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Truth and Lies #1

Crown of Lies

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Since I ran away for the night, danced in New York streets, and almost got killed in an alley by two thieves. Until he showed up and saved me.

Since I threw a drink at the man my father expected me to marry, then found myself slammed against a wall with Penn Everett’s seductive voice whispering a proposal I couldn’t refuse.

To fall into hate with the man who reminded me of so many things and hid so much behind his lies. He couldn’t be the man who saved me three years ago…but there’s something so familiar…

For our relationship to switch from no-strings to marriage. He announced it to my father—he’s ecstatic. He told my friends—they’re shocked. But he didn’t ask me, he commanded me—and I’m livid.

For his lies to slowly steal my heart and make me believe, hope…trust.

For his truth to destroy me.

313 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 31, 2017

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About the author

Pepper Winters

80 books15.7k followers
Pepper Winters is a multiple New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today International Bestseller.

She currently has thirty books released in nine languages. She’s hit best-seller lists (USA Today, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal) thirty-three times. She dabbles in multiple genres, ranging from Dark Romance to Coming of Age.

After chasing her dreams to become a full-time writer, Pepper has earned recognition with awards for best Dark Romance, best BDSM Series, and best Hero. She’s an multiple #1 iBooks bestseller, along with #1 in Erotic Romance, Romantic Suspense, Contemporary, and Erotica Thriller. With 20 books currently published, she has hit the bestseller charts twenty-nine times in three years.

Pepper is a Hybrid Author of both Traditional and Self-published work. Her Pure Corruption Series was released by Grand Central, Hachette.

Her books have garnered foreign interest and are currently being translated into numerous languages, including already released titles in Italian, French, Hebrew, German, and Turkish.

NEWSLETTER: http://www.subscribepage.com/www.pepp...

Or follow her on her website


She loves mail of any kind: pepperwinters@gmail.com

You can stalk her here:

Facebook Pepper Winters
Twitter @pepperwinters
Blog pepperwinters.wordpress.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,235 reviews
Profile Image for SueBee★bring me an alpha!★.
2,417 reviews14k followers
February 23, 2017

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2! Crown of Lies, book 1 of 2. Erotic suspense with heiress being swept off her feet by mysterious Penn, but what are his motives?

“My heart raced, already out of breath with what I’d agreed to participate in.”

Books in Truth and Lies duet should be read in order:
Book 1: Crown of Lies
Book 2: Throne of Truth

In Crown of Lies (book 1) we meet heiress Elle Charlston, Bell Button who has had her whole life mapped out. It is a heavy legacy to carry, but she has done so with pride and dignity even if it suffocates her at times. For a brief moment in time, on her nineteenth birthday, she felt recklessly alive when a “Nameless” stranger rescued her from two villains and then kissed her senseless only to vanish into thin air.

Fast forward three years and Elle is still missing “Nameless” when in walks the mysterious and infuriatingly sexy Penn Everett. It’s contempt, mixed with sexual frustration, at first sight as Penn taunts her with bossy and possessive behavior then seduces her with his dirty-talking and commanding ways and quickly claims her as his own. But does he have ulterior motives?

“It means Elle belongs to you in business. But she belongs to me in everything else.”

Eight words to describe Penn Everett: complex, enigmatic, commanding, aloof, kinky, devious, possessive and dirty-talker.

Eight words to describe Elle Charlston, Bell Button: lonely, naïve, reflective, smart, obedient, impressionable, meek and insecure.

Crown of Lies, told from Elle’s POV, is an erotic suspense with an unfolding mystery. Centerstage a beautiful, lonely and innocent heiress with men and the world at her feet, or so it seems. Masterfully written it revolves around the themes of deceit, betrayal, jealousy, conspiracy, greed and… lies.

“Elle is mine. In fact, I’m taking her home right now. My home.”

Hero: ★★★★1/2
Heroine: ★★★★1/2
Plot: ★★★★★
Storytelling: ★★★★★
Sexual tension: ★★★★★
Sex scenes: ★★★★★
Story ending: N/A
OVERALL RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
Darkness: | MEDIUM FOCUS |
Humor: | LOW FOCUS |
Kink: | HIGH FOCUS |
Romance: | MEDIUM FOCUS |
Sex frequency: | HIGH FOCUS |
Suspense: | HIGH FOCUS |

Thank you to everyone on Shh… ARC(F)BR: https://goo.gl/AR35Vj

ARC provided to me by author Pepper Winters in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for ✦❋Arianna✦❋.
790 reviews2,503 followers
February 6, 2017

4.5 Stars!!

'Crown of Lies' was gripping, alluring, mysterious, filled with twists and turns, suspense, intrigue and steam. Needless to say, I couldn’t put it down for one minute. Pepper Winters delivers an enthralling read that will keep you at the edge of your seat the entire time with its captivating story-line and thrilling characters. If you are a fan of this author, you don’t want to miss this fantastically written erotic, suspenseful tale.

“Thieves can become saints. Saints can become thieves. Most of us deserve a second chance.”

Noelle ‘Elle’ Charlston, the heiress of Belle Elle lives a fairy-tale life – a doting father, a powerful job and a future blessed with financial security. Belle Elle is her duty, her birthright, her father making sure she’s capable of running the company ever since she was just a child. She works hard, being powerful and successful, but sadly she doesn’t have a life. She wants to live, to experience life, she wants a “normal” life, she doesn’t want to feel trapped anymore or to be sheltered. Deciding to put herself at risk, just to live a little, Elle makes some decisions that change her life completely.

Three years later, Elle is still haunted in some way by the events that happened that night. Elle’s life is turned upside down when she meets the mysterious, sexy Penn Everett.

“Because of him, I was unhinged and grinding with insanity, giving into madness I’d never understood.”

Bossy and possessive, Penn lets Elle know from the moments they meet that he wants her in his bed, that he’s intrigued by her, that he wants to mark her and to make her surrender her body to him.

“His hand cupped my cheek, holding me tight. “I’ll strip you, taste you, devour you. I’ll eat, lick, and bite you. And only once you’re begging will I fuck you.”

As time passes and Elle and Penn start a dangerous game of seduction, Elle figures out that Penn is more than mysterious. The lies he spins are alluring and the truth he hides dangerous. What will happen between these two when Elle realizes that her past collided with her present.

An erotic suspense story, 'Crown of Lies' sucked me in from the very beginning. Every single aspect of this story was alluring and so well done. The story-line was gripping and reading the blurb you will wonder and wonder how the heroine’s past will collide with her present. The plot was fantastically developed and held me captive until the end. While the story is not exactly full of twists and turns, the author managed to held at the edge of my seat the entire time with her addictive storytelling and her fascinating characters.

Elle was an interesting heroine I really liked. While on the inside she was insecure and quite naïve, on the outside she was strong and determined. Penn was such an intriguing hero. Sexy, possessive and intense, he bewitched me from the moment he was introduced. At times, he wasn’t very easy to like, but I have to say that I loved how smart-mouthed he was and of course his sexy dirty talking. He was a mystery from start to finish and kept me guessing his...everything until the end.

These two together were really great together, sinfully delicious, their chemistry being off the charts from the beginning. As for the sexy scenes between them – off the charts hot. Pepper for sure knows how to write hot, well written sexy scenes.

The mystery/suspense aspect was fantastically done and kept me flipping the pages like crazy. I'm dying to know how the story will progress in the second installment and of course uncover the truth.

All in all, “Crown of Lies” was a wonderfully written, mysterious erotic suspenseful tale that will keep you at the edge of your seat with a well-developed plot, captivating story-line and vivid characters.

