Soulless (Once Wicked Series)

Soulless (Once Wicked Series)

by Sarah J. Pepper

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Our love is imperfect in the most perfect way. It is love done our way. Raw. Unconventional. Sexy as hell. More importantly, it is honest to the core…Or so I think.

One little, white lie shouldn't do so much damage. Yet, it changes me forever.

The worst part is that Declan whispers that sweet nothing out of protection. My safety is in the forefront of his mind, especially since there are others who’d hurt me simply to get to him. I never consider that he will be the one to cut me so deeply. But it all starts with that first prick—the night he saves my life.


His perilous stare deepened as his grip fastened around my waist. As maniacal thoughts passed over his eyes, his grasp tightened. That look confirmed that I wasn’t the only one who wanted all the space between us eliminated.


could hardly  breathe when his gaze fell to my lips. It left me without words. It was the very way a passing glance could leave you speechless. But Declan didn’t just take a glimpse. No, he unapologetically looked me over. He


me in not so many words, but I heard them all the same. I heard them with each moan that echoed in the air. I felt them as he held me gently in his arms. Even if I didn’t feel the desire radiating off of him in a fury of passion, he bore that intensity in his gaze. The world around us melted away until there was only me and


Product Details

BN ID: 2940152695502
Publisher: Sarah J. Pepper
Publication date: 02/23/2016
Series: Once Wicked Series
Sold by: Draft2Digital
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Sarah J. Pepper specializes in dark, paranormal romance - think "happy ever after" but with a twisted, dark chocolate center. Real-life romance isn't only filled with hugs, kisses, bunnies, and rainbows. True-love can be more thoroughly described in times of darkness and tribulation. It's in those harsh moments where you see what a person is truly capable of - both the good and bad. Sometimes prince-charming isn't always on time, and the glass slipper is a little snug. However, it doesn't mean Charming is not Mr. Right, and who says every shoe is the perfect fit? 

