I’m very excited to share the review I made for Salvage, the last book in the Saints of Denver series by Jay Crownover. THIS IS A MUST READ!!!
If you haven’t read the rest of the series, no worries, they’re all standalones. But if you’re as obsessive as I am about knowing everything there is to know about a book, they it is nice to read the rest of the books in all of her series since lots of her characters make and appearance every now and then, they’re all somehow related, they’re a family of a sort.
You can get the book here:
Take a look at Salvaged, and when you love it (because you will, believe me) you can catch up with the rest of her books. My favorite series is The Marked Man, then Saints of Denver… but they’re all good, honestly. If you want to start from the beginning do so in The Breaking Point, then follow the list I have below.
Here are the links to her series:
Visit her website and join her newsletter to learn all about her writing. You really want to do that. Jay, being as amazing as she is, is writing a book that is for her subscribers alone. Can you believe that?! It’s super good, all her books are.
Also if you want to join a group of cool people that share their love for reading, please, join her Facebook group (you’ll be seeing me there, too). There’s books recommendations, sneak peaks and all things Jay, you’ll get instant information about everything she does without a restraining order 😉
About Jay Crownover
Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, The Point, and the Saints of Denver series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she’ll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her dogs.
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Hudson Wheeler is a nice guy. Everyone knows it, including his fiancée who left him with a canceled wedding and a baby on the way. He’s tired of finishing last and is ready to start living in the moment with nights soaked in whiskey, fast cars, and even faster girls. He’s set to start living on the edge, but when he meets Poppy Cruz, her sad eyes in the most gorgeous face he’s ever seen hook him in right away. Wheeler can see Poppy’s pain and all he wants to do is take care of her and make her smile, whatever it takes.
Poppy can’t remember a time when she didn’t see strangers as the enemy. After a lifetime of being hurt from the men who swore to protect her, Poppy’s determined to keep herself safe by keeping everyone else at arm’s length. Wheeler’s sexy grin and rough hands from hours restoring classic cars shouldn’t captivate her, but every time she’s with him, she can’t help being pulled closer to him. Though she’s terrified to trust again, Poppy soon realizes it might hurt even more to shut Wheeler out—and the intense feelings pulsing through her are making it near impossible to resist him.
The only thing Poppy is sure of is that her heart is in need of some serious repair, and the more time she spends with Wheeler, the more she’s convinced he’s the only man with the tools to fix it.
You can order your copy here:
I didn’t want her to be scared of anything ever again.
Things at home had been rocky, rougher than class-five rapids in winter, but I was paddling for my life and prepared to ride it out. I couldn’t let go. I wouldn’t let go. I saw Poppy the day she walked through my shop and I started to feel how sore my hands and my heart were from holding on.
Her head was down, focused on the tips of her shoes. Her shoulders were hunched over and her long hair hid her face. She was skinny, so skinny, nothing but skin and bones. She was nothing that I should have noticed, not because she was clearly doing everything in her power to be invisible, but because I was supposed to have my eyes locked on my future and doing whatever I could do to salvage it. But I did notice her and I couldn’t look away once I did.
She was obviously terrified, clearly out of her element and uncomfortable, but it wasn’t her unease that called to me…it was her loneliness. I could feel it filling up the space that separated us. Stretching, growing, expanding until it was all I was breathing in and exhaling back out. It was bitter on my tongue and heavy across my skin because I knew the feeling well. I lived with it pressing me down and pushing me forward every minute of every day. The reason I was so set on the way things had to be, the reason I was singlemindedly set on settling down and building a life with the girl that was slipping through my fingers was because I never again wanted to be as alone as this girl was. I didn’t want to be left and forgotten. I’d barely survived it the first time.
