Jay Crownover’s SALVAGED – Excerpt Reveal

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jay Crownover continues her delightfully sexy Saints of Denver series with the next thrilling standalone, SALVAGED! Don’t miss the amazing excerpt below and pre-order your copy today!

 

 

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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EXCERPT:

Poppy

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

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

 

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

 

 

From Goodreads:

“An unforgettable tale of two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe who stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along the way.

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Witty, romantic, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a sumptuous romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love.”

 

How excited are you for Mackenzi’s new novel? I cannot wait!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books With Summer Covers

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they have a different theme for bloggers to post their top tens about, and this week I’m listing…

Top Ten Books With Summer Covers

 

 

Second Chance Summer

Second Chance Summer

 

 

Summer Days and Summer Nights

Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories

 

 

Nantucket Blue

Nantucket Blue (Nantucket, #1)

 

 

This One Summer

This One Summer

 

 

Summer of Sloane

Summer of Sloane

 

 

Since You’ve Been Gone

Since You've Been Gone

 

 

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour

 

 

Boys of Summer

Boys of Summer

 

 

When Dimple Met Rishi

When Dimple Met Rishi

 

 

Alex, Approximately

Alex, Approximately

 

 

 

Just looking at these book covers make me excited for summer! What covers remind you of summer? Let me know!

 

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Review: Windfall

Windfall

 

This is Jennifer E. Smith’s newest novel and the first one of hers that I have read. I was expecting swoony romances and heart fluttering mushy scenes, but I didn’t read that in this story. What I read was a little disheartening and slightly concerning. It did not leave me with a good feeling.

Short recap: Alice buys her best friend, Teddy, a lottery ticket for his 18th birthday. It was supposed to be a joke but actually was one of the three winning tickets. Teddy has not had the best life and could really use this money to change things for him and his mom. Will Teddy do what is right or will this money change things for everyone?

The blurb seemed like this would be one of those, “What if…?” stories. What if two kids that were down on their luck actually won hundreds of millions of dollars in the lottery? What if they were able to possibly turn their luck around? Would it change them? That is what drew me to this story. I believe it started out on the right path towards being a really great story but it derailed around the 40% mark. Why? The plot went to crap. Let me explain.

The protagonist, Alice, had a bit of a bad streak of luck when her parents passed away suddenly within a short time of each other. Alice left California to stay with her aunt, uncle, and cousin in Chicago. Nothing crazy there but then comes Teddy. Teddy is the third person in the Alice, Teddy, and Alice’s cousin (his name escapes me right now…). There was a silent romance building between Alice and Teddy but neither wanted to admit it. Still adorable, right? Here comes the kick in the gut: After Teddy wins the lottery with the ticket Alice gave him, he becomes the biggest a-hole on the face of the planet. He turns his back on those that had been there for him his entire life (i.e. Alice and her cousin). What does he do to repay them? Verbally beat them up because they don’t see things the way he does. Meaning, Teddy thinks money will fix everything and make everyone like you. He verbally attacks Alice I cannot tell you how many times. And Alice takes the verbal abuse. She does! She never defends herself but will quickly drop everything to defend Teddy. What in the actualThat bugged the hell out of me. Alice was stubborn for her own reasons, I get that but there was no reason for Alice to be Teddy’s verbal punching bag. And what was the deal with Sawyer?! The boy is introduced as a potential love interest and the *POOF* was gone without another word. Was he brought in to cause a love triangle that went nowhere? WHO KNOWS. I would have much rather read a story line between Alice and Sawyer. It seemed that he genuinely wanted to get to know her as a person, even the stuff she had a hard time telling anyone else. He would have been loads better than Teddy. The plot had huge potential but I lost interest when the above happened. The story went south for me at that point and I found myself not caring. I had a very hard time reading how Teddy treated Alice and she let it happen.

There is probably no need for me to talk about the characters but I’ll do it. I won’t like it but I’ll do it. I felt Alice needed serious professional help. She went to extreme lengths to try to be good enough for her parents after their deaths. It was sweet that she wanted to give back to the community as much as she did, but I don’t see how that helped develop her as a character. She rarely interacted with anyone her own age or did anything outside of the tons of community service she did. Plus, she did not process the passing of her parents well since she lost them at such a young age. I mean it, the girl needed help. Teddy started out humble but too much of an attention whore. I felt it was rude that he would stop a conversation he was having just to make sure he talked to everyone. I didn’t dig that. And Alice’s cousin (still can’t remember his name…) felt like a third wheel. He would try to join the two on the few outings they had but since Alice was so head over heels it was just awkward. I didn’t like the way Teddy treated Alice and the way she lapped up whatever attention he threw her way. It felt…. insulting. She deserved better but didn’t think she could do better. That bothered me.

Maybe I’m just reading too much into this story but I don’t see what everyone else saw in it. It did not make me swoon or go weak in the knees. What it did was grind my gears. I do not like stories where any character, especially the female character, is treated the way Alice was in this story. Alice thought it was normal behavior, that was wrong. I just wished she had stood up and defended herself. I also did not enjoy how Smith tried to wrap everything up in a super neat bow at the end and things were supposed to be great. Uh, no. Not everything can be fixed in 5 pages and I am supposed to just be okay with that. It was not believable.

