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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2017 Pepper Winters (P)2017 Pepper Winters

What listeners say about Crown of Lies

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Not what she normally writes.

This is not your typical dark read by Pepper Winters. It still has the edgy and angst of a Winters book.

It had a lot of high and low moments for me. Some parts were a little slow and then other parts had the great momentum I'm used to from Winters. There are twists and turns. Things I didn't see coming. And I'm looking forward to book two. FYI there is a cliffhanger.

The narrators did a great job capturing the characters for me. I'm fairly new to the whole audio book world. And I'm very picky when it comes to narrators and they did a great job.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

UGH I HATE CLIFFHANGERS !!! REALLY GOOD STORY

Any additional comments?

This was a very different romance story. It's not the typical story. It really sucked me in from the word go. The narration was great and the storyline was compelling. It's worth the credit but since there is a cliffhanger I wish I had waited for the complete series to be released.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Princess of perpetual peril...

Crown of Lies is my fourth Pepper Winters book. I'm a fan of her writing, but I have had issues with the narration of some of those books. Happily, this time I am a fan. This is dual narration at its best. Kylie Stewart handles the female dialog competently, while Eric Rolon is exceptional at voicing all male characters. Bravo to Eric...this is the first book he's narrated for audible and he was fantastic! His voice was just right for our hero - he really made the listen sexy.

The story itself kept me interested. Enter Elle - a girl groomed to run a department store empire from a young age. She leads a sheltered life of wealth and privilege, and then one night she rebels against her golden shackles. This leads her to a mugging and attempted rape in a dirty back alley somewhere in NYC. Our heroine is rescued by a young homeless man. Fate removes the anonymous good Samaritan, and Elle's exhaustive attempts to find him fail.

Three years after that night, Ms. Winters keeps the intrigue going. There's a father with a heart condition, a persistent unwanted suitor, and a wealthy and mysterious man who seems to know an awful lot about our heroine.

I like Pepper's erotica. She expertly builds sexual tension in her stories, and then releases it in the steamiest ways. Talk about sex on fire! Fair warning however: this story comes to a close with one hell of a cliffhanger, so be prepared for that upset.

Time for the gripe, and I've alluded to it in my headline. Poor, poor Elle. She must be one hell of an irresistible beauty because by the end of this book, she will have been threatened with rape on three separate occasions. Seriously, is she putting off some type of crazy pheromone that brings all the rapists out of the woodwork!?

All things considered, Crown of Lies kept me listening - great writing and narration. Well worth my credit.

11 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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I couldn't get in to it

I stop reading at chapter 6 I don't know but I lost interest. narrator did a great job it was just the story that couldn't hold my attention

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Wish I'd have known it was a series

It probably says it somewhere I skimmed over, but I wish it had more prominently advised potential customers not to expect an ending just yet.
I would not have minded buying more than one had I just known that going in. Also a bit more sex than expected.
The female voice never quite felt right though she did a good job. I was bothered that the male voice never changed. The dads voice was identical to the lovers to the antagonist. The female voice did a better job conveying different characters.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

This book sucks

I felt like something was missing. I loved the different male and female voice which is the only reason this book got two stars. I felt like this book had potential but it just didn't live up to it.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

🗑 No Substance in story - just steam

Pepper Winters can write a scene that makes you feel it, but she only put that beauty into the steamy parts. There was a great story here but it was glossed over. It ends with a big cliffhanger and yet I have no desire to listen to the next book.

Narration method missed the mark. By "method" I mean they switched to the male voice for all the male characters (whereas in other books there is a chapter from the male point of view and the male narrator reads the entire chapter regardless of who is speaking.) The method used in this book sounded very inserted and choppy. Too bad, because the actors had rich variety in their delivery - it was the method that really distracted from their performance, and unfortunately I never got comfortable with it.

I hate to throw out one star because surly the authors read the reviews, so uhg....sorry. Just like in life, the steam is important but a binding story keeps our attention and loyalty. This book was like a one night stand with whats his name and I cant recall if I even enjoyed it. Forgetable.

🎀 Avid listener - no one compensates me for reviews. (Duh, obviously this time)

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

DO NOT BUY THIS - IT IS TERRIBLE!!

What would have made Crown of Lies better?

