Damaged Package is a suspenseful romance (or romantic suspense?) featuring a world-traveler-turned-bike-messenger (in the Motor City, of all places) and an ex-SWAT-cop-turned-head-of-security, set in Detroit. And it’s awesome. Read it!S.A. McAuley was recently a guest of Prism Book Alliance. Be Sure to check out their guest post here.
Title: Damaged Package
Author: S.A. McAuley
Publisher: Self Published
Rating: 4.75 of 5 Stars
Forced into early retirement from his career as a SWAT officer for the city of Detroit, James Deacon knew that when he failed it would be a fall of epic proportions. He’s been living life by the tips of his fingers for over twenty years, and his new gig organizing a group of misfit military types into a functioning team—including his reluctant ex-fiancée—won’t return him to stable ground anytime soon.
Trevor Barrow has been on the move for the last seven years—hitting the road when relationships became too real or too much work. He’s home now, working in the hazardous world of bike messengers in the Motor City, and the only one of his eight siblings who knows he’s returned is his sister Cat. It’s not as if reconnecting with them matters anyway, because it’s likely he’ll be gone again soon.
Both men are lugging some heavy baggage, but when they chance upon each other in a dive bar it’s hard to deny their flaws are more like symbiotic quirks. Trevor’s backpedaling instincts and Deacon’s dance-dance party past may just be intersecting at a time when things are about to get explosive in Detroit
Even though this sums it up short and sweet, there’s more to say about this book. A lot more, actually, beginning with the characters:
First, we have Trevor – Trav, as his family calls him, and rightfully so, since he’s been all over the world already at only 23 years old – a drifter with protective walls around his heart ten feet thick who thinks he’ll only stay long enough in his hometown until he’s made enough money to be off again.
Aaannnd we have drumroll Deacon, 38, out-and-proud party animal, batshit crazy adrenaline junkie and yet deeply rooted to his native soil and loyal to a fault.
When these two opposites meet at a dive bar, nothing can come out of it but a casual hookup, right? Wrong. From their initial banter to the first-date scene (which alone was worth reading this book) to their slowly building relationship, they peel layers upon layers of prickles, misgivings and apprehensions off each other until love and commitment stops being a mere distant possibility. Beautiful to watch, and their clashing personalities had me in stitches more than once, while at the same time I also more than once wanted to smack either or both to make them see reason. For that, though, I had the secondary characters, mainly Deacon’s friends and fellow private security “mercs”, some of which were so well-drawn they could easily carry a story of their own.
While the romance moves slowly, events around the main couple come thick and fast, past and present merging and moving in leaps and bounds toward the (literally) explosive showdown. If this book had any flaws, they lay in the plot itself – I found myself losing the logical thread once or twice, and sometimes chance intervened in a way that rather required suspension of disbelief – however, I could forgive these “huh?” moments for the sheer entertainment value of it all. In the end, I closed the book with a happy smile and a small wistful sigh for not wanting to leave the guys already, and that’s what counts, right? at least as far as I’m concerned.
I guess for me, it really comes down to this: it was awesome. Read it!
This review is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer independent of any review copies offered.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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