“Careful what you wish for, Elle. Sometimes, secrets make things better not worse.”

Profile Image for Candace.
1,176 reviews4,212 followers
February 21, 2017
Yet again, Pepper Winters has managed to suck me in! In her trademark style, she slowly and meticulously weaved a story of romance, danger and intrigue. Bit by bit, the reader is given morsels of truth, while many facts and details remain elusive enough to keep readers guessing.

Elle Charlston is the heiress to a retail dynasty. Belle Elle has been in her family for generations and she stands to inherit the department store conglomerate. From a very young age, Elle has been trained to run the business. While other kids played with dolls, Elle perfected the window displays and learned how to best present merchandise. When other kids focused on basic geometry, Elle mastered complex spreadsheets and earnings reports.

Looking in from the outside, Elle seems to have a dream life. She leads a life of privilege and has everything that money can buy. Yet, she longs for all the things that money can't buy.

She's never had anything in common with the kids that she went to school with. Longing for friendship, she allowed herself to be taken advantage of by those who were only interested in what Elle's wealth could do for them. Her father and her cat are the only "friends" that Elle has ever known.

On Elle's nineteenth birthday, she makes an impulsive decision to sneak out into the city. She wants to spend one night experiencing life and exploring, without the protective oversight of her driver/security guard. She's never been able to be "free" and do the things that other teenagers take for granted. For just one night, she wants to shed the uptight persona that has defined her for the entirety of her life.

Not long into her explorations, Elle finds herself in a very precarious position. Without her security guard, she has no protection against the dangers that lurk in the nighttime on the city streets. Having been sheltered her whole life, she lacks street smarts and is an easy mark for those who would victimize her.

Dragged into a deserted alleyway, Elle is robbed and nearly raped. If it weren't for the bravery of an unnamed homeless man, Elle would have faced a fate far worse. Her unnamed hero saves Elle, beating her assailants and chasing them off into the night.

In the hours that follow, Elle walks the city with the man. The two form an unlikely friendship and eventually more. Sneaking into Central Park after-hours, they share a night of romance and adventure. Elle and her stranger share a kiss that will haunt her for years before their night is abruptly ended and the man is arrested.

For years, Elle tries to locate her hero unsuccessfully. Without his name, and only a vague physical description, she is unable to track him down. She never gives up though. She is determined that she will find "Nameless", the only man who has ever sparked any interest in her.

Realizing that he may have sentenced his daughter to a life of loneliness, Elle's father is determined to find a husband for her to help shoulder the burden of running the business. His repeated match-making attempts are futile. Elle refuses to consider the men that her father tries to shove her way. She is only interested in one man and she knows that she's unlikely to ever find him.

When she overhears her father again trying to set her up with a stranger at a bar, she is appalled. Never has she met a more arrogant man. She's outraged by her father's behavior and this man's cocky attitude. Drenching him in his drink, she leaves the bar certain that it will be the last time she ever has to face the handsome stranger.

As much as she professes to hate the man, she can't seem to get him off her mind. It is the first time that a man, other than "Nameless", has consumed her thoughts. When she runs into him, again, the sexual tension between her and the sexy, Penn Everett reaches an all-time high.

One thing leads to another and Elle and Penn begin a tumultuous relationship. The chemistry is incredibly strong between the two, in a love/hate kind of way. They can't seem to get enough of each other, even as they each try to keep the other at arm's length. It was incredibly hot!

While Elle is an open book, Penn is not. In fact, Elle doesn't seem to know much of anything about the enigmatic man. All of her attempts to get to know him on a more personal level are shut down swiftly. Who he is and where he came from are a big mystery.

As the story progresses, pieces of Penn's past are revealed. However, each detail only leads to more questions. Who is this man and what does he want with Elle really?

From start to finish, I could not get enough of Elle's story. Admittedly, this book did start off a little slow for me. However, once I got going, I couldn't put it down. Ms. Winters' writing is impeccable and she never fails to hold my attention.

The characters were intriguing and the storyline had just enough danger to keep it exciting. I was particularly impressed with the way that Ms. Winters made Elle a personable character that you almost pity. Lets face it, a billionaire "princess" is not a character that most people can sympathize with. However, her kind demeanor and loneliness made Elle very human and easy to relate to.

Elle Charlston, her unnamed rescuer and the high-handed Penn Everett have completely consumed me. I think I know what happened, but Ms. Winters never fails to surprise me. I'll have to just wait and see if I'm right.

I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book and see where things are headed. I am so glad that I won't have to wait too long for the next book. The minute it is released, I'll be all over it!

Check out more of my reviews at www.bookaddicthaven.com
Profile Image for Hulya Kara Yuksel.
905 reviews1,081 followers
February 17, 2017
He fucked me.
He took me.
He consumed me.

Penn Everett.
Okaaay ladies, first of all please do not forget this name. :)
This man, this smart ass / sexy motherfucker was sooooo HAWT! Ahhhh I don’t know how many times I changed my panties while I was reading this book but I don’t give a damn about that details because it was totally worth it. :D This book literally burned me up like hell! :D IT.WAS.SUPER.HOT!

Ahh what can I say? Penn is one of my book boyfriends now and I wanna know everything about him. Because he’s a mystery. Who is he? Where does he comes from? What is he really wants from Elle? And thank God we won’t wait too long for the 2nd book and Pepper, I want to hug you for that. Thanks a lot my Queen for not waiting us too long! :)

Throne of Truth - Expected publication: February 28th 2017

“I’m attracted to you, Elle. I have been since I saw you. I know you want me too because right now, my hands are on your pussy, and you’re so fucking wet.”

"I want this. I want you to fuck me.”
His eyes snapped closed as his stomach tightened. “Your wish is my command.”

“I’ll strip you, taste you, devour you. I’ll eat, lick, and bite you. And only once you’re begging will I fuck you.”

“I can make you do things, Elle. Things you want to do. Things I want to do.”

Profile Image for Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾.
2,017 reviews12k followers
February 6, 2017

Thieves can become saints. Saints can become thieves. Most of us deserve a second chance.

Without fail, this woman's writing managed to blow me away once again. Lies wrapped in truth. Truths wrapped in thinly veiled threats. A mysterious draw wrapped in animal magnetism. This book completely owned me. It hypnotized. It enraptured. It was pure literary magic, weaving a story so spellbinding, it was impossible to put down.
I don't know if I'd been the one to seduce him, but he'd utterly decimated me.

It could be said that Noelle Charlston lives a charmed life. Growing up in luxury and set to inherit a retail empire, she wants for almost nothing...except a taste of normalcy. The youngest CEO in the history of the company, she may be rich, but she's not a stranger to hard work. She barely leaves her office and her work is all she knows and all she does. Yearning for just a few hours of normal, she makes a decision that irrevocably changes the course of her life.

Now three years have passed since that fateful night that she'll never forget. She's a little older, a lot wiser, and even more disillusioned. Given up on love and finding a man that will want her for more than her money and empire, she's lost herself in her work...until a man demands her attention in a way that's impossible to ignore.
He hypnotized me. He corrupted me.

This man is pure animal magnetism wrapped in alluring confidence. He's not used to hearing no and he won't take it for an answer. The sparks fly between them; a mix of antagonism and undeniable chemistry. A hate lust so strong, it practically burns through the pages.

He wants to own her. She's her own woman. He's determined to break her. She knows no man ever will. He's determined to mark her. She refuses to let him close enough. What takes place is a back and forth that's so delicious, it was enrage you as much as it will captivate you.

