Published by K.B. Ritchie on June 27, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Enemies to Lovers, Famous, Forbidden, M/M, Realistic Fiction, Romance
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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.
“We’re like lightning and thunder, inherently different but alike enough to share the same sky.”
Absolute Perfection! I’m so in love with this book. I know I normally say that when I absolutely love a book I just read but it’s the honest truth! All the love! I’m not sure how I’ll be able to wait until October for Book 2. Now forgive me in advance if I go on tangents or have a few rants on this review. This one is truly special to me.
It’s not a secret I’m a huge fan of the Addicted Series, huge. It’s one of my top series ever. It’s also not a secret, if you read my reviews, that this series snuck up on me and took over my heart. I wasn’t an insta-fan. I wasn’t a fan of the first 2 books, they were difficult and hard. But there was still something about them that kept me coming back, something about these characters, they just felt so real. And boy was it worth it, once I got deeper into the story I fell in love with these characters and I knew they would hold a place in my heart forever.
“When you’re different from the pack, it takes more guts to be yourself”
Where do I begin describing all my feelings while reading this book? The one constant in my mind while reading the book was HAPPY. I was so happy the entire time! Had this huge grin on my face. While this was a little angsty at times, this was overall such a light, beautiful book. If you’ve read the Addicted books, you’ve met the child version of Maximoff (Moffy) Hale, he is Loren and Lily’s son. Let me tell you, Maximoff was everything I was hoping for: beautiful, strong, self-assured, smart, dorky (he’s a Hale!) and caring. Oh, so caring. He is truly Lily and Lo’s son. His love for his family, for his parents, siblings, cousins is everything. My heart was full reading about it. It was also a testament to the great writing of Krista & Becca, and the fact that these characters are so well developed you can’t help but being fully invested in their lives.
And the romance, oh man the romance part was all sorts of awesome! You see Moffy has grown up in the spotlight. His family has always been in the limelight and now is stronger than ever. He lives no ordinary life and so he requires 24/7 security, as many other high-profile celebrities do. When his teenage crush, Farrow Keene, gets assigned as his bodyguards, it completely changes his life. I guess you need to read to understand why, what type of person Moffy is, what type of family he comes from and why he’s chosen to be so morally correct.
“Maximoff Hale is something else, and from start to finish, I can’t imagine anyone else having him but me.”
Anyway, Farrow and Moffy are at odds since the beginning. For one, they’re both super alpha. For two, they’re both trying to hide their attraction to each other. I loved the angst and the anticipation.
“Most people find Farrow Redford Keene intimidating at first sight, but I’m immune to most kinds of intimidation. It’s called being a Hale. I can describe Farrow in three meaningful ways. 1. Frustrating. 2. Aggravating. 3. Piss in my hot tea.”
“If Farrow was pushed to the front, I craved to find a way next to him. If Farrow went fast, I went harder. And he never let up. With anything, he was too headstrong to let me pass without a hard-won fight.”
The sexual tension:
“I stare him directly in the eye. Unabashed, but I keep thinking, never in my goddamn life have I wanted to accept an order like that one as badly as I do now. I’m highly aware that I’ve always been drawn to alpha males. The kind of men who want to top me as much as I want to top them. I get my way almost every time, but just toying with the vulnerability of being with someone just as strong, just as dominant, lights me up to the fucking max.”
“He tenses, breathing shallow, and he looks back at me. He’s still only dressed in drawstring pants, his ass literal perfection in them. I’ve never wanted to touch, hold and fuck someone as much as I want to touch, hold and fuck him. And even though I just massaged Maximoff, it still feels like not enough. Not nearly enough.”
“I try to master restraint, but my eyes say what my mouth can’t.
He reads them.
I know he reads them, and our chests collapse and rise in heavy unison.
Jesus Christ. I can’t. We can’t. But I think, fucking kiss me. Just do it.”
And the banter!
I swig my orange juice before saying, “Look what the wind threw up.” I set down my glass.
Farrow raises his apple to his mouth. “You mean blew in. ”
“No,” I say firmly, palms on the pearly counter. “I meant threw up.”
“Thank you for that technical adjustment.”
“Anytime, wolf scout.” He eases forward and lowers his voice to the sexiest whisper, “It’s good to remember that I’m better than you at most everything.”
It takes a lot of effort not to stare at his mouth. “Sounds like an alternate universe.”
One corner of his lip quirks, and then he eases back.
I’m completely in love with Farrow! I thought he was definitely the right fit for Moffy. The only one that could tame him, and the one who could keep up. They’re equals and opposites all at the same time. A perfect match! Moffy’s description of him is perfect:
“Somewhere around my sixteenth birthday, I started crushing on him. Maybe it’s because he never just gives me the win. Maybe it’s that he’s five years older and a Yale graduate. Or that he does thirty pull-ups like it’s a damn breeze. Maybe it’s all the gray and black tattoos that cover his fair skin, even to his throat. Beautiful inked symmetric wings decorate his neck, crossed swords on his Adam’s apple. Maybe it’s his four visible piercings: a hoop on his nostril, bottom lip, and two barbells on his brow. Maybe it’s all of that combined together that heats my skin, pools blood south, and attracts me like an idiot. He’s made permanent camp in my cerebral cortex and cock, and I don’t know how to extract him.”
