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Destini Chronicles #1

When a Moth Loved a Bee

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New York Times Bestseller, Pepper Winters, delivers a brand new High Fantasy Romance.

“It’s taking everything I have not to touch you. Not because I want to make you mine but because every part of me screams that you already are.”

A pack of wolves hunt a girl who takes her last breath by a river’s edge.
She is found and nursed back to health by the kind-hearted Nhil people.
She has no memory.
No past.
And is given a choice that could change her forgotten life forever.

A pack of wolves adopt a man who begs for death in the grasslands.
Blood revives him. Flesh strengthens him. All while the alpha watches him as if he knows who he is.
He has no memory.
No past.
And yet…he’s drawn toward the smoke of a faraway clan.

And in that smoke, he finds a girl with the same mark on her thigh, the same empty mind, and the same forgotten language on her lips.

He’s convinced they know each other.
She’s certain they are strangers.
But the more time they spend together, the more tangled the truth becomes.
Their forgetfulness was deliberate.
To keep them apart.
To keep them lost.
To keep them from claiming their true power.
Because in that power exists a terrible choice.
A choice that could destroy the world…
…or each other.

When a Moth Loved a Bee is the first volume in the Epic Fantasy Romance Destini Chronicles.
A heavily romantic, spice-filled fantasy set in a world where life and death, shadows and stars watch over two forbidden lovers whose powers are best left forgotten.

Recommended for readers over R18 due to explicit scenes, content, and darker elements.

Author Note:
This Fantasy is 100% romance. It isn't a quest where they spend most of the book apart. If you want a rich world, magic, intrigue, oodles and oodles of page time with the two characters together, all brimming with longing, forbiddenness, and butterfly-winging moments, then this is the book for you.

830 pages, Kindle Edition

First published February 3, 2023

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About the author

Pepper Winters

83 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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5 stars
304 (43%)
4 stars
201 (28%)
3 stars
129 (18%)
2 stars
48 (6%)
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18 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 345 reviews
Profile Image for jessica.
2,509 reviews31k followers
February 10, 2023
this had sooo much promise and there was sooo much that i loved about the story for the majority of my time reading it.

forbidden star-crossed lovers who have forgotten who they are but manage to find each other again and again, all while remembering their past and trying to forge a future together?? this is the EXACT kind of story that i will happily devour.

and things genuinely started well. beyond a plot i adored, the story is a unique concept with interesting world-building and characters. and then things take a turn for the worse around the 70% mark. there are certain things that i became frustrated with and did not enjoy reading about. i started getting fed up with the slow back-and-forth nature of everything. characters i enjoyed, i suddenly hated. it turned from a book i found engaging to a story that induced massive amounts of rage. the only thing that kept me reading was my need to find out if it gets better/resolved, and it doesnt…

so unfortunately ending this one on a relatively negative note compared to how i felt for the first 2/3 of the book. i guess i will see if i can get over it and end up picking up the sequel when it comes out.

3 stars
Profile Image for ❥ KAT ❥ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books.
2,136 reviews7,335 followers
February 4, 2023
2e0pm6g thumbnail-IMG-0091-copy-3 MY REVIEW AND OTHERS can also be found on my blog:

ღ 🆆🅷🅴🅽 🅰 🅼🅾🆃🅷 🅻🅾🆅🅴🅳 🅰 🅱🅴🅴 ღ Is a full length fantasy romance book by Pepper Winters. Spoken in 'Dual perspectives.' Ends on a cliffy. In this you'll meet (the girl) and the (stranger).

I was extremely nervous going into this mainly because I can count on one hand the amount of books I’ve read within this genre. Then starting it and gasping at the sheer quantity of the pages ahead of me. Had me shitting my pants lol Because Holy shit! My Kindle reading app spewed out 18 hrs 😳 the fuck!! Was my first reaction, but once I’d started the pages just flew by * whispers * so did the whole weekend!

So I think my content trigger is huge books this gave me hives!!

BUT all jokes aside hardcore fantasy junkies will go crazy over this book, I’m in awe of this author, she’s found her true calling in this genre. This would be amazing on the big screen!

Now onto the story, it’s slow moving, a slow burn, it’s emotional, a small dark part, and you will feel everything Pepper throws at you and I mean everything!! This was a masterpiece by her..

You easily connect with the storyline and characters, they crawl under your skin and take up residence. This book just cemented how truly talented this author is, and I’m excited to read the next book in this series!

Profile Image for Jessica ❥Chatterbooks Book Blog❥.
755 reviews2,491 followers
February 17, 2023
Being a big dark romance fan, it's surprising that I haven't read more of Pepper Winters' work, especially since I own several of her books. I've been meaning to dive into her backlist for quite some time, but with her newest release in another of my favorite subgenres, I thought this was a great time to try out her writing once again. The only other book I've read of Pepper's is The Boy & His Ribbon, and like that story, this one is a unique, fantastically written tale of forbidden love.


When a Moth Loved a Bee is a creative fantasy romance filled with mystery, magic, and an insane amount of sexual tension. Based on the marketing, I thought there was going to be a lot of spice in this book, but that is not the case. Don't get me wrong, it's in there, but you won't see actual sex until sometime in the last twenty percent or so. I'm including this information here so you can adjust your expectations if you have them, and hopefully, enjoy the book even more. There's a very good reason for the lack of penetration plotwise, so I was good with it in any case.

The hero and heroine have a lot of "almost" intimate moments that are interrupted again and again by man, woman, beast, and the very elements themselves. It's insanely frustrating for the characters as well as the reader, but that's the point. The author did an amazing job of making us FEEL the same emotions our couple does throughout the book in a multitude of ways. I've seen some reviewers speak about repetition, and again, I believe every bit of that is intentional. Our star-crossed lovers get told over and over that they can't be together. They're reminded of everyone's disapproval and the consequences of their coupling from everyone and everything everywhere they turn. The constant bombardment and hopelessness of it all is extremely overwhelming, heartbreaking, and torturous. I felt every drop of what they did right along with them.


