By Pepper Winters
Release Date March 16, 2015
From New York Times Bestseller Pepper Winters comes the highly acclaimed USA Today Bestselling Series: Monsters in the Dark.
Included in the following edition are:
TEARS OF TESS
"My life was complete. Happy, content, everything neat and perfect.
Then it all changed.
I was sold."
Kidnapped. Drugged. Stolen. Tess is forced into a world full of darkness and terror.
"All my life, I battled with the knowledge I was twisted... fucked up to want something so deliciously dark. But then slave fifty-eight entered my world. "
Q may be a monster, but he's Tess's monster.
"After battling through hell, I brought my esclave back from the brink of ruin. I sacrificed everything--my heart, my mind, my very desires to bring her back to life."
Q gave everything to bring Tess back. In return, he expects nothing less.
**Not recommended if you don't enjoy dark romance, angst-filled plots, and BDSM.
Tears of Tess
The word master echoed like a bad tuning fork.
No, he wasn’t my master. Not with his short, sleek hair and sharp widow’s peak. Not with his clenched, stubble-smooth jaw and trim physique. He was not my master. No one was.
Tears pricked as I thought about Brax. He seemed a world away compared to this reality. Brax was rough and boyish, a hard worker through and through. The man, staring with pale jade eyes and an unreadable, chiselled face, lived in total contrast. Power radiated like visible waves, unsettling me more than anything.
He wasn’t the fat, repulsive bastard who used wealth to buy sex slaves. He wasn’t gross or any other monstrous things. Who is this man?
My eyes widened, drinking him in—the owner of this house. The owner of… me. No, never.
I didn’t care who he was, because my life belonged to me. I stuck out my chin, glaring. I wouldn’t be intimidated by wealth or stature. I didn’t care he was tall and moved like he expected the world to lick his shoes. I would never lick anything of his.
The man never broke eye contact, ensnaring me in his gaze. Slowly, he pushed off the banister and moved toward the stairs.
He was smooth water—effortless in refinement but just like still water, dangerous if you couldn’t swim. Deadly rips and currents lurked deep below the surface. I eyed him, trying to figure out what sick pleasures he indulged in that normal, willing women were hard to come by.
My heart raced with every step he took, descending toward me.
The guard pushed me forward. “Bow to your new master.”
I tripped, but regained my footing instantly. My fists shook, I clenched them so hard. My injuries reminded me all of this was wrong. In some warped sense, it seemed innocent like the owner of the house merely welcoming a guest.
“I have no master,” I said, putting every ounce of rebellion into the words. “Let me go.”
The man stopped mid-step, head cocked. His fingers curled around the banister, showing manicured nails, no calluses in sight. Once again, pale eyes connected with mine, sucking my thoughts into a vacuum.
Up till now, his face had been unreadable, but as we stared, flashes of emotion buffeted me. Anger. Interest. Annoyance. Resignation. And finally, in a blaze of jade…lust.
My breath quickened and I tried to step back again, only to collide with the wall of the guard’s chest.
The guard placed a hot, heavy hand between my shoulder blades and pushed, forcing me into a struggling, painful bow. “Do as you’re told.”
So many thoughts collided. I wanted to spin and steal the gun in the holster under his arm. I wanted to shoot everyone. I wanted to slash at the gorgeous artwork and priceless artefacts around the room. Such things of beauty did not deserve to belong to a man whose goons forced a sex slave to bow.
“Bastard,” I muttered, hating I couldn’t do any of it. All I could do was obey—for now.
“Stop. If she doesn’t want to bow, then don’t force her.” The masculine voice reminded me of glinting steel, shaped with precision and strength. It was the sound of authority, and despite my best attempts to rebel, I bowed on my own. The sheer weight of his voice compelled obedience.
The guard’s hand left my back. He chuckled. “If she doesn’t want to bow, perhaps she wants to crawl.”
My back snapped upright, and I jumped a mile. My new owner stood directly in front of me. Hands in his slack pockets, head cocked slightly to the side, as if inspecting a piece of art.
“She may crawl if she wishes,” he murmured.
“I do not wish,” I snapped.
Once again, our eyes connected and I searched for the evil like the men in Mexico, but he guarded himself too well. Nothing gave away what he thought, even the emotions I’d seen before were gone.
We stood staring for moments, before the guard behind me cleared his throat. Shattering the fragile silence and condemning me to whatever would happen next.
“Laissez-nous.” The man waved a hand toward the exit. Instantly, the guard left along with a few others I hadn’t seen lurking. The rustle of their suits sounded like a death sentence as they siphoned out the door.
My eyes flicked to the left, where a massive library beckoned. Sultry mahogany, rich maroons, and gold bookcases. A roaring fire beckoned to read a book and slouch in the wingback chairs huddled around the flames.
To the right, a ginormous lounge full of comfortable designer sofas and chairs. Animal hides of zebra and tiger littered the floor, and huge glass doors reflected me standing under the bright lights of the foyer.
The man stood an arm’s length away. Tears thickened my throat.
I dropped my gaze, unable to look anymore. Tiredness descended, and all I wanted to do was sleep—to escape this nightmare.
“You won’t be able to run,” he said, watching closely.
I sucked in a breath. “Who says I’m going to run?”
His lips, smooth and well defined against his five o’clock shadow, twitched. “I smell it on you—the scent of prey. You’re looking for a bolthole, somewhere no one can find you.” He leaned in, sending a cloud of expensive cologne around me. “You’re different, I’ll give you that. They didn’t break you, but don’t think you can fight me. You won’t win.”
My heart seized. His tone bordered on angry. He was angry at me? I was the victim here. My chest swelled with indignation. “What do you expect? I was smuggled here. You bought me. I didn’t come freely. Of course, I want to run.”
1 x Sign copy of Tears of Tess (Intl)
Pepper Winters is a NYT and USA Today International Bestseller. She 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 puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends. She's also honoured to wear the IndieReader Badge for being a Top 10 Indie Bestsellers, best BDSM series voted by the SmutClub, and recently signed a two book deal with Grand Central. Her books are currently being translated into numerous languages and will be in bookstores in the near future.