Flawed (Imperfectly Perfect book 1) by Lym Cruz
I’m flawed but not damaged.
Melissa turned her life around six years ago, moving to a new country and putting the shame of her past behind her. Forgetting the worst moment of her life is harder than she thought, especially when Andrew Malcolm re-enters her life, surfacing from the ashes of her past. The structure that Melissa built for herself is threatened by Andrew, who isn’t willing to let her walk away. He would hunt her to the end of the world to have the girl who wanted to be the best he never had. But what happens when the walls start crumbling around Melissa and she is forced to face the past she wanted so hard to forget? Will Andrew be able to pick her back up and show her that he cares, or will Melissa lose the chance to have true love?
Melissa is running from her dangerous past. Andrew is searching for the girl he left behind. When fate causes their paths to cross once more, sparks fly in Lym Cruz’s dynamic debut!
What a great story of love and redemption! Melissa, who is finally moving on from terrible and dangerous decisions she made in her past, thinks she’s finally on the right track. She has two amazing friends, a degree she’s studying for, and some spicy moves at her favorite dance spot. But when Andrew Malcolm crosses her path again, things start to crumble.
Andrew, on the other hand, can’t stop thinking about the girl he left in a hotel room six years ago. Working for his father as a lawyer, Andrew puts his head down and works... until he sees Melissa again. Despite six long years, romance rekindles as the two realize that they can’t stay away from each other.
Like a typical romance novel, Andrew and Melissa experience falling apart and back together several times before they accept the fact that they’re meant to be. Ex-girlfriends, familial issues, and other unplanned surprises crop up as the two rewrite their story. But what sets Flawed apart is the healing process that both Melissa and Andrew undergo.
As a child, Melissa wanted to be a dancer, and she almost got her wish - and then some. She danced and performed... until she was almost sold as a sex slave. Since then she’d been running from her dark past, hoping no one would recognize her from the news. When she reconnects with Andrew, he shows her that her past doesn’t define her. Despite knowing what she did and endured, he loves her all the same.
Andrew wants to be independent but can’t. Living under his parents’ thumb, he has to date who they want, work where they want, and pursue the things they want him to. It’s not until that he reconnects with Melissa and she helps him embrace his passions that he finally develops the courage to break free.
I wasn’t the biggest fan of Andrew. When he was pursuing Melissa, I thought the constant gifts and messages and knowing where to find her were creepy. For a bit I wondered if he was secretly someone malicious from her past, despite his role in helping her break away from Dominic. And her was very quick to jump into being a couple and then more even though he didn’t know Melissa very well. Melissa, on the other hand, I enjoyed very much. She was fiery and I loved exploring her thoughts and personal growth as she came to accept herself - both past and present sides of her journey.
Although I felt like there were three distinct points where Cruz could have nicely ended Flawed, the more the story progresses, the more surprising the action becomes. With lives in danger, everyone’s true colors show, and Flawed ends with everyone in a good place. Overall, the story was refreshingly innovative for a romance novel while exploring themes of race and wealth. Cruz writes clearly and with great detail, transporting readers directly into the characters’ settings. A captivating start for this new author, I can’t wait to see what comes next for Lym Cruz.
Learn more about Lym Cruz and her Imperfectly Perfect series here: https://www.lymcruznovels.com/.