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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another dark masterpiece!
Originally published at Rookie Romance.

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of her Monsters in the Dark series and Pepper Winters has proved, once again, why she has a spot on my go-to author list.

Destroyed is one of those books that just reaches into your soul, twists it into pleasure-pain knots and then leaves its echo for days. I freaking loved it...
Published 7 months ago by C. Halford

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed the story but wanted more connection to the characters
Destroyed by Pepper Winters
3.5 stars!!

“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.”

This is a hard one for me to review, I have read quite a few Pepper Winters books and have absolutely loved them. However, this one I liked, but it didn’t pull...
Published 6 months ago by DonnaC


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another dark masterpiece!, 10 Mar 2014
By 
C. Halford "Rookie Romance" (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Destroyed (Kindle Edition)
Originally published at Rookie Romance.

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of her Monsters in the Dark series and Pepper Winters has proved, once again, why she has a spot on my go-to author list.

Destroyed is one of those books that just reaches into your soul, twists it into pleasure-pain knots and then leaves its echo for days. I freaking loved it. I can't stop thinking about it and telling everyone about it, whether they want to listen to me or not!

The characters are absolutely fascinating, and so complex and well developed. Hazel is a fighter but after some devastating news, she's feeling adrift and without her usual fighting spirit. Then she meets Obsidian Fox (Roan) and her world is thrown upside down.
I loved Hazel. She's tenacious, determined and with an inner strength that helped her survive a brutal childhood. She doesn't take any rubbish, but she has still has an incredible compassion for others.
Roan is...complicated. The dude has issues, like huge gigantic mountains of issues. An ordinary woman would never have been able to handle him, but Hazel isn't ordinary. He has a past that sends shivers of horror down your spine, and leaves your heart bleeding for him. When I think about how he suffered and how it affects him still, it just breaks my heart. There's more I'd love to say about Roan, but I don't want to ruin anything- trust me though, he does not disappoint.

I always expected a dark, tempestuous journey and frankly there were times when I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I couldn't believe Pepper would be so cruel as to leave use without a HEA! All I'll say is that I was left happy- after a devastating, painful and gut-wrenching journey.

This book will make you sob (you're a cold, cold person if you don't) and leave you shattered, but sated. I can't emphasise enough how much I love Pepper Winters' writing. She has a magical touch when it comes to dark, soul-consuming stories and breathes life and energy into her characters. Seriously, if you haven't already got this to read, I don't know what you're waiting for.

*I received a review copy for my honest opinion. Thank you!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, 26 Mar 2014
This review is from: Destroyed (Kindle Edition)
The subject matter in this book was quite disturbing. A man is so damaged by his past that he's cut himself off from everything normal. He likes pain, he likes pain being inflicted on him. He inflicts pain on himself. He has huge inner demons constantly tormenting him. He has PTSD.

He meets Hazel and starts to wonder why he feels drawn to her. Doesn't mean he's going to be nice to her though!! He nearly kills her a few times, he basically blackmails her into spending time with him.

Hazel has her own problems, problems that she thinks could be cured with money, hence why she agrees to his demands despite him nearly killing her.

This book throws up the age old question Would you sleep with a stranger for a million dollars?? Remember that debate a few years back?!

I wouldn't say I enjoyed reading this book. I read it because I wondered if he would find his redemption and peace of mind in the end. I wondered just how much s*** and violence Hazel would put up with before she walked away, or even if she would walk away.

The book was extremely well written, it was dark, it was bloody, it was everything it shouldn't be considering the subject matter.

I would certainly check out more of Ms Winters' work
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed the story but wanted more connection to the characters, 4 April 2014
By 
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This review is from: Destroyed (Kindle Edition)
Destroyed by Pepper Winters
3.5 stars!!

“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.”

This is a hard one for me to review, I have read quite a few Pepper Winters books and have absolutely loved them. However, this one I liked, but it didn’t pull me in like the others. For me this one lacked character connection, I didn’t feel this one and I love to feel.

The story though is not what I would call dark, it is more a dark grey, but it is unique and intriguing. I do love a “broken man” and Obsidian Fox is definitely that. Obsidian Fox is the owner of an underground fight club, he was a man to be scared of, he was intense, scarred, extremely strong and highly trained. His past was that of an assassin, the training from a young child had left it’s marks both emotionally and physically, to the point that he could not be touched, only in one to one combat. If you did touch him, not many people lived to tell the tale. He was ruthless, lethal, extremely tortured, but deep down we got the inkling that all he ever wanted was to be loved, but he thought that was never a possibility due to his past. After all, how could you love, when you couldn’t even bare to be touched.