I'm going to wrap up my review soon, because it's pretty hard for me to discuss the plot without giving too much away, but before I do, let's discuss the side characters for a moment. No matter their intentions, most of them enraged me to an extreme for a huge portion of the story. Regardless of their good qualities, their actions make them despicable in my eyes. I do not give them the grace and understanding the heroine does, especially the most abhorrent, loathsome piece of shit of the bunch, Aktor. In fact, the way his character is treated is the main reason I didn't give this book the full five stars. As I said earlier, I'm a huge dark romance fan. I love antiheroes and plenty of villains. In this story, Aktor deserves nothing short of death IMO, and I didn't appreciate the repeated attempts to humanize him and create sympathy for his character for multiple reasons I can't get into because of spoilers.

Despite my feelings about Aktor, I seriously enjoyed When a Moth Loved a Bee, and I can't wait for the next book in the Destini Chronicles. I'm 100 percent invested in these characters and their love. The mysterious aspects of the story have me hooked, and the emotional torment of it all is like catnip to me.


High fantasy romance fans, this one's for you!
Profile Image for Nγx A∂яαstǝiα ❦ {In A Funk}.
151 reviews148 followers
Want to read
December 24, 2022
The Moon. The Sun. A Prophecy. Dark. Fantasy. Romance.
Checked the release date and i stopped breathing. 𝐖𝐓𝐅!!! 2023?! No, April 2023 to be exact. Oh sweet mercy. For those who do not know me or have never read any of my reviews before, do not worry about my sanity when you come across this little meltdown, i am totally fine. I simply have a tendency to be dramatic when coming to the realization that i'll have to wait 𝐀 𝐖𝐇𝐎𝐋𝐄 𝐆𝐎𝐃𝐃𝐀𝐌𝐍 𝐘𝐄𝐀𝐑 𝐅𝐎𝐑 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐁𝐎𝐎𝐊 𝐈'𝐌 𝐀𝐋𝐑𝐄𝐀𝐃𝐘 𝐃𝐑𝐄𝐀𝐌𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝐀𝐁𝐎𝐔𝐓 𝐓𝐎 𝐆𝐄𝐓 𝐑𝐄𝐋𝐄𝐀𝐒𝐃. *𝐂𝐥𝐨𝐬𝐞 𝐞𝐲𝐞𝐬. 𝐃𝐞𝐞𝐩 𝐛𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐡. 𝐂𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐚𝐭* 𝐒𝐨 𝐲𝐞𝐚𝐡 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐬 𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐞, 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭. 𝐒𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐚𝐜𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐫𝐲, 𝐰𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐟𝐮𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐡𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲... 𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐞.
Profile Image for witchy_book_babe.
138 reviews12 followers
February 3, 2023
*This review is based on the original manuscript from the first round of ARCs, please keep in mind I will be planning a re-read with the released and revised copy, thank you!*
I would like to preface this by saying, I received an ARC and this was my first Pepper Winters book. I have had many friends rave about Pepper's work. And I jumped at the opportunity for this ARC with the complete understanding that this would be a new Genre for Pepper to dabble in and promised to keep an open mind. I will do my absolute best to remain kind, yet honest with this review. As I have a lot of feelings on how this book unfortunately was not enjoyable; but I feel that with some honest feedback on all of the weak areas of this story, that Pepper will truly be able to improve on what I felt was missed opportunities.

First and foremost, Pepper can absolutely write and write extremely well. I could see clearly how talented she was. Yet, I had a lot of issues with this story. One being the pitch of this book. It is stated as a "High Fantasy" book. I felt that there were a lot of elements thrown in here haphazardly, and possibly the only excuse for not explaining these elements (which is absolutely necessary to some extent) was maybe thinking "Oh, well it's a Fantasy, so anything goes"....which yes, Fantasy Genre's offer unlimited boundaries on the Author's imagination. But, there still needs to be explanations for why, to help the readers grasp this world. An Author can literally make the sky rainbow colored, pigs walking upright and speaking six different languages.....as long as there is an explanation eventually, on why this world functions as it does. An explanation as to why this world's inhabitants act this way or that. The way certain things were introduced with no background information when needed, made me feel that this could have been reworked. This felt very much like a Historical Inspired Lecture with the same information being fed over and over. And lack of evidence for the information being given.

Readers were immediately thrown into this world with characters that had airs of mystery to them. Which, I would have preferred that mystery have been drawn out longer. For a 900+ page book, I was expecting to be taken on this long journey of discovery, tragedy, action, and love. I did not experience that. The core of the story was revealed within the first five chapters, which puzzled me as to why the suddenness of important information.

There was a "writing sin" as I like to refer to it, that was committed. Which was the repetition and no real focal point by the Author that I could tell. This issue had to be the most frustrating to me. There were 900+ pages of endless repetition and I needed progression as well as a decision to be made and followed through with. It was just too much of certain characters feelings/wants/motivations/emotions on repeat; and I would have been grateful for there to have been other ways or phrases for the characters to express themselves.

It became very frustrating as well, that there would be things/items discussed or stated in a chapter, only to be nullified in the next chapter. As well as just a few pages apart would a statement be made, only to have it all cancelled out by the next page. With 57 chapters and 900+ pages of the story lacking progression; and at times focusing on minute details that I felt were irrelevant, I became bored. And I was devastated to be bored. Because the skill of writing is there. Just the end product was very much muddled, unclear and contradicting that I'm not willing to read book 2.

For me, chapter 49 was amazing. If this was all the book consisted of and was a short story, I would have given this 5 stars easily. It was beautiful, poetic, passionate, full of tragedy, just chef's kiss! In a nutshell chapter 49 was spectacular. And I'm saddened to not have had more chapters with that exact energy and flavors.

