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Reap: A Scarred Souls Novel

Reap: A Scarred Souls Novel

4.7 22
by Tillie Cole

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


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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St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Scarred Souls Series , #2
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A Scarred Souls Novel

By Tillie Cole

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2015 Tillie Cole
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-250-08624-2



The Dungeon
Season Opener
Brooklyn, New York

I blinked ... I blinked again. It didn't fucking work. Didn't remove the images from my mind.

Reaching up, I clawed at the knot of the silk tie I'd been forced to wear and loosened it off. I couldn't fucking breathe.

Every muscle in my body was tense as I sat up in this suffocating private box, looking down on the Dungeon's cage, the wide window giving me the perfect fucking view of the two fighters ripping each other apart.

The crowd noise was deafening; screaming and clamoring for spilt blood, as the first match of the season kicked off.

No matter how hard I tried to look away, my eyes were securely locked on the two men in the cage. My heart raced, my hands curled into fists, and my jaw ached as my teeth gritted together way too hard.

With every blow the fighters delivered, my legs twitched. With every spray of blood on the concrete floor, every body smashed into the wire surrounding the cage, an envious pain sliced through my stomach.

I wanted in, I wanted to rip those fuckers apart. I wanted to feel the cold steel of my knuckle-dusters back on my fingers, feel my spiked blades slowly pierce my opponent's flesh, and I wanted to watch as the life leaked out of his eyes. I wanted to bring death; I wanted to rip out someone's fucking soul.

The monster within me wanted out and I was losing the battle to keep him at bay. Six months ... six months of being away from that cage, yet every instinct I had was telling me to go back. That it was where I belonged, that I deserved to keep fighting. My nightmares were getting worse ... more memories of my killings becoming clearer ... the guilt, and the fucking uphill battle of trying to adjust to this godforsaken world. A world that was becoming more and more difficult to be in.

Shit! I couldn't fucking breathe!

I sat forward, raking my hands through my hair, fighting my thoughts, the urges in my head. I wanted to embrace the demons inside, but at the same time, I wanted to fucking leave this shit hole of a fight ring and not feel the coming sense of death clogging up the air. I wanted to get the fuck away from the cage. It was in a cage where I'd slaughtered over six hundred men. It was in a cage where I'd killed my only friend.

I winced as 362's face flashed into my mind: his grin as he met me in the gulag as a kid, teaching me how to survive, and his face as I took his life, stealing his chance at revenge on those who had condemned him to the life of a fucking monster.

I saw nothing but red as I straddled his waist and speared a bladed fist into his neck. Felt nothing but rage as my second bladed fist skewered his temple. Felt nothing but single-minded determination to slaughter Durov as I lifted both fists and, pointing them straight down, plunged them into 362's chest, the wheeze of his dying breaths assaulting my ears, wrenching me from my anger.

I'd killed him. I'd watched as his dark eyes frosted over with the coldness of death. I'd watched as the color from the fight drained from his face, and I'd listened to that final beat of his heart until there was nothing but the deafening scream of silence.

"Revenge ...," 362 had uttered, choking on blood washing back down his throat.

I'd fucking promised him my revenge on the people who sentenced him to the gulag's cells; the people I still hadn't found; the people I still hadn't killed in cold blood.

I was failing 362, my only friend. And I couldn't fucking live with it.

Jerking on my chair as the crash of memories assaulted my mind, my heartbeat drummed too fast, and the screaming rush of my blood racked through my ears. In that second of panicked movement, my eyes went to the center of the cage as a fighter gripped his weapon of choice — a jagged hunting knife — and sent it straight through the eye of his opponent, the crowd noise soaring in volume.

My father and the Pakhan got to their feet and clapped, demonstrating their superiority to the bloodthirsty crowd below. The bloodthirsty crowd who were already exchanging money and placing bets on the next fight. All of the desperate and sadistic fuckers thanking the Russian kings for this damn dungeon of death.

My father looked down at me and aggressively flicked his chin. He was ordering me to stand, to clap, to stand like a fucking regal God at the window, to show the fuckers jamming up the Dungeon that I was the Bratva knayz, the Russian Mafia prince. The sole heir and the one destined to take charge. We constantly had to show our strength.

But I couldn't move. This suit I was forced to wear was fucking suffocating me. This silk tie, although loose, still feeling like a damn leash tying me to this Bratva role I couldn't bear to embrace.

