Blog Tour ~ Damaged Goods by Susan Mac Nicol ~ (Reviews, Excerpt + Giveaway)
Title: Damaged Goods
Author: Susan Mac Nicol
Series: Men of London #7
Release Date: April 28th 2016
Genre: New Adult MM Contemporary Romance
Touched by tragedy, love is an elusive dream never to be realised by eighteen-year-old Jax Grady--until he discovers his secret admirer and receives the sweetest gift he could ever desire.
THE SWEETEST GIFT
Tragedy and horror shaped Jackson Grady's life, leaving him orphaned and scarred. At eighteen he's ready to claim his future, but who could love his disfigured face and damaged soul? Definitely not a big, burly, beautiful Irish Traveller who is entirely the stuff of dreams.
Dare Rowan didn't mean to become obsessed with the blue-eyed man he first saw across a field, but that porcelain skin and innocent air demanded another meeting. Jax has the face of a wounded angel, and the rest of the young man is as heart-breakingly perfect. Jax is beautiful in every way and teaching him about love and life will be something Dare will embrace. Like unwrapping and savouring the candy at the shop where he works, Dare will show this young man everything Jax desired but never thought he'd have, and take Jax to new highs while he holds him through the lows. Between them, they’ll find out just how sweet life can be.
He wasn’t stalking his fantasy. He wasn’t.
Dare clamped his lips together mutinously as he hunkered down behind a towering oak. The tree lay on the outskirts, in the garden of a large Georgian house. From a distance, Dare watched as the beautiful blond man he’d been observing, thank you very much, tenderly placed what looked like flower bulbs in the rich soil. The man—whom Dare had first called Angel, though he now knew his name was Jax thanks to the younger kids playing in the garden yelling to him—leaned over. His pert jean-encased backside pushed out into the air and Dare swallowed, mesmerised by the enticing sight. A pang of guilt washed over his skin at the sneaking knowledge that yes, he could actually be deemed a stalker.
“I’ve only watched him a few times,” Dare murmured under his breath. “It’s not like I’m some pervert checking through the windows. I mean, the guy is in plain sight and there’s no boundary fence, so why shouldn’t I look? Anyone would. God, he’s gorgeous. A flawed angel with those blond curls and blue eyes.”
His wistful voice echoed in the quiet of the forest surrounding the large house called Castaways. It was some sort of place for homeless kids, Dare thought. He’d found this vantage point by accident one day when he’d been out gathering bits of greenery for his boss, Sally, an eccentric seventy-year-old woman who owned the sweet shop he’d managed for the past three years.
Some weeks ago, Sally had decided she wanted to display certain wildflowers in their place of work. She was also heavily into aromatherapy at the moment, so she sent Dare out each week to pick new blossoms and plants to further her ambitions to be a “flower child,” as Dare teasingly called it. He hadn’t minded. It had become a pleasant routine to take the short tube ride to Camden to perform what Sally loftily called his “ecological duties.” This secluded part of the woods around the area was the best place she knew of to find the flowers. Dare had caught sight of the beautiful man in the garden tending to a bunch of what looked like unruly kids, and now, having seen his Angel, Sally could send him out every day and Dare wouldn’t mind.
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie in exchange for a fair and honest review. ***
Dare has been stalk…, ahem, checking on Jax ever since he first saw him during a trip he made to collect flowers for his boss close to Jax’s house. He can spend hours gazing on his angel, and everyone he cares about knows of his obsession for the younger man.
Jax never thought anyone would look past his scars and what he considers his shortcomings, until he met Dare, who made it very clear that he was interested. Even then, it isn’t easy for Jax to accept that a man as handsome as Dare would want to be with someone as flawed as him.
Dare might be handsome, but he’s very insecure, as well. Seeing as he’s an Irish Traveller and didn’t even finish his studies, although he’s a hard worker and overall good man.
Would they be able to overcome their insecurities to build a relationship in the future?
This was such an amazing read! We met Jax in Feat of Clay and it was delightful to see more of him in Damaged Goods. He was such an intriguing character, an enticing blend of innocence and maturity, of shyness and forwardness, and with a strength that he was unable to realize he had. And Dare, well, I loved Dare from the first moment, he was so sweet even when he was being all stalkery. It was lovely to see him try so hard to score a date with Jax and to prove to him that going out with him was what Dare really wanted. He’s such an awesome character, protective, romantic and always trying so hard to be the best he could for Jax, that I just couldn’t not love him.
Jax and Dare were so good for each other, although their road to their HEA was a bit bumpy at times. They were both sweet and hot together and I just love how their relationship progressed.
And I adored seeing Tate and Clay, they were just amazing as always! Their presence added more depth to the story.
I loved how Susan Mac Nicol dealt with such sensitive issues as Jax’s attack and its repercussions and how she showed us this other side of the Irish Travellers.
All in all, Damaged Goods was fantastic! The writing was stellar, filled with emotion and romance, with characters that robbed a little bit of my heart and for whom I was rooting so hard so they would get their HEA. I don’t think I could’ve asked for a better story for Jax after all he’d gone through. Very recommendable!
Rating: 5 Stars!!!
At 15, Jax was left scarred and partially blind in an attack by his stepbrother, shortly after his father passed away and his stepmother abandoned him. Forced to heal alone, he eventually ends up living at Castaways, a home for teens. At 18, he is ready to resign himself to a life without a real relationship after all who would want damaged goods?
Dare, Jax’s secret admirer/stalker who originally saw Jax while picking flowers for his boss, finally gathers the courage to introduce himself to the young man he can't stop thinking about. While their introduction doesn't quite go the way Dare hoped, it marks the beginning of what slowly develops into a sweet, loving relationship. Still, they'll have to overcome mutual insecurities and Jax’s past demons while learning to trust and love each other.
While this is not my first Susan Mac Nicol book, it was definitely different than the others I have read. This was more sweet than what I was used to. Not too much angst as far as the relationship goes and a couple that is very cute together.
I liked Dare, he was sweet, funny and caring. He was patient with Jax and wanted to do right by him. Jax was sweet as well although he was a bit immature at times, he was only 18 so in a way I guess it was to be expected, but he also had an innocence about him.
I recommend Damaged Goods to those looking for a little sweet (or a whole lotta sweet) book, a cute couple, some laughs and a few tears.
Read the Men of London series:
COMING SOON ~ HARD CLIMATE (MEN OF LONDON #8)
About The Author:Susan Mac Nicol is a self- confessed bookaholic, an avid watcher of videos of sexy pole dancing men, geek, nerd and in love with her Smartphone. This little treasure is called ‘the boyfriend’ by her long suffering husband, who says if it vibrated, there’d be no need for him. Susan hasn’t had the heart to tell him there’s an app for that…
She is never happier than when sitting in the confines of her living room/study/on a cold station platform scribbling down words and making two men fall in love. She is a romantic at heart and believes that everything happens (for the most part) for a reason. She likes to think of herself as a ‘half full’ kinda gal, although sometimes that philosophy is sorely tested.
Lover of walks in the forest, theatre productions, dabbling her toes in the cold North Sea and the vibrant city of London where you can experience all four seasons in a day , she is a hater of pantomime (so please don’t tar and feather her), duplicitous people, bigotry and self-righteous idiots.
In an ideal world, Susan Mac Nicol would be Queen of England and banish all the bad people to the Never Never Lands of Wherever -Who Cares. As that’s never going to happen, she contents herself with writing her HEA stories and pretending, that just for a little while, good things happen to good people.
Sue is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America and is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association in the UK.