Tears of Tess (Monsters in the Dark, #1)

Tears of Tess (Monsters in the Dark, #1)

4.2 96
by Pepper Winters

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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.

…  See more details below


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?

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Product Details

Pepper Winters
Publication date:
Monsters in the Dark , #1
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File size:
2 MB

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Tears of Tess 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 96 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First of all, to the person who compared this book to 50 Shades of Gray.... You have absolutely lost any and ALL credibility as a reviewer. 50 Shades was the most poorly written book on the BDSM genre I have ever encountered. It was written by someone who publicly admitted she had NO experience whatsoever in the BDSM lifestyle and did all her research on the internet. Not to mention it was originally written as a Twilight Fan Fic. (This is true.. google it) She took characters and BARELY changed their personalities, names, and situation to write that so called 'book series'. Any author to use the phrase 'inner Goddess' over 80 times in just ONE book needs some serious editing and a reality check of women. Sorry, but it needed to be said. All 50 Shades did was open up a genre to women who never would have discovered the world of BDSM otherwise do to the hype of the series. Fact.. the BDSM genre has existed LONG before 50 Shades and will exist long after. Try reading The Story of O. Published in the 1950's and one of the most poignant works on the subject ever to be published. Don't reference a book series in a genre you obviously have no experience in yourself. I am active member in the BDSM community and have been reading this genre LONG before 50 Shades ever hit the shelves. This book delves into a darker world of BDSM. It goes beyond desire and into need. The reason I gave it 4 stars instead 5 is simply this... the way Q behaves when Tess first arrives goes against the entire story of who he is later. The way he spoke to her and treated her doesn't reflect what the author intended him to be later. I even went back and reread the scenes of her arrival and still couldn't put it together as the behavior of someone who is 'saving' her. That said.. discovering Tess's darker desires and how well her needs served Q's made this book believable and the characters ignite. It's hard to find a match when you have desires such as these and the chemistry between Tess and Q was well put together, even though his behavior in the beginning mismatched what he really was. This book is well written, doesn't drag, and flows very well to make it a quick read while being compelling from the first chapter to the last. Can't wait for the next one!
mary8808 More than 1 year ago
This is one of those stories that will grab you at the first and keep you there until then end. It will have you laughing and crying. There are parts of this story that are very dark and some parts that really got to me and was hard to read but I kept going and it ended perfectly.  Tess is unloved by her older parents, they think her brother is perfect and she was a mistake. She found love with Brax, or so she thought. With work and college, they didn't have a lot of alone time. So Brax surprises Tess with a secret vacation. They end up in Cancun Mexico, where you never drink the water (unless out of a bottle you open) and never be left alone for any amount of time. Tess tries to get Brax to get into a little more during sex but he is not interested in anything other than normal. While riding around on a scooter, they stop at a street side cafe, which looks like a tornado ran through it. There are no other customers and the place is nasty. After ordering their sodas and drinking then, Brax heads to the restroom and doesn't come back and Tess's worst nightmare comes true. She is stolen and put through hell. After a week with the traffickers, she is sold to Mr Mercer. All she has to do is keep fighting and survive and maybe she will be released. Q (Mr Mercer) turns out to not be what she thinks he is.  Tess will go through a lot to try and get back home but is that really what she wants? Loved Q's (Mr Mercer) point of view at the end. This is the first for me by Pepper Winters and I loved it. Looking forward to more from her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tears of Tess is amazing! It really is outstanding. I have never read something like this before. When I started reading the book I already heard a lot about it and most of them loved it. There was such hype about it that I truly tried to read the book with a neutral mindset. And I did. And it still blew me away! I knew the story is about kidnapping and being sold as a sex slave. However, it was so different from what I expected. Pepper Winters told a totally different tale. It is all about what is behind. Tears of Tess is supposed to be dark romance. And I know some complained that it is not dark enough. I think it is definitely dark. Just not in a way someone might expect. That’s also what makes this book so great! Tears of Tess is all about finding who you are and not only accepting it but embracing yourself. I honestly can’t say much about the book. I actually expected to write a very long review about it, but there is no need. Tears of Tess fascinated me in its entirety. The whole concept of the book is amazing. That Pepper Winters is a talented author and that her style of writing is great is not unwelcome either ;) The way Pepper Winters expresses the emotions of the characters is great. A lot of the emotions are so extreme I guess the majority of us readers has never experienced them and also will never experience them in their life. However, she is able to make them so believable. I really suffered with Tess throughout the book but I also suffered with Q, which is kind of twisted. As a reader I experienced a roller coaster ride of emotions – love, hate, angst, rage, fear, and understanding. It all changed so fast the book constantly kept me on edge. Pepper Winters opened the door to a whole new area of romance novels with Tears of Tess. Fifty Shades of Grey brought BDSM to the masses. Well, Tears of Tess goes further. ARC provided for an honest review
