February 08, 2015

Review: Second Debt by Pepper Winters

“I tried to play a game. I tried to wield deceit as perfectly as the Hawks. But when I thought I was winning, I wasn’t. Jethro isn’t what he seems—he’s the master of duplicity. However, I refuse to let him annihilate me further.”

Nila Weaver has grown from naïve seamstress to full-blown fighter. Every humdrum object is her arsenal, and sex…sex is her greatest weapon of all.

She’s paid the First Debt. She’ll probably pay more.

But she has no intention of letting the Hawks win.

Jethro Hawk has found more than a worthy adversary in Nila—he’s found the woman who could destroy him. There’s a fine line between hatred and love, and an even finer path between fear and respect.

The fate of his house rests on his shoulders, but no matter how much ice lives inside his heart, Nila flames too bright to be extinguished.

Amazon US | Amazon UK


Second Debt by Pepper Winters
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 someone please tell me it will be alright STARS

“I feel what you feel. Whether it be a kiss or a kick or a killing blow. I wished I didn't, but you're mine, therefore, you are my affliction. So, I will feel what you feel, and I will live what you live. You won't understand what I mean. Not yet. But it's my best sacrifice. The only thing I can offer.”

Third instalment of the Indebted Series and I had a feeling I wasn't adequately prepared to read this... and man, when I'm right I'm right. What a nightmare. My anxiety and emotional fucked-up-ness level is still on overflow. I was so stumped after finishing at almost 4am that I was lying awake trying to figure out what happened and how on earth Pepper Winters is going to un-fuck this bitch of a clusterfuck. Yes, excessive swearing is definitely needed. Sue me.

“The sex between us left both of us stripped bare. Something more than family feuds and hatred existed when he slid inside me and sent both of us shattering into dust.”

It all starts off quite intriguing, but also considerably harmless. Nila finally knows who Kite really is and there are so many possibilities and she is scheming to work with her new found knowledge, especially considering the way things between her and Jethro have evolved. Their chemistry is not from this earth. The sparks are almost flying off the page.

But things turn bad in heartbeat. A morning run. A wrong path. Nila sees something she shouldn't have. And like that everything feels so much more real and unbearable.

What Nila experiences changes here. It alters her profoundly and in turn shifts the dynamic between her and Jethro. Again.

But that's not even scratching the surface of what happens in this book. It's a true roller-coaster ride. Their bond is tested and evolves. Nila finds new resolve and strength. Especially with Jethro at her side, she might even see a possibility of an an actual future.

BUT...then the Second Debt happens. And don't get me started on that ending. What the hell?

“It’s your initials that I bear. Your mark. Your brand. I may be born a Hawk, but I’ve been captured by a Weaver.”

Nila Weaver is an amazing character. She has grown on me over the course of the last few books. She used to be so indecisive and naive. She had to grow up really fast to get through this situation. She is walking a fine line between trying to survive and falling in love with her captor. That being said...

My mum is a psychiatrist and I told her about this story. I left out all the gruelling parts, not to shock her with my reading habits, but the first thing she said was Stockholm syndrome. And I'm inclined to agree. Yes, this supposed to be a romance book, but in the end her circumstances are so unbelievable and mentally challenging that actually knowing what you feel is a bit tricky and her love for Jethro seen in that context is questionable to say the least.

When you consider Stockholm syndrome, it should be really interesting to see what happens in the next book, now that she is free.

“MY OLD HEART was broken.It'd been replaced with something not of flesh and blood but diamond and immortality.I'd fallen for a smuggler, a biker--a fiend.”

Jethro Hawk. Oh that man, he is a riddle wrapped in a puzzle. Lucky for us some of the facade is cracking and Nila finds a way in.
I love how he gets unhinged. But on the other hand I'm really scared of it. Not only is it a bit frightening to find out what his problem is, but I'm pretty sure the family won't improve. You in danger, boy!

I'm also really glad Second Debt is told from dual POV. If we didn't know what was going on in his head this would be a whole different read.

“This isn't a game--not anymore. The debts bind us together as long as we're alive. You're mine and I told you before not to throw away that gift before knowing what it means.”

I absolutely love Ms. Winters writing style. It's highly complex and every word feels so important that you don't want to miss anything. But from time to time I'm still struggling with the story. In some ways it is such a ridiculous idea that I really shouldn't be reading, let alone enjoy this series.

I mean a 600 year old debt that allows a family to steal a girl from another family and basically torture her until she is eventually killed for the sins of her great-great-great....grandfather and mother. Seriously? It is over the top, right?

But it works. It totally works. I had problems getting into the book, but once I got over the 40% mark it flew by me, until it was almost morning again.

“There was no me without him. No Nila without Jethro. No Threads without Kite. I knew that now.”

I have to deduct half a Star from my rating, just because of the Second Debt. That scene gave me a few more grey hairs. Unbelievable. Here is the problem with excellent writing. The author makes you feel it and then there are just scenes you don't want to feel.

My advice, if you haven't read this book yet, find someone to share the experience and to hold hands with. I finished reading about 10 hours ago and I'm still thinking about it and I'm still a bit on the queasy side.

The ending is shocking, to say the least. I didn't see that coming. Not in a million years and I sure as hell can't wait to get my hands on the next book. Holy shit.

Done with my swearing now. Sorry. ;P Thanks for your time. I'm off to read some excessive fluff now.

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