If you ask me, this is the least engaging book in the Like Us series. It’s also the first that doesn’t actually feature a member of one of the famous families as an MC, meaning it does stand out that way. But since this is the seventh installment in the series – a series where the books aren’t meant to be read as stand-alones – it probably doesn’t matter. The readers of Charming Like Us are the hard-core fans that will stick with the series no matter what. Since that includes me as well, I’ll still read the next one when it’s released, despite my less than awestruck impression of this particular book.
Blurb: The two love interests in this story is Oscar Oliveira, bodyguard to Charlie Cobalt, and Jack Highland, an executive producer of the We Are Calloways docuseries. As a bodyguard to the most restless of the famous bunch, Oscar is always running after his client, or following him around the world more like. And he doesn’t have the time for a relationship even though he’s secretly longing for love. But when Charlie decides he wants to be the star of a new docuseries, Jack Highland starts tagging along. Oscar’s been attracted to Jack for a good while but keep getting conflicting signals. Jack is supposedly straight. But then why is he flirting with Oscar?
Right so. First to the things I really liked. It’s a Ritchie-book after all and they’re awfully talented authors. Meaning Charming Like Us is very well-written. And, without a doubt, getting the continuation of the overall story pertaining to the Like Us families is the best. Then the couple, Oscar and Jack. They were super cute and I absolutely loved them together. Also, the Ritchie’s particular style of storytelling, when understating the antagonism and love-hate directed at the famous Ones, it’s simply brilliant. It sucks you in and engages like nothing else. However, it’s also frustrating as all get out. Since the hecklers and antagonists (almost) always gets away with their appalling behaviour, I’m left with an unsatisfied feeling. So many things are left unresolved which is pretty unique in fiction. Because, in the Like Us series, what I consider to be loose ends in the story is actually just the backdrop to the overall portrayal of fame. And that’s apparently a pretty hard pill for me to swallow.
But, I’m sorry to say that there’s mainly two things that kept me from getting sucked into this read. First, I just didn’t find Oscar that interesting. I can’t explain it, it just is. And – naturally – that’s not the best premise for liking a story. Second, I felt that the story was too fragmented. This is the style the Ritchies have chosen for the entire series, but in Charming Like Us, it ruined the storyline. Too many events were skipped or glossed over, and later just mentioned in passing without any details.
Still. This is a good book even if it wasn’t my favourite. And I think most readers of the series will be quite happy with it.