Friday, September 20, 2013

REVIEW TOUR and GIVEAWAY - TEARS OF TESS (Monsters In The Dark #1) by Pepper Winters:

Title: Tears of Tess
Series: Monsters In The Dark
Series Placement: #1
Author: Pepper Winters
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Dark Erotic Romance
Release Date: August 28, 2013
Pages: 377
Format: Ebook and Paperback

Book Tour Sponsored by:

Copy Provided by Author

Book 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?

Reviewers Note: Tears of Tess is book one in the Monsters In The Dark series and is a Dark, Erotic, Romance written by Pepper Winters. I received this eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review through Xpresso Book Tours.

4.5 Disturbing, Distressing, Fabulous Stars!
This Book Catapulted Me Down A Dark, Delicious Path From The First Impassioned Chapter to the Very Last Gripping Page!

The Review:
This is probably one of the hardest reviews I’ve ever had to write. I couldn’t decide on the rating, I couldn't decide on the words I wanted to write in my review, I couldn't decide if I wanted to spin a positive or a negative review and I couldn't decide if I liked the characters. I knew I wasn’t supposed to like this book. There are some seriously messed up things in it. But when I put all conventional thinking aside and looked back, I knew unequivocally... I loved this read... in all its “fuckedupedness!”

This read is not for someone who is looking for a sweet romance. This is not a read for someone who’s even looking for a dark fantasy. This story is splattered in shades of black. It’s brutal, real and violent. There’s torture, rape, biting, blood play, debasing and lots of debauchery. But with its severe intensity, there’s also a hidden story behind it all that will have you reading on and keeping you eager to find out what happens next.

Quote Spotlight... 
“You won’t be able to run,” he said, watching closely. 
I sucked in a breath. “Who says I'm going to run?” 
His lips, smooth and well defined against his five o’clock shadow, twitched. “I smell it on you - the scent of prey. You’re looking for a bolthold, somewhere no one can find you.” He leaned in, sending a cloud of expensive cologne around me. “You're different, I’ll give you that. They didn’t break you, but don't think you can fight me. You won't win.”

Tess might have hoped for a more dominant relationship with a side of kink from her boyfriend Brax, but being kidnapped by traffickers while on vacation in Mexico was never on her fantasy list.

Quote Spotlight... 
Brax. My life. My happy, happy world dissolved and left me in hell. 
I didn’t belong to Brax anymore. I didn’t even belong to myself. I belonged to a bleak, unknown, and terror-filled future.

Tess goes through every emotion on the emotional scale. There’s cold, unrelenting fear. There’s red sheets of anger and rage that coat her at many points, which is probably what saves her in the end from going completely insane. There are many times she’s so close to giving up, you think, this is it, this is the event that will finally break her. But something will spark a tiny flame inside her and that flame will slowly expand and grow into a raging inferno. And she’s a fighter once more. She suffers degradation, debasement and torture in both the physical sense and through mind games. She loses hope but then gains a new strength she never thought possible. Every event brings forth a new Tess. A stronger Tess. A Tess unrelenting, unbreakable and frighteningly strong.

There’s a darkness in Tess she’s never been able to put a name to. It takes her a long time to come to term with the feelings and thoughts Q brings out in her. She thinks her depravity is her downfall, a disease she has to be ashamed of. But in Q, she finds safety in the darkness. She’s not alone. Her demons match his demons. She slowly finds she craves the darkness and can rule it, as long as Q is there with her. They can be monsters together.

Quote Spotlight... 
“Monsters find each other in the dark.” 
I couldn't read his tone, and I didn't like the implication. Am I a monster? Compared to Brax most definitely, but Q... there were limits he crossed that I never could. Had we found each other in the darkness? I may have black desires, but I loved light, too. I needed tenderness to temper the pain and degradation.

Q is tormented with a self loathing and hate thats runs deep. His heart is burnt and scorched black but through the cracks of burnt muscle, are rays of light... a bit of hope in the smothering darkness. And when Tess comes along, he’s able to embrace the dark and the light. Q thinks he’s unredeemable, that his demons are so fierce, if he loosens the noose around the demons neck just a fraction, the demon will come out, stomping and snarling and absolutely take over. He knows the monster lives inside him. He both loves and loathes the monster that is him.

Quote Spotlight... 
“Why do you want to hurt me, maître?”.... 
“It’s not about hurting you, sweet Tess. It’s about branding you. Your skin is pure as snow, and I get to mark it.” He flogged my ass again. It caught a whip mark and blazed with agony. “It’s the wrongness, the rightness, I need your pain.” He whispered in my ear, “I’m invincible when I hurt you.”

But there is definitely more to him than what's on the surface though you can never get a clear picture because he’s completely closed off. He thinks he’s damaged beyond repair and no one could tolerate or even survive in his world on a personal level. Secrets surround him and try as Tess might, she can never completely break past it. There are glimmers, little sparks that shed a minuscule bit of light on Q but then they are snatched away and leave Tess reeling, confused and in need.

When Tess walks into his life, he sees a “like” soul. Someone who hasn’t been broken by her circumstances and the overwhelming struggle to completely take her, to completely break her and to completely dominate her, is unleashed. He hates her for bringing the monster so close to the surface, but what he doesn’t get, is she is probably the only one who can confront and join in with his monster and survive.

Quote Spotlight... 
However unconventional our relationship, it rang with rightness. Q spoke to me on a much deeper level than man and woman. 
I believed fully I was made for him and he was made for me. Two halves of the same fuckedupness. Two souls from the same twisted desires, unable to fully be free until we found each other.

There’s is a tumultuous relationship where Tess refuses and Q demands. He’s trying to teach her something but also gain something from her no one else has ever given him. When she arrives, she only sees captivity and wrongness, so she fights and fights hard. And unknowingly, this constant struggle, this constant waging of war between the two of them, only serves in binding them, searing them together in ways they never could have thought possible.

Quote Spotlight... 
...“Je suis à toi.” I am yours. 
...“Nous sommes les uns des autres.” We are each other’s.

The Wrap Up:
Did I love this book? Shhh.. don't tell but yes, absolutely. I did. Will I re-read it again at some point? Once I get past the emotional train wreck it left me in, yes, absolutely. Will I go on to book two, Quintessentially Q (Monsters In The Dark #2)?
  Hell yes! Count me in. I want to know what happens next and I definitely want more Q and more Tess. Those two are the epitome of dysfunction and unconventional and I loved them all the more for it!

Buy the Book!
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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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