I tried to move, but I couldn't force myself to lift from this chair. Memories of 362 bleeding out below me were stabbing harder at my brain, stealing my fucking breath.

My eyes squeezed shut, sweat pouring down my cheeks. I was losing it, I was fucking losing my shit.

Six months of this fucking torture. Six fucking months of slowly going insane, too many painful memories and flashbacks scourging the fuck out of my brain.

I abruptly lurched to my feet, and the Pakhan darted his gaze to me. "Luka?"

The room began to spin, the walls fucking closing in on me.

My father stepped forward. "Son? What's wrong?"

But I couldn't answer them. I had to get out, needed to get the fuck out of this tiny fucking box.

Staggering to the steel door barricading us in, I used all my strength to smash it open, snapping the top hinge clean off the frame.

"Luka! Come back!" I heard my father shout as I disappeared into the dark hallway. I ignored him as I turned to race down the steep staircase that led to the packed crowd.

"Mr. Tolstoi?" one of the byki called as I ran past him. Heads turned as I pushed through the mass of scumbags trying to get to the side of the cage to fucking see the carnage inside. But all the fuckers moved out of my way, sensing that I'd rip them in two if they got in my fucking path.

I headed for the hallway, the familiar hallway that I'd walked down when I was Raze, the death-match fighter I'd been conditioned to be since a child. The hallways where I'd lived as a Dungeon fighter, stayed each night, only one focus in my mind: revenge on Alik Durov, my childhood friend that, along with his father, had condemned me to a life of killing.

Ignoring the trainers and fighters filling the narrow space, I staggered to the locker room I used to occupy. Smashing my shoulder into the door, it burst open and I slammed it shut, blocking out the world.

It was quiet in this room, no noise fucking with my head. This locker room made me feel safe.

Walking into the center of the room, I kicked off the leather shoes from my feet, feeling the cold from the asphalt ground. Tipping my head back, I stood in the sliver of moonlight slipping through a crack in the wall and ripped off my tie. Hands shaking, I roared when I couldn't undo the buttons of my shirt. Gripping the expensive material, I pulled hard, the shirt slicing in two, shreds drifting to the floor.

Bare on top, my chest heaved at the severity of my breathing. I tried to calm down ... to think of my life now, away from all the gulag shit, but it wasn't any fucking use.

Walking to the wall, I slammed my palms against the cold hard stone and closed my eyes, just trying to fucking breathe. But this room made me feel like the old me. I felt like him, Raze. I felt like the death-match fighter 818. I felt like the Georgian gulag's bringer of death. Luka fucking Tolstoi was a stranger to me. The knyaz of the New York Russian Bratva was a total fucking stranger.

The same feelings of how to kill, how to position my bladed knuckle-dusters just right to cause the most pain, circled my mind ... and I fucking embraced it. It was familiar ... it felt like ... me.

Suddenly, a hand gripped my shoulder. Sensing the familiarity of a gulag guard attack, years of being a "fuck thing," a punching bag for those abusive pricks taking me back to that lost kid I used to be, I turned and gripped the fucker's neck under my hand, smashing him back against the wall. A red mist fogging my eyes, I gritted my teeth and lifted the asshole off the floor.

No one would hurt me again ... ever. I was stronger now, tougher. I was a built and conditioned fucking stone-cold killer.

Fingernails raked at my skin; wheezing breath filled my ears. But my hands squeezed tighter, the familiar feel of draining a life pumping me the fuck up.

The flailing cunt in my hands began to go weak and I tightened my grip, almost snapping his neck. This fucker would die. He wouldn't get to rape me no more. Wouldn't get to push me in that cage and kill another innocent kid. I was an innocent kid, too. This fucker would die. This fucker would die slowly, painfully, under my hands. They wouldn't touch me anymore. They wouldn't push me in that fucking ring anymore —


Too focused on the kill, on the rush that came with feeling a pulse slow to a stuttered stop in a neck, I didn't hear the door open behind me. My mind was a damn slide show of images, fucked-up images of my kills; kids begging for their lives, guards pointing their guns in my face if I didn't finish those kids off. Pain, torture, rape, blood, so much fucking blood —

"Luka, stop!" A distant yet familiar voice broke through into my stormy mind. I shook my head.

"Luka, put him down." The voice was soothing. I knew that voice. That voice made my heart slow down. It calmed me ... who ... what ...?

"Luka, lyubov moya. Come back to me. I'm here. Come back. Fight the memories. Fight them, just, come back."

