August 20. 2013
Tears of Tess
by: Pepper Winters
4 Stars ★★★★
Blurb ~ 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?
Tour Organized by: As the Pages Turn
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/ZI1azW2ydUo
*ARC provided by Author for Honest Review*
Potential SpoilersIf you like your men dark, twisted and out of control look no further.
First let me say how unexpected this story was. Sure I read the blurb weeks before reading it but going into it blind was the best decision I made because I was not only shocked but blown away by the plot, characters and action. And boy is there a lot of action.
Tears of Tess can in circles I’m sure be compared to Fifty Shades of Grey. In my opinion this book is in a category all on it’s own. Q is no Christian Grey and though both may like the darker side of life, they both took different roads to get there.
Out for a sightseeing trip, Tess gets a bad feeling something is going to go wrong. Stopping in a run-down Mexican establishment, one lacking customers was probably not the best idea, but Brax is not the brightest bulb. Tess is taken. Kidnapped and unsure of her own fate and that of Brax who was lying unconscious, last she saw of him.
I was being trafficked. Me and these women were about to disappear around the world, exchanged for money, no regard for us as people-we were belongings. – Tess
Dealing with kidnappers is not Tess’s strong suit. She fights tooth and nail and it gets her nowhere. Things go from bad to worse for Tess and she struggles to remain sane while in the harsh hands of her kidnappers. She is shoved in a room with other girls, none of whom speak for fear of retaliation or worse. Tess still has fight in her, even when she hides it. After invasive tests and an attempted rape, Tess’s already fragile life is about to get worse. She’s sold. Worse than a piece of meat, Tess is sold without knowing who is buying her or where she is going.
“You are mine. Through circumstances I will not discuss with you, you have come into my possession, and therefore must obey me in all things.” – Q
The story takes many hairy turns and is not for the faint of heart. Though Q is a terrifying owner for Tess, he’s not nearly as horrible and cruel as some of the other men out there, as Tess unfortunately learns for herself. The world is a Dark Dark place and Tess learns to navigate in the shadows. In some ways she develops her own dark side much to Q’s delight. As awful as he seems, Tess can’t escape the pull he has on her. Both her mind and body are unsafe from Q and Tess doesn’t know how to fight him or even if she can or should.
It had taken being kidnapped, and sold to a man who didn’t want me, to show me how much my existence lacked. –Tess
One scene really bothered me. This concerned the knife scene, if you read the story you’ll know what I refer to. I thought Q let this go a bit too far. Sure she ends up suffering more but this was a brutal atrocity. I guess I should be grateful it ended when it did… I know Q and his self-righteous persona was probably trying to prove a point and demand obedience but why fix something that isn’t broken, unless you want to break it yourself.
I was taken on a ride with this book. And not your normal book rollercoaster, more like surfing a tsunami. The waves are so high and the adrenaline is on overload. Fear is controlling your body but a sense of power and life surges through your veins pushing you on until the very end. And that end seems almost inconsequential. Sure it’s scary and bad things can happen, but none matter, you just have to keep balanced and let the wind take you where it may.
My faith in humanity died a fiery death. All my life, I believed in the goodness of people. Never seeing the darkness for myself. But now, I hated everyone, suspected everything. Another part was broken: the ability to trust. – Tess
Tess has many decisions to make during her captivity. She can fight or give in to defeat. Both options seem plausible and even life-threatening at times. In many ways this is a psychological thriller and Tess is the unfortunate bystander whose seemingly normal life is blown to bits. She has to face something many young women worldwide face but how will she fare? Will she remain strong? Can she? Tess was a great main character and often times I found myself saying, “You go girl,” or “Don’t give in.” Even in the face of defeat Tess is strong-willed and opinionated. Something that certainly costs her but doesn’t make her lose her spirit. She is tested in ways most women could never recover and Tess continually proves over and over that she won’t give up, no matter the pain or the consequences. As often as I found myself agreeing with her I also wished things played out differently. Had she done this or said this… But at the end of the day considering her circumstances, it’s hard to say how much differently any of us would have reacted which just makes it all much more exciting and terrifying.
