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?
Coming Septemeber 2013 with help by Black Firefly (lighting the way with self-publishing)
Tears of Tess is emotional, captivating, and twisted. The novel drew me in right from the very beginning with the Prologue and kept me interested throughout Tess’s journey. The story begins with Tess and her boyfriend of two years, Brax, going on a much-needed vacation to Mexico. They decide to go exploring and wind up in some skuzzy cafe, where Brax gets beaten to a pulp and Tess gets kidnapped. The story continues with Tess under the possession of traffickers of women, where she is ultimately sold to a powerful man named Q. From there, things go kind of twisted — for the story, as well as Tess’s mind.
Tess is a character who has held in her deepest desires and urges her entire life. She wants more passion and in a way that scares her boyfriend and even scares her a bit. Her boyfriend doesn’t want any part of her dark fantasies, so if she stays with him then she is destined to a life of unsatisfactory sex. But, then she is taken on as a love slave and thinks that karma is kicking her ass for ever thinking those thoughts…until she begins to realize that she likes it.
I thought the novel was well-done and I was impressed with it overall, as a book. However, the storyline didn’t really do it for me. I enjoyed the beginning, where it was thriller-like and suspenseful. But, once Tess’s mind starts going twisted and she goes back and forth from one extreme to the next in her thoughts, I just couldn’t really relate to her choices/thoughts. I even had to put the book down at one point — not because I wasn’t enjoying it, but because I was just so pissed off with Tess that I needed a break!
It really bothers me how Tess becomes attached to her “master”. I understand that sometimes this happens to people who are held captive; they form attachments with their captors. But, this is different than that and I just didn’t find it all that realistic. And I don’t care about what Q (her master) typically does with these women, whether he usually treats them good or not. He still did not treat Tess good. Remember when you first came to live with him, Tess? He did not treat you well. He did not treat you like a human! I don’t care if she got aroused by it or not, it still wasn’t right. I mean, I understand that people like to do those kinky things in the bedroom, but it wasn’t like they were two consenting adults just mixing things up. He was actually treating her as a sex slave and she was scared shitless! I could rant on this one little topic all day long…
I have very mixed feelings on this book and am having trouble trying to portray exactly what I thought of it. While I hated certain parts of the storyline and just didn’t get it, I thought the novel as a whole was very good. Does that make sense? I hope so.
I also thought that certain aspects of the story reminded me of Beauty and the Beast a bit. Mostly around when Tess moves in with Q.
A Peek Inside