Ki ... Kisa ... my Kisa ...? My eyes snapped shut at the soothing voice and new memories flashed through my mind ... a boy and girl on a beach ... kissing ... making love ... blue eyes ... brown eyes ... one soul ... love lost ... love found ... a wedding ... love ... so much love ...


Gasping, my eyes flew open, the free hand at my side shook and my skin was drenched with sweat. My other arm was elevated high, and when I followed the length of that arm, it was gripping a neck in an iron vise ... the neck of a man, a man my head told me I knew.

Confused at what had happened, I stepped back, my hand releasing its grip on the man and he fell to the ground, wheezing, gasping, fighting for breath.

I staggered back farther until my back slammed against the opposite wall. Feet moved beside me, but I couldn't look up. I was frozen on the floor, my knees tucking into my stomach and my head falling into my hands.

"Viktor? Viktor? Are you okay?" The female voice from before made me look up, and there she was, my Kisa, my solnyshko, bending down, running her hands over the man's —

My stomach fell.

Viktor. Viktor, my trainer, the man who helped me to defeat Alik Durov.

Feeling as though the gulag tattoo across my chest, the bold and broad 818, was on fire, I watched Viktor's eyes close and Kisa call to the byki for help.

Two of the Pakhan's men ran in, and I watched them as if they were moving in slow motion. Kisa stepped back as they helped Viktor to his feet. The byki dragged him out in seconds and I felt a pain as sharp as a dagger's strike slice through my stomach.

My fists clenched as I realized what I'd done. I'd almost killed Viktor.

The door softly clicked shut and I heard the locks turning, two iron bolts being slid in place to keep me inside.

Quiet footsteps came toward me and the soothing scent of sweet flowers washed over my body and filled my nose.


Gentle fingers suddenly ran over my hand. I flinched and dragged them away as I fought back my instinct to kill, to hurt, to maim, to slaughter.

"Luka, look at me," Kisa ordered, but I kept my head low.

"Luka," Kisa repeated in a sterner voice, "look up."

Gritting my teeth, I looked up and my gaze found a set of perfect blue eyes.

Kisa. My wife.

Head tilted to the side, Kisa's eyes filled with tears and she reached out her hand to touch my face. "Luka —"

"No!" I snarled. I sank back farther against the wall, swatting away her hand. "Don't touch me! I don't want to hurt you."

Kisa reared back. I knew she was staring at me. I could feel her gaze burning through my skin. We sat in silence for what seemed like an age, my fists still taut, my blood still boiling with rage. Then, suddenly, Kisa stood, my muscles bracing for her to leave, my heart beating fast again at the thought of her leaving me alone.

But she didn't walk away. She didn't head for the door. She didn't leave. She stayed silent, only a rustling of material to be heard.

I didn't look up. Instead I focused on trying to calm the rage erupting from inside. But then a hand took mine and my palm met hot flesh.

Whipping up my head, I found Kisa kneeling beside me, the top of her sleeveless long black dress pulled down to her waist, her perfect tits on show. Her hand held mine over her bare breast and I tore my gaze away from the sight — the sight that was fucking destroying me — to meet her eyes. They were filled with a mixture of steely determination and love, fucking filled with nothing but love.

She bulldozed through all the barriers I had.

Taking control, Kisa squeezed my hand tighter around her tit, my cock hardening at the feel of my woman under my palm. Shifting her legs, Kisa released her hold on my hand, her eyes telling me not to move it from her tit, and lifted up her dress from the bottom.

My breathing quickened as her lace panties came into view, and then I fucking lost all anger when she untied the lace bows at the side, the panties falling to the floor.

I was struck mute as my wife — my fucking beautiful wife — straddled my thighs, her bare pussy dragging down my stomach.

My hand on her warm breast tightened as my solid dick pushed against my pants. Kisa's breathing hitched as her clit ran down my torso and her mouth lowered to my ear. "I love you, baby. I have you. You're okay. I'm here...."

My eyelids shut at the relief her words brought, and just like that, I was calmed.

"Kisa ...," I whispered in response, my words clogging my throat.

Kisa pressed a finger over my lips. "Shh, lyubov moya, just ... just ... love me," she said almost silently. "Let me love you with everything I have. Let me make you feel safe, with me. Be my Luka, the boy whose soul matches mine."

And she did. I made love to her on the locker room floor, and she brought me back to myself. She chased away the demons and pain.

As we both fought for breath in the aftermath, I reached up, never moving my gaze from hers, and said, "I'm ... I'm sorry."

