Pepper Winters has done it again

Pepper Winters keeps blowing me away with phenomenal dark romance, this time in Ruby Tears. Now, when I say this is DARK romance, I mean dark. To be clear this is not for the faint of heart, so proceed with caution and check trigger warnings, but it’s a definite must read as far as I’m concerned. To be transparent, this book tackles extremely tough topics, ie. trafficking, which means it can be a hard, emotional read.

Ily is an incredible main character, in that she is tough as nails and has such a standout personality that I instantly connected with her and was rooting for her every step of the way. Talk about your tough cookies who aren’t afraid to fight tooth and nail, and stand up for themselves. She is incredibly brave and the way she doesn’t let her circumstances take away her fire made her such an admirable character and one I loved so much.

Henri is the dark, broody male one would expect from this kind of romance, and boy does he have his demons to fight. So basically a recipe for every dark romance readers dream. And such a compelling man with his background, which reading from his point of view just made me want to know more of, and the absolute internal war he is constantly battling within himself to not become that which he loathes. And of course this book is told from both of their points of view so I was completely sold.

The story itself stands on its own as well. There is Ily, stolen into this world she had no notions of and forced to deal with the utter heartbreak and agony this entails. Then there’s Henri, earning his way into the exclusive club that deals in trafficking humans to sate sick needs of rich and powerful people, all the while battling his own urges which desperately want to give into these needs of his own. While dealing with this, he is all the while trying to infiltrate this club with the intent of bringing it down and saving the “jewels” who are forced to serve these despicable individuals. The battle between what he knows is right, and his own desires to stay in this world he feels he belongs makes for a lot of angst and strife between both himself and Ily. It is so well done, making it difficult not to feel for Henri’s position while also questioning his reasoning and feeling at least some of the anger Ily herself does towards him.

The ending is definitely a bit of a cliffhanger and has left me desperate for the next book to see how events will play out. I honestly cannot wait for the sequel because I need to see how this story is going to go and what will happen both for the characters, and the mission to end this trafficking ring. I need more!


By Danielle Plant

An avid reader and runner. I like to spend my spare time with my dogs Reese and Orion.

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