Review: Reap (Scarred Souls, #2), by Tillie Cole

Reap (Scarred Souls, #2)Reap by Tillie Cole
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Taboo And Sexy!

I love forbidden, taboo love stories and ‘Reap’ did not disappoint! Centered on the love story of Zaal and Talia, two lovers from rival Mafia families, there was plenty of angst and conflict to go around. Add in the fact that Zaal has spent the greater part of his life being drugged and forced to fight as a slave, and you have a gripping story.

Despite being a conditioned killer, Zaal had an extremely vulnerable side that I found endearing. With his Alpha-male protectiveness, I found him to be irresistibly as a main character. I came to think of him as a kind of gentle giant. He was tough as nails, but also sweet and tender with Talia.

Talia was also a fantastic character. She was strong-minded and kept things interesting with her rebellious antics. Tired of being under the thumb of her powerful Mafia family, she took every chance that she could to live for herself. At the same time, she was realistic about the world that she was born into.

The history between their two families is tragic and cannot be changed. Actions taken years before either of them were born continue to impact their present reality. When the nature of their relationship is brought to light, their love is put to the test.

I enjoyed every minute of this story. The characters were engaging and the story flows easily from where the first book left off, transitioning smoothly and tying up loose ends. The connection between Zaal and Talia was almost tangible it was so strong. I would have liked more of their story, but only because I’m greedy.

The sneak-peek into the next book in the series has me very excited as well. It will certainly be a game-changer for Zaal, in a good way. I am looking forward to reading it ASAP.

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Review: Crow (Boston Underworld, #1), by A. Zavarelli

Crow (Boston Underworld, #1)Crow by A. Zavarelli
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Recently, this series has been blowing up my feed. After seeing several glowing reviews from friends, I decided to see what all the fuss was about. I expected to be disappointed, but was I ever wrong! This book was terrific!

Mackenzie decides to infiltrate the Irish Mafia in an attempt to find her best friend, Talia. The two grew up on the streets together, and they’re the closest thing to family that either one of them has. When Talia goes missing after she begins working for the mob, Mackenzie knows that her disappearance is connected and she intends to bring justice to those responsible.

It doesn’t take any time for Mack to catch the eye of Lachlan Crow, a fast-rising leader among the Irish ranks. As she works to infiltrate his organization, he’s trying to figure out what her secrets are. He wants her, but he doesn’t trust her.

As things heated up, I wasn’t sure whether these two were going to be the death of each other. I love a little tension and suspense in a story and this one did not fail to deliver. Right up to the end, I was trying to piece everything together.

As far as this couple goes, I couldn’t have been happier! Lachlan was a strong, dangerous and dominant type. He was definitely a sexy character. Mack was also an incredibly strong character. I admired her as a heroine. She may have chosen to submit to Lachlan, but it wasn’t because she was weak. Together, they were scorching hot!

Several supporting characters were introduced in this story that are bound to have their own books later in the series. The author has done a wonderful job of building intrigue surrounding these characters, so that you want to jump right into their stories as well. I certainly plan to.

Overall, this was a fantastic choice. I immensely enjoyed this book! Even though it is part of a series, this book does offer closure and can easily be read as a standalone. It won’t leave you hanging.

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Review – Ghost, by A. Zavarelli

GHOST (Boston Underworld, #3)GHOST by A. Zavarelli
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ever since reading ‘Crow’, I’ve been curious about Alexei, the mysterious and reclusive Russian friend of Lachlan. It was evident that there was far more beneath the surface and I was dying to hear his story. Finally, we get his story in ‘Ghost’ and it does not disappoint. I devoured this book!

Talia is a far cry from the young woman she was when she went missing. Betrayed by her “boyfriend” Dmitri and sold into sexual slavery, she’s suffered unimaginable horrors. Her only goal is to find a way to end her own life, freeing her from the hell of her daily existence.

When Alexei is asked to find Mack’s best friend, Talia, he does far more than he’s asked to. Seeing her picture, he becomes enamored with the missing lady. He decides, before ever meeting her, that this is the woman he will marry. He’s agreed to find her, but he has no intention of ever letting her go. He plans to rescue her from one prison and thrust her straight into another.

Alexei arranges to take Talia from her owner, Arman, as collateral for a deal that Arman failed to deliver on. Neither man has any intention of letting her go, but Alexei finally has her in his possession. With the help of his loyal house staff, Alexei begins to nurse Talia back to health while setting plans in place to make his “ownership” of her permanent.

For the first time in her life, Talia is important to someone. She finds a mother-figure in Magda, the woman who raised Alexei and now oversees his household. She is cared for and treated well. Yet, she still longs for the type of love that Alexei says he will never give.

Coerced into a marriage of convenience, Talia realizes that she is, yet again, enslaved to a man. Alexei might be nicer than the men before him, but like the others, he’s using her. She knows that he will never love her.

Marrying her was Alexei’s way of preventing his own arranged marriage to Katya, the daughter of another high-ranking member of the Russian Mafia. Despite her persistence, Alexei has no intention of ever being married to the woman that betrayed him with his own brother. However, Katya is not planning to let him go without a fight.

From start to finish, I did not want to put this book down. I have loved every book in this series, but I think this one has been my favorite. Alexei and Talia were so broken and yet, so perfect together. I love dark, twisted stories and their story just called to me.

Make no mistake, this story is a dark one. This story addresses the topics of rape, physical and psychological abuse, etc. If you’re put-off by stories that contain darker themes like these, then ‘Ghost’ will not be for you.

On the other hand, if you love darker reads like I do, ‘Ghost’ is a phenomenal choice! I loved every minute of this disturbing story! It’s a new favorite of mine.

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