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Soulless (Once Wicked Series) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
i-lv-sci-fi More than 1 year ago
Soulless picks up right where Priceless (from the Fairy Tales Confession anthology) ended. Declan doesn’t go through with giving his curse fully to Piper, instead he chooses to share it with her. I was really hoping that it would work out for both of them. Sure it’s not a traditional love story but it was definitely passionate. My hopes were sent on a rollercoaster journey as Piper struggled with her love for Declan and her fear of becoming a monster like him. The emotions from both Declan and Piper were real and raw. My heart was breaking by the end, so much torment. The secondary characters of Opie, Hans and El, and Ula completely have me hoping and praying they will have their stories told. Sarah J Pepper is by far my favorite author of reimagined fairy tales.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why does Sarah Pepper do this to me! The draws me in with the beautifully developed characters and story line, then BAM! Yep, didn't see that coming. I agonize over it every time, and love it every time. It is impossible to not have a book hangover - particularly with her twisted fairy tale stories. If you haven't, it's recommended you read Priceless first, though it's not required. It is part of the anthology Fairy Tale Confessions. The story of Declan and Piper continues. Piper is about to die, and he saves her by sharing his curse, making her a succubus. There is so much I could say, but I don't want to give too many spoilers! I don't know how she does it, but the author makes me forget that I've met these characters before, and that this is her modern retelling of their story. The whole time I was reading it, I found myself trying to determine who the good guys were and who were the bad. One thing I have discovered about Ms. Pepper's books, is that she does not like things to be black and white, and write some of the best anti-heroes I've had the privilege of reading. It does end with a cliffhanger, and I greatly look forward to the continuation!
sciencexcharm More than 1 year ago
“I never regretted the night I met Rumpelstiltskin, even if I didn’t want to be like him. I fell in love with a monster. In doing so, I became one myself.” Love can be beautiful. Love can be momentous. Love can be a curse. Pepper’s story lays out the perfect love/hate relationship, right before your eyes—with a demonic spin. This story is dark, suspenseful, emotional and enticing. By delving into the minds and personalities of the characters that are portrayed, it is easily ascertained that mixed feelings are a given. Pepper engages the reader with a dark and passionate resistance toward life and death as she guides them into the highly creative story of Rumpelstiltskin and the Pied Piper. Piper is an exceptional woman. She is strong, confident, but innocent. Declan is evil, deceitful and manipulative. Upon her death, Piper’s final words to Declan were a truth built from a selfish love that became so powerful, it was dangerous. Her request against freedom from his love was the starting point of their shared curse—the Incubus Curse. Through much denial and pain, Piper is faced with an ultimatum. In order to adhere to her hunger, she must take the life essence of others, making her a murderer. Declan has been a murderer for centuries, but that doesn’t make her love him less. When the tides turn and her very existence becomes his weakness, the Pied Piper must decide whether life is worth living without a soul…or chancing peace in death. The author does a superb job with character development and credibility. As this story unfolds, so many factors come to play into these character’s lives. It is not difficult to sympathize with Piper in stories such as this because there is a moral struggle that is constantly being challenged. Even more striking than that—it is also not difficult to sympathize with Declan either. With such emotional conflict, making right and wrong seem like grey areas—Pepper has a compelling novel that will leave readers with determined fascination. If you are a reader of twisted fairy tales or fantasy, you may want to pick this up—but, fair warning…this is another book that may not be easy to put down. A free copy was exchanged for an honest review of this fictional piece.
catmetcalf More than 1 year ago
I was given an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. Much is made during the book about Piper being the mirror image of Declan. So too, this story is the mirror image of a traditional fairy tale. Though the title is Soulless, each of the aforementioned characters are written to have a softer side… the remainders of a soul. This element gives each of these characters a polarity of their own Making reference to other fairy tales, author Sarah J Pepper twists them into the mix, some more successfully than others. I believe the book might be more cohesive with fewer of these fairy tale twists, so the flow of the story gets lost in a couple of places. Without revealing too much of the story, I will say that much of the book is well thought out and imaginatively written. 4 stars
keleex More than 1 year ago
Absolutely wicked! Alluring, tantalizing, haunting, twisted, dark...and the list goes on and on! There are not many books that leave me speechless after the prologue, during the story, AND the ending. But wow! Sarah J Pepper did it! So here I sit trying to figure out how to tell you that you HAVE TO READ THIS without giving anything away. Well, there you go. YOU HAVE TO READ THIS! This is the story of Rumplestiltskin (goes by Stilts) who finds his love but only to make her the monster that he is. It’s not the fairytale we grew up with, but so much more. It is set to present day but we encounter many different fairytale characters that have been updated...a bit to say the least. Stilts is a demon and when he turns his love, Piper, into a demon like himself he finds that he is trying to preserve her innocence. He doesn’t want her to regret this decision by turning into a killer. In doing this he puts her into hiding and tells a teeny white lie to spare her the guilt. She is being protectd by Hans and El, brother and sister witches, who are also one of Stilts’ enemies. Naturally they all hate each other but a connection comes about in an unusual way. Not like a friendship but more of an understanding. Piper ultimately finds out about the lie but what happens next is nothing like what you’d expect. The connection that Stilts and Piper have is INTENSE (like the rest of the story). It’s a continual struggle of love and hate, right and wrong. Questionable motives and manipulation opens this story to all types of interpretations. Who is really the villain??? “So the idea of Prince Charming rescuing me from my jacked-up life was hysterical . But that was exactly what had happened; except my Prince Charming was a bad boy with a demonic complexion. Declan Stilts— alias Declan Rumpelstiltskin— was the kind of guy prissy girls had nightmares about.” “The ugly stepchild of hate was love. That four-letter word had this incredibly unique way of luring a person in, getting them to put their guard down , and striking when they were most vulnerable. Love was what lowered my defenses. Love smacked me with the stupid stick. Love made me weak. Love got me killed. Love turned me into a killer. I didn’t know what love had in store for me, but I didn’t want to find out.” “F***ing fairy tales were written about do-gooders who had made simplistic, popular choices. Those of us who had made choices at great costs were labeled as villains .” I have so many quotes that I can keep adding. There is something for everyone in this story. INTENSE, INTENSE, INTENSE! Everyone has their story to tell and this is about Rumplestiltskin and the Pied Piper. Reader beware: The ending will grab your heart and twist it. The cliffhanger is dangerous! Love this new series!!! “Every fairy tale has a happy ending, but I was no Prince Charming. However, sometimes the bad guys have the greatest romance to tell.” Absolutely true!!!!!!