Kisa's face softened. "Never be sorry. You're my husband, my heart, my soul."

The reality of what had just happened began to hit home and I shut my eyes in embarrassment. Kisa must have felt me tense as she tensed, too. Inhaling a shaky breath, she whispered, "I love you so much, Luka. Do you know that?"

The hurt and sadness in her voice was sharper than any weapon I've taken into the cage.

"Luka?" Kisa probed my silence and slowly drew back her head to look at me. Her eyes were filled with tears again. "I love you."

Kisa placed her finger under my chin and forced my head up. "Talk to me. Let me in." Her eyelids fluttered, chasing away tears. She sniffed back her cries and wiped at her eyes. "What happened tonight? What happened with Viktor? Why did you run from Papa and Ivan? You neglected your duty to the Bratva."

Feeling drained, I exhaled a shuddering breath.

As more seconds passed by, I heard Kisa sigh in frustration and her hands cupped my cheeks. "Look at me, Luka."

Reluctantly, I forced my gaze up and fixed my attention on her face, she was so fucking beautiful. Taking her hand, she reached down to my wedding ring, and lifted it to my face. "You see this? We're married. We vowed under God and in front of our families to be there for each other, for better or for worse." She then took my hand and, holding my index finger, ran it over my left eye. "We were made for each other. That means sharing your pain, telling me when and why you're unhappy."

The sadness on Kisa's face was too much. Squeezing our joined hands, I brought them to my lips and kissed the back of her hand. "I'm happy with you. I ..." I took a deep breath and added, "I never knew I could be happy before you."

Kisa's tears splashed onto her bare chest. "Solnyshko, don't cry," I rasped out.

"But you're not happy. I hold you when you sleep. I see you when you pace, dark thoughts plaguing your mind." Kisa kissed my cheek and gazed into my eyes. "You're getting worse, lyubov moya. Something's on your mind." A quiet sob slipped from her throat and I instinctively pulled her into my chest.

"Don't cry," I begged in a cracked voice. "I can't see you cry."

"Then tell me what you see in your mind. Tell me what is haunting you from being happy in our new life?"


Excerpted from Reap by Tillie Cole. Copyright © 2015 Tillie Cole. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Tillie Cole hails from a small town in the North-East of England. She grew up on a farm with her English mother, Scottish father and older sister and a multitude of rescue animals. As soon as she could, Tillie left her rural roots for the bright lights of the big city. After graduating from Newcastle University, Tillie followed her Professional Rugby player husband around the world for a decade, becoming a teacher in between and thoroughly enjoyed teaching High School students Social Studies for seven years. Tillie has now settled in Calgary, Canada, where she is finally able to sit down and write, throwing herself into fantasy worlds and the fabulous minds of her characters. Tillie writes Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels and happily shares her love of alpha-male leading men and strong female characters with her readers. When she is not writing, Tillie enjoys dancing, singing, reading, horse riding, listening to music or spending time with friends and family.
Tillie Cole hails from a small town in the North-East of England. She grew up on a farm with her English mother, Scottish father and older sister and a multitude of rescue animals. As soon as she could, Tillie left her rural roots for the bright lights of the big city. After graduating from Newcastle University, Tillie followed her Professional Rugby player husband around the world for a decade, becoming a teacher in between and thoroughly enjoyed teaching High School students Social Studies for seven years. Tillie has now settled in Calgary, Canada, where she is finally able to sit down and write, throwing herself into fantasy worlds and the fabulous minds of her characters. Tillie writes Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels and happily shares her love of alpha-male leading men and strong female characters with her readers. When she is not writing, Tillie enjoys dancing, singing, reading, horse riding, listening to music or spending time with friends and family. Her books include Raze, Reap, and Ravage.