The story is flawlessly written in Pepper's signature fluid and lyrical style. It kept me glued to the pages from beginning to end, completely incapable of putting it down. I read this in one sitting while trying to savor every word because I didn't want it to end.

This is book one in a duet, and I'm already vibrating to get my hands on the conclusion. If you're a fan of this author, this book is not to be missed.
He fucked me. He took me. He consumed me.

ARC courtesy of author in exchange for an honest review

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Profile Image for ❥ KAT ❥ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books.
2,162 reviews7,570 followers
February 20, 2017
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My review is going to be as spoiler free as I can possibly make it.

CROWN OF LIES: This is going to be as spoiler free as I can possibly make it. It’s spoken in ‘Noelle Charlston' POV and kicks starts us off in the YA genre a twelve year old girls struggle with living the life set out for her, then moves up the stages/ages. She knows her existence in life is to be nothing more than noelle Chariston, the heiress of Belle Elle.

Then it jumps to where we get a glimpse into Elle's true life struggles as she's hampered by the burden of running the empire she's been handed on her nineteenth birthday. Never been kissed, still a virgin, never been loved.

Imagine being nineteen, doted on by a loving father, the world at her feet but is it really? Almost living life a prisoner in her own castle, the walls bearing down on her, imagine living in New York but never actually experiencing all that New York has to offer, to the street vendors, to the hustle and bustle of pedestrians going about their lives, to the smells, the tastes.

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So on her nineteenth birthday ‘Noelle Charlston' (Elle) decides to cut the ties that bind her and makes a rash decision to do just that, to see what life has to offer her outside of her empire. Like a fish out of water she’s totally out of her element. To pissing off a food vendor to not knowing the protocols of small talk with a service girl so we’re lulled into a false sense of security as she finds her stride in the outside world, to things taking a step into what could’ve been a dark situation.

To a man in a hoody saving her from grace. A man of the night. ‘Nameless’ as she’s aptly named him.

“I met the boy I wanted. But then he vanished“

Feeling and experiencing new things with a boy named nameless, her first kiss, butterflies soaring in her belly, a crush, her knight in shining armour.

Three years later meeting a man named Penn Everett, a man shrouded in so many mysteries, so many lies, deceit, a man she doesn't even like, but he brings those butterflies back to life that she's thought were dormant for life.

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic You've been mine since the moment we met, and you'll stay mine until I let you go.

Going into this I was expecting the usual darkness to surround me like the Queen of darkness usually brings us, this isn’t dark at all, at one stage in a dark alley it could’ve taken a turn for all things stomach curling queasiness. But surprise surprise this author held back on those reins and we’re given something else entirely and that’s what was so uniquely different about this book.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic I'll strip you, taste you, devour you.
I'll eat, lick, and bite you.
And only once you're begging will I f#ck you.

You know those books that leave you in the biggest book funk and you curse the author because you have a huge line up of arcs to review yeah well this is one of those books!! A book that leaves you hanging by a thread awaiting the next within the series, watching the author as she's on social media and you're silently screaming in your head for her to get back in her writer's cave to bring you the next within the series, yep been there done that with this book!!

OMG!! GAH!! This is how it goes, so many questions, so many questions left unanswered, so many truths revealed, so many lies uncovered, a book funk of epic proportions then I reached the end and I'm left dangling over a freaking cliffy!! You have got to be kidding me!! GAH!!

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Profile Image for Karen Mc .
948 reviews726 followers
February 10, 2017

“If you want it, go for it. Take a risk. Don’t always play it safe or you’ll die wondering.”

I love to take risks…traveling to new places, trying new food, attempting new sports, living in different states and a country, and even reading books that push boundaries. The best feeling in the world is to get lost in a book where you’re transplanted, almost if by magic, to a new world. A world where you take flight to a new destination. I lived an adventure through Pepper Winters’ latest penned perfection: Crown of Lies. Crown of Lies is a thrilling, twisty, and turbulent tale of love laced with lies and hate that will steal your soul and render you breathless.

I dove into Crown of Lies, barely surfacing for a break, so drunk on this book while reading. I shut out the world while the light wrapped in dark world in Crown of Lies became my world. I was both a saint and a sinner as Crown of Lies BECAME ME. This story swiftly was my air…my ache…my anguish…my addiction…my ALL. I was quickly lost in Crown of Lies and did not want to be found…EVER. I already knew that this story was EVERYTHING.

Beautiful blonde and blue-eyed Noelle ‘Elle’ Charlston lived a fairy tale of a life with a caring father, powerful position as a young and wealthy CEO of her family’s retail company, and everything she’s ever wanted…everything except a man.

At just nineteen, a dark-eyed and dark-eyed stranger saves Elle’s life, a broken but beautiful man of no identity…nameless.

“Did he understand what he’d done by saving me? A life for a life. He’d saved me. And I haven’t saved him.”

In one night, Elle’s life went from boring to an adventure.
In one night, she was saved.
In one night, she was free.
In one night, her life almost ended.
In one night, her life truly began.

“I’m not letting you go, I’ve only just found you.”

“You don’t even know me.”

“I don’t have to know you. I feel you.”

Tears dripped down my face, this story hit my heart like a hurricane, a storm of sorrow and swoon. Words of power…passion…and possession invaded every part of me. Crown of Lies gripped me hard, gutting me. I FELT EVERYTHING.

This man, ‘Nameless,’ even they only had one night, he invades Elle’s thoughts…her dreams…her life. She wanted to be his savior like he was hers but that chance was snuffed out in one night, one night that changed Elle’s life forever. A man of mystery who in one night became her world.

Until another man claimed her, a man she loathed but for whom she lusted: Penn Everest. Tall…dark…handsome…deadly.

“You sit here planning my future like you have control over me. What? You think you can make me fall in love with you? Get on my knees for you? Do whatever you tell me to, oh master? The flat-out disgusting nerve of you!”

“If you give me time, I’ll prove to you I can make you do all those things…and more.”

I loved how Elle is made of steel, this powerful CEO and one of the richest women in the world, won’t let anyone intimidate or control her…or so she thought. Penn Everest would not steal Elle’s soul as it was still searching for Nameless. Though Elle can’t deny the rush of heat that surges through her when Penn promises her pleasure.

That heat hit me hard. Oh did I feel the passion penetrate from the pages through me.

“The same rush of pleasure I wanted Nameless to take now begged for a new master.”

Elle could not help but succumb to Penn’s desires, powerless to a powerful man. She’d give him her body but he’d never steal her soul or have her heart; those belonged to Nameless…though Penn would try to take it all…everything.

“Oh, silly girl. The moment you said yes, all your choices became void. This is my game now.”

Oh Penn. So closed…cocky…crude…crass. I loathed him…I liked him. Hero and villain. Saint and sinner. Penn was a man of many layers. This man was a mystery I wanted to solve. I wanted more from him…needed more. THIS DARK HERO WAS MY DRUG…and I could not drink the dominant and delicious Penn enough.

“He kissed me and then he kissed me. Each swipe of his tongue blasted through my decorum, dragging alive the sexual being who’d never been allowed to evolve.”

Penn and Elle’s kisses were molten lava that melted me from head to toe. I could not get enough of their cat-and-mouse games combined with combustible chemistry that smoldered and seduced me.

“You don’t have a clue what you’re doing to me, don’t you? And I’m not going to tell you.”

