Synopsis from Goodreads
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.
Jay Crownover’s writing calls to me on a n emotional level, I always feel honoured to read her books because of the way in which Jay gives so much of herself within her books. Each character she creates is realistic and relatable in so many ways, it is easy to identify and empathise with each one on different levels.
Salvaged is probably the most emotional book so far in Jay’s repertoire, the characters have had a long journey to get to their own stories. From Poppy’s horrific dealings with her abusive husband in Rowdy and inclusion as a peripheral character in Built, we already know a lot about Poppy’s traumatic past. Although she has made progress to overcome the horrors she has suffered, Poppy is still in survival mode shying away from human contact and walking he thin line of anxiety and fear.
Wheeler has been a peripheral character through a lot of the Marked Men and Saints of Denver series but it wasn’t until Riveted that we were able to get to know him on a personal level. Despite the nuffed up situation Wheeler faces he doesn’t lose his compassion. A product of the foster system, Hudson Wheeler has dreamt of a family of his own for most of his formative years. the only problem was Hudson’s choice of partner. Even though Callie is Dixie’s sister (Riveted) was the wrong person to hitch his wagon to. Drama queen extraordinaire is probably an understatement for Callie, having taken everything Wheeler had to offer while giving nothing in return apart from a lot of heartache for them both while she comes to terms with her sexuality. Just to make things a little bit more difficult, as Wheeler and Callie’s relationship implodes they find out they are going to be parents.
The attraction between Wheeler and Poppy has been simmering in the background for a while, even with all the issues Poppy is dealing with and Wheeler’s complicated home life. The relationship between the pair had an inevitable quality to it; it felt as if they truly belonged together. While the rest of their lives are complicated and full of complications, the feelings they develop for each other are simple, comfortable and straightforward. They are each others source of contentment when everything else around them is going to hell.
Poppy’s character development as a result of Wheeler’s presence in her life is a joy to witness. Her innate goodness shines through and her resolve to live her life and turn her horrors into a basis to help others was inspirational. Even when the past rears it’s ugly head, Poppy’s courage helps slay the residual monsters she has to face.
Poppy and Wheeler’s relationship is unconventional but they make their situation work for them.
As always it’s a joy to catch up with some of the other characters from the Marked Men and Saints of Denver series. I cannot believe this is the end 😥 At least I can always revisit them whenever I want to ♥