I think I've written one other review (whether written or audio), which says a lot because I am voracious reader and Audible lister. I am a fan of Pepper Winters and buy most of her books. However, here are the problems with this book:1. I can't stand the premise that a 19 year old is firing middle aged men "in the board room" and running one of the country's leading retailers. I can't suspend belief enough to finish a book whose premise, in large part, includes this literary gem.2. Authors need to suck it up and ask for advice from professionals prior to making statements regarding certain professions. When the main character, who is 13 (?), has to sign her father's last will and testament so that, once dead, she will inherit his company .................. THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN. NO ONE HAS TO SIGN SOMEONE ELSE'S LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT. Also, a 13 year old cannot sign a binding contract. The main character goes on to say she's signed so many contracts (she's 13) .... NEXT, YOU CAN'T SUE A MAN YOU JUST MET IN A BAR FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT -- THAT IS A LEGAL CLAIM THAT HAPPENS IN THE CONFINES OF A WORKPLACE. This was, I am embarrased to say, the last straw. 3. If your main character is supposed to be a genius businesswoman (at 19) running a multi billion dollar business (and, supposedly, on the Forbes list of wealthiest people) -- she would never threaten to sue a stranger, not in the workplace, for sexual harassment. UGH!4. The narrator sounds like she is reading a book -- not narrating. It's awful.Worst audible book I've ever purchased. Returning it pronto.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Not this book.

How could the performance have been better?

Hire a narrator with experience?

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Nope.

Any additional comments?

Terrible.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Painfully horrible

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

People who like explicit sexual scenes with very little story line, character development or plot development.

If you’ve listened to books by Pepper Winters before, how does this one compare?

NA

What didn’t you like about Kylie Stewart and Eric Rolon ’s performance?

Kylie sounded like she was 12. Her intonation and phrasing were immature. When I listen to a audiobook I usually can forget that the person is reading but not with this book. Eric was very stilted and used the same tone for each character. It sounded and felt like a B rated performance.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Annoyance. The use of cliche after cliche after an attempt at alliteration or description caused me to really want to stop listening to the story. I ended up aborting the book half way through. I never abandon a book that I bought either.

Any additional comments?

I would suggest a writing class for Ms. Pepper- one that focuses on character and plot development.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Ugh!

Why is Elle so useless? She is amazingly naive and stupid. Why are women Alexandrian thisnway.n I'm not sure if I'll read the secondnbook, only because I just don't care what happens tonher.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Debbra
  • Debbra
  • 02-26-17

Totally Hooked

I found myself listening to this every second I had. At night before I sleep. Which then morphed into in the morning when I get ready for work, both tea breaks, lunch breaks and while I am cooking. I was totally hooked.
I hate to admit it but I did have some tears too, so that doesn't happen often to me.

I was just so engrossed thinking I knew everything all the way through which I was proved wrong every 2 or 3 chapters. It was lovely to not be able to 'think' ahead like you can with some authors.

This I am told made me a very anti social person until I had finished it. Can't wait for Book 2

Pepper Winters at her best

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for J. R. Vine
  • J. R. Vine
  • 10-21-17

REALLY???

I loved Pepper Winters excellent Pennies/Dollars/Hundreds Series and cannot wait for the next two books to become available on Audible. This book, however, what can I say, apart from, the narration was awful and the story wasn't very convincing, I think that a 19 year old running a multi-billion dollar company is absolutely ridiculous. PW seems to think that adding multi sex scenes makes a good book. I like a lot more substance in a book than sex. I will be returning this book, I have bought book two and I don;t hold out much hope if book one is anything to go by

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • mikki100
  • 05-14-20

The pace is quite slow on this one which I found frustrating

Firstly I love reading Pepper Winters books, however this didn't do it for me. I found it slow.

On Elle's 19th birthday she meets a homeless guy who's name she never knows, he saves her from a robbery/rape and they have an instant attraction. They get arrested and since the nameless guy has warrants for his arrest he is taken into custody while she is released. Years later another man enters her life called Pen, they have an instant sexual attraction, thick with lust and intense passion. Throughout their various interactions and bickering Elle wonders whether Pen is the nameless man who saved her or whether he is one of the two who tried to rob/rape her. Clues littered throughout the book suggest it could be either one or none, however I have correctly guessed who I think he is since the character Pen first enters. Since this isn't revealed in this book I will read the second book to confirm whether or not I was right. Pen is cryptic in his responses when asked about his background, career and family, amplifying Elle's suspicions.

The first third of the book could have been more concise. I'm all for giving context to characters and plots but felt this was overdone. I was frustrated by the pace hence the two stars.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • BelleAmor
  • 07-17-19

Duet Narration!

I am a big fan of Pepper Winters, her characters and the stories are always well written. But even better is that they are DUET narration!!!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Nina
  • Nina
  • 11-12-21

What a highly addictive rollercoaster!

I did a reread of this one, only this time I listened to the audio. And ugh, I still love this story as much as I did previously! Kylie Stewart and Erin Rolon only heightened the experience. And it’s narrated in duet style, which I love even more! Highly recommend!

Below is my previous review:

***

What a highly addictive wild and emotional rollercoaster ride!

Pepper Winters is one of my go-to authors. One whose books I one-click and crave without even knowing the slightest bit about the story. I know her brilliant writing will draw me in to devour every single word.
And with CROWN OF LIES she exactly did that once again. I’m captivated, maybe even a little bit obsessed with this book – a book that will occupy my mind with its characters and open questions long after I finished the book. A textbook example of a book hangover.