It's unfortunate but necessary to have to highlight the greatest "writing sin" committed in this book, which truly shocked me. There is a Rapist in this book who received so much support and was actually rewarded that I felt this was a risk in the story that did not pay off. The way this character was written, was completely mishandled. I feel that either the character should not have performed this rape scene OR that the character should have been punished (as was promised in the book, but no punishment ever came about). Ultimately, I feel that even though this story is a work of Fiction, the violation of rape is a very real horror that happens to individuals. And when you choose to write about this sensitive topic, I personally would expect there to be a level of awareness and care going into the repercussions for the perpetrator. I never want to read again how this situation and character was written. I'm not sure what the intent was for the rape scene or the character that performed it. I am not even sure on the intent of the writing possibly attempting at seeing this character as redeemable? I don't feel that a character who commit's rape can garner any sympathy, forgiveness, and be redeemable? I'm just at a loss for this one. And I felt it should have been removed. Or this scene could have gone a completely different way and not crossed that line; unrequited love would have been fitting for that scene in my opinion.

Even though this book did not excite me, I see the craftmanship the Author possesses. This was just not the story that showcased the talent of this Author. I do have to give some credit to Olish, this character was the best in this book, as well as the traveler with their tales. Those two characters were so strong and I knew exactly who they were and there seemed to be no hesitancy in their creation.

I wished this book went better than it did, but I hope for the best for this series moving forward. As I stated, I don't feel compelled to read book 2. But, I am still very eager to read Pepper's other works. And if she happens to take another stab at a Fantasy book, I will be willing to read it as well.
Profile Image for Ariann.
106 reviews26 followers
February 22, 2023
"Our eyes met.
Suns to moons.
There was nowhere to hide, no lies that would be believed, or laws that hadn’t been broken."

I started this book with abandon, obsession and complete disregard for responsibilities. I read until there were less than 200 pages in the first 2 days and then I stopped. I didn't pick it up for 6 days and barely read 100 pages only to stop completely again. After more than 10 days, I finally finished this book and my barely coherent brain can only say that I've reached my limit.

“I need you to know just how much I care, just how much I’ll always care. I would destroy everything. I would end everyone. I would do whatever it took to keep you happy because you aren’t just a mate I’ve chosen or a female I’ve claimed. You are the life in my veins and the light in my black, black spirit.”

This book is gut wrenching. I won't accept that ending, to me it just cannot be. Runa and Darro engraved themselves in my heart, just like I knew they would. Their story became a passenger in my daily life, took inspiration from the smallest things and turned them into more. Constantly throughout the story there were so many references towards childhood stories, the ones whispered by grandmother's in the dead of night when trying to bed a grandchild into sleeping while giving them magical dreams. It's pretty clear where this book took inspiration from and what guided Winters mind and each time a new wave of awareness hit me it only made me fall in love with the story more and more. Even when the story tend to drag at times.

"He didn’t know that the longer I remained, the closer I tiptoed to death.
He didn’t know that I chose him over life itself. That I’d rather stay here than return to an existence where we were forbidden.
At least here, I was safe.
I was whole."

I didn't just cry, I bawled my fucking eyes out. I threw my phone across the room, this book made me feel so depressed for the entire month I couldn't tolerate to read another book because my mind was filled completely with Runa and Darro. They took all the space my brain had left.

"Why did I stop?
Did she truly want an answer to that question?
Because I could give her one.
But it would scare her.
It scared me.
The depth of howling desperation.
The churning chaos and helpless yearning."

The Ribbon Duet are singlehandedly the only books I can't ever bare to reread, the only ones I can say without a doubt I could never go back to that kind of heartache and this one came close to reaching that.

Feb 2023 update
Profile Image for Pepper Winters.
Author 83 books15.7k followers
Currently reading
February 1, 2023
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09YNC75M6
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AUDIO, HARDBACK, & PAPERBACK will release on 3rd Feb

“It’s taking everything I have not to touch you. Not because I want to make you mine but because every part of me screams that you already are.”

A pack of wolves hunt a girl who takes her last breath by a river’s edge.
She is found and nursed back to health by the kind-hearted Nhil people.
She has no memory.
No past.
And is given a choice that could change her forgotten life forever.
A pack of wolves adopt a man who begs for death in the grasslands.
Blood revives him. Flesh strengthens him. All while the alpha watches him as if he knows who he is.
He has no memory.
No past.
And yet…he’s drawn toward the smoke of a faraway clan.
And in that smoke, he finds a girl with the same mark on her thigh, the same empty mind, and the same forgotten language on her lips.
He’s convinced they know each other.
She’s certain they are strangers.
But the more time they spend together, the more tangled the truth becomes.
Their forgetfulness was deliberate.
To keep them apart.
To keep them lost.
To keep them from claiming their true power.
Because in that power exists a terrible choice.
A choice that could destroy the world…
…or each other.
When a Moth Loved a Bee is the first volume in the Epic Fantasy Romance Destini Chronicles.
A heavily romantic, spice-filled fantasy set in a world where life and death, shadows and stars watch over two forbidden lovers whose powers are best left forgotten.
Recommended for readers over R18 due to explicit scenes, content, and darker elements.
Author Note:
This Fantasy is 100% romance. It isn't a quest where they spend most of the book apart. If you want a rich world, magic, intrigue, oodles and oodles of page time with the two characters together, all brimming with longing, forbiddenness, and butterfly-winging moments, then this is the book for you.

Profile Image for Jenn (The Book Refuge).
1,628 reviews2,363 followers
January 26, 2023
Okay. There was a lot of fascinating things about this story. I think this will wow a lot of people and I won't pretend I wasn't compelled by it. No way in hell I read that many pages without being enthralled.

