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?
Tears of Tess was everything junkies have been saying and more, I was completely drawn in after the first chapter. This might sound kinda bad, but I didn't really like Brax I mean he was nice and all but I just didn't feel it, if you know what I mean. So I was wondering how it would change for Tess, and I guess before it even began I just knew she'd feel something for her captor. Pepper illustrates right off the bat how Tess feels like she's missing something, and in many ways you could see how she was basically being someone she's not. Almost like she woke up everyday and just put up this smokescreen of what she thought people wanted to see, and in that sense I could completely understand why she felt the way she did inside. Of course it would hurt to never be yourself among those you love, and through these feelings of emptiness and confusion Pepper demonstrates how Tess was already in a form of prison. One created by her own mind, because while she wasn't in the conditions she comes into through the enigmatic Q, she was never free to be herself, not to speak, feel or act. It was all locked up tight. This juxtaposition between her own psychological prison and her physical one through Q was genius, because it makes you see everything in a whole new light. Clearly everything is not as black and white as we think.
Her relationship with Q was tumultuous to say the least, one the one hand I wanted to sucker punch him in the face...maybe even knee him in the balls a couple of times, but then...well I kinda started to like him. Don't judge me! I know what you're thinking, but they say actions speak louder than words and granted many of his were loud and clear, but if you read between the lines you could tell he cared to a certain a degree, but more than that Tess was different to him on so many levels. There was this undeniable spark between them, and it was only a matter of time before things went BOOM! I greatly admired Tess for her strength, I mean when we think about how we'd react it makes her actions almost remarkable. She was brave, determined, witty and well simply had a will of steel. Pepper goes to great lengths to illustrate her inner struggle, because after all how can something so wrong feel so right? It was not only completely understandable, but added to the reality of the story itself as Pepper's writing style flowed naturally never forcing an issue or making you think she was trying to hard. Everything is built up at a steady even pace, we witness Tess' capture, her fight, her rise, downfall and rise again. Nothings clear cut, and the beautiful thing was we as the reader are just as anxious over Q's next move, I lost count of the number of times I was on the edge of my bed, holding my breath, hands clenched tightly scared to even blink for fear of missing something.
He was smooth water—effortless in refinement but just like still water, dangerous if you couldn’t swim. Deadly rips and currents lurked deep below the surface.
Q did for me what no one else had done: protected me. He fought harder than my parents ever did, and put Brax’s strength to shame. Q came after me like I meant the world to him, showing just how lonely and adrift I’d been.
Q did many things, but he never broke me. He offered things my body wanted without me knowing what those things were.
He was my home. My master. My new life.
“Monsters find each other in the dark.”
As I've mentioned I have mixed feelings regarding Q, but I think the consensus is I like him. I want to hate him, despise him and cause serious bodily harm the operative word being 'want'...but I just can't do it though. Like Tess he's captured my mind, attention and dare I say it a little, teeny, tiny piece of my heart. *Covers face* Their relationship is on another level of intense, filled with anger, hatred, scorching passion and a uniquely disturbing love that has your emotions all over the place. Like I said Pepper sets everything at a steady pace, and bit but bit another piece of the puzzle is revealed, specifically the puzzle that is Q. Everything he does, he does for a very good reason and the more we read the more we discover he's not the monster we once thought he was, I mean he's a twisted little bastard don't get me wrong, but at the heart of him there's just so much more than the eye can see. At times it's like a major sensory overload, and you do find yourself questioning your sanity but his actions towards Tess make a little bit of sense. She is different, because he wants her, all of her and that's something he's never experienced so he's in understandably uncharted waters navigating them as best he can, and yes he makes his fair share of mistakes but there's this dark aura surrounding him that draws you in. I wouldn't say it's charisma...but it's something that makes you unable to completely condemn him. While he is depicted as the villain, he's actually the unexpected hero because he not only saves Tess, manner of speaking, but most importantly he frees her. The one thing she never had, so how deplorable are his actions really?
I didn’t think I’d ever find a female beast with contorted desires like mine.
But she found me.
“You may not be mine, but I’m fast becoming yours.”
“You came along, and made me accept the darkness.”
I may be a monster but I was her monster.
If you haven't already guessed, my rating stands at 5 mind blowing stars! As my first Dark Romance novel, I have offcially lifted the ban and admit I'm hooked. I don't know what that says about me, but hey you can't always have a clean cut romance. Sometimes you need real, something Pepper delivers in spades! I can also say Pepper's totally on my stalker obsession list, it only took one book so that should tell you something minions. I definitely recommend for not only those into theses sorts of books, but anyone looking to break out their comfort zone. Be warned this is not for the fainthearted, and if you go ahead and read this book be prepared to have your views on love alter completely. Side effects may include: Screaming, crying, frustration, anxiousness, apprehension, as well as a twisted sense of happiness and acceptance.