Happy new release to Ainslie Paton for her second book in the Sidelined series, Damaged Goods, available now!
Damaged Goods by Ainslie Paton was simply stunning reading. Ravaging in its emotions, intense, passionate moments between characters. A multitude of emotions portrayed and all equally rapturous from one chapter to the next. I liked each of the characters more in this instalment of the Sidelined series, each entertaining in their own right. Damaged Goods is the second book in the Sidelined series – a series that gets better with each story.
Review copy received from the Author for an honest rating
Excerpt – Damaged Goods by Ainslie Paton
When he came to the table, he looked fed up. He gave off an I need a f*****g minute vibe.
“This looks great. Thank you,” he said.
It wasn’t quite as effusive as, hello person I newly declared love to, let me count the ways I adore you, let me whisk you away from this dull domesticity and make you squeal in ardent delight with my wonderful.
But she forgave him.
The silence that followed was harder to take. He’d closed up, focused on his meal and made eye contact with his silverware.
This was not how she’d expected things to go. She’d looked at pictures of 1950s pinup girls while imagining how it might feel to be kissed by a man who said he loved you and considered dumping USA Today for you. She felt like she was intruding.
But she’d been talking to a poodle and ogling Betty Brosmer while Owen was doing whatever it is a CEO who’d admitted to a drug problem did. Betty had all the curves and an impossibly tiny waist, but Owen had all the sharp turns and steep drop-offs.
“You did an amazing job with the staff meeting.”
“Call with your mom sounded—”
“My mom was being a b****.”
“You must be glad today is done.”
He grunted and attacked the chicken. So far, so not good.
“You’ve had a hell of a day.” Maybe saying I love you was a semi-regular occurrence for him. Maybe the timing sucked. Maybe she had made a mistake. Her eyes started to burn. It was dumb to get upset.
He looked up. “The stock price took a hit. Two developers we rate quit to go to a competitor. I made my mom cry. My back is aching and I’d kill for some meds. I told a woman I loved her today and I’ve never been so glad to see someone as I was to see you waiting for me tonight.”
That was a heck of a list, a dollop of perspective.
“Damage control. That’s what I’m doing at work and I was ready for it. We’ve been through worse. I was even ready for my family’s reaction, but I wasn’t ready for you. I’m trying to keep a lid on what I want to do about it. I’m trying to enjoy this meal, decompress, settle back in my own head again before I inflict damage all over you.”
Gimme, gimme, gimme. “Okay.”
He smiled, it had a dangerous quality about it, lopsided and half-lidded, more a leer, now that she thought about it. Owen had leered at her. Ooh.
“I will be okay and so will you. We’re skipping dessert. We’re going to take a shower together, lots of hot water on all the places that are tight. Then I’m going to attend to what I couldn’t earlier.”
He bumped the table as he stood and it barked on the floor; she saw how knotted up he was, how he’d lost the easy way he moved. She stood as well. “Maybe we should just relax.”
“That’s the plan, but it has a few pre-steps and all of them involve getting close to you.”
That wrong-footed intruder feeling had taken a bus ride home. “But.”
“Do you have a problem with that, Starburst? Because today I told you I loved you. That’s a big deal. Surprised the s*** out of me, and I don’t know what we’re going to do about it, but I’m not thinking about that now.”
He didn’t walk around the table like a normal person, he pushed it aside, making everything on it rattle. “I’m thinking about the way I can spread you open, so I see the center of you, sweet and pink and wet and ready. I’m thinking about how you twitch when I put my lips close, how your breath catches, how your muscles go hard. Your hips fit right in my hands and my tongue fits right inside you and I f****** love the way you want that, take that and aren’t afraid to show me everything you feel. You don’t hold anything back and that’s beautiful. You’re going to squeal so hard tonight you’ve got no voice in the morning.”
The part of her brain that was shocked by what he said, the way he’d pushed the table aside to get to her wanted to say, “I don’t squeal,” but that was dirty talk and it’d successfully glued her lips together, the only sound that came out was a throaty whimper.
About Damaged Goods by Ainslie Paton
The Hard Part is Getting Back Up
This is the story of a man who can’t get it up and a woman who’s never gotten it on
Sidelined by a broken back, CEO, Owen Lange is confronted by two things: his sex life will never be the same and he’s dependent on his pain meds. He never expected to have his dependence called out as addiction by a junior help desk employee.
Cara Douglas knows all about pain and loss. She’d had her sights set on the US Olympic Gymnastics Team before an accident landed her at a help desk screen. The last thing she expected to be helping with was an intervention for her boss.
Owen doesn’t thank Cara for her trouble. He calls her a snitch. But even through his paranoia he knows she’s right. After all, addiction runs in his family. He also knows he has to make it up to her, but the only thing Cara wants is the one thing Owen can’t give her.
Question: What do an injured athlete finally ready for no-strings sex and a nice guy who can’t get it up have in common?
Answer: Sexual awakening.
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