📚Review: Salvage, by Con Riley (Salvage Stories book 1)


cover-conriley-salvageFive years ago, an accident fractured Gabe Cooper’s family. Believing it was broken beyond repair, Gabe and his best friend Jamie Carlson left Minnesota behind for San Diego sunshine and college. Now another crisis brings Gabe home to help his ailing father, and he finally has to face the guilt that kept him away for so long.

Scott Stark also returns to Minnesota, with his young niece and nephew in tow, shouldering new family responsibilities. While Gabe comes to grips with his past, Scott struggles to accept his present role as a substitute parent, caring for two children, each with different needs. As Gabe and Scott get to know each other, reclaiming family life almost seems possible. Only two things stand in the way of love: Gabe’s unresolved relationship with Jamie, and Scott’s plan to leave Minnesota as soon as he can. Both men will have to accept past mistakes if they want to salvage a future together, and time is running out.


Dates read:
Edition read:
September 15, 2013
Dreamspinner Press
Contemporary, M/M, GLBT+
232 e-book pages
3rd person
Series, book 1
December 23-25, 2015
Kindle Edition
See the book on GoodReads.

Rating:        ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Ratings are 1 to 5 stars and based mostly on GoodReads standards.
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It’s official. Con Riley is now firmly on my list of favorite authors.

The words are just beautiful. And the storytelling is nuanced and gorgeous.

I had a little bit of a hard time getting into this, until around 20%.

I’m going to chalk it up to me again because of the holidays and various and sundry interruptions…also copious amounts of alcohol.

But, what I’ve learned with Con Riley, is that it doesn’t matter if the beginning grabs or not. Sure, I always want the first words of a book to grab me by the throat and not let go. It’s okay here though because the book starts with pieces of things that quickly become big questions. Or, sometimes the pieces might seem inconsequential.

Then…KAPOW! All of a sudden, these pieces start falling into place, locking, building something huge.

This is the glory of Con’s writing. I know I’m going to get something huge, glorious, everlasting all from the little parts and pieces she laid out in the beginning. Here it was marbles, guilt, and two broken families.

I think she’s a little bit MacGyver with the storytelling because she put them all together with old windows, door knobs, a few used bricks…and probably some paperclips and spit. She put all this together and something that works and is strong. This is near-on perfection in story-telling.

Con’s storytelling is perfection in construction.

I love when, in my mind, the story seems impossible to resolve, and the author gets us there in believable ways.

I love when the love interests are hesitant and little wary. And these guys are reluctant to invest in more than a good time as long as it lasts– for good reasons.

This is a family story chock full of regrets and guilt, and thusly its members are misunderstood. Until…

It doesn’t always seem the love interests are going to figure things out. Until…

Until the pieces are placed and everything is put to rights.

So yeah, Con Riley is now one of my favorites.

And this was one hell of an enjoyable read.

Also, a little Katie trivia. I finally read Con Riley’s bio. She lives in Devonshire, England. I’ve been there! I was 13 and spending the summer in a wee village in Oxfordshire with some dear friends of the family. We had a two week holiday in Torquay that was unforgettable for me because it was where I had my first visit to a pub and it’s also where I had my first kiss. (Not at the pub.) A cute English boy with the most beautiful blond, wavy hair thought I was cute, too. We snuck off from the other kids during a game of hide-n-seek on a small, private beach. He took me by the hand and led me behind a huge rock formation. And well, I thought that was pretty freaking fantastic and soooo, so romantical. It still makes me smile all these years later that my first kiss in such a beautiful place and was an international affair. Now that I’ve had 30 years and countless more kisses to compare, I can also say it was a damn fine kiss.

Had to share. 😊

This review posted on GoodReads and a partial review on Amazon.

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