The Hopeless Romantics Book Blog are pleased to be a part of the Blog Tour for Karina Halle's "The Debt."
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2byrKHY
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.
Karina Halle is like the gift that just keeps on giving and boy oh boy is she being generous when it comes to those McGregor boys. I dare you to read at least one of the books that centres around this family of rugged, hot as hell men and not fall head over heals in love with them because trust me, from the moment you meet each of them and get their story, they'll have you eating out of the palm of their hands. "The Debt" is the 5th book in this series (but not a series) of standalones and I can whole heartedly say that this author has definitely not lost momentum when it comes to delivering addictive, unique and captivating story lines that revolve around the McGregors.
“You can’t base your life on could haves and should haves.
Those words will put you in the ground faster than anything."
From the opening pages, Kier and Jessica's story had me by the metaphorical balls. Wow, what an explosive way to start a book. This was one story where I almost knew what was going to happen but I was helpless to stop it. It was like watching a beautiful disaster unravel, the possible aftermath enough to make me look away but I couldn't. I needed to know, had to know how this would all end. I needed to know if there was light at the end of what appeared to be a very dark tunnel for two characters that I couldn't help but feel for. "The Debt" was such a tragic, heart breaking story that had a healthy dose of angst and sense of foreboding that had me glued to the pages. However, it definitely wasn't all doom and gloom. Weaved amongst that was a beautiful love story, this author's signature humour and of course a whole heap of heat. Kier is a McGregor after all and those men are definitely not backwards in coming forwards when it comes to the bedroom department thats for sure.
Sometimes… we have a war in our hearts. We’re torn in two
directions. The way we feel and the way we should feel.
They rarely align. The battle goes on.
So Kier McGregor, lordy dordy did this man play havoc with my emotions. I could see that his heart was in the right place and that he was trying desperately to do the right thing but a relationship built on lies was definitely not the way to go. I truly felt for him because it was almost like he was digging himself a hole and the further his relationship got with Jessica, the deeper that hole became. There were moments I wondered how in the hell he would manage to claw his way back out. Survivors guilt coupled with self blame and this man really was on a downward spiral.
Jessica's life was turned on its head in the blink of an eye and she was trying desperately to get through life, one day at a time. I put myself in her shoes and I'm sure I could be as strong or as brave as she was. Add into the mix a past that she had never really dealt with and she too was as tragically broken as kier. I wondered so many times whether these two would be good for each other. Each had such a heavy heart, each was burdened with so much baggage (for want of a better word) and I wondered whether they could be the glue that would put the other back together again.
“I love every broken part of you and how well it fits with every broken part of me.”
"The Debt" was a brilliant addition to this series (but not a series) and the cherry on top for me was signature travel guide this author discreetly weaved amongst the pages. I was in Scotland and was traveling Route 500 right alongside Kier and Jessica. I live in the UK and myself and my husband have often talked about taking this journey. This has made me want to do it even more!!!
I wasn’t running from something. I was running to something.
Absolution. She has red hair and a sunshine smile.
Thank you to Karina Halle for giving me Kier's story, a story about survival, love, life, forgiveness and absolution. I rated it ❤️❤️❤️❤️
“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.
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.