Friday, May 27, 2016

ARC Review: Debt by K.C. Wells

Two 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

Dani's rating:

When Nikko offers to pay off a family debt, he doesn't anticipate being trapped in a high-end brothel where there are no restrictions on the fantasies of wealthy men. Nikko is Japanese-American, slender, and quiet with long, braided hair and pale skin.

Mitch notices Nikko immediately, not because Nikko stands out but because he tries so hard not to. Two months after his boyfriend of two years dumped him for not being "adventurous" enough, Mitch allows his friend Aaron to drag him to a dance club that hides a dangerous, illicit undercurrent.

On a high school teacher's salary, Mitch can hardly afford to pay for sex. He's not that kind of guy anyway. But he can't stay away from Nikko. There's something about the young man that calls to Mitch, and he just wants to hold Nikko and never let him go.

In a moment of sheer foolishness, Nikko's brother finds himself a pawn in an unscrupulous, high-stakes game. I really appreciate that the plot didn't go off the deep end with shoot-em-up-action and crime-drama. The romance between Nikko and Mitch never wavers, never dims.

Mitch is steady and kind. He just wants to find Mr. Right, and if he finds him in a brothel, so be it. Mitch is twice Nikko's age (45 to Nikko's 22), but the age difference isn't an issue at all.

Nikko trusts Mitch implicitly and gives himself over willingly. Mitch is a selfless, passionate lover, but he never pushes and is more than willing to cede control to Nikko (toppy Nikko is so damn hot).

The chemistry between the men is intense, but their connection is about much more than sex.

Even though K.C. Wells is one of my favorite authors in the genre, I was a little hesitant to read Debt because of the mention of abuse in the blurb. I don’t like dark books, and on-page sexual abuse is completely off limits for me, but K.C. doesn't do gratuitous angst; she approaches serious issues with care and sensitivity.

The focus in this story isn’t on the pain but the healing. The scenes of rough sex are off-page, and once Mitch finds Nikko, he does everything in his power to free him. Don't let the "abuse" tag stop you from reading this beautifully written, fast-paced, and ultimately tender story about two men who find everything that's right during a time when everything feels wrong.

One of the best things about this book is Mitch's loving family. Mitch's parents, his brother, and sisters are AMAZING. Families like this do exist in America; not every parent is homophobe. Some parents DO love their children unconditionally. It's so nice to see that in a book for a change.

Debt is sexy & dangerous; it has it all: age gap, hurt-comfort, suspense, sweetness, serious steam, a happy ending, and two men who refuse to give up on each other.

My only complaint: this book is a standalone, and I want MORE.

Get the book:


All good books have one thing in common – they are truer than if they had really happened.
~Ernest Hemingway

An ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Download links are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement of or affiliation with the book, author, publisher, or website listed.

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