Book Review – Damaged Goods by Lauren Gallagher

by Maryse on June 1, 2012 · 11 comments

in Bad Boys & Rock Stars

Damaged Goods
I was doing a bit of “What to Read After Fifty” research and happened upon this book. It wasn’t even on my radar until yesterday but OMG my jaw dropped (just look at that gorgeous cover)!! I HAD to know just who was the damaged goods in this one, and I so wanted to walk that path with them.

So… I downloaded the sample. You know… just so I wouldn’t forget it amongst my huge TBR list. Sometimes it’s out of sight, out of mind with me, and with a cover like that constantly in my face, I new I’d be on it soon enough. And I went back to the book I HAD been reading but I couldn’t stop thinking about this one. My current read was good, but this one was calling me so I went ahead and read that sample. And that was it. I was hooked.

The writing was right up my alley. The nervewracking situation… those “I have a feeling I already know where this is going, but I MUST experience it!!” thoughts. I moved all TBR’s and even the one I was reading down a notch ’cause this one was hitting my immediate need. See… I can never wholeheartedly trust my own “To Be Read” lists. No matter how I organize them, this kind of stuff seems to always happen. I find one that I just can’t walk away from.

So what’s it about? A 30-something divorcee who is tired of the dating scene and all of the issues and expectations and disappointments that come with trying to find love, intimacy or just plain sex. So, her best friends recommend the Elite Escort Agency, and she hires “Sabian”.

… my stomach was still a ball of guilty, self-loathing nerves.

I couldn’t decide what bothered me more: that I’d done what I did with Sabian or that my love life had gotten so pathetic and frustrating that I’d felt the need to resort to it.

He’s gorgeous, twenty-something, tattooed and a real pro. He’s awoken something in her, and she can’t get enough. They play well together (oh boy… do they ever)…

“I already know what’s going to happen.” His tone was caught in some spine-tingling gray area between teasing and growling. He raised his head and looked down at me. “But I want to know what you want.”

… until their connection hits a whole. ‘Nother. Level.

I wondered again if an escort had been a bad idea. Every man’s charisma and chemistry were measured against Sabian’s. My entire sexual world had shifted beneath the weight of this two nights, and everything was filtered through Sabian-tinted glasses.

Now what?! And that’s when the real fun begins. This book suddenly changes from sexual fantasies and fulfillment, to real life emotion and the problems they suddenly encounter. Where does it go from here? To me, that is ALWAYS fun to explore.

Maryse: I just read one last night that I really enjoyed

Jackie: would I? what’s it called?

Maryse: Damaged Goods. About a divorced 34 year old who has been on the dating market for a few years, hates it, and hires a gorgeous escort for a few romps from an Elite escort company but then… there’s a connection. It’s good actually because imagine getting attached to someone like that… and knowing what he does for a living?

Jackie: sounds like a ‘me’ book

Maryse: YES I DO recommend it for a good fast read. 4 hours is all it took me and the cover is JUST GORGEOUS

Jackie: yep just saw the cover – and 5 good reviews

Maryse: yep… and the author has a really good, realistic voice and the hero is tattoed

Jackie: you are such a sucker for a tatt!

Did it satisfy? YES!! Even more today then I thought, now that I’ve had a day to reflect on it. Fantastic read. Not perfect. Would have been 5 stars for me, had there been a bit more depth, more exploration of the turmoil, and especially more one on one personal time between the two characters (well, I mean, there was plenty of one on one considering what he does for a living… hee hee!!).

But you know. Talking. Cuddling. Arguing. Cuddling. Crying. There was tons of potential, and much of it was played out, and/or touched upon, but I wanted to live it more. More real life living, and I would have probably been ecstatic with it. Don’t get me wrong, though. I seriously SERIOUSLY struggled with certain… things. In fact, I was getting quite worked up and my imagination was running wild with frenzy. And it wasn’t even my situation to get mad about!! Imagine? So yes, the author did great. I just wanted… more detail? More involvement. More time to play in the angst.

