Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Riot by Tillie Cole - Review

Author: Tillie Cole
Publication Date:  7 March 2017
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Series:  Scarred Souls, book 4 (finale)
Genre:  Dark Romance
Age Recommendation: 18 and Up
Rating: 5 Stars
~ I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ~ 

Book Description:

They call me 901. I am a monster, a killer, a champion. In the blood pit I am a god. I have no name, no family, and no identity. When master says fight, I fight…until I am the only one left standing. I have one goal, to fight so well that I am freed. I don’t need friends, I don’t need women. They are weaknesses. I am strong.

Until I see her. She is gorgeous and kind and off-limits to me. She was stolen as a child to be the worst type of slave and now master wants her. What he wants, he gets. With a smile, she melts my brutal heart. I have never wanted anything more.

I need to make a choice. Freedom or Love. I cannot choose wrong.

My Review:

This is a bittersweet review for me for a few reasons. Mainly the fact that Tillie Cole's Scarred Souls series is the first Dark Romance series I ever picked up and fell in love with. Raze will always hold a special place in my heart and now Riot has sidled right up next to Raze as two of my favorite heroes ever.

There is beauty in the darkness that Tillie Cole has given us with this series and Riot surpassed what I have come to love about this series, it brought us full circle and out of the dark and into the light. It's brutal, bloody, tear jerking, and painful but it's also hope, passion, friendship and love.

With Riot we thrown into the same darkness that we have gotten with the previous three books but now we are getting an up close and personal look at the Gulag's, the fighting rings that each of our four heroes have broken away from and it's worse than I think we could have ever imagined. Not only are we seeing it from the heroes perspective but we are also seeing how females in the gulags have been treated and it is just as painful as knowing what the men went through, perhaps at times even more so. This is a dark romance so you have to know going in that while you may get that HEA we all crave at the end there is going to be a lot of pain and suffering in the process of getting there. If you have triggers to abuse and rape keep in mind that these two things are not hidden. These are issues that are heavily discussed and visualized and it makes the book what it is, it makes the lightness that comes out of the dark even more beautiful, but it is harsh and it can be hard to read so just keep that in mind before going in.

This is one of those series that if I talk about too much in detail I will take away from your experience so I am not going to do that and I am definitely not going to give anything away that could be a spoiler. The best thing I can tell you is that this story brings everything together. All the pieces fall into place and the battle we have watched coming arrives. The romance between the two main characters is scary, a bit angsty, painful, and (yes I know I keep coming back to this word) beautiful. It's a quiet light in the middle of the loud dark of the gulags. It is the antithesis to all the evil surrounding 901 and 152, it is, in it's darkness, virtuous.

Clearly, when it comes to this story, in fact this series I could wax poetic and if I could have I would have left you a review with one word alone.....BEAUTIFUL. I know you are tired of me using that word and if I had an editor going through my review right now they would have run out of red ink circling that word over and over but I think that what you need to know when you go into this story and this entire series is that despite the pain and tears that will occur with each book, each book ends with a beauty that will light you from within and Riot is the culmination of all the darkness being beaten back so that the beauty of life and love can shine through. It is the redemption of broken souls and the truth of love.

I would shout to every reader that this series is worthy of your time and devotion. These are not standalones, you need to read them from beginning to end and in order but you will never regret putting in the time. Just one last reminder that these are dark romances even though I use the word beautiful to describe them that beauty comes at a price so go in prepared. Grab yourself some tissue, a good strong drink of tea or vodka and settle in becuase once you start you aren't going to want to let go. I know how everything ends and I am still not ready to let go of this world and these characters. They will always be with me for their strength and love and I hope that when you are done you feel the same way.


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. She 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.

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