“I was obsessed with finding redemption. Destroyed by love. Possessed by hope. Consumed by a past I couldn’t shake.”

Hazel was another with a troubled past and still had personal problems that were eating her alive. All consuming and not seeing an end in sight she was left desperate, she needed money and fast, after all her daughters life depended on it. Hazel is taken to Fox’s club by her friend, she didn’t expect to meet anyone, neither did Obsidian Fox.

“Life ended.
Then began again.
Noise ceased.
Then came again.
Heat froze.
Then enveloped again.
Sorrow disappeared.
Then settled again”

The instance their eyes met they felt the pull, totally alien to Obsidian Fox as he has never felt anything like this in his life, it was frightening, he was highly trained, trained not to feel, feelings put you in danger, but he was intrigued, who was this woman and why the hell did she make him “feel.” All that he knew was that his life would never be the same again and this led him to make Hazel an offer she couldn’t refuse. How would this work, after all he couldn’t be touched, unless Hazel could do the impossible?

Hazel was incredibly strong and resilient, having been on her own for so long she relied on no-one and was not going to start now. However, Obsidian had made her that offer that could save her daughter and she was willing to put her own life at risk to do it. Even though her common sense is telling her to run, she also can’t help the pull that she feels towards Obsidian Fox, there is that connection, but could she be the one to make Obsidian feel? Could she warm that frozen heart, or would it take a child’s love to do that? After all, there must be a cure, right?

I loved the way that both their pasts were slowly revealed throughout the book, it helps you understand Obsidian so much better, but by being drip fed, you are also left wondering why until you get that eureka moment. The way that Obsidian punished himself was painful to read but yet I felt like I understood to some degree. Their relationship does give you whip lash, however having it any other way would not have read right. It was like walking on egg shells, but it needed to be that way and sometimes we do have to go back, to enable us to move forward.

“We destroyed each other.”

In summary this was a great read, I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I just wish I could have connected to them that bit more, it wasn’t far off, but I just wanted that emotional connection. There were times I should have cried but I didn’t and being a blubberer I noticed.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Queen of Darkness strikes again!, 15 Mar 2014
By 
Amazon Customer (Wiltshire, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Destroyed (Kindle Edition)
Destroyed is everything its title promises. It’s a story of heinous acts, loss of innocence, dark desires, overwhelming needs and the dream of seeking hope in the sweet voice of reason. Roan and Hazel’s story will have you nervously hanging onto the edge of your seat until the very end. - Kelly, Perusing Princesses Blog.

Yes, this book can be very upsetting! Your emotions will be put through the gamut in the most brutal of ways, but through it all, that glimmer of hope remains strong. Bright and fierce as a whirlwind that comes encased in dark hair and 8-year-old innocence with an intelligence past her years, and her Mother, a feisty strong-willed woman who knows what it means to live a life of pain and disappointed hopes shrouded in secrecy.

Obsidian Fox is a ghost. An assassin who can kill on demand. His conditioning has sculpted him into a man who cannot bear to be touched, except for receiving or delivering pain to expel the hate, the guilt, the nightmares, and the subconscious voice of his previous handler who turned him into a vicious monster.

Roan Averin is a lost six-year-old boy who was brutally captured by a secret Russian Organisation, whose lesson in the art of breaking the human spirit and stripping away the soul left him nothing but a shadow of his former self.

The murky lines that separate Roan and Fox are about to become blurred, because he about to be awakened by a selfless single-mother, who knows what it means to have fate hand you a bitch slap. And by an insignificant child, who shows him what it means to believe in finding redemption in love, and a second chance in hope.

“My past was my past, it sculpted me. My actions and wrong doings were my penance. My future and aspirations my vengeance.” - Roan

From the moment he saw Hazel, an overwhelming need to connect to someone is confusing. He doesn’t understand the pull and that frightens him. Not used to conversing with people, he hides in the shadows, his fight club his crutch as it gives him a lucrative income and a personal outlet for pain and control.

Taking her against her will at knife point probably wasn’t the smartest move, then offering her $200k to seek escape within her body for a month on his own terms, a step in a whole new direction. Hazel is mortified at his request, but the idea of that much money is too hard to refuse. It could be the answer to her prayers, as she agrees to the offer and signs a contract to remain at Club Obsidian until the month is out and the contract expires.

It should have been easy, straightforward, noncommittal sex. A quick release from the pain of day-to-day living. Alas, it proves anything but because everything changes when ‘Fox’ nearly kills her in a blind panic after she touches him without permission, and she realises that for this man to find freedom, he has to let go of his past. Her selfless nature and need to focus on something else for a short while is all she needs to base her decision on - her decision to help him find freedom from those shackled chains. Hazel can see the good in him, she knows it lingers beneath and she wants to expel it, show him what it means to let in and trust another - she just hopes its not too late.

