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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.

264 pages, Kindle Edition

First published August 29, 2016

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About the author

Karina Halle

116 books16.4k followers
Karina Halle is a screenwriter, a former music & travel journalist, and the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, & USA Today bestselling author of River of Shadows, The Royals Next Door, and Black Sunshine, as well as 70 other wild and romantic reads, ranging from light & sexy rom coms to horror/paranormal romance and dark fantasy. Needless to say, whatever genre you're into, she's probably written a romance for it.

When she's not traveling, she and her husband split their time between a possibly haunted 120 year-old house in Victoria, BC, their sailboat the Norfinn, and their condo in Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.authorkarinahalle.com

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 509 reviews
Profile Image for ✦❋Arianna✦❋.
790 reviews2,530 followers
September 1, 2016
4.5 Stars!!


You all know by now how much I love this author's stories and her writing. She’s not only a fantastic, versatile author, but she’s also a great writer who with her effortless storytelling always manages to make me forget for a couple of hours about everything around me. 'The Debt' was my second book by her McGregor men and I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed the first one. It was more emotional than I thought it will be, but so well written and I honestly enjoyed every minute of it. It’s a story about learning to forgive yourself, moving on and finding love when you least expect it.

“You make me feel fearless in a way I didn’t think possible.”

Jessica’s life is not perfect, but it’s a good one. She loves her job as a yoga instructor, she’s in a long-term relationship and she has many great, supportive friends. Her life changes irrevocably when she finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. What happens with her scars her not only physically, but also emotionally. With each and every day she’s learning to come to terms with her new disability and also to accept her new reality.

"I wasn't running from something. I was running to something. Absolution. She has red hair and a sunshine smile."

Kier McGregor has been running away from his past for a while now. He feels so much guilt for what he saw and experienced in his years in the military and feels so much regret for the things he could have changed and wasn’t able to. He suffers from PTDS and every day he struggles to accept certain facts.

When he meets Jessica he is taken aback by her beauty and bravery. They start to spend more and more time together, helping each other in some way or another and slowly becoming something more than friends. But Keir has a secret, secret that has the power to destroy everything between them.


This was such a great read! It was equally heartwarming and heartbreaking and I loved both aspects. I enjoyed the pace of the story, how the two main characters’ backgrounds were developed and how the relationship between them unfolded.

Both Jessica and Keir were wonderful characters and I fell in love with both of them as the story progressed. I sympathize with both of them and I really enjoyed their portrayal. They were well developed, had depth and I found them to be very endearing. Jessica was a great heroine. She was sweet, loving, tender, shy at times, but also wild other times. I really loved her strength and tenacity. I loved Keir’s personality. He was an alpha male as the story progressed, but he also was sweet, caring and thoughtful. He was perfect for our heroine and I loved the fact that with his words and actions he made Jessica want to live again. The way he treated Jessica with so much tenderness was pure and simple beautiful.

“The way he’s kissing me lights my body on fire, puts the sun in my soul. I can’t remember the last time I’ve felt like this, and in these heady moments, just his mouth, his taste, his hands at my chin, in my hair, I’m someone else entirely.”

I loved these two characters’ banter and also the believable way their relationship progressed. The way they were with each other was sweet and really heartwarming and their chemistry between them was wonderfully done. Their sexy times were off the charts hot - sexy, intense, emotional, I loved every single one of them.

I also loved the wonderful vivid descriptions of the Scottish countryside. I really felt like I was there with these two characters. Karina Halle did an amazing job with this aspect of the story.

Overall, this was another great story by Mrs. Halle. If you love your reads emotional and your characters a little damaged, but well developed and very endearing, then I highly recommend this one!

Profile Image for Christy.
3,916 reviews33k followers
July 10, 2020
4.5 stars!

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The Debt is a highly emotional and intense read with broken characters and a beautiful romance. These are my most favorite types of romances. When broken characters find each other and find healing with one another. There is nothing better! Halle creates two beautifully broken people with a stunning love story between them!

The story starts out with Jessica Charles visiting London. She’s at the wrong place at the wrong time and ends up being the victim of an extreme tragedy. She survived, but its forever changed her life. Keir was a soldier. He’s experienced a lot of things in his career. He has PTSD and carries a lot of guilt for things he’s seen, and things he feels he should have done differently. After one of Jessica’s support meetings, Keir and Jessica meet, but it’s not by accident.

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Jessica is not ready for a relationship. She’s still coping with her life changing in such an extreme way, but Keir McGregor is someone who quickly becomes irresistible to her. Keir makes her feel brave, makes her feel good about herself and makes her feel beautiful and wanted. He is exactly what she needs right now. But Keir has demons of his own. As much as he tries to hide it, his PTSD comes out from time to time.

After Keir and Jessica have been seeing each other for a bit, Keir decides to take Jessica on a bit of an adventure. Getting to see Jessica and Keir travel was one of the best parts of the book. The scenery was so vivid it was almost like you were there with them. I loved the way the romance between these two characters developed. Their story was touching. It was beautiful, and oh so steamy! Karina really outdid herself with this one when it comes to the sexy time between these two!
I’m on fire everywhere. Her moans pour gasoline on the flames.

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The Debt is a romance, but it’s not just a romance. It’s a story of survival, overcoming challenges, forgiveness and strength. Both of these characters exhibited so much strength. Jessica and Keir are both fantastic. I love when I love a leading man and lady equally. If you’re like me and love broken characters and highly charged, emotional reads, this is one you don’t want to miss out on!
“I’m yours, little red. All of me. All the good, all the bad, all the truth. All yours.”

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Profile Image for Pavlina Read more sleep less blog  .
2,434 reviews4,592 followers
August 29, 2016
LIVE http://amzn.to/2bLlO1t


Such a fantastic story. Karina delivers a beautiful, emotional, intense and sexy story. The Debt was a little bit different from the other books but yet so perfect. Karina did an amazing job with the storyline, and I was hooked from the prologue and while I continue reading I find myself don't want to finish it because I loved it so much.bNot many authors have this ability to me but with Karina this always happening!


