Review: The Debt by Karina Halle

January 02, 2017

The Debt by Karina Halle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Standalone - The McGregor Brothers #5
Release: August 29, 2016
Length: 264 pages

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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My Review

3.5 stars!

First and foremost, let me say that I adore Karina Halle's writing. I read The Pact and I loved it. I assumed I would love this book too. Until I didn't.


It started off great. The prologue was intense and really set the stage for the FMC's development and I was committed to seeing how things would turn out for her. But then I stopped liking her altogether. I understand that she went through a traumatic experience. I got that she had a horrific childhood. I even sympathized with her. But I still didn't like her.


She was bitchy... whiny... ungrateful... inconsiderate... and selfish. Everything was about her and poor Keir got scraps. I wasn't convinced of her feelings for him. She didn't GIVE!! Keir was just too blinded by his love for her to see. Lucky bitch.

Anyway, speaking of Keir, I did love his character. He totally saved this story for me. He was suffering from PTSD, survivor's guilt, and also lots of pain and grief and loss. And he also felt responsible for what Jessica went through (even though he really wasn't). Yet he was a trooper. His life wasn't all roses and champagne. He went through more than most people ever do, but he tried to make peace with it and with himself. I enjoyed every time he tried to combat Jessica's negativity, boost her spirit, or impart some wisdom.

"I want the woman that will wow me, knock me off my feat, make me come after her over and over again just for another second of her time."

"Then I realized that you can appreciate the memories and the good times, no matter how rare they are, without condoning all the shit that happened to you. You should never feel guilty for trying to pull the good out of the bad."

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

The climax of the story was expected and I wasn't surprised by Jessica's reaction. Overall the story was angsty, steamy and I loved Keir.


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