Monday, December 29, 2014

Blog Tour: Raze by Tillie Cole: Review, Excerpt and Giveaway


Title: Raze
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.

Every new book Tillie Cole releases is a thrilling ride. I am never sure what exactly will I get; Tillie can so wonderfully mix sweet with dark and you just never know if it will be sweet and charming swoony story or gritty and heartbreaking ride. With Raze the situation seemed simple, I excepted dark, I knew it would be dark and controversial. And boy did I get it.

Kisa and Raze’s story is no fairytale. It’s more of a twisted nightmare. I If you cannot handle freaky stuff it may give you a serious heart attack. This book is full of revenge, lust, hate and love.

Kisa is mafia princess. She’s stuck in a gruesome world of blood and power play. Being the daughter of Russian mafia’s king is brutal. She has to act in certain way and do things that she doesn’t want to do. Which includes being engaged to Alik. And Alik is horrible human being… Kisa’s strong character and I loved her. I was impressed with her ability to carry so much weight on her shoulders. Her life was rough.

Then there is Raze. He’s mostly known as a 818. A fighter. He was a slave. As just a boy he started fighting for his life and learning how to kill only to survive….

I killed because I had to. I had no other choice. I was already dead, no more than a number; stripped of morals, stripped of freedom and stripped of life. I was an animal conditioned to inflict pain without remorse. And you cannot kill someone who has no soul.

Sometimes I read books that make me silent; I just have no idea how to put in words how intense and moving the experience was. I don’t want to slip and write something that will destroy the book for others. So it’s mostly best of I keep my mouth shut; there are books that just have to be read without any additional knowledge and Raze is one of them. So I won’t be telling you more about the plot.

This book is just so…. Gruesome and heart shattering and nothing like the rest I’ve ever read. It’s unique. Shocking. Painful. This story captivated me, shocked me, made me bite my nails, scream and cry. So yes you can say that once again I am mind blown by Tillie Cole’s ability to create.

ARC kindly provided by Tillie Cole in exchange for an honest review.


His heart beat like a drum—fast and hard and loud.

His breath blew strong like a windstorm, his chest contracting with his harsh pants.
Fear seeped from his bones, from every cell of his being, his hands shaking like a leaf and sweat dropped from his hot skin.

"Welcome to hell, boy."'

These four words greeted Boy as he was brutally propelled into a dank basement by a hugely built guard. Everywhere was black; the blackest of black. The guards wore black, the walls of the truck that had brought him here was black, the sky outside was black and the windowless room they now stood in, black. The stagnant air was humid and thick, the temperature in the room, scalding. The stench of slick grease, sweat, and something more putrid burned Boy's nostrils making him retch and his feet stuck to the sticky, grimy ground. 

Hell, Boy thought, considering the guard’s words. It was a living breathing hell.
Then the guard pushed him again, this time down a steep, slippery staircase, dull lights sunken into the walls. The high brick walls were a browning-yellowing color and ancient fans whined in the background vainly attempting to cool the too-hot air. Overhead pipes steadily dripped raw sewage on the concrete floor and rats and other vermin swarmed around his feet.
The place was a shithole. 

Once again, a heavy hand pushed Boy's back, thrusting him down a narrow hallway. With every step, Boy could hear his breath echo louder in his ears. With every step, he could feel his pounding heart slam harder in his chest at an almost bruising rate. And with every step, he could hear more and more loudly a raucous cacophony coming from straight ahead, just beyond a thick-looking iron door. People were screaming and jeering, accompanied by the unmistakable sound of metal clanging against metal.

Boy’s eyes were wide as he stared at the door, his nostrils flaring with terror. Nothing in this place screamed ‘safe’; in fact, with every new turn all he felt was pure terror.
The guard reached around Boy; loudly and slowly he knocked twice on the iron door, each knock thudding through his chest like a canon. Locks unbolted, keys jingled, and finally, the iron door cracked open.

Boy's eyes widened in disbelief as he drank in the scene. Grown men were everywhere in the overcrowded room. There wasn’t a spare inch free, sweaty bodies pushing and shoving one another from thick wall to thick wall. The men were drinking vodka, exchanging money, hands waving in excitement as they all faced straight ahead, their focus set on something just ahead.
"Move, boy," the guard ordered. Boy dragged his feet, reluctant to step across the threshold into “hell.” But he couldn’t move. He was frozen to the spot, his legs shaking and a dizziness spun in his head.

Gripping the scruff of Boy's neck, the guard tightened his hold, making Boy wince as he was steered aggressively through the baying crowd. Grown men stopped and sized up Boy, some in approval, most in dismissal. They all became a blur to Boy, the sight and smells too much for him to process.
Boy felt faint. His lungs burned with the velocity of his short breaths. Boy's fingers shook in sympathy with his fear, but he shook his head, cleared his fearful thoughts like his father had taught him to do and he managed to keep his head held high, meeting the owner of each curious stare right in the eye.

As the crowd slowly parted, Boy startled at the scene in front of him—a huge floor-to-ceiling square steel cage, the tops wrapped with sharp razor wire, with flashes of movement coming from within. Pained grunts and spurts of blood escaped the cage, splattering his gray-uniformed chest and bare face. This time no breath came from his lungs at all. He was frozen; frozen on the spot with shock, the tinny scent of blood invading his nose. 

Boy couldn’t believe his eyes. Could not digest the sight that greeted him: pain, cut flesh, cries, blood… so much pain and blood.

Suddenly, a wash of putrid breath blew past his ear. Boy flinched as he inhaled the sickening stench of stale food and acrid tobacco smoke.

"Drink it in, boy. That will be you in the cage before too long."
Boy held his breath until his chest could take no more. He exhaled sharply, resisting the urge to cough or cry out. 

Boy had been taught from a very young age never to show emotion. His father would punish him if he dared complain, never mind cry. He refused to start here and now. Boy resolved to remain composed, lugubrious, and stoic… anything he had to be to get through this… this, whatever the hell it was.

A loud rip sounded from the cage, the sound slicing down his back and bringing vomit to his mouth. As a huge spectator abruptly moved out of the way smiling in celebration, everything became clear. The fighters in the cage were kids… boys who looked no older than himself.

And they were fighting… to the death…


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.


The giveaway is for $100 Amazon gift card, plus a signed paperback of Raze and swag. This is open internationally.


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