Monday, February 17, 2014

REVIEW ~Tears of Tess by Pepper Winters~

Title: Tears of Tess
Author: Pepper Winters
Series: Monsters in the Dark #2
Release Date: August 28, 2013

My Rating: 5 Stars
A New Adult Dark Contemporary Romance, not suitable for people sensitive to grief, slavery, and non-consensual 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 is a hauntingly and seductively dark novel. It is utterly unapologetic in its portrayal of human trafficking and sadomasochism. Yet, as deep and uncomfortable as the book went I couldn't help but be entranced. Pepper Winters took matters that are commonly shied away from and unearthed them in all their horrid glory. This book has zero fluff, and 100% real problems wrapped in an erotic and captivating tale of two people fighting their basic needs and clumsily feeling their way through a new and terrifying relationship. 

"I finally found a place where my twistedness belonged."

When Tess Snow is kidnapped and sold through a human trafficking ring in Mexico, her world is shattered. What she wasn't expecting was for her new master to awaken the dark erotic urges she has always yearned for. Q Mercer is unforgiving, and quite frankly, a bastard. Or that's at least how Tess sees him. She is led to believe that she is just one of many and even though her body is saying yes, her head is still screaming no. She can't make the two see eye to eye where Q is concerned. All she can believe is what she sees, but her heart knows better. She has found a lost soul, much like hers. Q demands Tess' complete obedience, and power over her body, mind and soul. And just as Tess is fighting to make sense of her needs, so is Q. Before she can accept her new future, an opportunity to escape arises and her flight instinct kicks in causing her to jeopardize everyone and everything she will come to love and need. 

"Q took everything from me, but he didn't so much as steal it, as I gave it willingly. By allowing him to rule, he gave me something tangible. He allowed me to be me. To be real."

I may be looking back at this book with rose-colored glasses, so let me set one thing straight. This is not your common BDSM romance novel. Tears of Tess delves into very distressing and grievous content. There is rape, debasement, reluctance, and physical abuse. Yet there is also, not so much redemption but, revelation of secrets and truths, and a connection that is hard to deny that will have you falling in love with these characters. But yes, it is unconformable to read in several parts. So, why did I read it? Because it is brilliantly written and in short a beautiful, yet terrifying book. It was outside my norm of books that I read but, I couldn't be happier that I made that step. Truthfully, this is not for the faint of heart but, also you have to have an extremely open mind while reading this book. It's not a world that most of us are used to, or the type of relationship most of us have been exposed to. You have to understand that while you may not agree with the characters' actions, it is their life and they never asked for nor needed your approval. We are all made differently, with different wants and needs. Tess and Q are two individuals who find their better halves in one another. They can understand and need not explain nor apologize for who they are. That is the true beauty of this book. 

"Did I create her, or was she always this twisted?"

Even putting aside the subject matter and you still have an author who is a master of words and storytelling. Yes, there were times I had to set aside the book and take a breather. It's just too intense in parts not to. And even though my heart was breaking for Tess throughout most of the book, she fought. I think that's why I was able to keep reading. If Tess had broken, I don't think I could have kept on. But her perseverance and Q's struggle and explanation of the monster inside him lured me into a sense of comfort that these two had found their perfect matches. I simply, cannot wait to delve into Quintessentially Q and will definitely be making room for Ms. Winters on my auto-buy list. If you're a reader with an open mind, and a love for the underdog couple this series will blow you away. And if you're not, that's okay too but, I would suggest you give it a try, you might surprise yourself :)

Happy Reading!
*Review copy provided by the author/publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
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