Tears of Tess
Author: Pepper Winters
Length: 376 pages
Publisher: Pepper Winters
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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?
This is one of those books that you want to not like...but you just can't help yourself.
Tess is a very strong and independent character by book's end, but upon one's first meeting, not so much!
She wants to explore the darker side of her budding sexuality with her "oh so vanilla" boyfriend Brax, but he is just not having it.
So what's a girl to do when what is supposed to be a sexy, fun, and memorable trip with the one she loves ends up becoming a sexual snooze-fest?
Well, I don't know about the average girl, but apparently Tess Snow, is not a girl to do things half way!
You see, Tess not only manages to get kidnapped, but she is also sold into sexual slavery, tattooed with a bar code, and purchased by a sadist named Q.
...and that's just the first few chapters.
The writing style is a little choppy in the opening chapters of this book, and there is a rather obvious lack of focus plot-wise until Tess is nabbed. After she goes missing however, the pacing, writing style, and very debauched plot find their collective feet in very fascinating and disturbing ways.
Q is a very multifaceted character, and as time goes on readers are allowed to see more and more of the man behind the madness.
He is also the reason that Tess' feelings of desire for him, later in the read cannot simply be written off as a case of Stockholm syndrome gone off the deep end.
You see, it seems that somewhere between all of the holding Tess captive, forced sex, degradation, and ownership...our poor conflicted Q, has managed to fall in love with Tess.
Oh...don't worry! There's more.
This is a very issue laden and sexually charged read that is not for the sexually timid, younger readers or those prone to spontaneous bouts of moral prudishness.
There are incidences of sexual exhibitionism, rape, and BDSM.
This is however, a sexual coming of age story.
Yes, it is a rather unorthodox coming of age New Adult story.
But...in all fairness.
Most NA is all about the sex anyway.
Tears of Tess is a very different kind of read. It explores subjects that aren't always the most comfortable to look at in the glaring brightness that is the human conscious mind.
It causes one to call into question what is really taboo in the world of love and lust, and truly calls into question whether one's perception of love and the reality of the emotion can ever be confined to a box of right or wrong.
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