Review: Deep Redemption by Tillie Cole

Review: Deep Redemption by Tillie ColeDeep Redemption by Tillie Cole
Published by Tillie Cole July 12th, 2016
Genres: Dark, Dark Romance
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also in this series: Souls Unfractured
Also by this author: Souls Unfractured

ONLY THROUGH BLOOD CAN THE DEEPEST REDEMPTION BE FOUND…

He was born to ascend.
He was destined to lead.
He was never meant to fail.

Prophet Cain lies broken and defeated on the floor of his cell. A cell he has been thrown into by the one person who was supposed to stand by his side until the end. His flesh and blood, his only companion. His beloved twin brother.
Cain has sacrificed everything for his people. He left the safety and security of his life of study to infiltrate the infamous Hades Hangmen. He lived with them, rode with them, and then betrayed them. All in the name of a faith he can now feel slipping away from him. Like everything else he once held dear…

But then his isolation is broken. Another prisoner is brought to the cell next to his. A woman fighting her own demons and fears. A woman who Cain understands needs him, as he needs her.

As the connection between them grows, so does Cain’s resolve. He will right the wrongs he has done. He will atone for the evil acts carried out in his name. He will save the one he loves…
… Even if the battle takes him to the gates of hell itself.

ALL HAIL THE PROPHET! 

What the fuck did I just read?! Like did all of that really happen?! Did my eyes just digest all the words Tillie spilt on these pages, pages that I adore might I add. (No surprise there I am sure!) Now at that the risk of sounding like a broken record I am going to say Deep Redemption was one of my most anticipated reads of the year, let’s be real here, all of TC’s books rank high on my list but this one even more so as book three in the Hades Hangmen Series ,Unfractured Souls, left a big gaping hole in my heart! *cue the dramatics*

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We all know the ending of that and I will refrain from elaborating for anyone who hasn’t yet read this MC series or maybe just hasn’t yet read book 3.  I’m not sure I would call it a cliffhanger but it definitely left a lot of doors open for speculation.

So how did I really feel… Confused, infuriated, happy, REALLY HAPPY, REALLY SAD, and then complete, basically I felt all of it.  Which is expected of course but still my emotions could not control themselves with this book, they raged and literally made me lose my mind.  So many revelations for so many characters, so much growth and set backs in said characters.  All the complexities are what make this series one of my all time faves!

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Now remember all those emotions from above, well I’m going to try and base my review off of those to keep this as SPOILER FREE as possible. Here we go in order:

  1. Confused- I know I’m supposed to hate Rider/ Cain but I didn’t I mean I finally understood him and it helped me to see him in a different perspective. Granted its not like I hated him to begin with but I was mad at him. Bottom line I love him, not in the way I love Styx but he repented in a way I couldn’t imagine him doing if he wasn’t truly sorry or remorseful.
  2. Infuriated- I will forever HATE Judah, I mean all caps shouting and shit hate him! Fuck him! Sadistic-pedophile prick and that little whore Sarai, no just no, I mean since Souls Unfractured I’ve wanted to gut that little cult freak my damn self.  This covers nothing of the infuriation I feel but know there’s more reason but remember I’m trying to stay spoiler free and shit.
  3. Happy- Finally things were changing paths and I loved it, there was a little weight lifted from my heart for these characters. Enter Harmony, God I love her with something fierce.  I truly believe she is Rider/Cain’s redemption.  But more than that she brought a fresh view she was strong and held her ground (not that I didn’t love the others, cause Mae is my best friend) she fought so hard that she demanded her respect but not just for herself she stood for Rider when no one else would.
  4. REALLY SAD- Sad fucking piercing ugly girl crying sad. Just unleashed no fucking way hurt all the way down to my soul and then back up again sad. I wish I could say exactly what made me sad and basically vomit in my own mouth.  Only two other books have soiled me from the inside like that creating rage then seeping into sadness for the unfairness of the situation.
  5. Complete- Now a lot happened from my above sad but this is thing, all the things, I never finish a book from Tillie and think I wish there were more or this feels unresolved. I feel whole like all the small details are there and every conflict has reached a resolution, well all the ones that needed to be resolved at least until the next book. Like all the trials I have been put through by the hands of TC have all been part of a bigger picture a puzzle piece locking into place.