Penny42058 More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I've read by Sarah J. Pepper, but it will not be the last. I loved her spin on Rumpelstiltskin. Declan Stilts is one sexy man. Piper Miller is one feisty female and I love that Declan's pet name for her is Pied Piper. This is a love story, but it's so much more. You will be surprised at the twists in this book, so go one-click now. I highly recommend this book. I can't wait to read the next one
The_Color_of_Ink More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy the way Sarah twists her fairy tales. Her writing makes sure you are pulled into the characters and their world right from the start. The line between good and evil fades or maybe it just wraps itself around both sides… You can count out characters with their own demons to slay in Sarah J. Pepper’s reads, and this is no exception. I enjoyed the characters and their journey, but there were a few spots where I felt we hit a plateau with them. However, this read and the characters are still worth vesting your reading time with. If you are looking for drama, action, and romance…This is a great book to grab. It’s not your typical romance, but it’s even more reason to snag this story and get to reading as far as I’m concerned. Enjoy Declan and the Pied Piper.
Ladydi232 More than 1 year ago
“Love imprisons fools. It promises freedom, but delivers shackles. Love is nothing but a pretty lie.” A wicked twist on a fairytale. Declan Rumpelstiltskin (Stilts) is a demon who trades wishes for souls. His love for Piper causes him to make some decisions that he later regrets. Piper fights her feelings for the demon Declan and blames him for how she is forced to survive. "I wished my love didn’t run so deep for him. The two emotions were at war. My heart was the battle zone and my body suffered the consequences." Demons, witches, magic, grudges...all combined in an exciting tale of a love that is stronger than life. I can't wait to read more about these characters. *I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
FeliciaT28 More than 1 year ago
I was a given a copy in exchange for an honest review. “Every fairy tale has a happy ending, but I was no Prince Charming. However, sometimes the bad guys have the greatest romance to tell.” I really enjoyed this. It did take some time to get into the story, but then it took off. It was fast paced and nonstop through-out. Declan wasn’t the most likeable character in my opinion. But there were times you could look past his actions, and see how he cared for Piper. I didn’t really connect with Piper at all though. I liked the inclusion of many different fairy tale characters. I like that there’s always a twist, and not everyone is how they seem. I kept trying to keep up and figure out who to trust! Overall I enjoyed the story! “Our love was imperfect in the most perfect way. It was love done our way.” **This does end on a bit of a cliffhanger.
julia-hill More than 1 year ago
Soulless (Once Wicked Series) by Sarah J. Pepper is an amazing story. In this book you start off right after the last book (Priceless) left off. Declan and Piper are full on passionate and you will love their tale. If you loved (or even liked) fairy tales (like Rumpelstiltskin) as a child then this is the book/series to read now that you are older. There is happiness, sadness, passion, tears, and tons more emotions that will pull you in and not let you go. You will not be able to put the book down to sleep or work ;) or anything else. I actually ended up reading this story twice because it was that good. One thing that I love about the actual writing of this book is that the story is told from both Piper and Declans prospective. It lets you see into both of their heads. Please read this book or give this series a chance. It will not disappoint.
BlueEyeBooks More than 1 year ago
Thank you to the author, Sarah J. Pepper, for gifting me with a copy of Soulless in exchange for an honest review! I had a really hard time figuring out what I wanted to rate this book; bouncing between a 3 and a 4 star, I finally settled on 3. Let me explain why I felt so conflicted. 1. The characters. The characters were great in one section, but then a couple of pages later, they turned flat and 2D and were completely lifeless. In the beginning, I loved both Declan and Piper. They both had complex life stories behind them (which I'll address in the next bullet) and had great inner-dialogue's (which I'll also discuss in a later bullet) but as I read on, they never really changed. They were static characters to me. The people Piper meets were okay but a lot of their dialogue and actions didn't feel real at all and I couldn't feel out their characters at all. In general, they were very fuzzy and mushy, although they were interesting people. 2. The background (or lack of it). I didn't realize this when I was reading but this book has a prequel, apparently, that I haven't read although I'm not sure if it's been written and released yet. One of the main things that marred this story for me was the complete lack of background. To be honest, this book felt like the sequel book and I hadn't read the first one (and I know how that feels, believe me!). We're told in the first halfish of the book about things that happened in the past and it seems like they're being told from the perspective of the-author-who-wants-to-recap-so-the-audience-remembers-what-happened. So there was a lot of confusion for me and severely hindered my ability to connect with Piper and Declan. 3. The multiple POV's. This book is told from alternating POV's of Piper and Declan. I really appreciated this for two reasons: it allowed me to understand Piper and Declan more when I didn't have much backstory, and because you read about the events first hand, instead of second hand (Piper isn't present for a lot of what happens to Declan and vise versa). This compensated a little for the lack of background. 4. The plot and setting. I did mostly enjoy the plot. We get to see how Piper adjusts to becoming a demon and being initiated into a world in which she isn't familiar. I loved seeing how she reacted to the reality that she needs to feed off of souls if she wants to stay with Declan, the man she loves. However, towards the end of the middle, I was really confused what the end goal was. There was no large conflict or thing to overcome. And then the ending came. This is where setting comes in. I really loved the setting of Las Vegas and it blended perfectly with the demon world, however getting into the ending scenes, everything became really blurry and I couldn't picture anything anymore. I was really confused what was exactly happening. 5. The formatting. This is something I loved so much and I wanted to make sure I mentioned it. If you read the blurb, you'll see that the author formatted the paragraphs in such a way that reading strictly downwards reveals the sentence: I loved him. This occurs in the book as well except, if you're paying attention, you'll see it turn from love to hate which is so cool and really emphasizes Piper's changing feelings towards her new life and subsequently, Declan. The Final Verdict: View at:
Jazzie More than 1 year ago
A Twisty and Captivating Fairytale Romance **4.5 stars** Note: This review contains NO spoilers Well, Soulless is a fairytale gone dark! This read goes further and deeper from Sarah J. Pepper's short story featured in Fairy Tale Confessions...which is an amazing read as well. Anyways, it is not necessary to read the short story, but I would recommend it. Prologues to stories, I guess in some way, gives a bit of a backdrop/background...or back the story. For me, anyways, the prologue gave me a better understanding of where the main character(s) is coming from. Sarah J. Pepper created these amazing and complex characters whom of which have their own "demons" to deal with. A dark and twisty fairytale romance that doesn't have one of those traditional "happily every after." Being a demon is a long and dangerous journey, and in this story, Piper has only just begun. Declan struggles to keep her safe while guiding her with her transition. Either way, both struggle with their demonic nature and maintaining some semblance of humanity. Moreover, these demons struggle with their love for each other....and dealing with the sacrifices for that love. Plus, there seems to be various minor storylines at play and which could be possible spin-off stories...hmmm. Maybe?!? I was sucked into their world...and followed their struggles and journey in this alluring and dark fairytale romance filled with twists that pulled me in. Sarah J. Pepper has the knack to blur the lines between love and hate, good and evil creating a tantalizingly sexy romance. She interweaves real issues with fantasy/fiction which readers will enjoy...I sure did!
Maari More than 1 year ago
Passionately Heartbreaking Twisted Fairy Tale I was Absolutely entranced with Ms. Pepper's words! From the beginning, she grabbed hold of me. She has a way of always making me love to dislike at least one of her characters, this book was no different, just not the character that you will think it is in the beginning. I look forward to where the next book will take us in their story.
naturalbri More than 1 year ago
Pepper has done it again! I think it would be apt to crown her the queen of fairytale retellings. She not only gives us the tale we know, but ramps up the wickedness, sexy and passion, creating characters that are so real, raw and emotional that you feel as though you are a part of her stories. I loved that this was a continuation of the short she had in Fairytale Confessions. Mostly this was because I fell in love with our mains, during that short, and wanted to know what happened next. She carried on, right where we were left, giving us answers to the questions we were all left asking ourselves. However, we soon realised we had so many more to answer. That is what I love about her reads, and this on in particular. You are always guessing and wondering both what will happen next and just what everything you have already read means. I often am able to guess who a character is, how they affect the storyline and more, with other books, but Pepper's reads are never that case. Just when I think I know, BAM, she lets loose a cannon of surprise. I love that about her and this book specifically. I really like the storyline. I felt that it was a great blend of the passion and romance between the main characters and the evil that our leading lady what having to battle within herself. There was turmoil and, of course, threatened safety. I felt that the story really flowed. It had lots of little details, to fill in between the major events, which really created a full story. The pace was excellent. It went from a faster, threatening pace to the slow, but heated pace of the love between the characters. The added speed, in parts where our leading lady was trying to figure out just who she was and how she was going to deal with that, really gave us great undertones of haste. The detail was superb. I felt as though I knew and understood each of the characters and their actions. I could really submerge myself into the world, and feel a part of it because of the level of detail she put into both the world and the surroundings. Overall, this was a brilliant story. I loved every page, and truly found it hard to put down. It is a great read, which I highly recommend, and I know I am already wanting for more!
nbunch More than 1 year ago
I have been thinking over this book cause I wanted to love Piper but then I would hate her. Declan I could understand didn't speak his feelings or maybe handle the relationship right since he'd been alone for so long but I do wish he said more and did more to assure Piper. Book 2 on its way??
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Omg omg omg I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review and damn did the author deliver. I absolutely love fairy tales and she took this one and ran with it. It had twists and turns galore. This book was unlike any other I've ever read and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. This is the first book I've read by this author but I'm anxious to check out her other works now. If she can pull this one off, which she did, she has some serious writing skills.
RoxyKade More than 1 year ago
I was super excited, when I started reading this story, to realize that it was the continuation of the short I had read in the Fairy Tale Confessions Anthology. Piper and Declan’s story was enthralling, so to be able to get right back into the action was fantastic. Another thing that was really thrilling about this story was Pepper’s reimagining of other fairy tale characters, with the likes of Gepetta, Ula, and Hans and El – not to mention the creepy, Opie. I loved how they were all linked, with Pepper breathing new life into their stories, while still staying true to their origins. Piper and Declan’s romance was filled with crater-sized chasms that often tried to derail them and force them apart. With some many people out to get Declan, wanting to use Piper to hurt him, and his need to shield her from the life he’d forced on her, things were not going to be easy for them. When Gepetta’s plan to destroy Declan’s happiness came to fruition, I truly believed he’d lost Piper for good, and with the ending, I’m not sure if I’ll be proven wrong. I do hope so. I cannot wait to continue on this journey with the most likable pair of demons I’ve ever come to know.