“Fox was unlike any man I knew. I couldn’t hate him. Not with his gigantic heart and the sweetness lurking in his violence. But I did hate that he spoke the truth. It wasn’t a game he played. He honestly couldn’t control whatever lived inside him, and my life would be forfeited if he lost control.” - Hazel

This isn’t a love story in the traditional sense because half the time I wanted our heroine to run for the hills and never look back. Fox is damaged beyond broken, there was no coming back from the horrors of his past. He is brainwashed. Almost robotic in nature, and touch was the ON button, the deadly catalyst.

As far as story lines go, this was so unique, so different to anything I was expecting. I had a few issues with some of it, but I cannot deny the allure of the characters, even though this story was so far-fetched at times I’d be lying if I said I didn’t struggle a little through the middle of it.

I don’t think this book needed to be quite as long as it was. I felt myself getting whiplash with Fox’s inner dialogue, his emotions were so screwed up. One minute he wanted to love Hazel, and in the next, snap her neck. This happened throughout the majority of the book and I felt it a hard concept to grasp considering he was slowly making progress. But, I persevered because I love Pepper Winters’ writing and I knew something HUGE was on the horizon, and I can honestly say the last 30% or so blew my mind! I reached for the tissues and sobbed like a baby and by the end I felt that release. All the tension roiling in my book loving soul, finally ebbed and lifted away. I was able to breathe again. Because regardless of my few reservations, I pretty much read this book holding my breath, awaiting that one pivotal moment where I could breathe again. And yes, it came.

I can’t give anything else away with regards to the plot. The spoiler is a big one and I don’t want to ruin it. Just be prepared to invest in tissues and delve into the psyche of a tormented and very hostile man, whose fight to find his inner light, truly inspiring.

4 tormented, twisted and beautiful Stars
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5.0 out of 5 stars Earth-shatteringly beautiful, 19 Mar 2014
By 
This review is from: Destroyed (Kindle Edition)
My heart literally shattered into a million pieces reading this story. I have never felt such raw emotion while reading a book as I did reading this. I was angry, I was desperately sad, I was hopeful.

Fox was a very complex character. A beast that needed to be caged, a monster crying out for redemption and resolution.

Roan, so deeply damaged and traumatised that my heart broke for him.

Hazel showed how pure a mother's love is; how a mother will do whatever they can to save their child no matter how abhorrent. Hazel put her child before her own life.

This is the first time I have read anything by Pepper Winters and it certainly won't be the last time. She has a real talent for drawing you into the story and making you "feel". It is rare that a book has evoked such strong emotions and it's down to the writing skill of Ms Winters. I felt the horror of what happened to Roan, I felt the barriers going up as he changed into Fox, I felt the deep love from Hazel running through the story.

If I could give this book more stars I would.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, 1 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Destroyed (Kindle Edition)
Another dark book by Pepper Winters. A gripping read that makes you hold your breath on many occasions. Have the tissues ready, its a real tear jerker but so worth the read. Amazing!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, 31 May 2014
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This review is from: Destroyed (Kindle Edition)
This book gripped me from start to finish, made me think deeply as to whether atrocities like those described actually do happen in Eastern Europe and how true it is, that however hard a person can be, they can be brought to there knees by the innocence of a child. This author is up their with DH Sidebottom (Heart of Stone series), Sigal Ehrlich & JM Sevilla . I am now starting the Monsters in the Dark series, hoping it will be just as gripping
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Destroyed Me!!, 29 May 2014
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This review is from: Destroyed (Kindle Edition)
One of my favourite books I have read in the past few months. PW has done a wonderful job making you care for Roan/OF and Hazel - two characters that are both dealing with their own demons and yet are perfect for each other.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Destroyed wa Amazing all the way., 26 May 2014
This review is from: Destroyed (Kindle Edition)
This book had me on the edge through-out. I was captivated by the man who couldn't be human, who couldn't control his mind.
Then the woman who he thought could help him, her story was just as mind blowing.
Two people who will love, fight & try to control one another.
I felt the emotions all the way, I felt the power burning in the pages, when I thought it was getting better! Wham! It blew me again.
I wanted to pick it up & re-read that part again just to make sure I read it right!
Then I just had to carry on, I needed to find the calm after the storm.
Pepper has told a remarkable mind blowing story that will always play around in the mind, I loved it! I wanted more of it, I will always remember Fox & Zel, I was Destroyed along the way but it was so worth every page I read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, 22 May 2014
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This review is from: Destroyed (Kindle Edition)
Loved it. A really different take on the damaged hero genre. Brutal and heartbreaking at times but written very well.
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