Emily-SBDR More than 1 year ago
Tears of Tess is a hauntingly and seductively dark novel. It is utterly unapologetic in its portrayal of human trafficking and sadomasochism. Yet, as deep and uncomfortable as the book went I couldn't help but be entranced. Pepper Winters took matters that are commonly shied away from and unearthed them in all their horrid glory. This book has zero fluff, and 100% real problems wrapped in an erotic and captivating tale of two people fighting their basic needs and clumsily feeling their way through a new and terrifying relationship.  "I finally found a place where my twistedness belonged." ~Tess When Tess Snow is kidnapped and sold through a human trafficking ring in Mexico, her world is shattered. What she wasn't expecting was for her new master to awaken the dark erotic urges she has always yearned for. Q Mercer is unforgiving, and quite frankly, a bastard. Or that's at least how Tess sees him. She is led to believe that she is just one of many and even though her body is saying yes, her head is still screaming no. She can't make the two see eye to eye where Q is concerned. All she can believe is what she sees, but her heart knows better. She has found a lost soul, much like hers. Q demands Tess' complete obedience, and power over her body, mind and soul. And just as Tess is fighting to make sense of her needs, so is Q. Before she can accept her new future, an opportunity to escape arises and her flight instinct kicks in causing her to jeopardize everyone and everything she will come to love and need.  "Q took everything from me, but he didn't so much as steal it, as I gave it willingly. By allowing him to rule, he gave me something tangible. He allowed me to be me. To be real." ~Tess I may be looking back at this book with rose-colored glasses, so let me set one thing straight. This is not your common BDSM romance novel. Tears of Tess delves into very distressing and grievous content. There is rape, debasement, reluctance, and physical abuse. Yet there is also, not so much redemption but, revelation of secrets and truths, and a connection that is hard to deny that will have you falling in love with these characters. But yes, it is unconformable to read in several parts. So, why did I read it? Because it is brilliantly written and in short a beautiful, yet terrifying book. It was outside my norm of books that I read but, I couldn't be happier that I made that step. Truthfully, this is not for the faint of heart but, also you have to have an extremely open mind while reading this book. It's not a world that most of us are used to, or the type of relationship most of us have been exposed to. You have to understand that while you may not agree with the characters' actions, it is their life and they never asked for nor needed your approval. We are all made differently, with different wants and needs. Tess and Q are two individuals who find their better halves in one another. They can understand and need not explain nor apologize for who they are. That is the true beauty of this book.  "Did I create her, or was she always this twisted?" ~Q Even putting aside the subject matter and you still have an author who is a master of words and storytelling. Yes, there were times I had to set aside the book and take a breather. It's just too intense in parts not to. And even though my heart was breaking for Tess throughout most of the book, she fought. I think that's why I was able to keep reading. If Tess had broken, I don't think I could have kept on. But her perseverance and Q's struggle and explanation of the monster inside him lured me into a sense of comfort that these two had found their perfect matches. I simply, cannot wait to delve into Quintessentially Q and will definitely be making room for Ms. Winters on my auto-buy list. If you're a reader with an open mind, and a love for the underdog couple this series will blow you away. And if you're not, that's okay too but, I would suggest you give it a try, you might surprise yourself :) Happy Reading! *Review copy provided by the author/publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a really great read for me! It is a little dark and disturbing but I enjoy dark and disturbing :)
Helenas_Book_Obsession More than 1 year ago
How do I describe something that is so phenomenal, earth shattering  incredible...uh...Something that just sucks you in and devours you to pieces? This will definitely be my hardest review to put into words. I will try my very best to describe how much I love Tears of Tess by Pepper Winters. I have read it twice and I'm still having trouble on coming up with an awesome review without giving anything away.:) Mrs. Pepper Winters New adult dark romance novel is something to be talked about and definitely a must read. This was easily my top pick reads of 2013. Pepper Winters unique writing style is outstanding. I was immediately swallowed in from the very first pages. She made me live every experiences and emotion in Tears of Tess may it of been angst, desire, passion, thrilling or love, I felt it all. My heart raced at every angst moment. I held my breath with all the desire and passion that took place . My emotions were on overload and I loved every psychological moment. There was never a dull moment but you will without question come across non stop action. Tess and Q will captured your heart. Especially Q and his dark demons.  "A human is adaptable. A human heart is not." Tess Snow is our heroine and she’s abducted while on a romantic getaway in Mexico with her boyfriend, Brax Cliffingstone. The battle that she goes thru is insane. From Kidnapping to brutal beatings to non consensual sex. It is something someone should never have to encounter in their life.To anyone else your will to survive would mostly likely break but not Tess. It only makes her stronger and leads her to discover who she truly is and what she really wants.  " I am nobody's possession." Q Merce is heart wrenching beautiful, Wealthy, Raw, Powerful and so much more. One minute you are all over him and the next you want to wrap your hands around his sexy throat and squeeze until he is begging YOU for mercy. Q has his own dark demons he has to deal with, but so would you if you had the kind of parents he had.  Especially his father that enslaved woman and did to them as he pleased. "Monster's find each other in the dark." Q and Tess together are raw emotional heart stopping hot! lol! When they come together you can feel their sexaul tention. I loved every detail and moment that they encounter together."I hadn't gone Stockholmy- I hated him, knew what he did was wrong, but my body..., my body didn't care."  The more Tess spends with Q, the more she wants to understand him. His demeanor and past only makes Tess want to understand him and get to know him even more. "I'm not afraid of hurting you. I'm afraid of how far I'm willing to go."  But Q tries to stay away and tries to battle his rages that’s inside him. He knows that Tess is different and he can’t help but wants to break her will. But he keeps fighting his urge constantly. As they learn new things from each other day in and day out. But they still hide secrets from each other and from that only bad things can come of it.  "I believed fully I was made for him and he was made for me. Two halves of the same messedupness. Two souls from the same twisted desires, unable to fully be free until we found each other." But when their desires wins  it’s downright hotness. From spanking, whipping, and restrain to passionate vanilla sex. You will find yourself holding your breath as its emotional touching and deliciously raw. Pepper Winter is definitely an author to watch out for. Her ability to write is unique and beautiful. There is nothing about this story that I did not like It was truly a captivating story. I highly recommended this fiction novel to anyone who wants to read a top rated book of the year. Tears of Tess was brilliant and what made it even more awesome was the Prologue. That alone had me skip a beat it was deliciously well written as I’m anxiously awaiting for Quintessentially Q (Tears of Tess #2) I rate this book 58 (5) Stars 
Tazzy-TMH1 More than 1 year ago
**ARC received in exchange for an honest review** I’ll be completely honest and say I didn't expect much from this book when I first received it. HOW. WRONG. WAS. I?! OMG this book rocked me to my core and has made it as one of my top 5 books. I read between 7-10 books a week which means I have a LONG list of books for it to top and top them it did! I refused to put it down until I’d finished, even cooking with my nose attached to my Kindle! Well, they asked for food they never said they wanted it not burnt…………… A lot of authors have tried to pull off dark contemporary romance and have not quite managed it. Pepper Winters has blown it all out of the water with the story of Q & Tess. I instantly fell in love with both characters. Not sure if I was supposed to but I did. What I love the most about this book is that even though the book is told in Tess’s POV only, you can feel the connection between all of the characters through Tess’s mind. The depth, the passion, the fear it is all there for you to feel as you read. I don’t think I’ve been so completely consumed by a dark contemporary romance like this in a long while. I favour this type of romance, I like the angst, and I like the psychological thrill that comes with reading this type of book but only when it written right, only when the author writes a book as emotionally charged as this one. I think I could spend a good while singing the praises of this book and still be able to rabbit on about it. The scenes were well written and flowed from one to another naturally. There are difficult situations written about in this book and I feel that they were done as tastefully as they could have been. Tess’s strength of character and refusal to give up in the face of being kidnapped is breath taking. Q’s tortured soul and refusal to become what he craves is heart rendering. This book is just…………….. more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read Fifty Shades of Grey so I thought I would be somewhat prepared for the dominating sex and pain experience. However, I was very wrong. I never felt the least bit attracted to Q, at times he just seems deranged and Tess is even worse because she enjoys it just as much as he does. I won't be moving on to book 2 or 3 in this series as I find I must be in the minority and find this storyline a bit disturbing rather than erotic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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MissCowBaby More than 1 year ago
I received a copy courtesy of the author for an honest review Where to start with this book??!! First let me say that this is my first dark (like DARK) contemporary romance. I remember how I was even introduced to this series...I was participating in a Goodreads group (I can't remember the name) and one of the members claimed that she had just finished