Author: Tillie Cole
Age group: Mature new adult
Genre: Dark contemporary romance
Release date: 30th December 2014
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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.
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.
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.
Having been born and raised as a Teesside Smoggie, Tillie, at age nineteen, moved forty miles north to the 'Toon', Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, where she attended Newcastle University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts honours degree in Religious Studies. She returned two years later to complete a Post-Graduate Certificate in Teaching High School Social Studies. Tillie, regards Newcastle to be a home from home and enjoyed the Newcastle Geordie way of life for seven 'proper mint' and 'lush' years.
One summers day, after finishing reading her thousandth book on her much loved and treasured Kindle, Tillie turned to her husband and declared, "D'you know, I have a great idea for a story. I could write a book." Several months later, after repeating the same tired line at the close of another completed story, she was scolded by her husband to shut up talking about writing a novel and "just bloody do it!" For the first time in eleven years, Tillie actually took his advice (he is still trying to get over the shock) and immediately set off on a crazy journey, delving deep into her fertile imagination.
Tillie, ever since, has written from the heart. She combines her passion for anything camp and glittery with her love of humour and dark brooding men (most often muscled and tattooed – they’re her weakness!). She also has a serious side (believe it or not!) and loves to immerse herself in the complex study of World Religions, History and Cultural Studies and creates fantasy stories that enable her to thread serious issues and topics into her writing -- yep, there's more to this girl than profanity and sparkles!
After six years of teaching high school Social Studies and following her Professional Rugby Player husband around Europe, they have finally given up their nomadic way of life and settled in Calgary, Alberta where Tillie spends most of her days (and many a late night) lost in a writing euphoria or pursuing a dazzling career as a barrel-racing, tasselled-chap wearing, Stetson-sporting cowgirl... Ye-haw!
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