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After reading through this I’ve realized this is over 600 words of me just just ranting and I sort of apologize for that but I mean really this puts us four books in now so if you are already a Hangmen fan you get the gist.  If you are completely new to this series hopefully my emotions will want to help provoke some of your own, and I would highly recommend it seeing as the first four books are .99 each! 

It Ain’t Me, Babe – Amazon US: http://amzn.to/29T14Ce

Heart Recaptured- Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2alcNrv

Souls Unfractured – Amazon US: http://amzn.to/29T06pV


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Review: Reap by Tillie Cole

Review: Reap by Tillie ColeReap (Scarred Souls, #2) by Tillie Cole
Published by St. Martin's Griffin November 10th 2015
Genres: Dark, Dark Romance, Fiction
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also by this author: Souls Unfractured
Goodreads

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...

INSTANTLY after finishing this book all I wanted to do was start it again, but that’s the effect of Tillie Cole, her words make you needy and ache for more until you are left helplessly full in a world this woman has created with characters you know better than yourself.

REAP is the second in a 4 book series and being this is book 2, the series is already half way done and I am mourning the end before it has even come. We were first introduced into this Russian family in book 1 titled RAZE and I along with the rest of the world did not know there would be more after the conclusion of Luka and Kisa’s soul matching love, but there was…

This is a forbidden love story a little different from the norm, considering Talia belongs to a Russian Bratva family and her love interest as she learns is none other than the enemy she’s been taught to hate her whole life. Okay so maybe not so different, but the love these two begin to foster is completely soul-shattering and in their case life altering. But how deep does that hate run and can one forget the damage thats been done, and can the other get past what still lies ahead to be learned?

“He wasn’t mine to have. He couldn’t be. It was a stupid naive obsession.”

One of the things that I absolutely loved about this book is that there are 3 POV’s… Talia, Zaal, and Raze all narrated and usually I am opposed to “too many” POV’s for the simple fact that it’s annoying and can be distracting, but it felt actually crucial in this book. I needed to experience Luka’s chapters almost if not more than I needed the others, his struggle to become the man he was expected to be played heavily into Talia and Zaal’s storyline and created a balance.

With all of that covered… I loved both Talia and Zaal’s characters, Tillie has this gift of crafting amazing characters in a nutshell nurturing heroines and need to be tamed heroes. But I can never say this enough her characters never waiver in their essence of who they are and we see the growth when need be. The connection was not immediate in this book but it was gradual and once it happened it was like a hammer to my heart, the space these two shared was completely beautiful and all-consuming. But the reality of their situation was also very sad and draining. Talia was looking for an escape only to be brought further into a life she was looking to hide from if only for a short while and Zaal literally had no sense of life or even basic knowledge of where he came from all he knew was that he had a master and he was to be obeyed.

“My stomach knotted so hard I thought I’d never breathe again, the crack in my soul so great I thought it would never heal.”

Lastly I want to address all that is ZAAL Kostava, this man has stolen all of me! He is the epitome of broken even though it is almost hard to believe when you take into account his physical form but oh my, my heart kept falling for him and then the final drop just shattered it.

He knew nothing more than the fate he served as a slave to a Georgian leader and the killer he was bred in to. He was experimented on since being only a mere child stripping him of any memories or human life he ever had. Watching Talia care for him the way she did knowing his capabilities and the threat he could be only made me love her more. Ugh I need this man to be REAL!

I would say throughout reading I had an inkling of the next book and the direction things were heading, so even though it was a little predictable it was completely shocking when a turn of events arised. All in all I loved this book and the journey it took me on, ZAAL Kostava, “You are for me?”