The Debt is a story about two broken souls who find each other when both need it. I loved Keir and Jessica. Their relationship was perfect in epic proportions. Jessica thought her way to survive was to isolate herself from people who could hurt her emotionally until the moments she meets sexy and mysterious Keir in a bar. She is immediately impressed by him. Keir is a man with his own daemons from his past. I loved this man, I was melting and swooning all the time!!!! And the way he felt for Jessica make me want him even more.


This is by far one of my favorite stories it touched me in so many ways!!! I'm so excited for you guys to meet Keir and Jessica. I highly recommend it to everyone.



Profile Image for Rachel  L.
1,867 reviews2,240 followers
August 30, 2016
4 stars!

Karina Halle sure knows how to bring on the feels! And ignite my wanderlust as well.

Jessica Charles was the victim of a tragic occurrence one random day in London. The Canadian beauty was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and her life changed forever. Keir was a soldier, he left the army and feels regret and guilt over the things he could have changed and wasn’t able to. Jessica and Keir cross paths and the attraction between the two is instantaneous. But Keir’s secrets threaten to tear them apart, and the longer he keeps them from Jessica, the more they tear them apart.

“The only man who would want to be with me has to be damaged himself.”

From the prologue in this book, Karina Halle had me at the edge of my seat. This was a very emotional book, very different from anything else I’ve read by this author before. I love that Halle’s books change with every next one, that she always brings something new to the table when she gives us another story. And yet again after reading one of this author's books am I hit with the desire to travel to a foreign country. I've never been to Scotland, but after reading this book I feel as if I have. Halle really knows how to construct a visual landscape for the reader and to set up a scene perfectly.

Jessica and Keir’s story isn’t full of rainbows and unicorns, it’s full of harsh realities and strength. Their love comes from a raw and vulnerable place. I’m glad Halle wrote this couple’s story and I look forward to what comes next from her in the future.

“You can’t base your life on could haves and should haves. Those words will put you in the ground faster than anything/”

ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review

Profile Image for XxTainaxX Curvy and Nerdy.
1,476 reviews459 followers
August 29, 2016
Keir seeks out an injured Jessica yet meets her entirely by chance. He has a debt he feels he owes and the more time he spends with the pretty woman, the more he's drawn to her. The turmoil Jessica and Keir go through on this story was done extremely well. The writer digs deep into her characters' psyche to pull what turns out to be deeply emotional characterization and development. As individuals, I liked that though they didn't have everything all figured out, they were putting a strong foot forward. Together, they complimented one another and had great chemistry. In bed, these two were flipping hot! The plot touched on survivor's guilt, PSTD, and depression with tact. All in all a good read. Safety: No OW/OM/Sharing. No rape/abuse.

ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for warhawke.
1,331 reviews2,013 followers
September 5, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – Dual

Jessica Charles was a yoga instructor who aspired to open her own studio. But a cruel fate rendered her both physically and emotionally crippled. She refused to open up her heart and face the wound until a stranger led her to the right direction.

Kier McGregor was an ex military man. As a Lance Corporal, he was responsible for his team's well being. When something bad happened, he couldn't shake off the blame and vowed to make amends and pay the debt. He saw a kindred spirit in Jessica and wanted to show her what life could still offer. But he had his own personal demon to chase away and a secret that could ruin their future.

I've only read the first McGregor men book, and when I saw the blurb and how this one is potentially heartbreaking, I couldn't resist it. It wasn't as sad as I prefer but it was definitely beautifully written.

There is only harm in the truth. It would unburden my guilt but it would make her feel compromised.

Kier was burdened with guilt since he left the military. He desperately needed to clear his conscience and Jessica was the answer. I love how protective he was even when he himself needed to be soothed.

You shouldn’t have to change your whole world in order to make someone realize they want you.

Jessica lost everything with nothing to look forward too. I love how she let Kier in even when she shut off the rest of the world. I could feel both her physical and emotional pain.

My favorite type of character is the highly vulnerable, broken kind, and in this book, it applies to both of them. In their brokenness, they helped mend each other.

I feel a bit like Catherine as she roamed the moors, looking for Heathcliff. It’s so isolated here, just the unending peat and heather, the peaks in the distance.

One of my favorite aspects of the book is the sweeping locations. The descriptions paired with author's location photos on her Instagram really helped transported me into the story especially with the fact that I absolutely love ruins.

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

The Debt is a story of two individuals bound by a tragedy and how they chase away each other's demons. With beautiful ruins to match the broken souls, it is bound to sweep you off your feet.

✿ ARC won through #ShhSummerBuzzBooks ✿

For more reviews/reveals/giveaways visit:

Profile Image for Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth.
794 reviews892 followers
August 31, 2016

5 Mermaid Stars

Prettier review @ Vanilla & Spice Books

Imagine you go about your day, thinking nothing about the things you usually do. You go to work, go for a beer, you think shopping is what you want to do right now and all of sudden your life changes. In the blink of an eye you are thrown into chaos. This is what happens to Jessica in Karina Halle's new installement of her McGregor men.

Jessica is the victim of a terrorist attack. Not a terrorist from abroad. A terrorist who used to fight for the country she lives in, yet something must have shifted, because he just goes ahead and shoots people in the middle of London's Oxford Street. Jessica survives the attack but is left with a mangled leg and a huge case of survivors guilt. The survivor in her knows that she needs help so she finds a support group of people who live with PTSD. After one of her meetings she goes to a pub where she meets Keir McGregor. The attraction is instant but she has no business to burden somebody with her messed up life.

Keir has been living with guilt too. He is the reason why Jesscia was shot. His only thought surrounding the attack on Oxford Street is "if only I had said something...". He wants to make it up to the beauty he doesn't exactly meet by chance. The more often he sees her, though, the deeper he falls for her brave heart and her strength. There is only one problem...how can he tell her that he is guilty for her to be shot in the first place?

"I wasn't running from something. I was running to something. Absolution. She has red hair and a sunshine smile."

