Author: Pepper Winters
Genre: Erotica, BDSM, Dark Contemporary Romance
Barnes and Noble
A New Adult Dark Contemporary Romance, not suitable for people sensitive to grief, slavery, and nonconsensual sex. A story about finding love in the strangest of places, a will of iron that grows from necessity, and forgiveness that may not be enough.
“My life was complete. Happy, content, everything neat and perfect.
Then it all changed.
I was sold.”
Tess Snow has everything she ever wanted: one more semester before a career in property development, a loving boyfriend, and a future dazzling bright with possibility.
For their two year anniversary, Brax surprises Tess with a romantic trip to Mexico. Sandy beaches, delicious cocktails, and soul-connecting sex set the mood for a wonderful holiday. With a full heart, and looking forward to a passion filled week, Tess is on top of the world.
But lusty paradise is shattered.
Kidnapped. Drugged. Stolen. Tess is forced into a world full of darkness and terror.
Captive and alone with no savior, no lover, no faith, no future, Tess evolves from terrified girl to fierce fighter. But no matter her strength, it can’t save her from the horror of being sold.
Can Brax find Tess before she’s broken and ruined, or will Tess’s new owner change her life forever?
Tears of Tess by Pepper Winters
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"Monsters find each other in the dark."
"You may not be mine, but I'm fast becoming yours."
For me, this is one of those books. You know what I'm talking about. One of the books that you have a love/hate relationship with. You love it so hard when you're reading it, and then you hate it so much when it is over. It's one of those kind of books that make you take a deep breath when you turn the last page, and then you can't bring yourself to pick up another book for several days. Because that's how affected you were. You can't bring yourself to start a new book because then you have to admit that this book is really over. And starting a new book means you will be drawn into a new world, and new characters, and a new plot, and you just. don't. want. that. yet. I wanted to stay in the world of Q and Tess for as long as I possibly could, and even though I've been finished reading this book for nearly two days, I still can't make myself start the next book on my TBR list. Real talk: this is one of the best books I have EVER read. It's by far my favorite of this year, but it is going to have a long standing place as one of my most favorite books ever.
Now that I've gotten that out of my system, let's talk about the book. Don't pick this book up if you are looking for one of those "feel good," happily ever after romance novels. If you stumble onto this book not knowing what to expect, you're gonna get the shock of your life! This is a dark, twisted, edgy, taboo type of romance story, and instead of love letters and chocolates, you get whips and punches to the face. This story sinks into the lower levels of hell and deals with kidnapping, human trafficking, sex slaves, rape, hard-core BDSM, and ...... gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, all-consuming, ugly, love.
Tears of Tess is about a young college student named Tess who is finishing up her last year of college. Her perfectly adorable boyfriend, Brax, decides to surprise her with a romantic getaway vacation to Mexico as a reward for all of her hard work. Brax and Tess have been together for years, and offer each other constant emotional support and reassurance, but Tess feels like something is missing. Brax is the very definition of "vanilla" in every sense of the word, and Tess craves something more. Something darker and more twisted. She no longer desires someone who makes her feel warm and coddled and safe. She longs for someone to dominate her, torture her, ravish her. Brax is horrified by everything that turns Tess on, so Tess resigns herself to an unfulfilled and stagnant life. Then everything changes. On a day trip through the Mexican village where they are staying, Tess is kidnapped by human traffickers. She now has only one identity: sex slave. Then she is sold to her new master and transported to France. That is where she meets Q. The question is, how can Tess live with herself when she hates so much the cruel man that she calls Master, but yet he brings her to life and gives her every thing that she has ever yearned for and craved?
I have to admit that I hated Q for most of the book. I kept reading reviews and comments from readers saying how much they loved him, and were in love with him, and *sigh* he's so perfect, and I just kept thinking are you kidding me? He's a monster. He's cruel, and cold, and sadistic, and just flat out evil. And then I reached a certain point in the book when I felt a shift. A tiny change in how I perceived Q. A tiny change in how Tess felt about Q. And then piece by piece the curtain fell away, and the puzzle of Q was revealed. I still struggle with love/hate feelings for him - because there is no doubt that he has a lot of dark, dark demons - but at least now I understand him. And so does Tess, and that's enough for me.
I loved the dynamic between Tess and Q. The sex scenes were unbelievable intense and scorchingly hot, but some of my favorite scenes were when they were just talking, or just together. I loved the few glimpses we got of Quincy, but I also loved the dominating side of Q. Tess was great the entire book. I loved the journey that she took from a weak willed girl ready to settle for a mediocre life, to the fierce, strong woman that was willing to fight for the exquisite life she knows she deserves. Much love and praise to Pepper Winters for amazing characterization and development. I loved these two characters so much!
I only had two little complaints about the entire story, and I only mention them because I want to be completely honest. I felt a little let down by the whole "name" game resolution. It was such a struggle between Tess and Q when he kept demanding to know her name. And it was built up so much, and came to mean everything to both him and her, that the way it was finally revealed was disappointing. I really, really wanted it to build between them until she finally gave it to him as the ultimate show of trust and love. And I felt like that was taken away from me as a reader. My other complaint is that I didn't really like the way that Tess finally came about making the switch from hating Q and wanting to escape from him, to never wanting to leave his side and accepting the fact that he was her Master. I think that the story was going in the right direction after she escaped and then was rescued, but I didn't like the sudden flip in her feelings. I still felt like Q needed to do more to "earn" it, if that makes sense. I wanted to see more from him, and see him give a little bit more of himself to Tess before she gave herself to him. Other than those two teeny, tiny things, I absolutely loved this book!
I am counting the days until book two, Quintessentially Q comes out, and cannot wait to see what happens next!
View all my reviews
I am also super excited to announce that for all of you Tears of Tess fans, here is the cover to book two in the Tears of Tess series, Quintessentially Q. Enjoy, I know I will!!!!
**Scheduled to release in late 2013.
“All my life, I battled with the knowledge I was twisted… fucked up to want something so deliciously dark—wrong on so many levels. But then slave fifty-eight entered my world. Hissing, fighting, with a core of iron, she showed me an existence where two wrongs make a right.”
Tess is Q’s completely. Q is Tess’s irrevocably. But now, they must learn the boundaries of their unconventional relationship, while Tess seeks vengeance on the men who sold her. Q made a blood-oath to deliver their corpses at Tess’s feet, and that’s just what he’ll do.
He may be a monster, but he’s Tess’s monster.