Thursday, April 25, 2013

Damaged (Damaged #1) by H.M. Ward Review:

Goodreads Book Blurb:
Life sucks. And, as soon as Sidney picks up the pieces something always knocks her back onto her butt. It's never pretty, but this time is different. This time pretty isn't even the right word.

Peter is the personification of perfection. It's like he fell off his angel perch in purgatory, because let's face it--any guy that hot has got to be naughty. He was probably sent here to ruin her life.

Peter is beyond beautiful with his sexy blue eyes, dark hair, and toned body. Add in his charming wit and Peter is everything Sidney ever wanted in a man, but when things get hot and heavy Peter shows her the door. Sidney takes the walk of shame and leaves. It's the end of the worst blind date ever. Her life couldn't possibly reach higher levels of suckage, but it does.

The next morning everything comes crashing down. The insanely hot guy from last night, the one that saw her half naked, is teaching at the front of the class room.

Genre - New Adult/Contemporary Romance

3 Wistful Stars! 

The Review:
This read left me with a bittersweet taste. I both liked and disliked it. It reminded me of Gabriel’s Inferno in that there was a budding teacher/student forbidden relationship but it lacked the complexity and emotional angst of GI.

The story itself was good but it had some serious plot holes in it and though both hero and heroine’s unfortunate pasts were heartbreaking and painful, the conflict with Sidney’s family made no sense to me at all. 

Damaged starts out with the heroine Sidney, reluctantly walking into a restaurant for a blind date set up by her college roommate. She’s rambles internally about how she hates these constant blind dates and how she’s uncomfortable with being around strange men. You can tell immediately she’s had a troubled past and something tragic has happened.

She sees a lone guy at a table and thinking it’s her blind date, she sits down and is instantly attracted to the sexy and charming Peter. To Sidney’s surprise, they hit it off right away and eventually go back to his place. Things don’t progress much past some heavy petting which is good because the next day, she walks into class and see’s Peter at the front, teaching. He’s not only her teacher but her boss as she’s his TA.

This starts a very complicated, forbidden and strained friendship/relationship between the two. Their chemistry is evident but besides the fact they aren’t allowed to be together, they both have catastrophic pasts they are dealing with. As the story progresses, we find out bits and pieces along the way. All this is good.

Here’s where things start to fall apart for me.
Sidney has a twin brother who doted on her throughout childhood. He protected her, loved her and got into fights just to save her honor. But her conflict is centered around her brothers best friend, Dean and something that happened between them. We are to believe that this doting brother and loving family chose to believe the best friend rather than their own sister/daughter. Even after her brother, Sam and Dean track her down and Dean bloodies her and dislocated her shoulder, Sam still sides with Dean. I don’t understand this at all. Unless we haven’t gotten the whole story yet, like Sam is on drugs or has had some massive break with reality, it’s hard to believe he turns from the overprotective brother to someone who doesn’t care or believe his sister when she confesses her horrific secret.

The last major thing I have a complaint with is Sidney’s constant internal monologue. I don’t need every emotion and feeling spelled out while reading. There was so much self description, I wanted to skip past those parts so I could get to the good story hidden behind all that blah!

There were a tons of things I liked about this book. Mostly, Peter who totally rocked my world! He was so awesome! His personality was off the charts sexy! He was charming, well mannered, funny, witty, intelligent and always said the exact right thing. I LOVED him! And the fact he could swing dance just made my little heart putter!

Sidney had a lot of great qualities about her. She held a secret so huge, it would destroy most women and it almost does. She tried to hold all these feeling in and kept her trust and heart locked up tight. She wanted a normal life but just didn’t know how to go about getting it. I really liked her strength but I also wanted her to seek out the professional help she so desperately needs. And I wanted her to TELL! Tell, tell, tell! She needed to find her courage and speak out! Perhaps we will see this in book two.

The Wrap Up:
For me, there was a lot of good but also a lot of bad with this book. I wanted to love it but I think the angst was hammered so hard into the reader, there just wasn’t any room to “think” and that really kept me from finding the love. Since this left off with a small cliffy, I’m curious enough to know how the story continues, to go on to book two when it’s released. Maybe then, more questions will be answered and plot holes put to rest.


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