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Title: Tears of Tess
Author: Pepper Winters
Genre: Erotic/Dark Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 6, 2013
“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?
Thank you so much for stopping by Toot's Book Reviews and congratulations on having your story put to paper.
If you don't mind, may I ask you a few questions for your current and soon-to-be fans?
In your own words, tell us a bit about your book?
Well, it’s not a typical romance. After a life of not belonging, I've finally found the person I belong to. And I stole him in return. It isn't morbidly dark, but there are some situations in my life that might be a bit much. It walks a fine line of grey.
How did you feel knowing you were getting your own book?
Scared. My deepest darkest desires were going to be shown to the world. I’ll have to go by other name when I go to the super market now or die my hair lol
Have you read it or was living it good enough?
I have read it but I couldn't read parts of it though. I’m sure you can guess which parts. I don’t need the nightmares coming back.
What is your favorite scene in the book?
Can’t tell, it would ruin it for other readers.
What's your least favorite scene?
It happens around 50% of the book. It’s the part I can’t read. The part I still have trouble pushing into the dark recess of my mind.
The book involves some very dark subject matter including Kidnapping, Slavery, Non-Consensual Sex and a host of other things. It all started while you were on vacation in Mexico. Do you have any advise to would-be travelers on how to stay safe while having fun in the sun?
LOL, yes, don’t let your boyfriend take you into a shack for a drink and a pee. I should’ve been stronger and said no, but I could never stand up to Brax. Oh, and listen—always listen to your instincts—they are there to save your life.
Besides the horrific events you endured, you also have two men in your life during the book. The first one we meet is Brax. Can you tell us about him?
Brax is super sweet and charming. He would be perfect for any other girl but me. I’m not hearts and flowers. I’m whips and floggers.
While your world was turned up side down, you also meet a man whom goes by "Q", can you tell the readers a little about him as well?
Um, what can I say about my Maitre? Q is everything I never thought I wanted. Everything I ever needed and the one man to show me who I truly was. He may hurt me, but he awoke me too.
Lastly for the two men, what are the differences between the two?
Their differences couldn’t be any more apparent. Brax is sunlight. Q is a nightmare. Lucky for me, I like the dark.
What is the hottest thing your man has done?
Probably the last scene together. I can’t say anymore as it’s rather explicit.
What's your favorite thing about him?
The fact that he fights the same desires that I do. We’re the same in so many ways.
What's your least favorite?
How closed off he is and I have to guess what’s going on in his head.
If he was Ice Cream, what would his flavor be?
Something rich and dark and decadent.
If he was willing, what would be your perfect day or date for the two of you?
Um, a perfect date would be in his bedroom with all his… um… toys.
Tess, is there anything you'd like the readers to know before we move on to some rapid fire questions?
Nope. I’m very open in the book but kinda shy when it comes to interviews.
A few random questions....
Katy Perry- ET (reminds me of Q)
A human has six senses—instincts being the most important
Pale jade—Q’s eyes
Lastly, what are 3 things fans don't know about you or the book?
Um, that’s hard.
1. I’m twenty but I feel ancient, especially after growing up in a family who didn’t want me.
2. I love France more than my native homeland of Australia.
3. I have a terrible fear of crickets.
Tess, I can't thank you enough for stopping by. You absolutely rock girl and I'm so freakin' happy you survived and are here with us today!!!
Thank you so much for having me!! Your questions were awesome and I hope everyone enjoys my story! <3
Tess is a college student, living with her boyfriend Brax. Everything is on track for a nice normal boring life. Brax is the very vanilla golden boy, whom dreams of a normal life with the typical 2.5 kids and white picket fence. He also likes to be the hero for a damsel in distress. Tess was a late-in-life baby, born to two retirees whom did not want her. She has gone through life feeling unwanted until Brax. He took her in and they built a life together. He's ready to take the next step with her, starting with a vacation to Mexico but Tess sees this as an opportunity to spice up their love life as well. She recognizes she has some dark desires and unfortunately Brax doesn't share in them.
While in Mexico, Brax decides to be adventurous and rent a scooter. As they tour the city, Tess decides she wants to go back to the hotel. Brax decides to stop for a drink before they head back and that's when everything turns to crap. Tess has been targeted to be kidnapped and Brax can't protect her.
Tess is taken against her will and thrown into the world of human trafficking, sex slavery and all the ugliness the world has to offer. She eventually lands at the mercy of her new master, a man known only to her as Q. A man with dark desires and who stirs those in her as well.
So like I said, after reading this book, damn I needed a moment. When the author says that this book screws with your mind, she wasn't kidding. There are some really horrific scenes and she doesn't pull any punches. There are not only twists and turns throughout the story but she also lifts up the rock and exposes the ugliness of the, all too rampant, world of human trafficking with all it's horrors that will befall a beautiful young woman but she also shows that there are some people willing to buck at it as well.
What I think I loved most about this book is that, at no time, does Tess stop fighting. I've read a few books that deal in this subject matter and usually, eventually the woman breaks or submits to stockholm syndrome for the HEA but not here. Pepper Winters really makes Tess into a fighter and survivor therein the payoff for the HEA is that much sweeter. It works for the character and the believably of the story. Although I think at times, stockholm syndrome is an appropo term for both the heroine and the reader. I loved the HEA and I loved the reality of the truth but I can't help but think that maybe the story messed with my mind as well. I know I should be repulsed or something, somewhere but I can't put my finger on it. I'm like, he's horrible, she's messed up but they are perfect together, how is that right and OMG the things he put her through, WTF?
I think I need more time to process this book but I definitely think if you like dark, dark stories with a fabulous heroine, a messed up alpha male, lots of sex (good and bad), and a fab HEA. You'll love this story.
I'd recommend it to fans of C. J. Roberts - The Dark Duet series.
She loves to travel and has an amazing, fabulous hubby (who speaks French—hot!) who puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends. She loves to hear from her readers so hit her up at email@example.com
Pepper is offering up (1) paperback copy (INTL) and (5) eBook copies (INTL) of Tears of Tess