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Books I’ve Read: Damaged Goods by Nicole Williams

Books

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Title: Damaged Goods
Series: The Outsider Chronicles #2
Author: Nicole Williams
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 9 Sept 2014
Source: Bought
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

When Liv Bennett said good-bye to her sinkhole of a hometown, she planned to leave that chapter of her life behind forever. But forever turned out to only be three years.
After her addict of a mother up and disappears, Liv returns to what she considers her own personal hell smack in the middle of nowhere Nevada to take care of her two younger sisters, and she promptly reinstitutes the golden rule that got her through her first nineteen years of life without getting knocked up, roughed up, or messed up: don’t date the local boys and, god forbid, don’t fall in love with one of them.

It isn’t long before that golden rule is put to the test.

Will Goods grew up in the next trailer over, but the wild, careless boy who used to tear up the town with his three brothers has morphed into someone else so completely, he’s almost unrecognizable. The quiet, contemplative man who works on cars every night and takes care of his mentally ill mother every day is nothing like the local boys Liv grew up avoiding.

But when Liv considers suspending her golden rule just this once, she finds out something about Will that will change everything.

Will Goods isn’t who he used to be—he’s not even the man Liv thinks she’s gotten to know over the summer. He’s become someone else entirely.

He’s become . . .

Damaged Goods.

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 I have to start by saying that I adore Nicole Williams, her ability to feed my love of word play only makes me worship her more. The clever use of the title within the narrative was used to stunning effect *happy sigh*

Told in first person narrative from Liv’s perspective. At 25 she is hardened by life. She considers herself white trailer trash although she has fought long and hard to escape the confines of the small town and redneck mentality associated with it. She is very much a pessimist but with her upbringing it is completely understandable. However, she has boxed herself into following a set course for her future whether it makes her happy or not. It is soon apparent that Liv hides behind her protective shell but underneath she is responsible and selfless to the core. She always puts her two half siblings before herself. Thinking she had escaped the confines of her home town only to be thrust deeper into its shackles by a cruel twist of fate.

Liv is very judgmental of the people in her hometown and is quick to label them based on their location. Will Goods lives in the trailer next to Liv, recently returned from the army and caring for his ailing mother. It is soon apparent that Will defies all of Liv’s preconceived stereotypes.

Acts of kindness within the narrative help restore faith in human nature (mine as well as Liv’s) although it was a shame that the unexpected nature of the acts of kindness were such a shock to Liv.

Forced into taking a job she is uncomfortable with, Liv battles with her perception of herself. The idea of identity plays a large part within the narrative, showing that the things we do to survive aren’t who we are. It is how we perceive ourselves that ultimately defines who we are. Will plays a large part in helping Liv break through her barriers, opening up to both herself and others. The plot twist was completely unexpected and I have to say worked so well with the situation, forcing Liv to confront her inner demons. There was a point when I wanted to slap her for being so stupid but fortunately she redeemed herself in my eyes :)

I just loved the way in which this story played out – it is utterly brilliant.

I have to mention Nicole’s stunning ability to weave a in a Stripper 101 crash course within the narrative alongside a heaping serving of sarcasm – is it any wonder I love her writing so much ;)

Spotlight plus Give-Away: Rowdy by Jay Crownover

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About ROWDY

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling Marked Men series continues with this sizzling, sexy story of love, heartbreak, fate, and second chances.

After the only girl he ever loved told him that he would never be enough, Rowdy St. James knocked the Texas dust off his boots and set out to live up to his nickname. A good ol’ boy looking for good times and good friends, Rowdy refuses to take anything too seriously, especially when it comes to the opposite sex. Burned by love once, he isn’t going to let himself trust a woman again. But that’s before his new co-worker arrives, a ghost from the past who’s suddenly making him question every lesson he ever learned.

Salem Cruz grew up in house with too many rules and too little fun—a world of unhappiness she couldn’t wait to forget. But one nice thing from childhood has stayed with her; the memory of the sweet, blue-eyed boy next door who’d been head over heels in love with her little sister.
Now, fate and an old friend have brought her and Rowdy together, and Salem is determined to show him that once upon a time he picked the wrong sister. A mission that is working perfectly—until the one person that ties them together appears, threatening to tear them apart for good.

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And don’t miss the previous books in The Marked Men Series

RULE

JET

ROME

NASH

About Jay Crownover

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men series. She also introduced the dark and sexy world of The Point in a new series this last summer starting with BETTER WHEN HE’s BAD. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she’ll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.

Links: Website/Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Jay Crownover Goodreads

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Spotlight plus Give-Away: Losing Track by Trisha Wolfe

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Losing Track (Living Heartwood #2)
by Trisha Wolfe
Release Date: 10/15/14

Summary from Goodreads

Sometimes you have to lose your way before finding the right track.

The roar of a bike engine. The vibration between her thighs. The feel of cool darkness kissing her skin as she coasts along twisty back roads at night—Melody Lachlan lives for these things. Ever since Mel and her best friend Darla escaped their small, backwoods town, they’ve traveled the countryside in search of fast rides, tatted bikers, and good times. 

A self-proclaimed poet and lover of all things free, Mel views her life as one long bike ride—with pit stops along the way to numb the pain. But she never saw herself as a junkie. Party as hard as you ride. That’s her motto…until a tragic night steals her soul. Then she’s forced to delve below the surface, to where her demons rage. 

