Destroyed by Pepper Winters
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
4.5 (I heart Damaged Roan) Stars
I love Pepper Winter books. I have given her six stars reviews and so when I heard she had a new stand alone novel, I was nothing, but excited.
Destroyed is nothing what I expected, but as always, it gripped my heart and made it swell
Roan is messed up. He was taken when he was little and trained to be an assassin by a ruthless private organization. Years later, he’s no longer part of the organization and owns a fighting club. No one can touch him and he copes by fighting. Hazel is a single mother. She does what she needs to do to raise her child. One night, Hazel goes to Roan’s club and there’s something about Hazel that stirs life into Roan. It’s been years since he has been attracted to a woman (not by choice) and he will do everything he can to understand why.
Roan is really messed up. If you ever loved damaged Heroes, then he’s your man. His childhood is filled with pain, destruction and death. Roan isn’t capable of love and he has been condition to not be attracted to anyone. So when Hazel sparks something within Roan, he needs to get to know her. But he has issues. If anyone touches him, he goes kind of crazy.
Hazel is a strong woman and you feel for her. I wouldn’t call her a damsel in distress, but just a sad soul. I love single mothers in books, so I knew I would love Hazel. Her daughter is eight and is Hazel’s world. Hazel doesn’t want anything to do with Roan, but Roan can offer her something that will make Hazel’s life, not perfect, but better.
I really liked the storyline. I thought Destroyed was really unique and it wasn’t anything I expected. For some reason, when I thought fighter, I was thinking, oh he’s going to box. Oh no, it wasn’t anything like that and why should I be surprised. Destroyed is about two people who are very damaged and are put in impossible situation. You wonder how everything will work out with all the issues that are put against their relationship.
Roan and Hazel’s chemistry is INTENSE and wonderful to read. There’s a huge power struggle between the two and you just want them to work it out! Because of that, there’s crazy sexual tension. No, Destroy is not overly steamy, but there was enough to complete the story.
Since Roan was taken when he was a young child, he is really abrasive and a huge brute. He doesn’t do gentle. He can’t woo Hazel, so he makes a proposition with her, he will pay her for sex. Despite Roan’s battle scars, Hazel is attracted to Roan, but she isn’t a person who is willing to accept money for sex. Roan continually works to fix himself in his own way and Roan tries to be understanding, somewhat pushy, but somehow it never is enough.
There were some flash back scenes, but they were very minor and it helped you build Roan’s character. Roan is the star of the book and oh lord he’s so tortured. The whole read is him struggling, so don’t think this book is all happy. It’s not a light book and many things happen.
Some things didn’t work for me…
Destroyed could have easily been a five star read for me, but there were elements I couldn’t get past.
- I knew the spoiler. I can’t be too upset, but I understand why I was told, but had I not known, I think I would have a different reaction. There’s something about knowing a spoiler that can kind of change the way you see a story.
- Destroyed is very long. I love long books, but only if it’s needed. I feel like 20% could have been easily edited out (a good part of the beginning).
- Because Destroyed is so long, there is a lot of fighting to get to a point. For example, when Roan and Hazel first meet, Roan takes Hazel to his back office and tells Roan how much he wants her. She keeps on telling him to let her leave. This went on and on and on for pages. This happens a lot in a book.
o Insert issue
o Insert Roan’s side
o Insert Hazel’s side
o Fighting in circles for pages
o Finally, one of them gives up and we can move forward.
- There’s a lot of internal dialogue, which is no surprise, because it’s kind of Pepper’s style. It’s still something I do not care for. I get that when I am reading what Hazel is thinking is helping me set up the scene, but sometimes, I just want to move forward. Yes, I skimmed those parts a bit.
- I didn’t care for the mini-intros with each chapter. With each chapter, there’s a brief paragraph that kind of foreshadows how Hazel or Roan feels, which kind of made me cringe when I started to read the chapter. I get the prologue, that’s where you set up the book, but I didn’t need it for EACH CHAPTER. I kind of just wanted to skip those parts too.
Overall, the storyline nailed it for me. I loved the damaged hero. I loved the strong single mother Heroine. I love the give and take relationship and the crazy ride Pepper gave me. I’m a crazy fan of hers and I can’t wait for her next read.