Review: Indebted by JL Beck

Indebted (A Kingpin Love Affair, #1)Publication Date: November 30, 2014
Book 1 of A Kingpin Love Affai


It was suppose to be a debt settled, just a price being repaid.
Instead love was born...
...from unpaid dues it bloomed.
See, that's the funny thing about love, you never expect it.

After losing her mother to cancer a few months prior to graduating, Bree Forbes was finally able to take some time away and enjoy her college days. That all changed in a blink of an eye the moment Bree came home for break. She didn't expect to find her dad strapped to chair, a gun pointed at his head.

Alzerro "Zerro" King wasn't a man to be messed with. Women flocked to him and men ran from him. He ruled the mafia with an iron fist and no one ever crossed him unless they wanted to pay the price. He believed the only way to pay for something, if unable to do so, was to do it in blood. Nothing got him harder than stringing someone up, and putting a bullet in their head.

That is until Bree.

One look is all it took for him to know she could pay for her father’s debt in many other ways… Ways that could get him hard.

Could a big city mafia king fall in love with the small town country girl? Would she be able to handle his dark and demanding ways? When push comes to shove, would Bree end up running only to be killed? Or would she sacrifice herself for love?

My Review: ★★★☆ 3.5 stars

I had put off writing this review for the longest time! This was published November 30 last year, and I got an ARC. You can just imagine how long ago I have read this and how long this story had ruminated in my mind..! I would tell myself, "ok, this is the day I will finish this review." Then I recall the mindf*** I got, and would end up still undecided about it. SO, now, I finally have a rating! 3.5 stars!
(Note: This review was written prior to reading the sequel, INEVITABLE.)

I expected INDEBTED to be a dark romance, but the absolutely twisted ending just blew my mind. I thought it was absolutely infuriating, frustrating, and at the same time genius. There are books that make you eager for a sequel, and there are books that will make you crazy if you don't get the next one right-freaking-now. This book fell in the second category.

First thing you should know is that this isn't your typical love story at all. If you have hopes for a romantic love story in spite of the synopsis (as other dark romances tend to turn out), change your expectations. This story is intense, seductive, dangerous, thrilling, and frustrating. The environment the characters are in is definitely not conducive to sweet romancing, beautiful whispered words and flowers and chocolates. Nevertheless, the bond between Bree and Alzerro is driven by strong passion.

This is essentially a mafia story, and for me, JL Beck succeeded in making the characters and the situation they were in feel very, very dangerous. At the center of this mafia world is Alzerro. He is truly a man you don't want to mess with. The heartbreaking prologue shows why he is the man he has become: a hardened criminal who will kill without batting an eyelash. In this book he is practically without conscience, even after Bree has entered the picture.

I honestly liked it that Zerro did not turn a complete 180 after meeting Bree and suddenly became soft and wanting world peace. It would have been cheesy and boring, to be honest.

Bree has mettle, I have to give her that. My only issue with her and the story by extension is at the beginning. As she is taken from her father's home as debt payment, she goes from being terrified to suddenly checking Zerro out and noticing his hotness. Literally within the time she's being herded out of the house, into the car and on the drive to God knows where. It's not an unusual route for dark romances, but the way her train of thought shifted to that territory felt abrupt and out of place.

I recommend INDEBTED mainly because of that awesome ending! Again, it had me screaming (both mentally and out loud) "what??!!" numerous times. I reread the last page a couple more times, just to be sure! It was exciting, heart-pounding, and you could just feel the danger emanating off the page. I know many readers were not so pleased by that unconventional ending, but for me it was really, really good. Sawyer Bennett could leave that ending as it is (as frustrating as it was, it would leave a powerful impact on the readers), or give readers a much more palatable explanation or continuation. I am personally looking forward to reading the next installment!

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