ARC Review: Pretty When You Cry by Skye Warren

Posted October 28, 2015 by Jennifer in Reviews / 5 Comments

ARC Review: Pretty When You Cry by Skye Warren

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
ARC Review: Pretty When You Cry by Skye Warren
Pretty When You Cry
by Skye Warren

5 Stars


Released: October 20th 2015
Series: Stripped #3
Published by Smashwords Edition
Genres: Erotic Romance
Pages: 330
Format: eARC
 

Recommended Read!

“…atmospheric, gritty, and the emotions are intense, but realistic.”
~ Under the Covers

The Stripped series by Skye Warren takes me back to my favorite genre of them all, dark erotic romance.  Pretty When You Cry is book 3 in the series that also includes two novellas.  Being order obsessed and being a newbie to Skye Warren’s work meant that before reading Pretty When You Cry, I tackled all prior installments….in one week.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been that intent on devouring an established series that had a fair amount work already published.  The Stripped series all center around The Grand, a strip club run by the mysterious Ivan.  There’s nothing wholesome about this world.  It’s seedy and each girl has a past, a reason why they’ve come to call The Grand their home.  Pretty When You Cry is the story of owner Ivan and Candace (Candy), a woman that showed up on his doorstep as a scared 16 year old runaway. Candace grew up in a religious compound, believing she was the epitome of sin and temptation.  When she lands at Ivan’s feet, naïve and confused, he shelters her from his world.  Years later, a grown woman, Candy works as a stripper, allowing herself to fall into a pattern of excess: too much partying to cover up the pain.  Ivan is still there, her replacement father figure, dolling out punishment as he sees fit.  Nothing is really what it seems, and when a series of threats from Candy’s past surface, Ivan and his security team mobilize to protect one of their own.  Candy only kneels for one man and Ivan can no longer resist the temptation to claim what has always been his.  But Candy needs more than what Ivan is willing to give.

Wow, just wow.  I LOVED all the prior installments in this series and Pretty When You Cry is no exception.  You can read it as a standalone, but I wouldn’t.  The others are too good to miss and knowing these characters at the onset, what they mean to other people, their established reputations, makes it all the more enjoyable.  Ms. Warren’s writing is tight and perfectly paced.  These books are all moderate in length and say what they need to without excess.  They are atmospheric, gritty, and the emotions are intense, but realistic.  It’s an understatement to say that these characters are damaged.  Both Ivan and Candace come from unspeakable pasts, involving childhood abuse.  Ivan has risen to financial success, but he’s far from pristine.  There’s an undercurrent that all his dealings might not be squeaky clean.  He has pure emotion, but he’s not always the good guy and this is my favorite type of character.  He’s beautiful and fierce.  Candace is damaged but determined, knowing what she wants, but also what she needs to grow as a person.  She is a brave, and doesn’t always choose what I would have wanted for her, but it works out in the end.   The sexual relationship between Ivan and Candace deserves discussion, and it’s the focus of a lot of reviews of Pretty When You Cry.  The Stripped series in general dips into the taboo when it comes to sex.  I would not have classified the previous books as classic BDSM erotic romance, as there are no safe words, no “tools of the trade.”  But anyone familiar with D/s themes will know right away that each book portrays characters that fall into Dominant and submissive roles, each with kinks that they call their own, from a need to be humiliated and degraded to just plain dirty and rough sex.  Pretty When You Cry actually portrays a fairly well known D/s  construct of Daddy Dom/little.  If you’ve never read this or heard of it, I would keep an open mind, to understand that those who fall into this type of kink aren’t trying to create some type of pedophilic scenario, nor are they necessarily damaged and in need of therapy.  It’s a kink like any other that fulfills some type of psychological need.  Candy calls Ivan Daddy, and their sexual relationship revolves around punishment/reward, with innocent/experienced roles.  He is the protector and provider.  If it’s a trigger for you, I’d skip this one. For me, the sex was mind-blowingly hot and unique, with pain and the taboo wrapped up in it all.  There’s a hint of consensual  non-consensuality that gives it a dark and delicious edge.   There is a fitting and satisfying HEA that warmed my heart.  I am now going to read Skye Warren’s entire backlist because I had no idea what I was missing!

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READING ORDER & BUY LINKS

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About Skye Warren

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dark romance such as Wanderlust and Prisoner. Praised as a “true mistress of dark erotica”, her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, four dogs, and one evil cat.

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Jennifer

Jennifer

Guest Reviewer at Under the Covers Book Blog
I’m a 30-something medical professional by day and obsessive Crossfitter by night who’s been in love with the written word since I can remember.And that means that I read every Nancy Drew and Nancy Drew Files until I snuck Stephen King’s It from my father’s bookshelf at age 10.I was never the same… I read voraciously for years, until academic pursuits derailed me, but re-entered the fray 8 years ago when a certain teen paranormal series caught my attention.The passion back, I haven’t stopped since.When I’m not working, working out, or traipsing around for my teenage son’s hectic activity schedule, you can find me with Kindle in hand, often until the wee hours of the night.

I’m well known to be a genre hopper, who has very few hard limits.My first real romance series was J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood and she still rocks my paranormal world, along with Karen Moning’s Fever series and Joey Hill’s Vampire Queen series.That being said, you’ll often see me reading erotic romance with a BDSM focus.I’m never afraid of dark and dubious reads a la Joey Hill, Tiffany Reisz and Cari Silverwood.When genre fatigue sets in, a witty historical romance never fails to satisfy me, and Lisa Kleypasand Sarah MacLeanare my auto-buys.My favorite series of all time is Diana Gabaldon’s Outlader saga, and I will fight for Jamie Fraser to the death ;). Much to my fellow romance readers’ surprise, I also cleanse my palate with popular contemporary reads.Romantic suspense.LGBT.Western.If the writing is on, I’ll dig in.
Jennifer

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5 responses to “ARC Review: Pretty When You Cry by Skye Warren

  1. Ana

    Awesome review. I love Skye and her work and I love all the books in the Stripped series. They’re all phenomenal, she’s truly talented in setting the “environment ” for her stories. I don’t even have words to describe how I felt when I finished reading Prisoner. It was such a punch in the gut.! I’ve already purchased Pretty when you cry and I’m preparing myself to dive in.

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