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Reap: A Scarred Souls Novel 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read went nicely with book one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read! looking forward to the next book
ReesesSH More than 1 year ago
I LOVE THIS BOOK! SO MUCH YES TO THIS GLORIOUS STORY!!! Reap starts off with a bang of action and danger and left me breathless throughout entire story. 221 is a weapon, a man who is no longer anything or anyone. He can’t remember his past or who he was. He isn’t allowed to act outside the orders of his Master. He’s the ultimate killing machine, until Luka or Raze an ex weapon comes to save him. Now 221 is learning about his past and what it’s like to be human again, from Talia. Talia is a mafia princess who wants nothing to do with 221 or as she’s learning his real name Zaal. Zaal is from a rival family she is set to hate, but the longer she watches him the more connected to him she feels. Talia is a strong independent woman. She’s been helping the family business for a long time and when she heads away for vacation, her brother brings in 221. Needless to say she’s pretty upset because seriously who disrupts a vacation like that? But she gets over her anger and hatred towards Zaal pretty quick. I loved this whole story. Everything was so not what I expected. 221 has been abused so terribly and drugged up so much he can’t do much besides obey commands and kill. Reap follows Zaal as he discovers who he was and who he is. I loved the journey and him changing from this sort of unthinking machine to someone who trades his life for those he cares about. Talia is so sweet and caring. She thinks something bad happened to Zaal so she checks on him, almost gets killed, and then takes care of him. I love their initial meeting with each other since Zaal is so different than any character I’ve ever read about in any story ever. Now there are lots of sexy scenes, but I have to say it makes sense since Zaal is all muscled animalistic sex appeal and Talia loves all his sexiness. I do wish I could have gotten more from their relationship like talking, but that also made sense since Zaal wasn’t allowed to talk for the majority of his life. I don’t know if this sounds weird but I enjoy how broken characters become so strong and caring. It makes me love the characters more when they’ve struggled and Zaal most definitely has. Now you CAN read this as a standalone like I did, but I would suggest reading the series in order since right when I finished this story I went out and grabbed book one. I hadn’t read Tillie Cole before this story, but I am definitely a SUPER FAN!! Tillie Cole is definitely on my love list of authors. Seriously grab this book and hold on for the amazing ride it will take you on. There’s action, sweaty hot sexy times, strong female characters, yummy hot males, the mob. You can’t ask for more! So fabulous I am so thankful to the publishers and Netgalley for sending me a copy of this most glorious book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't wait to read more in this series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it!
asgoodrich More than 1 year ago
I am ashamed to admit that I have not read Raze yet. I had planned to read it before reading Reap, but I got my review schedule confused and didn’t have a chance to do so. That said, I didn’t feel the least bit lost at what was going on in Reap. There is a possibility that I missed some of the series thread nuances, but as far as Zaal (221) and Talia’s story goes, I had no problem following along. And what a story it was. Not being familiar with what was done to Raze/Luka, I got to witness the horrors of Zaal’s time as 221 without any preparation. It is appalling to think that there are people in the world capable of the cruelty that Jakhua and the other Bratva bosses engage in over the course of Reap – yet, I know there are. That what was done to Zaal started when he was EIGHT is horrifying. But there is no doubting that 221 was a finely tuned killing machine. Thankfully, when Luka learns that his friend’s twin brother has been found, he stops at nothing to rescue him from the monster that has turned him into a mindless killer. Unfortunately for Luka’s sister, Talia, the only place Luka can secure 221 is at the family’s home in the Hamptons – the place Talia has gone for two months in order to escape the pressures of being a Bratva boss’s daughter. Although Talia is at first disgusted by her brother’s actions to save a Kostava, she soon finds herself drawn to him. Much like Kisa calms Luka, when Talia is forced to make physical contact with him, we find that she calms 221. As they spend time together, Talia finds that her hatred for all things Kostava is soon replaced by feelings of compassion, affection, and attraction for Zaal. When Jakhua returns to collect his “dog,” Talia finds out just how much Zaal returns her feelings. I really enjoyed Reap. I’ve read books where drugs were used to create super-soldiers and mercenaries. I’ve read mafia books. But this is the first I’ve read that combines the two and Cole makes it work wonderfully. Watching the relationship that develops between Zaal and Talia is very sweet in its own way. To see the Bratva princess tame the savage beast within (literally), and help him learn to live in the world as a free man was actually heartwarming – not something I’d expect from a mafia book, even if it is a romance. But Cole does a great job of off-setting all that sweet with some seriously action-packed scenes as Luka taps back into Raze to rescue Zaal – twice – and make Jakhua pay for Anri’s death. The final scene in the Epilogue is an excellent hook for the next book because I have to know what happens next. Until then, I get to backtrack and read Raze and I am really looking forward to it. I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm so happy to have read Zaal's story ... as difficult as it was to read. I can't wait for Zoya's story!!!
