Third a Kiss by Pepper Winters

June 10, 2020

It might not have been instant-love when we’d met, but it had been instant-something. And for the first time, I wanted to fight for that instead of killing it.

-- Synopsis --

Third a Kiss by Pepper Winters
“There was hate once. Hate born from dangerous attraction and fate’s cruel design.
There was love once. Love destined to kill us if we didn’t surrender to our war.”

Eleanor Grace suffers an awful affliction. She’s falling for a man who doesn’t deserve her affection or her forgiveness. But there is no cure, so she does something reckless, stupid—she throws safety to the sea and leaps into danger.

Sully Sinclair suffers the same affliction. He’s falling for a goddess who will never earn his trust or his heart if he can help it. However, he wasn’t prepared for the lengths she’d go. How far she’d push to either stop such a bond or kill them both trying.

An elixir given to a monster.
A goddess running for her life.
An ending neither of them can survive.

Add it to Goodreads ➤

-- My Two Cents --

Review of Once a Myth ➤
Review of Twice a Wish ➤

What. Did I. Just read?! The amount of flipflopping of emotions left me with whiplash. I love him. I hate him. I love her. I can't trust her. It was an emotional rollercoaster and I knew something had to give. The tension was swelling and this couple were about to burst!

"...if you keep pushing me down this path, if you keep making me care…I’ll make you curse the very thought of me. I will destroy whatever faith you have in me. I will snuff out the very heart you’re trying to give me. I will do all that because love equals betrayal, and betrayal requires no mercy."

Sully's examples of love all ended with deceit and betrayal. His parents lied to his face. His brother was two-faced and played up the adoration in public and the horrendous abuse in private. Animals were special. They didn't lie or cheat or try to be anything but the primal beings they were. They could be trusted. Their affection could be trusted. Eleanor's love... not so much.

“You, Eleanor Grace, are something. You have the power to be everything. And that is why you’ll forever remain nothing.”

And yet, when he finally let his walls fall down... when he finally sees the truth after putting Eleanor through one of the strangest tests of love... it was frighteningly beautiful. Here was this man who was turned into a monster, who did monstrous things, who fought monstrous urges, and he found love. The kind of love that spoke through time, distance and denial. It was a living, breathing thing. It was volatile, destructive, wild, toxic and all-encompassing. Now that Sully has had a taste of what happiness is, there's no way he's letting Eleanor go.

“My greatest flaw is when I love…I love without end. I am overprotective of those I care about to the point of obsession. I go out of my way to protect them from everything—real threats and perceived. I’ve killed those I’ve tried to keep safe…purely from not being able to stop. I’ve killed those who have lied to me, double-crossed me, and betrayed those vulnerable in my care.”

However, happiness isn't guaranteed and this is far from the end. I love how Pepper Winters has thoroughly messed with me. I was ready to bask in the glow of the twisted love Sully had discovered with Eleanor, but true danger is on the horizon and I have no idea where this story is going next. Lucky for me, I've already got book four prepped and ready to read!

-- Purchase Links --

-- Excerpt --


MY LIFE HAD BEEN a series of calculated, risk-tabulated endeavours.
My brother had taught me that.
From my first memory, I’d known spontaneity would get me killed. Laugh, and I might get punched. Speak, and I might get kicked. Drop my guard and forget, I would almost certainly be punished.
That lesson grew with me through childhood, growing from self-preservation into utmost law. It didn’t just engrain itself on my psyche; it grabbed a brand, stuck it in a fire, and seared into my every cell.
I didn’t do reckless. I didn’t do impulsive. Every step in my life had been premeditated, planned, and controlled.
Until one night, when I’d had a dream about a place called Euphoria. Where a mortal man could fuck any female he wanted. Sky, sea, fiction, or fact. Any illusion, any fantasy, a place where rules bowed to your desires, gravity kneeled to your wishes, and life was no longer full of monsters but magic.
And in that dream, I shared this new Zion with a girl. A girl with long hair the colour of rich coffee. A girl with leggy length, strong soul, and magnificent quicksilver eyes. A girl who begged me to touch her, lick her, worship her.
And for the first time since I was born, I did something spontaneous, impetuous, and oh so fucking dangerous.
I took her.
I let myself sink into the dream. I fell for a figment of my imagination and fucked a goddess I would never be able to find.
When I woke up, I mourned the loss of such a dream. I spent a week wishing I could return to such a place, to find such a creature, to be happy.
But such a place didn’t exist. Such a girl didn’t exist. And that denial of everything that I wanted became a driving force to twist the impossible. Thanks to the scientific gifts I’d learned through methodical education and instinctual evolution, I created an elixir. I conjured Euphoria. I brought forth a new dimension....all thanks to a dream.
But, no matter how skilled I was at pulling myth from reality, I couldn’t fabricate the dream-girl who’d stolen my heart.
The goddess I wanted more than anything. The girl who would forever condemn me to loneliness because no one would ever compare.
Euphoria was real, but I wanted nothing to do with it because I wouldn’t settle for a fucking lie. I wouldn’t code a fantasy or change the face of another to indulge in, because if I did—if I allowed myself the illusion that she was real...I’d turn my back on reality to stay with her.
I’d turn my back on all the souls I’d helped save. All the souls that relied on me. All the souls that came before me and my goddamn loneliness.
So, I allowed others to play in my elixir-explicit playground.
I clung to the lessons my brother taught me.
I stayed iron-fisted, guarded, and restrained.
Until the night, I dreamed of her again.
A silver-eyed enchantress who haunted me.
And I typed an email sending out a half-conscious, sleep-hazed request.
Find me a girl with long dark hair, alabaster skin, and silver gaze.
I forgot about such a request until I earned a reply months later.
We found her. $500,000 and she’s yours.
And I did the second most impulsive thing of my life.
I bought her.
I welcomed her.
I wanted her.
The minute she stepped foot on my paradise, I knew I’d fucked up. I hadn’t believed such a creature existed. I stupidly thought no human girl could compare.
But Eleanor Grace was the one who was incomparable. Instead of ethereal silver eyes, her grey ones were equally bewitching. Instead of glowing skin and a faint halo in my dream, her honesty and spirit were what drugged me.
I’d gambled with fate and lost. I’d asked for something I could never survive. And she’d been delivered straight from my fantasies and directly into my nightmares.
Thanks to her, spontaneity became a disease I couldn’t escape. Rash choices, hasty conclusions, careless decisions. Each one was her fault. Each one broke me a little more. Each one destroyed my sanity.
But then she went and committed the worst thing of all.
She fed me elixir.
She shattered my premeditation. She annihilated my careful control.
She made me fucking wild.
And then, she ran.
A girl I’d dreamed about, thought about, kept on a pedestal inside my mind for years, drove me into the dirt where beasts belonged.
And. Then. She. Fucking. Ran.
So...I gave up trying to control myself.
I welcomed the pain of chaos.
...I chased.

-- About Pepper Winters --

Pepper Winters is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today International Bestseller. She loves romance, star-crossed lovers, and the forbidden taboo. She strives to write a story that makes the reader crave what they shouldn’t, and delivers tales with complex plots and unforgettable characters.

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.

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