"I wasn't the handsome knight who won the girl-I was the scarred troll whose only purpose was to be killed."
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
I could begin this review with the usual clichés of 'this isn't your average romance', 'if you are looking for rainbow's and flowers this is not it . . . yada yada but come on it's Pepper Winters, we can assume this before turning the first page. Destroyed did just that, it smashed my little heart and it had me on tenterhooks throughout. I was so anxious on this journey, for Hazel, for Roan and for Clara, especially for Clara.
I thought Q was dark, but he has nothing on Roan, this man was completely destroyed inside and out. He was conditioned from a young age to be evil incarnate. Powerless beyond his control, he was programmed to be a machine first and man second. He met his salvation in Hazel and all that she had to offer. Hazel wasn't shy and retiring, her esteem wasn't low; her soul was too broken to care about the usual hang ups of life. She too, was dealt a devastating hand in life, she was drawn to Roan and little did she know, they had to destroy each other first in order to make the other whole.
"Cold laughter erupted from my mouth. I froze, cursing this woman. Cursing myself for these new, strange feelings. I never laughed. I never touched. I never got hard. I never wanted to fuck. She was a witch. She was magical. She would fix me."
"I felt weak. Weak because no matter how much I wanted to help him, I wouldn't be able to. He was unsaveable."
"She'd successfully done in ten minutes what I'd tried to do in two years. She brought me back to life."
When the story first began, I was thrust into the action and both Hazel and Roan were intriguing characters, their secrets were hinted at and I was teased immediately. I needed to know more, I didn't want to put this story down, and only doing so for a small amount of sleep and the hours I was required to work. Didn't my boss know I had a book to finish?!
Destroyed may push reading boundaries for some, I may have squirmed in my seat, I may have loathed Roan, shouted at him and then felt utter heartbreak and sympathy towards him. Hazel was a contradictory character to me in the beginning, she was strong and feisty, yet she tolerated Roan's actions when I was horrified and wanted her to give him what for and get far, far away from him. Many times, she vowed never to return, only to then turn back around and into his arms. At that point, I'll admit Hazel frustrated me, I wanted her to have more self-respect but then she was tethered to Roan and although I may not have understood her actions, their connection couldn't be denied.
"She moaned as I left the realm of sanity and poured every apology, every regret, I had into her mouth and down her throat and into her fucking heart. I wanted her to know she owned me."
Roan's soul was black. He was a stick of dynamite ready to explode at any given time, this amped up the suspense and also my anxiety. I worried A LOT! He isn't your typical book boyfriend, I didn't swoon and he didn't immediately win me over. Only when I got a glimpse of his tortured soul did I begin to soften towards him.
"My past was my past, it sculpted me. My actions and wrong doings my penance. My future and aspirations my vengeance."
Then Clara appeared. Someone so precious to Hazel and someone who would immediately strip Roan bare, expose every raw nerve and test him like never before. I didn't expected the storyline or the avenues in which these characters travelled and I never ever expected my heart to get ripped out and left lying in a bloody mess on the floor. I sobbed hard with this story. One particular element affected me so deeply, it crawled into my heart and I ached for these characters. I wanted to take their pain away. That is this moment I realised I was inside this story, living it just as much as Hazel and Roan were.
"I left behind Hazel Hunter the second his arms clutched me against him. I became nothing more than a woman adored by a man so deeply."
As with Pepper's previous books, the writing is fantastic, it really is of good quality. My highlighter couldn't keep up. I felt every emotion possible whilst reading this book: happiness, fear, anxiety, disgust, devastation, hope and overwhelming joy. The most important part being that I FELT these emotions, I wasn't a spectator on the sidelines, I was drawn in to Roan's world, I lived his torture alongside him and I felt Hazel's pain to my very core. My reading threshold is pretty high, it takes a lot to rattle me, this story may be too oppressive or morose for some but it could be cathartic for others. Is it darker that Quintessentially Q? That's a difficult question to answer, yes in some aspects and no in others. It's real, it's raw and it's relentless. Quite frankly it was a guilty pleasure and one I couldn't get enough of.