However, there were 2 major sins for me.

It was almost irredeemably too long and very repetitive. Just, the same conversation were had chapter after chapter after chapter. It was like moving in sinking sand. Painfully slowly.

And this being a duet is ridiculous. I just... can't with that. At least with how long this one was.

I really commend the author for writing something so unique and different. That's really what kept me engaged throughout the aforementioned sins for me. And the girl and the stranger were instantly in nt heart and soul.

Also.. I knew there was a cliffy going in but still... eff that cliffy. Grrrr.

I want to know more but also will not be picking it up if it is of equal length to this. I just can't go in that much of a merry-go-round again. This could have been trimmed SIGNIFICANTLY.

3.5 stars
1.5 on my spice scale

CW: attempted SA, violence, harm to animals, gas-lighting... if you know, you know

I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this title.
Profile Image for ✰ Bianca ✰ BJ's Book Blog ✰ .
2,138 reviews1,188 followers
February 3, 2023
edited: Pepper decided to cut 20% of the book to make it more fluid and amazing. I don't have time to re-read it at the moment, but I'm sure it's so much better now. I will probably re-read it before starting book #2!


The Girl + The Stranger

A young man and a young woman with no memory are rescued after wandering the lands for who knows how long.
He is taken in by a pack of wolves.
She's taken in by the friendly Nhil people.
Both don't remember anything from their previous lives. But they do have tiny little flashes of memory where they feel they're missing something. Someone.
Someone very important.
But why can't they remember?
And why is everyone and everything trying to stop them from being together?




Well. I really liked this. 🤯
I'm SO not a fantasy reader.
I don't even know what HIGH FANTASY means. 🤣 It's probably too high for me.
The most fantasy I ever read was Harry Potter. And maybe a few Vampire romances here and there.

This book was SO long. Like really long. It was all very beautifully written, but I could've lived with a few less pages. A lot got repeated or described too much and in too much detail.
This took me so many days to read!
But it's an amazing story. It would look so incredible on the big screen.
This whole world. The people and the many adorable animals and the special effects stuff. Just beautiful.
The love story is so very ... heartbreaking. We don't know what is happening or rather what happened to get us to this point. But it all feels very sad and hopeless. And it kinda gets more hopeless with every page we read.
But we still hope for a happy end for our two darlings.
But we probably won't get that happy end yet - because this is book 1 in the Destini Chronicles... which kinda means we'll be left with a cliffy. 🤷‍♀️

I hope I can remember everything that happened until the second book arrives. Hashtag Bookalzheimers!

Anyway. I really enjoyed reading this.
I really loved lots of things about the story. Especially the animals and friendships.
I just wish that it was one slightly shorter book with a perfect happy end.
And I also wish that the storyline with the son/heir of the Nhil people would've been different. I almost stopped reading as things happened.

But I will definitely read the second book!

With WHEN A MOTH LOVED A BEE Pepper created an amazingly beautiful fantasy world. The People and Animals and so much more. A story that is so very interesting and complicated and adorable and sweet and heartbreaking and dangerous and hopeless and crazy and just... grrr. PLEASE READ IT!

💜 💜

Smokin Hot Book Blog Smokin Hot Book Blog Smokin Hot Book Blog Smokin Hot Book Blog Smokin Hot Book Blog
308 reviews2 followers
December 23, 2022
I cannot wait for all of you to get your hands on this! All the angst, heartbreak, and smoldering chemistry you expect from Pepper Winters beautifully woven into a fantasy world!
Profile Image for Jennifer Kyle.
2,359 reviews4,607 followers
February 12, 2023
A well written and thought provoking read.

“No wonder I’m drawn to you.” He nuzzled my neck, skating his tongue from my ear to my jaw. “You are light itself, and I am just a moth… a moth desperate to bask in you.”
Profile Image for Betül.
978 reviews233 followers
February 2, 2023
**ARC provided in exchange for an honest review**

First of all the version I read was 20% longer than the final version so my review is based on the version I read. Pepper Winters is an amazing author. I have enjoyed many of her books, so I got pretty excited when she announced she was writing a fantasy romance. This book was huge, which I don't mind for fantasy/paranormal novels. However, there was so much repetition that it got boring towards the last quarter. But that was not the main reason I rated this book three stars. The lack of chemistry between the main characters bothered me the most.

This was not an epic love story. I just couldn't feel the connection between the characters. I loved the world Pepper created and there were many elements that were amazing, and kept me intrigued throughout the book. Especially, the role the animals played in this book was a great addition. But I started to care less and less about the characters towards the end of the book. I was waiting for something epic to happen, a twist or something. But, unfortunately, it didn't meet my high expectation. Also, I assumed this would be a stand-alone, however, I don't know if I am invested enough to read the next book. I am happy the author decided to cut 20% of the book, because there were many scenes that didn't really add anything to the story in my opinion.
Profile Image for Kimberly.
32 reviews
January 25, 2023
Let me start of this review by saying that what I enjoyed most about this book was the writing. Pepper is an extremely talented writer! Her words are beautiful and she definitely knows how to craft a story. And I applaud her for taking on a genre that is outside of her comfort zone.

The story had a lot of elements to it and the world is very unique. I loved how much of a role the animals played in the story and how they were important characters. Both MC’s being able to communicate with them in their own way made this even more special. I liked that the world building wasn’t done through an info dump, but rather through the characters discovering the world and remembering their history. You can definitely tell Pepper cares for her characters and this world. It has a very primitive feel to it and I really liked that aspect of the book.

The two MC’s meet early on in the story and given the length of this book it would have been better if their initial meeting would have been dragged out a little bit longer. Given the length of the book I would have expected there to be more buildup towards their meeting and the revealing of their history. You could definitely tell they were fated mates and meant to be together, but more buildup would have aided to the believability of their chemistry.

