Author: Con Riley
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
From the Publisher:
Salvage Stories: Book Two
San Diego is a city of second chances for Jamie Carlson. His new career as a photographer is taking off, and with the support of a loving surrogate family, he’s finally putting his party years behind him. The Bailey family helped him solve his drinking problem, but there’s no easy solution to staying sober now that Belle Bailey’s dying. Her last wish is a challenge Jamie can’t overcome without help.
Solving problems is Daniel Priest’s specialty. More than twenty years older than Jamie, he’s successful and experienced. He makes his living resolving corporate crises—but his personal life has been far from perfect. Now that his marriage is over, Daniel’s determined to make up for lost time. One night with Jamie isn’t nearly enough for him.
Daniel’s honest offer of help is more than Jamie expects from a one-time hookup. Even so, fulfilling Belle’s last wish is a tall order. Repairing her damaged family as she requests proves difficult when Jamie has to face his own past as well. Jamie could risk his hard-won recovery by admitting why he hit rock bottom in the first place. If he wants a future with Daniel, he’ll have to address those reasons head-on.
We first meet Jamie in Salvage and his character was not written to endear him to us. He was selfish and manipulative and wasn’t a great friend to Gabe. With his story in Recovery comes the clarity of what he has been through, what has set him off on his path of destruction and what eventually leads him to become a better person.
His home life growing up has failed him completely and it is probably only thanks to Gabes father and family that he kept himself together as long as he did. There was the accident that altered the course of Gabes sisters life that was the beginning of his path of self destruction. His sense of failure in himself leads to drinking, not just the odd one, but enough that it becomes his crutch and his only way of making it through the day.
Alcohol can change you in the most shocking way. In Jamie it leads to a recklessness that ends up with him being raped. Too scared and ashamed to admit what has happened to him he turns even more to the alcohol that makes his existence palpable. It’s a never ending spiral of destruction that can only stop when Jamie takes ownership.
The Bailey family were his salvation in more ways than one. Alec, a recovering alcoholic, becomes a mentor to Jamie and his AA sponsor. His wife Belle becomes more of a mother to Jamie than his own ever was. He is shown love and compassion for perhaps the first time in his life. He also grows up a lot and realises, maybe without even knowing, that he doesn’t want to let his new family down. With that thought he can take each day as it comes.
This is a complex story and it feels almost as though the romance is just in the background. He meets Daniel at a critical time. Daniel is divorced and much older but very quickly becomes a friend and someone that Jamie can rely and lean on. Jamie has a fear of relationships only ever bothering with one night stands so it is lucky that Daniel is calm and patient.
Being an alcoholic is in no way easy for anyone. Add to that the pressure of someone you love and respect dying, a man who has been your mentor falling apart in front of your eyes, their son hating your very existence and an older man trying to make your life as easy as possible and it is only with great fortitude that Jamie manages to get out of bed in the morning. Every hour is fraught with the possibility that having a drink would make life much easier. This is when you realise that Jamie is much stronger than he thinks he is. He finds an inner strength that has him coping and fulfilling Belles dying wishes and also falling in love.
This book is very different from the first one. The writing is heartfelt, heart wrenching and leaves you wrung out. A lot of things happen that would make a lesser man cave but Jamie proves to himself and those who love him that he is strong and more than capable. Quiet and loving Daniel is a true rock for the younger man even if their romance has to take a back to seat to everything else going on. A great and very different addition to the Salvage Series. Surely it will be Owens story next?
I would like to thank Dreamspinner Press for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
|This post may contain affiliate links.
|Prism Book Alliance® assumes no liability for the ownership of photos or content used in guest posts and interviews. The post author assumes all responsibility and liability for this content.|