Review and Excerpt Tour: Salvaged: Jay Crownover

Jay Crownover

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Release Date June 20, 2017

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.
Hudson Wheeler and Poppy Cruz are both deserving of some happiness after the things they have been through. We have seen them in other books: Poppy is Salem's sister and Wheeler is best friends with both Dixie and Zeb. Wheeler did not have a stable childhood, and he just cancelled his wedding with this longtime fiancee' because she cheated on him. But he is now dealing with the fact that she is having his baby. Poppy's home life was even more challenging and her relationships with men nearly destroyed her.

They are both lonely, broken, lost, and have issues that affect them. He has always felt invisible or left behind. He is a good guy and has always taken care of those he cares about, but usually does not get the same care and attention in return. He has always had goals of having a stable life with a family, but his life has recently imploded. His knee jerk reaction is to sow some wild oats does not help him cope or move on. He is scared of his unsure future and the new responsibilities that will come with it.

Poppy barely survived her last ordeal and has been slowly healing. She is guarded, skittish, anxious, hesitant, and haunted. All the men in her life have not only let her down, but mentally or physically caused her pain. Her sister, Salem has helped her find a new group of friends in Denver and she is making baby steps towards taking her life back. Their lives and needs are complicated. But they find a connection that brings them together more and more. Wheeler cannot help but want to make the sad girl smile and help her, and he makes her feel comfortable and safe.

They are both good people with bad histories that they did not deserve. They both felt like no one really saw them before or truly had their best interests in mind. Wheeler is the first man to ask her what she wants, and treat her with kindness and care. And she will accept what he wants to give and appreciates it, while also showing him the same respect and attention. He is a mechanic who rebuilds and fixes cars to make them beautiful again, and he seems to be able to do the same with her. He chases her monsters away, provides safe touch, and protection. She thinks of his needs and gives back. They both have such big, giving, loving hearts that had been tattered and torn.

This is a story about putting their broken dreams together and making new ones. The Denver group really took these two in and gave them the family that they needed to grow and thrive. This is about feeling, connecting, healing, living life, and really saving each other. It is a process not only to build their relationship, but also show individual growth as they wade through their fears and insecurities to try to let go of the past to move on. If any two people are in need of unconditional love, understanding, and acceptance it is these two.

Their story was emotional, passionate, and heartfelt. I really liked both of these complex characters and getting both of their points of view. There was definitely some drama, challenges, and a bit of danger to deal with. There are a couple of surprises as well. These characters had a maturity about them due all the things they had been through. I was totally invested in them finding their little bit of happiness even in a complicated situation. It was such a beautiful story of love rising out of the ashes.

And Jay Crownover gives fans of these series an epic epilogue that brings it all together, and it left me with the biggest smile on my face. These characters have all become so embedded in my heart and I loved getting more with them. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Hudson Wheeler has an ex-fiance who decided she was done with him, but only after she decided there was someone better for her and announcing a pregnancy. He is such a good guy though, that he has taken the blame for their breakup, keeping the pressure off his ex and squarely on his shoulders. He isn’t sure he’s ready to be a father, but has months to make himself right with the idea.

Poppy Cruz is healing from the horror that was her marriage and the aftermath. She has never had a man in her life who has taken care of her. Instead, she has been verbally bruised, and physically beaten. She has very few people she considers friends, and trusts very sparingly.

Wheeler is one of those heroes who is willing to set aside his own troubles in order to fix those he cares about. When he decides he wants to protect Poppy, he does so in such a way that she is absolutely in charge of everything -- the pace, the direction, the purpose. But she has a lot of demons to exercise before she can let anyone all the way in.

I loved watching Hudson treat Poppy the way she should have always been treated. As she learned to trust, I loved watching her settle into the life she was creating in Denver. This group of people is always quick to come to each others’ aid, she just had to learn to trust that there were good people.

Watching what little of Poppy’s mother that we get in this story was heartbreaking. I loved that Poppy had finally found the strength to get out of the situation, but it hurt to watch her mother refuse the same freedom that Poppy had found. Knowing exactly what Poppy had been through during her marriage made it easy to cheer for her, to hope that she found what she needed to be able to let a man like Wheeler into her life. Because from the beginning I loved these two together.

This was the perfect way to end the Saints of Denver series. Each time Jay reaches the end of a series, she ties the entire group together in such a way that I don’t feel like I’m losing anything at the end. The epilogue gives a great These men and women have fixed their broken, found their match, and are moving towards their futures. I can’t wait to see what else she has in store for us in the future, and am pleased with where the Saints have worked to reach.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.

“I don’t know that I have the time to take on a puppy right now, Poppy.” He lifted a hand and rubbed it across the back of his neck. His mahogany-colored eyebrows pulled into a vee over the top of his nose and the corners of his mouth pulled down in a frown that was too harsh for his pretty face. I liked it much better when he smiled and his twin dimples cut deeply into his cheeks.
I bit my bottom lip to keep the distressed noise that I could feel climbing up the back of my throat at bay. I knew he might say no but I couldn’t hide the fact that I was disappointed by his decision. I honestly felt like he and the puppy would be good for one another, that they could bring a little joy into each other’s life. It broke my heart a little that Wheeler wasn’t ready to open his heart up again, even when it was to something that was so obviously eager to love him unconditionally and irrevocably, unlike his ex.
“It’s okay, Wheeler. Like I said, I’ll take him home until I can find a place for him. I’m sure Dolly could use a friend.” I crouched down and wiggled my fingers to get the dog’s attention, and grinned when he bounded over, tripping over his front legs as he scrambled in my direction. “I can take him to work with me and hold on to him until I figure something out. One of the boys at the shop will step up if Dixie doesn’t want another dog.”
I heard him sigh and looked up to see him watching me intently. He opened his mouth like he was going to say something, then let it snap shut with his teeth audibly clicking together. I didn’t know much about Wheeler, but what I did know I liked. He was nice. He was polite. He was thoughtful and he was kind. But more than any of those things, he went out of his way to hold himself in a way that wasn’t threatening or intimidating because he was aware without me saying a word how jumpy I was around people, men in particular. I hated that they were bigger than me. I hated that I knew firsthand how badly they could hurt me if they had a mind to. I hated that I wilted and cowered under their attention, even if it was innocent and friendly. The fact that he took care not to spook me spoke volumes and made me feel awful for putting him in such an awkward position.
“Poppy…” He sounded regretful and I had no interest in dragging the torture out any longer for either of us. I scooped up the dog and buried my nose in the top of his head.
“Seriously it’s no big deal. I love him and I’m happy to wait until I can find him a proper home. It was stupid of me not to consider how busy you are with everything you have going on in your life right now. A puppy is a big commitment and that’s not something you can put on someone else without discussing it with them first.” The dog swiped his tongue across my face, no doubt feeling my distress and rising panic. I wanted to tuck his warm little body to my chest and run away like I was trying to score a touchdown in the other team’s end zone. “I should have known better.”