Karina Halle gives us again two completely damaged and flawed souls who both have to face their own demons to receive absolution. They don't realize that they have to forgive themselves before they can gain it from somebody else. Jessica is incredibly strong and her way to healing is hard and stony. Keir is the person who holds her hand along the way but doesn't let her pity herself too much and gets her out of her head if things get too intense. He is sweet, careful and tender with her, her wellbeing and feelings are always put above his own. I loved this about him. He treats her with reverence, as if she were a delicate flower, yet he knows that she has immense strength.

Each of them is brave in their own way and while Keir thinks he is bound to lose his girl if he reveals his role in her tragedy he still does everything to soften the blow and doesn't give up to help Jessica heal and find a footing in life again.

This story is about forgiving yourself, even if there is nothing to forgive. The slow burn between Keir and Jessica was all kinds of sweet and sexy. The development of their relationship was absolutely plausible, their way to salvation emotional and intense. Their love is raw and complicated and has something desperate that more often than not is not healthy in real life.

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

Karina Halle's McGregor men are always alpha but also always swoonworthy and sweet. I have read all of them (except Brigs but he'll follow soon) and each and everytime I was swept off my feet by them. Not only is Ms. Halle a master of character driven stories she also has an incredible talent for making the Scottish landscape appear in your mind with her vivid description. I am pretty sure that this is not the last we've heard about this family and I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

“I’m yours, little red. All of me. All the good, all the bad, all the truth. All yours.”

Profile Image for ~♡AB♡~.
974 reviews667 followers
August 26, 2016
★★★★★ 5 Stars ★★★★★

Kier McGregor is a beautifully broken man. Not only does he suffer from PTSD after his days in the British armed forces, but following the events of an unforeseen tragedy in Oxford Street one sunny afternoon, he also suffers from an extreme amount of guilt. Guilt that he didn't do something to prevent a huge amount of anguish, and guilt that he survived when his comrades in war didn't.

Our Canadian heroine Jessica is also suffering from the events of that day in London, and whilst she is learning to come to terms with her disability and the nightmares, she meets a man in her hometown of Edinburgh who she thinks may be able to help her through the bad times.

Kier is hiding a secret, but for once he just wants to be happy and enjoy spending time with a beautiful woman, so he offers to take her on a road trip to the Highlands and just go with the flow.

"I wasn't running from something. I was running to something. Absolution. She has red hair and a sunshine smile."

I literally read this book in one sitting, which is a rarity for me these days. It flowed so well and the pacing was perfect. I loved the banter between Jessica and Kier, and their chemistry, as it always is in a Karina Halle book, was off the charts. You can't help but fall in love with him, he was so wonderfully alpha, but also very sweet. And Jessica, she was a brave and witty woman who was strong enough to be able face her fears, without becoming lost in herself.

This was an emotional and heartfelt read, with lots of sexy moments that will make you hot under the collar - plus we have the added bonus of all the wonderful descriptions of the Scottish countryside. If you are a follower of Karina's instagram, you will know that she posted a lot of pictures during her trip there this year, and it definitely added to my reading experience looking back and seeing the places she was describing so vividly.

Another winner, and a well deserved five stars.

The Debt is a standalone contemporary romance, told in dual POV.

ARC gratefully received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Images featured in this review were created by me using stock images either purchased from deposit photo or from free stock sites.

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Profile Image for Angela (Reading Frenzy Book Blog).
957 reviews452 followers
August 31, 2016
4.5 stars

Go ahead and call me a skeptic. I read The Pact and The Offer, 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 and 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 into 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:
Second chances

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

Reading Frenzy Book Blog
Profile Image for Jenny••Steamy Reads Blog••.
987 reviews1,850 followers
July 30, 2017
This was a good book, I liked it, I loved Keir, but....... I could go on and list all the buts I have with this book, but I'm not going to, simply because I really did enjoy this book.
The whole story, the lie, the misunderstanding, the situation that never is spoke of between Keir and Jessica is the one thing that drove me crazy from the start. Of course you know what will happen once it comes out, it's a complete given and totally expected, however Ms Halle's writing makes it very easy to bare and she of course makes it easy to love. These two characters have instant chemistry and it's amazing to read about. They are cute, they're perfect together, and they totally get one another, even without knowing all the dark secrets being held back. Having to deal with emotional and horrific tragedies, these characters feed of each other well. Overall, besides all the buts, I really did like this one =))
My Keir:❤
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My Jessica:
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Profile Image for MELISSA *Mel Reader*.
1,360 reviews1,429 followers
August 29, 2016
5 I Am His Stars!
(ARC provided by author)

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Jessica Charles is a 30 yr. old beautiful woman from Canada. After her mother passes away she moves to Edinburgh, Scotland to be closer to her sister. She teaches yoga & has a serious boyfriend, & life is good until she takes a trip to London that forever changes her world. While on the streets of London, a mentally ill ex-soldier opens fire. Jessica is shot and returns home a shell of the person she used to be. She's angry, & feels she will never be the same person she once was.

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After looking death in the eye, she lives with fear & flashbacks. She used to feel like a strong, independent woman, but now just feels like a hot mess. She doesn't want to need anyone & hates feeling crippled & helpless. Wanting to feel whole again she attends a trauma survivor group every Tuesday night at a local church to help with the PTSD.

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One evening after her meeting she heads across the street to the St. Vincent Pub to get a drink. She meets a gorgeous stranger named Keir McGregor, who makes her forget her troubles. She has no clue Keir knows who she is, & since leaving the Army had been searching for her. Keir feels indebted to her since he feels like he could have prevented the tragedy that happened to her. He lives with a guilty conscience & like Jessica suffers from survivors guilt.

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Keir and Jessica begin spending more time together & their attraction continues to ignite. Keir is there for Jessica & makes her want to truly live again. With Keir she feels stronger than ever & more like her old self. They begin to fall for one another and things turn intimate.

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-He is so, so beautiful.

-I crave his heart. His beautiful, giant heart. I want it all to myself, I want hold onto it and worship it and love it with all the power of my own.

-"You make me be more than I think I can be. You believe in me and when I don't believe in myself, that counts for everything."

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As their relationship gets more serious, Jessica senses Keir is keeping a part of himself hidden. She feels he's somehow broken too & wishes he'd trust her with his darkness.

