REVIEW AND EXCERPT TOUR: The Debt by Karina Halle

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THE DEBT

By Karina Halle

Publisher: Metal Blonde Books

Publication Date: AUGUST 29, 2016

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.

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29096980-the-debt?ac=1&from_search=true

LINKS

iBooks: http://bit.ly/TheDebt-iBooks

Kindle: http://bit.ly/TheDebt-Kindle

Kobo: http://bit.ly/TheDebt-KOBO

Nook: http://bit.ly/TheDebt-Nook

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Review

“No amount of guilt can change the past and no amount of worrying can change the future.”

This is an important lesson that Jessica Charles and Kier McGregor would do well to learn in Karina Halle’s newest release, The Debt. Both of them carry a heavy burden of self-condemnation due to events in the past that they feel they did nothing to prevent. And both, in a way, feel like what has happened to them is payback for their lack of action and the sins they never paid for.

Halle does a fantastic job of illustrating just how scarred and tortured Jessica and Kier are, both physically and mentally, and how their shame as well as the secrets that they’re keeping from one another wreak havoc on them, leaving them broken and damaged but not yet forgiven.

Jessica’s life changed dramatically with one incident because that event led to a series of actions in which she lost all parts of her old self and needed to create a new life without truly knowing how she could redefine herself when the things that defined her no longer were an option. She sees herself as damaged goods…as unlovable…as a disfigured woman whose scars do more to define her than how others feel about her do. She’s always been a positive person, never complaining about her lot in life, always getting back up when she’s fallen because that’s what she expects from herself, and for some unexplained reason, a stranger seems to make her burden easier…seems to pull her up when she needs it…seems to push her instead of coddle her until his unspoken truth almost destroys her once again.

Kier is a solider plagued with guilt, and the only way that burden can be lifted is by begging Jessica for mercy…by paying back the debt he owes to her because she suffered at the hands of a man Kier should have tried harder to prevent from going off the deep end. But what he finds in Jessica is so much more than a way to ease his guilt. He finds someone who he wants to protect and love, and even if he doesn’t deserve it because no longer living in shame means trusting Jessica with his truths, something he doesn’t think he’s capable of doing, Kier is in too deep with her to walk away and ruin the one person who allowed him to live again.

The Debt is an emotional journey for both the main characters and its readers. Returning from the dark depths of guilt can be a daunting process, especially when amends haven’t been made or even exposed. But even though that undertaking can leave people raw and exposed, it can also be a freeing experience – a necessary step to taking one’s life back and rising up out of the darkness and into the light. Because a solid future can be had as long as what steps are taken to achieve that are honest and sincere.

A complimentary copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

4 Poison Apples

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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Halle Headshot

About the Author

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 http://www.authorkarinahalle.com and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.

LINKS:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Karina-Halle/140649372629593

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetalBlonde

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4785031.Karina_Halle?from_search=true

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/Karina-Halle/e/B0050KE63C/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1407546895&sr=8-2-ent

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