The Son and His Hope, a sweeping standalone from New York Times Bestselling author Pepper Winters is live!
“Things you should know about me from the very beginning:
I was born to true love, witnessed the destruction it causes, and vowed never to let such agony happen to me. I am not a story-teller like my father. I am not a writer like my mother. I am just a son—their son.
I am happy being alone.
And that is all I ever want to be.”
The day he was born, Jacob learned his hardest and longest lesson.
It wasn’t a lesson a boy should learn so young, but from his earliest memories he knew where happiness lives, so does tragedy. Where love exists, so does heartbreak. And where hope resides, so does sorrow.
That lesson carved him from the kid to the teen to the man.
And nothing and no one could change his mind.
I first met him when he was fourteen at a movie premiere of all places. A movie based on his parent’s life.
He was stoic, strong, suspicious, and secretive.
I was only ten, but I felt something for him. A strange kind of sorrow that made me want to hug and heal him.
I was the daughter of the actor hired to play his father.
We shared similarities.
I recognised parts of him because they were parts of me.
But no matter how many times we met. No matter how many times I tried.
He stayed true to his vow to never fall.
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I don’t think I’ve ever cried while reading a book like I did during my time spent with Ren and Della. And, if there ever was a story out there that epitomized just how powerful an author’s words and storytelling are it’s Pepper Winters’ Ribbon Duet. I can’t even begin to describe the feelings that surfaced as I read about Ren and Della’s journey, and even though I knew what was coming when I reached the end of The Girl & Her Ren, fracturing my heart even more than it already was, I wouldn’t have changed a single part of my reading experience, even if it left me emotionally drained and more than a little broken.
I can wholeheartedly say that I’m still not over the world and characters that Pepper Winters created and I know that there are many readers who feel the exact same way, so when I learned that Winters was writing Jacob’s story – Ren & Della’s son – I knew I needed to steel myself, once again, for a tale rich in heartbreak, in overwhelming emotions, in the idea of love and loss and of life and death because if I did, despite the amount of tears I shed, I knew that the lessons taught through the characters’ experiences would, once again, stay with me, changing my perception of what it means to fully live and the reasons why some people choose the more difficult path because it’s during that time that they truly find out who they are and what they need, despite feelings to the contrary.
Like father, like son – that was my first thought as I witnessed Jacob Wild’s stubbornness and his inability to see beyond what happened to his mother and father and the love they shared. Because of his past, Jacob lives a solitary life, unwilling to allow anyone to penetrate his highly guarded walls, not allowing his heart to be tattered and scarred anymore then it already has been. And while it’s easy to understand why he chooses to live the way he does, which will, no doubt, have readers empathizing with everything he’s had to face, it also will leave readers beyond frustrated, pleading with Jacob to recognize what he’s going to lose if he doesn’t find the strength to move forward…find the hope he needs to give his heart to the one person who will handle it with the delicate care that he needs and deserves.
As soon as Pepper Winters introduced readers to Hope Murphy, I knew that she would be a game changer for Jacob – the one who would make him want to change…make him want to give his heart to…make him want to go against everything he had cemented in his mind when it came to loving another person. But things are never that simple, especially for someone who has dealt with what Jacob has, so I knew that it wouldn’t be easy for Hope to truly penetrate Jacob’s heart…that he would still be held back by his fear, forcing them both to endure excruciating heartache and the exact pain that Jacob had fought so hard to never feel again.
I’m so thankful that Pepper Winters gave readers Jacob’s story; I can’t begin to imagine how emotionally draining this entire series was for her to write, but I’m so damn glad she did. I’ve always enjoyed Winters’ storytelling and the ease with which she crafts her multifaceted characters, but there’s something in The Ribbon Duet series that sets it apart even from her other amazing books, and while I can’t quite put into words everything that makes Ren, Della, and Jacob’s stories stand out among the rest, the fact that they are three characters who will stay with me long after their stories have been told says everything that readers need to know in order to one-click these emotionally dense books.
5 Poison Apples
It’d been a long time since I’d seen her, and this new woman in front of me didn’t compute with the waifish girl I’d done my best to scare off.
“I couldn’t sleep.” She blinked with eyes too hooded to be innocent. She spoke with a voice too rich and feminine to belong to the annoying Hope Jacinta Murphy.
My hands curled, fighting away sick appreciation. For years, I hadn’t bothered mingling with anyone other than family. Back when I’d attended school, the girls showed off their newly formed bodies and flaunted their sexual preference. Their obvious flirting turned me off rather than on. They all seemed so desperate to impress, so eager for a connection that would end up destroying them.
Hope, meanwhile, was none of those things.
She was shy beneath strength. Quiet beneath conversation. And when she’d hugged me?
God, she’d shown me pain had multiple levels.
A hug from family could sear and sting.
But a hug from her?
It drew blood.
“It isn’t safe to wander around this late on your own.” My hands balled, my voice thickened, and I did my best to keep my eyes on her face because there was no way I could look at her body. No way I could permit myself to see the change in her, the growth, the knowledge that she might drive me to rage and disturb my carefully perfected world, but she was the most beautiful creature I’d ever seen.
Soft but sharp. Trusting but careful. Fragile but brave.
All the things that drew out the best and worst in me. I wanted to be kind, so she was happy. I wanted to be cruel, so she’d leave.
I didn’t have the strength to fight both instincts or convince myself I was content with being alone. My phobia of getting close to anyone ordered me to back up and point at Mom’s house. “Go back, Hope.”
She bit her lower lip, looking at where I pointed before capturing my stare again.
I didn’t stand a chance with the way she studied me. The same way she’d watched me as a child with a certainty and calmness that made me fidget and bristle. Only now, a deeper element was there too. A terrifying welcome. A petrifying invitation that had nothing to do with the years we’d danced around each other and everything to do with this new torturous existence.
“I don’t want to go back yet.” Her voice whispered through the grass, sounding part breeze, part shadow.
“What do you want?” My jaw clenched.
What the hell sort of question is that, and why did I ask it?
She cocked her head, hair tumbling, eyes searching. “To walk.” Taking a hesitant step toward me, she smiled softly. “Want to walk with me?”
“What I want is for you to get off my property.”
Her smile warmed instead of cooled. “Can I walk on it first? Then I’ll get off it.”
I couldn’t understand her. Was she joking with me? Teasing? Being plain exasperating? Crossing my arms, I raised my chin. “Walking it would take hours. It’s big.”
Pepper Winters is a multiple New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today International Bestseller.
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 19 books currently published, she has hit the bestseller charts twenty-six 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 and Turkish. Audio Books for her entire back-list will be available in 2017.
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