There was so much potential with this story, these characters and this world but it just didn’t live up to it. In my opinion there were a lot of things that could have been handled differently. But what ultimately brought this book down for me was the constant repetition and there not being any real progression with the story. And any progression that was made was undone in the next chapter or even the next page. At a certain point the constant focus on the smallest details became irritating and I just wanted the story to move forward. I became bored and lost interest. It felt like the story had no clear sense of direction. A lot elements were explored but none were really clearly executed. All in all this story was way to drawn out and could have easily been cut down 200 pages (or more). I also do not see why this needed to be a duet, the story could have wrapped up in one book. I was really frustrated with the ending, there was no pay-off for plowing through almost a 1000 pages.

Another thing that doesn’t sit well with me is a storyline choice that was made which I feel really discredits the book. There is an assault scene in this book that was not handled well. The FMC is assaulted by one of the members of the tribe she is with and there is no punishment for her assailant. If anything he is rewarded for it by becoming her betrothed. I can understand why the author chose the FMC being betrothed to someone else as a plot device for keeping the two MC’s apart. However this could have been a big enough obstacle without the assault. And having the assault being excused because the assailant was influenced by someone else?! But also trying to garner sympathy for this character and trying to make him redeemable?! Those were very poor choices. This part of the book was completely unnecessary and could have been removed. Especially since any character progression made by the assailant is undone again.

I went into this book with an open mind and no real expectations but still I feel disappointed. This has such a great premise, the writing is amazing but the execution is lacking.

Thank you to the author and Valentine PR for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review .
Profile Image for emilyion books.
185 reviews3 followers
January 25, 2023
It was a doozy. It was a journey. It was an experience. Pepper Winters creates a world and you get fed information piece by piece. You’re begging for a morsel of intel. You’re searching for a hint of a crumb about why things are happening.
Bathed in intrigue and soaked in mystique and beauty, you follow two characters as they learn themselves and each other. If you think you know about star-crossed lovers then think again - Pepper has upped the ante. Pepper has changed the game, friends.
Do you like a slow burn romance? Or do you like insta-love? Doesn’t matter how you answer because somehow it is both. I’m not sure how to explain that but it just is. This book is for everyone and it is also for no one - only the characters. It feels like I’ve been invited into someone’s diary. After almost 1,000 pages I feel like I am a part of this narrative and I should have stake in what happens next. I am invested. I have paid my coins. I need to see this through. Where is book 2?? I’m desperate.
I honestly just need to sit here and stew on it…. for a while. I do feel included to mention that you should check the trigger tags before starting your adventure.
Profile Image for Sentranced Jem.
1,059 reviews569 followers
February 18, 2023
When A moth Loved A Bee is more than your average star crossed lovers love story. Trust Pepper Winters to ruin you with her words because I am utterly under her spell!

When A Moth Loved A Bee is wild but has a air of innocence. Just like with many of her previous books, I love that there is this wildness to the characters but they also have such an innocent inquisitiveness about them , that I can’t help but be protective of them.
When Pepper Winters said that this book is brimming with longing, forbiddenness, and butterfly-winging moments, I whole heartedly agree. 
I am heavily invested in the characters. It’s the time of slow burn that is so angsty and their journey is so mysterious and emotional and I am beyond intrigued.
I will admit that I am haunted by their love story.

Genres: Fantasy, Dark Romance, Other

Tropes: Angsty, Dark Romance , Fantasy, Forbidden love, Soul Mate, Star-crossed Lovers, Supernatural Powers
Profile Image for Weng Gwen.
13 reviews
September 13, 2021
(Ms. Pepper) You’re always be my Queen of Dark & Steamy Romance and now you add Fantasy to the equation, I’ll bet it will be an epic read…
Profile Image for wobilba.
289 reviews18 followers
March 15, 2023
Whew! Pepper Winters really has a way with words. Honestly, I was a little bit skeptical going into this considering I don’t usually ready this genre and also have you seen the length of the book? The audiobook narration is almost 24 hours and 30 minutes 🤯😭 But anyway I’m glad I read this. I loved it! Although the story starts slowly, it also grips you from the very beginning with twists and turns and complex and dynamic characters.
Oh and that cliffhanger 😭😭😭����
Profile Image for Allyson.
454 reviews43 followers
February 20, 2023
Every page, every word sucks you in. This story is simply amazing ! This story has heartache, man does it have heartache but it is also full of wonder and love. Pepper has always been one of my favorite dark writers but now she is added to my fantasy writers.
Profile Image for Kealyn.
200 reviews10 followers
February 16, 2023
Darn, lately I seem to struggle to write down my exact thoughts in a review. This is another difficult one for me to write.

First things first, Pepper Winters is probably my all time favorite author. I love her writing style and I love how she is able to suck me into her worlds time and time again. Often when she is super excited for a book I know she'll kill it. When she spoke about how easily she wrote The Boy and his Ribbon, and how much she loved it - I knew it would be perfect. And it was!! That duology is probably one of my all time favorites. When she talked about the darkness and hotness in Fable of Happiness I completely fell away in it. And when she raved about When a Moth loved a Bee I was achingly ready to read and devour this novel. I had no money whatsoever. And AJ, such a kind friend, thank you from the bottom of my heart, gifted me this book and I just couldn't wait to start and devour it. 

And so I did. And yeah, in all fairness I felt disappointed. The book is written completely different from all her other books. It has a different tone and a different approach to writing down the attraction and love between the two main characters. The characters felt very distant. I didn't immediately feel that burning attraction between them.
Normally I get completely hot and bothered straight away. But now I read  the words and didn't feel it. 

