Release Date: October 20, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
“Dark, perverse, and unbearably erotic, Pretty When You Cry is Skye Warren 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.
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Pretty When You Cry is a STANDALONE dark romance novel set in the dark, sexy Stripped series world. Not intended for those uncomfortable with the subject matter or under eighteen.
Tough Love (Prequel)
Love the Way You Lie (Book 1)
Better When It Hurts (Book 2)
iBooks • Google Play • ARe
Even Better (Book 3)
The bed is the largest one I’ve ever seen, but somehow too small for two people. Too small 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.
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Skye Warren is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of dark romantic fiction. Her books are raw, sexual and perversely romantic.
I love a good dark romance book. They’re thrilling, seductive reads and when they are written well, you become fully immersed in a world that you never step foot in real life but love reading about. The Stripped Series is an amazing dark romance set of books. It is filled with crazy characters whose lives are so freaking entertaining and alluring.
If you’re like me, you’ve read the previous books and have experienced the brief moments with Ivan and Candace, so you’re pumped to finally be getting their story in Pretty When You Cry. I have made so many assumptions about these two, that I almost felt desperate to know what really is their relationship. Are they lovers? Are they friends? Foes?
What I got blew my mind. Their relationship is complex. Naughty and erotic. It’s a twisted and lonely love. Honestly, I promise you that everything you thought you knew about this couple is nothing compared to the complicated relationship that Skye Warren has crafted.
Candace always came across as this angry, needy addict to me. However, she would show these random acts of kindness and I think those moments are what made me the most curious about her. As you read, you find out that she’s hiding – desperate to escape her past and a man that fills her night mares. And once you understand her, your empathy and compassion for her grows. You want her to find solace and to get her happily ever after.
Ivan and Candace’s journey together is intense. She wants something more with Ivan – she needs him to fulfil her heart’s and body’s desires. She loves him. Candace wants a future with Ivan but he cannot see her as anything more than the fragile girl he found. Since the book is completely told from Candy’s perspective, you never get a true glimpse inside of Ivan’s thoughts or his heart – so you don’t truly know how he feels.
I loved every moment with their unfolding story. Pretty When You Cry was an awesome addition to the series and even if you haven’t read the other books, it would still be enjoyable. That is because it is an exciting and powerful romance. One that completely captured my attention – I was consumed by Ivan and Candace’s love. Definitely check this book out today as well as the other books in the Stripped Series.