Author: Tillie Cole
Publisher: St Martin’s Press
Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon
Type: Novel in Series
Provided by Publisher
Blurb: Is finding one’s true love worth committing the greatest sacrifice of all?
Taken as a teen, prisoner 194 was stripped of his name and free will, meticulously honed to be a ruthless machine. Even as he tries to fight his captors hold on him he knows that obedience is the only way to save his sister, who is the one person that keeps him from turning into a monster.
As a young girl Zoya Kostava barely escaped the brutal attack that killed her entire family. Now twenty-five she lives in secrecy. That is until she hears her brother also survived and is living with their greatest enemy.
Zoya risks her safety and anonymity to find the brother she thought dead and is captured by a beautiful, brutal man. A man who both captivates and scares her, in him she sees a soul as lost as her own.
They both have so much to lose will they be able to save each other…and survive.
Review: This book’s darkness was so revealing about the characters. In a Beauty and the Beast kind of way, Zoya and Valentin were drawn to each other. Neither had been graced with much more than death and destruction their entire lives, one living in protection while the other was treated in an inhumane, horrific way. Will Zoya be able to save Valentin, or will he destroy her? His training will determine the result.
When Zoya Kostava was captured by Valentin, she had no reality to base his treatment of her until she saw his face and the scars on his body. Anyone who had been treated like that would be dark down to their soul. But studying her captor gave her a view many others didn’t have. Why were his eyes blue when he was being kind, but turned black when he hurt her in terrible ways? And why did she sense compassion in his gaze?
Valentin has only known darkness and despair. Kidnapped from the orphanage by the Night Wraiths along with his baby sister, he was in thrall to them for both his life and to protect his sister Inessa. His Mistress, a sister to the man who owned the Blood Pits, had beaten and carved him so that his ugliness would keep him bound to her.
As her number one assassin, he’d been sent to retrieve the man who’d killed her brother. His plans changed when he saw Zoya. He recognized that she was a Kostava and realized that he could use her as a bargaining chip to get her brother Zaal. So he kidnaps her and sets out doing to her what had been done to him. Torture.
Zoya finds out that her brother’s still alive and that he’d killed the man who’d assassinated their family. Little did she know that by going to see her brother Zaal, at long last, she would be captured by an enemy she hadn’t known.
Great suspense with characters sure to grab your heart. This is the third in the series so I’m going to catch up. Thanks!