ARC Review: Riot by Tillie Cole

7 Mar 2017

Book Title: Riot
Author: Tillie Cole
Series: Scarred Souls #4
Release Date: March 17th, 2017
Genres: Dark Romance
Stolen by the Arziani Georgian crime mob as a child, 152 was raised and conditioned to be a Mona—the most subservient of the Arziani Blood Pit slaves.

Gorgeous and kind, she has been and under the imprisoning influence of the Type B drug and under the command of the Blood Pit Master’s sister, Mistress Arziani, for most of her life, until the Master calls her back home to Georgia.

He wants her under his total control, and Master always gets what he wants.

But when 152 is gifted to the Blood Pit’s fearsome champion death match fighter as a prize, 152 suddenly finds out that the men who appear most brutal, may just own the kindest hearts. And love may be found, even when living in hell.

Freedom, family, love, 152 will have to fight for what she wants and ultimately make an impossible choice.

Riot is the fourth (and I believe, final) book in the Scarred Souls series by Tillie Cole. I swear, this series reminds me of dark and gritty Beauty and the Beast. Or Beauty and the Beast for adults! Each book focuses on a different Russian or Georgian underground beast of a fighter. Each stolen, tattoo labelled, drugged, and trained to fight till the death. In Riot, we have the story of number champion Blood Pit fighter #901 and his torturous love story with a captured Mona (woman used for sexual purposes to captives, guards, and Master), #152.

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Tillie Cole has the gift to write some seriously dark and gritty stories but still instill a great sense of family loyalty, trust, and budding love story. Within the filth of the underground gulags, littered with abuse, psychological torture, and chemical/drug mind manipulation, we still find human connection and goodness with the undercurrent of a love story. This was an especially tragic and suspenseful novel as both characters are captives, both tortured, beaten and drugged for years. But even in these conditions, love finds a way...even in the pits of Hell. Even if their happily ever after is just a dream.

“There are no matches to the death. There are no quarters where I am held captive all day. There is your heart beating in sync with mine. Speaking the language of our old home, in the company of the male that is becoming my new home.”

We get a healthy dose of past characters in the Scarred Souls series...Luka (Kisa), Zaal (Talia), and Valentin (Zoya). All surviving the pits of Hell to rise up and become leaders for Russian and Georgian crime families. Not for the faint at heart, I'd highly recommend this series for fans of romance novels with a suspenseful, dark and violent twist! But still, in the end, a love story.

"You became my heart."

Advanced copy received by St Martin's Press via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

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 farmers daughter, her crazy Scottish father, a savagely sarcastic sister and a multitude of rescue animals and horses.

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