In Dollars, the plot timeline opens in succession with Pim trying to negotiate her new surroundings away from the white mansion. Not knowing whether Pim’s circumstance has improved, she is tentative and doesn’t know how to react to the demands being made upon her. Despite feeling powerless, Pim tries to overcome her past but doesn’t know what feelings to trust, as certain trained behaviors have been instilled in her core.
“And if he wasn’t like the others, how could I predict what he wanted?”
Pim isn’t the only one trying to adjust to the new living arrangements, as Elder is at odds with his decision. Exposing himself to Pim could lead to disaster but Elder can’t stay away from her. Battling his demons, he is forced to reconcile emotions he buried long ago causing tremendous inner turmoil.
“You owe me, Pimlico. I told you I wasn’t the hero.”
What draws Pim and Elder to each other is complicated. Elder has been very open about his sexual inclinations toward Pim but it’s more than just the physical in that Elder feels a deep connection to her. While Pim is processing her feelings, she is angry and feels betrayed that her body feels an attraction to Elder who wants a certain gift before succumbing to his basest desires.
“I want to fuck you.” His hips thrust again. “I want to hurt you.”
In this second installment, a range of emotion is present that includes reflection, healing, anger, betrayal and gratitude. With a somber tone, it is obvious Pim has been through hell and knowing the time it will take for her to rebuild adds tremendous tension. Adding to the conflict is the mystery surrounding Elder’s secrets and vulnerabilities. While we get a few glimpses into Elder’s world, there is still so much to be revealed and for Pim to experience.
“I need to live in the moment. The future I cannot control.”
With much contemplation, Pepper Winters takes her characters on a thoughtful and arduous journey. The plot moves at a pace that forces the reader to pause and feel how Pim’s emotions take a step forward but three steps back. At times, it is frustrating but also realistically portrayed considering her painful experience. With Elder, there were times when I wanted him to surrender to his urges and unleash the beast despite knowing how it would affect Pim and their future.
In all, the storyline successfully continues to build layers of intrigue and added dimension. There is still much to discover in this series and I look forward to continuing to see how it will all unfold.
*An ARC was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.