Splashesintobooks1 More than 1 year ago
Rating: Beginning 1/5 Middle: 3/5 End 5/5!! Overall 3.5/5 This is the second book in the series and, whilst it works as a standalone, I suspect it would be much more enjoyable had I read the first novel before this. I actually found it initially difficult to relate to this story but I’m so glad I persevered as, in the end, it was definitely worth it. The Russian Bratva life seems to be the equivalent of the Italian mafia, with mobs aligned to one particular family, led by the father of that family. With kidnapped children and young teens being subjected to horrific treatment, physical and medical abuse they are being ‘trained’ to become unthinking, obedient killers in criminal underground cage fights. They are slaves, not allowed to have any existence apart from obeying their master. Escaping isn’t usually an option and love is something they have beaten out of them, obeying their master is their only desire. It isn’t an easy read. Much of it is horrific abuse. Love, however, plays an important role in breaking the conditioning, reversing family vendettas and ending the whole system. Don’t pick this if you’re looking for a cute romance. This is heartbreaking, the victims are so damaged, but love will find a way and that ending - wow! Thanks to the publishers for inviting me to read this in exchange for this, my honest review.
csingh More than 1 year ago
4.75 stars! It took me longer to gather up the courage to read this book than it did to read it. I say gather my courage because I know Tillie Cole writes these amazing stories that always put me through the wringer. I'm almost always left an emotional mess at the end of her books; my heart hurts for the characters and journeys they undertake. There's hope and happiness too, but attaining almost seems impossible. Reap was certainly emotionally trying, but oh so enjoy able. 221 stole my heart. I hurt for him even before I knew the full extent of what he'd been through. I was outraged at how he was being used by the Georgian Bratva after being stripped of his humanity and free will. I could feel myself yearning for him to be free of it all with every fiber of my being. I like Talia should've been terrified of him and what he was capable of doing, but it seemed his soul shown through the darkness he'd been enshrouded in and what little we were able to be see was strong and beautiful. There were times when I was worried he was not going to be able to beat the darkness instilled in him. My love for 221 continued to grow as his real personality began to emerge. It's hard not to fall in love with a giant who is fiercely protective of those he loves and willing to do whatever it takes to make sure they're safe. There were also moments that made me weep, like when he experienced sunshine after decades of being kept in the dark. I loved Talia too. She's a strong female in the Russian Bratva. She might work for her father, but she's got this stubborn independent streak. She's willing to push the boundaries on what's acceptable for being female in her family. She looks at what her brother and best friend have and wants a relationship like theirs. I loved how she was willing to listen to her instincts when her family and everyone else she trusted around her was literally yelling at her to leave 221 alone. The only thing I found hard to believe was Talia's immediate reaction when she was first exposed to 221. It really felt like insta-love and that's something I'm not really a fan of. I understand that she and 221 had a very strong reaction on meeting each other and the time they spent together caused them to form an intense bond, but it initially didn't seem believable. As the story progressed I was able to understand what they were feeling for each other was real. 221's real identity isn't a secret, but I'd prefer not to reveal his real name or how he ties in with the series. I really feel like it'll make a huge difference in your reading experience if you find out for yourself. For those of you haven't read Raze, the first book in the Scarred Souls series, you don't have to in order to understand what's happening in this book, but you'll have a better understanding if you do. Luka and Kisa are both featured in this book and are very important to the development of the story. So much so that Luka even narrates a chapter or two! I loved seeing them again and finding out what they were doing in the interim that passed between the end of Raze and the setting of Reap. Tillie Cole brought her A-game with this book. She gave old fans a look at one of their favorite couples while gaining new fans with this well crafted page turner. The twists 221 and Talia's story take are unexpected and often difficult to read, but that's to be expected when you form such a strong emotional bond to the characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved, loved, loved this 2nd book. Great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MMRNY More than 1 year ago