“Everything about Farrow is lightning cracking the night sky”
And his feelings for Moffy are so real, and so raw:
“His love for his siblings toughens him, not softens. And a guy being so protective over the people he loves, I find extremely fucking sexy.”
“We can’t all be heroes,” I say matter-of-factly. His glare falls to me, but his lips inch bit by bit, our arms still hooked tight around each other.
“If I’m not the hero, what am I?”
Maximoff is waiting for me to call him a villain. In his comic books, that’s the dichotomy. Heroes versus villains. He’s very far from one. I press my lips to his jaw, his neck, and against his ear, I whisper, “You’re a prince who wants to be a knight.”
“And I tell him bluntly, assuredly, without a fucking doubt, “You’re my boyfriend. And from the jump-start, this has always been more than just sex.”
Ok, I need to stop! I don’t want to spoil the story and I really want you to read it, But that’s the thing, I can’t stop. I have so many feelings, and so many highlighted quotes I just want to share them all, cause they’re so gorgeous! I lived for the romance in this book.
Anyway, the book explores romance from a different perspective. Maximoff’s fame is a real issue and it plays a central part in how he’s chosen to live his life.
“Our fame burns. And burns. None of us need to stoke the flames for it to stay lit. And me—fame is my friend and foe. It’s a part of me. A tangible thing that lives inside of me. This is the only life I’ve ever lived. It’s the only life I know.”
Because of this Moffy has chosen a life of one-night stands, instead of pursuing a relationship.
“I’ll never be in a relationship,” he tells me flat-out. “I’ll never experience any kind of romance beyond a one-time hookup. Because once I date someone in public, media will hound them to the point of intrusion, vulnerability—I won’t ever subject someone to an extreme loss of privacy that they’ll never get back. I’ve accepted that this is my life, and I’m satisfied with that.”
That is, until Farrow comes along.
“I’m watched and observed all the time. By strangers. By cameramen. By people. And never, never have I come undone. Until now, until his eyes feel like hands, and I want them all over me.”
“I want to do more. I want more. In a way that I’ve never even had before, and is that what’s being offered? Is it even possible?”
“I’ve never felt breathless in my life. I’ve never been with anyone I’ve known. Not like this. Never have I had real feelings beyond physical attraction. Not until him.”
Because Farrow is his bodyguard, and because he’s in such proximity to him 24/7. He feels like he finally can explore those feelings. And when he realizes what he could have in his life, it’s simply amazing!
“So this is what it’s like, huh? I can kiss someone the next morning. I can expect to see them in an hour. I can do it all again and again. Something lightens in my chest. Feels like freedom.”
“He knows me well.
Millions of people know me, but not like this. Not like that. I hang onto that fact like rope on a wall that blocks my view of everything. He’s how I see the other side. He’s made my life feel freer.
He made me believe I could actually have a relationship. He made me believe I could experience more than just this fleeting, temporary thing.
And I have.”
“This is what I missed in my life, and I can’t imagine never discovering this feeling. Never having him.”
This book is beautiful, hot and extremely romantic. It also explores things like fame, family and privacy. I also love how gutsy Krista and Becca were when exploring some themes in here, I definitely didn’t find anything out of character or was surprised by anything. I also think that this was amazingly written MM. I’m no-nonsense when it comes to these things. I read lots of books every year, a lot of them are MM. I’ve read MM by established MM authors and there are some I haven’t liked. Similarly, I’ve read MM by established MF authors and I’ve loved them. So I make no distinction when it comes to a good writer. A good writer is a good writer and a good book is a good book. I don’t immediately discard a book because the writer “typically” writes a different genre and so on. This was just perfect. The more I read Krista & Becca Ritchie, the more I fall in love with their books, their impeccable writing and their attention to detail.
Damaged Like Us ends on a happy note, but it’s still Book 1 on a series, there will be more than one book. This can be read as a separate series from the Addicted Series although it’s a spin-off. The authors have gone above and beyond to explain everything where the new reader won’t feel so lost. However, I think that your experience with this story would be so much better if you’ve read the Addicted Series. Or maybe, I just selfishly want everyone to read those awesome books!
Ok, I’m finally done now with my essay. I absolutely recommend this book, from the bottom of my heart. I can’t wait for book 2 and all the books in this series. There’s so much more to explore, so many unanswered questions and so much to look forward to! I especially want to know about Janie and Sully and their love interests! Needless to say, I’m a fangirl for these books and also a #proudweirdo. Bring it on K&B! I’ll be waiting! If you hung on till the end, thanks a lot! 100% recommend Damaged Like Us
“I hoped for someone who wasn’t afraid to put me in my place, someone who made me feel human. I hoped for someone who could be strong so I could be vulnerable, but still never make me feel weak or less than. I hoped for trust and understanding and an innate love of my family. And I realized, Farrow…” His hand slides up my neck to my jaw, his welling eyes already caressing mine. “I realized,” I breathe, “that I was always hoping and wishing for you.” Say the words. “I’m in love with you, and I’m the lucky one here.”