Keir still feels responsible for what happened to Jessica. He blames himself & wants her forgiveness. He's running from his past & it threatens to destroy everything he has with Jessica. He's worried the truth might be too much to handle, & secrets always have a way of coming out.

I really loved this book! It was such a beautiful story about two broken people who heal and find strength through love.

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-"You're not just beautiful, little red, your bold. You eat guys like me for breakfast. And guys like me wouldn't mind one bit."

-I want to know her body inside and out. I want to make her feel so alive that she'll realize that she never knew what living was before me.

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Profile Image for Amy | Foxy Blogs.
1,474 reviews975 followers
February 7, 2017
Karina Halle has created another winner! I didn’t read the blurb before I started this book so I was taken by surprise with the opening scene. Something in that same magnitude touched my life personally on Oct. 2015. It happened an hour from my house and my friend’s son was the victim of that tragedy. So, reading that opening scenes made my heart pound out of my chest because I could feel the raw emotions that Jessica experienced as she was out enjoying her day when in an instance everything changed.

Okay, enough about that opening scene, I mean it’s important because it’s the foundation of THE DEBT but there’s more to the story than that scene. The story is about two broken people, Jessica & Keir, who find healing through each other. Their healing process is a lengthy one that at times is a costly one. Both must deal with their past to find the life they have dreamt of. Never quitting on themselves or each other is what endears the readers to these two. Even after some hard truths about their past comes to surface these two have some enlightened moments that teach them how best to connect with the other person.

Readers will love that Karina Halle wrote a story that touches on our military and mental illness because it’s a powerful story that offers hope, love, and acceptance.

The Debt is a standalone set in Edinburgh. It’s set in the same universe as The Offer, The Play, The Lie and The Pact.


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Profile Image for Eliza.
664 reviews835 followers
August 29, 2016

★4.5 stars★

It's just like me to do things backwards. You see, this past July I got to meet Karina Halle at a book signing in Edinburgh. She was lovely and sweet, and I thought to myself, I really should get back into reading her books. So when the opportunity came to read The Debt, I jumped at the chance.

If I get the chance to meet her at another signing, I'd tell her how much I enjoyed her gritty but emotional love story. I'd explain that its theme of guilt, forgiveness and redemption held me captive from its attention-grabbing prologue to its heart-warming epilogue. I'd gush over Keir McGregor and his panty-melting protective ways, and proclaim my admiration Jessica - who at her lowest ebb found the strength to rise, and give a piece of herself even when she thought she had nothing left to give.

At this point, (if I weren't getting evil daggers from those next in line) I'd go on lament about the wonderful imagery she created of Scotland's beauty, and how at times its harness reflexed the mood of the story.

And as I prepared to take my leave, I'd squeeze in how touching I felt their story was and that it was the perfect choice for me to reintroduce to her novels - which I'd be sure to pick up again.

Profile Image for Jayme.
430 reviews444 followers
September 1, 2016
It was my first book of Karina Halle, and a very good experience. How I didn't know that there is Scotland theme in this series, I have no idea, but you learn your whole life, and I already know that I will have to catch up on the entire series!

“I’m damaged goods in so many ways and the only man who would want to be with me has to be damaged himself.”

About the plot: Jessica Charles was in the wrong place at the wrong time. She was caught in the open fire to people on the streets of London by a mentally-ill former soldier. She was shot and survived, but her life will never be the same. Mentally and physically damaged, she must learn to deal with her new reality.

Keir McGregor is damaged himself. He served in the army for 8 years, and his last mission did not end well. He decided to leave the army and pay off the debt to those who suffer because of him. He never expected that he will gain much more than redemption.

“I wasn’t running from something.
I was running to something. Absolution.
She has red hair and a sunshine smile.”

Final thoughts: This is a very beautiful story about broken and damaged people who learn to live with the survivor's guilt. Who find in each other peace, friendship and finally love. This is an emotional story, but also a very uplifting and inspiring. Surprisingly it is also very sexy. Damn, girl. Here may not be much erotic scenes, but they are hot and full of passion. There are also moments in which you smile from ear to ear.

You probably do not know, but I am crazy about Scotland. I dream of a trip around this beautiful country. And our heroes are going on an road trip, so it was even more encouraging for me. Unfortunately, it could take too much of the plot and may be boring for some. But just look at places where they were, and how can you not want to go to Scotland. Impossible.

Return to the story, it's very good written. The characters are interesting, complex, and you can easily fall in love with them and their journey for love. You're reading this and you can't tear yourself away. Everyone will want to read a happy ending for this couple. It is absolutely beautiful and worth to know.

“I am strong.
I have armor.
A bulletproof heart and resolve of steel.
I don’t need anyone but me.
But of course the truth is that my armor has chinks. My heart has cracks.
And the steel is corroding at the edges.
I do need someone.
Maybe even him.
My stranger.”

***Quick Review:***

Series: The fifth in The McGregors series. Each can be read as a stand-alone.
Grade: Contemporary Romance.
Release Date: August 29th 2016
Main characters: Jessica Charles, thirty years old, yoga teacher. Keir McGregor, thirty-eight, ex-soldier.
Secondary characters: We have a few scenes with other McGregor's men, also Jessica's sister, but it mainly revolves around the main couple.
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland.
Sensitive topic:
Love triangle:
Next in the series? Don't know.
If I'd recommend? Yes. Especially if you like emotional stories about broken people who get up and learn to live again.

ARC kindly provided in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

Profile Image for  Sonya ♕Chatterbooks book blog♕.
975 reviews1,114 followers
August 27, 2016
★★★★4 Stars★★★★

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This was one emotional read about forgiveness, self discovery, and finding your one true love.Keir and Jessica took us on a emotional journey with the battle scars to prove it. You think you know what's going to happen when two damaged people find the missing pieces in one another? Think again.

Jessica thought that her life was pretty good. Being a yoga instructor, have a good boyfriend and best friends that would do anything for her, life was pretty damn sweet. Until she came face to face with a horrendous tragedy that that not only scarred her physically, but emotionally as well. Nearly two months later, she's trying her best to move on with her life and pick up the pieces. But that's easier said than done.