He whispered, “I’m not afraid of hurting you. I’m afraid of how far I’m willing to go.” – Q
Overall Tears for Tess is a story that needs to be read. You will cringe, you will cry and most of all you will be turned on, even when you don’t want to be. This book is not for the faint of heart or those easily turned off by such a dark topic. The sad part is, the reality within the story is far too accurate. More often than we know girls are picked off the streets and sold like meat, never to be heard from again. This is Tess’s story and Q plays a big role in her future. Can Tess give in and be Q’s slave? Can or will she be anyone’s slave? The next book in the series is Q’s and I cannot wait. And don’t worry there is no cliff-hanger so you won’t be left hanging. I highly recommend you read it and find out. Just be warned there are no fluffy bunnies or hearts and flowers in the story. Instead you’ll have to be satisfied with a harsh, dominating, wealthy heir, prone to violence, loud and frightening outbursts with a fondness for slaves.
**Story does contain many touchy subjects that often caused me to cringe. In case you want a heads up you can expect brutality, abductions, beatings, manipulation, rape, attempted rape, mind-games, enemies, kinky sex, slave-owners, kidnappers, rapists, and much more.
** Memorable Quotes“I’d gone my whole life thinking I was timid, brow-beaten, and unwanted by my family, only to find I was a lust-filled dancer, with so many dark desires.”-Tess
Fear, rank and crying, crawled up my throat. That bastard had been so eager to hit me, as if he lived to be violent. I had no against men like that. I knew it was weak, but I wish they’d killed me rather than take me. Who knew what brutality existed in my future. –Tess
He wasn’t the fat, repulsive bastard who used wealth to buy sex slaves. He wasn’t gross or any other monstrous things. Who is this man? My eyes widened, drinking him in-the owner of this house. The owner of…me. No, never. I didn’t care who he was, because my life belonged to me. I stuck out my chin, glaring. I wouldn’t be intimidated by wealth or stature. “You have to call me something, and I don’t want master or owner. You’re ordered to call me Q.” – Q
Put a man who wanted to hurt in front of me, with fucking on his mind and bondage in his thoughts, and I unraveled like the slut I’d become. – Tess
“You are mine. I can do what I want with you. I can dress you. Fuck you. Send you away. Loan you to others. You belong to me. And you’ve finally realized it isn’t romantic, it isn’t sexy, or fun. It’s something no one should want or desire. You’re a captive… My role as your master is to debase you to the point of having no feelings, no emotion, no hopes or dreams… You’re mine, esclave. And it isn’t a fucking happy ever after.” –Q
“I’m a bastard? Isn’t that a requirement to being a master? To be cruel and unapproachable? I love treating you like dirt. It gets me fucking hard.” – Q
Guest Post with Author Pepper Winters
Topic : Discuss the Dark nature of the book
This book I would say is a blend between dark and light. I always maintained that this was a New Adult Dark Romance. I stated New Adult as yes there are some touchy subjects but it still deals with characters in the 18-25 range. And it isn’t hard core terror.
I would say on a dark percentage it would be 60% with the sequel (the first book isn’t a cliffhanger but a complete book) is 80%.
There are certain things that will be hard to read, a fair bit of BDSM, but ultimately it’s a story of redemption, finding your perfect other, no matter how strange the circumstances and living a different way of life.
I hope you enjoy the twisted tale of Q and Tess.
Pepper Winters wears many roles. Some of them include writer, reader, sometimes wife. She loves dark, taboo stories that twist with your head. The more tortured the hero the better and she constantly thinks up ways to break and fix her characters. Oh, and sex… her books have sex.
She loves to travel and has an amazing, fabulous hubby (who speaks French—hot!) who puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends. She loves to hear from her readers so hit her up at email@example.com
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