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Damaged Heart

(San Diegan #3)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  167 ratings  ·  63 reviews
Happy ever after’s don’t exist for girls like me.

For the past nine years, Samantha Paisley has been playing a tiresome game of back and forth with her longtime friend with benefits, Alex Clark. Growing up in a toxic environment, Samantha never learned how to love or how to be loved.
So, when Alex tries to get closer to the fiery, foul-mouthed red-head, she cuts herself of
ebook, 1st Edition
Published August 2018
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S.M. Soto I have gotten this question very frequently, so I’m going to give you the short answer - No.

So many people have made it clear they want more of these…more
I have gotten this question very frequently, so I’m going to give you the short answer - No.

So many people have made it clear they want more of these characters from the San Diegan Series so I’ve definitely taken it to heart and decided to expand on the series and the characters. That’s all I’ll say for now. :) (less)

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Average rating 3.95  · 
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Shh moderator

Release: August 20, 2018
Pre-order: | AMZ US | AMZ UK | B&N | KOBO |
Happy ever after’s don’t exist for girls like me.
For the past nine years, Samantha Paisley has been playing a tiresome game of back and forth with her longtime friend with benefits, Alex Clark. Growing up in a toxic environment, Samantha never learned how to love or how to be loved.
So, when Alex tries to get closer to the fiery, foul-mouthed red-head, she cuts herself off from the only man she loves—not wanti
Michelle Claypot_Reads
I absolutely LOVED this story. Such a raw and gritty read. Full of emotions and decisions that had me throwing my IPad on the bed & swearing up a storm... plenty of chest pains, crying and ranty PMs.

This is not a sweet love story. So many times I wanted to reach into the story & shake the characters. The next minute I wanted to hug them. Told over a decade of their lives I felt really invested in these two people. Even if I didn't agree with every decision, I understood them and my heart broke
Chloe reads
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 damaged stars

“Happily ever afters don't exist for women like me.”

Damaged Heart is my first book by S.M. Soto and it certainly won't be the last. It's no secret that I LOVE a good dark romance, and I was definitely not disappointed. I was drawn to this book from the very first page. It took my heart on an emotional rollercoaster and ripped me open to the very core. I even shed a few tears, and I weirdly loved every minute of it.


Samantha Paisley is a broken girl who didn't grow u
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
How to describe this book I just read? Besides stating how simply amazing it is, I was in awe with how powerful S.M Soto was able to convey such feelings from the pages onto my heart.
Oh, god. My heart broke so much for Samantha. This poor girl that had THE WORST upbringing full of neglect, a drug addicted parent, starvation, the horrible, ugly, and hidden side of foster care... and many more things that had Sam truly thinking she was damaged beyond repair.
How can she love someone when never on
Rhonda Ziglar
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 RAW EMOTIONAL STARS!! Get ready to jump aboard the emotional rollercoaster ride that doesn't let you off until the last word. This ride for Samantha and Alex is tough, raw and full of all the feels you could ever want. This author's writing is PERFECTION, she can turn hard subjects into a thing of BEAUTY. It is hard to believe this is only her third book. I can't wait to see what she brings us next. Oh my goodness, please 1-click this phenomenal book. ...more
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
“Happily ever afters don't exist for women like me.”

My first S.M. book. I loved it. I could feel the heroine, that's how god this story was written.
I wanted to jump into the book and make it all good for her.

I have to admit though, my favourite parts of the story were parts that described her childhood.
The darker the better.

...more blog~
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
5 Stars...

First I will tell you that this book is not a stereotypical romance. It's dark. It's sad. It is not sugar and spice and everything nice. There are triggers related to child abuse. Truthfully, I had my doubts about a happy ending. But fear not because the last chapters were perfect. Damaged Heart was an amazing story written by an amazing storyteller. Author S.M. Soto can grab your attention and keep you engaged all the way to the end.

Most of my friends know how I don't like reading a
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Full review to come...
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Damaged Heart is not an easy story to read. You are taken on a rollercoaster ride of emotions that will make you happy, sad, angry, frustrated, heartbroken - honestly I don't think there is a single emotion I didn't feel while reading this story. But, I absolutely loved it. Such a powerful story of survival, beating the odds, forgiveness, and most of Highly recommend this one!!