Mr. Mystery is affected by Elle as she is by him though Penn won’t give her any truths. I wanted these truths too. I needed to unwrap Mr. Mystery and steal his secrets. THE SUSPENSE WAS KILLING ME!!!!

“Nameless had been the hero. Penn was the anti-Christ. One saving, one damning. I knew which one I preferred.”

Nameless…Penn…both thieves in the night…stealing a piece of Elle. One reminds Elle of the other…both sinners and saviors. Though Penn is who invades Elle’s body, thoughts, and dreams now.

Penn and Elle are PURE PERFECTION together. The fusion of hot and cold perfectly blend into magic that melts like molten lava. You cannot help but feel their chemistry-clad connection, two powerful people powerless around each other. These characters captivated me, and I wanted to shake the secrets out of Penn and force him to fess up to Elle as she deserves the truth. She has given this mystery man so much of her and needs more. I NEEDED MORE TOO.

“I couldn’t figure him out, and I desperately needed to if I was going to survive whatever he’d done to me. Because he had done something to me. He’d awakened me, and I could never go back to sleep.”

Crown of Lies awakened me with words that were my fire, flames that detonated me, demanding everything, daring me to catch fire too…and that I did. I burned for this book. I burned for these compassionate and complex characters with off-the-charts chemistry who were perfect together. I burned for more.

I felt every word I read in this pulse-pounding, UNPUTDOWNABLE, soul-searing story. Crown of Lies stole my breath in a book that bled beauty and angst, this book baring its soul to me and stealing my soul. The spellbinding, suspenseful, and spine-tingling Crown of Lies shook my soul, grabbed my gut, and hit my heart so hard that my emotions bled long after the story was over.

Crown of Lies is deliciously dark, passionately poignant, and mysteriously magical. Crown of Lies was MY RUSH. This story seduced my soul, so intense and intoxicating that I was indebted to every word…every page…every emotion that escaped, entangling around every part of me. Crown of Lies was MY CRACK! This story stole my soul like a thief in the night, and all I could do was submit to its power….its passion…its promise of more.

This book is over but I am still basking in UTTER BOOK BLISS. I’m still stuck in this soul-slashing story! My heart is still pounding out of my chest.

Pepper Winters outdid herself again! Just WOW!!! I LOVED THIS STORY SOOOO HARD! It may only be January, but I already know that Crown of Lies is a top January reads and a best book of 2017!

CROWN OF LIES OWNED EVERY PART OF ME. Crown of Lies is PURE GOLD! I want to wear this crown forever as I bask in the glow of a forever hangover!

“We’re all a little corrupt, doing our best to fit into a world that’s broken but still demands perfection…Thieves can become saints. Saints can become thieves.”

★★★★★ ‘but worth 10’ gut-gripping gold crowns

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Profile Image for ✰ Liz ✰ .
1,349 reviews1,262 followers
February 6, 2017
~4.5 Stars~
"Are we playing or shall I walk away?"

Crown of Lies is the first book in the Truth and Lies Duet. This suspenseful contemporary romance offers a tale of intrigue that will hold you captive until the very last moment, and when that last moment arrives, you will only be desperate for more.

"Hesitantly, fearfully, I stepped into it and prepared to become someone else. Someone free."
Noelle Charlston is the heiress to Belle Elle a New York Department Store Empire. With a loving father, a sweet cat, beauty and charm, it seems that she has a perfect life. However, Elle is lonely. When she ventures out alone on the streets of NYC, she finds herself in a terrifying situation. Before terror ensues, an unlikely hero steps up and becomes her savior. Suddenly, her life is changed forever.

"A life for a life. He'd saved me. And I haven't saved him."
Years later, Elle is still alone. The boy that had changed her life in one moment is gone, and although her dad is desperate to pair her off with a successful businessman to rule the world by her side, Elle wants no part of it. She is perfectly happy to be alone and manage the Belle Empire alone. When Penn Everett enters the scene and makes a play for Elle, his offer becomes too appealing for her to refuse. When pieces from her past and fears for her future intertwine, Elle's life is once again put in danger. Can she find the strength to survive?

"You have a prison gate around yourself that you're too afraid to unlock and be free."
Told in Elle's POV, Crown of Lies is one twisted tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire read. With a blend of passion, tenderness, and action, the journey for Noelle Charlston has many twists and turns. The pacing is intense as each piece of the plot comes together. Although I would love to offer more commentary on the heart of the story, I don't want to spoil this delicious treat for anyone!


Overall, Crown of Lies is an intriguing tale with dark undertones, passion, action, and complex characters. This twisted story is only the beginning of what promises to be an extraordinary series. I am a huge fan of Ms. Winters work, and I am certainly looking forward to finding out how this cryptic saga ends.

***Truth and Lies Duet***

This was a BR with my Shhlutty Sistas!


*ARC graciously provided in exchange for an honest review!

For more reviews/reveals/giveaways visit:
Profile Image for warhawke.
1,298 reviews1,955 followers
February 7, 2017
Genre: Dark Erotic Suspense
Type: Book 1 of 2 from Crown of Lies Duet
POV: First Person - Female

Noelle (Elle) Charlston was a New York City heiress. Groomed to take over the empire since she was a young kid, she had no life behind her gilded cage. One rebellious night, she decided to see the world for herself only to end up in a predicament that that still haunted her years later.

Penn Everett came out of nowhere to weasel himself into Elle's life. His allure was irresistible but his life was a blank page that she's willing to overlook until a secret came out that might be too much for her to handle.

I wasn't really sure what this book is about before reading, but I'm glad I took a chance and ended up enjoying it.

He looked arctic and unreadable. He smelled expensive and impenetrable. He sounded powerful and untouchable. My worst nightmare wrapped in perfection.

Penn was a sexy hero. He was aloof, yet intense. I like how he handled situations to favor his way.

I wasn’t supposed to like this. I wasn’t supposed to get wet under his cruel, commanding tone.

For someone powerful and influential, Elle was a major contradiction. Inside, she was unsecured and naive. She could be a pushover but I'm glad she showed her spine when needed.

“I can make you do things, Elle. Things you want to do. Things I want to do.”

I really like how the mystery/suspense element carried the book. It kept me flipping the page, wanting to know more. However, I think there were too many unanswered questions for it to have a ground to keep me satisfied. It felt dragged out when there wasn't enough answers.

Penn and Elle had a great pull which in turn produced explosive sex scenes. I like how intense their encounters were.

“Careful what you wish for, Elle. Sometimes, secrets make things better not worse.”

Crown Of Lies is a story a woman's attempt to break free and taking control of her life. It would appeal to readers looking for a sexy, suspenseful story.

Books in the series:
Crown of Lies (Crown of Lies Duet, #1) by Pepper Winters Throne of Truth (Crown of Lies Duet, #2) by Pepper Winters

♠ ♛ ♠ . . . ARC(F)BR With The Shhluts . . . ♠ ♛ ♠

For more reviews/reveals/giveaways visit:

Profile Image for Alex is The Romance Fox.
1,461 reviews1,089 followers
March 4, 2017
Some minor spoilers ahead....

I have seen a few books by this author, Pepper Winters reviewed by some of my GR friends and after reading such glowing ones about this book, Crown of Lies which is the 1st in her Truth And Lies Duet, I so wanted to read it..............and I am beyond "stoked"...... happy ........elated that I did!!! IT WAS A WILD RIDE.................
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WOW..........just WOW!!!
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Was I blown away? More than!!
"How can one wrap the truth in lies or is it that this big lie is wrapped in the truth? "
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By now you should have read all the synopsis and cover blurbs out there..so let me just get to the point/s on why this book made such an impression on me.

