Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Review: Tears of Tess by Pepper Winters

Hi all! 

Happy new year! :D

I'm ashamed of my review posting pace! But, here's something at last. 

Title: Tears of Tess
Series: Monsters in the Dark #1
Release date: 30th of August 2013
Reading level: FICTION – ADULT: Romance, Contemporary, BDSM
Published by: Pepper Winters
Pages: 374 pages in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from for Kindle


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?


I don’t want to read about my hero or heroine being abused, especially in romance, especially physically, especially so graphically, especially if the whole tone of the book (at least to those points) is depressing and really working against my sense of justice and everything I consider human. So, no need to mention that I found it really difficult to get through the first half of the book. Luckily, it actually did get better and I found myself strangely hooked on the story, because if one thing, then the story certainly is gripping, but it still didn’t erase the bitter taste in my mouth.

Despite the whole atmosphere and plot revolving around sex in its most dirtiest and ugliest, it didn’t take over the plot, neither was it full of constant sex scenes so that the actual storyline drowned in all the orgasms. The emotion turmoil, the conflict between Q (captivity/freedom) and Tess (freedom/captivity), what is needed to heal and at what price, nothing is ever as simple as at first glance, hiding and fighting your own desires and needs, going against what is perceived as good and normal – these were what it came down to. And this was what I thought this story excelled at, I could feel the torment and pain of both Tess and Q, because it was so vividly and masterfully created and described. 

In addition to an intense relationship that had its basis on emotion rather than the blatant need for physical sex, the book also had some unexpected twists and was pretty twisted in itself from the very start as well, which, truth be told, worked well.

Despite this being a gripping and actually GOOD book, I can’t look over the couple of scenes that made me question “Did that just happen?” Were those scenes necessary… I don’t know… maybe… for character development and extra angst, but they went too far on what I want to and can tolerate in my romance (albeit BDSM) books. Whenever I think about this book, I think of one extra disgusting scene and I prefer books I’ve read staying in my mind for the good not the nasty.


Tess – I have to admit I couldn’t stand her at the beginning of the book due to the simple reason that all she ever thought was how she wanted more extreme sex and her sweet vanilla boyfriend wasn’t giving it to her. The complaining was very off-putting. Nevertheless, I came to adore her for her fighting spirit and absolute never-give-up mentality despite being a total emotional mess. She rocked, she stood tall, she kicked butt, but her entire attitude managed to remain believable, vulnerable and traumatized. Her obsession and desperation for Q I didn’t find appealing, but I respect her for staying true to herself and standing her ground even when submitting fully.

Q – May very well be one of my favorite BDSM book heroes. Why? Well, he was tortured, a billionaire, handsome, intense/passionate, with a cruel past, bordering on villainous – as all the other such hero types, but there was just something extra vulnerable and kind/humane about him that raised him the category of: a sadist with a gentle soul = intriguing = me like!


I strongly recommend this book if you like your BDSM romance up a notch in the intense and sadism/cruelty/slavery part. But seriously, it’s a good with a solid hero and heroine and I promise it won’t leave you cold or indifferent. Still, I seem to prefer more softer books that don’t trample on my sense of right and wrong too hard. Slavery is a too touchy subject for me. BUT, read it!

3 stars!



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