We all need a hero...let the Saints of Denver begin.

Orlando Frederick knows what it is to be leveled by pain. Instead of focusing on his own, he’s made it his mission to help others: sports stars, wounded war vets, survivors of all kinds. But when Dom, a rugged, damaged, sinfully attractive cop makes his way into Lando’s physical therapy practice, he might be the biggest challenge yet. Lando loved one stubborn man before and barely survived the fallout. He’s not sure if he can do it again.

Dominic Voss is a protector. The police badge he wears is not only his job, it’s his identity, so when he’s sidelined because of an injury, the only thing he cares about is getting back on the force. He expects Lando to mend his body, he just doesn’t realize the trainer will also have him working towards a hell of a lot more. As attraction simmers and flares, Dom sees that Lando needs repair of his own...if only the man will let him close enough to mend what's broken.

Studio portrait of young bearded man --- Image by © pinkypills/Corbis
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From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes an electrifying new spin-off series,Saints of Denver, featuring all the characters fans have been dying to read about. 

Sayer Cole and Zeb Fuller couldn’t be more different. She’s country club and fine-dining, he’s cell-block and sawdust. Sayer spends her days in litigation, while Zeb spends his working with his hands. She’s French silk, he’s all denim and flannel. 

Zeb’s wanted the stunning blonde since the moment he laid eyes on her. It doesn't matter how many smooth moves he makes, the reserved lawyer seems determinedly oblivious to his interest—either that or she doesn't return it. Sayer is certain the rough, hard, hot-as-hell Zeb could never want someone as closed off and restrained as she is, which is a shame because something tells her he might be the guy to finally melt her icy exterior. 

But just as things start to heat up, Zeb is blindsided by a life altering moment from his past. He needs Sayer’s professional help to right a wrong and to save more than himself. He can’t risk what’s at stake just because his attraction to Sayer feels all consuming. But as these opposites dig in for the fight of their lives, battling together to save a family, the steam created when fire and ice collide can no longer be ignored.  

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From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes the second installment in the Saints of Denver series featuring a bad girl and a by the book attorney who could be her salvation...or her ruin.

Avett Walker and Quaid Jackson’s worlds have no reason to collide. Ever. Quaid is a high powered criminal attorney as slick as he is handsome. Avett is a pink-haired troublemaker with a bad attitude and a history of picking the wrong men.

When Avett lands in a sea of hot water because of one terrible mistake, the only person who can get her out of it is the insanely sexy lawyer. The last thing on earth she wants to do is rely on the no-nonsense attorney who thinks of her as nothing more than a nuisance. He literally has her fate in his hands. Yet there is something about him that makes her want to convince him to loosen his tie and have a little fun…with her.

Quaid never takes on clients like the impulsive young woman with a Technicolor dye job. She could stand to learn a hard lesson or two, but something about her guileless hazel eyes intrigues him. Still, he’s determined to keep their relationship strictly business. But doing so is becoming more impossible with each day he spends with her.

As they work side-by-side, they’ll have to figure out a way to get along and keep their hands off each other—because the chemistry between them is beyond charged.
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From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes the next installment in the Saints of Denver series.

Everyone else in Dixie Carmichael's life has made falling in love look easy, and now she is ready for her own chance at some of that happily ever after. Which means she’s done pining for the moody, silent former soldier who works with her at the bar that's become her home away from home. Nope. No more chasing the hot as heck thundercloud of a man and no more waiting for Mr. Right to find her; she's going hunting for him...even if she knows her heart is stuck on its stupid infatuation with Dash Churchill.

Denver has always been just a pit stop for Church on his way back to rural Mississippi. It was supposed to be simple, uneventful, but nothing could have prepared him for the bubbly, bouncy redhead with doe eyes and endless curves. Now he knows it's time to get out of Denver, fast. For a man used to living in the shadows, the idea of spending his days in the sun is nothing short of terrifying.

When Dixie and Church find themselves caught up in a homecoming overshadowed with lies and danger, Dixie realizes that while falling in love is easy, loving takes a whole lot more work…especially when Mr. Right thinks he's all wrong for you.
Jay Crownover:

Jay Crownover is the International and multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men series, The Saints of Denver series, the Point and Breaking Point series. Her books can be found translated in many different languages all around the world. She is a tattooed, crazy haired Colorado native who lives at the base of the Rockies with her awesome dogs. This is where she can frequently be found enjoying a cold beer and Taco Tuesdays, as well as live music and terrible TV shows. Jay is a self-declared music snob and outspoken book lover who is always looking for her next adventure, between the pages and on the road.
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