Book Review by Rafa: Debt, by K.C. Wells

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Debt, by K.C. Wells
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 27, 2016

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
3-5-of-5

summary

30047210Two months after Mitch Jenkins had the rug pulled out from under him when his two-year relationship came to an abrupt end, he is still hurting. A colleague’s attempt to cheer him up brings Mitch to a secret “club.” Mitch isn’t remotely interested in the twinks parading like peacocks, until he spies the young man at the back of the room, nose firmly in a book and oblivious to his surroundings. Now Mitch is interested.

Nikko Kurokawa wants to pay his debt and get the hell out of the Black Lounge—where he is forced to not only have sex, but sometimes suffer abuse to please clients. Earning his freedom isn’t proving easy, especially when he starts attracting interest. Life becomes that little bit easier to bear when he meets Mitch, who is nothing like the other men who frequent the club. And when Mitch crawls under his skin and into his heart, Nikko figures he can put up with anything. Before long he’ll be out of there, and he and Mitch can figure out if they have a future together.

Neither of them counted on those who don’t want Nikko to leave….

tropes-tags

M/M Pairing
Gay Characters
Contemporary
Prostitution
Age Difference

Warnings for:
Abuse (Physical/Sexual) (mostly off-screen)
Human Trafficking

Man meets prostitute. Man falls in love with prostitute.

This sounds all too familiar in the romance genre, but Debt somehow manages to avoid some of the clichés associated with this trope. That is to say, Mitch is no suave billionaire or conscientious cop. He’s a 45-year-old straight-laced school teacher from a big loving family and is somewhat emotionally vulnerable after a recent breakup.

While I thought it was nice that Mitch is a pretty straightforward character, I also found him a bit boring. Except for the occasional chess match with his brother, I honestly couldn’t tell you what his interests were. However, I could totally see him falling for the beautiful and fragile Nikko. I thought Nikko was a compelling character and I really connected with him during his moments of vulnerability and despair.

And there is definitely some dark moments. The book gives us a glimpse into the sex industry and contains some elements of human trafficking. Please be forewarned that Nikko suffers from abuse, including sexual abuse masquerading as BDSM at the hands of a client. However, I’m happy to report that most of it happens off page.

While I totally felt the connection between Mitch and Nikko, the way the story concluded didn’t particularly sit well with me. As they plotted their HEA, I couldn’t help but feel they never got a chance to learn about each other in a “real world” setting or even spend a “regular day” together. I also thought it was both refreshing but still odd that the two MCs never once discussed their 23-year age difference. Personally, I wasn’t convinced they were ready to be together after a relatively short amount of time, especially considering the trauma Nikko endured. I think given more time, I would have found their HEA much more believable.

Despite some of my reservations, I would still recommend Debt. The story was compelling, the sex sizzled and the book moved at a good pace. It was a sweet and romantic read that I think many readers would enjoy.

more-from-author

Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C. Wells always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way.

K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, where the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings—writing about men in love was even hotter….

K.C. now writes full time and is loving every minute of her new career.

The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KCWellsWorld
Twitter: @K_C_Wells
Website: http://www.kcwellsworld.com

You can purchase Debt at
Dreamspinner Press
Amazon

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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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