Amazon • Narrator: Amelie Griffin, Guy Locke
TO TAKE BACK LIFE, ONE MUST FIRST FACE DEATH...Conditioned in captivity to maim, to kill and to slaughter, prisoner 818 becomes an unrivaled and unstoppable fighter in the ring. Violence is all he knows. 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 wronged him. Kisa Volkova is the only daughter of Kirill 'The Silencer' Volkov, head of the infamous 'Red' 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. 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. But Kisa becomes obsessed with him. Yearns for him. Craves his touch. Needs to possess this mysterious man... ... this man they call Raze.
I didn’t like this story because it was TOO DARK and too brutal for me. I wanted a mafia love story, but I got mostly violence with a little love at the end. I was cringing a lot. The treatment and acceptance of abuse towards the female members in this Particular Bratva was too disturbing. Lots of misogyny and violence–nothing sexy here.
I also didn’t enjoy the writing. There wasn’t good character development nor growth. Other than Luca, things just kind of happen because it was the way things are. Kisa was the most disappointing as she vacillating between fearing her fiancee, accepting her fate as the Bratva princess and wanting to soothing him. The Bratva, a family that prides itself of honor, loyalty and violence, failed to even protect their own Kisa and Luca.
There was too much sex especially violent sex, which I viewed as sex of dubious consent. I had a hard time liking the heroine because of her rationale regarding her boyfriend Alec’s treatment of her. The fact that it seemed that most of the Bratva had an inkling of what Kisa endured was hard to listen to and I don’t think I can handle another story in this series. The few instances of love towards the end couldn’t erase the road here so I have to add: proceed with caution if you have triggers regarding violent sex.