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Release Date: June 14th, 2018
Trigger Warnings: panic attack, partner abuse (graphic), parental abuse (graphic), gaslighting, birth scene, death of parents (briefly mentioned)
Publisher: Nixon House
Genre: adult, romance, contemporary
They fell in love fifteen years ago and never quite fell out again…
Laura Burne arrives in Beesley-on-Sea searching for peace, happiness, and safety—not for the teenage sweetheart she left behind. And yet, one moonlit night on the beach, she finds him anyway.
Samir may be a man now, but he’s still sexy as sin, still sweet as pie, and still determined to take care of her. The problem is, while he’s remained the same, Laura’s life is forever changed—and not just by the unborn child she carries.
She’s on the run from her own personal monster. Her baby’s father. Her husband. There isn’t a man alive who’d take on those complications. So Laura has to remember that just because Samir protects her, and makes her smile, and watches her with something close to hunger in his eyes, it doesn’t mean he wants her…
Which is a shame. Because, against all reason and all goddamn common sense, Laura just might want him.
Damaged Goods is an interracial romance starring a white heroine and a Moroccan-Italian hero. Though it can be read as a standalone, the author recommends reading book 1, A Girl Like Her, first. This story is 40,000 words of sweet, angsty, red-hot, second-chance romance. There is NO love triangle and a guaranteed HEA!
Please note: this book contains descriptions of domestic abuse, intimate partner violence, and child abuse that may trigger some readers.
R E V I E W
Damaged Goods by Talia Hibbert was amazing. I know I say this with almost every Talia Hibbert book but, look, this author is talented. She has an incredible talent for creating characters that you feel as if you have known for your entire life. I was a bit nervous going into Damaged Goods though. It’s a novella after the authors A Girl Like Her (review), a book I loved to absolute pieces. Another reason why I was feeling a bit nervous going into this one was that it’s a second chance romance. I know some people adore second chance romances but I honestly hate them. I don’t know why I just do. Talia Hibbert has changed the game on that one though.
Damaged Goods follows Laura, who we met in A Girl Like Her. She is pregnant and escaping from her incredibly abusive partner. The only place safe for her is escaping to a small beach town that her family owns a house in and they summered at once in her childhood. It is an unfortunate tale if you look at it in a very analytical way. That is until Laura comes across the man who she first loved, Samir. He still lives in the little beach town and even owns a little café (that has an Italian flag on it but doesn’t serve Italian food!). The pair reconnects on Laura’s first night in the town and is inseparable from the moment. It sounds like it could be a fluffy and happy story but it is unfortunately not all good moments. Lots have happened to the pair since they first met all those summers ago and getting to know each other once more is something that takes time. What I loved most about this story is that despite its short length the time span is actually quite long – spanning months. A problem I have with Talia Hibbert’s books sometimes is how fast the romances do come about and I truly feel as if this novella was perfectly set up.
I’m going to try and keep this review shorter than my typical reviews purely because this is a novella and I don’t want to accidentally spoil anything for anyone. I just want to talk more about what I enjoyed specifically about this book and promote the heck out of it (seriously, read all of Talia’s books!).
what I liked
✗ GREAT DEPTH
This is a novella and is an incredibly fast read, however since Talia is such a talented author the depth she is able to create within these pages is absolutely amazing. I am truly still slightly speechless. The characters all have such clear distinct personalities, something I find a lot of authors struggles with.
✗ I LOVE LAURA AND SAMIR
Laura and Samir are definitely a new favourite pairing for me. Talia Hibbert has an absolute talent for writing soft heroes. It is incredible. I really thought I was someone who liked alpha males, but this author is constantly changing the game for me. Samir and Laura truly are so damn romantic and sexy together. It is AMAZING.
✗ RUTH AND EVAN ARE HERE
I think I made it pretty clear in my review for A Girl Like Her that I absolutely loved Ruth and Evan. Seeing Ruth and Evan appear in this book really was such a treat. It was also just so good to see women supporting other women and coming together in their shared trauma (Ruth and Laura). I feel like this kind of representation in books is so important.
what I didn’t like
✗ NOT LONG ENOUGH
I don’t have a lot to say on this point. I really believe that this book could have been so much longer. I would have loved this to be full length.
Overall, it’s currently four degrees (40 Fahrenheit) where I am and my fingers are so damn cold so I’m going to wind up this review. Damaged Goods is another incredible story from Talia Hibbert. I truly can’t wait to read the second book in this series. Laura and Samir were a delightful tale though, they truly were one of the sweetest couples I have had the gift of reading. Trust me okay, if you’re looking at getting into romance pick up this series. It will push you into the genre head first.
Happy reading everyone!
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