Blog Tour and Giveaway: Damaged Goods: Nicole Williams

Nicole Williams
The Outsider Chronicles, #2
Released September 9, 2014
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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.

This can be read as a stand alone.

Some people let the world define them, and some people define their world. I'm still trying to figure out what kind of person I am.

Liv Stewart escaped the dead end Nevada town and trailer park and is working her way through college and trying to move ahead. But one day her new safe life implodes.  Her dreams get put on hold when she has to return back to the place she could not wait to get away from in order to step in as guardian for her two younger sisters, Reese and Paige. Everything she thought she got away from is staring her in the face again. With few job prospects and increasing desperation, she has to make difficult choices. 

One of her rules she always followed and instilled in her sisters is to not fall for a local boy. But soon she is going against her own advice and begins spending time with their neighbor, Will Goods. He is an ex soldier, a good man, and has his own issues he is dealing with. But even though she knows she should not get attached, he makes it difficult to resist. He's charming, thoughtful, helpful, handsome, and magnetic.

He had the wisdom of a man who had lived multiple lifetimes and the body of one who'd only just begun his first. 

Liv is guarded, overwhelmed, frustrated, angry, and stuck. She tries to be strong and resilient. She is doing what she has to do for her sisters, but she is still sacrificing herself and her dreams. And in order for them to survive, she has to do things she is not proud of. 

When she and Will end up in an unexpected situation, guards come down and sparks fly. But no matter how charismatic, hot, and sweet Will Goods is, he is still part of the town she just wants to put in her rear view mirror. And there are plenty of reasons that he is just not a good idea at all. 

She needs control and usually practices extreme self control. But Will makes her lose it. And he likes it that way. So the best answer for her is avoidance. But that is easier said than done.

Their lives are complicated. He has secrets. She has fears, rules, and big walls up. She runs, avoids, and pushes people away. He also has insecurities, so sometimes he lets her. Their anxiety, doubt, and secrets create barriers that often get in their way. But the times when their guards are down they are connected and passionate. And they begin to see little slivers of hope and happiness intermixed with the bad situations.

"Life is full of sh** luck. That's why when you find that thing or person that isn't every now and again, you grab on and don't let go without putting up one hell of a fight."

Liv was a bit hard for me to warm up to at first, but I understood why she was the way she was. Her upbringing was hard, her life had some recent pitfalls, and responsibilities and hardships wore her down. She lived her life in self protection mode that caused her not to really live her life fully.

"Don't live life like it's an apology. Live it like it's full of no regrets...It's a lot more fun...and a lot less guilt."

Will was sweet and adorable. He was so giving, thoughtful, and funny, but also charismatic, protective,  and strong. But he had his own demons and issues affecting him. I was very intrigued by him and his problems that were hinted at throughout the story.

Together they were kind of a mess, but good for each other too. They had an intense chemistry and pull to each other. But are they both too damaged to be able to handle not only their own problems but the other ones' issues too?

It's about stagnation, despair, connections, hope, taking chances, and living life to the fullest. It was a bit darker than Hard Knox and sometimes it could be  pretty negative and frustrating. But there were also times of passion, sweetness, fun and romance too. It had some unique and interesting twists. Will's secrets kept me intrigued.  I pondered over them and was analyzing him intently throughout the story and I did figure it out, but I know someone else that was totally shocked. It really added  an interesting dynamic to the story. It was told in Liv's point of view making Will's secrets his own, until he or someone else revealed them. She drove me a bit crazy at times, but she also showed growth and I did end up liking her. I enjoyed her dedication to her sisters and their typical sisterly interactions from love, hate, and in between. I totally fell for Will and thought he was a wonderful, damaged hero. He has three brothers we did not meet, but I would be interested in reading more about Declan, Ryker, or Grant Goods or even more with her sisters Reese and Paige. They have all come from this devastating place so seeing them rise above it could make good stories. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Liv Bennett escaped from her dead-end hometown as soon as she realized there was nothing there for her and promised never to look back. Except that when she left, she left 2 little sisters and a drug-addict mother and when her sisters need her, she drops everything in her new life to help. 

Will Goods grew up in the trailer next door to Liv, and between he and his brothers had quite the reputation. Now, he spends his days caring for his mentally ill mother and repairing cars in the garage next to his trailer by night. From the very beginning I loved Will. He was always around, always willing to lend a hand, and always seemed to know what all three girls needed. 

Liv was harder to like, especially in the beginning. She is an extreme pessimist and was stuck in the mindset that she could not steer the direction of her life, especially during her time at home. Watching her sink into despair at her circumstances was not so fun, but somewhere along the way her despair started to hurt less. By the end I loved her. I loved her for sticking to what she felt was best for her and her sisters. I loved her for that spark of hope that started to shine in her dim vision. And I loved the way she worked to change the relationships around herself. 

Paige and Reece, the sisters who drew Liv back to town, were great teenaged characters. They were very distinct individuals with their own personalities and Liv had to handle each girl completely differently. Reece, at 17, was the natural leader of the two, but she was also quiet, studious, and very sensitive. Paige, at 15, was more of a dare-devil and more likely to get into trouble than to follow orders without question. They had been neglected by their mother for long enough that they functioned as a team and at times almost didn’t need Liv around as a supervisor. 

In being there to support her sisters, Liv was stuck on the idea that she had to stick to the rules she had been harping at her sisters as long as any of them can remember: stay in school, and don’t date local boys. One of the lessons Liv had to learn through the book was about stereotypes and judging based on gross generalizations. She finds herself in several situations that cause her to completely change her thinking about people because her long held beliefs were proven to be not correct all the time. 

The main plot twist did not catch me completely unaware, as I saw clues that meant something was going to come up, but I was surprised by what the revelation meant and the characters’ reactions to the information. In hindsight, I saw other clues for what they were, but I loved what came for Will and Liv because of the twist.

This is a complete standalone, though it is the second book in the Outsiders series. None of the characters cross-over, though the idea of overcoming stereotypes and prejudices is strong in both stories. While I’m comparing the two books, because it’s hard not to, Knox would come out as my favorite of the two, but Will and Liv definitely had their strengths. By the end, there were plenty of lessons learned (some HUGE ones in there) and I loved the way Ms. Williams wove the whole story together.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
The Outsider Chronicles, #1
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Our 4.5 star reviews

Knox Jagger. The name inspires resent in every male at Sinclair University, want in every female, and contempt in Charlie Chase.

Charlie can be summed up in three words: independent, independent, and independent. To Charlie, Knox epitomizes everything that’s wrong with college males: prolific one-night stands, drunken senseless fights, and a body that hints at prioritizing gym time over study time.

As an up-and-coming writer for Sinclair University’s newspaper, Charlie’s tasked with getting to the bottom of who’s been dropping little white pills into girls’ drinks at parties. In an ocean of All-American boys sporting polo shirts and innocent smiles, Knox is the obvious suspect. As evidence piles up against the bad boy of Sinclair, Charlie becomes more and more certain it isn’t Knox. But when her drink is dosed at a party and she wakes up on Knox’s couch the next morning, Charlie’s left with more questions than answers when it comes to Knox Jagger.

How can Charlie ever hope to uncover the truth behind a guy so closed off he’s become . . .

Hard Knox.
Nicole Williams Blog | Twitter | Facebook

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.

The author is offering a release giveaway! Visit her Facebook page to enter!


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