RELEASE REVIEW: Ravage by Tillie Cole



Taken by the Jakhua Clan as a teen, 194 was stripped of his name, his identity, and his freewill, meticulously honed to be a ruthless, soulless killing machine, trained solely to spill blood and stop hearts. This is a role he resents with every fiber of his being, but one he embraces to gain back the precious leverage the Georgians wield as their weapon of control: his younger sister, 152.

Mzia Kostava is in shock. After fleeing her mafia family’s massacre in Georgia as a child, Mzia lives in secret, hiding from her enemies in the dark shadows of Manhattan. At age twenty-five, believing all her family is dead, word reaches Mzia that her brother Zaal is very much alive… and living with their family’s greatest enemy: the Volkov Bratva in Brooklyn.

Yearning to be reunited with her beloved Zaal, Mzia risks her safety and anonymity for the brother she had mourned since childhood. But just as she reaches Zaal’s apartment, Mzia is seized and taken captive by a strange man, who is strong, dark, and brutal… Unyielding, he demands her utter obedience as he locks her away in darkness. He is highly skilled in torture and inflicting pain, and demands to know everything about her brother Zaal and everything about her. He is a man that’ll do anything to get what he wants.

Sometimes love requires the sacrifice and betrayal of those held most dear. But is finding one’s true love worth committing the greatest sacrifice of all?

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Tillie Cole’s Scarred Souls series illustrates the transition of a boy to a controlled monster to a deeply tortured, scarred man all due to the depravity of sadistic bastards intent on stripping boys and girls of their humanity and designing them to do their masters’ bidding in terms of death, destruction, and sexual manipulation.

In Raze, Cole brought a man back from the dead – someone who was forced to live in the pits of Hell and fight his way out of it in order to reclaim his place as a prince in the Russian Mafia. In Reap, 221 is more killing machine than man and in order for him to reclaim his life, he must work to suppress his primitive instincts and his thirst for blood and death, which can only occur by bringing in the light.

In Ravage, 194 is programmed to be an unfeeling assassin who has more to lose than Cole’s previous two heroes because 194 is not only looking out for himself but he is controlled due to 152 and his need to protect her as much as he can in a place where humanity and kindness cannot be found. 

Every move 194 makes…every hit he follows through…every heinous act he commits is brought forth by his Mistress and he does her bidding because his life…his mind…his body is not his own. The drugs in his collar as well as his rage and disfiguration drives his hatred, his bloodlust, and his vicious nature; he’s been trained to switch off his emotions and carry through his missions with perfection or else he loses the one person who he would die for…who he would kill for…who he fights to remember through his drug filled haze.

For much of the story, 194 is anything but a hero. He’s full of rage and that feeling drives him in all actions, even when he’s not fully drugged, and even though his hatred is misplaced; he can’t help but loathe all those in his path to protect his sister and to hopefully, at some point, exact his revenge on his mistress – the bitch who has turned him into a monster, both in appearance and actions. But Zoya as well as readers, slowly understand the man beneath the scars, muscles, and tattoos because Tillie Cole allows us that insight in small ways throughout the course of 194’s story, but nothing show his transition more than when his true name is revealed and Zoya learns to separate Valentin’s voice and the monster who’s created when the drug is pushed in through his collar. 

Zoya is an intriguing heroine because her innocence allows her to clearly understand her situation once she’s taken and then her strength allows her to endure her mistreatment at the hands of a man who has no control over his actions. She is a true Georgian warrior who refuses to accept things at face value, especially when it comes to 194 because she sees behind his blue eyes and even more so when they turn black. Zoya has scars of her own, more mental than physical, but they still hold power over her because her pain runs deep, which bonds the captive and  capturer, bringing a bit of light in the dark abyss 194 takes Zoya down.

Each hero in Tillie Cole’s Scarred Souls series finds his perfect heroine – the one who fights for him and refuses to give up regardless of what must be confronted. Valentin, Zaal, and Luka have all had to pull themselves out of the blood pit, both mentally and physically, which definitely takes time, patience, and resilience to not give into the part of themselves that burns with rage and wants to ravage, but that impossible feat can occur as long as there is at least one person fighting on their side, despite the past…despite the darkness…despite the pain.

A complimentary copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

4.5 Poison Apples

About 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 with a BA Hons in Religious Studies, 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 before putting pen to paper, and finishing her first novel.
Tillie has now settled in Austin, Texas, where she is finally able to sit down and write, throwing herself into fantasy worlds and the fabulous minds of her characters.
Tillie is both an independent and traditionally published author, and writes many genres including: Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels
When she is not writing, Tillie enjoys nothing more than curling up on her couch watching movies, drinking far too much coffee, while convincing herself that she really doesn’t need that extra square of chocolate.

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