‘That was all I was now. A beast. A forest dweller who wasn’t fit for society. And it was all their fault.’
‘She can never go back. She knew too much now. She could never be trusted.
And…I want to keep her.’

We decided to read the Fable of Happiness series in one hit, and what an emotionally draining journey that turned out to be! Going into this very dark romance by Pepper Winters, we can’t say we were fully prepared, though we had an inkling it wouldn’t be an easy read. It wasn’t. We’re huge fans of dark romance, it provokes an emotional response, it makes you question yourself and if written as superbly as this series is by Pepper Winters, it makes you fall deeply in love with flawed characters whilst developing an understanding of their inner turmoil and consequent actions. Dark, disturbing, and horrifying – yes absolutely – but it was also hopeful, cathartic, inspiring, and passionate. It was quite the brutal yet epic journey and love story and for Kassen Sands and Gemma Ashford.

‘He kissed me as if he’d never known kindness. As if pain was the only thing to set him free. I couldn’t stand it. Stop! … I lost. I kissed him back. And. That. Was. It.’
“The longer I keep you alive, the greater the chance I have of being happy…even if it’s for a short while.”

Good versus evil is woven into an erotic and passionate tale of despicable villains versus unlikely subservient heroes in a dark and twisted reality of love and hate. Unhealthy relationships rising out of the fire, cleansed, and purified by compassion and understanding. Book one slayed us, Book two shook us to the core, and book three slowly healed us. We must mention the beauty amidst the ugly, highlighting the important roles that nature and animals play in our mental health, healing, and well-being.

‘He’d sacrificed himself for those he loved. And now, he had nothing left.’
‘Kas was rough and wild and unstable, but perhaps that was the healing process for someone who’d only just come back to life? He’d spent a decade just existing, turning off his humanity, willingly slipping into loneliness and endless monotony.’

Pepper Winters took an old as time fairy-tale concept and wrote it in that twisted way of the dark world of the Brothers Grimm before they were made palatable for little as well as big ears. The Fable of Happiness gave us a whiplash of emotions. We felt exhausted, tearful, relieved, happy, devastated, and scared. Emotions on a wheel of repetition meant we never felt truly safe. We were hamsters unable to get off. There’s that proverbial saying of the thin line between love and hate, and never was that more evident than in this story. There were moments we struggled with the characters for different reasons, as whilst the sexual chemistry was off the charts, despite the origin of the beginning, it did at times blur the lines of being overly excessive and repetitive in such a heart-breaking story of physical and mental survival.

‘I was ready for it. I wanted the good and the bad, the happy and the sad. I wanted to be beside him every step of the way. Because I love him unconditionally.’
‘I’d chosen my new master. I’d chosen her. It was my choice.’

The twists, suspense, depravity, and compulsions had our pulses skyrocketing in horror and discomfort. The broken hearts, broken minds and scarred bodies had us crying till our eyes hurt and blurred the words. We both agreed, that as the books progressed so did our enjoyment of them, the third book being our favourite out of the three. It truly knocked us for six and we felt absolutely everything Pepper Winters intended us to feel. Truly explosive, truly heart-stopping, and truly compelling. This series is not for the faint of hearts, but we were compelled with a journey that took over our lives for a while as we needed to know, needed to understand, needed to heal as Kassen Sands captured our hearts. We definitely recommend this trilogy to readers of dark romance who enjoy love stories that push boundaries and romances that take you outside your comfort zone. On the last note, we would love to hear more from the other characters who suffered alongside Kas, and hope Pepper Winters agrees!

‘My blood to your blood. Until we meet again.’