Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Pepper Winter's "Tears of Tess."

The Hopeless Romantics Book Blog are pleased to be a part of the Blog Tour for Pepper Winters "Tears of Tess." Both Jo and myself have provided reviews for this amazing book. Enjoy x
(Giveaway at bottom of post)

Genre: Erotic/Dark Contemporary Romance
Release Date: Out Now
Tour Organized by: As the Pages Turn

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK:    http://amzn.to/15D0AHw
Amazon.com:   http://amzn.to/16WtCS5

GoodReads:   http://bit.ly/17HoakL

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/ZI1azW2ydUo


A New Adult Dark Contemporary Romance, not suitable for people sensitive to grief, slavery, and non consensual 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?

Review: Surj Harvey 

Wow. This was my first experience of what people call "a dark read" and I'm speechless. This book really did blow me away, so much so that not even the need for sleep could pull me away. Don't get me wrong though, there were parts during the first 10% where I wasn't quite hooked and I could have quite happily put the book down but I'm so glad I didn't. 

This book put me through the ringer emotionally. There were moments where I cringed, where my heart was in my mouth, where anger took over and there were definitely moments that I squirmed in my chair because certain parts were uncomfortable to read  but that to me is a sign of a good book. Pepper Winters wrote it how she saw it and there isn't  a single bit that I felt was unrealistic or forced. 

Tess Snow kept her deepest, darkest desires locked away. A desire to be wanted, to be claimed always in the back of her mind, she'd hoped that a a surprise holiday to Mexico with her "vanilla/ Missionary" boyfriend Brax might help spice things up in the bedroom department. Nope, that just wasn't going to happen:

"Tess, I love being with you, but I don't need to fuck you to be a man. 
I need you as a friend, as my support. Do you understand?"

I just couldn't take to this man. He was selfish and it just seemed like it was all about him. I wanted him to maybe try but like he said, he wanted her as a friend, as support. No mention of lover or partner!  Even when they went out on the scooter, it was like he just ignored her concerns. From the start, I felt I could relate to Tess. I was that girl on the scooter worrying. I was that girl in the restaurant stressing because it didn't feel safe. So when Tess was kidnapped to be sold, I was so angry with Brax. Yes I know it wasn't quite his fault, but part of me just couldn't help but blame him. 

Although Tess was kind, caring, vulnerable and relatively innocent,  the moment she was kidnapped she became a fighter:

I couldn't be sucked into the depression and give up. I would never give up. I would fight
until I died; I'd teach the kidnappers they stole the wrong girl if they wanted meek and broken. 

I loved her spirit. Even when she was terrified, she wouldn't show cowardice or fear. Her goal was to escape and she would do everything in her power to ensure she succeeded. But how would she do that when she was sold on to Q Mercer, a man who had her tagged and guarded 24/7. From the word go, there was an internal conflict: 

Two things I wanted most in the world: for Q to die a miserable death, and for him to fuck me. 

That was a battle she would fight time and time again, the question is, would her body continue to betray her mind? 

I really connected with Tess's character and for the most, went on her emotional journey with her, but where she was accepting of certain situations and even forgiving, I just couldn't bring myself to do that.

And Q. OMG he confused the hell out of me. There were things he did, that he allowed to happen that infuriated me:

I'm not afraid of hurting you. I'm afraid of how far I'm willing to go."

Anger boiled over into hatred at times. Who was this man? How could the staff at the house sing his praises? It was like I was missing a giant piece of the puzzle. I was as confused as Tess:

"You don't get it Ami. And you won't until he tells you himself, but he's the best man I know. 
Out of all of us, he's the one that's ruined."

But as I progressed through the story and little bits of information were unveiled, I was able to start filling in the blanks. This man also fought his own battles and Tess saw that almost immediately but what was he so afraid of? Unfortunately, knowledge is everything and without it, forgiveness wasn't something that would come easily on my part. 

Within the book, were so many twists  that I just never saw coming. So many heart breaking moments where I cried for Tess... Where she literally threw herself unknowingly out of the frying pan and into the fire and I felt crushed for her. When would luck finally find her? And when it arrived, would she welcome it? 

I didn't expect the end but it was perfect. And the epilogue.... I finally fell in lust with Q. Love may take a while but let's just say, the hate was gone. The epilogue gave me his background. Why he was the way he was and why his staff were so loyal. Yes he had his demons, yes he had a need to dominate, but in Tess, he had found a willing submissive:

"This little bird belongs in your cage. No one else."

