Hello, my lovelies!
It is no real secret that I adore Pepper Winters and her books and that she has become one of my all-time favourite authors. I will read anuthing this woman writes!
Today, you will find my review of her latest book, “Destroyed”, and an awesome interview I was fortunate enough to do with her. Also, there is a great giveaway for you all to enter.
Author: Pepper Winters
Genre: Dark (Lighter) / Romance (Grey Romance)
Release Date: 7th March, 2014
Tour Organized by: As the Pages Turn
She has a secret.
I’m complicated. Not broken or ruined or running from a past I can’t face. Just complicated.
I thought my life couldn’t get any more tangled in deceit and confusion. But I hadn’t met him. I hadn’t realized how far I could fall or what I’d do to get free.
He has a secret.
I’ve never pretended to be good or deserving. I chase who I want, do what I want, act how I want.
I didn’t have time to lust after a woman I had no right to lust after. I told myself to shut up and stay hidden. But then she tried to run. I’d tasted what she could offer me and damned if I would let her go.
One secret destroys them.
Complimentary copy given by the author in exchange for an honest review
As always, I find myself almost entirely speechless after having read a book by Pepper Winters. Somehow, she manages to take some of the most unconventional characters and make them come alive and feel human. Do I also find myself a bit disturbed by some of the scenes in her books? Yes, absolutely. Her subject matters are always difficult, her characters very flawed, with questionable characteristics, BUT as you read, you catch yourself gravitating towards the hero/heroine, finding yourself able to connect with them fully. At least, that is how I usually feel, and it is no different with “Destroyed”.
But what can I tell you about Roan and Hazel without spoiling it for you? I will do my best to not ruin the reading experience for you, and please allow me to be rather vague in this review. I am well aware of the fact that the synopsis is also rather mysterious, but you really have to take a leap of faith, take a chance, and read this beautiful book.
Both Hazel and Roan are two very damaged people but in completely different ways. Roan has, quite literally, been destroyed by his past and is longing to find the person who can heal him. The smallest thing will make him see red, though, causing him to seek blood – quite literally, I might add – and he leads a lonely life where pain sometimes is the only way to relieve him of his fears.
“I was told to kill. But my ruthless conditioning, the coldness that imprisoned my life, had cracked and splinted and begun to thaw. And it was all because of one person.” (Roan)
Hazel, on the other hand, fears the future more than the past…she believes that she will be destroyed by it. She, too, has experienced pain, but she has found her way into the light, until she is told the most devastating news and her reason to live diminishes.
“Up until recently, I’d had two personas. I’d spun tales and weaved stories as effortlessly as if it were the truth. I wrote my own story with a magical pen called lies. And it worked. I survived.” (Hazel)
And so these two people meet, and both feel the strangest connection upon laying their eyes upon each other. Please do not think that that means everything just falls into place. Miss Winters is not known for making it easy for her characters – quite the opposite, in fact – and even though this book is not as dark as her Monsters In The Dark Series, it is just as twisted, raw and filled to the brink with all manner of emotions. These
characters both need to learn to let go of their mistrust, embracing the fact that they must acknowledge their fears, thus realizing that they are perfect in their own way.
“You asked me who I am. My name is Roan Averin. Forget you ever knew a man named Fox. He wasn’t a man. He was the product of a past he hated. I never thought I’d be able to use my full name again, but I want to. I want a new beginning. With you.” (Roan)
To say that I did not cringe sometimes while reading this book would be a lie. Nevertheless, it also made my heart soar, and I found the journey of Roan and Zel to be very moving. The story gripped me immediately, and Miss Winters ensnared me with her magical words once again. Yes, this is a long book (over 400 pages), which makes this bookaholic extremely happy, actually, but to the readers who may feel a bit reluctant to start it: please do not let the length sway you! In all honesty, I believe that each word written is necessary in order for you to truly delve into the hearts and minds of these incredibly complicated characters and come back (almost) unscathed.
