Nobody Does Dark and Twisted Like Pepper Winters!

Dollars (Dollar, #2)Dollars by Pepper Winters
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If ever there was a time when I knew that I should have waited until the entire series was out before starting, it is now. I love all things Pepper Winters, so I am predictably weak when she has a new series out. I tell myself to wait, because the anticipation between each book in the series will drive me crazy. However, I have no self-control and so here I am again.

As usual, Ms. Winters has tied me in knots. I am dying to find out what the future holds for Pim and Elder, but Ms. Winters will keep me waiting for quite some time yet. The anticipation is killing me! No surprise there.

The second book in the series, ‘Dollars’ picks up where ‘Pennies’ left off. Pim has killed the man who tortured her for years, Master A. Taken by Elder Prest, she soon realizes that her rescuer is also her latest captor.

He may not be as cruel as Master A yet, but there is a darkness in him, lurking beneath the surface. How deep that darkness runs, or how it manifests itself, is still largely a mystery. Bits of Elder’s past are revealed, but much more remains unknown. Who exactly is he? What is this darkness that he alludes to that he struggles to control?

As Pim recovers from her injuries she maintains her silence, choosing to observe and take in everything around her. Elder is as much her obsession, as she is his. She has learned the hard way not to trust anyone, especially men. She is certain that every kindness he shows her is a trick, furthering whatever ulterior motives he has. He has hinted as much.

Like Master A, Elder grows increasingly frustrated with Pim’s silence. He vacillates between a determination to force her to talk and a recognition that this behavior would make him the exact same type of monster that she’s just escaped. Throughout the book, he flip-flopped between these dispositions. After a while, it got somewhat repetitive.

Pim’s behavior also seemed to flip-flop some. This was largely in response to Elder’s moods. Every time she seemed to be making progress, he’d grow impatient and set her back again.

This back and forth between the two went on for what seemed like forever. Don’t get me wrong, I love the angsty, push and pull between main characters. Nothing bugs me more than a story that feels forced and rushed. There is certainly no risk feeling that way with this one.

In fact, my main complaint about this book is that I didn’t feel like the storyline progressed all that much. I’m sure that Ms. Winters has intentionally done this to fully develop the relationships, characters and the storyline. However, the suspense is killing me!

As much as I love Pim and Elder as characters, I have to admit that I spent most of this book just waiting for something…anything…to happen. For the most part, there was a noticeable absence of any action or plot twists that would get my heart going. I felt like this book was just building a strong foundation for future books in the series. At times I was even bored, which is unheard of for me when reading a book by this author.

That being said, it is still a book written by Ms. Winters. Even if it isn’t my favorite of her books, it is still superior to at least 80% of the other stuff I read. She’s just that damn impressive! I might have wanted a little more action in this one, but I know that there was a well thought out reason for the flow of this book.

Don’t give up on it yet, though. The last 20-25% of the book really picks up. Suddenly, there is some action and some suspense. Questions are answered and I felt like I gained a little better understanding of Elder. Of course, all of his secrets were not revealed. I have a feeling that won’t happen until the very end.

The relationship between Pim and Elder also takes a new direction. Honestly, I was a little surprised that it happened this soon. I am looking forward to seeing exactly where their relationship is headed. This is not a couple that can just have a HEA fall into their laps easily. I’m sure that there is more hardship on the horizon for these two.

All in all, I enjoyed ‘Dollars’. There were times when I thought it was dragging along, but I know it will be worth it in the end. Mainly, I’m just anxiously awaiting the next book in this series and kicking myself for not having the patience to wait until all of the book in the series were finished before I started.

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