📚Review: Recovery, by Con Riley (Salvage Stories, book 2)


cover-conriley-recoverySan 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.


Dates read:
Edition read:
May 18, 2014
Dreamspinner Press
Contemporary, M/M, GLBT+
227 e-book pages
3rd person
Series, book 2
December 29, 2015 – January 2, 2016
Kindle Edition
See the book on GoodReads.

Rating:        ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Ratings are 1 to 5 stars and based mostly on GoodReads standards.
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I’m hesitant to call this book a Romance. Yes, there’s love to be found, some sexytimes on the pages, and there’s a satisfying HEA.

And, well, my hesitancy to catalog this as romance doesn’t detract from my love of this book in any way.

I loved this.

Looooovvvved it.

To Con Riley, I offer a fist bump, hip bump, high-five and a big squeeze for another outstanding book.

I wondered, for nearly a third of the book, if the love interest was actually Daniel or if there would be a bait-n-switch to another character who figures prominently throughout. (I secretly wish there had been–even though I liked Daniel LOADS.)

Family matters also seem to take the majority of the attention. The story line of this broken family is done beautifully and is also gut-wrenching and devastating. I recommend keeping tissues on hand. I sobbed. SOBBED UGLY TEARS for which I was wholly unprepared.

There is so much going on in this book with the family members, Jamie’s struggles with alcoholism, and other topics that this is why I’m leery of calling it Romance. The falling-in-love bits seem to take a backseat to all the other action. That’s okay…and again, I loved it. But, maybe this book is better categorized as literary fiction

If you’ve followed any of my other reviews, you’ll have noted that I love stories about chosen families. I love redemption stories. And, I love some well-plotted angst. This book has all of this in spades.

Jamie redeemed himself from the first book. I wanted to like him in Salvage because, although mostly absent, he seemed like a relatively decent side-kick, though deeply troubled. I left the first book not feeling a whole lot of empathy for him. But, I wanted his story. I wanted to see that he’d be okay. And, that if he could get his act together, his ties to Coop and Gabe could be strengthened and that he’d earn forgiveness along his path of recovery.

I think this book can be read as a stand-alone. The setting is entirely different, and while this takes place after book one, it’s not exactly a continuation of any major storyline. There are a few references to characters from the first book, but nothing that isn’t easily understood.

This review also posted on GoodReads.

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