" I am strong. I have armor. A bulletproof heart and resolve of steel. I don't need anyone but me. But of course the truth is that my armor has chinks. My heart has cracks. And the steel is corroding at the edges.

Keir Mcgregor has had a rough couple of months. Escaping death and living to tell about it has been a difficult thing to do but nothing compares to the guilt. Now he's on a mission to right a wrong and when he meets Jessica, the guilt that's been waging a war inside his head will soon take a back burner. But secrets always has a way of coming out and the aftermath will soon be his demise.

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"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. I know what it's like to stand in the middle of that battlefield and not know which side to fight on".

I absolutely LOVED the change of scenery that this story took on. Every location was told in a such great detail you literally felt like you were there. I wanted to visit these places, lay on the grass and drink beers with Keir and Jessica. They definetely had their ups and down and it wasn't easy for Jessica at certain times but she showed strength and determination through it all.

As for Keir, I adored him so much. He was sweet without being bad for my health, loving when you least expected it and protective when it was needed.If you've read the previous books in the series, then you're going to love this one. Keir and Jessica were the epitome of love and strength and I highly recommend this one.

*Arc kindly provided in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Wil Loves Books!.
1,166 reviews480 followers
October 2, 2016
This book was a very pleasant surprise. I have to admit this series has been a hit or miss for me. I absolutely loved The Play, it was a favorite last year. I did not like The Lie, at all, just check out my review for the why. And then the other 2 were just meh. I’m glad to say that I enjoyed The Debt, a lot. Not quite like The Play, I think that will be my absolute favorite this series, but a great deal.

The story gets you hooked right from the prologue. Jessica is a yoga instructor who while at a convention in London found herself in the wrong place at the wrong time and was the victim of a heinous attack. She is now try to rebuild her life and recover from the wounds of the attack, both internal and external. Keir McGregor (cousin of the previous heroes in this series) is a former soldier and a mechanic, with a lot personal demons due to what he has experienced at war and after. He is connected to Jessica in a very particular way, but she doesn’t know it.

“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. I know what it’s like to stand in the middle of that battlefield and not know which side to fight on.”

When Jessica and Keir met, they instantly click. They definitely have tons of chemistry. And they are super hot together. I really liked them both, they were both pretty broken, and they both definitely fit together great.

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

I loved the plot of the story, it was different and refreshing. I felt like at some point the story looses steam, plus the conflict is kind of expected, so there were really no surprises. However, I enjoyed the majority of the book, and they were some amazing parts that brought all the feels.

“I can’t sleep without you. I can’t feel without you. The world doesn’t look the same, taste the same. For so long I was barely living Jessica, then you came along and you made me care about something more than myself, more than my guilt and the things that held me down. You made me face the darkness and find the light in it…I can’t”

Ah, there’s also amazing cameos by my favorite, Lachlan, and his brother Brigs. I definitely recommend this one and can’t wait to see what the author brings next!

“I’m yours, little red. All of me. All the good, all the bad, all the truth. All yours.”


**An ARC was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review**

Profile Image for Natalie  ~ The Biblioholic.
2,565 reviews1,248 followers
September 7, 2016
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.

Profile Image for ❥ KAT ❥ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books.
2,225 reviews8,036 followers
August 26, 2016
༺**Complimentary Copy**༺ Provided by the author
"Karina Halle" exchange for an honest review..Thank you!!

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TITLE: The Debt
SERIES: (The McGregors #5)
AUTHOR: Karina Halle
CHAPTERS: Prologue | 22 | Epilogue
RELEASE DATE: August 29th, 2016



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THE DEBT: Even though this states that it is part of a series The Debt is a sultry STANDALONE contemporary romance. Told in 'Dual Perspectives'

This kicks off in the 'Prologue' where we're introduced to thirty year old Jessica Charles, a day attending seminars back to back, enjoying time with friends in London, a shopping spree, before taking the next flight back home to Edinburgh, then out of nowhere a man starts shooting in broad daylight randomly at people on a crowded street.

The sound of terror and horror rising high into the air.

The tingles down my spine as the author makes it all seem so life like, as though I am rooted to the spot watching it all unfold, feeling the terror, hearing the screams, hearing the rapid gun firing over and over again, people falling down dead like a domino effect..

That one moment your life changes.
That moment that changes your life forever.

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A man raises the shot gun, aiming at the crowd.
Everyone screams
Everyone runs
Everyone except me.

The next minute a blast rings out in the air, she's falling, the pavement rushing up to her face, hurt, tremendous pain shooting up her leg.

Weeks later: Damaged goods, shot in the leg, shattered and disfigured, rods and screws are what's holding it all in place. She may never walk without a limp, scarring mars her leg. Intensive therapy and group PTSD sessions with others that have survived similar ordeals or worse.

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“The world is full of terrible people who do terrible things."

Whilst reading that disturbing Prologue my heart was beating erratically, my palms were clammy, my eyes devoured the words on the pages at record speeds, like a train wreck I couldn't stop myself from reading..

This could've taken us on a journey of dark proportions but the author held back but you still get enough grit in the Prologue to satisfy all us dark souls and sets a steady pace for the rest of the storyline.

Both are harbouring battle scars, both are fighting demons that nearly destroyed them, are they strong enough to move forward without it destroying them both?

Thirty-eight year old Keir McGregor, has fruitlessly been searching for Jessica for weeks, with feelings of guilt heavy on his mind, it's not until an innocent meeting at their local pub that he's face to face with her.
They strike up a friendship that develops into so much more, and still Keir keeps his secret close to his chest.

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic I found her by accident.
But can it really be called an accident if you find
what you've been looking for.

Such a heavy feeling of trepidation because you know nothing good will come from not revealing his secret, deception eating him up the further their relationship progresses.

WOW!! I loved this, unique, raw, gritty, hot, dirty, an emotional train wreck, for the life of me once I started this I couldn't put it down, seconds, minutes, hours didn't factor into my reading experience, time was of no importance, I love it when an author can transport me into her web of storytelling that I get so invested into finishing. inhaled it, loved it!!

