Life sucks. And, as soon as Sidney picks up the pieces something always knocks her back onto her butt. It's never pretty, but this time is different. This time pretty isn't even the right word.
Peter is the personification of perfection. It's like he fell off his angel perch in purgatory, because let's face it--any guy that hot has got to be naughty. He was probably sent here to ruin her life.
Peter is beyond beautiful with his sexy blue eyes, dark hair, and toned body. Add in his charming wit and Peter is everything Sidney ever wanted in a man, but when things get hot and heavy Peter shows her to the door. Sidney takes the walk of shame and leaves. It's the end of the worst blind date ever. Her life couldn't possibly reach higher levels of suckage, but it does.
The next morning everything comes crashing down. The insanely hot guy from last night, the one that saw her half naked, is teaching at the front of the class room.
First let me say that I love this book. I'm pretty sure that H.M. Ward hasn't written a book that I haven't fallen in love with and just can't put down....just something about her writing that hooks me. With that said I thought when I read the synopsis and first started reading that it was going to be one of those books; boy meets girl by chance happening, they try the apart thing for some horrible reason from their past, fall in love and YEY there ya go and now are inseparable. Now while this book does have some of those, it also has soo much more and more twists and turns to truly keep the reader interested and wanting more, wanting to know what will happen next. When reading this book I went through so many different emotions from the beginning to the end that sometimes I questioned myself and my emotions.
From the beginning of the book the reader knows that something terrible has happened in Sidney's past that she ran away from and is still trying to overcome whatever it was that happened. She even cut off her family and up and moved to go to college; where no one knows who she is and no one can find her. The beginning of this book makes it obvious that Sidney isn't comfortable around guys and yet she is still going on blind dates with her best friend Millie. I found myself laughing as Sidney talks about being on this blind date meeting up with some guy name Dustin and looking around the restaurant for him, because Millie and her boyfriend Brent will be a little late. As she is looking around she feels someone looking at her and as she looks she sees a pair of eyes that are as blue as gemstones staring at her. Sidney assumes this is her date (and you know what they say about assuming) and she just walks up to the table, as the hott sexy man looks her over, and when she gets there she says, "Hey" and sits down. He politely give a "Hey there" back. She goes ahead and orders herself a glass of wine and says to him, "You know, you're nothing like I thought you'd be." He responds with a, "Really? So, tell me what you think now." She responds by telling him that she thinks the night will be a good one, which is a rarity for her. I love his response because he tells her, "It's going to be interesting to say the least." They carry on a little more this way, until Millie comes over and says that the man in front of her is....SURPRISE.....not Dustin and they need to go to their table. At this point I was laughing because some random dude just let a girl sit down and help herself to ordering and made it seem like he's her date. Poor girl, hates going on blind dates because she doesn't like most of the guys because they remind her of her past and here she finds someone she actually is attracted to and she doesn't even know him.
So as Sidney goes to meet her real blind date Dustin, she wishes she would have stayed with the stranger, and I do too. Dustin a typical looking cowboy from Texas and has way too much money from the way he is dressed. So Dustin or Dusty is kinda a tool when Sidney sits down he says, "So....it's a good thing it's not raining tonight." As Sidney asks why....my thoughts were already on some cheesy pick up line and sure enough I was not disappointed. Dusty's answer is, "Because sugar melts in the rain." Really? Does that actually work on women? I think I would have told the dude...ewww.....and left right there. But no Sidney decides to stay for her friend. Her thought process is that even though everything in her is telling her to run and leave, she decides to stay and "get" through this and try and make it work. So as Dusty keeps giving her little touches (that freak her out) and eventually touches the back of her hand, she keeps telling herself, don't yank your hand away.
**Word to the wise....if you have to tell yourself not to be disgusted and to not yank your hand away because you're uncomfortable...DO THE EXACT OPPOSITE AND LISTEN TO THAT LITTLE VOICE IN YOUR HEAD**
So as they continue to carry on a conversation Dusty keeps moving closer to her and touching her in different places. He finally places his arm over her and rubs her shoulder. As Dusty keeps telling her how hot she looks (he keeps creeping me out) he finally decides that after just maybe 10 minutes or so of meeting that he is going to put his hand on her knee and very slowly slips his hand under the hem of her dress and works his way up her thigh. Again really? Creeper? Holy hell you just met the girl.....gave her some cheesy line and then after talking to her about generic stuff thinking that is going to happen?? Ewww first off and yeah...no. So what does my girl Sidney do? Well if something bad hadn't happened to her she might have handled it a little different....but that's not what happened. She freaks out and stands up out of the booth super quick, hits a waiter that was walking by and food goes flying everywhere and she just takes off.
