4.5 BRUTAL STARS! ★★★★☆
I must admit that dark romance is my guilty pleasure read and throw in some mind-fuckery, it is the perfect concoction for me. The thing about dark romance reads for me is that I go in with a completely different mindset and my expectations are built upon the extremities of how dark a story can get without completely butchering the story & make it completely revolting to read."My structured world — my rules and agendas — were not something that had room for twists and turns. Unless I was the one creating them."
When I think of Pepper Winters’ books, the words “sexy, dark & gritty” always comes to mind. After her Monsters in the Dark series, I expected nothing less from Ms Winters, but instead she pushed some serious boundaries in this first installment of her brand new Indebted series.
This is a story of two wealthy families and an old debt that dates back to centuries. And in that debt, the first-born Weaver daughter will be forfeited to the first-born son of the Hawks to pay for the sins of the Weaver’s ancestors past.
Nila Weaver, the first-born Weaver daughter has been well-protected by her father and twin brother as far as she can remember. Her life looks all well planned out; she’s rich & on the verge of being a young successful designer. But when that day Jethro Hawks comes into her life, everything she has is about to be taken away.
I had no problem liking Nila’s character. She may have come off as naïve and gullible, but truth is she has quite the balls & had no problem standing up to Jethro. I loved the development of her character as she struggles to deal with not only her possible feelings for Jethro, but also the awakening desires that stir within her.
“My heart hates you but my body…I’m drenched. I’m begging. So stop your endless questions. Stop taunting me and deliver.”
Pepper has completely outdone herself with her anti-hero this time around. Jethro Hawk is manipulative, calculative and often described akin to a predator in this story. If you’re looking for any sort of compassion from this guy, clearly you won’t be finding any of it here yet. The alternating POVs would allow you to see how Jethro is nothing short of cold and brutal. Every word he utters is so precise & straight to the point, there is no sugar-coating about his intentions for Nila on what’s to come for her.
“Be afraid of me, Ms. Weaver. Be afraid because your life is now mine and I’m the master of everything that happens to you. But know this…it’s not just me you’ll have to fear.”
Jethro certainly brings out that kind of intensity that burns through the pages & have you gripping the edges of your Kindle. His actions & words will strike terror in your soul but equally leaves you turned on and wanting for more. And also sue me, but I’m weak for men with sexy British accent ;)
“Tell me a secret. A dirty dark secret. Admit you want me. Admit you want your mortal enemy.”
One of the reasons I adored Pepper’s writings is that she has a way of writing dark stories with such elegance and finesse that draws you into the darkness and leaves you captivated. Like a moth to a flame, her heroine characters are always strong and resilient but yet can’t help be drawn to the sinfully dark heroes. She has a way of telling a terrifying, provocative story that makes you feel the raw emotions of the characters & have your heart pounding!
Overall, Pepper has once again left me begging for more as I craved for the next book. It ended on a cliffy but it was a well-played one ;) The book toyed with my emotions from rage to fear to erotic and I was completely hooked to the thrill of what’s to come in every chapter. I went through some epic mind-fuck in the last 30% and I admit that even that luncheon scene was a little disturbing for me (hence the lack of 0.5 stars in my rating).
But with Pepper, I know she’s capable of messing with our minds & even the mystery of Kite will be left etched in my mind as I await the next book ;)