A story full of deception and lies … and sex. Oh, the sex! Scorching and intense. A chemistry that is off the charts, although Elle is not really sure what it is that draws her to Penn so much.

Elle: A sheltered and privileged girl whose only destiny seems to be to run her dad’s company. She is thrust into the business world at an age far too young. Childhood and friends are a concept unknown to her. On her nineteenth birthday, she is all prim and proper CEO as her dad wants her to be. And yet… on an act of rebellion, she decides to leave the confines of her world for one night, to for once feel like the rest of the world. Only it will be the night that alters her life forever, the night she meets the man who will occupy her dreams from now on. Fast forward a couple of years.

Penn: Dominating and incredible sexy. A mystery on two legs that ruffles Elle’s feathers from the second she first saw him. One all dirty alpha male who doesn’t stop at anything to get some of that dirt to rub onto Elle as well. There’s passion between them, that is undeniable, but what is Penn’s ultimate goal? A whirlwind of twists and turns starts, dragging her down deeper and deeper into an abyss of lies.

Don’t ever think you have the story figured out, because even if you might, Pepper surely won’t acknowledge that in this book, no. She will have you tantalized and on edge, that’s for sure!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for xxBooksILovexx
  • xxBooksILovexx
  • 11-08-21

Great listen by Pepper Winters

This was my first Pepper Winters listen. Have heard so much about her books. the female main character is Elle. She's lived a very privileged life. But also a very lonely life. She was a business woman while still in high school. Elle ends up Dating Penn Everett but not really by her own choice. Really hot chemistry between Elle & Penn kept my on the edge of my seat. This book has a cliffhanger. Looking forward to listening to book 2. Excellent narration by Kylie Stewart & Eric Rolon.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Minnie
  • Minnie
  • 11-02-21

Fantastic and mysterious story

Fantastic and mysterious story.

Elle is a CEO of a big fashion house (to be honest at first I was really struggling with imagining such a young woman doing all the corporate stuff but later on the story is fast forwarded and I’m proven she’s a great CEO).
Pen is a very mysterious man, we don’t know much about him. Yet he’s so alluring and sexy, and maybe that’s the reason why Elle agrees to their arrangement.

This is a story that will keep you at the very end of your seat the whole book because of the mystery, suspense and sizzling hot moments.

I enjoyed the audiobook. The voices used in it were very well chosen and they portrayed the characters in a great way. Though at the beginning it was hard for me to connect with the story because of using both speakers in dialogue but I got used to it with time. Great job.

I received the audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for PATRICIA
  • PATRICIA
  • 10-26-21

Sensual and seductive!

There are some books you enjoy and there are others that you fall into and become part of the story. This is one of them. Not as dark as other Pepper Winter stories, this one comes with Elle and Penn. Elle is knows her destiny. Groomed from a young age to take over her family business, Belle Elle, she has accepted that this is her life. She just wants one night to be normal. At 19, going out at night is not always smart, and this is one of those times. When she is attacked, she is saved by a white knight of sorts. Instant chemistry, sweet and exciting. But life doesn't let her even get to know his name. Though Nameless is in her thoughts for the next 3 years and her search for him has turned up nothing, she still thinks of him. Her father has other plans. Always playing the matchmaker, she is introduced to Penn. Arrogant to a "t", he is challenging as well as handsome. These two have a real love hate relationship, and only time will tell what will happen. Elle is very independent, and I love that. She knows how to lead, and is powerful in her own right. Penn is that kind of annoying that is just short of charming. It's hard not to fall under his spell. But will she? Danger is lurking though, and it's totally unexpected, leaving us with a cliffhanger that had me queuing up the next book immediately! I need to know what is going to happen!

Kylie Stewart and Eric Rolon are an amazing team, and their duet narration had me captivated. I loved their emotion and tension that kept the story fresh and thrilling. Looking forward to the next in the series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Bookish Barbi
  • Bookish Barbi
  • 10-25-21

What a whirlwind of a story

What a whirlwind of a story.

Noelle, born and raised to be CEO of the family business, knows nothing but chauffeur and board meetings. On the night of her 19th birthday, she decides she is going to let her hair hang loose and venture into the world with no driver or credit card. She’s going to wear jeans for the first time and she is just going to be a girl. But the world isn’t as gentle and simple as you thought it would be.

Penn, the biggest mystery known to Noelle. WHO IS PENN!!! Did he previously give her chocolate kisses? Did he previously hurt her? Is he just a new entity with similarities? Penn holds a key to her past, will she be able to forgive him when she finds out?

The story, the writing, it all flowed so well. It’s what we’ve all come to expect and enjoy from Pepper Winters. Innocent heroines and scary heroes.

Thank you Valentine PR and Pepper Winters for an Audio code. I could not imagine anyone else portraying Noelle and Penn. Kylie Stewart and Eric Rolon perfectly complemented each other in this delicious dark romance.

Audio ARC received and I decided to leave an honest review.