HAPPY RELEASE to DAMAGED GOODS by NYT Bestselling Author Nicole Williams
FACTS ABOUT DAMAGED GOODS
Given what Liv’s profession is for a while during the book, I had to do some extensive research that was rather interesting and showed me just how little I thought I knew about this profession.
What Liv calls Death Valley since she’s so very fond of the place she grew up, is a fictional town in Nevada. I wanted to create a fictional place in this instance as I wanted readers to be able to relate it to their own sinkholes they may have lived in in the past.
My husband was in the military for six years, so he was able to answer a lot of the questions I had about Will and what he would have gone through and experienced when he was in the military.
I have rough outlines for books for each of Will’s brothers, although I’m not sure if I’ll ever write them. For me, I just had to know what their whole stories were, even if I was the only person who knew them.
Reese was originally named Charlie, but I wrote this book months before writing HARD KNOX (in which the female lead is named Charlie), so this Charlie’s name got changed to Reese and really, it suits her better.
From all of the research I had to do on rattlesnake bites, I wound up having snake nightmares for a couple of nights!
The last chapter in the book involves a sky lantern. On a trip to the Oregon Coast, I watched several people send them up into the night sky, giving me the idea for how I wanted to end Will and Liv’s story.
Given Will’s character, he’s been the most difficult male lead to write so far. I found myself constantly re-writing lines or scenes pertaining to him.
I think Liv will probably be my most controversial female lead to date based on the choices she’s faced with and the decisions she makes. I think readers will either love or hate her and there will be little in-between.
Cherry might be my favorite secondary character I’ve ever created. For more reasons than one!
The author is offering a release giveaway! Visit her Facebook page to enter!
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.
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**I received an ARC of Frenched in exchange for an honest review**
Mia was a week away from her wedding when her fiance called it off-- via text. So what's a girl to do, except lock herself in her room, wallow in self pity, and curse the day she ever met said fiance? Those are exactly the things Mia has planned, but her friends have other ideas. They suggest that Mia go on her "honeymoon" afterall. Alone. The thing about Mia, though, is she's a planner. Organized to a fault (OCD, anyone?) and when her friends tell her their idea, she thinks it's crazy. But she decides to go against everything she's used to and be spontaneous for once. If nothing else, this trip to Paris will be a nice escape from all of the drama that surrounds her. But will being all alone in the most romantic city in the world be more than she can handle?
On Mia's first night in Paris, she's already had enough. Seeing couples kissing and holding hands is too much for her and she's convinced she made a mistake and should head on home. But she stumbles upon a charming "bartender" and, once again, her plans change. Physically, Lucas isn't her usual type, but she can't deny the instant attraction she feels towards him. He makes her a deal-- give him one day to impress her with Paris. If he fails, she can return home as planned. Of course, he turns out the be the best tour guide ever and sparks fly between the two. His intelligence, sense of humor, and common interests are a pleasant surprise for Mia and she catches feelings pretty quickly.
I took a step closer to him, angling my head so that my lips were just beneath his. All he had to do was lower his lips two inches, and they’d be on mine. Suspense had me rising on tiptoe.
One thing leads to another, and... Holy freakin' steam, Batman. If I thought the sexy scenes in Melanie's previous books were hot, she knocks it out of the park in this one! Move over Joey Lupo, because I've found a new book boyfriend and his name is Lucas Fournier! Grab a glass of water (better yet, wine) and maybe turn on the AC before starting this book because there are some seriously steamy moments. But that's not all these two have going for them. Mia and Lucas compliment each other wonderfully. They're fun together and very sweet... and did I mention sexy? They each brought out something special in the other and I very much enjoyed watching them fall in love, no matter how quickly it happened. Yes, it was fast paced, but also surprisingly believable. It didn't feel forced. They were both very authentic, likeable characters and I couldn't help but root for them the entire time.
“Just lie back and relax, love.” He slid my legs apart, planting a kiss on my left inner thigh, then my right. “Tell me if something feels good and scream all you want.”
I'm a huge fan of this author and just knew I was going to love this book. Instantly, Melanie's sense of humor and personality shined through and I could tell straight away that this was going to end up being a very entertaining read-- funny, sexy, and fun-- and I couldn't wait to see where Mia and Lucas' story unfolded. This author writes the kind of books, for me, that I absolutely hate to read in public... for fear of looking like a complete idiot when I'm crying and scoffing and snorting from laughter because I'm so consumed by the story that I forget there are people around. I got a few weird looks from more than a few people while reading this one, I'll admit. Each of Melanie's books are better than the last. This one was a lot bolder, in my opinion, than her previous books. She was very... unapologetic with Frenched and I have a feeling that she'll continue to write her best stories that way. While I adore Melanie's historical romances (if you haven't read the Speak Easy series, you have to ASAP!) and hope to see more of them in the future because she does them so well, I have to say that she blew this contemporary romance book out of the park and I think she'll definitely get some of the recognition she deserves with this genre.