*Teasers used are off the author's Facebook page*

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Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,745 reviews6,671 followers
November 27, 2016
Karina Halle hit it out of the park with The Debt. Keir is the featured McGregor in this one and I loved the themes his character brought to the story. Military-related PTSD, the burden of watching your team return home broken, the responsibility we all have to report life-threatening concerns, and how guilt creates a debt that can never fully be paid. The heroine Jessica also brings a massive amount of emotional turmoil which stems from childhood events as well as the aftermath of surviving a mass shooting. Ms. Halle shows that PTSD is not limited to our treasured soldiers.

The romance element in this novel is strong, sexy, and beautifully complex due to some issues the characters are working through. However, you can see the relationship conflict in The Debt from a mile away. It is massively predictable and avoidable which was annoying to me personally but I absolutely could not negate the other wonderful parts of this story. 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 on goodreads. Check it out!

My favorite quote:
"The statistics on the number of veterans who kill themselves are staggering. I can see why. No help from the military. We keep everything inside like we've been taught. Like we've been fucking drilled. They train you for the chaotic situations. They don't train you for the aftermath."

Each book in this collection of standalones can be read separately and in any order as they focus on a different McGregor brother and his respective romance. The books linked together by these men include the following standalones as of November 2016. The ratings are my opinion only.
The Pact (2014)★★★☆☆
Winter Wishes (2015)
The Offer (2015) ★★★★☆
The Play (2015) ★★★★☆
The Lie (2016) ★★☆☆☆
The Debt (2016) ★★★★½
The Pact by Karina Halle Winter Wishes by Karina Halle The Offer by Karina Halle The Play by Karina Halle The Lie by Karina Halle The Debt by Karina Halle
Profile Image for Alex is The Romance Fox.
1,461 reviews1,121 followers
November 11, 2016
Karina Halle is one of those authors that I absolutely love. Her writing is beautiful, her characters are real and relatable. Her descriptive imagery is so vivid that you become part of the story's world.

I have read a lot of her books and I have become a huge fan, and I am happy to say that The Debt has been an incredibly read - from the incredible and unexpected Prologue until the very last page. A powerful, intense, sexy, and enthralling love story. Two broken souls who find comfort in each other.
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Tragedy brings Keir McGregor and Jessica Charles in the most unexpected way.
Two broken souls, holding secrets that may tear them apart.

I fell in love with these two characters.
I found Jessica such an inspirational heroine. Broken but resilient...fearless, vulnerable and strong.
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She had that something special that Kier needed to face his fears.
Kier is fighting his demons, afraid to face his guilt.......He had a gentle side to him that I really liked....
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I loved going with them on their journey to finding peace and love together. Also, the road trip through Scotland added a magic feel to the story.

One of my favorite quotes:
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If there's a story that I highly recommend you read, it's The Debt. And if you've missed the other books that the characters are interwoven into each story...The Play, The Pact, The Offer and The Lie - please get them. It's a fantastic "series"........despite each book being read as a standalone.
Profile Image for Mg ♥ The Bookishmedialite.
1,167 reviews307 followers
February 7, 2017

5 “If you ever need someone, you’ll know where I’ll be” stars.

“Guilt isn't always a rational thing… Guilt is a weight that will crush you whether you deserve it or not.”

-Maureen Johnson.

Being at the wrong place at the wrong time, is something that Jessica Charles knows very well. She had experience it on a fateful day, when a mental-ill ex soldier opened fire in public, shattering her world into million pieces.

“Sometimes your spirit dies in the past.”

Now single and injured from the gunshot wounds, Jess finds herself believing that she deserved what happened to her a consequence of past events. The guilt she carries is big enough to bring her down. Because even though she is strong enough to face her fears, sometimes the guilt is stronger.

“He’s gorgeous, that’s a given, and built like men I’ve only dreamed about.”

Keir McGregor is your perfect Scotsman. The dark, tall and handsome that you cant stop looking at. One that you will never see come out of his shell for fearing to show how broken he is.

“I’ve seen death many times. I’ve been death many time.”

Suffering from PTSD after his days in the British armed forces haven't been easy for him. And if you add the huge amount of guilt he feels for a deadly event that wasn't his fault. He lives in utterly chaos.

But one day, these two broken souls found each other along the way. Each one of them living in their own kind of hell, surrounded by darkness and guilt.

“…two bodies and souls who needed each other.”

They will become each other light. The strength they need to keep going on. But who will pay the price when secrets are revealed and one of them discover that it wasn't fait who brought them together. That it was just a debt that needed to be paid.

Karina Halle writes such beautiful love stories. Her characters are always so compelling. I can not help but fall in love with them. Good or bad, right or wrong, I just don't care. She never disappoints. Her ability to make me fall in love with her stories but also with the places those stories take place. It’s utterly amazing.

This time, she delivers a story filled with heartbreak, self-preservation, and, most important, true love.

The Debt will touch your heart with a romance that’s overflowing with a wild tension and a powerful chemistry between the characters. You will root for them. You will fall for them. And when you finally reach the beautiful climax, you’ll be reeling for days.

Profile Image for Kelli C .
1,044 reviews352 followers
September 5, 2016
4.5 Forgiving Stars

So I admit that my experiences with this author have waxed and waned. I have fallen head over heals in love with half her stories and I have cringed and sworn off others. That is the amazing thing about a good writer! Karina Halle creates characters that get under my skin and stuck in my mind whether good or bad. I have loved following the McGregor clan as they have loved and lost along the way and I was so happy that The Debt would be one of her books that would warm me inside and out and make me grateful for life!

This story is angst filled, gut wrenching and yet beautiful at the same time. This is the story of survival…or is it? Perhaps it is more the story of trying to live, to accept what was, and to embrace what will be.

Jessica Charles is a far cry from her home in Canada. Spending time in London with her baby sister, she has yet to find her happiness. Life is strumming along until fate…or just poor circumstance puts her in the direct path of pure terror. In the blink of an eye, everything changes and she is left broken physically and emotionally. No one’s life has been more affected than the lone soldier, Kier McGregor, who has come to London for absolution. Guilt over the people he has lost and the lives he had affected puts him on a direct path to a red-headed woman of strength.

