Tuesday, June 13, 2017

REVIEW + EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY: Salvaged by Jay Crownover


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jay Crownover continues her delightfully sexy Saints of Denver series with the next thrilling standalone, SALVAGED! Order your copy today!


Shel: Honestly, when I go into a Jay Crownover reading experience I know that I'm going to get an ending that feels right, so that's not the mystery I'm waiting to unlock in her novels. What I'm always eager to see is how, exactly, Crownover is going to get us to that ending. Court: Amen, because she might put our hearts together by the end but it doesn't mean she doesn't hold it in her hand and squeeze on it for a bit while we're reading, and that is just the best! 

Shel: For me, Salvaged, started exactly right--with an author's note; her author's notes not only get me excited for the characters' journeys but they always endear me to Crownover and her process and this novel continued with this tradition. Court: I love the inside edition as well. I like knowing a teeny glimpse at the process, and how Jay's own experiences might tap into the characters story a bit. It is a beautiful thing to see how much she genuinely cares and is invested in her story and giving us as the reader a beautiful story. 

Shel: And then the novel started and I could feel myself sink further into the couch and become completely sucked in; I was finally getting to two characters who've intrigued me from the very beginning of this series--Poppy and Wheeler.  As you know, if you've followed them through previous books, they're both survivors of bad experiences (and that's the biggest understatement ever, especially in the case of Poppy) and while we get a lot of their insight as to how and what they're feeling about those experiences, this novel feels more devoted to their working past those bad times...with each other. I'm not sure if two characters were better built for each other; they're they ultimate partners--examples to us all of what it means to be "all in" with your person. I loved how well they read each other and could anticipate what the other needed. I also loved that neither of them were there to fix the other but instead wanted to support and assist, as needed. I think, though, one of my favorite things about both Poppy and Wheeler was that both of them put each other first, no matter what--no matter how small or large the situation was, and I couldn't help thinking about what a shining of example of selflessness and love they were. Court: And Happy. But yes, Shelley said it beautifully. These two complemented each other in a way that I haven't read in a while. It wasn't trying to fix the problems, erase the past and act like it didn't exist. It was a story of sort of literally grabbing the bull by the horns so to speak, acknowledge it, learn from it and just live life the best you can. I wasn't sure how I would feel reading this book because our previous views of Poppy have been quite sad, but I'm so glad she got her book, and I'm so glad that Jay was the one to give it to her. Whew, it was a wild ride. 

Shel: As the novel continued, I felt this unconscious sigh of relief; Salvaged's angst factor was fairly low and I thought it was the right call. This novel had an end point but it was the fairly smooth journey to the end that was important. I think that had Crownover put Poppy and Wheeler through much more than they already had would've felt wrong; instead she made the tension and conflict more in keeping with their issues of trust and desire for family and love and rather than waiting for some major drama, I felt I could really enjoy their discovery of each other. I should note for those who may think that all this sounds too easy or without enough action, there are outside conflicts and issues to be resolved but it never felt manufactured or too much. Court: Agree as well. Having too much angst, and nonstop drama can wear on us, and since we had an idea of the stuff going on in their heads already, I was glad how the plot went on. There is new issues, and a runaway puppy, and a few scenes of characters we know and love so that was nice. I really like The Saints of Denver, and am glad I read this book. The cars, and the knowledge of that was awesome too as I'm currently stuck in binge watching a Discovery channel street racing show so I'm all gear-head-at-the-moment. Right up my alley at the perfect time...isn't it weird how that happens! 