Still, though, I love finding books about love in seriously unconventional, unusual and possibly detrimental situations. Trying to find the balance between what the heart wants, and what logic dictates. And I especially love when the balance goes completely out of whack and the “detrimental” suddenly needs to be dealt with. *sigh* My heart can barely handle the agony of stories like that, but I’m addicted and always wants more, anyway. I’m a sucker for book pain!

Almost perfect, but just… not long enough for how amazing it could have been. Okay, I’m being greedy. It was great, I just wanted more. Can’t fault a girl for wanting more of a good thing. ;)

P.S. The book indicates 272 pages, but I dunno. I’m a normal/fast reader and it usually takes me quite a few hours to read a 300 or so page book. I whizzed through this one in only 3 to 4 hours, so either it’s shorter then what is listed, OR it was just so darn good that I read it in speed-demon mode. Either way, I recommend it!

4 stars!

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Bia June 2, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Maryse, you’re RIGHT. LOVED this book. Your recommendations NEVER FAIL..:D
I want to recommend you this:( its soooo similar, but AMAZING BOOK TOO):

” Fallen From Grace by Laura Leone (Kindle Edition)”

link for cover:

Try? Let me know if you and our friends like??
Summary by author:
Laura Resnick, author of the popular Esther Diamond series in urban fantasy, began her career writing award-winning romance novels under the pseudonym Laura Leone. Her novel Fallen From Grace, which was a Rita Award finalist for Best Contemporary Romance, is about a woman, Sara, who befriends a younger man who conceals painful secrets and a double life behind his gentle charm and good looks. As their friendship blossoms into love, Sara gradually learns the truth about Ryan, who’s trapped in a world of lies, danger, and sex-for-hire. With his spirit renewed by love, Ryan becomes determined to find a way out of the life he was drawn into as a runaway minor, and equally determined to rescue a street kid whom he finds falling into the same traps which once caught him. But Ryan’s secret life is lived in a ruthless world which won’t easily let him go. Having fallen so far from grace, can he find his way back

Lise June 2, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Maryse-thanks for another great rec. I am so with you as far as needing a bit more depth and intensity. I mean the steam-favor is off the charts, but the story is just a bit too short and too HEA.
You still need to read The Fifth Favor, if you have not already!
I am off to read Scandalous by Ella Steele….

Bitchie June 2, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Oh! Lauren Gallagher is also one of my favorite M/M authors, she writes M/M as LA Witt, I love her, and so must check out this book too!

And Fallen from Grace is EXCELLENT! I second that recommendation, I LOVED it.

Bia June 2, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Bitchie… Yes, Fallen from Grace is AWESOME. I hope Maryse reads that one out too!..:)

Maryse June 2, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Great suggestion guys, but I read it last year actually. And reviewed it! :)

Any more like it?

Lise, I’m reading Fifth Favor right now.

Bitchie June 2, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Have you read Finding Home by Bonnie Dee? It’s similar- H is a 17 year old (at the start of the story) gay for pay hustler, h is a 23 year old copy editor who wants to be a reporter. She meets H while doing a story on homeless youth, and offers him a place to stay after he is beat up. It’s a REALLY good story, don’t let the age difference get to you. He’s 17 in actual years, but mentally, he’s live far more than the 23 year old has.

Maryse June 2, 2012 at 10:46 PM

Yep! Made my best of 2011 list (and reviewed)..


Okay… let’s find more!

Jennifer June 3, 2012 at 1:25 AM

I read your review yesterday Maryse and immediately downloaded this book….I am sooo with all of you on trying to find that fifty feeling. Thank you….it was a Great read, of course nothing is the same as Christian:) Who wrote the fifth favor, I seem to remember that one being mentioned somewhere on your blog but I can’t remember when.

Lise June 3, 2012 at 5:43 AM

Jennifer-Shelby Reed wrote the book and Sylvia Day of Bared to You suggested the read.

Jennifer June 3, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Thank you Lise!

Sara M July 3, 2012 at 6:51 PM

So I only read this book because of your review and I was pleasantly surprised. It really was a good read as usual

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