- Author: Pepper Winters
- Published: July 20th, 2016
- Reviewed: December 10th 2016
- Tags: Dark | Contemporary | Romance tag for the series as a whole…
- Series |
Standalone: Dollar #1
- Recommended to: Fans of Dark Lit
- Avoid if: Captivity/ abuse offends
- Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
You’re thrown straight into carnage with this one, folks. 18% in and I’m thinking you’re screwed Pimlico, this is not ending well. – My note when starting Pennies.
Here we go. You probably saw me on Twitter going crazy about this series.
When i finished reading Pennies i went straight onto Amazon to purchase the second book in this series, Dollars. Pepper Winters has created such an unpredictable plot and unforgettable, vivid characters that i won’t forget & i’ll no doubt put every book she’s published on my TBR list now.
Pimlico was bought in an auction by Master A, a despicable and cruel man. If you think this is one of those stories that sees the captor relenting in harshness towards their captive, you’ll be in for a surprise. The antagonist is ridiculously mean and fucked up, when you think that they should have some endearing qualities to work, this proves otherwise. His character doesn’t progress in a way that softens the readers opinion of him, he simply becomes pitiful which lends Pimlico’s character some much- needed strength.
It’s violent and cleverly written so that it isn’t just a diary of torture, Winters gives it to you in dribs and drabs, sometimes dulling the impact and others hitting you with it in the face with a spade.
I wouldn’t file this in the romance or erotica files: it’s a tale about cruelty, strength, and survival. I also wouldn’t give it the BDSM tag either, sure Master A is sadistic, but it hasn’t got the pull that other Dark BDSM reads have, there is no pleasure lingered upon here between captor/captive.
(Synopsis at the end of this review)
‘Master A broke my leg just to hear me scream.’
I’ll be praising the craftsmanship of this story for a while. The saintly colour white for Pimlico’s prison (and whole house) of where so much abuse occurs, the ability to create a character who says so much whilst clinging onto silence, and the trick of forcing you, the reader, into such a place that you believe any act of suggested kindness towards Pimlico is praise-worthy, when really it’s just a step up from the abuse Pimlico endures.
I love how authors of dark, dark romance, dark erotica etc play around with psychology. How the characters feel and portraying that as real as possible. The process of writing these books must be a tough one. Even if you hate the shock factor of this genre or can’t stand the uncomfortable and taboo scenes, one thing needs admitted, respect of an author who allows their mind to go there and investigate the emotions -to entertain and affect the reader.
‘My mother taught me wrong. She made me sympathise rather than fear. She made me believe in good rather than recognise the bad. I danced with my murderer.’
Now i wouldn’t have mentioned Elder in this review if he wasn’t mentioned in the synopsis, he’s an enigma that should be translated by the reader in the moment. He’s the thief, the killer. The mind-reader. Not literally with the latter, but he’s practised the art of reading body language. You’re drip-fed scenes and the mystery surrounding him when he comes to Master A’s place on business. He’s no saint, but he’s definitely something.
I’m not going to go into too much detail about him, it’ll take away from the story.
‘Something was to be said about cruelty. Give nothing but barbarity and that was all that was expected. Give tenderness mixed with persecution and the fall from hope hurt far, far worse.’
One of the many driving forces in Pennies, for me, is not just Pimlico’s insane strength, but how she stays mute. It’s the only control she has left and fuck is she strong for holding on to it. The other thing she has is No One, which is exactly that: no one. Merely pieces of toilet paper with scribbles about her new ‘life’. She’s forced to remain naked, take beatings and all kinds of horrors, with no promise of escape (or suicide) and when you think her situation couldn’t possibly get worse, it does.
Written from hers and Elders point of view, you’re there first-hand feeling what they are and thinking of ways to escape the horrors, without the paragraphs being repetitive or confusing.
This story, it isn’t hearts and flowers and butterflies; actually there is a single, significant butterfly. It’s a story you should hate, but like with most shockers – i loved it. The second book in the series, Dollars, well, i think it hit me harder than this one.
I would advise not to read this series out of order. Experience Pim’s journey from the start and prepare to experience all the feels…
“I’m not the hero in this story, girl. You’d do best to remember that.”
At eighteen years old, I was murdered.
I wish my tale ended there.
However, my killer resuscitated me and sold me to the highest bidder, sentencing me to a world worse than Hell.
For the past two years, I’ve lived a life of torment as a man’s property. I suffer in silence and wish for freedom, but I never break.
But then he arrives.
The first stranger since I was killed.
Elder Prest, a thief with a heart as black as his soul, arrives as a guest in our twisted home. He has business with my owner, but his interest lies in me. He pretends not to notice my bruises and hides his knowledge of what I am, but the way he watches me makes me feel more human than possession.
As his eyes tear through my walls and his voice demands answers, he challenges my owner for one night with me.
I’ve survived two years of torment because I no longer believe in hope, but Elder is the only man who promises me pleasure instead of pain.
Trusting him is dangerous, wanting him is deadly.
Is he my ticket to safety or my ultimate end?
Whoever he is, whatever he wants…I can’t say no.