Now knowing that something bad with a guy is in her past I was shocked by what happens next. She runs into the sexy guy she sat down with and he is having car trouble. So let's pick up the random dude we just met and offer him a ride home. Then let's go into his apartment. Again my really question comes out. What is wrong with people. But anyway one thing leads to another and after talking they start making out and some clothes start to come off and then the phone rings and everything stops and Peter (the sexy man) pretty much kicks Sidney out of his place. Well I guess she won't be doing that again any time soon.
So the next day as Sidney gets some unfortunate news about one of her professors that she is the TA for, she heads to class to only find Mr. Tall Dark and Sexy Dr. Peter Grantz as the new professor and new boss. Pure Awesomesauce is what that is. So as Sidney tries to make it through this.....ummm...bump in the road, it seems these two are kind of fated to be in each others lives. Not only is she his TA, but they also share another passion; sing dancing and they are both AMAZING at it. Just to get an idea of some of the stuff they do I found a video on YouTube from Dancing with the Stars that shows what some of the advanced moves can look like.
Here is a little swing dancing video:
So while I love Peter and Sidney together.....I could also just have them be friends and be okay with it. I only say this because this is probably one of the only books where I like the main character, but my heart is kind of with another one....and he doesn't come up a ton, but it's enough for me to want Sidney to want to be with him. Mark first comes up on Peter's second day of class. Sidney has to fix the microphone and in order to do that she has to get under the the podium and as she fixes it and gets up that Mark yells for the class, "Let's hear it for the techie TA!" with a woo to go along with it. This is the first time that Sidney actually "sees" Mark and even though he's a year younger than her, he smiles and beams at her and she can't help but smile back at him. And at that moment Peter is actually jealous....even though they can't be together because of University guidelines. Although in what story does anyone ever follow those? Anyways this is about Mark. So there is another night where they Sidney and Mark run into each other and he's super sweet and makes her laugh and smile and he is flirting with her. But my favorite part of Mark is when he explains what kind of guy he is, even though Sidney's attention is on someone else at the moment. He tells her, "I'm not a rebound guy, Sidney. I'm a lover-her-with-my-whole-heart kind of guy, and since I really like you, it's so damn hard not to kiss you right now. But, I can't.....Forgive me?" Awww.....it was at this moment that I would have forgotten all about the Professor/Boss that is out of reach and not touchable and run into Mark's arm's and kissed him like no tomorrow. But alas it isn't and won't be meant to happen.....so I'm at least hoping something good does happen for him in the next book. He's my little underdog guy that I'm rooting for.
So Peter and Sidney both have messed up pasts that come out in the book and it's probably why they are so comfortable around each other....they both recognize the screwedupness that is their lives. They both ran from their previous lives to start over somewhere new. However, everyone knows that eventually past and present always collide and nothing good ever comes from it. So that is pretty much what happens to Sidney, we find out why she cut off her friends and family and moved thousands of miles away to Texas to start over. Why she doesn't like to be touched and why she is the oddity that she is. We also find out about Peter's past and what his own particular scars hold.
Sidney's past wasn't at all what I was expecting...I mean it carried a little of what I thought, but once you learn the extent of it....I want to go around smacking stupid people. I just can't believe someones family would do that. I'm telling you anymore parents need to take some kind of test to become parents. So Sidney's brother pops back up in her life after sending her letters and he brings someone with him that shouldn't be there.
I see a smack down happening in the near future. So questions that need to be answered. What will Peter and Sidney do? Will she quit college? Or will he give up his job? Or will they go their separate ways and try to be with other people? What happens when her brother shows up? What will she do? Is she going to confront her past? What will Peter do? What will happen when mystery boy shows up? What rumors are going to spread now? OMG what about Mark? lol Sorry I needed to add that...like I said I really like him. But this was an amazing read and kept me interested from the first moment Sidney sat down at the wrong table. Make sure to read this because Damaged 2 comes out 6/24 and I'll have my review up that day.