I did my best to sell her a car that was as beautiful as she was…a classic with clean lines and a flawless finish. She picked something practical and boring but that was ultimately safe and reliable. I understood her choice but it grated and annoyed me long after she left the shop. When she wasn’t standing in front of me, she should have been easy to forget; after all, everything in front of me, everything I had been working for and toward, was falling down in front of my eyes. My world was collapsing in on itself and everything I thought I was so goddamn sure about turned out to be nothing more than lies and illusions. In the middle of all of it, I couldn’t forget her sad eyes and shivering, shaking form. Her loneliness clung to me, unshakable and unforgettable. I didn’t think I would see her again and against my better judgment I often found myself wondering how she was doing and if she had gotten a handle on all the things that seemed to be crushing her under their inescapable weight.
I was wrong about seeing her again, just like I was wrong about thinking that doing everything in my life differently from how my mother had lived hers would ensure my happiness and a future built on an unshakeable foundation. I was wrong about hard work and sacrifice being enough. I was wrong about holding on when what I was holding on to desperately wanted me to let go. All I was left with was bleeding palms, rope burns around my heart and scars on my soul.
The next time I saw Poppy Cruz it was my loneliness that was filling up the space, suffocating me, choking me, making me forget to handle her with care. I was nothing more than a vast, open wound. One that was raw, aching, throbbing, and leaking my heart and shattered emotions out everywhere. I felt like I’d lost everything, like my entire life had been nothing but a waste of time, nothing more than building blocks knocked over with the swipe of a careless hand. The girl I loved didn’t love me back, my future was ultimately nothing more than a fuzzy, fractured blur. I couldn’t see anything clearly other than waste and ruin.
But I saw her. And I saw that I scared her.
It was the last thing I wanted to do but my loneliness was just as big and just as consuming as hers was. It spread out, hungry and angry, looking to consume anyone that might try and challenge its reign.
I tried to pull myself together, apologized because I knew our paths would cross again now that she lived next door to my best friend. I didn’t want to be another man that she was terrified of. I locked the loneliness down, wrestled it into submission, and tried to quiet down the wild inside of me that was howling, screaming at the loss of its mate. I wanted to be nothing more than gnashing teeth and tearing claws but I swallowed those instincts and allowed myself to be like a kicked puppy that just wanted to whimper and cry.
Poppy had been through more than I could imagine. She was the one I couldn’t look away from, but even then, she managed to slip past me and disappear. She looked like honey but she moved like a ghost. I memorized everything about her even though she hardly let me see her face.
I wasn’t supposed to be looking at anything other than how to salvage the mess my life was in, but she was all I could see.
OMG!!! Honestly, OMG!!!
I didn’t think that I would love this book as much as I did. I’ve been reading books by Jay Crownover for years now. There’s books by her that I love, and books that I really like… I knew Salvaged was coming, and being a book by Jay it was guaranteed that I’d like it, but it went far and beyond my expectations. I absolutely adored it!!!
I was half in love with the book before it even started when Jay wrote to her readers:
I desperately wanted to get it right─for Poppy and Wheeler, but more for the readers who were rooting for the girl who had been ruined to be Salvaged and returned to her former glory.
Poppy Cruz is a character that we’ve heard from before. She’s Salem’s younger sister, Rowdy’s first love and Sayer’s protégé. If you’ve read Rowdy and/or Built you all know who she is. She’s been hurt, big time, by the ones who should had protected her. When we meet Poppy she is in a toxic and abusive marriage. She finally decides to leave him and ran to her sister for protection, but the bastard finds her and hurts her even further before the coward kills himself.
“Oliver loved pizza. He told me it was unnatural and ridiculous that I wouldn’t eat it. He’d demand that we order it for dinner once or twice a week and I’d have to sit and watch him eat while I sat there starving. He always told me if I didn’t want to eat what he provided then I could go hungry.”
When Salvaged starts we are able to get into Poppy’s mind, and read what she’s dealing with. Her fears, her battle. She is a survivor and a woman that wants to be able to fend for herself. She’s not looking for someone to save her, she’s looking to save herself.
I was determined to make myself unbreakable and unmovable. I wanted to be strong and definite like Salem was. I wanted to be untouchable and unattainable like Sayer was. But I wasn’t. I was still too soft, too easily wounded.
