Author: Pepper Winters
Genre: Dark Erotic Romance
Release Date: March 7 2014
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.
I didn’t believe her when she said she was complicated.
She didn’t believe me when I said I had secrets.
I didn’t understand the truth, even when she let me glimpse behind her mask.
She didn’t understand that I couldn’t live with the consequences.
I thought she was a saint.
She thought I was a sinner.
Too bad we didn’t try to find the truth.
We both paid the price.
We destroyed each other.
Well, I don’t think it’s any secret that I am a huge fan of Pepper Winters and I completely devoured the Monsters in the Dark Series so I jumped at the chance to read an early copy of Destroyed. Pepper is known for her dark erotic romances and, when she gave me this book, she explained that it’s not really dark, just a bit grey-ish so my curiosity was piqued and I delved straight in.
What we’ve got here is really something very different – it’s like a darkly deviant retelling of Beauty and the Beast with all the Disney stripped away and the gothic fairy-tale exposed. It’s even set in a gothic style mansion with a cavernous underground fight club set in it’s basement and an ominous entrance marked by impressive doors that depict heaven and hell.
Obsidian Fox is the owner of this club - he’s all scars, tattoos, muscles, gruffness and barely contained violence, a man to fear and respect. To be part of his illegal underworld, he demands obedience, discipline and the utmost secrecy He’s a man with a very dark past and an aura of mystery completely surrounds him. He won’t allow any one to touch him apart from in one to one combat and he oversees his club with a ruthless ferocity and intensity. And then one day, Hazel Hunter wanders in as an invited guest and the minute he sees her he loses a part of himself and he knows he has to have her even though he cannot even begin to understand the strange connection he feels with her – something he has never felt for anyone ever before. He has to have her and coerces her into staying with him but she has a secret and this secret will destroy them both.
Obsidian Fox is an incredibly dark character – very much scarred physically and emotionally by his horrendous past and his conditioning and can be lethally violent. He’s arrogant with a cast-iron will but infinitely alone – he’s a tortured, bleak black soul and he’s never found any semblance of peace in his life and Hazel has something that can offer him this and ease his soul and begin to thaw out his cold black frozen heart for the first time in his life but it’s this which will ultimately destroy them both.
Hazel also has a troubled past and an even more troubled present. Fox offers her something that she can’t refuse, something that could solve her problems and she agrees to his terms but she’s keeping so much back from him. She’s terrified of him and yet incredibly strong and resilient and determines to keep her end of the bargain even though all her instincts tell her to run and get the hell away from this man. Hazel is all passion, fear, strength and innate sadness. To Fox, she’s different from any other woman he’s seen before – she appears to be elusive and unobtainable.
This was such a darkly fascinating tale as both of their pasts are slowly drip-fed to the reader as you progress through the story. When Hazel first walks into Obsidian with her friend Clue, the whole gothic mansion and underground fight club came vividly to life through the writing. I could almost smell the club pulsating with testosterone and virile energy and feel Hazel’s uncertainty that she really shouldn’t be there.
Their relationship is one of the most challenging I think I have ever read – there are so many obstacles in their way and their growth and progress together is slow. Sometimes it really is a case of one step forward, two steps back – there’s so many issues to deal with but they really do have a lot in common even though it’s not immediately apparent. I so wanted them to get past the barriers and really connect – these two could be so good together but it was just never going to be that easy.
There’s a whole lot of angst, despair and fury packed into this novel and Pepper Winters makes some brave plot decisions and I’m so glad she did even though she made me ugly cry – anything other than that outcome would have been cheesy and she goes for the route less travelled and even though it’s incredibly sad, it’s the right one. This is a dark, twisted tale that will leave you frustrated yet desperate for more and I think it’s really quite different from her Monsters in the Dark series. The blurb’s not giving much away so be prepared to step into the unknown and let the experience wash over you.
4 fascinating stars
© Pepper Winters
It was an hour before Obsidian opened its doors to fighters and I had no problem getting past the bouncer this time. I didn’t know if it was because he recognised me or before of the rage in my eyes, but he had the door open for me the moment I screeched to a stop.
Fox was exactly where I thought he would be.
In his basement, working on yet another weapon, forging yet more steel into yet more torture equipment.
“You!” I yelled.
He snapped upright, turning off the welding torch. He spun to face me, tugging the protective goggles off his head. “You yourself.” His grey-white eyes looked as bleak as any snowstorm. “Where the hell did you go? I’ve been trying to track you down for days?” Prowling toward me he growled, “Didn’t you think I’d go out of my mind? I know how shitty I treated you but you ran before I could fucking apologise.”—HAZEL
He moved forward a step, backing me up against a thick worktable covered in tools and odd bits of metal. His face darkened, etching with anger but then he sighed and his temper faded. “Look, I fucked up. I couldn’t handle it and I’m sorry.” He looked like a black mountain towering over me. “You need to forgive me. I didn’t mean to say what I did. I need you to come back.”
I studied him. His face held shadows of bruises, his jaw slightly puffy. He’d been in another fight—searching for a way out of this hell. His black jacket and trousers swallowed the brightness of the halogens dotted around the room. He’d always favoured black and now I knew why. He was death incarnate. Everything he touched turned to ruin.
We’ve got 3 ebooks of Destroyed to give away plus a signed swag pack with one of the bracelets pictured. For your chance to win, just enter the Rafflecopter below and Good Luck!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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 puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends.
Author's Website: http://pepperwinters.wordpress.com/
Author's Twitter: https://twitter.com/pepperwinters
Author's Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pepper-Winters/539976006062848
Author's Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7151973.Pepper_Winters
Author's Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/pepperwinters/