→The CoverAbsolutely stunning! It was one of the things that drew me in. Beautifully photographed, moody with a sense of mystery.

→The Story LineA great cover blurb/synopsis, which delivers on all levels. Original. Dark. Twisted. Sensual. Gripping. Suspenseful. Mysterious. Sweet. Erotic. Tender. Unpredictable............ You just never see what's coming next....The more pages you turn, the more questions you are left with!!!

→The Main CharactersComplex. Well-developed. Tortured. Flawed. Angst-ridden.
Elle (Noelle) Charlston photo ecef7aa6e2421a49bfadf287bb3f5985_zpscytlkufe.jpg I liked her character. Wise and innocent.....protected and protective. How one night changed her life forever.............. photo 36704445-256-k343062_zpsutlbozx6.jpg
Penn Everett
 photo 15850523._SY540__zpsb0y3bhcg.jpgOkay, so I kind of guessed who he actually was!!!! Hell, this guy has a lot of issues!! I loved how the author managed to write a character like him - angst-ridden, secretive, uber controlling, devious.....and despite wanting to hate him...I somehow didn't. There was some kind of inner goodness, for a better word, in him that kept shining out of him.
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Penn's whole attitude and behaviour should have sent Elle running.......okay, so she did try!!!!
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Just that there was that "combustible chemistry between the two.................totally irresistible...........
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→The Secondary CharactersAmazing. There are a lot of them that are slowly developed but they never seem to take over each other..........and........... How cool are the characters names!!!!! Penn Everett!!! Arnie Twigg!!! Stewie & Gio Steele!! Fleur!!! And OMG....my favourite character in this book...........SAGE (Elle's cat)......Elle taking a walk through her store with Sage..........Visualize something like this
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→The WritingBeautiful prose. Great flow of words.
"He stole my heart with his lies. He'll destroy it with his truth."
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→The Setting NYC........
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→Favorite Quote“Thieves can become saints. Saints can become thieves. Most of us deserve a second chance.”

→Would I recommend this book?Yes, definitely.

→Would I read it again?Oh most certainly.
Profile Image for  Sonya ♕Chatterbooks book blog♕.
965 reviews1,092 followers
February 7, 2017
⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4 Deceitful Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I truly feel like someone threw me into a Web of lies and I’m having a hard time believing which is reality and what the ever loving f*ck just happened. Am I crazy? Who’s telling the telling the truth? I just don’t know anymore. I love it when an author can make you question things and take you out of your comfort zone for the time being and Pepper certainly did that for me. Was I nervous? Heck yea. Did I drink more than usual? Hmmm… I’m pleading the fifth on that one.

Noelle “Elle” Charleston has always been a daddy’s little girl. Losing her mother at a young age, her father has been the one constant in her life that has never let her down. Groomed to take over the family’s company since the age of twelve, Elle has been working extremely hard to keep it into the successful business that it is. But working 24/7 leaves no room for a personal life and little does she know that one impulse moment, will forever shape the woman that she’s going to become.

Now three years later, Elle is still a workaholic and under father’s meddling,, she’s introduced to the straight forward Penn Everett. Never one to back down from an arrogant person, Elle decides to let Penn know exactly who he’s dealing with. What was supposed to be a clash of sorts, turned into an unexplainable hot as hell attraction that neither of them could deny. But who’s playing who?

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

“He hypnotized me. He corrupted me.

Penn Everett is sexy.

Penn Everett is mysterious.

Penn Everett is charming.

Penn Everett is classy.

Penn Everett is Dangerous.

Penn Everett is someone you don’t want to mess with.

With all of these qualities, you would think there would be a warning sign attached to that man but that’s not the case. He’s powerful in his own right, he’s seductive with his own words, and the game that he wants to play is an erotic Web that will have you spinning and spinning until you surrender and say your safe word. Penn Everett ladies and gentleman,, is a GOD.

This story flowed effortlessly and I loved the fact that our heroine wasn’t some kind of weak character. This girl was a force of nature that made her own rules and stood up for herself while at the same time having a beautiful innocence that remained intact. Elle and Penn’s relationship was highly seductive and their connection to each other had me flipping the pages Inn record time while cursing myself for not savoring the moment.

“I want to take you, own you, control you.”

My only issue with this one was that I felt there was a lot of unanswered questions and that left me quite confused and frustrated. I would’ve liked a little bit more of a background on Penn’s history but at the same time, I understood why it was done this way. Aside from that, if you love a bit of mystery in your reads with some of the hottest scenes I’ve ever read, then you NEED this book.

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Profile Image for ⊱✿⊰ Alicia ⊱✿⊰ .
550 reviews473 followers
February 12, 2017
3 I liked Penn Stars

*****May Contain Spoilers*****

I finished this last night planning to write this review this morning. Unfortunately I woke up to HEAT it's like living in an oven in Sydney right now. So bear with me while I try and write this review with no air con.

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Unfortunately this book did not get me as hot as the weather.

Elle is resigned to the fact her life is already set in stone by the age of 12 and by 19 her father has handed over the reigns of one of the largest retailers in America Belle Elle. Elle is sick of living such a sheltered life and on the night of her 19 birthday she decides it's time for a little adventure, she sets off to walk the streets of NY alone to see how the 'other' half live.

Of course that one time she goes out alone she is attacked!! (very predictable) The two men that attack her pull her into a dark alley wanting to rob and rape her. Thanks goodness there was a dark and mysterious man there right when she needed saving.

One of my main issues with the book was Elle she got on my nerves

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For the first 30% was a bit dull and dragged and the over descriptive text and the annoyance of Elle nearly had me DNFing BUT then in walked Mr Everette/Penn with his style and arrogance and my attention was back in the game.

I enjoyed the all parts of the book Penn was in although he was not good enough to over ride the annoyance of Elle. I am not sure why this is marked as 'dark' as there was nothing 'dark' about it, maybe the second one will be dark.

This book was written well in true Pepper Winters style, I think this was just a case of:

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Profile Image for Alana.
664 reviews1,270 followers
May 12, 2018
I'm just gonna leave y'all some quotes from this one. Let it sit with you like it's been sitting with me, because I'm just done with this.

Am I falling out of liking the romance genre? Or am I too much of a bitch? BECAUSE IF A GUY EVER SAID ANY OF THIS TO ME I WOULD KICK HIM SO HARD WHERE THE SUN DON'T SHINE IF YOU CATCH MY DRIFT.

But here you go, welcome to the world of me trying to decipher what the fuck I just read

"You've already lost. Why? Because you are mine."

""Don't touch me."
"Touch you? Fuck, I own you.""

"Number one, you're going to drink. I want you tipsy - like you were that night you said yes. I want you loose and inhibited and open to doing whatever I want."

""So you protected me, not because I shared your bed and gave up a significant part of me, but because in your twisted ideals, I'm a possession that only you can touch?" His jaw worked as he drove fast through residential streets. "Yes""

"You've been mine since the moment we met, and you'll stay that way until I let you go. Anything else - all your arguments, denials, and refusals - mean nothing to me."


Not to mention the fact that this LUNATIC ran around telling people including this girls family that they were engaged after like TWO DAYS of knowing each other.

And yes, I'm aware that technically she did say "yes" to playing his little game but that was before she knew just how much of a psychopath this dude was.

Needless to say, I'm done with this series. The second this dude got introduced to the story it was all " red flag, red flag, DOUBLE RED FLAG, red flag". And I'm not about that.