Nerdy Dirty & Flirty
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Talk about angst! This book had it from start to finish. I felt like my emotions were constantly twisted up in knots and my heart hurt for Samantha. Every flashback to her tragic past. Every time she showed questionable behaviour in her present or lashed out at the ones she loved to protect. It all just made me ache for her and wish so desperately for something to change, to make things better for her. And I wanted that better to stick.

The bright beacon of light for me in this story consistently
Imani Blake (Enamored Reads)
If you’re up for a rollercoaster ride, Damaged Heart is more than the book for you! It’s packed with tons of steaminess with just as much if not more, emotion!

While this book was a bit much for me, one thing I can say is the authors writing was impeccable for this being her third novel! I was more than entertained but her writing is what kept me going!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elsa Gomes (BookishAurora)
Rate: 3,5 / 5 stars

This was my first book by S. M. Soto. I'm not much of Dark Romance girl but I do live for angst so I gave this book a read but I'm gonna be honest it was a bit too much for me.
Looking past the dark parts though, I so rooted for Sam to get her head out of her ass and just be with Alex. She was very frustrating but I did root for them from the get go. Now the writing was amazing and the steam in this was pure fire. Alex and Sam had the best chemistry and even when she fought t
Up All Night With Books
5 Stars
Review by Amy W.
Late Night Reviewer
Up All Night w/ Books Blog

I was drawn to Damaged Heart from the blurb. I just knew that I had to read it and that I would love it. S.M. Soto did not disappoint. I did not know that this was part of a series, it doesn't read like it is. And now I feel like I should apologize for taking this from another reviewer, the one that had read her previous books. But honestly I'm not sorry.

I'm reckless.
I'm toxic.
I'm careless.
I'm so fucking

Samantha is
Caitlin Audet
Reviewed on behalf of 3 Degrees of Fiction Book Blog

Damaged Heart by S.M. Soto glued itself to me and didn't let go til the final page. I read this book in literally one day, something I haven't done in a very long time, and boy was that a way to get acquainted with an author. Book three in the San Diegan series of standalone novels, her words chewed me up and spit me back out and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Looking up the definition of survivor you will see Samantha Paisley. Mouth like a s
Michelle Brace (Wicked Babes Blog Reviews)
Oh Samantha how I wanted to shake some sense into you but as I read more and more of you story I truly understood the feelings you were feeling and I just wanted to hug you. The emotional turmoil, the love, the wall you tried to build around your heart to protect it and everything else in this book broke my heart many times.

S.M. Soto did such a wonderful job conveying the heartbreak, betrayal, anguish, the imploding Samantha's life goes through, and so, so much more. I was left in tears more an
Jenny Mae
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in one sitting! the second it landed on my kindle I dropped everything in my life to read this and let me just say now, THIS BOOK WILL BREAK YOU. In the best ways, Samantha's story will rip your heart to shreds and have you on the sideline screaming at the top of your lungs rooting for her.

The angst was spot on in this one. I don't think ive ever had so many chest pains in one sitting. there's no doubt some readers will be angry while reading because of Samantha's decisions but
Kari Hansen
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Samantha survived a devastating childhood which has left emotional scars that she hasn’t been able to heal. Her only experience with love has shown her that it only brings pain and that something must be wrong with her as the people who should have loved and protected her couldn’t or wouldn’t.

She has been involved in a friends with benefits arrangement for Alex for the last nine years and he has been patiently waiting for her to want more as he knows that pushing her will only scare her away. He
Annette Brignac
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful and heart wrenching conclusion to The San Diegan trilogy. I have been waiting to get Alex and Sam's story and holy hell did we get their story!

The writing had me captivated from the first sentence. The author has this way of bringing you into the story and making you part of it. She takes you on this amazing roller coaster that keeps you begging for more. And with every story she writes, she just keeps getting better and better.

I felt everything... All of the love, pain, happiness, s
Jillian Kerr
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Damaged Heart is the first book I've read by SM Soto and wow what an emotional rollercoaster ride. This book rips you open to the very core. It is raw and painful. There are so many words to describe Samantha. Feisty, strong, infuriating and stubborn are just some! I felt for her and her unfair life, but, ehh, I was so frustrated and furious with her at times. I wanted to smack some sense into her to open her eyes and see all she had in front of her. Alex should be a saint! His love for Samantha ...more
Reviews from the Heart
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Damaged Heart by S.M. Soto is the third book in the San Diegan series, but the first book I have read. This was a push and pull story that will take your heart on a crazy ride! Samantha Paisley loves Alex Clark. He is more than just her friend with benefits, but her history does not allow her to accept letting love in. Instead she wants things to stay the same, nice and easy. But when Alex wants more, will she just end up pushing him away for good? Not if Alex has anything to say about it.

