Saturday 19 September 2015

REVIEW; Tears of Tess (Monsters of the Dark #1), by Pepper Winters


Genre: Adult, Romance, Abuse

Recommend: Yes



Tess Snow loves her boyfriend Brax, although she wishes he'd be more adventurous, he's safe and loves her. She's more than happy to go away to Mexico with him for their anniversary. 

But after entering a dodgy cafe, she believes Brax to be murdered as she is hauled off, drugged and unaware. Waking with other beaten women, Tess is determined to fight for her freedom. After enduring the darkness of Mexico, she is sold to Q, in France.

He keeps his cards close to his chest and Tess hates him, as she becomes his slave. But not all is what it seems, and Q has a background that Tess is determined to uncover, whilst also wondering if she has come to have feelings for her owner. 

My Thoughts:

I knew this was going to be an uncomfortable read due to the level of abuse and trauma that was predicted for Tess, but the overall story drew me in and I loved it from the start! 

Tess: I love her! At the start when she wanted to try new things with Brax, I knew she had a fire to her. After being kidnapped, she didn't just collapse and give up, she fought back even though it meant being hurt more. Upon meeting Q, she defied her orders and she probably didn't see what this symbolised to Q, but it was such a turning point for her. Everything is from her POV and I couldn't help but sympathise for her throughout. Sometimes, with these stories I find it hard to relate to the kidnapped character, but Tess' responses and emotions and thoughts just seemed 100% expected and genuine. 

Q: Oh boy... At the start I didn't know if I loved or hated him. We knew nothing about him and to the reader, he was the villain. But as the story developed, we found out so much about him that made the reader fall for him... or at least feel for him. He had such unusual reasons for what he had done and was doing - but it all made sense. It was so fantastically orchestrated that I didn't see it coming, but it was like finally the jigsaw was complete and it was a completely different picture to what was expected. He was a monster, but he was perfect too and so conflicted. He clearly had his own demons but also a heart of gold. He was battling such a dichotomy and I just want to give him a hug! 

Writing: Oh WOW!!! Pepper Winters can write! Like, her talent is unbelievable!!! The character development of Tess is executed astoundingly as we really get an insight into who she is and what she wants, mainly at the beginning. This is so important as it means we really know who she is when she's been kidnapped so can properly feel for her. The pacing was perfect and twists and turns were dispersed at great moments that just held my attention for the whole book. 

Story: Wow Wow Wow... Obviously you get an insight into what will be happening overall but this story was just a dark storm that you know is dangerous but you can't stop but walk into it. I've never read something that draws the reader in so well. As Q and Tess fall for each other, it's not a sudden or instant thing and it's still tainted with hatred. It's a slow and steady process and more about looking out for each other than anything. Their story is hot and dangerous, but the reader ends up rooting for both of them. Q tries so hard to be careful with her and keep his desires controlled, but Tess yearns to be treated more roughly and ends up knowing him well enough to know how to push his buttons to get what she wants.

Whilst this was a dark read, there were mainly only a select few scenes that were dark. The majority played on the emotions and mental games and focused on other drama. This isn't a negative or a positive, just a note to the reader. I felt it had enough moments that had me worried or scared to keep my interest, but it wasn't overkill to make me want to give up either. 


I can't recommend this more. It is a mind-f*ck of a story and will leave you numb and confused but it's thrilling and captivating too. I loved the Captive in the Dark series, and read this as a recommendation from that and love this even more. There's a certain elegance to the harshness in this that just makes you fall in love with everything! 

Amazon UK