Whether you’ve been on the hook since Rule thundered into the world, or just discovered the wonderful world that is the Marked Men or Saints of Denver, you know that Jay Crownover knows how to give her readers exactly what they need.
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.
‘Salvaged’ book review
Endings can be bittersweet, but this one has been a long time coming. There is no better way that Jay Crownover could have pulled all the strings of the Marked Men and Saints of Denver series together than by letting us see Poppy Cruz and Hudson Wheeler heal each other with more love than anyone could ever imagine.
It’s fitting that Salvaged is the book that ends this series. We met Wheeler a long time ago when some of our favorite Marked Men needed a local garage. None of us knew then that the man would ultimately be the kindest soul this series would ever know. He not only has handled his own problems with as much grace as any one person can muster, but he dealt with his own issues while not forgetting that the woman he pined for needed to be handled with the utmost care. It takes a beautiful soul to keep selfishness from taking over when survival is the task at hand, and Wheeler’s soul is as beautiful as they come.
It’s also fitting that the woman he didn’t know he needed had to find her way to Denver for him. Poppy’s life has been full of men that have man-handled her and forced her to be and act as they saw fit. She was a prisoner in Texas, and it makes sense that her freedom was key to her finding true love and happiness. Wheeler was a foster child, shuffled from home to home his entire life, hoping that he would end up on the right doorstep and be able to settle in to a loving home.
Wheeler needed love to come to him, and Poppy needed to go out in the world and find love. That balance, that peace is just one part of why these two are the perfect way for this expanded, two-series world to come to a close. Their story is about healing, about love. They have each made it through the toughest parts of their lives with most of their wits still intact. Now they have each other, and knowing that they can both find shelter in the other’s arms is the perfect way to close this story.
The final chapters of Salvaged truly pulled as many loose threads together as you could imagine. We got brief check ins for all the Marked Men and their families, we learned how all the Saints of Denver are handling life after their happily-ever-afters, and now we know how Poppy and Wheeler found healing and hope that life can bring more than pain and loneliness.
I could not be more grateful for Jay Crownover, the characters she gave life to, and the books that wait patiently for me on my bookshelf. She is the master of rebirth and renewal, proving time and time again that just when someone thinks life has dealt them a leveling blow, where there’s nothing ahead but pain and loneliness, love steps in to prove them wrong.
That is it, folks. Salvaged wraps up eleven stories that have created a truly vibrant world full of crazy, boisterous personalities that we will dearly miss. The bad news is that endings are hard to accept, the good news is that Rule and Shaw and Poppy and Wheeler and everyone in between will be always be here to return to no matter how long it’s been. Like Hogwarts, Denver will always be home, and your friends will be always waiting at the bar with a beer, a story, and a new tattoo.