Author: J.B. Salsbury
Release Date: July 18, 2017
When you can’t trust yourself, how can you ask anyone else to?
It’s been months since Aden Colt left the Army, and still the memories haunt him. When he moved into a tiny boat off the California coast, he thought he’d found the perfect place to escape life. Then Sawyer shows up and turns his simple life upside down. Beautiful and sophisticated, she seems out of place in this laid-back beach town. Something is pushing her to experience everything she can—including Aden. But as much as he wants her, starting a relationship with Sawyer puts them both at risk. For Aden, the past doesn’t stay there; it shows up unexpectedly, uncontrollably, and doesn’t care whose life it wrecks.
A life affirming journey of heartache and hope, J.B. Salsbury delivers a perfectly poignant and simply unforgettable story that left my heart utterly Wrecked. This novel was absolutely everything I’ve come to love about this author and so much more. Aden and Sawyer instantly stole my heart, enchanting me completely from their adorably awkward first meeting until the very last page. I loved the unquestionable connection between the characters, transfixed by their obvious and sizzling chemistry and wholly intrigued by their personal histories and the challenges they would surely face together. Aden and Sawyer’s journey did not disappoint, serving up plenty of genuine emotion, fantastically addictive banter and seriously scorching encounters. J.B. Salsbury is at her absolute best with Wrecked!
“Chance. Fate. These are things I know nothing about. In my experience, all choices, no matter how seemingly simple, have significance.”
I connected with Sawyer on an incredibly personal level, easily finding so many of my own emotions echoed throughout this character. While her journey was decidedly unconventional, the grief she carried and the emotional rollercoaster she experienced over the course of this novel were undeniably authentic. I adored how vulnerable Sawyer was, finding a sense of peace and renewed strength in the sincerity of her struggle. This story definitely carried its share of weight, but each of our heroine’s triumphs lightened the load on my soul a little bit more. J.B. Salsbury did an incredible job developing this character, utilizing the relationship between Sawyer and Aden to push her outside her comfort zone and force her to live life in new and thrilling ways. The overall growth of this character was nothing short of breathtaking and by the time all was said and done Sawyer had effectively stolen my heart.
“But I can’t change who I am, no matter how much I want to. The guilt and the self-hatred is frustrating and I’m so lost in who I am and who I wish I could be that somewhere along the way, I’ve lost my way.”
Broken, scarred and unmistakably altered by tragedy, Aden is everything a hero should be and then some. J.B. Salsbury didn’t pull any punches when it came to this character, serving up an angry, resentful and self-destructive man that was hard to love at times. However, beneath the pain and unimaginable loss was someone loyal and capable of caring deeply – hints of the kind of hero that leaves readers swooning. As the book progressed, Aden’s personal transformation was more subtle than Sawyer’s, evident in the memories he shared with her and the moments in which he allowed her to truly see him. With their relationship, J.B. Salsbury paved the way for the kind of gradual development that makes the reader feel like they’re growing alongside the character. I felt Aden’s fears and shared in his healing, allowing him to take root and fill my heart with his story.
“I may not need him. He may be the worst possible person for me. But I want him in a way I can’t even begin to understand.”
Wrecked is one of those novels that leaves its mark, branding you in unexpected and deeply significant ways and altering your view of the world irrevocably. J.B. Salsbury touched upon incredibly harsh realities, detailing the struggles of PTSD and terminal illness with the kind of exceptionally rare insight that allows the reader to experience it for themselves. The emotions were raw and unapologetically real, leaving me no choice but to feel Aden and Sawyer’s pain as my own. J.B. Salsbury expertly balanced all of the heartache and angst with a breathtaking lightness and obvious joy for life that ran throughout the novel, giving this story plenty of levity and an overall hopeful nature that absolutely captivated me. Perfectly paced and exquisitely written, this book was meant to be devoured. J.B. Salsbury once again proved herself to be an instant one-click for me. Painted with vibrant imagery and overflowing with gut-wrenching emotions, Wrecked is a brilliant must-read story of loss, love and life.
Every time that I think J.B. Salsbury can’t get any better, she produces a new book that just blows me out of the water. In her newest release, she’s taken two sensitive subjects and combined them into a breathtaking novel about insurmountable loss and the power of all different kinds of love. Wrecked was one of those stories that filled my heart with a myriad of emotions, making me both laugh and cry, and somehow left me feeling lighter by the time I turned that last page. Though I have just adored everything else she has written, I can definitely say that Wrecked has a special quality to it that will make it one of my favorite reads of the year.
“What I saw in the mirror was a girl who, even if for only that brief second, had given in to what could be rather than having her hands wrapped up in manipulating her future into what it needs to be.”
