Tears of Tess - Pepper Winters Actual rating: 2.5 StarsIt pains me to give this book anything below 4 stars, I really had high hopes when I started reading this book. The prologue was intriguing and for about 22% I was really enjoying the direction and pace of the story. But after that the story started losing it's allure for me, the captor wasn't what I expected. There is a very delicate balance when you are writing a captivity story, you have your two roles: Captive and Captor. When the line between the two starts to blur, you've lost me.But I kept reading, hoping that it would get better. But unfortunately not. I guess the story was too predictable for me, in my opinion this story was a case of the characters had sadistic cravings or urges and couldn't accept this part of themselves. This is angst not dark. And when it comes to non-consent, I only know of one incident where non-consensual-sex occurred, the rest was just reluctance.I am a huge fan of anti-heroes and have read many books with this type of character. The one thing that makes or brakes the book is an anti-hero who feels remorse too early in the story. Once again the story holds know allure for me. When it comes to the heroine, I'm all for a feisty and confident character. But when faced with imminent danger or the fight for survival, I expect a certain level of submissiveness. I'm sure this shows how absolutely screwed up I am, but it is what it is.Teaser 1Q stood below, looking up at me. Slowly, he inserted his middle finger into his mouth and sucked. His eyes flashed with so much darkness I would never see the night again and not think of him. His tongue licked his finger with intoxicating grace. My lips parted as he mesmerized me. Somehow, focusing on him helped dispel my panic, reminded me that Q might be bad, but he definitely wasn’t the worst.It was almost a relief when he reached for my hip to hold me steady, his fingers biting into flesh. Slowly he poked his finger through the fabric of the dress and found the dampness on my thigh. His eyes shot to mine. “You continue to surprise me. I didn’t need to lick my finger after all.” My cheeks pinked as he feathered his touch up my leg and stroked my entrance. His finger slipped in my wetness and a groan rumbled in his chest. He pulled me closer and like a pendulum I went—his to move where he wanted. Pressing his face on my chest, he thrust his finger inside me making my knees buckle and I swung slightly in my bindings. His hand left my hip to wrap around my lower back, securing me tightly. “Ah, esclave. You continue to lie. Your body tells the truth.Teaser 2He reared back, his hand raised to strike. I fought the urge to curl into a little ball, and stared right into his turbulent gaze. “Do it. Hit me. At least the pain will leave a physical mark that you’ll have to see every day.”He opened his mouth, but then shut it again. His hand dropped, settling limp on the bed. Something raw blazed in his gaze before he clambered off me, pacing in my small cage. “What is your name?” he growled, still pacing. His suit crinkled, perfection marred. “What does Q stand for?”“What is your name?”“Let me go and I’ll tell you.”We stalemated, glaring once again. Day by day I was becoming a champion at staring competitions. This one, though, I lost. Q’s gaze set fire to my blood. Smouldering and licking with unwanted lust. Misplaced lust. Lust that drove me mad with confusion and hatred for myself. I dropped my eyes and waited. Just like that, I was his again. An eerie sense of calm filled me. Obedience was a balm against the hardship of fighting. Why fight when I could make my life so much easier by becoming a robot? Turn off my feelings and do as he asked. Q stepped forward, putting himself right between my legs. His belt was eye level and the heat blazing from his body cindered all my other emotions to dust. He was male. I was female. That was all there was to it. My hands moved on their own accord, reaching for his waist. Blissful vacancy filled me. I floated on a cloud of indifference as I pulled the leather free from loops and undid the buckle.ARC courtesy of author in exchange for an honest review