Since this is my first Smith book I won’t believe that all of them are this way. I want to give the rest of them a chance. I just had higher hopes for this story. I feel it had huge potential but fell incredibly short. The characters should have been developed more and more thought put into the plot. How about he not be such a cliche d-bag after he wins? How about he not be ruthless to the people that have stood by him when he was at his worst? How about he not treat the girl that has had a crush on him for years like something he scraped off of his shoe? How about she voice her concerns and stand up for herself? Just some things to think about.

 

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Books Left Unread #77

Wallpaper-Books

Books Left Unread

Welcome to my blog post where I talk about the books I have been meaning to read, but just have not yet. You know what I am talking about – the books that have remained unread for various reasons yet when you see them you think, “You know, I really need to read that.” Instead you get distracted by another book, series, or something in your TBR pile. It happens to the best of us. I want to spotlight those books in the hope that I can persuade myself to move them up on my TBR list.

This week’s post is dedicated to:

Sekret by Lindsay Smith

Sekret (Sekret, #1)

 

I have had this ARC for a while now and want to read it, but it’s the hint of historical fiction that stops me from reading it. 😦 Have you read it? Should I just take the leap and read?

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Review: The Memory Book

The Memory Book

 

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this book. I had never read a story about a teen with dementia so I did what I do best – I went into this blind. I did not read any reviews beforehand, nor did I skim GR to see other ratings. I think this was the best thing I could have done because this book hit me hard in the feels. By the end, I was in tears.

Short recap: Samantha McCoy had normal teenage dreams – graduate high school, go off to college in the big city, and make something of herself. Everything she planned for changed when she was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder that is very similar to dementia. Preparing for the upcoming and inevitable memory loss, Sammie starts a Memory Book to keep track of everything.

This book gutted me. I don’t know how else to say that. I adored Sammie’s character and my heart went out to her. I loved how smart and determined she was about her disease. She chose to handle everything in a very grown up way and that said a lot about her. It did make me sad when she experienced some of the symptoms and I felt like I was freaking out right along side her. I wanted to hug her and tell her everything was going to be okay. Her voice sounded so sincere and I believed the feelings she expressed throughout this story.

The other characters in this story were just as important. Sammie’s character need a strong support system and she got that from her family. Reading about how hard this was on her parents was difficult. But at the same time, it made them seem that much more believable. What parent wants to watch their child go through something as awful as this?! Then there was Stuart and Cooper. Now I have a few things to say about these two because the two boys plus Sammie equaled an awful love triangle I saw coming a mile away. From the moment Stuart was introduced, I never really felt anything for him. He is portrayed as the super hot, super cool guy that every girl wants. Typical, right? So why does Sammie choose to not tell him about her medical issue right away if he’s that important to her? Great question! The answer is because he wasn’t the right guy for her! In comes Cooper. Just thinking about him brings a smile to my face. This is who she was supposed to be with! It just flows! It just makes sense. Why fight it, Sammie? Probably because it helped move the story along, but I can tell you it added a level of frustration that probably didn’t need to be there.

I really am kicking myself for not reading this sooner. The audio was so well done that the narrator nailed Sammie’s voice, feelings, frustrations, all of it. It made me heart this story so much more. This story left my heart both full and empty at the same time. I hope everyone gives this a chance because this book is powerful. It is not completely sadness and crying, it also shows a protagonist character being strong, self-assured, and determined. I believe that type of character is always needed in literature. Please, give this a chance and let me know what you think.

 

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Review: Falling Into Place

Falling into Place

 

Amy Zhang started the book off in an amazing way and I was immediately pulled into the story. I sincerely wanted to know why everything was happening and what lead to Liz driving her car off of a cliff. The ultimate reason I stuck with the story was to find out who was narrating. There was no other real reason for me to keep reading. I do wish I had DNFd because the ending left me completely disappointed.

The way Amy Zhang wrote the book was beautiful. I haven’t felt they way about a writer’s writing style in a while. What I did not expect was how all over the place the story was. The timeline of the story went from past to present and switched points of view with each chapter. I was really confused and a little frustrated with that. I felt that made the story hard to follow and I was lost interest a couple of times. One chapter would talk about Liz’s friend’s drug addiction, while the next jumped to the topic of the boy who had a crush on Liz. 

The characters were all flat and unlikeable. I did not feel anything for anyone. Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch. I felt bad that Liz felt she needed to try to end her own life, but her friends were the biggest fakes. I would have been devastated if I had friends like that. Talk about putting on a show. It seemed that all of Liz’s friends and mom seemed to figure themselves out and solve their problems during the first day she was in the hospital. I didn’t buy any of it. It was just too convenient.

I found myself struggling to finish this book but wanted to find out the ultimate mystery – who was narrating??!! The mystery narrator was ever-present but unnamed until the very end. It just seemed too sunshine & rainbows and not really doable by the way the story was going. Liz’s friends were really too messed up to solve their issues in such a short time.  Overall, I was let down with the one. I was super excited to read the ARC but was left wanting. The writing style was amazing but not the timeline of the story. It was hard to follow and I wanted to quit at least three times. With that being said, I am still excited to read what else Ms. Zhang publishes and will give her another chance.

 

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