OMG Tillie Cole has done it again. Once again I was blown away by Tillie Cole's storytelling abilities. Tillie Cole never ceases to amaze me. She is able to grab you from page Go and never let you go until the end...and even then she leaves you wanting more. She has this uncanny ability for making me love the guy that I never would have thought was loveable, and I honestly cannot get enough of it. HAHAHA!! Reap is the second installment in the Scarred Souls series. If you have not read RAZE...STOP AND GO READ IT ASAP!!! You must read Raze first to truly understand what is occurring in REAP. Reap is the story of 221, whose identity is later revealed in the story, and Talia, Luka's, who is better known as 818, sister. I loved the way the story, especially the love story between Talia and 221 unfolded. I have to say that 221's story and all that he went through was so heartbreaking. It brought tears to my eyes. There were definitely plenty of scenes that were extremely challenging to get through, because you had to ask yourself how could someone treat someone, let alone a child, like that. The cruelty that he went through was gut-wrenching. However, that is where Talia and her unwavering love for him and her willingness to fight for that love was so beautiful and refreshing. These two are a perfect match for each. They soothe each other's souls. I also loved the way Tillie Cole weaved in the events, as well as the ramification of those events, that occurred in Raze into Reap. And yes, Luka and everyone who survived from Raze are back!! Luka...oh Luka. Wow!! What a wonderful man he is and is becoming. He played such a vital role in this story, and all that I can say is that his role in Reap made me love him even more than I already did in Raze, and I didn't think that was possible. Tillie Cole did a fantastic job on this one. Hold on to your seats, because you are going to be taken on some ride in this one. Yes, the ride will be different than the one taken in Raze, but hey, this 221's story!! I will say I was not prepared for the ending of REAP. Now I am ready for book 3!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NC_ReaderAN More than 1 year ago
I was preapproved and invited to read Tillie Cole’s Reap, the second book in novel in her Shattered Souls series. When I reviewed the synopsis it interested me but I don’t think that this is a book I would have read on my own, just for all the unfamiliar words and phrases. Although I did and do love the cover. I accepted the invite to read Reap and, let me tell you, I am so pleased that I did. This was my first Tillie Cole, book and I am now going to be a lifelong fan. Cole’s writing is excellent. This novel was such a great and powerful read. Reap grabs your attention from the very beginning. The idea of the book is clear and crisp, the writing is has strong and precise language. As for my concerns about the unfamiliar words and phrases, it was all a moot point. Cole has a way with her writing that explains the meaning of anything that is unfamiliar without taking away from the enjoyment of the tale. Cole does not repeat herself in the manner that some authors do. . There were little to no grammatical errors detract from the work. Cole’s writing and words are so impassioned that you feel the power of her words. You can envision and feel the anger, rage, hurt and love as the scenes throughout the book progress. The characters each are given their own voice and demeanor that also added to the enjoyment of the story. One of my favorite parts from the novel is: “He nodded firmly, his harsh face straightening in conviction. “You are … for me. No other male. Just me. And me … for you. This is my ‘I love you.’ These are my words from my scarred soul. They are not borrowed words, but words from my full heart, and my heart only.” -Zaal ♦♦♦♦♦Reap was a great read that takes you on a rollercoaster of feeling, right along with the characters.♦♦♦♦♦ ***ARC kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***
Pure_Jonel More than 1 year ago
This novel was wildly vivid and intensely real. The plot is in your face throughout. The implications behind the premise are shocking and just plain frightening in the possibilities they open up. Cole’s descriptions create snapshots into the main characters and their lives. The characters are engaging. Their lives and actions create a raw & real feeling throughout the novel that really conveyed the intensity of the tale as a whole to me throughout. I’ll admit that I haven’t read the first novel in the series yet and it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of this one. That said, I’ll definitely be going back to read it as I enjoyed this one so much. I can’t stop thinking about the world that Cole has created. Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.
kgagnon More than 1 year ago
This second book in the Scarred Souls series is an exciting, gritty, sexy story that held me spellbound from the beginning. This story features Zaal, slave # 221, and Talia, a Russian Bratva Princess, in a Romeo and Juliet kind of story. Zaal, who has been a slave for 20 years is captured by Talia's brother Luka, and held in the basement of their country home where Talia is trying to vacation away from her family's business. She watches him for weeks and becomes enamored by this beautiful forbidden man. Talia tries to fight her growing feelings for Zaal but eventually finds herself risking everything to help him. This is also a continuation of Luka & Kisa's story and how they are fighting to live with the horrors of their past and find redemption. I had not read the first book in this series but this was so well written that I never felt lost. Ms Cole did a masterful job of weaving the excitement and turmoil of the underground Russian Mafia with a beautiful and sweet love story. I felt a genuine progression in each story-line thread. The pace was good and the action was exciting. I will definitely read more from this author! I received an Arc from the publisher that did not influence my honest review.
AmyBosica More than 1 year ago
