Wednesday, January 22, 2014

REVIEW: TEARS OF TESS BY PEPPER WINTERS

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?

Published August 28th 2013 by Pepper Winters
Source: Purchased
Purchase: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Our Review---
We started reading Tears of Tess as part of a buddy read on Twitter with two of our Twitter friends Michelle + Dora. We LOVE Twitter and now we really freaking LOVE Pepper Winters. And Michelle and Dora! It was really fun. So expect that to be talked about all the time. As well as Pepper. And Q. This is going to be fangirl central. Yep. Yes...this series is definitely causing me to revert to a hyperventilating teenager--complete with squealing and OMG's.

So Tears of Tess has a pretty insane warning when you start it. 
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.
Crazy yeah? It is definitely all of those things and more. I really enjoyed it, but then again I've mentioned my penchant for dark and twisty things frequently also, so that is not new. Pepper Winters has effectively made me never want to go to Mexico. Ever. (Actually, Karina Halle started it. Pepper finished it.) So when Tess and her boyfriend (whom I really thought was a pussy, but got sort of shamed into feeling sorry for, lol) Brax go to Mexico for a vacation, well...things get insane fast! Yeah. I wanted to like Brax way more than I did. He's perfectly fine for some sweet romance girl, but Tess absolutely needed someone with a spine. Brax, unfortunately, could not summon that for her.

Then we meet Q. Who is Q? What is his damn name? What does he do that allows him this beautiful extravagant home in the South of France, yet he willingly takes this woman as his esclave. (P.S. there is French spoken in this novel, and it is beautiful and made me swoon.) Yet, how did I swoon? When there are scenes of abuse, and rape, and all sorts of other insanely bad o-m-g-please-don't-let-that-ever-happen-to-me shit. Weeelllll. Turns out Tess is into the same things that Q is into...so it is quite a page turning extravaganza. 

Q and Tess undergo a relationship not all that unlike say...Tony and Claire from that one book that people are still scared shitless to read. But the story is much different, so never fear that these things are the same. I just mean there is equal mindfuckery and back and forth of who I liked, who I didn't, and who I didn't want to. I am quite the shipper apparently, and I will jump ship at the first sign of bad behavior from a character...yet jump right back the very next paragraph. It's manic. I know. Q surprised me. That's it. That's all I can say without writing paragraphs and paragraphs about him and Tess and the way my brain warped a little while reading.

Tess. Tess struggled when it came to Brax and Q. She fought her instincts until the very end. She kept trying to talk her way into and out of feeling things because of what she thought or felt obligated to feel. Haven't we all learned by now, ladies, that we need to listen to those inner voices?! Well it took Tess a while to claim her inner voice. She second guessed and talked circles in her head...a lot.

Tess is also a fighter--and I absolutely LOVE that about her--and as hard as she fought herself she also fought every hardship and obstacle that was thrown her way. I had such admiration and respect for her survival instincts and would like to think that I'd have her strength if ever I needed it...but honestly I don't know if I would. She seemed so real; her fear and anxiety and strength seemed more truth than fiction.

We are aware this takes the cake in our dark and twisty repertoire, but it was very different than some of the things we've read recently. And it made my heart race. We gushed on Twitter about it for several days in a row, and cannot wait to begin the next book Quintessentially Q ASAFP.  This IS a refreshing (odd in the context of this book, I'm sure) change of reading scenery. I'm pretty cynical and seem to appreciate the seedy underbelly of the world so I have to admit I'm intrigued by the world presented in this series. There is a part of me that is repulsed by it all and at the same time I'm curious and interested...so there you have it..I'm conflicted. I love this,though, because it makes me think.

Courtney: 5 Stars
Shelley: 5 Stars


About the Author---
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 puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends. 

Her debut book Tears of Tess will be followed with Quintessentially Q. You didn’t think Q could stop so soon, did you? Her other two titles, Last Shadow and Broken Chance will be coming soon. 

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