(Monsters in the Dark series, book 1)
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?
Captivating. Twisted. And Hauntingly Dark…so very, very Dark.
This novel blew me away. I am a huge fan of dark reads, and story lines that have your stomach churning, palms sweating, and heart pounding; characters that are forced to go through hell and back, that leave a lasting mark on you because of their journey, the ones that keep you rooting for them page after page, chapter after chapter. Tears of Tess is exactly that kind of book with exactly those kind of characters.
Tess Snow seems to have it all – she’s one semester away from graduating from college, and her loving boyfriend, Brax, just surprised her with a trip to Mexico for their two year anniversary. She sees this vacation as the perfect opportunity to broaden her and Brax’s sexual activities, and has every intention to seduce him, to make him get a little bit wild with her. But all of Tess’s plans come to a screeching halt when she’s kidnapped, drugged, and plunged into the terrifying world of sex trafficking. But Tess is a fighter. She’s determined to return to her life with Brax, boring as it may be at times. She will get home and leave this nightmare in the past.
But once again, Tess’s plans start to unravel. The more time she spends with the man who bought her, Q, the more she realizes that returning to her normal, safe life with Brax may not be what she wants…or needs…at all; maybe Tess needs Q, her monster in the dark.
Sweet Mother of God. This novel took me into the deep depths of darkness, and had me grasping for some light. The experiences that Tess went through while her captors were prepping her for sale made me sick. I want to murder every single one of those mother fuckers. Every. Single One. It will break your heart in the most intense of ways, but through Tess’s strength and fighting will, you have a semblance of hope. Pepper has created one of the strongest female characters I have ever had the pleasure of reading about, and Tess will forever have a place in my heart. Her emotional journey into the depths of pure hell led her to finding heaven in an unexpected place, and it was absolutely captivating.
And how can I not talk about Q? I didn’t know what to expect from him to be perfectly honest, because we don’t get much of a hint as to who he is in the synopsis. I’m almost glad that there was no indication as to what kind of person he is, it made it all the more intriguing. I don’t want to say much about him because I’m scared of giving something away, so I’ll just say this – he’s damaged, disturbed, and devastatingly dashing. Now that I just gave you a nice lesson on alliteration, I’ll wrap this up ;)
Tears of Tess is a phenomenal novel that will take you to the ugly underworld of sex trafficking, and lead you down a road of redemption and revelation. It’s heartbreaking and shudder-inducing. But it’s also hopeful and romantic…in a twisted kind of way. Oh, and let’s not forget the hot-as-fucking-sin sex that will rock your world right off its axis. Needless to say, I am hugely impressed with Pepper Winters’s writing abilities, and I have a feeling this series is going to be one that sticks with me for a very long time.
MY RATING: 5 STARS