The Debt by Karina Halle ~ Review Tour & Excerpt!

The Debt by Karina Halle ~ Review Tour & Excerpt!Also by this author: Smut
The Debt by Karina Halle
ASIN: B01H2AIKFM
Published by Indie on August 29, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 264
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four-half-stars

Her life changed in an instant. And he's the only one who could have prevented it.

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Pact and The Lie comes a new standalone contemporary romance about those McGregor men.
Her life changed in an instant.

And he's the only one who could have prevented it.

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Pact and The Lie comes a new standalone contemporary romance about those McGregor men.

Jessica Charles shouldn't have even been in London when the unthinkable happened.

She should have been back at home in Edinburgh, perhaps hanging with her boyfriend, having drinks with her sister or doing yoga with her group of friends. She should have been going on in her normal, dependable life as always.

But on that fateful day in August, when a mentally-ill ex-soldier opened fire in public, Jessica's world changed forever.

Now single and crippled from the gunshot wounds, Jessica finds herself scared and alone, losing faith in herself and humanity with each agonizing moment that passes.

That is until a stranger enters her life. A stranger who makes her live again.

Keir McGregor has always been the strong, silent type. Throw in tall, dark, and handsome and you've got pretty much the perfect Scotsman.

Except Keir is anything but perfect. He's got a past he's running away from and a guilty conscience he can't seem to shed. But the more time he spends with Jessica, the more he falls in love with her.

And the more his secret threatens to tear them apart.

He may have been a stranger to her.

But she’s never been a stranger to him.

 

 

 

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Buy links

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Review

I freaking adore Karina Halle. It seems like no matter what she writes, it just speaks to me. I first fell in love with her work with the The Artists Trilogy, which is a darker series. Ever since then, I’ve just devoured whatever she puts out. I love the fact that her writing flows together and just grabs my attention from start to finish, no matter what genre/style she is writing. Dark, funny, light, angst…she’s done it all and I’ve enjoyed every one. The Debt is absolutely no exception. In fact, it brought me my second favorite character out of all her books. Sorry, Keir, Javier still has my heart but you chipped away at it and broke a piece off for yourself. 🙂

Jessica Charles was victim to a mass shooter while visiting friends in London, turning her world upside down. Now she finds herself struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered world and body. The life that she had known before is now all drastically different. She’s scared and feels alone and has to take each day as it comes. Some days OK, some days not OK. It isn’t until a chance run in with a handsome, rough edged man that she discovers just how much she needs someone by her side and help her get through everything.

Keir McGregor has his own story and is also struggling to rebuild his life. His past haunts him constantly and he’s holding on to guilt that is festering inside of him and eating him up. He hasn’t really faced his past as he should but when he meets Jessica, his plans change. He also realizes just how much he needs someone and she seems like the one that just might be made for him. Will his past continue to haunt him and keep him from getting the girl or will he face it head on and conquer them both?

“The world is unforgiving, and if you don’t fight your way though it, you’ll be left behind.”

This story will gut you. Not once, but twice. Possibly more. And to some, that may sound scary but that’s what makes a good book, right? Something that makes you feel so passionately about that you experience the emotions along with the characters. I certainly did that with this. But overall, there’s hope and it will mend you back together. It won’t always be pretty. It will hurt. There are a lot of things in this book that many people can and will relate to one way or another and I think many will be able to connect with both Keir and Jessica.

So, I’ve already said this when I started my review but I love Keir. When I went back to look at my highlights and to process my thoughts about The Debt, almost everything was about him. Something that he said or did that made my heart thump harder and my entire body tingle. He’s this strongly built guy with a huge heart but his haunted by his past. When Jessica comes into his life, you get to really see how kind and loving he is. He ALMOST stole my heart.

“You deserve to feel beautiful”

“I want to make you feel beautiful. Will you let me?”

 

I think that Jessica is a very relatable character. She’s strong and bold and tries to use that to piece her life back together but she’s afraid to admit that she needs help. She’s feisty, stubborn, loyal and loving but a lot of insecurities come from her tragedy. That’s what makes her so human. So relatable.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. If you are looking for a little angst and a lot of hope, coupled with a few “broken” characters, then this might be the book for you. I will always recommend Karina Halle books and this is close to one of the top ones for me.