Hudson Wheeler is another character that we’ve met in other books. He’s friends with Nash and Rowdy, and Zeb’s best friend. He also has a very close relationship with Dixie, that is no other than his fiancée sister. So, if I’m not mistaken, we hear about him in Nash, Rowdy, Built and Riveted. He’s a very laid back kind of guy. He’s nice and charming, and is about to marry Kallie. But in a very unexpected way, Kallie end up their relationship because she’s in love with another girl… I know! But that doesn’t end up there, even if Kallie is not in love with Wheeler any more she’s pregnant with his child.
She was nothing that I should have noticed, not because she was clearly doing everything in her power to be invisible, but because I was supposed to have my eyes locked on my future and doing whatever I could to salvage it. But I did noticed her and I couldn’t look away once I did.
Wheeler is another colorful character. He had a rough life when he was growing up, he’s probably sane due to Zeb and his family. There’s nothing he wants more in life than to have a family, what we all believe a nice life with a loving family should be. That is, until he meets Poppy, from day one he craves for her, even if he shouldn’t. Wheeler knows what she’s been through and knows better than to complicate her life further. So he lets her go, even if only at the beginning. Things aren’t going his way and he’s letting himself drown in his own sorrow and self-pity. Wheeler is hurt, and frighten about everything that’s coming his ways, he wasn’t prepared for it all… until something he really wants, even if he doesn’t expect, comes his way in the form of a beautiful wounded girl.
I should have guessed that hauling motors in and out of cars and throwing tires around all day led to having the kind of body that would have a lot of women pinning him to hot guy boards on Pinterest left and right.
Salvaged is a love story about two people that are hurt, trying to literally salvage what’s left of themselves. Doing so is difficult, but they’re doing their best individually to carry on with their lives and live it to its fullest. It is no surprise that it becomes easier for them both to battle life together, what is a surprise is everything that life is throwing at them and the different ways they decide to approach it. They both deserve the happy ending they get in the story. Even if you know the HEA is coming, it’s very interesting to read how they get there. I totally recommend this book to anyone that likes reading romance.
This was me dreaming a new dream and her making it come true just like she promised she would. This was healing. This was starting over. This was reinvention.
*** NEED TO SHARE SOMETHING ELSE ***
I need, NEED, to share this quote from the book with you. It’s beyond Poppy and Wheeler, it’s like a life lesson that we all should keep in mind. It really won’t spoil the book for you, but it has nothing to do with my review.
Well, you can’t ever be absolutely certain something or someone is good because things can change on a dime. Even the happiest and healthiest of relationships can collapse over time and even the best of circumstances are prone to experience a rainy day. All you can do is listen to your gut, pay attention to any warning signs and any red flags that are presented. It’s up to you to determine if the good outweighs the bad in whatever is presented to you from here on out.
The next is in a way a spoiler, not necessarily from this book, but is a small glimpse of all books Jay has written of The Marked Men and Saints of Denver series. It says it all.
“We’ve all been there. All of us.” On the hand not holding the spoon she started ticking off examples on her fingers. “Shaw got drunk and jumped Rule on her birthday. Ayden showed up at one of Jet’s shows with another guy on Valentine’s Day. Cora showed up unannounced at Rome’s and pounced on him when he got out of the shower and ended up knocked up. Saint promised Nash ten minutes to rock her world. I packed up my entire life and move(ed) across the country for a boy I hadn’t seen in years because I was sure he was the one, and Royal showed up at Asa’s in the middle of the night wearing nothing but an overcoat.” She wiggled her eyebrows up and down suggestively, which made me laugh as she kept going. “You know Sayer had ulterior motives when she offered to help Zeb paint that old house he was working on, and last but not least Avett took a header off a freaking cliff knowing good and well Quaid was going to have to jump after her crazy ass. Dixie climbed on the back of Church’s bike even though she was scared to death after what happened to her dad. All the women I know that landed a good man had to give them a little push in the right direction at one point or another. Sometimes it takes a nudge to get the knight in shining armor to drop that shield he’s using to protect you.”
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