It is here that Karina Halle writes a beautiful love story of true firsts. A woman learning to walk on her own two feet and take a chance. A man learning to open his heart and fall into the safety of a peaceful life. Kier and Jessica are simple attraction and chemistry. With each passing, bit by bit, they open and find friendship. Even with the backdrop of uncertainty and misleading pasts…they are still building something epic.

Be prepared for emotion overload. There are flutters of the belly with first touches, the warming of cheeks with sexy innuendo, and pure fire of skins with possessive touching. Oh, but along with the good there is also the heart pounding fear of truth, crushing guilt over a life still lived, and the paining of bodies shattered. I applaud this author as she did an amazing job of handling such a traumatic subject with class and true emotion. I loved that Kier and Jessica found one another and while they didn’t necessarily ride off into the sunset with sunshine and roses…they still found a warm seat to sit and a cold ale to share within the comfort of a hometown pub…together!
Profile Image for Bex | TotallyBex.com.
524 reviews184 followers
August 31, 2016
★★ 4.5 stars! ★★

“Two strangers fell in love. One knew it wasn’t an accident.”

After reading that line on a teaser and seeing the blurb, I knew I had to read The Debt. I had a good idea that it would be a heartbreaking and emotional story, but what I wasn’t expecting was how beautifully written and ultimately hopeful it turned out to be.

Jessica is in the wrong place at the wrong time and her life changes in the blink of an eye. Her injuries prevent her from going back to her old life and even though she has the support of her sister, she is lonely. When she meets a man at a pub after a support meeting, she has no idea how her life is about to change (again).

Keir is a former soldier, battling the demons of guilt from his past. He seeks out Jessica after the shooting, but doesn’t let on that he knows who she is or how their lives are intertwined. What started out as a self-imposed payment of a debt quickly turns into love, but there are so many secrets that it is built on a rocky foundation.

The Debt starts off with a literal bang and I was hooked from the prologue. Keir and Jessica are two broken people carrying such heavy burdens and they find solace in each other's pain. I loved how real and raw their wounds were, both literally and figuratively.

Keir and Jessica’s difficult journey is perfectly written by Halle. I highlighted so many beautiful passages and several of the lines have stuck with me even after finishing the book. Karina Halle like a literary chameleon--whether it’s paranormal, contemporary, or comedy, she delivers an engaging story with real and relatable characters. I’m curious to see what she has up her sleeve for us next.

▸ ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review.

▸ Order: Kindle | Kobo | iBooks | Nook

▸ For more reviews, visit
Profile Image for Michelle.
2,101 reviews1,263 followers
September 5, 2016
ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review

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Karina Halle has written one of the most honest love story that I had the pleasure of reading!!! The Debt was a symphony of raw emotions and a visceral onslaught of heartbreaking and touching moment as Halle beautifully weaves a friendship and love story that connects two broken souls. And in true Halle fashion, she tethers readers to feel the connection as missing pieces of their hearts and soul are made whole once again.

 photo fe8667357789177c86da7b7ebed886_zpsydl13fyw.gif “I’m damaged goods in so many ways and the only man who would want to be with me has to be damaged himself.”

One day, Jessica Charles was happily shopping in the streets in London and then the next she was left emotionally and physically bleeding in the streets. That tragic day was the day that Jessica Charles lost everything. Her freedom. Her happiness. Her heart. Her strength. So when your life flashes before your eyes and you were seconds away from dying, how do you go on? You breathe and try to live your life but it is easier said than done.

 photo fe8667357789177c86da7b7ebed886_zpsydl13fyw.gif “I found her by accident. But can it really be called an accident if you find what you’ve been looking for?”

Keir McGregor is an ex-soldier, who suffers from PTSD. He knows what it is like to have your life ripped and taken away from you so soon. He knows pain, death, sadness and loneliness. His past and brokenness haunts him in a way that no one can understand that is until he met Jessica Charles. Meeting Jessica was not kismet or fate as he sought out Jessica since he feels partly to blame for what happened to her. So what happens when a broken soul meets another broken soul?

 photo fe8667357789177c86da7b7ebed886_zpsydl13fyw.gif “I don’t need anyone but me. But of course the truth is that my armor has chinks. My heart has cracks. And the steel is corroding at the edges. I do need someone. Maybe even him. My stranger.”

This connection between Keir and Jessica was everything. It was hope, love, forgiveness, honesty and peace all wrapped up into one. It is an indescribable bond that tethers and connects them in such a unique way. Keir and Jessica may have been existing but together they found a reason to breath and live. So if you are looking for a love story that was MORE THAN LOVE then I highly recommend you to read The Debt. Halle beautifully captured every facet of emotions and heart into this book so readers can truly FEEL the story of survival, hope, forgiveness, second chances and love.

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 photo MICHELLE1_zps3515xymk.jpg Karina Halle

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Profile Image for ✰ Bianca ✰ BJ's Book Blog ✰ .
2,176 reviews1,234 followers
August 30, 2016

Great book!
I loved it. Loved Keir. BUT. ☺
Some buts for me here. First. The whole story, the whole lie and misunderstanding/omission thing that's happening in the book is already way to clear once you've read the blurb or the previous books and I kinda hated that. I wish that Karina would've done something more original once it came out .... Jessica being mad at him and breaking up and running away - that was so lame and predictable.
Also - the whole Scotland-Travel-Guide part of the book wasn't my kind of thing. Maybe Karina should've written a seperate travel guide... she did that I think - you can email her and she'll send it to you - but I just think a few less scotland sights would've been better. It just didn't fit the story all that well - maybe a visit to his mom would've been ok - but they didn't even go to that island :/
And the 3rd thing I hated - which almost had me DNFing this book - I'll put it in a spoiler ☺

OK - that's it. I really enjoyed the book. The beginning was adorable and moving. The good parts got a bit lost on the way towards the end, BUT I still enjoyed reading it!


Smokin Hot Book Blog Email

Profile Image for Bindi Boo .
578 reviews118 followers
August 29, 2016
4 stars

I've read each book in this series and each time i loved the new hero a little more than the previous one. This time though it didn't happen so much, my heart still belongs to Bram :) and a little bit still loves Lachlan.

