“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.

4-4.5 stars!
Okay, this book was intense and explosive! As of now I’ve actually read it twice and even knowing what happens while I read the second time around, these characters and plot twists still manage to surprise me. That’s one thing I love about this book and series – the story is just so unpredictable. Books that keep me on my toes, has an edgy romance, and dynamic characters are my favorite, and this book had all three.
This 3rd book continues directly from where the last one ended. In a nutshell, Nila has paid the first debt in full, is still a prisoner of sorts in the Hawk mansion, and has developed feelings for Jethro whether she likes it or not. And the same can be said of Jethro. The first part of this book is focused on the push/pull dynamic between the two, creating delicious angst that’s believable because of the circumstances that make any kind of romance impossible. But at the same time I was a little frustrated with Nila because Jethro was trying his best to reach out to her while fending off his family’s demands, and she brushes him off. Coming from a romance reader’s point of view, I didn’t like it but I understood her mentality and need to protect herself first, regardless of her growing love for him.
The second half of the book picked up in terms of plot, and it’s what really got me hooked. Among other events, Nila has to pay the second debt now and from the moment she finds out what it is to the history that links back to it to the actual execution of her debt…I had to remind myself to breathe. It all played out like a trainwreck I couldn’t do anything to stop, yet I couldn’t look away from either. And for me, this was the turning point in Nila and Jethro’s relationship, where the slave/master terminology no longer applied to them, and where they truly acknowledged each other as equals.
The ending of this book is a doozy. Simply put, I did not expect the story to go where it did. It was a complete shocker and a wickedly brilliant move from the author, but it worries me too because I really have no clue where Nila and Jethro’s story could go from this point on. I have quite a few theories in mind though and I can’t wait to see what the author has planned for them in the next book!
Second Debt is the third installment in the Indebted serial (total of 6 books) and must be read after the first two books. The author has prefaced in all of these books that cliffhangers are to be expected and while it’ll leave you desperate for the next one, it’ll also be a satisfying reading experience as each of these books has a full beginning, middle, and end. Previous questions will be answered while presenting new ones at the same time.
ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Pepper Winters wears many roles. Some of them include writer, reader, sometimes wife. She loves dark, taboo stories that twist with your head. The more tortured the hero, the better, and she constantly thinks up ways to break and fix her characters. Oh, and sex… her books have sex. She loves to travel and has an amazing, fabulous hubby who puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends.