Posted in New Adult, Pepper Winters

Tears Of Tess (#1) – 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?

4.5 out of 5



My Review

“Je suis a toi.”

If you know me, you know I’m not one for reading anything but angsty romance with cuddles and kisses and happily ever after, but after seeing so many people raving about Tears Of Tess, I was in two minds about reading it. Of course, I downloaded it, but I wasn’t sure if I would ever read it. I’m not good with dark books, with rape and violence, especially slave books but I thought ‘”f I can handle reading Poughkeepsie….and that is gritty….I can handle anything” plus this new year I want to broaden my reading genres and with so much love for this series, I thought Tears of Tess could take my dark book virginity.

HOLY SHIT ON A BRICK! I have fallen in love. Pepper Winters, I love you too and when I meet you in July at the Edinburgh Event, I may just have to kiss you (I’m sorry). You took something that I was so afraid to read about, and turned it into something that I love, I adore and I cannot get enough of. You captivated me every page, you made me sit up, read every single word and not put my books down in the 3 hours I read it. You made me cry, smile, be uncomfortable, turned on and I went through so many different emotions that I came out going “Holy crap, give me book two NOW!”

I really liked Tess. I felt for her a lot throughout this book. She thought she was broken for wanting to be dominated in the bedroom and it didn’t help her boyfriend was a bit of a pansy (sorry!). She thought she was made wrong for liking this and my heart went out for her. When she was taken, her strength never vanished. She was determined to fight, to get free and although she was induced to pain, she stuck to her guns and was feisty and mouthy and she knew that she would get her chance to be free again, she just had to wait it out and when the time came she would run.

Then she is sold to Q. She has conflicting feelings for him. From hate, to liking him, to being attracted to him to wanting to kill him. She knows, deep down, that she could be in the hands of someone much worse than Q. Although she is strong, of course she is going to have weak moments and I was awaiting these are no one can be strong all the time. I was actually glad when she did have a moment of weakness, it shows that she is thinking about the horridness of what she has been through but it also proves she can get past it if she thinks about it, proves she can become stronger, and not let it get to her. She’s safe and protected and the horrors of Mexico cant get to her anymore…

We see her fight inner battles. She wants to hate Q, he’s mean and cold but then we see her want Q, want him to dominate her, hurt her, fulfil her fantasies and we also see her warm towards him, towards her ‘master’ and although I have never truly understood how a captor could fall for their kidnapper, I can sympathise that, actually this can happen. She begins to see him in a new light, begins to like him and its hard not to really. Although he is hot and cold, he knows how to please her, how to use her body, how to pleasure her and you can actually agree that if you were Tess, you would probably fall for Q too.

Q…oh Q. I was constantly conflicted by him. I wanted to hate him but I liked it. I wanted to like him but I hated him. My mind would not make its mind up and I was constantly in a state of confusion and distress over my feelings towards him. He is the epitome of douchbag and sexy dominant alpha wrapped into one and although you want to hate him, you kind of cant. And that is what messed me up. I have to say though, I DO like Q a hell of a lot. You can see that with Tess he is different, he wants to stay away but cant and he’s never felt this way so it fucks him up.

He is not your usual alpha…his childhood fucked him up badly and that is why he runs the business he does. I’m not telling you what it is because its a spoiler, but I think you begin to understand why he acts the way he does and your heart feels compassion for him, for what he is doing but you know deep down there is a monster wanting to erupt and find its equal….I think he found it in Tess.

He is used to broken slaves and when Tess stumbles through the door, feisty as hell, he knows she is definitely different to the others and there is something about her that he wants to discover. Q switches from hot and cold. He can be a downright bastard one minute and swooning douchebag the next. You never know where you are with him and although we went on this journey, when you find out what he does, you kind of feel sorry for him and completely understand everything he does and did, to and for Tess.

He has a monster living inside him and when he sees Tess he knows he wants her. Their chemistry was instant for him, and although she knew he was gorgeous, and her body reacted to him, she didnt want it to but he knew she wanted him as much as he wanted her. When shit goes down, he proves how much he wants her, needs to protect her and he will most definitely kill for her….He has secrets and guilt and grief locked inside him but we find out more about him, about his childhood and his present in the epilogue and it tears you apart and heals you too and you just want to heal Q too.

Q is dark and brooding but he can show bits of compassion when he wants to and I really liked that about him.

I was texting my bestie, Anna Bloom, throughout reading this book and I was like “I should hate him but I cant and then he does things to not make me hate him! I’m so messed up and its so good its wrong.” AND I LOVED IT.

Despite the situations and dark nature of Tears of Tess, I am besotted with this couple, with their story and I cannot wait for book 3 (My review of book 2 will be next and SHIT was that book my favourite). If you are like me and have never picked up a dark book, seriously, start with this series. You will fall in love with it like I did.