Behind Closed Doors Book Review
Amount of sex 4 / 5
How explicit is the sex scenes 3 / 5
Story 5 / 5
Overall: 5 / 5


Damaged Heart is simply an amazing story! This is the third book in the San Diegan series from author S.M. Soto. The story can be read as a standalone romance although the characters from the first and second books do play parts within the story. Therefore, you may want to read the other books in the series first! Just know that it’s not necessary to understand the story.

Damaged Heart is such an emotional book fu
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness, I love this one as much as book 2 😍.

This is book three in the San Diegan series and this story broke my heart.

Yes, I needed a lot of tissues because Samanthas life shocked me and made me sad. But after all of her self-destruction this amazing, strong woman found a way to show and receive love. She's a loveable bitch. Sometimes I wanted to punch her in the face but the next moment I felt the need to cuddle her so hard, to help her pick up the pieces of her shitty life.

And then t
Emily Goodman
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
SM Soto packs a punch with this emotionally driven roller coaster ride between Samantha and Alex. Soto drives you into near emotional chaos with her raw, fearless, and heavy romance. From the moment you begin this novel Samantha will find a place in your heart and leave you begging for more with each turn of the page.

With this being Soto’s third release, she continues to astound me with her angst ridden dramas that plague me from cover to cover. Her ability to reach into the readers heart and m
Christi Fowler
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Genre: Romance - Dark, Friends-to-lovers
Standalone: Yes
Part of a Series: Yes Book 3 of the San Diegan series
POV: Samantha
Steam Level: Mixed - Parts are hot and graphic, others are touched upon, for a good reason (may trigger some people)

Damaged Heart was amazing. It's brutal and tragic and real. It brings up so many emotions-ones that are very real. Samantha's journey of destruction and love was frustrating and heartbreaking yet the outcome was amazing. Learning to love yourself can sometimes
A Book Lover's Emporium Book Blog
What a great read! What a rollercoaster ride! The feels in this book! WOW! There were so many; love, hate, anger, angst and I found myself wanting to throw my kindle a few times and bawled like a baby. SM kept me on the edge of my seat through this one. It was a hard book to read and can have some triggers.

My heart broke reading everything that Samantha endured throughout her whole entire life, especially her childhood. Alex was such a sweetheart and would fly over the moon for Samantha but wit
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

A woman, starved of love, keeps refusing love even when it's shoved in her face because she feels she doesn't deserve it. A man, determined to make her see she deserves better than what life has already handed to her. Alex & Sam's story will break your heart then put it back together.

The author - through Samantha - warns us quite early that it' not going to be a very pretty story. This story is a complex, harsh, painful story. More so because you know that this fiction is likely someone's re
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michelle Krystel
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was given an advanced readers copy of this book and have decided to leave a voluntary honest review. This was not easy to read, I actually cried a lot I don't think it was all pregnancy hormones lol. No this book made me really think how much some of take for granted. Life isn't easy for everyone, everyone has there own demons to deal with. Sam though the chick is strong, and shes a fighter. I admire that so much. Alex my God the man is perfect he's beautiful Inside and out. I love how he's no ...more
Nannette Gulley
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing

This book was incredible. there's no better way I can word it or put it, I loved this story with all my heart. Some parts were very hard to read, but it was necessary in understanding Samantha, and even though I wish her life could've easier, this book was raw and so REAL! This author didn't shy away from the realities of drug addiction, abuse and neglect within the foster care system. I angry cried. my chest ached with emotion and I'm pretty sure I threw my i
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S.M. Soto was born and raised in Northern California where she currently resides with her son. Her love for reading began when she was a young girl, and has only continued to grow into adulthood. S.M. lives for reading books in the romance genre and writing novels with relatable characters. She refers to herself as a bit of a romance junkie. S.M. loves to connect with readers and eat copious of do ...more

Other books in the series

San Diegan (3 books)
  • The Darkest Hour (The San Diegan, #1)
  • Scoring the Quarterback (The San Diegan, #2)

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