This was an amazing debut novel from Pepper Winters and I couldn't think of a better book to pop my "dark reads" cherry. 
I rated "Tears of Tess" 4.5 Hearts

Review: Jo Knipe

Tears of Tess was story with a dark edge and covered some pretty harrowing circumstances.. It really turned out to be a journey of self discovery for Tess, a journey that kept me intrigued throughout most of the book.

Tess had lead a simple life with her boyfriend Brax. Brax was sweet, lovely and wholesome... sounds like the perfect man right? But deep down, Tess wanted more, particularly when it came to the bedroom. Unfortunately the sex life she fantasized about was something Brax wasn't willing to give her. He wasn't willing to try let alone negotiate so Tess was left with vanilla!!! 

A trip of a lifetime to Mexico soon turned into a nightmare when Tess was kidnapped by a gang of sex traffickers. This is where the story became a little disturbing... when I say a little, I mean a lot but I was captivated and I wasn't about to put the book down for anyone. I had to know what the future held for Tess. 
The story became even more interesting when she was sold to Q. Q was not what I expected at all. I was completely  fascinated by this rich, dark and dominating man.

" Something lurked dark and vile, but there was human, as well as a monster inside."

Tess feared Q but at the same time she found herself fighting feelings she knew were wrong. She definitely put up a fight at first, refusing to give in to Q's dark needs but as the clock ticked and hours turned into days, she started to realise that the man who owned her wasn't the cruel person she initially thought him to be.  realises that Q really isn't the cruel man she thought he would be.

"For the first time in my life, I felt a bond. A profound connection, an intrinsic part of me belonged to him. Not just master and slave, but man and woman. 
Was he the man to make my heart sing?"

Throughout the story it was clear that Q has demons from his past, and it was these demons that were the reason for Q's actions.He was desperate to redeem himself for his past but when he met Tess, his dark urges
became resurfaced. Would Tess finally give into Q or would she continue to seek her freedom? 

"I want your complexities, your shadows. I want your whips and chains, and brutality. 
I'm willing to give you a slave who will never break."  

All the way through the story I really wanted to read Q's point of view so I was pleased when I discovered that the epilogue was written this way. I really wanted to know Q's thoughts and feelings and this helped me understand this intriguing character.

Q and Tess were both equally strong characters. Pepper Winter did a great job in writing this unique story, it really wasn't what I thought it was going to be.  I have a feeling that the second book in the series is going to be awesome and very hot! I cant wait to read it. 
I give Tears of Tess 4.5 hearts.

Author Bio:

Pepper Winters wears many roles. Some of them include writer, reader, sometimes wife. She loves dark, taboo stories that twist with your head. The more tortured the hero the better and she constantly thinks up ways to break and fix her characters. Oh, and sex… her books have sex. 

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 pepperwinters@gmail.com

Author Links: 

Pinterest:      http://pinterest.com/pepperwinters/boards/
Facebook:     https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pepper-Winters/539976006062848
Twitter:         https://twitter.com/PepperWinters
Blog:              http://pepperwinters.wordpress.com/

Goodreads:   http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7151973.Pepper_Winters

Tour wide giveaway:

Pepper is offering up (1) paperback copy (INTL) and (5) eBook copies (INTL) of Tears of Tess up for grabs.  
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. i love Tears of Tess! Thank you for the chance to win a paperback copy! :)

  2. would love to read Tears of Tess!

  3. Thanks for the giveaway :) I love the cover of the book.

  4. Thanks for the post & giveaway! :)
    I love "dark reads" and this one looks very promising!

  5. I LOVED Tears of Tess! I literally devoured in in 3 hours, I couldn't put it down. I can't wait for Q's story <3

  6. I have this downloaded iv'e been hear great things about it thanks for the giveaway!!!

  7. I can not wait to get this book and read it !

  8. I LOVE this cover. I can't wait to read this book

  9. Thanks for the giveaway chance! Love the cover and blurb for this book! Can't wait to read it!

  10. Looks like a great book!

    Thanks for the giveaway!!! :D

  11. I wanna get my hands on a pbk copy of this book!!!
    Thanks so much for the chance :)

  12. I can't wait to read Tears of Tess!!

  13. Want. To. Read!!! That book sounds amazing and is high on my TBR list *___*