Shel: So this leads me to the end. I said earlier that I never leave a Jay Crownover novel feeling anything less than 100% satisfied and the epilogue in this novel was epic---so much good stuff was packed into it that I feel like I may need to reread it. And while I feel like this may be the end of an era with these characters and this city, I can't help but wonder if there's any possible way we might get one more novel with Kallie (finger's crossed). I think the door's been left open a crack for her story..or maybe that's my wishful thinking. At any rate, I know that whatever is on the Jay Crownover horizon is will be something that I'll want to sink my teeth into because it always is. Court: And a bonus epilogue! I too think a teeny ray of light is coming out of that door or it is set up that way if she wanted to. I will await it as patiently as always for what comes next because I love Jay Crownover's style, her writing, her honesty and honestly she nails the sexy times (heh!) every single time. Gimme more, ladybug!

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.

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I rounded the corner at the end of my block and came to a halt. The puppy took that as a sign that we were done playing outside and started jumping all over my lower legs and pawing at my shins. He whined at me until I picked him up, and as soon as he could reach my face, his little tongue started darting all over my chin and cheeks. I wondered if he could feel the tension that made my limbs stiff and the anxiety that tightened all my muscles. I felt my breath catch in the back of my throat and there was no stopping my eyes from rapidly blinking to make sure what I was seeing was real and not a figment of my imagination.
He looked like one of those black-and-white art prints that hung in every diner and restaurant I’d ever eaten in. The one that was a throwback to another era when cool was something you had to cultivate and couldn’t buy on Amazon. He was leaning against a black-and-silver car that looked like it should be on the cover of a hot-rod magazine and not parked on a busy and crowded Capitol Hill street. He had on dark jeans and a dark canvas jacket that had the logo of his garage embroidered on the front. His ankles were crossed on the curb in front of him and one booted foot bounced up and down, giving the impression that he’d been waiting for me for a while. His arms were crossed over his chest and his eyes were locked on mine as I stood still, unsure what to do. He had an effortless kind of charisma that radiated off of him. It was equal parts intimidating and irresistible. I was unsure if my feet wanted to rush me toward him or run me as far from him as possible.
The puppy made the decision for me. Seeing another human, and thus another opportunity for pats and rubs, he threw his wiggling little body out of my arms before I could react. He hit the ground with a little yelp and then bolted right for Wheeler. I let out a gasp and took off after him thinking I could catch the end of the leash that was trailing behind him. I didn’t want him to run into the road or veer off into a yard where he didn’t belong. I was light-years away from being able to handle a confrontation with a hostile stranger that didn’t want the puppy in their space.
I didn’t need to worry because Wheeler pushed his long, lean frame off the polished side of the car and reached the scrambling animal within just a few strides. He crouched down as the puppy hurled himself into his arms and scooped the excited bundle up in one fluid motion. Then he was rising back up to his full height, which meant he was towering over me when I made my way over to where he was standing. I was embarrassed at how out of breath I was. I was supposed to be stronger than I was before, but I could hardly handle a little jog up the block or the way my heart raced at the sight of him.
I shook my head and put my hands on my hips as I looked up and into those arctic eyes. He was scratching the puppy under the chin and looking at me from under lashes that had the barest hint of red to them. “Why don’t you have a coat on?”
It wasn’t what I was expecting but his question reminded me that I was cold and that the lightweight hoodie that had the Saints of Denver logo on it wasn’t doing much to keep the bitter chill in the air off my skin. The shirt came from the tattoo shop where both Rowdy and Salem worked and was probably the most exciting garment I had in my closet. It was the only thing I owned that was bright and colorful. I rubbed my arms up and down and fired my own question right back at him. “What are you doing here?”
The puppy barked like he was telling me not to be rude but I was unsettled by Wheeler’s unexpected appearance, and not the typical unsettled that I struggled with because he was a man that I didn’t know. It was the kind of unsettled that made parts of my body I forget could react to an attractive man feel warm and tingly. The kind of unsettled that had me involuntarily leaning closer to him as he started to shift so that he could pull his heavy jacket off one arm without letting go of the dog.
“I wanted to talk to you about the dog. Did you find someone to take him yet?” He shifted the puppy to his now bare arm as I watched the endless amounts of ink that covered his skin move and flex as he shook his other arm free of the coat.
“Uh…not really.” The truth was I hadn’t really put that much effort into finding someone because I didn’t want to let the puppy go. In just a few days I’d grown surprisingly attached even though I knew I wasn’t allowed to keep him in my apartment. I’d already asked since Dixie was allowed to keep Dolly, but the landlord informed they were grandfathered in before the laws surrounding pit bulls in Denver changed. My little guy wasn’t that lucky.
My response made Wheeler chuckle. He stared at me silently as he held out the coat he’d taken off in his free hand.
“Put this on.” I stared at him like he’d suddenly started speaking Russian until he shook the coat again and frowned at me. His voice was serious and left no room for argument when he repeated the command. “Put this on, Poppy.”