 

Excerpt

 

“You’re not going anywhere,” he says. “Sit. I’ll get you another drink.”

 

“It’s getting late,” I say feebly but I sit down anyway, my leg giving a protest of pain.

 

“You need something for that?” he says, noticing my wince.

 

“The scotch will do fine,” I tell him quickly, not wanting him to make a fuss. “But really, I should go.”

 

“Why?” he asks from the kitchen. I hear the top pop off the bottle, the slosh of liquid in the glass. “Where do you have to be?”

 

I have to think about that for a moment. He comes over and holds out the glass. “I won’t keep you here if you don’t want to be here. But if you do want to be here, you don’t need to make any excuses.”

 

I take the glass from him, holding it delicately in my fingers. He stands over me, a massive wall, waiting for some kind of response.

 

“I just…” I begin. “I…” I take a sip for bravery. Swallow. “I’m not very good at this.”

 

“Good at what?”

 

“At…this. Being with a man.”

 

When he doesn’t say anything to that, I look up at him. He’s got a peculiar smile on his face, his brows raised. “You call this being with a man?”

 

I clear my throat, feeling my cheeks grow hot. “I mean. I’ve told you before –”

 

“Yes, how you don’t do relationships, how you don’t do sex.”

 

“I never said I don’t do sex,” I remind him quickly.

 

His eyes never stop searching my face. “Then what is it? What are you afraid to say?”

 

I have the sudden urge to flee and I know it must show because he suddenly points at me and says, “Don’t you dare say you have to go again. I want you to go back to what you said, that you’re not good at this. What is this? Us? You and me? There’s nothing mystifying about you and me, Jessica. You know quite well how I feel.”

 

I stare at him in shock. I do? “How?”

 

He looks off with an air of impatience. “I invited you to dinner, you turned me down.”

 

“But then you said just as friends.”

 

“And I meant it. But there are different types of friends. It’s up to you to decide what kind we are.”

 

I put my drink down with a clunk. “Holy pressure.” And now it’s not just my face going hot but my entire body, flushed from head to toe.

 

“You’re on fire, little red,” he says, his gaze skirting over my limbs in such a hungry way I can almost feel them on my skin. “I have to say, I like this look on you. Hot and bothered.”

 

“Back with the innuendos again,” I comment but my voice is weak.

 

“No, no innuendos this time. You came looking for me tonight not because you wanted to confess but because you want something from me. What is it? What do you want from me? What do you think I can give you?”

 

Jesus. This is so utterly unnerving. His words slice right through me, his eyes still peeling under the layers, trying to get at something I’m not even sure of myself.

 

If I lie, he’ll know. I can only be honest with him.

 

“I want…” I take in a deep breath, my eyes breaking away. “I want…company.”

 

“Company?” He sounds surprised.

 

I nod. “That’s the truth. I’m lonely. And I’m afraid. And I’m tired of being both those things. I want to be with someone who makes me forget who I am. You make me feel fearless in a way I didn’t think possible.”

 

There. That’s the truth. Most of it. It hangs in the air, thickening the tension like flour to stock.

 

He sits down next to me, has a mouthful of Scotch. “Wow,” he says, running his hand over the beard on his jaw. “And here I was thinking you wanted my cock.”

 

I burst out laughing. So does he, a big wonderful bellow. The tension in the room eases up a notch.

 

“Sorry,” I tell him when I catch my breath. “I guess they can both mean the same thing.”

 

He sucks in his lip briefly, his eyes taking a lustful turn. “If you want it to.” We stare at each other for a few heavy beats. Then his focus trails back to my gaze and he says, “Why don’t you stay over?”

 

And there I have it. The chance to know what those full lips would feel like on mine, what his skin would taste like. I swallow hard.

 

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four-half-stars

About Karina Halle

Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Racing the Sun, Sins & Needles and over 25 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

Halle is represented by the Waxman Leavell Agency and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.

Hit her up on Instagram at @authorHalle, on Twitter at @MetalBlonde and on Facebook. You can also visit www.authorkarinahalle.com and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.

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