weakness!). She also has a serious side (believe it or not!) and loves to immerse herself in the complex study of World Religions, History and Cultural Studies and creates fantasy stories that enable her to thread serious issues and topics into her writing -- yep, there's more to this girl than profanity and sparkles!
After six years of teaching high school Social Studies and following her Professional Rugby Player husband around Europe, they have finally given up their nomadic way of life and settled in Calgary, Alberta where Tillie spends most of her days (and many a late night) lost in a writing euphoria or pursuing a dazzling career as a barrel-racing, tasselled-chap wearing, Stetson-sporting cowgirl... Ye-haw!