Jay Crownover continues her Saints of Denver series with SALVAGED, available June 20, 2017

Preorder and fill out the form here: https://a.pgtb.me/MdHvvG

Enter your name, email address, and the order number from your pre-order receipt on the form to receive an advance excerpt of DIGNITY and a Saints of Denver Doodle download to print at home.

Entries must be received by midnight PST on June 19th to be eligible.

The print-at-home Doodle and Dignity excerpt will be emailed the week of June 20th.

Jay Crownover’s SALVAGED – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:
June 12th
Book Angel Booktopia – Review & Excerpt
Ceres Books World – Review
Grownupfangirl – Review & Excerpt
Krista's Dust Jacket – Review & Excerpt
Panda & Boodle – Excerpt
June 13th
Booknerd1107 – Review
Foxy Blogs – Excerpt
Happily Ever After Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Mustreadbooksordie – Review
NallaReads – Review & Excerpt
The Book Disciple – Review & Excerpt
June 14th
Books to Breathe – Review & Excerpt
Prisoners of Print – Review & Excerpt
Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Review & Excerpt
The Book Maven – Review
June 15th
Cocktails and Books – Review & Excerpt
Ficwishes – Review
Night Owl Reader – Review & Excerpt
Vagabonda Reads – Review & Excerpt
June 16th
A Literary Perusal – Review & Excerpt
Book Sojourner – Review & Excerpt
Literary Gossip – Excerpt
Novel Addiction – Review & Excerpt
Reviews from the Heart – Review & Excerpt
Three chicks and their books – Review & Excerpt
June 17th
BJ's Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
NotasLiterárias – Review & Excerpt
RentasticReads – Review
Reflections Of A Book Geek – Review & Excerpt
June 18th
I Heart Books – Review & Excerpt
Naughty and nice book blog – Review & Excerpt
Nose Stuck in a Book – Review & Excerpt
Red Hot + Blue Reads – Review & Excerpt
Zili in the Sky – Review & Excerpt
June 19th
From the TBR Pile – Review
BookWorm221 – Review & Excerpt
Smut Book Junkie Reviews – Review & Excerpt
The Readdicts – Review & Excerpt
June 20th
Bookalicious Babes Blog – Review & Excerpt
Crazii Bitches Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Red Cheeks Reads – Review & Excerpt
TjLovesToRead – Excerpt
Wickedcoolflight – Review & Excerpt
June 21st
My Girlfriend's Couch – Review & Excerpt
Rachel Reads Ravenously – Review & Excerpt
She Hearts Books – Review & Excerpt
Two Book Pushers – Review & Excerpt
June 22nd
A Leisure Moment – Review
Caroline Jane Reads – Excerpt
KeeperShelf – Review
Live Read and Breathe – Review & Excerpt
Musings of the Modern Belle – Review & Excerpt
Queenzany – Review & Excerpt
June 23rd
BFD Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Dog-Eared Daydreams – Review & Excerpt
Krissy's Book Nook – Review & Excerpt
The Readdicts – Review & Excerpt
Vera is Reading – Excerpt
June 24th
G & T's Indie Café – Excerpt
Love Drug Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Renee Entress's Blog – Review & Excerpt
We stole your book boyfriend – Review & Excerpt
    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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