#REAPWHATYOUSOW

 

About Tillie Cole

After years of teaching high school Social Studies and following her Professional Rugby Player husband around Europe, they have settled in Calgary, Alberta where Tillie spends most of her days (and many a late night) lost in a writing euphoria or in her dream of pursuing a dazzling career as a barrel-racing, tasselled-chap, Stetson-wearing cowgirl… Ye-haw!
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 mother — a farmer’s daughter, her crazy Scottish father, a savagely sarcastic sister and a multitude of rescue animals and horses.

Being a scary blend of Scottish and English, Tillie embraces both cultures; her English heritage through her love of HP sauce and freshly made Yorkshire Puddings, and her Scottish, which is mostly demonstrated by her frighteningly foul-mouthed episodes of pure rage and her much loved dirty jokes.


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Review: The Goodbye Man by Ashleigh Giannoccaro & Mary E. Palmerin

Review: The Goodbye Man by Ashleigh Giannoccaro & Mary E. PalmerinThe Goodbye Man August 7, 2015
Genres: Dark
Pages: 280
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon US
Goodreads

Dysfunctional empires were made to fall.

I am Caesar. Broken and conflicted. I am a man who gives false goodness to those who crave it. I provide solace to the ones who beg to be saved, giving them the goodbyes they want. But, my quiet little world is about to be shattered by the whispers from heaven and hell.

I am Mateo. Unlovable and unworthy. I am the boy everyone runs from. I keep love close to me in little jars of perfection, reminding me of a thousand goodbyes I never had to say, because I left them before they could leave me.

I am Svetlana. Dirty and Used. Birthed into brutality while still trying to comprehend my version of normal. I am an injured lamb, eaten by filthy wolves day after day. Just as salvation seems like it's within reach, a goodbye from this awful world is all that I wish for.

**Graphic content warning including detailed depiction of brutal, bloody acts. Physical and emotional abuse is also apparent throughout this book with graphic sex scenes, both consensual and non-sensual. Reader discretion is highly advised. Not suitable for readers under the age of eighteen or those who are easily offended by the above mentioned acts.**

Two abused prostitutes, an organ harvester, a necrophiliac and a junkie pimp… Sounds like the start of a bad joke. It’s really the main characters of the most fucked up book I’ve ever read. Ever.
 
I am not the worst thing that can happen to you, but I will be the last.
 
Svetlana was born to a pimp and hooker. She’s never known a life outside of being abused and used by her junkie father. He sells her for his own addiction. She wishes to die. She wishes to be loved. Her mind is just as, if not more, broken than her body. She doesn’t see herself as anything other than a vessel for abuse and rape. She believes that is what she was born for.
 
Others are created for love. Me, I was made for hate.
 
There is a point where Svetlana’s entire world changes. A point where Ceasar and Mateo come into play. They change some things about her existence for the better, others … not so much.  Because Ceasar and Mateo are not sane and good individuals either. They live in the shadow’s of the world’s underbelly.  They do unspeakable things to people who they hope won’t be missed.  They save poor souls, they give life, but they do it with horrific acts.
 
I need her to be ready to give up. I want her to want to say goodbye, as it’s so much more satisfying when they have no will to live.
 
Ceasar and Mateo both come to love Svetlana. And she them.  But these people don’t know how to love. They know fucked up feelings that they don’t understand and they confuse for love.
 
Hell, sweet angel. You are in hell. Welcome, we all fit in so well here.
 
There is not a single good person in this book. Svetlana comes the closest, but it would take this girl years and years of therapy to truly get there. The Goodbye Man is a tale of the cruelest people, living in the darkest shadows and yet somehow surviving and grasping for the chance at love and acceptance.
 
