Monday, March 17, 2014

REVIEW: Destroyed by Pepper Winters

She has a secret.
I'm not 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 and damned if I would let her go. 
One secret destroys them all.

I don’t know how she does it. But she does. Time and time again. She drags me into the depths of hell, ripping me apart piece by piece, leaving me heartbroken and emotionally exhausted. My heart takes sucker punch after sucker punch, and just when I think I can’t take it anymore, she gives you a small ray of sunshine – a sliver a hope. She breaks you down, and then slowly pieces you back together. It’s torturous. And yet, the second she releases a book, I find myself devouring it cover to cover. So, why do I keep going back for more? Easy. Because after she stomps on my heart, she nurtures it back to life in such a beautiful, gratifying way. She makes you walk through Hell to get to Heaven.

She is Pepper Winters, and she is an evil genius.

Destroyed is the story of Roan (aka Fox) and Hazel, and their gritty, improbable journey to find happiness. I don’t want to give away any spoilers (because I feel like it would severely take away from the reading experience), so I’ll be vague in regards to the storyline. Roan isn’t normal. He has been conditioned. His aversion to people touching him prevents from having relationships, not that he wants one anyway. Well, that is until he sees Hazel. But she has issues and secrets of her, and one of those secrets has the potential to ruin them both.

I really don’t think anything I say will properly voice how this story made me feel. It’s enrapturing, dark, and raw. Roan’s background is deeply disturbing, and takes you into a world full of brainwashing, violence, and murder. Hazel’s secret is heart wrenching. The unique plot twists weaved throughout the storyline are creative, and showcase the brilliance of Pepper’s writing ability. While so much of this novel is dark and disturbing, there is light sprinkled throughout that serves as a breath of fresh air – I welcomed it with open arms.

And then I hit 75%. I broke down. And I mean, broke the hell down. I had to stop reading because honest to God, I couldn’t see my iPad screen through my tears. Look, I’m an emotional person and there are a lot of books that touch me or cause me to shed tears. But not like this. Only a handful of books have caused me to openly sob, and Destroyed is one of them. It took me awhile to get through this portion of the book, not just because I couldn’t stop crying, but because my heart just plain hurt.

These characters and their journey is one that will stick with me for a very long time, and as much as I felt pure heartache while reading it, the ending was absolutely perfection. Redemption and overcoming grief paved the way to show that love can conquer all. I can’t recommend this enough for anyone who enjoys a dark romance, but just make sure you have plenty of Kleenex handy – you’ll need it. 

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