Reviewed by JustJen
Title: Damaged Like Us
Authors: Krista and Becca Ritchie
Series: Like Us #1
Heroes: Maximoff Hale/Farrow Keene
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 352 Pages
Publisher: K.B. Ritchie
Release Date: June 27, 2017
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: 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.
Review: These are new authors for me, and as such, I have not read the other series that this spins off from, so I was a tiny bit hesitant. It didn’t take long for my worries to disappear, and I was thrilled to find it was completely different from any other bodyguard/client story I’ve read in the past.
There is a bit of setup time involved as the players are all explained/introduced. This story surrounds three families who are all connected by blood and have earned their fame (some good, some bad) through the parents. There are three teams who provide security for each of the family members with each member being assigned a bodyguard who is by their side and essentially becomes part of the family, most having been with their charges for years. The security is all invested and cares about the family and children, especially those to whom they are assigned. There are a lot of characters here, but it doesn’t take long to become familiar with them.
This is about Maximoff, or Moffy, as most people (except for Farrow) call him. He is the eldest son of one of the families. He is a bit different from most of the siblings in that he doesn’t mind the spotlight and fame and all that goes with it. He is extremely humble though and concentrates on doing what he can to make things better and more normal for his siblings and cousins. When his bodyguard retires, there is a shift in the security and he is assigned Farrow, who used to be the bodyguard to Maximoff’s mother.
Farrow grew up with the families, so he knows everything about them. His father is the family physician, who had hoped Farrow would continue in his footsteps after finishing medical school to take over his position. Unfortunately, he had no desire to do so, and even though he finished school, he never took the exams to make it official. Instead, he is doing what he loves guarding the family, much to the disappointment of his own family.
Maximoff is not happy about this turn of events that places Farrow, a guy he has crushed on since he was a teen, in his every day life. He has resigned himself to the fact that he has no chance of having a meaningful relationship due to the difficulties of his status, so he satisfies himself with meaningless hookups. It doesn’t take long for the sparks to fly with these two, and it is easy to see how Farrow is the perfect “solution” for Maximoff. Farrow is someone who is trusted, who Maximoff can be himself around without worry, such as he would with anyone else. They spend nearly every hour of the day together which allows them a lot of time to interact and really get to know each other. Farrow sees Maximoff as very few have, aside from his cousin and bff, Jane, with whom he lives.
I absolutely loved the banter between these two. They teased and taunted each other, but it felt so natural. It was easy to see their feelings grow and blossom. They both knew the stakes and what being together would entail. I loved watching them tread through Maximoff having an actual relationship (his first) and having to keep it all a secret from family, the security teams and the public. It was also fun watching Farrow try to do his job with Maximoff and his need for independence never making it easy.
I loved that this story focused on these two, and I was even more excited/relieved to see they would continue in the next installment. I adored these two, could have read about them forever, and was definitely not ready to let them go. This series has a very unique dynamic and style. The fame and public attention was a bit over the top at times, but I got past that and found the rest was full of emotion and humor, a bit of danger and suspense and lots of sexy time as well. I am an instant fan and can’t wait for more. Highly recommend!
Overall Impression: I loved it!
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*