Maximoff Hale was born famous. His grandfather is the founder of the largest soda company in the country and his mother is famous for being a sex addict. At the age of twenty-two, he is now in charge of the non-profit portion of the business and he’s good at what he does. But everything comes with a price and the family has round the clock bodyguards to protect them from the paparazzi and overzealous fans.
When Maximoff’s bodyguard retires, another is ready to step up to take his place. Maximoff has known Farrow Keene since his teen years and Farrow has held a long standing position in Maximoff’s fantasies. The tattooed and MMA-trained Farrow was on track to be a doctor like his father, but then switched gears to join the security team. Now his only job is to protect Maximoff at all costs.
While the men have always had somewhat of a rivalry, their chemistry cannot be denied. But dating each other is strictly forbidden and a complete conflict of interest. Life is about to get a whole lot more complicated.
The blurb on this book hooked me in. I was all for the bodyguard and client scenario with intense chemistry to boot. While the book did have that as Maximoff and Farrow have insane chemistry, the book was not all that it claimed to be.
To start, the book is a spinoff from an earlier series that features Maximoff’s mother and each of her sisters. Damaged Like Us is billed as a standalone and while the relationship does stand on its own, it was not the true focus of the book. Maximoff has a huge family with siblings and cousins and they are all worked into the story. I was not sure if I was supposed to have known these characters from the previous series; it did seem like it, and there was just too much focus on the many secondary characters for me.
But back to Maximoff and Farrow, the page time they did have was the highlight of the book. Maximoff is considered American royalty and he’s famous for being famous. The families live in Philadelphia and while there is an explanation made for the intense paparazzi, it was a little far fetched for me. Neither Maximoff, nor any member of his family, can go anywhere, I mean absolutely anywhere, without being chased by cameras and fans and it was a little over the top at times for me.
For all of that though, Maximoff is a fairly stable guy. He takes care of his family and is always concerned about how his status affects those around him. When he learns that Farrow is his new bodyguard, he has no idea how he is going to deal as he’s had a crush on Farrow for years. While Farrow is completely professional, the guys push each other’s buttons daily and the banter is fun and the chemistry is fierce. Maximoff is also upfront with the reader as he breaks the fourth wall several times throughout the book. I like this style when it’s done well and the authors’ made it work for his character.
The relationship between Maximoff and Farrow has to be kept secret so we only see the guys in stolen moments. The rest of the book shows Maximoff dealing with any number of crises that arise surrounding his wealthy family. From the blurb, I wasn’t expecting it to be such an ensemble piece and the storylines surrounding his younger siblings, cousins, and parents didn’t all hold my interest. I kept waiting to get back to Maximoff and Farrow, but their on page time together was limited. And as an aside, most of the characters call Maximoff “Moffy” and while authors can certainly name their characters as they see fit, this name stalled the flow of some scenes for me.
Damaged Like Us is the first book in a new series from the authors. Maximoff and Farrow will also be featured in the next book and I would definitely be interested to read more about them. The book was well written overall and I will keep the sequel on my radar for a possible follow up. If you followed the first series or are in the mood for a book with a cast of characters, you could certainly check this one out.