GENRE: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
PUBLISHER: Pepper Winters
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.
‘‘ True love is constant. It has no beginning, middle, or end. ’’
I’ve heard so many great things about Pepper Winter’s the ribbon duet and that’s why I finally decided to give it a shot. This series was disturbingly beautiful, emotional, and heart wrenching. The whole journey was an emotional ride. It’s not only a love story of Ren and Della, it’s a story of their journey from childhood, adolescence, to Adulthood. It’s a forbidden romance and might not be suitable for some readers because of the immoral relationship between the characters so read with caution.
‘‘ The sensation of holding her was one of coming home after being lost for so long, and I ached.’’
Ren was only eight year old boy when his mother sold him to the McClary’s for a meager amount of money. For two years, he lived in terror under McClary’s and when he had enough, he finally decides to escape from the farm house. By dodging bullets, he escapes the McClary’s but he never expected to find a baby in his backpack which is an extra burden to him. He’s only a kid and he doesn’t know have to take care of a baby. He hates her because she’s a McClary but he couldn’t leave her in the wild. With no money, identity, and no supplies, they both struggle to survive in the forest by stealing food and supplies. As they grow up, they form a strong bond and they couldn’t live without each other.
‘‘ I’m a living proof that a heart can be broken a thousand times and still function, still keep you alive— desperately hoping that it won’t happen again, all the while knowing it will. ’’
The characters Ren and Della were pretty good but sometimes their actions quite frustrated me. They’re both flawed and complex characters. I really liked watching them grow up from children and also enjoyed the strong bond between them. Some scenes were a bit awkward and cringey like Eighteen year old Ren giving eight year old Della Birds and Bees talk. The weird relationship between them seemed wrong at the beginning, but In the end I can’t help rooting for them. Ren was a troubled soul who has gone through so much in his childhood. His little Ribbon Della is his only family and she’s the only thing that mattered to him the most. He’ll sacrifice his everything to provide for her future and he always puts himself second in their relationship. Della was a stubborn, caring, and fierce girl. Her actions seemed a bit unrealistic when she was young. She was very mature for her age. She develops unrequited feelings for Ren from a very young age and knows he’s the one for her, but she couldn’t express those feelings because it’ll destroy the special bond they’ve between them. There’s not much romance in the first book but it all changes when they grow into adults in the second book. There was a lot of angsty romance between Ren and Della. The sex scenes were wild and erotic, if you aren’t into those then skip those parts.
‘‘ A message that all humans—tiny or ancient—needed nutrition in the form of love as well as everything else.”
The plot was interesting filled with emotion and tension. The author has good storytelling skills. She kept me hooked to the story till the end even though how unrealistic it seemed. The first book is all about Ren and Della’s building relationship as they grow from childhood friends to family while surviving the forest and the cold. In the second book, they’re both grown ups and has to deal with new feelings that’s ripping them apart mentally and emotionally from within. I liked both the books, but honestly I didn’t enjoyed the second book as much as the first one because there are a lot of scenes that felt very much dragged and slow. The plot takes an interesting turn only at the last part. The book was told in dual perspectives and I really liked the chapters where Della narrates the story from the future leaving some hints on what’s about to come. The author’s writing was captivating but it was far too wordy for my tastes.
“This story is no longer about a baby and a boy who were never mean’t to be family, but a woman and a man who were always destined to be soulmates.”
Although I enjoyed reading this series, I also had some issues with it. I struggled with the slow pacing and this duet was nearly 1000 pages long. I didn’t have problem with the first book but I found so many fillers in the second book and the writing was very descriptive so I had skimmed some pages. Sometimes the romance felt a little over dramatic. It was a bit frustrating how they constantly fought with each other because of their forbidden feelings. The secondary characters were pretty well done. I really liked John Wilson and his family. They’re a nice addition to the plot. As for the bittersweet twist at the end, I saw it coming from the start and it was heart breaking when it was finally unveiled. I wish it had an alternative ending.
“I loved that girl as if she were my very own blood, sweat, and tears. Girl made from my bones. Child made from my heart. Woman made from my soul.”
Overall, I really liked this duology! It was an coming of age love story that deals with survival, fate, and heartache. Some people tagged this book as a dark romance but it really isn’t.
I highly recommend this book to the readers who loves to read coming of age love stories and forbidden/taboo romances.
So, What do you think of this series? Have you read it yet? Do you Plan to read it?
Please feel free to comment below!
See You In The Next Post and Have a Great Day! 🙂