an was waiting for the third and final book (Twisted Together) to come out. I was intrigued because I've never read this sub genre before and this book had such high ratings. I soon added it to my TBR list in hopes of reading it. Well here I am! The first thing that grabbed me about Tears of Tess was the cover. My thought when I saw the cover was 'Oh I love that dress she has on,' lo and behold my thoughts would soon change once I read what the outfit represented. This book was out of this world good. Personally there will never be a book that flows as well as this, or grabs my attention and sometimes has me questioning my own sanity like Tears of Tess did. This is a book that's completely ageless, never will this book go out of style. Everything about this book was on point. I am so glad that Tess turned out to be a fighter, this book would've broken me if Tess had folded into herself after and during everything that went on. Her character was so complex, and we get a glimpse of that in the beginning when we get some of her back story and the dynamics of her relationship with Brax. On a side note, I knew right off the bat that Brax wasn't the man for her, or at least I hoped he wasn't. I want to talk about Q's character but then again I don't. I want him all to myself! I might not live his lifestyle but GOODNESS there's no way you can resist his being, he's just so raw and gritty. I don't even know what words to use to describe him, he's his own force. NO way would I have ever thought that once Tess was kidnapped that Q would become her life. No way did I expect or even imagine this story taking the turns that it did. What I will say about Q (because if I speak on anything else about him I will become depressed because he's not real and I can't have him) is that he's the perfect, the PERFECT, man for Tess, he completes her in ways not even she understood. Regardless if dark romance is not your thing this is one book/series you do not want to miss. I can't wait to read the next book in this series, I truly don't' know what could come next to top this masterpiece. Q and Tess 4ever!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
slz52 More than 1 year ago
SO NOT MY THING: Someone please tell me how you can live your life worrying that someday you could go to far and actually kill the person you are suppose to love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It was definitely not what I expected from Pepper but I loved it. I'm not sure how I feel about Tess and Q. I don't think Brax was right for Tess because they didn't quite fit together. But I think he truely loved her. Just not enough. Q, dark as he may be fills a deep seeded need in Tess and only she can see the loving goodness deep inside him. Their chemistry is off the charts filthy hot! I highly recommend this book to everyone especially if you enjoy reading seriously dark twisted erotic stories. I love Pepper Winters books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ms Winters is in a class of her own. Any one of her books can be purchased with knowing you're in for a real treat. Her writing is among the best I've read, and her characters make you fall in love every time! You will never regret this purchase.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You are an amazingly talented writer! You get in so deep with you stories and drag me in with you. I live all youe work.
starznstripes24 More than 1 year ago
This was such a fantastic read. Tess is kidnapped to be sold into slavery while on vacation with her boyfriend in Mexico. The detail provided leading up to the kidnapping as well as the events that took place before she was sold were described in such detail, it was like I was there. I expected Q to be a completely different breed of evil amimal than he turned out to be. While this is a dark read (and there were plenty of dark scenes) the book was able to show the tremendous growth and self discovery Tess went through during the process. There was a scene that made me cringe and nearly cry, but that's a testament to the realism of Pepper's writing. We're all wired differently and am so grateful that Tess and Q found each other. The emotions don't initially make sense, but everything becomes crystal clear the more ou read. I look forward to reading the rest of the series and would recommend this to anyone.
SnowWillow5 More than 1 year ago
First of all, this is completely different from Fifty Shades of Grey. I know Fifty Shades of Grey was about Christian being a sadist and  somewhat  Q is like that but other than that it is completely different along with the plot. I really enjoyed this novel although I find that they're  seems to not have that much details on the character. Like for example I know that Q is supposedly very handsome but I just don't see that  image of him. I don't know maybe its just me, but other than that this book is amazing, well if you like the bondage stuff. 
NookluvrRM More than 1 year ago
Tess has everything she ever wanted: one more semester before a career in property development, a loving boyfriend. For their anniversary, Brax surprises Tess with a romantic trip to Mexico. But paradise is shattered. Kidnapped. Drugged. Stolen. Tess is forced into a world full of darkness and terror. And then she's sold. This book was riveting.  I couldn't put it down.  It's disturbing to know that these things actually happen in the world today but the way this story was told was fantastic.
ssmommie75TB More than 1 year ago
Pepper Winters did a wonderful job of bringing life to the pages of Tears of Tess. I don't think I've ever read a book that so captured the fear of those kidnapped abroad and sold into slavery. I wasn't certain I could handle a book that delved so deeply into the darkness, but I am certainly glad I did and can't wait to read more.