So, as you can tell, I loved Frenched. It was sexy, entertaining, and nicely paced-- all things I've come to expect from this author. I loved the ending and thought it fit perfectly with the rest of the story. My only complaint is that I need more of these two. And that is the wonderful thing about this author-- she leaves you feeling so attached to the characters that you can never get enough of them. Fans of humorous romances (think Alice Clayton) will definitely appreciate Melanie's sense of humor and find this one to be very enjoyable.
"Oh my God, I love Paris!"
Mia and Lucas meet for the first time!
“You hate flying, yet you want to get on another plane first thing in the morning?”
“I have to.”
“No, you don’t.”
Shaking my head, I insisted, “Yes, I do. You don’t understand.”
“Sure I do. Your fiancé called off the wedding and you’re angry and sad or whatever because you’re getting close to your marriage deadline or whatever, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time here. You came all this way, even though you hate to fly. There must have been a reason.”
Oh, yeah. That’s why I was annoyed with him.
Aggravated anew, I sat taller on my seat. “The reason was that I’ve always wanted to see Paris. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a kid. I had every day planned out, I knew exactly what we would do, the things we would see. And I thought I could handle it on my own, but now that I’m here, I can’t, OK? I can’t handle all the love and romance and fucking happiness all around me when I was supposed to be here on my honeymoon! It isn’t fair!” My voice was rising and several people glanced my way, especially since I thumped my hand on the bar with my last word. But how dare he ruin my buzz and the tenuous peace I’d made with myself about going home!
He shrugged. “Lots of things in life aren’t fair. Doesn’t matter what city you’re in.”
I rolled my eyes as all the attitude progress I’d made during my second glass of wine came undone. “Spare me the platitudes. I’ve heard a boatload of them in the week since I was unceremoniously dumped—via text message, mind you—seven days before my goddamn wedding.”
Lucas regarded me carefully. “You’ve got a problem.”
Brilliant, this asshole. “Yes. My problem is that I’m on my honeymoon, alone.”
“That’s not your problem.”
My jaw fell open. Who the hell was he to tell me what my problem was? He went on before I could protest.
“Your problem is that you thought things were going to be one way and they’re not. You’re not even telling me you miss the guy who was supposed to be here with you. You just don’t want to be here alone because that wasn’t the plan.”
“That is not what I said!”
He laughed. “That’s exactly what you said.”
“Well…” I flapped my hands. “That’s not what I meant. I’m flustered. And drunk.”
“So you do miss him? Because I don’t see a heartbroken girl here in front of me. I see someone who’s angry that her relationship ended badly mostly because it ruined an idea she had about the perfect life. And she flew all the way here, but even Paris isn’t enough to distract her from the fact she didn’t get exactly what she wanted when she wanted it.”
“It was more than an idea! It was real. At least, it felt real…most of the time.” My spine curled as the fight left my body. Even my voice weakened. “But what do I know?”
He spoke softer too. “Want to know what I think?”
He held up his hands. “Fair enough.”
I put my credit card on the bar. “I want to pay my bill and leave.”
“The wine is on the house.”
“Because you feel sorry for me?” I snapped. God, Mia, just shut up. Why I was letting this guy get to me, I had no idea. Wasn’t I in this bar because I felt sorry for myself?
He hesitated before answering. “Yes. Originally, I felt sorry for you because some asshole treated you wrong. But now that I know a little more, I think he did you a big favor. Now I feel sorry for you because you’re going to let one bad day ruin a dream that you’ve had for such a long time. You know, if you leave tomorrow, I bet you never come back. I bet you’ll always think of Paris as a miserable, lonely place.”
I opened my mouth to argue and then closed it. Was he right? Was I letting one bad day speak louder than a lifetime of dreaming about Paris?
“But I’d also bet you’re stronger than you think.”
I met his eyes, and they were serious. Was he right? I’d known coming here wouldn’t be easy, but I’d gotten on that plane. Cocking my head, I asked, “Were you a psych major or something?”
He grinned. “Double major—music and psychology. Graduate degree in psych. Look, I know we just met, and I do tend to analyze people and open my big mouth when I should probably just keep my opinion to myself. But when you walked in here alone and looked around, I thought, There is a woman who knows what she wants. That confidence is sexy.”
“But I’m not confident.” The words came out like a whimper as I stared down at my left hand, where my ring used to be. I wondered where it was now—I’d thrown it in the toilet, but Coco had rescued it.
“Yes, you are. You’re just a little scared right now.”
Exhaling, I looked up at him through my lashes. “You argue with everything I say. It’s really annoying.”
“Sorry. Let me make it up to you.”
He thought for a moment. “Well, let’s make a deal. You agree to give Paris one more day, and I’ll agree to spend the day being your tour guide—no psycho-analysis, I promise. If you’re still miserable even when you have a friend by your side, you can grab a flight home the next day. I’ll even call the airline for you.”
“A friend, huh?”
“You think about it.” He moved down the bar to fill drink orders, and I checked out his ass again.
It really was cute.
Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her lipstick red, and her history with the naughty bits left in. I write New Adult historical and contemporary stories.
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