Thank you so much to Pepper Winters for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Crown of Lies by Pepper Winter happens to be thThank you so much to Pepper Winters for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Crown of Lies by Pepper Winter happens to be the first book in a duet series and it was a fantastic one. Despite a few hints from the blurb, I knew nothing about this book and went in with some anticipation because it's freaking Pepper Winters. I knew she could do no wrong with surprising me and other fellow readers with her writing, characters, and stories. While this one wasn't exactly a dark romance, it was an erotic suspense and a hint of mystery with Pepper's signature written all over it: Sexy hero, fiesty heroine, and some really hot sex.
Noelle Charlston, also known as Elle, is a great heroine. She's independent, head strong, and has a no nonsense attitude toward everyone—especially those meddling in her love life. I really did like her character even though I did find her actions frustrating at times. She was quite different from Pepper's previous heroines but also similar at the same time. As for Penn Everett, he's cocky, arrogant, amused, mysterious, and very possessive. I wasn't quite sure of him at first but you'll definitely love him for his dirty mouth and flirtatious yet borderline contempt behavior. It certainly seems like he has a hate/love relationship with Elle for some reason.
“Say yes and you’re mine and whatever comes next is my choice, not yours. You’ll answer to me. I’ll do whatever the hell I want. Sometimes, you’ll hate me. Other times , you’ll be grateful for my interference . Most of the time, you’ll probably want to kill me.”
While Elle plays an important role in the book, I found Penn to be a lot more intriguing for the story overall. He's very mysterious and neither we nor Elle know what his true intentions are. Penn is constantly playing many different roles, one of which wants to possess Elle and f*ck her senseless without any strings attached but a relationship of truths built on lies, but the other... the other is a lot more complicated and full of past emotions and feelings. I do have to admit that Elle and Penn have some amazing chemistry and the sex is off the charts explosive.
“Why do you protect yourself from me?” He slammed to a stop. “I don’t.” “You do.” His jaw worked, his hands opening and closing by his sides. “I’m guarded; there’s a difference.” “Is there?” I cocked my head. “Funny, I would say protective and guarded were the same thing.”
In the end, while I did immensely enjoyed this book, I did have some frustrations with it. Despite being a strong and independent women, Elle is unfortunately susceptible and highly influenced by Penn along with his secrets and lies. Don't get me wrong, I adore Elle and thought she was a great heroine... but she was frustrating in the fact that she went along with Penn's lies and did nothing to correct it. Crown of Lies does end with a really shocking cliffhanger that will make you want to scream and gasping for more but thankfully, the next book Throne of Truth will be out soon on February 28!