The Debt #3


M. O’Keefe

✮✮✮ 4.5 STARS ✮✮✮

The only thing that stands in the way of my revenge is her.
The lying scheming daughter of the man who killed my parents. She has the secrets I need to bring down her father.
And I’ll do anything to get them. I will lie to her. Steal from her. Use her.
Ruin her.
It helps that our chemistry is explosive.
What I’m not expecting is for her to be so sweet. And so strong.

After so many years of lying and hiding, I finally have a place to call home. With people I can call a family. The Paintbrush Inn is my life now, and I won’t let anyone ruin it.
When sexy and world-weary Simon checks in to the Inn, I never expect him to glance my way. I’ve spent my whole life blending into the background. Being overlooked and ignored. It’s been helpful, even though it’s lonely. And he’s way out of my league.
But our attraction is powerful. Undeniable.
Because I can’t let anyone close. If the secrets I keep were to be revealed, my whole life would be destroyed. But something about Simon makes me break all my own rules. I’m letting him in to my home, my body, my life, never expecting he has his own secrets.
His own lies.
When the truth comes out, we’ll both be ruined.

I love a good revenge plot. It’s one of those things that, when executed well, guarantees fantastic chemistry between the main characters. Add a (former) hot nerd and I’m all yours. And then I started reading Ruin You and I was completely sucked in.

The plot is so much more complicated than the blurb leads you to believe. If you have read the first books in the series or the novella you will know what to expect but if this is your first time you read a story in this series it’s going to surprise you. It’ll keep you on the edge of your seat. It has some series angst and two main characters who have been broken by the same person in different ways.

Simon isn’t heartless, which I loved. On the contrary, he thinks he is jaded but actually thinks a lot about the consequences his actions have but without spoiling too much, he doesn’t have much of a choice. He knows he will hurt Penny and there isn’t much he can do about it. The guilt becomes stronger the more he gets to know Penny and realizes that her pain is just as strong as Simon’s so he starts to compartmentalize to justify his role in her possible demise. And despite all of this Simon is sexy as all get out, driven and charismatic.

She needs to go back to being Tina Andreas. I don’t like Tina Andreas. I never touched her. I never told her anything about myself. I never laughed with her. She’s a tool. And I’m using her. I like the way you use me.

But Simon isn’t the only one lying. Penny hasn’t told anyone about her past. Not even her best friend knows about it.
When she meets Simon she is tempted for the first time to trust somebody else other than herself. She always second-guesses herself and her decisions. In a way the little girl who got hurt and had her heart broken by people she should have been able to trust never moved on and grew up but at some point she shows the brave heart you know is hidden behind all the fear and as a reader I felt so proud of her.

I imagine what kind of damage a woman like that could inflict on a little girl. And I realize I don’t have to imagine. I was witness to it all last night. The way Penny couldn’t quite accept affection. The bitterness she needed with the sweet. 

Happiness can only be had in small doses because the happier Penny is, she thinks, the sooner it’ll blow up in her face.

I think you get that I loved this story. If there is one thing that I had troubles with then it’s the resolution of the conflict which started only at 95%. There wasn’t enough time for Simon to grovel and I’m a sucker for a a good grovel, so this felt a little bit rushed for my taste.

“You’re larger than life, Penny. You fucking glow and I can’t resist you. I can’t stand that I’ve hurt you. And I want… I want us not to be us.”

The progression of their relationship is pretty fast. There is a lot of insta-lust, which was however fine by me because it didn’t feel forced. I loved Tommy who popped up as a supporting characters and his friendship with Simon. Unfortunately we only get a small glimpse of it but it was sweet to see how they took care of each other.

Again I’m left wondering why I haven’t made time for more of Molly O’Keefe’s books yet because the woman can write! Her writing style is effortless and very pleasant to read. This story has complex characters, packs a good dose of angst and suspense and will leave you wondering how this will work out. I loved every second of it. Now I need to go back and read Tommy’s story!

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