If you are a fan of Pepper Winters then without a doubt you will love Destroyed, it will take you on a journey like no other. If you are a newbie to this author then you can start right here. Pepper is the queen of twisted characters and she effortlessly demonstrates, even the most corrupted deserve love too.
"He smashed all my reservations that he couldn't give me what I desired and proved love could change anyone-no matter how destroyed."
*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review
So I wanted to love this book so so much. This is my first book by Pepper Winters, but I've heard before that she writes dark romance and I am a HUGE fan of dark romance, so I decided to give this book a try. There were a lot of aspects of the story that I did like and others not so much.
Obsidian Fox, real name Roan, is a tortured soul living with a very dark past. From an early age he was conditioned to be a death machine, a monster, a killer. The mere touch of a person sets him off and there's no one that can stop him, not even himself. Roan broke my heart. He is definitely one of the darkest and broken characters I've had the pleasure of reading. The fact that he couldn't control the way he reacted to his triggers was extremely scary for anyone that happened to be around him when he went into assassin mode. It was hard for me to look over some of his actions and forgive him, but once his past and everything he has been through is revealed, I started to understand him better and get over his flaws and eventually falling for him.
Then there's Hazel. Her past hasn't been all that great either and after she becomes aware of a loved one's diagnosis, everyday she fights and tries to be brave for her. I liked Hazel at times. She was a great mother who literally experienced hell for her child; I admire that. I'm not a mother so when she makes the decision of accepting money to be with Roan for a month, money that will buy more of the trial drug helping her daughter, I was a little taken back and still not fully understand the things a mother would do for her child. Many times I got frustrated with her because after all the things Roan would do to her and knowing that all it would take for him to kill her was just an accidental touch, she would still go back to him.
The writing was pretty great, but I was bored at times. My biggest problem was that this book was really long and I think some stuff could've been taken out and I would've enjoyed the story more and connect to it more than I did.
Overall, I liked the story. It had the dark element to it that I love with tortured and broken characters with a happy ending. Just because I didn't love the story as much as I wanted to, I will be reading Pepper's other books.
Top Five Favourite Places To Write . . .
I have a few places I like to write.
1. I write the most of my books in the lounge. Either on our bright red couch while my hubby plays Playstation, or at the dining room table overlooking the kitchen. It depends how sore my back is. Lol.
2. I like to write in the garden if the sun isn’t too bright and I can see my screen. Also, I hate wind so it can’t be windy, otherwise I’m back inside.
3. I have an office upstairs that gets super hot from the sun. I would love to write all the time in there, but then I’m away from my hubby and I don’t like to ignore him too much.
4. I also write at the house we’re renovating, however that isn’t exactly fun. Huddling around piles of building supplies and not having a fridge to keep my snacks.
5. My ultimate place to write is around a pool at an amazing resort in either Bali or Thailand. I would live in a hotel if I could.
Thank you so much for having me on your awesome blog!
I can’t thank you enough!
It was the best kiss I’d ever received, but also the worst. It sparked lust and need in every inch of me. My lips wanted more, my tongue wanted savagery. My skin wanted to bruise because he needed to touch me so badly.
All my thoughts disappeared as I nipped at his bottom lip. He flinched, but a second later he copied, his sharp canines piercing my oversensitive flesh.
I couldn’t take it.
My hands flew up and gripped his shirt. Yanking him toward me, fireworks whizzed in my fingertips; my heart galloped toward exploding with lust. I’d never been so drunk on someone before.
Then I landed flat on my back.
The crack of my skull jangled my teeth. The thick carpet did little to cushion me. My eyes flared wide and I grunted in pain. Fear, hot and terrible, swamped my lust in a dampening wave.
“Top rule. Unbreakable rule. Don’t. Ever. Touch. Me.” Fox kneeled on one knee beside my head, breathing hard. His hand noosed my throat, pressing my spine into the carpet. His eyes were cold and lifeless, looking like a hunter intent on blood.
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
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