Don't get me wrong. She wrote it completely differently and that showcases how talented she is. But I just expected a burning book. I didn't mind that it took a long time for them to have sex. But I wish I felt the burning. 
The start of the book felt very distant. And it felt like it was written a few hundred years ago. I don't mind that. (I love the Outlander series for example.) But it didn't really seem to mash up with certain parts of the book. 

I also missed a bit of world building. Other places are mentioned. But it was all brief and I couldn't really picture those worlds in my mind. 
The story takes place in a small bit of land. We don't go anywhere. And that felt like a huge missed opportunity. I also missed some clarity. When the book ends we still don't know that much. We have brief glimpses of memories. But I hoped for more. It felt a bit anticlimactic (world building wise). 

So yes I was quite disappointed at the start of this book. But probably it was because I had such high expectations. 
Around the middle part of the book I finally was able to immerse myself in their world and I felt the story resonated more in my bones. 

One of the biggest highlights of the book for me was the bond Darro has with the wolves. I love them so much. I love how they are described, how protective they are, and how wise they are. They added so much to the story. They were really visual for me. It almost feels like I can pet one right this second. 

I also loved the fawn in the book. He had such a big presence. All the animals to be honest. You can truly feel how much Pepper adores animals and you could totally feel how much she admires, respects and adores them. That was an amazing feeling.

So around the halfway point I couldn't stop reading. I love the push and pull between Darro and Runa. 
I am still not sure what I think about Solin. And I am wondering who Aktor was before Pepper cut 40.000 words of the book. I read somewhere there is a rape scene in the book. And that scene is cut out in the released version. I am curious who raped Runa in that version. And what the impact that would have had on the characters and their development. 

Overall it is an enjoyable book. It's mostly about being intune with nature and the love story that probably spans eternity between Runa and Darro. But I wish it was written more intimately. It was written a bit farther away from us readers. So I didn't feel it as much as I hoped. 
And like I mentioned before, I wish there was more world building in this story. That part felt rushed and that's a huge shame. Even when that one visitor comes. We don't know anything about him apart from what he wears. I longed for a bigger word. And more connection. Between the characters. And between us readers towards the book. 

This book could have been so bloody epic. But it wasn't. It was still a good and solid book. But I missed the epicness. I will definitely reread this novel in the future with more realistic expectations. And see if I edit my review or not when I have read it for a second time.

So yes it was still good! 3.75 out of 4 stars from me. 

I am curious about the second novel. And I do hope the world gets expanded and that I feel the love, lust and longing more between the main characters. So I am truly excited about the sequel! 
Profile Image for MissPetiteBrunetteBookBlog.
926 reviews171 followers
January 14, 2023
Step into a new magical world filled with creatures, myths and destiny. When a girl awakens without memory she is found and sheltered by a clan. She has a feeling of being tied to something…but has no idea what or who. In another world a boy awakens the same and is rescued by animals. Are they connected but why can neither remember their past or who they are? Get ready for a beautifully written journey in a new world full of secrets, star crossed souls and mysteries. I can’t say much more but lovers of fantasy novels set to a slowly unfolding quest will devour this. Be warned that there may be triggers for some in a scene dealing with NC. Be prepared as this does end in a quite the cliffhanger. Told in dual POV
Profile Image for Melissa Crump.
539 reviews56 followers
November 16, 2022
Pepper Winters creates MAGIC with her new story!

When A Moth Loved A Bee is a uniquely beautiful and, addicting world of the most incredible story you’ll ever come across. So much emotion, action and intrigue consumes you. The characters and scenes flow beautifully and fluidly together while fusing such a setting one can only picture through Ms. Winters’ vividly painted brush.

Absolutely YES! THIS. BOOK. IS. IT. It makes all the re-writes WORTH EVERY SINGLE PAGE.
Profile Image for 💜VGreedyReader🖤.
493 reviews101 followers
February 4, 2023
Pepper Winters’ magical writing could make the phone book look exciting. I really enjoyed her first attempt at high fantasy. I was drawn to her beautifully enthralling world, filled with magic, mysteries but also darkness, a place so enticing I wished it existed and I could be part of it. Woven into this awesome creation a story of two characters condemned to forget, to wander the universe looking for each other endlessly. Pepper’s stories always arise tons of feels and emotions in me, I never thought she could also make me hate elements so much.

~𝑨𝒍𝒍 𝑰 𝒌𝒏𝒆𝒘 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒂𝒏 𝒂𝒄𝒉𝒆 𝒍𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒅 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏 𝒎𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒂𝒈𝒐𝒏𝒊𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒈~

Once upon a time there was a girl, she was alone, lost, she couldn’t remember her name or who she was, a nice population found her and welcomed her into their clan. She finds a home but she cannot live a life with no knowledge and no past she needs to find her way back.

~𝑨 𝒇𝒂𝒄𝒆𝒍𝒆𝒔𝒔 𝒎𝒂𝒍𝒆. 𝑨 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒕𝒎𝒂𝒕𝒆 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒂 𝒅𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒎 𝒇𝒊𝒍𝒍𝒆𝒅 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒉𝒂𝒅𝒐𝒘𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒅𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒉~

Once upon a time there was a stranger, he was on the brink of death, a pack of wolves brings him back to life, he’s adopted and becomes one with them. The stranger doesn’t remember what happened to him, he can’t recall why he was almost dead and now he lives and thrives.

~𝑯𝒐𝒘 𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒍𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒚𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒇𝒆𝒍𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒓𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝒃𝒆 𝒘𝒓𝒐𝒏𝒈?~

The stranger feels there is someone out there he must find, a mate whose soul and heart never left him, even if he can’t see a face he knows she’s out there. When the stranger meets the girl he suddenly feels a pull, he recognizes what the mind cannot explain. The girl, however, can’t remember the stranger and she doesn’t know why he’s so set on claiming he knows her. Yet, she feels compelled to answer his call, his longing becomes her calling. No laws can deny what the soul demands, but just how dangerous can such binding be if forgetting seemed the only option to save humanity?

