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 . . .
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I'm the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the CRASH series (HarperTeen, S&S UK), LOST & FOUND series, UP IN FLAMES (S&S UK), The EDEN TRILOGY, and a handful of others. I write stories about everyday kinds of people who find themselves in extraordinary kinds of situations. I tell love stories with happy endings because I believe in making the world a better place, and that's one tiny way I can make it so. I'm one of those people who still believe in true love and soul mates, and would rather keep my head in the clouds any day over having my feet firmly on the ground.
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Review by Michelle:
As a big fan of Nicole Williams I have been eagerly anticipating the Outsider Chronicles for quite some time. As an even bigger fan of beautifully broken bad boys, I simply could not wait to get my hands on Damaged Goods. As with Crash, the series that made me fall in love with Nicole Williams' characters and stories, Damaged Goods is a story that is hard to walk away from, it's characters are completely captivating, it has sizzling, off the charts chemistry, and a hero that you would be insane not to fall for. It was completely unexpected, heart achingly real and emotional, and so well written I was downright distraught when I read the words The End.
Will Goods is perfection. He is everything I could ever want in a hero and nothing I was expecting. I was fully prepared and really quite excited for my broken bad boy fix when I opened up Damaged Goods, what I found instead was a girl who is far more damaged, with real deal problems and nearly impenetrable walls. Will may, at one point, have been considered damaged goods, but Liv could easily have been considered hopeless and completely untouchable if it weren't for just the right gentle, kind, impossibly patient man. Liv is strong and confident and selfless. She is one of those characters that you first wish you could step in and help in any way to make her burden just a little bit lighter, then you want to shake her and smack her upside the head when she refuses to see what is right in front of her and refuses to take a chance. Liv is real, she was forced to make real, hard decisions and to make real, heartbreaking sacrifices. She made some choices that some of us may turn our nose up at, but she chose to survive, to provide, and to overcome which is amazingly admirable in my book, especially knowing how hard these decisions were for her to follow through with.
So are you swimming or merely treading water? Are you surviving or thriving? Are you sustaining or actually living? What a beautiful, poignant theme throughout this story. It was as perfectly fitting for Liv as the title was for Will until each chose to embrace what they were given, fight for what they wanted whether they felt "deserving" or not, and chase their dreams. A theme that pertains to each and every one of us and that often made me turn introspective, to ask these questions of myself, to turn a similarly difficult decision or situation back on me and examine how I would react, what I would choose, how I could thrive under similar conditions. A theme to take with me well into the future as a true measure of happiness and fulfillment.
Let's all be honest, no matter how far the romance genre has come over the last few years, there is still a bit of a stigma outside our community when someone hears that you are reading a romance novel of any sort. What they don't understand is that these stories can touch on some very difficult situations, they can broaden our perspective and our minds to experiences we never personally could or would want to feel or undergo, they can hit very close to home and remind us that there is always hope, and they can teach us valuable lessons.
Damaged Goods is a stunningly moving and hard hitting read with a surprising twist that will shock you and affect you, one that draws you in and makes you feel the story, one that touches you and teaches you, one that will stay with you.
Rating: 5 Stars