Blog Tour, Review & Excerpt ♥ The Debt by Karina Halle

September 2, 2016 Angela Blog Tours, Excerpts, Reviews, Romance

Blog Tour, Review & Excerpt ♥ The Debt by Karina HalleThe Debt by Karina Halle
Published by Metal Blonde Books on August 29th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 264
Format: ARC
four-half-stars

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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.

Go ahead and call me a skeptic. I read The Pact and The Lie, and I confess I’m in the minority of people who didn’t care for either. I’d all but given up on the McGregor series. In fact, I was thisclose to not reading The Debt, but some friends encouraged me by saying the series keeps getting better. I decided to take a chance on this book—fully prepared for disappointment mind you—and it really paid off.

You can tell Karina Halle put a great deal of thought and time in developing two amazingly sympathetic characters. When Jessica and Keir meet, it’s surprising how very similar they are. Both are with dealing PTSD—albeit in different ways. Jessica was a victim of a terrorist attack, leaving her physically impaired, so her scars are more visible. However, Keir’s wounds are no less real. In addition, the choices they made in the past have resulted in emotional devastation in the present. You wind up with two shattered individuals who are drowning in pain, guilt, and many secrets, but they just may be able to help heal each other’s brokenness.

“I love every broken part of you and how well it fits with every broken part of me.”

I appreciated each character’s growth and the steady progression of their love affair. Jessica is a fighter who’s not prone to self-pity. Keir is a strong and compassionate man, and he has some of the smoothest, swoon worthy lines.

“Damsel in distress? Maybe that’s what you fear you are, but I’m telling you it’s not. I’m not attracted to weak girls with tepid hearts and sheltered minds. I want the woman who will wow me, knock me off my feet, make me come after her over and over again just for another second of her time.”

Still, I felt frustrated with Keir sometimes, and I wondered how Jessica could pour out her heart to someone who was obviously keeping his own secrets close to the vest. If he’s holding back major parts of himself, how could she fully know and trust him?

“The past is just a place of reference. Nothing more, nothing less. The real question is, what are you going to do going forward.”

Yes, he encouraged her, supported her, and loved her, but his unwillingness to take his own advice made him a hypocrite. The thing is Jessica is an entirely different person than I, dealing with a tragedy I can’t begin to understand. Of course she would handle situations differently than I would.

The Debt is emotional and heartwarming. With fully developed characters and superb plotting, it’s just an overall enjoyable read. For all you fans of the previous McGregor books, I have no doubt that you’ll love The Debt. To those who may have been disappointed before, I say give this book a shot. You just might be pleasantly surprised.

 

Recommended for fans of:
Survivors
Second chances

**ARC received in exchange for an honest review.**

 

The Debt Available Now

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.

Save

Save

four-half-stars

About Karina Halle

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, Twitter and 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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