“We found our own peace in our brutal world. And I wouldn’t change it for anything. This was my heaven. Zaal was everything. He owned me. Possessed me. Was soldered to me in every possible way.” This book….I don’t even know where to start. To say that this book consumed me, would be a complete and utter understatement. This is one of those books that you need to cancel all of your plans for, because once you start reading this, you are not going to want to do anything else. Reap is the second book in the Scarred Souls series and picks up where Raze left off. When we first met Talia we discovered that she is not only Kisa’s best friend, but she is also Luka’s sister. This is her story. Talia is tired of the Bravta life. She just wants a break from everything and goes away to the Hamptons in the hope of finding peace. However her peace doesn’t last long. See, Talia’s brother Luka, made a promise to his friend 362, when he died. He promised that he would save 362’s brother-221 and avenge 362’s death. That’s where Zaal comes into play. Zaal is 221. The only life he has known is of a drugged killer. He is an intense, stop at nothing, killing machine until Luka rescues him. Zaal is then brought to where Talia is staying in the Hamptons. The hope is that once all the drugs wear off, Zaal can be saved. Talia is at first furious because no matter how hard she tries to escape the Bravta lifestyle, there really is no escaping and once she meets 221/Zaal, all bets are off. Zaal’s tortured soul calls to her. She wants to help him. She wants to save him. Only time will tell if 221 can be saved…. I have to say that I absolutely loved this book. It’s dark. It’s gritty. It is so intense. It takes you on a journey that you don’t expect and it is one that you will never forget. This story is so well-written. I was pulled in from the very beginning. From the moment I tasted 221’s point of view, I knew I had to know more. I had to find out his story and if his scarred soul could be saved. One of the things that I loved most about Reap was the multiple points of view throughout the story. Now sometimes more than 2 points of view can be a miss for me, I get confused or don’t really care for the other pov’s. This was not the case with Reap. In Reap,not only did we get Talia and Zaal’s point of view, but we also got Kisa and Luka’s points of view and I have to say, those extra two points of view really added to the story. It connected so many dots and made so many things make more sense. And as a fan of the first book, I definitely won’t complain about more time with Kisa and Luka. The characters were fantastic! Talia was so strong and stubborn. I loved how she was with Zaal. She wanted to hate him so badly because of the histories of their families, but she just couldn’t do it. She couldn’t fight the draw that she had to him. She brought out the human side of Zaal and gave him a reason to fight the poison that was not only flowing through his veins, but also clouded his mind. And Zaal…he was such a tortured soul. He endured things that no one should have to. He was so lost and broken. I didn’t know if he would ever see light, but Talia made that possible. And as the story went on, I couldn’t help but fall for these two characters. “You are….for me. No other male. Just me. And me…for you. This is my, ‘I love you.’ These are my words from my scarred soul. They are not borrowed words, but words from my full heart, and my heart only.” Those four simple words,
Bouscher99 More than 1 year ago
I think this is one of the most emotional books I’ve ever read! The author does an amazing job at pulling you into the story!! While this is Talia’s story, it’s also a continuation of the series and Luka’s story so be sure you read Raze first. Talia needs a break. She feels lost and overwhelmed in her Bratva world so she decides to take a couple months to herself to get a much needed breather. She struggles with the thought that she’ll never find someone to just love her for her. Meanwhile, Luka is finally getting closer to bringing his promise to 362 to fruition but in the process, he ends up barging into Talia’s vacation. He brings 221, aka Zaal, to the Hamptons house where Talia is staying. She’s immediately obsessed with his broken, sad eyes and as time goes by, she can’t stop thinking about him, or stay away from him. As Zaal starts to come around, he’s leery of Talia’s care and attention because he’s never had it before. He feels a very strong need for her but doesn’t understand it and while he’s hopeful, he’s also fearful that she’ll be taken from him as punishment. “You are…for me?” He’s a huge warrior that is like a child in some ways. My heart aches for Zaal and I think I cried through half this story! You feel and completely understand what Zaal feels and at times, it’ll break your heart. The relationship that he develops with Talia is absolutely beautiful but as with everything else in the Bratva, nothing comes without a fight. ARC provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
CathyGeha More than 1 year ago
Powerful, gritty, intense writing that I was unable to put down - Reap caught my interest from page one and never let me go. Talia and Zaal are a bit like Romeo and Juliet crossed with Beauty and the Beast and so much better than either. This is an adult love story of bondage, strength, fortitude and loss that grows into one that encompasses release, freedom, self-discovery and a love that is soul deep and unbreakable. The male and female characters were complex, well defined and worth rooting for. I loved the way the relationship between Talia and Zaal developed and how Zaal’s backstory was presented. I would not change anything about this book. I have not read the first book in this series but look forward to doing so AND to reading whatever comes next. Thank you to NetGalley and Saint Martin’s Press for the copy of this book to read and review.