Having said that-this was a low drama, low angst, sweet read about two broken souls brought together by a very tragic incident. About a heroine whose life changes drastically in a matter of minutes and we get to see her pick up the battered pieces of her life; and a hero who harbours tremendous amount of guilt and carries the weight of certain decision he made while in the army. Together, they see the light in each other and try to look at life in a new perspective.

There's really no plot in this book apart from an intense connection and an undeniable pull between the characters. We watch as they try to help each other see the light again. We follow them through their relationship and get to see how good they are for each other. Keir was sweet despite being all-male, so trusting and understanding while Jessica was bold, strong and kind despite her situation. The sex scenes were off the charts hot and i LOVED the picturesque description of Scotland the author painted. A secret revealed at the end causes a mini-drama, but Keir makes it up so lovingly, i melted.

Although my least favourite in this series, I would recommend it anyway as it still has Karina's magic touch. Overall, a definite worth-your-time-read.
Profile Image for Karla.
1,075 reviews244 followers
September 8, 2016
4 stars!!

Another great read by KH and I really enjoyed it! I've loved miss Halle's writing every since I read "love, in english" and this book was no exception.

"The debt" was definitely more emotional than I though it would be it touches really serious issues. The MC's Jessica/Kier are two broken souls that are fighting hard to stay adrift and who are connected by an imaginable violence. Keir was a fantastic H so responsible and loyal so much so that his filled with guilt for someone else's actions. Jessica was just as fantastic as Keir a strong h specially after her losses not just emotionally but physically. Keir/Jessica have a chance encounter that soon starts as a friendship and develops into love. Together they were good, their chemistry was intense and I really liked that it built up. They had their vulnerabilities, and their insecurities. I also liked that they had their disagreements their relationship wasn't all lovey dovey but a more realistic and supportive love.
I have to mention a secondary character Christina, Jessica's sister I loved her. She was loving and caring always looking out for her older sister.
Keir/Jessica are the true definition of what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and together they made each other even stronger.
*thanks so much for the rec, sweets*

Profile Image for 1-Click Addict Support Group.
3,749 reviews455 followers
September 1, 2016
There’s a part of me that wants to launch into gushing and raving about this book in the way that I do; all flails and squeals and shouty caps. My GOD, you guys, it was so good. So, so, SO good. But I also sort of feel like I need to take a moment of silence for it, to tamper down my enthusiasm and find a more respectful way to recommend it because this isn’t some light, fluffy love story. It’s intensely emotional, beautifully heartbreaking, and gloriously redemptive.

It hurts.
And then, it heals.

This book is something special, y’all. One of my favorites of the year so far.

The Debt is a “ripped from the headlines” storyline and because of that, I’m left with a very somber feeling about it. I mean, make no mistake, there is a lot of joy in this book. All of the best parts about falling in love are here, including the steamy hot, dirty talking, fidget in your seat sexy times. There are these lovely, lighthearted moments. This happy, flirty banter. But… Keir and Jessica are fiercely, jaggedly, unapologetically broken people and for every heart-fluttering high, there is a gut-wrenching low, and the end result is something that is just…brutally beautiful. Stunning in its ugly realness. I ached for them so much and, in the end, I loved them both so hard.

Beyond all of the emotions this story pulled from me, it was just a fascinating story in its own right. Ms. Halle is a gifted storyteller, and I imagine this subject matter is not an easy one to tackle. I was fascinated by who Keir and Jessica were to each other, what brought them together, and how they healed each other in a way that didn’t seem like it should have been possible. The story is gripping, beautifully told, and it pulls no punches. The road to happily ever after isn’t an easy one, but there is a happily ever after and it’s so completely worth it. My heart is left bruised, but happy and content.

I feel like this book is not for the faint of heart. The Debt left a mark on my heart—the kind that only the very best books are capable of leaving. It was a fantastic read and I cannot recommend it highly enough. ~ Shelly, 5 “Little Red” stars


Sad and angry, uplifting and hopeful…

From the opening pages my heart took a beating. The randomness of life, for good or bad, is never more in evidence than when Jessica Charles found herself in the midst of hell. With the mixed blessing that is television and the internet, I could imagine—I could almost see and hear—what she must have been going through. And for how awful that was, the aftermath seemed almost worse. She had to deal with the physical and emotional repercussions of the attack, her injuries and how it affected her relationships, her career, herself.

“The last thing I want to admit is needing anyone. I am strong. I have armor. A bulletproof heart and resolve of steel. I don’t need anyone but me.”

Yet, Keir McGregor seemed a gift from heaven as he treated her like a special, but completely normal person. And that’s what made this story so special. There was so much going on in both their lives. Keir had his own past that bathed his present with regret. He had issues with family and survivor’s guilt as well. There was so much extraordinary going on that the normalcy around their romance—the usual steps and missteps, the laughter, the heat—made everything else seem even more poignant.

I don’t want to make this story out to be a complete sob-fest, because it wasn’t. Not at all. Yes, there was much to be sad about, somber in fact, but there were light-hearted moments, too. There was cursing and ale. They laughed, they argued, they snarked. They loved in a way that made their story so real, I felt like I had a vested interest in making sure it all worked out.

“Keir…without you…I’d be just a shadow. You make me feel whole. You push me and make me hurt and you make me get back up and all of that makes me stronger.”

From old wounds to new ones, to revelation and recovery, their love was an emotional read that I’m not sure I’ve recovered from. But then again, I don’t really want to…

“I love every broken part of you and how well it fits with every part of me.” ~ Diane, 5 stars
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2,990 reviews689 followers
July 3, 2022
It has been a while since last time I read McGregor's series. I have tk re read my own reviews on the other books in this series.

The Debt certainly have that appeal. A romance that started from guilt and then became real. I love Keir. Even his name is sexy. But Jessica.... she needs a while for me to sink in. She is a drama queen. Because of her drama queen character, it took me a while to understand her.
At the end, I still feel lukewarm toward her.

Miss Halle done a fantastic job describing Scotland. Such fantastic and romantic place.

4 stars
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