The Goodbye Man is written in a way that makes it very easy to get inside of the head of these characters. Which is equally thrilling and disturbing. My only real complaint is that it was, at times, too repetitive.  The point was made and then made again and it lead me to skim at a couple of points. Beyond that, this is a fairly well written, completely disturbing, dark ass read that will probably stick with me for a while.

 

Miss Ali - Transparent

 


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Review: Echo by E.K. Blair

Review: Echo by E.K. BlairEcho by E.K. Blair
Series: Black Lotus #2
May 11, 2015
Genres: Dark Romance, Dark, Erotica
Pages: 335
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Also in this series: Hush
Also by this author: Hush
Amazon US
Goodreads

It's been said the longest echo ever measured lasted 75 seconds, but I can assure you, this will last much longer. The bang deafened the world around me, muting everything into nullity, allowing the reflection of its destruction to live far beyond its intended life.

It will follow me forever, destroying me—destroying you.

You want answers?

So do I.

I don’t think there was any other book I had been anticipating more this year, than Echo.  Bang was a book that stuck with me for so long. Maybe due to how dark and disturbing it was, maybe because the characters were so deeply, horrifically flawed. I’m not really sure, but it lingered. To say I was excited to start Echo, would be greatly underappreciating my feelings.
 
Echo will not be an easy book to review and keep it spoiler free not only for those who have yet to read it, but also those who have yet to read Bang. I’ll do my best to convey my feelings without giving away too much of the integral plot.

 

 

Nina, or Elizabeth as we’ve come to know her…is in a tailspin. A hurricane of emotions from losing everything.  Not that she ever really had a tight grip on much in life, but now she finds herself utterly alone.  Depressed, heartbroken, scared, angry and wasted – she leaves the life she’s had with no sense of purpose or direction. Just a longing to be near a dream she never believes she can reach.
 
The journey ends up bringing her face to face with the past. A past she thought was lost forever. A person she desperately wants forgiveness from. A person dead set on never giving it to her. I can’t blame this man for his feelings, I can’t blame him for most of his actions.  Some are just, some are totally cruel and some make him as equally evil and unforgivable as she is.

 

 

I can see how some readers will hate Blair for one scene in particular. It was a bitter pill to swallow.  It broke my heart. But most everything in this book broke my heart, so this felt in keeping with the theme.  These characters are brutal in their need for revenge and for pain.  Yet, they are also beautiful in the way they love unequivocally.  Despite everything they do to each other…underneath it all, it’s fueled by the love they can’t deny for each other.  They hate with such passion because they love with it as well. 
 
Echo does not have the same feel that Bang did.  It’s definitely still very dark. However, it’s much less conniving and twisted and so much more mental and emotional.  It’s not about gaining justice and revenge, it’s about healing once you are on the other side of that and facing the monster that revenge turned you into.

 

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I spent more time with tears streaming down my face while reading Echo,  than not.  That’s not a lie.  I could not help be shattered by the utter despair this book emoted.
 
After reading Echo, I realized just how underrated Blair is as an author.  Flipping through my notes, I noticed more highlighted quotes in this book than I have had for any book in such a long time.  Her words are gorgeous, even when they are completely disturbing.  She’s an extremely talented writer with a brain that scares the ever loving shit out of me.  The places she has taken this story are terrifying and I’d hate to see what inspired her. Whatever it was though, I’m thankful for it. The Black Lotus series has proven to give me more feels than I ever expected.
 Miss Ali - Transparent

About E.K. Blair

New York Times, USA Today, and International bestselling author, E.K. Blair, takes her readers on an emotional roller coaster with her books. A former first grade teacher with an imagination that runs wild. Daydreaming and zoning out is how she was often found in high school. Blair tends to drift towards everything dark and moody and has been noted as ‘The Queen of Dark and Twisted’. Give her a character and she will take pleasure in breaking them down, digging into their core to find what lies underneath.

Aside from writing, E.K. Blair finds pleasure in music, drinking her Starbucks in peace, and spending time with her friends. She’s a thinker, an artist, a wife, a mom, and everything in between.


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