“Dark, perverse, and unbearably erotic, Pretty When You Cry is SkyeWarren at her gritty best.” ~ Anna Zaires, USA Today bestselling author of Twist Me
A new dark romance novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Wanderlust and Prisoner…
I came from a place of dirt floors and holy scriptures. They told me the world outside was full of sin, and the first night I escape, I find out it’s true. Ivan saves me, but he does more than that. He takes me. He makes me his own girl.
My conditioning runs too deep. Ivan sees what I am.
That’s the thing about showing a mouse to a cat. He wants to play. And it’s terrifying, even for me.
Because the only thing darker than my past is his.
Panty Scorching- 5+
Overall Rating- 5
Reviewed by Joanna
I had to take some time to think about how I was going to write this review.
I had never read anything by Skye Warren, and did not know what to expect. When I saw the teasers for the story, I just had to give it a shot…and boy was I glad I did!
I wasn’t sure if I could read this without having to read the first two books in the series, and you can. This is easily a standalone. So no worries there.
WOW! If you like “dark” reads, this one is for you.
You have Candace, she was in a “cult” named Harmony Hills and her mother helped her escape and she had no place to go. She wound up on a dark street and surrounded by some unlikely men, when Ivan swoops in and protects her. He takes her into his business, which is a strip club, and that is when the fun begins.
Candace knows what she wants, and finds a way of getting it. She is a strong girl/woman even though she seems to be a “captive” of Ivan’s. She is familiar to being a captive, she was one at Harmony Hills.
“Ivan replaced everything that came before. I could leave Harmony Hills, but I couldn’t change who I was. I still needed to worship. I still need to obey.”
Ivan takes what he wants. He is very much an alpha male. He is someone you don’t to mess with, he takes care of his business, and the people around him.
“What we shared. I gave him my virginity and he gave me honesty, but I think his gift was greater.”
“Don’t mistake me for one of the girls, for Luca. I’m not going to tell you how I’m feeling. I’m not going to be what you want.” My breath catches. “Then why don’t you let me go?”
The relationship that builds between Candace and Ivan is something that is so wrong, but yet it works out. They both give each other what the other one needs and it just works.
I am a new fan of Skye Warren and I cannot wait to read more of what she has written. I will read the first two books in this series, that is for sure, plus anything else if it is anything like this story.
The bed is the largest one I’ve ever seen, but somehow too small for two people. Toosmall if one of the people is Ivan. He’s physically large and, more than that, terrifying. What will he do to me? I can’t fight him. God, I’m not sure I want to try. Home.
In the end I push back the heavy blankets, almost as thick as my sleeping pallet in Harmony Hills, and climb onto the bed. The pillow is perfectly soft, so clean, and I let myself drift away. I’m floating on a cloud, plush and high up.
I dream in those moments. I dream about color and light. I dream about the sky.
There is a deep voice from above and all around me, telling me to get on my knees. Commanding me to pray. This is the first time in my life I’ve ever skipped bedtime prayers. The first time I haven’t begged for salvation. I’m not going to beg, not ever again.
The hand on my face doesn’t feel angry. It isn’t a slap for my insolence. It strokes down my temple and cups my cheek. My eyes flutter open. Ivan.
His hand falls away.
“Candace,” he says in the same deep voice of my dream.
And there’s a look in his eyes, the same look Leader Allen gives Mama. The same look he started giving me. That look is the reason Mama sent me away.
“You’ll stay here,” he says softly. “I don’t want you to dance, but you can stay.”
The allure of it beats through me, a heart of its own, thumping away to a dream that isn’t mine. Safety. Home. I want those things, but I want freedom more. I want the flash of lights and of skin. I want the power those women had onstage.
Ivan wants to put me in a cage, but what I really want is to fly.
“Okay,” I lie, because one sin becomes many. Leader Allen taught me that, and he was right. I’ll convince Ivan, though. One day I’ll dance on that stage, and Ivan will watch me.
One day he’ll teach me everything there is to know.
The praise washes over me, undeserved and darkly pleasurable, a stroke along my spine. It feels good, but I know what it is. A trap. A chain around my ankle to keep me on the ground. In this moment, it locks me so tight that I’d accept anything he did to me. If he were to touch me the way the woman with the kind eyes meant. The way Leader Allen touches Mama during prayer.
Ivan leans down, and I hold my breath. Large hands take hold of the blanket, lift slightly. I feel everything between us—anticipation and denial, lust and fear corded together. We feel them together, breathe them in through the air, pulse them with each beat of our hearts. It’s a kind of knowledge, this feeling, connecting a thousand nerve points to the core of my body. This is what he meant by teaching me. This and so much more.
Then he pulls the blanket higher, tucking it around me. “Good night,” he says, eyes glittering in the dark.
He is silver and light, made even brighter by the shadows behind him. It’s strange, the disappointment I feel that he isn’t going to touch me. He isn’t going to teach me. Not tonight.
“Good night,” I whisper back.
Then he’s gone, shutting the door against the dark, locking me in. And I slide away into sleep, without dreams, without color, with only the shameless black of contentedness, knowing I am safe for the night.
THE STRIPPED SERIES
About Skye Warren
Skye Warren is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of dark romantic fiction. Her books are raw, sexual and perversely romantic.