The Debt is a prologue to the new romantic suspense series by the same name from bestselling author M. O'Keefe and is available for free through established e-retailers. The text is also included in the first full-length novel in the series, Lost Without You, so you can choose to wait for that book's release or if you want an idea as to what kind of debt the main characters actually owe and what led them to point that they find themselves in in the longer books.
Tommy, Beth, Simon, Carissa, and Rosa all belong to the St. Jude's Home for Court Placed Juveniles, which they've not-so-lovingly nicknamed "St. Joke's". Why? Because that place isn't a home--it's hell on earth. Even as Tommy and Beth find solace in each other, it's what has put all of them in an even more precarious state, and while Tommy has gotten used to it all, he refuses to stand idly by when Beth is singled out by their tormentor--their foster father.
One night changed everything for these five teenagers and in order to keep their secret safe from the prying eyes of too many on the outside, they strike a bargain, one that they think will allow them to live freely onward. Only it doesn't. They now owe a debt, one that will have them looking over their shoulders for years, until the time comes that payment is demanded. While they knew what to expect at St. Joke's, could the unknown be worse in the end?
This prologue--which was a really quick read--did what it was supposed to: pique my curiosity. I've read the author's romantic suspense novels in the past and those have led me to have high expectations for this duet of hers. Clearly, Tommy and Beth are the ones I'm most focused on and it's their story that's told first, set several years afterwards. After everything they went through in The Debt, I'm curious to see how they're faring as adults.
O'Keefe certainly doesn't disappoint. She's got the creepiness factor on high in the less than forty pages it takes to introduce readers to the main characters and their time in foster care. The suspense is palpable, but it's the fledgling romance between Tommy and Beth that keeps things anchored, and if it's one thing I know based on personal experience, it's that O'Keefe knows her way around the romantic suspense genre. Five stars for The Debt. ♥
Date Read: 05 June 2017
Learn more about M. O'Keefe.