Crown of Lies by Pepper Winters (Truth and Lies Duet #1)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Self 

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Kim

“I met the man 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.”

Noelle Charlston lives a fairy-tale life: a doting father, a powerful job, and a future blessed with financial security.

However, two meetings with two men changes her happy existence forever. First, she meets the man who makes her heart sing. Three years later, she meets the man who makes her blood quiver.

Broken-hearted from a teenage romance, Noelle’s freedom is no longer hers. It belongs to the stranger her father believes is her perfect match. The stranger who pulls his lies over everyone he touches.

Including her.

Seduced and manipulated, Noelle gives into the mysterious Penn Everett. The lies he spins, the truth he hides, the mystery he weaves—it’s all enough to slowly erode the woman she is and turn her into something else.

Until her past collides with her present.

And it’s her turn to lie.

To everyone…including herself.

Retail heiress, Elle Charleston, has been groomed for her entire life to run the Belle Elle retail chain. She will become one of the most powerful women in the United States.

After the death of her mother, Elle had to grow up very quickly. She spent her childhood being an adult, reading spreadsheets and ledgers rather than playing with friends. Elle has become socially awkward and is only comfortable in the world of business, where she belongs.

On Elle’s 19th birthday, she makes the decision to see New York City on her own. She can run a multi-million-dollar company but cannot make her way around the town on her own. That one decision will change her life forever as a celebration of life turns into paralyzing terror, until a young man in a hoodie saves her and turns her world upside down. The time spent with the man in the hoodie, or “Nameless”, leads her on an adventure, along with her first kiss, and then it is entirely ripped away from Elle leaving her shattered.

We then come to see Elle, three years later, a totally different woman who has accepted her fate as heir of Belle Elle after her father’s heart attack. She has pushed aside the young, naïve girl she once was along with any ideas that she had about love. Now, two men are in competition for her love and affection. One of the men is a family friend’s son who Elle has known her entire life. There’s no love, no spark, but Elle knows this is strictly business and to become a partner in the business of Belle Elle.

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

But then there’s this other man, Penn Everett. One is who full of mystery and lies making Elle uncomfortable in so many ways. Yet this man awakens something in her that she has tucked away safely from everyone in her world. Can Penn be the one to get Elle to step outside her carefully crafted life and really live?

“He was pure, one hundred percent male, and he watched me as if I was a woman who’d already sacrificed herself on his ego temple, and he was about to dine on her soul.”

Crown of Lies is an astoundingly beautifully written story with many complex characters. You truly become one with the story and experience every single emotion along with each character. The chemistry between the two main characters is one of absolute wonder. The back and forth between Elle and Penn is a true flawlessness along with an abundance of sexual tension. As much as Elle denies the attraction, Penn comes right at her ten-fold. When they do finally come together, it is outright perfection.

Crown of Lies has left me with so many emotions and just as many questions. What is the real truth? Who really is Penn Everett? Who exactly is telling the lie? Who is the real immoral guy in this story? Will Elle ever become free? We will all find out together on February 28th with the conclusion in Throne of Truth.

Crown of Lies is another brilliant story by Pepper Winters. I am in awe of the blend of suspense, mystery and the insanely fiery sex in this story. Beautifully written and absolutely captivating!

I give Crown of Lies (Truth and Lies Duet #1) by Pepper Winters 5+ stars

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