Sunday, July 2, 2017

Book Review: Damaged Like Us

Title Damaged Like Us
Series Like Us, book 1
Author Krista & Becca Ritchie
Release Date June 27, 2016

Don’t date your bodyguard.
It was the one rule he had to break.

Maximoff Hale is a force of nature. A ship unwilling to be steered. Headstrong, resilient, and wholly responsible — the twenty-two-year-old alpha billionaire can handle his unconventional life. By noon, lunch can turn into a mob of screaming fans. By two, his face is all over the internet.

Born into one of the most famous families in the country, his celebrity status began at birth.

He is certified American royalty.

When he’s assigned a new 24/7 bodyguard, he comes face-to-face with the worst case scenario: being attached to the tattooed, MMA-trained, Yale graduate who’s known for “going rogue” in the security team — and who fills 1/3 of Maximoff's sexual fantasies.

Twenty-seven-year-old Farrow Keene has one job: protect Maximoff Hale. Flirting, dating, and hot sex falls far, far out of the boundary of his bodyguard duties and into “termination” territory. But when feelings surface, protecting the sexy-as-sin, stubborn celebrity becomes increasingly complicated.

Together, boundaries blur, and being exposed could mean catastrophic consequences for both.

The Like Us series is a true series, one continuous timeline, that follows a family of wealthy celebrities and the people that protect them. Damaged Like Us can be read and enjoyed without reading any of Krista & Becca's other novels.

This is such a difficult book for me to review. Krista & Becca have written 12 other books that I've read and absolutely loved. The Addicted series is my favorite new adult series. The Aerial Ethereal books were also fantastic. I'm always excited to read their next book. To say that I was excited for the Like Us series is a bit of an understatement.

Unfortunately, Damaged Like Us just didn't work for me. Chances are, if I had never read anything by Krista & Becca before, I would probably feel less disappointed. However, I've come to expect a book that's full of emotion, a solid story, and characters that I fall in love with from them. Damaged Like Us just didn't give me that.

Let's start with the biggest part of the book, the romance. It was wonderful to see more diversity in Krista & Becca's work with the M/M couple. However, Maximoff and Farrow's relationship felt so different than any other relationship they've ever written. There was a distinct lack of emotional connection between them. It felt like their entire relationship, as well as the majority of the book, was focused on sex. I get it, some relationships are more sexual than others. There's nothing wrong with that at all. But how am I supposed to believe this couple fell in love and will stand the test of time if that's all I see? How is their relationship any different than Moffy's one-night stands? (If you answer is because Farrow's still around in the morning, no. That's just disappointing.) This was the biggest letdown of the entire book. I didn't feel their connection. Krista & Becca's previous works were believable, realistic romances that I fell in love with. This relationship missed the mark completely.

The big twist that brought to light Maximoff and Farrow's relationship? Totally and completely awful. Besides, where did it even come from? Why now? Was it just to further the plot (because that's certainly how it feels) and force Moffy and Farrow's relationship out in the family? It made me sad that this was the direction they went with the story. And the parents' reactions? Unbelievable and completely out of character.

Aside from the relationship aspect, the book lacks a solid plot. Sure, you can have a character driven book. That's fine with me. I'm a fan of character driven books. However, in order for them to be successful, the characters need to be well developed and fully fleshed out. Definitely didn't feel like the case here

Let's talk Moffy. He's supposed to be a revered person in his family. The hero worship seemed over the top, though. Yeah, he'll go to great lengths to protect his family and he's always there for them. Their over the top love for him didn't feel authentic, though. To top it all off, his relationship with Ryke was disappointing. Didn't we put all of that to bed already?

I was hoping to see more from the other family members, especially the ones that will also be getting books (Jane and Sullivan, from what we know so far). Yes, the focus of this book was Moffy and Farrow. I get that. However, in previous books there was the main couple but still plenty of the other characters from the series. It was definitely disappointing that so much revolved around Moffy and Farrow, especially considering their relationship was so sexualized and lacking any real depth.

Though Damaged Like Us completely missed the mark for me, I will be reading the next book Lovers Like Us in hopes of some redemption. I sincerely want the Like Us series to be just as successful and amazing as the Addicted series. I'm holding out hope that it will get better.

It greatly pained me to write a negative review for this book because I love Krista and Becca's work so much. However, I really wanted to share my thoughts after reading Damaged Like Us. I apologize if my review is all over the place. I've got a lot of feelings about this book and wanted to get some of them out sooner rather than later.


2 out of 5 stars

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