Review: Lost Without You by Molly O’Keefe

Reviewed by Joanna

Seven years after losing contact with the love of his short teenage life, Tommy is forced to deliver on a debt he owes, and in doing so he has to decide which is more important: his love, or his life.

In the short prequel to this tale, The Debt, free separately and included as the first part of this novel, Tommy and Beth were teenagers falling deeply in love with one another, against the backdrop of being residents of the St. Jude’s Home for Court Placed Juveniles. This detestable, abusive environment made it all the more difficult for them to be together, and they were discovered and punished by the vile and evil Pastor who ran the home. Poised to rape Beth, the Pastor is killed by the teenagers. I celebrated his death and only wish it had taken the b****** longer to die.

Tommy, along with Carissa and Simon, two of the other resident teenagers, were arrested (Rosa vanished and Beth went to hospital) but they were offered a deal by the mysterious Bates, and took their freedom owing him a debt.

You know these sorts of debts. Tommy, a boy from the wrong side of the tracks with few life expectations for himself, indebted himself to a highly powerful and dangerous man. Bates appears in other books by O’Keefe, and I haven’t yet worked him out. He lines people and favors up like he’s playing a long game of chess.

We start the story seven years on, and, working as a stone mason, Tommy’s debt is called in. Carissa appears in a bar he frequents as they allow his dog in, and Tommy is handed an envelope with a fake driver’s ID and instructions to collect a person from one address and take them to another. Sounds simple, except the person is Beth, and she’s now a wildly popular pop star. She’s also in trouble.

So immediately I’m all over them reuniting after the traumatic events that tore them apart. We hear mostly from Tommy at the beginning, and his life is all sorts of beautiful and tragic. Just like every romance this author writes. He remained friends with Simon, now a war correspondent, and he has few other friends other than the ugly little snaggletoothed dog called Pest (never have I cared so much for someone else’s dog). He doesn’t let anyone else close, including, check this, no relationships. Not one, after Beth. And they’d never had sex, so… yes, he’s a Virgin Hero. All six foot plus of solid muscle, white blond hair and piercing Viking blue eyes. Hell, yes to all that.

After the rescue/ kidnap of Beth we get to hear her side and what’s happened to her over the past seven years. A makeup artist with a popular YouTube channel, she shot to fame as a singer after escaping the clutches of her evil doctor mother. But her life is a series of uppers and downers, with a quack doctor administering drugs to manage her stage appearances. She’s a train wreck. Like Tommy, she’s also incredibly interesting looking – dual heritage with a black mom and a white sperm donor dad, but she has a recessive gene which gives her red hair and freckles. O’Keefe certainly writes unique characters.

Tommy and Beth reunite beautifully though not easily under the circumstances of the debt Bates is calling in. Sex happens, but I don’t want to spoil the tender moments so I’m not going to say anymore, but be warned the HEA isn’t possible in this book. There’s too much bad that needs to be made good first.

“We’re not a fairy tale,” I said, and he nodded, his face all folded up like his thoughts were put away. “I used to think we were.”

“So did I,” he said and that was a comfort, at least. We’d felt the same way for a while there.

We’re left with one zinger of a cliff hanger, but never fear, the final part of this story, Where I Belong, is coming fast, with a publishing date of the 26th June. I am loving this rapid-fire publishing model for multi-part stories. Authors with cliff hangers: take note. This is the kind of buzz you want to create around your stories. Anything else is just frustrating.

Rating: A, as I need badly to know what happens next for these kids

*ARC received in exchange for an honest review

Click to purchase: Amazon

Lost Without You
by Molly O’Keefe
Release Date: June 19, 2017

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