Thursday, September 1, 2016

Tour Stop + Review The Debt by Karina Halle

the debt 0 days         The Debt AMAZON 

 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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“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.

Shanda's 4 star review

The Debt was a pretty emotional read. Jessica and Keir are both just trying to survive. The book opens with Jessica and the event that took out her leg when she was attacked in a mass shooting. I thought Halle did a great job with this and I actually found it kind of hard to read in light of what is happening in our world. It was very vivid and scary.

The story then takes us to Jessica’s recovery several months later and her struggles. She feels lost and scared because her leg is still in a cast and the fear of the unknown is eating at her. Jessica meets Keir at a pub when she goes to have a drink trying to gain some of independence back. Keir is struggling with PTSD and a massive amount of guilt over what happened with his friend.

I was frustrated with the secret that Keir kept from Jessica as long as he did. It became so drawn out that I kept focusing on it and not the story at times. I think for her healing and his, this should have been revealed sooner but it was drawn out until almost the end so it felt like a rushed HEA. All that being said I really liked both characters and I think what they were going through was very real and painful. One particular scene with Jessica and the ocean got to me because I have witnessed a family member in so much pain and despair that the depression and fear take over. It is very scary thing for love ones to witness.

In the end this was a good story about two survivors finding strength from each other to go on and live free of guilt and pain.

P.S. – The toe scene was super gross. Not that I am completely opposed to this act but it was the context that was icky. You will have to read it to understand. 

Review by Iza 

The start of this book is pretty brutal and raw and so very real, it made my heart ache. I immediately knew I'd love the heroine, Jessica and I wasn't wrong.

She's strong, considering the traumatic event she through and has every right out there to fall apart. But she doesn't. She tries and does her damnedest to hold it together. For her sister, for herself. She's also recently out of a relationship - I wanted to smack her ex for being a major douchebag - so she's even more vulnerable. Her chance encounter with our hero, Keir - God, I love that man - is the actual start of both of their healing process. As individuals but also as a couple.

Because you see, Keir has his own demons, they're breathing down his neck and won't let him rest. He has this huge guilt weighing him down and he needs to be forgiven for what he did.

This story will most likely make your heart hurt; it will most likely also have you melt and fan yourself. I love how Lachlan made a couple of appearances, he'll always be my fave KH hero.

I really liked this book and I recommend it. 4 stars. I want to thank the author for the copy given in exchange for my honest review. It was my pleasure.



     Halle Headshot 

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 and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more. 


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