Date: 1st August 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Big thanks to the author
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.
Damaged Goods is the second book in the Sidelined series by Australian author Ainslie Paton. It isn't necessary to read the first one before this one, but still I'd highly recommend both to you. If you read the blurb above it really tells you what it is all about.
Ainslie Paton writes contemporary romances like no other author that I have read. Her books are clever and creative, she has a totally unique voice and tone. She explores issues and relationships that just have me totally engaged and wanting to read on. Her characters are flawed, gutsy, and downright delightful.
Owen and Cara make a great couple, both are damaged goods. Cara comes from a hard working but poor family, Owen from a wealthy family with their values all in the wrong places. Cara on the other hand has a Dad who is down to earth and prepared to give Owen a hard time if he thinks it is warranted. Cara wants to fulfil her dream of being a costume designer, but she is the independent sort and Owens efforts to push those dreams ahead just may not be what she is looking for. However they are well matched, they just need time! There is sexual awakening for sure, but as well there is love that is deep and compassionate.
The story is told from both Owen's and Cara's points of view. I really liked that and seeing inside both their heads, especially Owens.
One of my favourite parts of the book was an intimate conversation between Owen, Reid and Dev (they are all co founders of the company Plus) as Owen shares his inability with them around sexual function. It is open, honest communication and a tribute to their friendship. As well as the honest, intimate communications that run throughout the story, I enjoyed the moments of humour and the ways the friends watched out for each other.
As well as Owen and Cara we still have wee glimpses of the previous couple from Offensive Behavior, - Reid and Zarley and Dev and Sarina whose stories are yet to be published. Can't wait. Why? Because I know Ainslie Paton will do something that is totally romantic, different and refreshing. I know I won't have read a book like it before.