Review: Damaged Like Us (Like Us, #1) by Krista & Becca Ritchie

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Review

I. LOVE. THIS BOOK! I love it HARD!

5 huge stars!

The Ritchie twins have once again given the fans what we want, and have brought us back into their Addicted world, but this time writing about the next generation. And though set in the same world, this book has a feeling that is different from the originals, which I really appreciated, though there is still that incredible sense of family and friendship that runs strongly throughout the series, and an emotional, heartfelt and steamy romance that captured my heart and left me hugging my kindle and already planning my next re-read.

Obviously if you’ve read the Addicted series, you’re going to appreciate this book on a much deeper level than somebody who is starting fresh, but there is some background given and this book could be read as a standalone. Just be aware that there is SO much context to the overarching story that is this series and its characters that you will definitely be missing out without having read the Addicted books first. Also be aware that this is an m/m book. Don’t let that put you off if you haven’t read it before, because this love story is so fun, so natural, so full of chemistry and so beautiful, that you can’t help but fall in love with these two as they fall for each other *dreamy sigh*.

Fans of the Addicted series will remember little Moffy as the oldest child of Lo and Lily Hale – the adorable little boy who stole our hearts with his sweetness. Well Maximoff is now 22 – well adjusted, happy and successful, and I was so incredibly impressed at who he has grown up to be. He stole my heart as a toddler, and now he’s done it again as an adult with his intelligence, his quiet strength, his commitment and loyalty to his family, and his steadfast, responsible nature and caring heart, and he has become one of my all-time favourite characters of the series.

You wonder why I didn’t become bitter at the world.
You wonder why I don’t resent the world.
Because I knew I needed to become something that could withstand the world.
For my siblings, for my family, for anyone who’d grow up after me and need someone to defend them when they can’t defend themselves; when they need a shoulder to cry on or a safety net to fall in – I’m here. I’ve been here.
I’m always here.

Maximoff has accepted has accepted the craziness that is his life in the media, and has firmly placed himself in the role of staunch defender for his loved ones, and damn, that strength is sexy! But along with that, he refuses to expose anybody else to that kind of life so he’s never had a relationship, preferring meaningless hook ups and keeping his close relationships within his family, as they are the only ones he can trust.

But as crazy as Maximoff’s life is, it’s about to get a whole lot more so when he is assigned a new bodyguard – Farrow Keene, the man who used to protect his mother, and the man that Moffy has crushed on since he was 16 years old.

Dear World, stop fucking with me. Sincerely, an agitated human.

I’m not going to go into too much detail about the story, because you just want to dive in and experience it all as it unfolds, but OMG, I just love Maximoff and Farrow together! The chemistry is there from the very beginning – attraction tempered with a healthy amount of snark – but no matter how much they may try to resist the forbidden pull between them, their need for each other is impossible to resist, with the sexual tension building until every moment between them is dripping with anticipation.

He leans forward, his lips an inch from mine. And very deeply, very huskily, he whispers, “What do you want, Maximoff?”

And it’s all so natural! I could feel every little moment as things change between them. It flows, it makes sense, it’s easy and it’s perfectly paced, and it just happens. Like it’s meant to be.

It’s all so elementary.
Kissing.
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?

And as much as I loved Maximoff, Farrow was right up there with him. Another strong, protective alpha, he is no-nonsense and open about his feelings and what he wants, and I love that! And he’s such a great match for Maximoff! Whether they’re teasing, bantering, flirting, or all of those at the same time, their playful hotness blends perfectly with their growing feelings (and of course their passion for each other is off the charts!) and it’s all beautifully written as they embrace all that is happening between them.

“Don’t you see, Maximoff? There’s a cement wall in front of you, and you’ve just been told to be satisfied with staring at it … And so you just stand there, not able to see the other side.”
… “What’s the alternative? … Me hating my life?”
“It’s my job to help you over the wall … I’m going to give you what you’ve never been given.”

The forbidden nature of their relationship adds further intensity and a delicious twist to their developing relationship, but at the same time creates a ‘this is meant to be, no matter what’ sort of feeling that I revelled in. These two just get each other, and I happily lost myself in their story.

“I know there may be a point where a crisis in my family may conflict with whatever’s happening in your life – and you’re not going to like who I choose.”
“You’re going to choose your family because that’s who you are,” Farrow says strongly. “And I will love you for it.”

As always, the dynamics throughout the story are sensational – the relationships are beautifully explored, and in addition to the wonder that is Maximoff and Farrow together, I loved seeing Maximoff with his parents, his uncles, his siblings and cousins. I especially loved seeing the changes in the relationships as the kids have grown, and catching up with these characters that I love so much was fantastic.

There’s something so human and warm about my dad.
It’s his love of the people around him.
His love for his wife and children.
His love for me. It’s more powerful than anything I’ve ever known.

And I loved getting to know the security teams that protect the entire family. From their interplay with each other, to the close relationships that they have with the ones they protect, there are some wonderful dynamics in play, and I can’t wait for that to be explored more in future books of the series.

And as we’re watching Maximoff and Farrow’s relationship unfold, we also get to spend a lot of time with the other Hale, Cobalt and Meadows kids (Jane and Sulli in particular), and there are storylines there just begging to be written.

Going into this book I had a lot of questions about Maximoff, and I was so gratified that they were answered – his attitudes towards sex and alcohol after being raised by two recovering addicts, his feelings towards his Uncle Ryke following the rumours of his paternity, and his relationship with the press after being raised in the public eye. I feel like these issues were addressed really well.

The book ends in a great place and I was left completely satisfied, but I am so in love with these characters and their story that I am hungry for more. And I was thrilled to discover that the next book of the series LOVERS LIKE US, will be a continuation of Maximoff and Farrow’s story, because I really feel that there is so much more to explore with these characters!

We’re in this shit together, and we’re going to get out together. No matter what.

This was a truly special read, and I am eagerly awaiting whatever comes next.

5 stars!

 

Like Us

 Crazy Like Us  Like Us 3

Damaged Like Us (#1)
Review
Buy: Amazon | iBooks

Lovers Like Us (#2)
To be released 31 October 2017
Pre-order: iBooks

Untitled (#3)
To be released 2017

 

 

Fore more info on the Addicted series, and other books by these authors,
check out our Krista & Becca Ritchie Author Spotlight
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