I had this book on my e-reader for three days before I read it. Why did it take that long? Because I have issues reading the last book in a series. I don’t want to say goodbye to the people in these series. Jay Crownover has done such a brilliant job bringing this cast of characters to life and I just wanted to hold on a little bit longer.
I know, I know I can always go back and read them but that’s not the point. The point is, there are no new books coming for this series. We don’t know what happens to them after this book is done. That is why I have a hard time reading the last installment in a series. However its done and it was a wonderful book.
Salvaged is the story of Poppy and Wheeler. While we’ve met these characters in previous books and have a sort of idea about what they are like this is the first time you truly get to know them.
Poppy. Poor Poppy. My heart aches for what she has been through and it breaks my heart because I know somewhere out in the world there are women like her trying to survive. And I get it. I get why she stayed where she was. I’ve been there. Not as extreme as Poppy but still, I get it. I think that’s why I connect with Poppys character so much. She is the story of so many women brought to life through ink and paper.
Poppy is a very broken person and she’s trying desperately to put the pieces back together. She WANTS to move on and begin her life again. Unfortunately for her the first man she feels drawn to is engaged to someone else and even when that falls through all is not easy since he’s going to have a baby with his ex.
Abandoned by his only parent at the age of 4, Wheeler has spent his life looking for a place to belong. He thought he had found it with his ex-fiancee Kallie but when she breaks his heart, and their engagement he feels like the family he had found never truly existed and doesn’t know if a family for him actually exists.
I know this makes it sound like Wheeler is not a good man but if you havent read any of the other books of this series please understand that it was Kallie’s decision to leave and it nearly destroyed Wheeler when she did.
Wheeler is a fixer both in his personal life and his job. He restores classic cars and fixes broken ones in a garage he owns. One of my favorite conversations from this book focuses on this aspect of Wheeler. He tells Poppy that he will be the one to fix her and make her shine again. She replies that unfortunately there are no spare parts for her so she doesn’t think she’ll ever be whole again. He then tells her that nothing needs replaced. She just need to be shown the love and attention you have always deserved. She just needs a little maintenance. (I am completely paraphrasing there but I think you get the point.)
I think that’s when I fell in love with Wheeler. That was the moment you knew he got it. That it’s never about the other person doing everything they can to make themselves the best version for you. It’s about giving them the love and care that they need so they can be the best. It is always, always about taking care of whats yours, making it shine so bright that no one can miss just how amazing they are for you. If you do that for someone they will take the time to do it for you too.
Jay Crownover also does a fantastic job of making sure both Poppy and Wheeler face their pasts and understand that they aren’t alone in that confrontation.
Jay Crownover did a beautiful job finishing out a series that I have come to love so much. Rule, the first book in the Marked Men series just about broke my heart, and while Poppy and Wheelers stories are no less sad the bulk of that sadness had happened in previous books so this final book really was about healing and moving on and I think that is what is so spectacular about this book. In her ability to write it as the final book knowing that you have to move on from this series she finished the series with all of her characters moving on and simply…living.
Be sure to check out more of Jay Crownovers work at: https://www.jaycrownover.com/