Review: Lost Without You and Where I Belong by Molly O'Keefe


Title: Lost Without You (The Debt #1)
Author: Molly O'Keefe
Genre/Themes: Contemporary romance, Abuse
Release Date: 19 June 2017

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Author's links: Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

My rating: 3.5 stars


Seven years ago, I thought I could save Beth, the girl I loved from the monster who was supposed to take care of us. I thought I could keep Beth and all the other kids at St. Jude’s Home for Court Placed Juveniles safe. 
I failed. Badly. Now we all have blood on our hands and owe a dangerous man a very dangerous debt. We don’t know when he’ll come calling for payment, but when he does – we pay, or we suffer. 
When my turn comes, I’m ready for anything.
Except seeing Beth again. 

No one ever tells you that the cost of having your dreams come true is literally every single other part of your life. Yes, I’m a huge pop star these days, but I’m pretty much a mess, too. 
I’ve spent my life hiding behind disguises, make-up and costumes, all to protect myself from the kind of pain that comes from revealing your true self to someone. 
I did that once. With Tommy. The only person I ever loved. It didn’t turn out so well. 
And now, with everything else falling apart around me, I’m suddenly in the backseat of his car.
Being kidnapped.
And the past we’ve both tried to run from is catching up with us. 

Contains The Debt: A Prologue and 50,000 more words in the continuation of Tommy and Beth's story.


I want to start my review with the preface that book 1 ends in a terrible cliffhanger and since the next book came very soon after it, I have decided to review together.

That said, this was not an easy read. The story has the depth and intensity typical for the author but this one was rather dark and heavy to read at times due to covering the subject of child abuse. I feel a trigger warning is needed for child abuse, including attempted rape presented in real time in the Prologue and in flashbacks later in the story.

Beth and Tommy are two very broken characters that cannot be easily fixed. They have this almost cosmic connection and it seems they are each others' only salvation. The road to their HEA together was not an easy one and often in this story, I couldn't imagine how they will get the happiness they deserved, being together seemed absolutely impossible.

Tommy broke my heart, he felt real, easily accessible, his suffering and dilemmas i could understand.I felt a strong connection with him and think I understood him better. Beth remained a bit of mystery, we never get crucial details about her past and that kept me from understanding her better.

This read like the start of Tommy and Beth's journey both literally and figuratively. I wasn't sold on the whole thing with Bates and the attempted kidnapping of Beth. Tommy and Beth just started unpacking all the hurt from their past and story ended. I strongly recommend reading the next one right away.

Purchase link: Amazon

Title: Where I Belong (The Debt #2)
Author: Molly O'Keefe
Genre/Themes: Contemporary romance, Abuse
Release Date: 26 June 2017

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Author's links: Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

My rating: 3.5 stars


It was simple: Pay the debt and I stay out of jail. Pay the debt and I stay alive.
But I sacrificed it all for Beth.
I didn’t pay what I owed. I’m sure punishment is coming, but I can take it - as long as Beth is safe. Away from her mother and everyone else who would hurt her.
I gave it all up for two days with her. And it was worth it.
She always was. 

We’re supposed to be done. Over. Tommy goes his way, I go mine. Cue the heartbreaking music.
I’m supposed to forget him, but I don’t think I can. And when the danger closes in on Tommy, we’re on the run again. From Bates. From my mother. From our past. And there are no safe places to hide.
Except one. And it’s the place that will hurt Tommy the most. 
But maybe it’s time for me to face my past. My demons.
Maybe it’s time for me to save Tommy for once.


The emotional and physical journey of Beth and Tommy continued in the second book. It was even more intense that the first one. And a lot more sex was included which made me feel like the characters were trying to solve all their issues with sex. No matter how intimate and liberating it was, I was not convinced it was the right approach. I felt they needed more talking and less (rough) f*cking especially considering the traumas they were both dealing with.

The story was very raw and emotional, tugging at the heart strings. There were plotholes, though, that took me away from the story, the business with Bates, the missing reasons behind the behaviour of Beth's mom at the past and in the present.

The situation with Tommy granddad was difficult and conflicting and not easy to process and I like that it was not sugarcoated but it was presented as something exceptionally painful for everyone involved, something that needs time and a lot of effort to accept.

Overall, I see Beth and Tommy's story as an emotional and raw tale of an almost fatal attraction, exploration of how loving and hurting the person you love often go hand in hand. I have my doubts regarding the representation of trauma survivors but I'm not an expert, so I can't really say if was wring or right. The pacing was uneven at times, there were some plotholes, which did take away from my enjoyment of this series. The prologue worked rather well on its own but I  can easily see book 1 and 2 being just one tighter, more cohesive story.

Having said all that, I still love Molly's writing and think she can spin a story of exceptional depth and intensity but this is not one of my favourties of hers. I expect that we will be getting more stories in the series (Simon, Carissa) and I'm just intrigued enough to continue reading them.

Purchase links: Amazon

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