Blog Tour - Quintessentially Q (Monsters in the Dark #2) by Pepper Winters ~ Ava's Double Review and Giveaway
"You crawled into the darkness, set my monster free, so scream, bleed, call out to me, but never say stop, never flee..."
*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.*
Q had convincing to do from where I was concerned, I wasn't sure about him in book one and to my surprise he won me over from the first paragraph in his point of view in book two. Once I got inside Q's head it clicked for me, I didn't question his intentions with Tess and I almost didn't care how they got together, all I knew was these two people belonged together.
If you thought Tears of Tess was dark, heed the warning Quintessentially Q is by far darker but only in the most thrilling and twisted way. If you feel you can read with an open mind and withstand reading about tough situations then you really must read this one.
Tess and Q have found their equal in each other, they have found the one person that can accept their inner most desires without doubt or question but Q being the controller that he is, finds it difficult relinquishing any fraction of power to Tess. If you thought Christian Grey was a dark character with control issues, he is a Care Bear compared to Q.
Just when Tess and Q find some equilibrium and vow to make their relationship work, their world is ripped apart beyond comprehension. At first I did worry it was going to be a repeat of book one and I didn't want it to happen but I soon discovered it had to in order for Tess and Q to really confront their monsters lurking in the dark.
Q goes beyond Alpha, he was primal and his comparison to a dark monster was spot on. When it came down to it and Tess needed his help, his protectiveness was innate, it was probably the wrong time to fall for Q, when he was tearing down the country like a monster, that was probably the time to fear him, yet I was in his corner willing him to do anything and everything to protect Tess. He went on to prove there was nothing he wouldn't do for her.
If I wasn't completely sold in book one, I was in book two. Quintessentially Q is probably the most twisted romance I've read and it surprised me, not because of the content but by how much I was in love with the story and the characters, you may feel a little twisted for loving it but I was past the point of caring. I loved having Q's POV, it was definitely what I needed to connect with him. And even though I found it hard to read Tess' POV just for the fact I didn't want any of her suffering to happen, it really cemented both sides of the story and I soon learned there was no one more perfect for Tess than Q.
Usually a guy would buy his soul mate flowers of chocolates, what Q presented to Tess with his bare palm was in no way a romantic gesture to the sane population of the world, but for that little bit of us that lives in make believe, it was the ultimate sacrifice and I loved it!
Once again I really enjoyed Pepper Winters' writing, I was engrossed in this story and literally couldn't put it down. I stayed up until 4am on Christmas Eve as I was just desperate to find out how their story would end. I loved the descriptive writing and that is the main reason I could connect to Q and Tess so well. We were given a vivid picture of their tortured world, even the scenes that I wish didn't take place were done so well. The author really did a fantastic job. I loved the inclusion of the birds, from Q's tattoo, to his aviary to the symbolism of what they meant. It was so integral to the story and added another dimension. Even the formatting of the chapter headings added to the story. I loved it all.
My heart went out to both Tess and Q as their protective bubble was well and truly burst but also at the same time I was so frustrated, I felt pain for them both. Q was trying everything in his power to restore Tess while Tess was surviving the only way she knew how. It hurt my heart to see them both broken but I knew they had been through too much for it to end any other way than them together.
I loved the transition in Q, he began being so closed off, for all he done to try and help people, he spent all his life trying to hide who he really was and it took finding Tess for him to really explore the dark side of him. Some may find his request at the end barbaric and yeah I questioned myself saying should I be thinking this is perfect for both Tess and Q? But do you know what? It was! Their story isn't over, it doesn't end on a cliffhanger but you know there is more to come. They have experienced so much as a couple but now is the time for them to really discover each other and Q can finally bare all to Tess and I for one can't wait!
The one point I would mention is I feel this isn't a New Adult story, some readers may go in with different expectations with that label but indeed the subject matter and themes in both book one and book two are definitely of adult nature. This story is not for the faint of heart.
Quintessentially Q might not be for everyone, there are several scenes of a difficult nature and even the relationship between Q and Tess might test your own comfort levels but if you can go in with an open mind you might just discover one of the most deliciously dark romances ever written.
"Tess wreaked havoc on my soul. I didn't know if I'd survive allowing her to dig deeper into my world."