Even if fantasy isn’t my primary and usual choice I was captured by this amazing story and world. The beginning felt sometimes slow, I appreciated the detailed description of the places and the way the characters felt even if I think a greater result would have been achieved with less words. Some were a repetitions but they didn’t diminish the beauty of the story. Once the story picked up I couldn’t put it down, words flew over the pages and it was over before I could catch my breath. I became addicted and wanted to know more I’m left wanting with that wide cliffy looking forward to see how this tormented story ends.
Profile Image for Clarice.
162 reviews15 followers
February 7, 2023
DNF at 34% or page 284 out of 830 (emphasizing the page count here because I tried really hard to like this book). I skimmed the rest of the story and read the ending too, but I am saying I dnf'd because I just couldn't continue reading at my usual pace.

Whelp... I'm mad. This was one of the books I was the most excited to read this year. I like this author and I really like dark fantasy romance. This book is slow, I get a slow-burn romance, I get that a fantasy world has to be built up and plot/characters develop over time. Most if not all of the plot and characters were not developed, they were overly explained to the reader multiple times, verbally, by different characters. My number one writing sin is that info drops are a big no-no, one should never "tell" where something can be "shown". When writing fantasy this is CRITICAL to telling the story. It can make or break a fantasy story. I almost dnf'd the moment this happened, which was basically when the FMC Runa gets taken in by the Quelis people and she asks a bunch of questions to them where they then proceed to info dump literally everything.

The major book sin here though is that it's boring and the writing is extremely repetitive. Pretty much the FMC is found by the Quelis people and then finds the MMC and major misunderstandings ensue (repeat this 5x more and you get the rest of this book). Oh yeah and once and a while you get an info dump of some kind that I think is supposed to be world building and character development.

Kinda mad about the world building here too. I thought we were going to get an original fantasy romance here with and original world that wasn't based off vampires, fae, elves, and or werewolves. Nope we got bad Avatar the Last Airbender remake but in reverse. The entire world is elemental based: fire, water, air, and earth being the elements. With surprise, the fire people being the tribes people instead of water this time. With the FMC being life and the MMC being death (so at least that's kinda new).

The romance is barley there and very blah, it's not a slow-burn as advertised. The FMC and MMC both have met and been in love before, they were just hit with an amnesia stick so they would forget each other, since them being together apparently is a world ending event. So when they meet again for the first time, which happens almost at the beginning of the book, the MMC and FMC already have feelings for one another they just don't know why they do.

Also side-note here the FMC is dumb and I literally can't with her special snowflake world saviorness. It's one thing to have amnesia, but it's another thing to be straight dumb. Like walking out into the wilderness without anyone else knowing where you are going level of dumb. Like trusting the magic-fire-sage-man to help you find your name and destiny and taking drugs to do so without questioning things kinda dumb. I literally couldn't with her. Nothing she did was earned it all just came to her because of feelings or destiny or whatever bs reason was given.

My other big issue is that about a year ago the author sent out a few sample chapters for this book and they were very good. Then I get an email a few months after the fact saying the author threw that out and started re-writing the story, since she wanted to give the characters the story they "deserved". Ya I have no idea what this was, but it's not what anyone deserves.

One other thing, if you are writing a fantasy novel, and it is your first time doing so, do your homework. Read other romantic fantasy novels and see what other people or you as a writer liked about them and carry it into your own work. I'm not saying copy other books, I'm saying take elements that were good and incorporate them.

I feel like a lot of these issues could have been solved if this author had a few decent beta readers or an editor saying these things to her. I think the idea for a good story was there, but it somehow got lost in the soup/process. I like some of this author's other books, so she has the potential to put something out that's not bad or whatever this was. I think she just needs to go back to the drawing board for book 2. Mainly, do your homework and get a decent editor or beta reader who know fantasy.
Profile Image for Vanessa (When Vane Reads).
571 reviews220 followers
February 3, 2023
Pepper Winters created an extraordinary world filled with magical creatures, beasts, clans, wolves, and the perfect mix of passion, magic, angst, and action, a great and detailed world-building, and magical powers exploration, the description of the characters, as well as the emotions are so beautifully detailed that you feel part of the story, and mysteries and secrets are discovered little by little.

The book tells the story of two star-crossed lovers, their love story is epic, the emotional connection between them is so intense and deep, the hero's devotion to the heroine made me swooned so hard, their sizzling chemistry gave me goosebumps and a swarm of butterflies in my stomach, but we see their tribulations, their latent angsty through the pages because their love is forbidden and their path to happiness is littered with suffering.

Fascinating, When a Moth Loved a Bee is the perfect mix of fantasy, feelings, romance and mystery, if you are a fan of fantasy and Pepper Winters you will love it, I can't wait for more of this world!
Perfect for fans of
Slow burn
Star crossed lovers
January 17, 2023

If you think you are ready for When A Moth Loved A Bee, think again. Pepper Winters has woven a new fantasy universe that will leave you reeling! Filled with action, adventure, heart wrenching twists and the most erotic romance, this unputdownable novel should come with a warning.

“I’d been loved once.
I’d loved someone once.
She tasted like sunlight and frost, her lips as soft as-"

When I first read the blurb of Pepper Winters upcoming fantasy novel When A Moth Loved A Bee in her Destini Chronicles series I was over the moon with excitement. This book is a monstrous of a beast, but who doesn’t love a good thick novel? I was enamored right from the start with how Pepper Winters crafts her world building, from the visual imagery to breathtaking storyline. I commend Winters because this book is simply unforgettable.

“Life hasn’t twisted you. Love hasn’t corrupted you. Pain hasn’t shattered you. Yet.”

