Bella Jewel has been on my “to-read”/ “to-listen” list for a long time. When the opportunity to review “ Flawed Love” came up I jumped because I had heard and read so many great reviews for this author. Even the book “Flawed Love” has received very good reviews. “Flawed Love” is a New Adult type story. It goes back and forth between the two main characters- Rainer Torrence and Emmy/Mali- and their relationship in the past and the present.
Rainer and Emmy were friends growing up, they were in high school together and had a very sweet bond. Rainer was the typical cute/ bad boy who got all the girls. Emmy wasn’t as popular but he and Emilie were always together. They were best friends. As Emilie begins to become curious about boys and her sexuality Rainer is her go- to guy. She asks him questions and he guides her through her crushes. As Emilie becomes more interested in other guys Rainer starts to see that he cares for her and their relationship changes. Things aren’t going so well for Rainer. He is basically on his own as his alcoholic father passes away and he has no one to turn to. Rainer makes some bad decisions and even though he loves Emilie he disappears.
Fast forward ten years Emilie finds out that Rainer is back in town and she goes to a bar he owns and goes up to him. Rainer doesn’t remember Emilie even though they were a big part of each other’s lives for many years and they had a very good friendship. Following the advice of a friend she goes back to the bar but presents herself as Mali. Rainer is instantly interested and they develop a physical relationship. During this time Mali/ Emmy tries to figure out why he can’t remember her and where he has been all these years.
Ok, so I loved Rainer and Emmy’s relationship. It was so incredibly sweet and I really liked how they got along and how they basically came of age together. However, there were some parts that I just absolutely hated and it definitely ruined how I felt about the book. I’m not going to give much away but 1) The whole reason he left and can’t remember Emilie was too much to take in. It was too far-fetched. I credit the author for originality but for me it felt lame. 2) I really disliked how Rainer treated Mali- if she were my daughter this would be big warning signs about the type of man you want to stay really, really, really far away. Ok, 3) insert Pippa. I hated this storyline so much. It really didn’t even make sense. I felt like it was an extra drama that was not needed. Even at the end Pippa felt very strange and unnecessary.
Needless to say, there is a lot of drama and Emmy finally comes clean to Rainer about who she really is. Also, even though I liked hearing Rainer’s point of view it felt inserted and it didn’t go with the story. It was almost at the very end that we finally get to see how he coped with everything and what lead to his disappearance. There were moments that I had such a hard time with this storyline that I would have given it one star but I was curious to see how the story would end and how Rainer would react to everything. Bella Jewel is a very popular author and I’m positive that her fans will really enjoy this story. The narrators did a good job of bringing the characters to life. Lidia seemed to capture Emilie and her tumultuous emotions and Roger gave Rainer a much needed voice.
**Audiobook Provided by Publisher**