"I swallowed back the thick taste of lust and murmured, "Too fucking late esclave. I'm ruined beyond redemption."
"Now is not the time to talk about hearts and falling esclave. Now is the time for pain and fucking. See how the two don't mix."
"You stole my loneliness. I may have given you wings, but you've become my gravity. I'll never be free of your force." ~Q
"It felt as if the world exploded on its axis, tripping, spinning, hurling me headlong into sin and debauchery." ~Tess
"That's how I felt. Melting, changing, evolving. I just hoped I survived the transition." ~Q
"Why her? Because she made me fucking happy for the first time in my sorry existence. She made me stronger, more grounded...more right."
"Q wanted me, Q would protect me, and eventually Q would love me. Me, the girl with nothing but a broken mind."
"I had to give her my body because she already owned my heart."
Book one: Tears of Tess
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?
"Q was no longer the devil. He was my master and I belonged to him."
I had been looking forward to this story for a while, I had heard so many great things about Tears of Tess and couldn't wait to get stuck in.
The biggest warning I was given was this book was dark, it's not your average romance and rainbows and sunshine you will not find within these pages. To my surprise I was expecting Tears of Tess to be darker than what it was. I think I had imagined much worse after being warned, or perhaps my mind is just as twisted ;-) whatever the case Tears of Tess was an original entertaining read.
I'm not going to mention much of the plot other than what you can gleam from the synopsis. Tears of Tess sucks you into the world of human trafficking, some readers may be uncomfortable with the subject matter, what I can say is although it may be difficult to read about, it doesn't go as deep as it could so I would say if you are a bit hesitant of reading, you should definitely give it a try.
I really loved Tess from the start. I love strong heroines and they don't come much stronger than Tess. Sure some may view her as reckless, I even questioned my own actions if I were in the same abhorrent circumstances, my instinct would be to keep my head down and quiver in fear but not Tess, she fought at every turn. It was hard to read about the violence inflicted on Tess but that was due to me connecting with her and feeling protective, I wished her gone from the whole situation.
Now Q finally comes into the picture and he is portrayed as one character when in actual fact, we soon learn he is the complete opposite. Q is a dark character and he wants things with Tess that he has spent his whole life trying to eradicate from his soul. It took me a while to warm up to Q, even by the end of the story, I wasn't completely sold on him, book boyfriend material he was not, at least for me. That's just a personal reading quirk, when a couple come together under these circumstances, even though I can see a change, I find it hard to forget the origins. With that being said, for Tess' sake, I really wanted Q to be the one for her.
I really enjoyed Pepper Winters' writing. I was compelled to follow Tess' story and from the very first page I was in her corner praying she made it out of her living hell. Tears of Tess was a break from the contemporary romances I was overdosing in. It had suspense, an air of mystery, some WTH moments and surprisingly some very hot erotic scenes. There are some time jumps in the story and these were done well, at no time did I think elements were rushed or we missed out on important parts.
Tears of Tess will take you on a mind bending journey like no other, it can be hard to read at times and you will question whose side you are on but for me that all made for a very interesting and entertaining read and one you must check out today.
"My first tattoo and it demoted me from dog to shelf produce. A disposable thing. An item. No more. No less"
"They hadn't asked any personal information. They didn't care who I was. Only what I was becoming. Something to be sold."
"What did they see when they looked at me? A feral woman who signed her own death sentence, or a fierce warrior who saved herself...?"
"Two things I wanted most in the world: for Q to die a miserable death, and for him to fuck me."
"You may not be mine, but I'm fast becoming your." ~Q
"I finally found a place where my twistedness belonged. In Q's arms."
"I fully believed I was made for him and he was made for me. Two halves of the same fucked-upness. Two souls from the same twisted desires, unable to fully be free until we found each other."
"I promise to protect you, ravage you, hunt those who hurt you, and give you the life you deserve. My fortune is yours. My secrets are yours. And I will give you the corpses of the men who hurt you." ~Q
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 puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends.
Her debut book Tears of Tess will be followed with Quintessentially Q. You didn’t think Q could stop so soon, did you? Her other two titles, Last Shadow and Broken Chance will be coming soon.
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