4.5 HAWK STARS! ★★★★☆
FIRST DEBT (Indebted #2) IS LIVE!!
The Second Book in the New York Times Bestselling Dark Romance Series. (320 pages, 76,000 words)
“You say I’ll never own you. If I win—you willingly give me that right. You sign not only the debt agreement, but another—one that makes me your master until your last breath is taken. You do that, and I’ll give you this.”
Nila Weaver’s family is indebted. Stolen, taken, and bound not by monsters but by an agreement written over six hundred years ago, she has no way out. She belongs to Jethro as much as she denies it. Jethro Hawk’s patience is running out. His inheritance gift tests, challenges, and surprises him—and not in good ways. He hasn’t leashed her but he thinks he might’ve found a way to bind her forever. Debts are mounting. Payment waiting.
Amazon UK: HERE
Amazon AU: HERE
"This wasn't about the chase. We all knew who would win. It was about defiance."
After being let down by my previous highly anticipated read, naturally I was wary about picking up another sequel by one of my favorite authors. And thank heavens Pepper Winters did not disappoint at all. After Book 1 that left many readers in shock with Jethro's downright stone-cold demeanour, this one definitely shine a whole new light on him and will have you begging for more Jethro by the end of it.
First Debt picks up right after the end of Book 1 where we have Nila running for her freedom as Jethro begins his hunt for her. In an almost dramatic manner where Jethro hunts her down on his horse, an attempt to escape proves to be a futile one on Nila's part. These two certainly had each other at their throats as neither one would back down and further fueled with lust, there was no denying their attraction for each other.
Jethro's character definitely took a turn in this book as we got to tap deeper into his psyche and getting glimpses behind those cold walls. Although I was a little thrown off with the change in Jethro almost taking effect from the first chapter itself, what I appreciated was the author still allowed us to see the struggles Jethro constantly faced with his actions towards Nila. That for me, felt realistic as I didn't feel that the author drastically changed Jethro just because he was such a cold-hearted bastard in the first book. Which by the way, he's still pretty much one in this one and that pleases me.
"There was no way any other man could ever compete with the elegant chillness of Jethro. He was exactly like the iceberg he favoured, only in different lights, more truth shone. Some bright and light and binding, others black and deep and terrifying."
The only person who could possibly be close enough to burn those cold walls down is Nila who constantly challenges him and pushes him to the brink of allowing his real self to surface.
"I see you, Jethro Hawk. I see what you're trying to hide, so don't delude yourself into thinking I buy your hypocritical bullshit."
What I felt was truly compelling about this read was the power play between Jethro and Nila. What started out as Jethro seizing full control over Nila, the author certainly had the tables turning in this instalment. You'll be wondering who's the hunter and prey now as Nila plays a dangerous game, knowing where to push Jethro's buttons. Neither one is willing to relinquish control and that really brought out an explosive dynamic between these two that is equally agonizing and sizzling to watch.
"We're on even ground. Orgasm for an orgasm. Don't think it gives you power, because it doesn't."
Also, the constant appearance of Kestrel who's the polar opposite of Jethro didn't really do much for me because I've always been on #teamjethro (I'm all for the bad guys, good guys kinda bore me LOL). But I'm all for it if it's gonna fan some fire of jealousy in that ice-cold Jethro.
With this one shedding light on some unanswered questions from the prior book and presenting new ones, this book surely gripped me from the get-go and I simply couldn't put it down. Ms. Pepper continues to dish out her brilliant yet twisted writing that leaves me begging for more.
And as for the reveal of Kite's identity, this one definitely proves to be a game-changer move and I absolutely cannot wait to see where the series will take us now.
First Debt is part of the Indebted series and cannot be read as a standalone.