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Profile Image for Sabrina.
3,234 reviews1,934 followers
July 15, 2017
Get it here:
Amazon US * Barnes & Noble

Crown of Lies was not at all what I expected, but I definitely do not mean that in a bad way. I loved this story and how it was able to captivate me from the very first page to last breath-stealing sentence. Penn and Elle had this all-consuming king of connection and I couldn't get enough of them together. Penn was the right mix of Alpha possessive Hero while Elle was the independent yet sheltered Heroine. And together it was an explosion of heated chemistry that had the pages sizzling in my hands.

I did have only one or two issues with the story but honestly there is nothing that will stop this book from being a five star read for me. I did not move once after I opened this book and then when it ended I couldn't get to the next one fast enough. Any book that can consume me as much as this one did gets the biggest recommendation from me.
September 30, 2022
Hero or Villain?

The following ratings are out of 5:
Narration: 🎙🎙🎙🎙🎙
Romance: 💙💚🖤💜❤️
Heat/Steam: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Story/Plot: 📕📗📘📙📔
World building: 🌎🌍🌏🌎🌏
Character development: 😬😍🥴😮🥰

The heroine: Noelle “Elle” Charlston - lived a fairytale existence even after her mother died when she was young. She was the precious daughter and heir of a wealthy CEO of the worlds largest department store chain called Belle Elle that has been in the family for generations and she is considered American Royalty.

The Heroes: The hooded man & Penn Everett - The hooded man is a possible superhero, possible vigilante, savior and heartthrob. Penn Everett arrives in New York three years later. He is dressed expensively and says he came to New York because his benefactor was ill and came for medical treatment.

The Story: Elle is a pampered princess, loved above all else by her father, from a very young age she has gone to work with her father, learning the business she is one day going to run from the ground up. On her nineteenth birthday, she has never gone out in New York on her own and never broken free from her gilded world for even a moment, so she takes off on her own for a day of fun, only to end up nearly being raped by two ruffians in a dirty alley.

She is saved by a man in a black hoodie, who and takes her to Central Park. Elle is extremely attracted to the man, though he obviously came from a rough background and was potentially homeless. He was her first kiss, first sensual experience. They had an adventure and she never even knew his name. Though she feels guilt for years after not being able to find him.

Fast forward three years, Elle is now in charge of Belle Elle and has become a workaholic, type A personality and quite a man hater. She doesn’t want a man who thinks to use her as a way to improve his career choices and pocketbook. Her father tries to fix her up with Penn Everett, who she sees as an arrogant jerk and a liar. Yet Penn is determined to have her. He wants to control her and she, who is in in control all the time in her life, wants to give up control.

The book was narrated by Kylie Stewart and Eric Rolon. It was done in duet narration where Eric did all the male voices and Kylie did all the female voices. This is my favorite type of narration and I really liked both of their voices. Kylie has a youthful voice which was perfect for Elle and Eric has a deep authoritative voice and was great at dirty talk.

“For your information, I’m not married and I prefer my dates with tits rather than balls!”

I liked Penn, he was an unabashed liar, but he also spoke the straight and unvarnished truth. This was a super steamy romance with hot and sexy intimate scenes. The two main characters fight and bicker but have explosive chemistry. Elle is a strong businesswoman, but is sexually naïve and doesn’t quite know how to handle Penn. Her one experience with the hooded man left her with a schoolgirl crush for years and Penn is a man in every way.

I voluntarily read & reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts & opinions are my own.

Profile Image for Pavlina Read more sleep less blog  .
2,434 reviews4,573 followers
February 6, 2017
LIVE Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Crown-Lies-Tru...

5 Brilliant stars <3

Such a brilliant story.It has the perfect amount of suspense ,mystery and the twists were fantastic.Pepper Winters delivers a passionate,erotic,intense and hot romance.

"Whatever existed between has was visceral,indescribable,completely imprisoning ."


I was hooked from the beginning in this crazy ride and I couldn't stop reading because I needed to know what is happening and who is Penn!Penn was sexy,mysterious,dark,possessive and bossy.With his own way he managed to get under Elle's skin. Elle was a strong heroine who didn't afraid anyone.

"His gaze set fire to my skin with every second he stared."

Whenever these two were together you can feel the sparkle and the passion.Their game of cat and mouse was addictive.I was seduced by these two and their chemistry.

"I couldn't look away,and in his brown gaze,I found something unbearably carnal, so unfiltered and truthful.."

The writing was beautiful,poetic and alluring.I loved it so much and I'm so excited for the next book I need some answers!!


Profile Image for Dilek VT.
1,543 reviews1,405 followers
September 16, 2019
Elle is the only heiress of a well-known business empire and that is why, she didn’t live her teenage years as she should have.
She went to her father’s company after school.
She studied.
She worked.
She never played.
She never had a friend.
She was never free.
Her fate and future was drawn by her father.
She was going to inherit his legacy.

Feeling alone and bored, Elle throws herself into the New York streets on her 19th birthday to discover how other people are living. She desperately wants to see what is out there. So she runs away for a day & night.

On her 19th birthday, her world as she knows it changes dramatically. She sees the good and the bad that night.

I bent and buckled. I kicked and squirmed. But they were too strong. The street was too far away. The world was too obsessed to care.


Did he know how grateful I was? Did he understand what he’d done by saving me?
If he were homeless, I would help him.
If he were struggling, I would pay him.
A life for a life.

I was attracted to him.
Here of all places.
Him of all men.


“I don’t care that I don’t know you. I know enough.”


“This is crazy.” I hugged him close. “All things worth fighting for are crazy.”

What happened with three men in a dark alley late at that night changed her life forever. She knew the names of the two men but the most important one didn’t tell her his name.

Now even after 3 years, that man was still in her mind and heart; she named him as “Nameless”:)

3 years later, Elle is now the head of Belle Elle Company and she still doesn’t have a social life at all. She has her cat, Sage… and her dad and of course lots and lots of work and responsibility!

Elle is blond with blue eyes. She is as smart as she is beautiful.

One day, a rich businessman enters Elle’s life like a tornado: Penn Everett. With his dark hair and chocolate eyes, he is hot and sinful.

Penn is difficult to understand. He is cocky, he is controlling, he is ruthless but he is too beautiful to resist.

There is something undeniable between them. He wants to possess her. He is the second man that she has felt something for in her life.

“Say yes.”
“Agree to play with me. Yes to letting me have you. 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.”

He stupefied me. He bewitched me. He took me. He consumed me.


“I’ll only say this once, so listen carefully. I will lie to others about us. I will paint a picture that isn’t true. I will curse and hurt and do whatever I damn well want, but you have my word on one thing.”
My voice carried on a hesitant whisper. “What word?”
“That I won’t lie to you. What you see from me will be the honest fucking truth.”

Sometimes, she realizes something similar between Nameless and Penn but sometimes she feels guilty for giving herself to Penn while her heart still belongs to Nameless.

What if he’d come back for me? But if that was true, why was he so mean? Why so closed off and impenetrable? We’d felt something that night. Something real if only so fleeting. Why punish me?


“You chased me.”
“Wrong.” His teeth nipped my throat. “I hunted you.”

“You don’t have a clue what you’re doing to me, do you? And I’m not going to tell you.”

We also have a very unpleasant character in the book: Greg. He is Elle’s childhood friend, her father’s best friend’s son and the one they want her to marry and the one she doesn’t feel anything for. Penn claims Elle, and Elle tells Greg she doesn’t want to be with him but Greg doesn’t seem to understand the answer “No”.