When she meets recovered drug addict Boone Randall, she’s more likely to deck him than kiss his dimple-adorable face. She doesn’t want his help; doesn’t want to own up to her part in that night. She just wants to do her time and keep her promise to her friend. Yet Boone challenges Mel, and soon she doesn’t mind sharing the road. Only when Boone’s own secret demons threaten their newfound, fragile security, Mel’s course becomes rocky, and she must decide if letting her well-worn track marks fade is worth finding a new path.  

Told from Dual point of view from Melody and Boone, this is a New Adult Contemporary Romance intended for readers seventeen years of age and older.

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 Links to The Darkest Part: Also on sale for $.99!

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Content is for readers 17+ please read responsibly ;)

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About the Author

I’m the author of the YA Steampunk DESTINY’S FIRE (Omnific Publishing), ASTARTE’S WRATH NA Historical/Supernatural, and the upcoming YA Utopian FIREBLOOD from Spencer Hill Press, October 2013. My NA Dark Fantasy OF SILVER AND BEASTS available May 2013.

I’m the creator of YA Bound, a promotional site for the Young Adult genre. Also a member of SCWW and The Apocalypsies.

A proud business owner, I’m partnered with my partner, my husband. When I’m not busy doing all of the above, I’m a wife and the mother of a gorgeous teen boy who’s the sounding board for my male characters.

Author Links: WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebookTumblrYouTubePinterest

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Review: Making Headlines by Erin Brown

Image from Goodreads

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Title: Making Headlines
Series: Taking Flight #2
Author: Erin Brown
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date:
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 3/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

When a one-night stand turns into an online photo scandal, Sophie Tucker and Luke McGraw become campus celebrities overnight for all the wrong reasons.

Sophie Tucker can’t wait to start her freshman year of college—she has a full scholarship to her dream school and her sights set on landing a coveted staff writer position on the college newspaper. But when a scandalous photo from a one night stand she barely remembers is posted on The Score List, a new tabloid-style gossip site the campus is buzzing about, Sophie realizes her freshman year isn’t going to be what she imagined. As more photos are posted, Sophie decides to use her journalistic prowess to take down the anonymous person behind the site.

Luke McGraw is that guy—the vice president of his fraternity, the online editor of the school newspaper, and the one every girl wants to date. When a photo of Sophie, the girl he hooked up with the night before classes started and can’t get out of his head, shows up on The Score List, he knows that he has to find out who is behind the site—both to avenge Sophie, and to save the reputation of his fraternity.

When Sophie and Luke realize they’re both investigating, they decide to team up. But focusing on the investigation instead of each other proves difficult, especially when neither of them are sure the other can be trusted.

REVIEW 

Making Headlines has a few similarities with Deeper by Robin York in respect of the fallout experienced by women specifically when their sexual activity is made public knowledge.

Following a random hook-up the night before freshman year officially starts, Sophie finds herself the recipient of  online shaming. The dual narrative provides the deeper understanding of the level of inequality still experienced in today’s society where intimate matters are concerned, essentially misogynistic in their values. The double standard toward these type of situations is passionately portrayed within the narrative.

Sophie is a wonderfully strong character with an underlying layer of vulnerability. Her  goal of being an investigative journalist including her tremendous talent is put to the test in uncovering the culprit of the shaming.

Sophie’s tendency to flirt shamelessly counts against her both within the plot and also in forming a connection with the reader. It is only when the plot gets past this barrier that a true connection to Sophie is achieved, the way in which Luke views her aids this aspect. I liked Luke from the beginning even with his player reputation, he was very realistic and a typical guy. Only realizing his mistakes in retrospect :)

I  really liked the aspect of the plot involving role-playing games and how they can help build self-confidence within the gamers. It made me think of all the ways this idea could be utilized in library lessons ( a librarians mind never shuts down) :)

While the story itself was enjoyable it is Sophie as a character that is the outstanding feature for me. She is a fascinating, multi-talented woman who would make a terrific role model if you disregard her excessive flirting.

Spotlight plus Give-Away: Making Headlines by Erin Brown

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Making Headlines Synopsis

When a one-night stand turns into an online photo scandal, Sophie Tucker and Luke McGraw become campus celebrities overnight for all the wrong reasons.

Sophie Tucker can’t wait to start her freshman year of college—she has a full scholarship to her dream school and her sights set on landing a coveted staff writer position on the college newspaper. But when a scandalous photo from a one night stand she barely remembers is posted on The Score List, a new tabloid-style gossip site the campus is buzzing about, Sophie realizes her freshman year isn’t going to be what she imagined. As more photos are posted, Sophie decides to use her journalistic prowess to take down the anonymous person behind the site.

Luke McGraw is that guy—the vice president of his fraternity, the online editor of the school newspaper, and the one every girl wants to date. When a photo of Sophie, the girl he hooked up with the night before classes started and can’t get out of his head, shows up on The Score List, he knows that he has to find out who is behind the site—both to avenge Sophie, and to save the reputation of his fraternity.

When Sophie and Luke realize they’re both investigating, they decide to team up. But focusing on the investigation instead of each other proves difficult, especially when neither of them are sure the other can be trusted.

In a story full of the scandal, mystery, intrigue, friendship, and cheeky, sexy romance, Making Headlines channels Veronica Mars and Greek, in the companion novel to Taking Flight.

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Erica Brown Bio

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Erin Brown is a writer, Whedonite, Whovian, yogi, HGTV addict, and connoisseur of The CW’s TV line-up. She was born and raised in Arkansas, lived in New York City for five years, and recently moved to Singapore, where she lives on the beach, which is completely wasted on her because she is a ginger and the sun is not her friend. She is the author of Taking Flight and Making Headlines: A Taking Flight Novel. You can follow her on Twitter @erinbrownwrites.

Links: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Wattpad | Website

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