Book one, When A Moth Loved A Bee introduces a world full of magic and mystery revolving around a girl and a stranger. One with a forbidden love full of gut wrenching heart-break and fragile longing. The amount of angst, passion and adventure was such a thrilling experience. From the compelling characters and a chance meeting (or is it?) I was fixated on the aspect of life and death, light and darkness but nothing is as it seems. . .

“I loved too deeply.
I cared too passionately.
Just like him.”

There is a cliffhanger for anyone wanting to know, but knowing Pepper Winters I don’t think we will have to wait long for the next book.
Profile Image for Shabby  -BookBistroBlog.
1,424 reviews744 followers
January 26, 2023
Although I'm not a fantasy romance lover by habit, for the simple reason that my imagination is lacking in that department. Yet when Pepper writes a book, it becomes my Reader Duty to read it. It's bursting with heartache that turns your heart on a spit, roasting slow burn like you've never read before.
Two children born in different worlds, have a tether that connects their souls somehow. Solely relying on soul instincts, since their recollective memories are wiped clean, it's a torturous journey for them to find their soul mate. Also a very sensitive and heinous topic was touched upon and I'm bewildered what will lead to redemption

"I loved you before I remembered you, and I'll love you through every life after this one."

Moth needs to love his Bee with steadfast focus, but their forbidden attraction has to trudge through insurmountable odds before the story comes to a shuddering halt, right at the edge of a cliff.
Readers are left thirsty for more.
Son of Moon shall beget girl of Sun?
How will Dorra and Runa find the same path to walk together........
One of many thousands of questions should be answered in the next book to some extent.
But for now be prepared to let your heart get crushed in this Neverending story of pining love.
4 stars for Olish
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Profile Image for Optimisticbooknerd.
1,022 reviews69 followers
January 26, 2023
3 ⭐️

I have thoughts.. I know this author usually writes dark romancey books and I IMMEDIATELY wanted to read this because who doesn't love a good fantasy? however.. You're telling me this book HAD to be so long? while length isn't just the only issue. It was so repetitive sometimes, conversations were had multiple times, the characters weren't the greatest and kind of bland (might just be a me thing) but I'm kinda disappointed I wasn't obsessed. It was interesting enough for me to read this in just a few days but wowie was this an experience
Profile Image for Read What I Like Blog.
342 reviews28 followers
February 3, 2023
I’ll start this review by saying that this is the first time reading Pepper’s work and I could tell she is a talented writer.

That being said, this book didn’t work for me.
The book is long, but not one that I enjoyed and couldn’t stop reading. I felt every page and it seemed I was reading forever before something relevant to the story happened. Unfortunately I was more bored than not most of the book.

In my humble opinion, this could have been one of my favorite books of the year because the premise is great and the author knows how to write, but only if at least one half of the story was cut off, and believe me, nothing important would be taken if the number of pages was severely reduced.

Will I be reading the rest of this series? No, but I wish the best to Pepper and the next book.

*** I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. ***
Profile Image for Kayla.
684 reviews10 followers
February 10, 2023
So this story had so many elements to it. That characters were beyond fascinating to me. The whole anonymous feel was spot on. Just made me keep wanting answers. You can feel deep in your bones these two NEED each other. You don't necessarily understand the why but you feel it on so many levels. Goodness the angst and feels i tell ya! I went through the absolute ringer with the tension! Pepper knows how to take you on a journey with her books. Her dipping her toe in the fantasy world is phenomenal all in its self. I am so glad she did! Her words are just too perfect and beautiful to not be shared. So glad to have experienced every feel she portrays to the reader in this book. This world is so unique. So intense. So inspiring. Moving. Whimsical. Out of this world. You feel her love of this storyline and characters, all the way down to the earth and animals. The worlds and phrases. Just seriously so much I could go on and on about.

Few things that don't bring this to a 5 star for me would be some of this felt drawn on, repetitive at times. I know world building takes time and new to this genre but for me I wanted more things to keep moving along. They just kept circling back. I was like wait hasn't this happened. Didn't take away from the story for me, it just made me feel like it could of progressed faster and dove in more to where they were headed faster. Like the spice was not a typical Pepper written spice. I will say for that I am blown away to see how well and thought out this was with being she's not a fantasy author typically. To say Pepper can do no wrong and write any genre is a huge YES from me!! Shows you how truly talented she is as an author.

Still just taking all this book in. More and more I ponder over it the more I just am left w lots of questions and why's. Definitely not a huge hit for me. I'm just kind of at a loss with all my thoughts. I truly wanted more from this.
Profile Image for Siobhan.
4,452 reviews466 followers
January 23, 2023
Pepper Winters is an author I’ve been curious about for a long time. When a Moth Loved a Bee was a book that had me desperate to finally jump into the author’s work, leaving me eager for what the story would offer. As a lover of sprawling fantasy novels – especially those of the romantic kind – I had high hopes considering the synopsis of this one had me sharing it with others due to how wonderful it sounded.

Sadly, despite how excited this one had me, the story did not work for me in the way I had hoped. I’m no stranger to long books – I welcome them, embrace them – but I expect them to constantly do something. With this one, there was far too much time spent where things did not progress. I grew bored paging through the tedious minutiae that did not seem to take the story anywhere. It would have been fine if these moments were constantly developing the world, but even that was not the case. It seemed to fall into the trap of sharing everything, even when it was not needed, and it made it difficult for me to care about the story. Although there were interesting elements throughout, there were not enough unique elements to make up for my lack of interest when things were moving too slowly. Add in the storyline that was linked to rape and the fact that I did not like the way it was handled, and this was a story that did not work for me.

Although I can see many loving this, it was one that failed to tick the right boxes for me. It could be because I have recently come from a fantasy romance series that I adore – one that has me hooked deep – but this one felt lacking, and more of a chore than anything. I am clearly in the minority, though, so I’m going to go back to the world I have recently found and loved, leaving this one to other people.
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