“You’ll never get her back because she’ll never be the same once I’ve had her.”

Greg’s dark character gets darker and darker until he turns into a complete psycho at the end of Book 1.

I had no one else.
Nameless was gone.
Penn was banished.
I’m alone.
But it didn’t matter.
Greg wanted what he couldn’t have.

And yes, as you can imagine, Book 1 ends with a huge cliffhanger.

The whole book is told by Elle. It has very hot scenes that are beautifully written.

I didn’t rate this book first, not until I finished Book 2 because at the end of Book 1, I wasn’t sure if it was a 3, 4 or 5 stars for me as I didn’t have any of the answers to any of the mystery here.

Now that I have finished reading Book 2 as well, I can say that both books in the “Truth & Lies” duet deserve 5 points out of 4,5 in my opinion.

Why -0,5?


See my review for Book 2.
Profile Image for Lo Bookfrantic.
766 reviews566 followers
August 10, 2017
4.5★★★★ stars

Genre: Dark Erotic Suspense
Type: Book 1 of 2 from Crown of Lies Duet
POV: First Person – Female


Noelle (Elle) Charlston; since twelve years old learned she had to take responsibility in her father's business. The only thing she had was her father and the family business; she didn't know anything else. She grew up with money and security and no friends. For once she wanted to know what freedom felt like. Young and desperate she ran away for the day on her nineteenth birthday. She found danger in the streets of New York City but also she found her soulmate as any young girl with dream may think.

"I shouldn't be daydreaming about a man who tasted like candy or a kiss beneath the stars on a baseball field."

Penn Everett; dark, handsome, and mysteries show up in Elle's life three years after Elle's one crazy night. He had some secrets and that's what made him so tempting but dangerous at the same time. He was a mystery and Elle was intrigued. Somehow; she was attracted to him but she kept denying it. The struggle between what she wanted and what this man made her feel was real. Penn knew she was stubborn and he wouldn't give up until he got what he wanted from her.

"I can make you do things, Elle. Things you want to do. Things I want to do. I particular liked when you said you'd get on your knees and call me, what was it? Oh, master?"

This story grabbed my attention from the beginning. I found myself daydreaming of Elle's one night fantasy as well as this hotness of a man that was Penn. I could understand Elle's internal struggle to give into her desired and I really enjoyed the sweet torture and the fight between these two. The chemistry was incredible and super-hot. Their encounters were hilarious one minute they are fighting like animals the next they are heated up with desire.

Pepper takes you to a stunning story of forbidden love with a dark mysterious feels of lies and deceptions. I honestly can hardly wait to see how this duet will end and what more twists the author has in store for us.


F(BR) with my Shhluts

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iBooks: http://apple.co/2i2Exbj
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2jCkZaR
Nook: http://bit.ly/2j9oGZm
GooglePlay: http://bit.ly/2kpkNwt


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Profile Image for CC.
1,060 reviews628 followers
February 7, 2017
4.25 Stars!


Noelle “Elle” Charleston is an heiress trained from a young age to take over her family’s business. Always the good girl and only knowing work for during her entire teen years, Elle decides to venture off for one night on her nineteenth birthday, but her life changes when she has a traumatic experience.

“I’m someone you can be free with.”

Penn Everett is a mysterious figure that appears in Elle’s life at a time when she wants to feel like a woman and less like a CEO. Exuding confidence, dominance and sex appeal, he effortlessly asserts himself in a way that is hard to ignore.

“You’ve been mine since the moment we met, and you’ll stay mine until I let you go.”

As Penn invites Elle to play a game, she is eager to surrender her body to him and Penn is more than capable of offering all she can imagine. The sexual tension between them is combustible and Elle willingly pushes Penn in an effort to be on the receiving end of his domination. What ensues are sizzling hot encounters between Penn and Elle!

“His hand cupped my cheek, holding me tight. “I’ll strip you, taste you, devour you. I’ll eat, lick, and bite you. And only once you’re begging will I fuck you.”

As Penn and Elle continue their dance, Penn isn’t sure how much he wishes to share with Elle. Trying to find the perfect moment is a challenge but the path they are taking is going to lead to many answers.

“Careful what you wish for, Elle. Sometimes, secrets make things better not worse.”

With the circumstances that affect Elle’s life, she is an interesting character – intelligent, business savvy yet she is also naïve and craves the connection that she’s been looking for over the years. Penn delivers in such a way that his secrets and known actions add to his allure and all his interactions with Elle are intense.

In Crown of Lies, the tone is mysterious with dark undertones. From the first page, the pace is swift and the plot is suspenseful with twists and turns that kept me enthralled. Of course, in true Pepper Winters fashion, the narrative is captivating the words effortless flow off the page. For those seeking a story with heat, allure and mystery, I highly recommend this book!!

Crown of Lies Duet:
Crown of Lies (Crown of Lies Duet, #1) by Pepper Winters Throne of Truth (Crown of Lies Duet, #2) by Pepper Winters

*An ARC was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

*This was a (F)BR with the Shhluts!

For more reviews/reveals/giveaways visit:

Profile Image for Elfina Renee.
611 reviews204 followers
February 7, 2017
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They say, never judge a book by its cover. The same could be said about storylines and plots! I went into Crown of Lies thinking, this is different, tamer, lighter than Pepper Winters normal stuff…...AND...I was wrong!
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The extraordinaire queen of erotic literary darkness struck again and blew my screwed up notions to hell! By the time I’d finished, mind fuckery swam in mental depths and awakened a craving for book two; Throne of Truth.

I’m not ready for it to be over dammit! I want answers! Ugh yes it's only a book, and somehow I'm suppose to breathe. Nice cleansing breaths! You gotta love Pepper Winters; being able to evoke these kind of emotions…but damn!
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I won’t go into details about Penn Everett. To do so would ruin your first impressions of him and give too much away. Noelle Charlston on the other hand….if only you could see me rolling my eyes! There’s no cure for stupid! Some of the things she does and permits..... ahhhh you've gotta read this! Just saying…five stars all the way, enjoy!
Profile Image for Zasha.
42 reviews70 followers
February 22, 2017
ARC provided to me by author Pepper Winters in exchange for an honest review!!!

So much to say and so little time . i was pretty intrigued right off the bat with how this book plays out. from the beginning i was a bit hesitant because i wasn't used to Pepper using a different writing style for me. But i think overall the story itself pulled me in and it allured me by its dark mysterious tone. The characters play off the tone creating depth to there stories and the setting. Pepper doesn't surprise me when choosing two very opposite characters that work well together ...
757 reviews2,346 followers
Shelved as 'd-n-f'
February 5, 2017

I'm probably a few pages in and the guy she just met can be a killer yet she's kissing him and blindly following him around places. They admit to feeling an instant attraction. Its boring me and I just don't want to read anymore of this right now. I'll probably pick this back up some other time when I'm in the mood and pull through it so I'm leaving my rating blank. But for now it's a dnf.
Profile Image for TJ *Book Twins Reviews*.
1,050 reviews2,412 followers
February 7, 2017
Crown of Lies is a beautifully rendered and vibrant creation. The craftsmanship is remarkable. It's written like a piece of art. The sentences and paragraphs have been masterfully carved from the mind of a master artisan. I was completely entranced and captivated by every word.

This is my first Pepper Winters read. If each of her books is this well-written and intriguing, I’ve truly been missing out. Don't worry! I plan to rectify this travesty immediately.

