Book Review and Giveaway: Damaged Package by S. A. McAuley

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.

Denise’s Review:

This was my first book from S.A McAuley, and I will say after reading this, I will be looking up Sam’s backlist to see what other great books are waiting for me.  (And you can to with the giveaway below!)

This story of Trevor and Deacon, was pleasantly wound together, so that their lives intersected in what you originally thought was just a pickup in a bar.  Trevor had always had wanderlust, traveling all over the world, visiting country after country, before he ended up back in Detroit, Michigan.  Meanwhile, Deacon had spent his entire life in Detroit.  Staying there was a way to stay bonded to his deceased parents, and try to help bring back the city he once loved.

These two main characters were fun, and seemed to really connect well.  They enjoyed each other’s company, and made each other laugh, which in turn made me laugh out loud.  And the cast of characters around them just made for an altogether enjoyable read.  Deacon’s band of misfits that he puts together for his team are completely loyal to him, but also give him as much crap as they can.

I really enjoyed this book for many reasons.  The connection with the MC’s was great, they were able to really get each other (once Deacon stopped doing stupid things).  Seeing a city decimated by the economy like Detroit, being brought back to life through the eyes of the story was engaging. In my mind, I (having never been there) attributed only negative visions to that city.  Yet through the eyes of Deacon, and later Trevor I was able to see it for the potential it likely has.  And the central storyline that drew the MC’s was engaging.

After the book wrapped up, I still have a few questions that didn’t weren’t fully answered to my satisfaction, but they were very minor to the story, and didn’t reduce my enjoyment of the book in the least.  I’m just one of those that likes to know the “whys” in life. I always have to remind myself that in life you may not always end up knowing the whys, and just have to settle yourself with the questions.

My final determination is 4.5 pieces of eye candy for me! Engaging story, MC’s with issues, but that were fun to read about, and made me laugh.  I definitely would love to see a Book 2 in this.  And need to head over for a little looksie at the backlist.

Favorite Excerpt:

“Whoa.  Whatcha doing getting out of the cab? I distinctly remember not inviting you up.”
“Huh,” was all Deacon said as he pointed at the cab disappearing around the corner. “But there goes my ride.”
“I’m not a first date slut.”
Deacon groaned playfully, but his heart skipped a happy beat to hear Trav considered this a date, too.  “You’re not going to make me count dates or something like that, are you?”
“Just for that response? Maybe.”
Deacon dropped to his knees on the sidewalk, and raised his clasped hands to the heavens, pleading to Trav in an overly loud voice, “Please, Trevor Barrow! What do I have to do for you to let me up to your apartment, Trevor Barrow? I just want to watch the History Channel or maybe So You Think You Can Dance, Trevor Barrow. I promise I have nothing lewd or lascivious–“

Ebook giveaway from S.A. McAuley backlist:

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About S.A.
I sleep
little, read a lot. Happiest in a foreign country. Twitchy when not mentally in
motion. My name is Sam, not Sammy, definitely not Samantha. I’m a pretty
dark/cynical/jaded person, but I hide that darkness well behind my obsession(s)
for shiny objects. I’m the macabre wrapped in irresistible bubble wrap and a
glittery pink bow, I suppose.
I have a
never-ending-abyss-like secret love for poetry. Especially Rumi, Hafiz, and
Neruda. You can predict (as well as change) my moods and my writing schedule by
my playlists.
Insomnia is my
greatest ally and my nemesis. I like cheese and bourbon, not necessarily in
that order, but I’m flexible.
If you’re in
any fandom, then I’m probably already in love with you. I’m not joking.
I like my tv
shows marathoned and I have to use internet blocking software to be productive.
I have software called Producteev that I loaded onto my laptop and proceeded to
fill out in detail and now I haven’t touched it in a year.
I enjoy
normalized chaos.
Hit me up! I
love to hear from readers. xx


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Author Pic

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I just bought this book a couple days ago but haven't read it yet. It looks good.

  2. I haven't read any of this author's books yet, but I really want to!

  3. MY favorite book so far is An Immoveable Solitude. I can't wait to read Damaged Package.