So this is the final day of the blog tour of the final installment in The Monsters In The Dark Series…”Twisted Together” by Pepper Winters. It has been quite a whirlwind of emotions for me, reading these books, but I have loved every single moment – Miss Winters is one of my all-time favourite authors, and I am thrilled to participate in her tour!
Today, you will find my review, an excerpt from the book, and a fantastic giveaway for you all to enter.
Title: Twisted Together
Series: Monsters in the Dark, Book #3
Author: Pepper Winters
Genre: Erotic/Dark Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Tour Organized by: As the Pages Turn
“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. And for a while, I thought it broke me, that I’d never be the same. But slowly the beast is growing bolder, and it’s finally time to show Tess how beautiful the dark can be.”
Q gave everything to bring Tess back. In return, he expects nothing less. Tess may have leashed and tamed him, but he’s still a monster inside.
After surviving the darkness, a new dawn has begun. Twisted Together wades through black to grey, chasing the light of true love to banish the shadows forever.
Pain is a requirement, connection a necessity. But ultimately Q and Tess must face their demons, before they can embrace their future.
Complimentary copy given by the author in exchange for an honest review
I have many favorite authors. Each of them has their own, unique voices, of course, and it is particularly true when it concerns Miss Winters. I cannot say that I have a favorite sub-genre when it comes to romance novels, however: I have romantic suspense, love triangles, sweet romance, even a couple of chick lit novels on my book shelf. And let me not forget to add dark romance. And whenever I want something really dark and disturbing to read, I turn to Miss Winters.
I have started writing this review many times since I finished reading the final installment in the Monsters In The Dark Series…I must have deleted my words no less than 5 times because I felt that they were inadequate or because they felt lifeless or hollow. You all know how much I detest spoilers in reviews, but those have been a challenge to avoid this time, actually. I will try, nonetheless, to express my complete love and adoration of “Twisted Together”, and of the entire series in general, in this review.
After having experienced the worst kind of nightmare possible, Tess is back with her beloved Q, and they are trying to find their way back to living the life they want. But all is most definitely not well in Paradise: Tess suffers from horrible nightmares, and she carries a secret – a burden, really – she desperately wants and needs to keep from Q. How is she supposed to find a way back to herself when she no longer craves the same sort of release that Q does? How is she to free herself from the chains her very vivid dreams make her wear, even in the daylight, when she does not know how to do it? And how is she to ask her beloved Q for help when she fears that he will leave her once he learns her secret?
“Love suffocated my heart, stitching me up until I felt mummified with confusion. Bandages upon bandages held me hostage with no way out of the horrible prison I was in.” (Tess)
After everything Tess has endured, Q is trying his best to protect her this time. He, too, feels that he is a failure, after all, and he does not know how to help Tess getting back to her old self – or close to it, anyway. Q senses her lies every single day, and it angers, frustrates and saddens him. And a man as powerful as Q Mercer definitely does not do “helpless”. When he does unveil Tess’ secret, he feels completely crushed…but not for long. He conjures up a plan so frightening that I felt absolutely punched in my stomach when I read this particular scene. I had to take a deep breath as well, but then I could not help but keep reading, of course…
Now, I promised you no spoilers – so this is far as I will take it in terms of the story line. You will just have to read the book yourself.
Seeing Tess so damaged was very emotional for me to read. In the beginning, there are times when her old spark – her temper – shows itself, but it is dim and short-lived. I could feel her agony whenever she lied to Q, and I kept hoping that there would be a way for her to find herself and free her mind from her tormenting voices. But what I admire about her is the fact that, despite her fears, she is willing go through anything in order to stay with Q – he is her entire world, and I really felt her adoration for this intense, brooding, but also funny man.
“I’d been living a lie. A lie where I thought I only loved Q. I didn’t love him. I adored him. I worshipped him. I was alive because of him. Light and colour and effervescent joy gave me the strength to slap away my guilt and embrace what Q just showed me.” (Tess)
And yes, now onto Q…Be still, my beating heart! Reading the chapters told from his point of view was a real treat for me. He is a force all on his own: protector, beast, tender lover, and confidante…I am well aware of the fact that these words do not really seem to blend together that well, but he is all those things. And he is so much more, of course. Experiencing Q’s vulnerabilities made me feel both sadness and elation – the first, because you can truly feel his anguish, and that will tore your soul apart; and the latter because seeing this side of him makes him seem so real and human.