I do not think that I can write that much more without inadvertently giving too much away, so I will stop here and simply conclude my review by saying this: if you want something light and fluffy, do not read this book. But if you, like me, have come to love the darker kinds of romance novels, I can almost guarantee that you will not be disappointed when you read “Destroyed”. In some ways, you may feel as if your soul is getting destroyed while reading this book, but it will be worth it in the end.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pepper Winters wears many roles. Some of them include writer, reader, sometimes wife. She loves dark, taboo stories that twist with your head. The more tortured the hero the better and she constantly thinks up ways to break and fix her characters. Oh, and sex… her books have sex.
She loves to travel and has an amazing, fabulous hubby (who speaks French—hot!) who puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends. She loves to hear from her readers so hit her up at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much for doing this interview, Pepper! ❤
Thank you so much for having me!!! I’m so excited to be here and hope I don’t sound too bleh when I answer your awesome questions!
1) Who is Pepper Winters?
Um, Pepper is a workaholic. I tend to sit on my laptop for around 14 hours a day. If I’m not writing, I’m marketing. If I’m not marketing, I’m responding to emails and messages. I love everything about my writing career, but it isn’t the most easiest of jobs. My poor hubby gets frustrated. Outside of writing I love to travel, eat Asian food, and just generally blob out with a good book.
2) Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes, always. Right from a little girl I was more comfortable in a book, than any social situation. I lived mainly in my imagination.
3) When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing the most?
Hanging with hubby. I love going for lunch with him in the sun, and packing for a nice trip away. We remember to have fun in our marriage and he’s my best friend (gagging yet?) LOL
4) Let’s move on to “Destroyed” – as a devout fan of yours, I have followed all your updates about this book on Facebook, but can you tell my readers what made you set out to do such a scary project?
Yes, Destroyed has officially destroyed me. My brain is mush and the moment I press publish I’m going to have a stiff drink and collapse. The characters turned out to be very complex and layers upon layers kept coming to me. It isn’t a secret that I’ve rewritten this book 3x and deleted over 80,000 words. It’s been a long couple of months and as much as I love the story and the characters, I wouldn’t do it again. Lol.
5) Roan & Hazel, your hero and heroine of “Destroyed”: when did they first begin to make an appearance? I mean, when did the idea of their story come to you?
They started talking to me a week or so after I finished Quintessentially Q. Roan Fox is very different to Q. He’s alpha, but damaged. Dangerous, but sweet. He has a lot more issues than Q ever did and a completely different back story. I hope people love him the same as me.
6) Did they surprise you a lot, almost taking over the story?
Yes. They took control and made me rethink the entire concept which gave me multiple headaches. Both Fox and Hazel had a lot to say and the book is the largest I’ve written yet.
7) Who connected you with the most, Roan or Hazel?
Roan, funny enough. I just love his brittle brokenness but ultimate strength too. Hazel has her own secrets and issues, but she’s a lot stronger than Roan. My heart goes out to that guy LOL.
8) Did it surprise you that the story ended up being much darker than you initially planned for it to be?
Until two days ago I didn’t know completely how the ending would come about. It kept changing. I have more notes on this story in my notebook than I do for any other story. It kept evolving and changing but I think now I have the perfect ending to their story.
9) Are you completely done with Roan & Hazel or do you think we will see them again in the future?
I think after the ending I’ll be done. I’ve loved being in their head spaces, but they’ve said what they needed to and I have many other characters calling me.
10) Do you find it difficult letting go of your characters once you’ve finished writing about them?
Yes, they’ll always be a part of me. Tess and Q sit over my shoulder every day that I’m writing about another world and not theirs. It’s going to be rather crowded after the end of this year and all my releases coming up.
11) What do you plan to write next? Please say “Twisted Together”!
Yes Twisted Together is getting written the moment Destroyed is out. I also have a super secret thing coming that will be announced very soon. But as of early March I will belong to Q once again and I can’t WAIT.
12) What’s next for Pepper Winters?
Well this year, I’ll be signing at the Gold Coast with a bunch of amazing Aussie authors and then heading over to Edinburgh in July before finishing the year off in Sydney. In 2015 I’m planning a tour to try and get to see as many wonderful readers as possible. I’m VERY excited for the next couple of years and delivering a stack more books.
Once again, thank you for doing this interview with me, Pepper! ❤️
Thank you!!!!! They were awesome questions!