Adult · Book Recommendations · Contemporary · New Adult · Reviews · Romance

Review for one of the most emotional, meaningful and best books I have ever read: The Ribbon Duet by Pepper Winters


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ {5}


New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Dark



Page Count:

1673 (inc. both books)

Publishing Date:

28 July, 2018

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | B&N | IndieBound

The Boy & His Ribbon

“What do you do when you meet your soul mate? No wait…that’s too easy. What do you do when you meet your soul mate and have to spend a lifetime loving him in secret? 
I’ll tell you what you do. 
You lie.” 

Ren was eight when he learned that love doesn’t exist—that the one person who was supposed to adore him only cared how much he was worth. 
His mother sold him and for two years, he lived in terror. 
But then…he ran. 
He thought he’d run on his own. Turned out, he took something of theirs by accident and it became the one thing he never wanted and the only thing he ever needed. 

I was young when I fell in love with him, when he switched from my world to my everything. 
My parents bought him for cheap labour, just like they had with many other kids, and he had the scars to prove it. 
At the start, he hated me, and I could understand why. 
For years he was my worst enemy, fiercest protector, and dearest friend. 
But by the end…he loved me. 
The only problem was, he loved me in an entirely different way to the way I loved him. 
And slowly, my secret drove us apart.

The Girl & Her Ren

“What do you do when you write down all your secrets? No…that’s not enough. What do you do when you write down all your secrets and the one person who should never read them does? 
I’ll tell you what you do.
You hope.”

Ren didn’t know the meaning of love until he took Della for his own.
To begin with he hated her, but as the months bled into years, he learned the opposite of hate, dedicating his life to giving her everything.
Every sacrifice, every gift, he gave wholeheartedly.
But then love turned to lust and ruined everything.

I was stupid to write my secrets down, but I’d been stupid before so it was nothing new.
I couldn’t blame him, hate him, fix him.
I tried to move on without him.
But no matter what I did, I couldn’t seem to delete the secrets I’d written.
Until something happened.
Until he came back and read my stupid secrets.
And nothing was the same after that.

“Come find me. Come find me on the meadow where the sun always shines, the river always flows, and the forest always welcomes. Come find me, Little Ribbon, and there we’ll live for eternity.”

The Girl and Her Ren, Pepper Winters

Broken. That’s what I am right now. There’s a couple of books that have made me feel this way. There was The Girl in the Love Song for how unfair life was on Violet and Miller. There was Spiders in the Grove for it’s ending. But nothing touched me like Ren and Della’s story did. Their story has you invested from the very beginning and makes you wish it lasted forever. Makes you wish you never had to put it down even if it hurts you.

I can’t give a basic description of the story like I usually do because the synopsis is rightfully vague and it’d be ruined if I told you the story in short. I’ve only read one of Pepper Winters’ many books, which was a mafia book. I understood the hype, and I instantly liked her. Random browsing on Goodreads brought me to this book and I, equal measures am so happy I stumbled upon it, and also wish I’d never set eyes on it because it broke something in me.

Even when Della is being stubborn and idiotic and Ren is being…well Ren, it’s impossible to not love them. To not root for them. When I first finished The Boy & His Ribbon, I was shook at the ending and quickly flipped to start The Girl & Her Ren because for a second I thought their story ended there and I just couldn’t have that but if I felt that way at the first books’ ending, the second book’s ending doesn’t even come close to that.

Pepper wrote a heart wrenching tale of not just a romance, but a love story because romances come and go but true love, the love that Ren and Della share, lasts forever. You can’t move on from it, you can’t find another like it. It’s all consuming and will forever be a part of you, in life, in death and forever after. Their love spanned so, so long, it became a part of them, ingrained into them, and turned immortal because the love they shared ran so deep, it couldn’t possibly ever die.

“Love transcends time, space, distance, universes. Love can’t be confined to pages or photos or memories—it’s forever alive and wild and free. Romance comes and goes, lust flickers and smoulders, trials appear and test, life gets in the way and educates, pain can derail happiness, joy can delete sadness, togetherness is more than just a fairy-tale…it’s a choice.

A choice to love and cherish and honor and trust and adore. 

A choice to choose love, all the while knowing it has the power to break you. 

A choice, dear friends, to give someone your entire heart.

But in the end, love is what life is about.

And love is the purpose of everything.”

Della and Ren went through so much in their life together. So many hardships and complications and yet it was always them against the world. They’d do anything for each other. I loved seeing them together at different ages and this story was all the more impactful because it was dual POV and we got to see both their thoughts over time as they grew up. The very few books that even closely made me feel this way, if i reviewed them, I just straight out ranted and I’m struggling to not do that for this one too because there’s so much I have to get off my chest. SO IF ANYONE STILL WANTS A RANT ON THIS TOO, LET ME KNOW AND I’LL BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO OBLIGE. (With a warning for spoilers of course)

I was shattered when it ended. I kept imagining everything and they both were so real to me, as were the other characters, that it felt like everything had happened to me itself and that was even worse. Only one other book has made me feel exactly like this, where i cried uncontrollably and felt like I’d never recover, and could literally feel an acute pain in my chest just like I did with this series. And maybe I was right because that first book was months ago and I still haven’t recovered, maybe I never will. Some books just impact you that way. They leave a mark on you engrained so deep into you, you can’t ever really shake it off or move on or forget it.

“I will always love you, Della Ribbon. Until the day I die and past that.” 

I loved the family Ren and Della built. John, Cassie and Jacob. The perfect little family. I don’t know how to convince you to read this story without spoiling it. It meant so much to me and while a lot of books I read impact me, nothing could come close to this. I can already tell it’s a story I’ll forever remember. I believed in love, a little bit, before, but not the all-consuming, everlasting, i’d do anything for you type of love, although i’ve always wished and hoped for it. But this book, their story, truly made me believe in it. In the fact that, yes, not everyone gets this type of love, but at least it exists somewhere out there and we all live for hope, don’t we? Hope for something better.

In total, I deeply loved every single thing about this emotional and beautifully told love story. Pepper Winters is the best at writing complicated but lovable characters whom you can’t help but root for. I can’t believe that while so many people love Pepper’s books, this isn’t one of the books they always talk about. I can’t recommend this book enough or express how much I love it.

Pepper currently has thirty-one books released in nine languages. She’s hit best-seller lists (USA Today, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal) thirty-seven 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 #1 iBooks bestseller, along with #1 in Erotic Romance, Romantic Suspense, Contemporary, and Erotica Thriller. She’s also honoured to wear the IndieReader Badge for being a Top 10 Indie Bestseller.

After releasing two books with Grand Central, Hachette (Ruin & Rule and Sin & Suffer) Pepper is a Hybrid Author of both Traditional and Self-published work.

Pinterest | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website | Facebook Group | Goodreads

PS There’s 2 playlists that Pepper made for each book and I’ve combined them together to make an Apple and Spotify playlist easy to access so no one has to make them! The Apple playlist and the Spotify playlist.

Also, if you want to rant about this, don’t hesitate to message me on Insta! I’d gladly rant with you 😩

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