In Crown of Lies , things aren’t what they seem. People aren’t who we expect them to be. That’s honestly the most striking thing about this book. None of the characters really fit the norms I expected. This book kept me off kilter throughout and I loved every twisted turn I encountered.

Here are the basics: Noelle Charlston is a business-women who was literally raised to run her family’s business. From a very young age, her father grooms her to take-over after his retirement. Her upbringing is a bit unorthodox. Unlike other kids her age, all her spare time is spent learning the business and preparing to lead the company. Not surprising, as she grows up she feels trapped by the weight of her responsibilities. Her first mini rebellion leads to a life altering encounter with a Nameless stranger.

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The story focuses on her struggle to remain the woman she was groomed to be, but also her pursuit to find a bit of freedom to spread her wings. When Elle meets the enigmatic Penn Everett, she takes a chance on him in the hopes of finding the freedom she craves.

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He demands her complete surrender, but she knows nothing about him or the life he led before their chance encounter.

What I absolutely loved: The story is as enigmatic as it’s hero. The cast of characters aren’t what I expected at all.
My heart pounded the entire time I read this book. I couldn’t read fast enough. There’s danger, suspense, subterfuge, and unexpected encounters.
Elle and Penn were smoking hot!

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This was truly an amazing read. It has my highest recommendation!

I rate it: 4.5 Stars

ARC graciously provided by the author for honest review!
Profile Image for Jen.
1,654 reviews995 followers
February 15, 2017
Loved this one! My first official five star read of 2017!!!! I should have known it would be by Pepper Winters! She is a brilliant writer and it shows in this book for sure!!!! There are so many questions that keep you guessing through out the story!! I was intrigued the whole way through!

The heat between this couple is through the roof! The scenes between hero and heroine are so scorching hot; I didn't want to blink as I was reading them! Lol!

I am extremely eager for the next book in this duo! There may have been a cliffy but I'm pleasantly surprised to find out the next story comes out February 28th! I was so scared I was going to have to wait a year like a lot of stories out there; but the great Ms Winters always delivers quickly!!! I'm a huge fan and after this read, I'm an even bigger one now!!!
A must read people!!!
Profile Image for MindOfAnOpenBook.
66 reviews74 followers
February 21, 2017
As of January 31st it's now live my lovelies!!! Welcome to the mysterious and exciting world that is Penn Everett.


*****ARC Generously Provided By Author In Exchange For Review*****


“I met the boy I wanted. But then he vanished and a new man claimed me instead. My father approved, my colleagues congratulated, and behind closed doors, I was bedded by a stranger.”

Okay wow. I'm going to keep this review short and sweet because there's just too much goodness going on in this book that I want to blab about! So the story revolves around Noelle Charlston, a powerful and intimidating CEO of Belle Elle. She is very hard-working and exceptional in everything that she does. (She is a hard. ass. And I flove it.) However, she is so consumed by her family's company that she never actually gets to spend her life like people her age should. Her life has always been controlled by the company so in order to gain some control back on her 19th birthday she does what she's never gotten to do before: explore the lively city of New York. Fortunately, she meets a man that makes her heart sing. But the rest of the night's events are what cloud her mind for the next 3 years.

*Insert Penn Everett* At 22, her father is constantly worried about her being single and having not found love yet. Because he wants to put his conscious at ease to know that the company will be staying in the good hands of his family. He tries to play matchmaker but fails epically every time. When he believes he has found the perfect match for her he wants to introduce them to each other. But the introduction is nothing but disastrous. Penn is successful, smart-mouthed, and downright sinfully delicious. BUT this egotistical, stone-cold man is a ruler of lies. And Elle does not want to be in a relationship for this exact reason.

“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.”

However, when he's with her he always claims that he will never lie to her. Since she belongs to him he will always be upfront with her (but only on his terms). Will he keep to his word? Is he truly who she thinks he is? Or is he someone he's not? Penn Everett is the definition of reserved. He hides his truths and slings his lies. So who really is this strange character named Penn?? Guess that's something you'll have to see for yourself. ;*

This was a very interesting and suspenseful read and it was nothing short of Pepper's work! She is an absolutely phenomenal writer and has easily flown to the top of my author radar! Her male characters always find a way to wrap me around there little finger. Same goes for this beautiful monstrosity of a man, Penn Everett. He is a tall glass of guilty pleasure. With that being said consider this book one of my favorite reads of 2017 so far!! Crown of Lies left me with so many theories swimming in my head and I DESPERATELY NEED ANSWERS. Luckily, book #2 of the duet, Throne of Truth, comes out Feb. 28th AND IT CAN'T GET HERE ANY QUICKER!!!

Buy links:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jQau3R
iBooks: http://apple.co/2i2Exbj
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2jCkZaR
Nook: http://bit.ly/2j9oGZm
GooglePlay: http://bit.ly/2kpkNwt
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2kOF1PE
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2km2BX9
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2jxLygm
March 16, 2017
4* liar liar pants on fire STARS!!

Well, Pepper Winters always be my fave authors for her Dark Romance specialty. It has been a long time since I 'touched' her books (Haven't read Indebted series because the long volume but I will soon or Unseen Messages because it isn't my style). Crown of Lies really has different vibe from her other works and I liked it enough.


As the heiress of famous Belle Elle, Noelle "Elle" Charleston's childhood is already filled with works and responsibility. Living with her only father and dearest cat, Elle practically living in a bubble. On her nineteenth, she convinced herself to face the real world. However, it didn't like what she imagined but Elle was saved by a nameless hero. For years, she's been pinning over her first love/dark savior but it's time to move on.

Is it weird to write my own name? LOL kidding. Well, I'm impressed with her strength and credibility with the company. She's really amazing CEO. But inside, she's still daddy's little girl who seems to crave affection. Her insta-love towards nameless left me speechless. Is she that naive? Then, she met him. He basically ruined her. He takes control and dominated her.
“But if you tell me you’re all right with this, if you tell me to keep going, then you play by my rules. You become mine in every fucking sense.”

Penn Everett came to Elle like a caveman. He's plainly a cocky ass with crude mouth. With his straight-forwardness, Penn seduced her to submission. Who doesn't melting with the dirty talks almost every single time? Ugh I know it's really rude even after Elle rejected him many times. But her reaction told another story. She want Penn and it scares her.

The story told from Elle's POV and proved that she couldn't control her attraction to Penn. However, her mind is still around Nameless and this one irritated me a lot. Inside her tough bitch exterior, she's really submissive. Her panties wet every time Penn whispered the filthy promises. Anyway, I really enjoyed their shenanigans. Penn is really freakin' HOT. Whew.
“What I want is to kiss you.” His head came up, his lips glistening from sucking my throat. “Let me do that, then decide on the rest.”
He hypnotized me. He corrupted me.
I breathed fast.
He saw a split-second answer—an answer I wished I could retract—and his mouth descended on mine.

As expected from Pepper Winters, the story was nicely written but dragging in really slow paced. I found myself bored with some unnecessary parts. I survived this story because of Penn, mostly. I'm really intrigued by his mysterious persona. What he wants? Playing around and spreading lies. I also hate his "hot and cold" attitude. But yeah, I always attracted to alpa-hole. Pft.
Nameless had been the hero.
Penn was the anti-Christ.
One saving, one damning.

Well, based on the title, the whole plot is about revenge but the ending was too predictable and coincidental. I'm not surprised with the cliffhanger, though. But I hated how Elle over-reacted but it seems all his plans after all. Overall, Crown of Lies is a fascinating read about passion, lust and deceit. In the end, be careful of who you trust.

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