Welcome back to Binging the Backlist! This month I decided to read the Dollar series by Pepper Winters. Dark romances are my favorite types of romances but I rarely ever review them on my blog since most of the ones I read are pretty…risqué. But I was in a major reading funk this month so I decided to say screw it and just pick a dark romance series off my TBR to binge-read. I’ve heard a lot of great things about Winter’s Dollar series and since I already had all the books, I thought why not? Anyways, let’s get this review started!
This was literally the first thing I said when I started the first book, lol. But seriously, if you’re a frequent reader of dark romance then you know wild shit be going down in those books and you always have to prepare for it. Pepper Winters is also a dark romance writing queen so I knew I was gonna be in for a wild ride with this series!
Before I start on my raving of this series, I do want to say that this series deals with sensitive themes and includes scenes depicted in graphic details (e.g., abuse, rape) so fair warning when reading this series.
I’ve read quite a few dark romances in my bookworm life and I gotta say, things can get very repetitive at times. It can also be hard to even relate or connect to characters in dark romance but that wasn’t the case here for me. Right from the start, I knew there was something special about Pim. Pim is the definitely of true strength. This girl went through literally hell but she never back down. She took the one thing that most of us take for granted and she held on to it and used it to keep her going. Pim’s story draws you in which is the main reason I adore this series so much.
Pennies totally gave me old school dark romance vibes and reminded me why I fell in love with the genre in the first place. It’s not just another series where a heroine develops “Stockholm Syndrome Feelings” for her keeper and then the hero falls in love with her and stops treating her like a slave and starts treating her like a wife. There’s actually an engaging plot that’s filled with emotion and heart and it’s why I couldn’t stop reading.
Elder Prest may have saved Pim from a monster but don’t you dare mistake him for a hero. Elder is by no means one of the “good guys”. He certainly didn’t earn the reputation that he did for being a good person, lol. Elder’s past is a very mysterious one because we don’t get all the facts right from the start. We are handed bits and pieces throughout the series and we kind of have to put everything together like a puzzle. Honestly, it was very annoying at times because it made it very hard for me to trust Elder since he was so secretive in the beginning.
If you’ve read Penelope Douglas’ Devil’s Night series then you will be familiar with Kai Mori, aka my bae! Elder reminds me so much of Kai. They’re personalities and mannerisms are so similar and I think that’s why I was so drawn to Elder’s character from the beginning. Also, if you haven’t met Kai Mori yet, please go read Hideaway immediately and fix your life!
Okay this was probably one of the best moments throughout this whole series. Pim, who has been mute for over two years, has finally said her first words and it was beautiful! Like that whole moment had me sobbing because I wasn’t prepared for it. It’s so strange because speaking is so second nature to most of us but here we get to see the power that one’s voice hold and how effective it can be.
This was basically my reaction for all the endings of the first four books but ya’ll, Pepper Winters really had me out here stressed af! It’s like everything was smooth sailing and then BAM, a freaking ice burg would show up and put my babies in danger. Your stress levels will be high while reading this series so prepare to be a raging mess!
Pim and Elder are two people have been through literally hell and back. They have a shit ton of trauma that they have to work through and learning how to be intimate with another person is one of those things. I really loved how Winter’s handled intimacy in this book because Pim is a survivor and letting someone in her space terrifies her to the point where she has panic attacks. Winter’s took her time when it came to bringing these two together, building that trust between to the point where it was so solid that nothing could shake that foundation.
I cried so much while reading this series. I cried for everything Pim went through, I cried when learning about Elder’s past, I cried while watching these two overcome their issues as they tried to figure out their feelings for one another, I cried—BASICALLY I CRIED A LOT.
Elder pissed me off a lot throughout this series, but towards the end he just really got on my nerves. His constant back and forth between wanting to let Pim in but then deciding to push her away instead was getting tiresome and I just wanted to shake some sense into him! Like my man, get it together already!
Pim really finds her voice in the fourth book in this series. We get to see her not only stand up to Elder but to other characters who try her and I loved it! She truly found her strength and now that she had it back, she was gonna use it.
I’m not going to reveal which character from the past comes back, but I will say that the reunion that happened with this character and Pim and Elder finally gave us the answers we’ve been waiting for. We learn why Pim was taken and who took her and just a whole lot of other information I can’t reveal because spoilers! This reunion also made me think differently about a certain character and I realized that I shouldn’t have written them off to be a bad person like I had initially did.
Listen, all I got to say about the scene where Elder finally tells Pim how he feels is: IT’S ABOUT FUCKING TIME DUDE!
The ending for Thousands had me on the floor! My jaw was on the floor, my stomach was twisted up in knots, my heart was beating a mile a minute…I just was not expecting the story to take the turn that it did and I was so angry and Winter’s because she was once again putting my babies (and me!) through hell.
Going into Millions, I was stressed as fuck! I can’t say what I was stressed about because it’s a major spoiler but everything was so up in the air that I didn’t know what Winter’s was gonna pull next but I sure as hell hoped it didn’t lead to my babies ending up dead.
In the final book in this series we are introduced to quite a few new characters who will eventually play a role in helping Elder and Pim defeat their enemies but it wasn’t love at first sight with these newbies. I honestly didn’t like them at first because they were fucking up shit for Pim and Elder and it made me so mad but I grew to respect them in the end.
I wanted to hold off on discussing Elder’s OCD because to be honest, mental illness is not always portrayed accurately in dark romances (just speaking the truth, y’all). In this series, Elder reveals that he has OCD and has been dealing with it since he was a child. Elder’s OCD focuses more on obsession rather than compulsion. Elder has an obsession with perfecting things. He’s a prodigy cello because his obsession to be perfect. We get to see how Elder’s OCD plays a role in a lot of the decisions he makes, especially when it comes to Pim, and I thought Winter’s handled this anxiety disorder very well.
This series took over my life for a week and it was one of the best weeks of my life! Pim and Elder’s story was not an easy one to read but all the tears were worth it in the end. I couldn’t have asked for a better HEA for these two and I’m gonna miss my babies so much! If you love dark romance then this series is a must read! I can’t wait to binge-read Winter’s others series in the future and I hope they’re just as good as this series.
Have you read the Dollar series yet? If not, are you planning on reading this series in the future? Let me know in the comments below!