“For the first time in my life I’m vulnerable, all because I fell in love.” (Q)
Q may be a monster, but even monsters deserve and need love – and allow me to add: being protected by the women they adore…Q is no exception to this.
I thought my heart broke when I read “Tears Of Tess” for the first time…but then came book number two, “Quintessentially Q”, and my heart shattered. Again: or so I thought. This final book of the series, “Twisted Together” tore me apart, piece by piece, and there were times when I did not think that I could go on – but, as ever with Miss Winters’ books, I could not help myself: I persevered and I am absolutely thrilled that I did! I felt as if Miss Winters ensnared me with her written words, putting me under a spell…and, although horrific at times, I was really sad when I reached the last page of the book. That is what this author does to me: her words are magical.
“If I had sent you away, my life would’ve remained the same. Empty. Lonely. So then I can’t regret falling for you even though my need for you almost killed you.” (Q)
The journey these characters have gone through has been filled with terror, heartache, and pain – but Miss Winters has also allowed her readers to see the gentler, tender moments Tess and Q share. Yes, this may be a dark romance, filled with drama and terror, but this author also knows how to make me chuckle and laugh. I loved how you continue to see Tess and Q grow – both as a couple, but also separately – and how they, though their hardships, come out stronger than ever. Ultimately, this is a love story, and a very powerful one at that, which is why I give “Twisted Together”, and the entire Monsters InThe Dark series, my highest rating.
“Intertwined, tangled, knotted forever, our souls will always be twisted together, our demons, our monsters belong to the other,
Bow to me, I bow to thee, now we are free”
One final note before I stop: if you are prepared to get your heart torn to pieces, I would definitely recommend this series to any lover of romance. Yes, there are very disturbing scenes, and yes, you may have to take a small break from reading the book once or twice…but I am certain that you will fall for these characters as I have, and I am confident enough to promise you that you will fall under Miss Winters’ spell. If you are skeptical about these statements…Well…just try. And then come back and tell me if I were right or wrong.
♥Twisted Together – Excerpt♥
I shook my head. I didn’t understand. All I understood was his voice had the power to make me come. The deep tenor vibrated through my heart, sending tiny orgasms exploding in my veins.
I needed to be touched. I needed to be kissed.
Kiss him. Let him know.
Launching upright, I splashed a wave over the tub. Q jerked back, but wasn’t fast enough. Wrapping my arms around his neck, I dragged him down toward me. His hand slipped on the rim, plunging his arms into the water, landing on either side of my body.
His mouth opened to curse, but I swallowed whatever he said. My lips stole his, and the moment I tasted him, I went a little mad.
My core squeezed with delirium, demanding to be filled. My eyes rolled back at the sheer bliss of kissing.
He tasted like freedom and violence and pain.
“Esclave…wait…” Q tried to speak, but he only gave me the opportunity to slink my tongue into his mouth. Joy bounced and fizzed in my heart, demanding more.
I moaned, dragging him closer. My hands dug into his hair, tugging with sharp-laced desire. His mouth opened, either in shock or passion—I didn’t hesitate. I thrust my tongue deeper into his mouth, willingly drowning myself in all things Q.
Monsters in the Dark, #1
“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?
Monsters in the Dark, #2
“All my life, I battled with the knowledge I was twisted… screwed up to want something so deliciously dark—wrong on so many levels. But then slave fifty-eight entered my world. Hissing, fighting, with a core of iron, she showed me an existence where two wrongs do make a right.”
Tess is Q’s completely. Q is Tess’s irrevocably. But now, they must learn the boundaries of their unconventional relationship, while Tess seeks vengeance on the men who sold her. Q made a blood-oath to deliver their corpses at Tess’s feet, and that’s just what he’ll do.
He may be a monster, but he’s Tess’s monster.