Sawyer and Aden’s story often times felt like highlights of my life playing out in front of my very eyes. Each character had traits that resonated deep within my bones, which made for an incredible connection to each of them. I won’t go into specifics, because I want everyone to read and experience it for themselves, but seeing the reflection of my own thoughts and feelings was certainly an experience that left its mark. I also appreciated the tremendous amount of growth both Aden and Sawyer exhibited from the beginning to the end of the novel. Sawyer was a straight-laced, by the books, type of woman being forced to live a little and experience life out of her comfort zone. Aden was a broken, tortured man who embodied the term loner. Though he had his reasons, it broke my heart on more than one occasion and I just wanted to console him. The chemistry between these two was indescribable; they complemented each other perfectly, and I could not have asked for anything better.
“For now, he needs me. This powerful soldier needs me to save him even if for only one night.”
I can honestly say that while Salsbury continues to grow in her writing, Wrecked is some of her best work to date. The characters are raw and real, the storyline is unique and refreshing, and the text itself is gripping and heartwarming. The romance between Aden and Sawyer will leave readers giggling after wiping their tears, and then aching for more. I know that I simply could not get enough of these two – no matter how perfectly Salsbury ended their book. She continues to surprise me with her excellence, and it only leaves me salivating for what she will do next!
Oh no, fuck no!
I thought he was kidding. I should’ve known better. Aden’s intentions with me since I stupidly boarded this boat have been my torment for his enjoyment. He loved watching me squirm over the bait tank and when I proved I wouldn’t shy away from a challenge, he pulled out the big guns. From his flirty smiles to his teasing touches, he’s discovered my weaknesses and is exploiting them for his own entertainment.
Now this? Raw fish probably still warm from fighting for its life.
And now I’m God knows how many feet above water sitting on a two-seater bench held up by rusty ladders and staring down a piece of glistening pink meat.
“You have to eat it, it’s a rite of passage.” He offers the meat to my lips and I quickly turn my face away.
“I’m really not hungry.” As if the idea isn’t enough to turn my stomach, watching him clean the fish before sectioning off enough for lunch wasn’t much of an appetite builder.
“Of course you are.” He brings the piece to his own mouth and takes a bite, closing his eyes with a moan as he chews.
I feel a rush of bile hit my throat, or maybe it’s beer, either way it’s warm and it burns. “That’s disgusting.”
“You’re telling me you don’t like sushi?”
My eyes widen. Sawyer would say she’s never had sushi. But Celia’s a different story. She ate a live cricket in the eighth grade on a dare. She didn’t even flinch. “I like sushi, just not directly from the…um…source.”
“Doesn’t get fresher than this.” He takes another bite and I can’t deny that his response to eating it does give it some appeal.
“I think I need soy sauce or that green stuff.” What’s it called?
“Just try it.”
“I really don’t want to.”
“Oh come on.” He smiles in that cute crooked way that makes my heart dip and dive. “Live a little.”
I chew the inside of my mouth debating the cost/benefit of taking a bite of this fresh-out-of-the-ocean fish. On one hand, I’ll impress Aden. That in and of itself is worth the ick factor. But what if I throw up all over his boat? Is the chance of impressing him worth totally humiliating myself? I groan when I realize what I’m doing, exactly what I swore I wouldn’t do. I’m making an internal pros and cons list. I close my eyes and steel my resolve and my spine. Don’t think, just decide. I pop open my eyes followed by my mouth.
“Yeah?” He stares at my parted lips.
I nod, hoping he’ll hurry before I change my mind.
Lifting the rose-colored flesh forward, he places it between my teeth. It’s a small bite so I close my lips around his fingers expecting him to pull away…but he doesn’t. For a moment I’m suspended in his gaze, totally stuck while his hot fingers rest between my lips. This should be grossing me out; after all, I watched him gut this fish with his bare hands and to wash off all the blood he merely dipped them into the ocean. But all the thoughts of raw fish and a stranger’s finger do nothing to stave off the warmth blooming in my belly. My tongue pulls the meat deeper into my mouth, brushing against the rough pad of his forefinger. He bites his lip but finally drops his hand.
He watches intently while I chew and swallow.
“How was it?” His voice is low and gruff.
Lost in the heated moment, I barely tasted it. “Good.”
His hand cups the back of my head and he pulls me toward him, stopping just short of our lips touching. “I can’t fucking take this anymore.” His breath is sawing in and out, bursting against my mouth with impatience. “Let me.” It’s a demand, not a question.
A kiss. I don’t need to channel Celia or flip a coin…I know what I want.
I lick my lips and close the slight distance between us.
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New York Times bestselling author JB Salsbury spends her days lost in a world of budding romance and impossible obstacles. Her love of good storytelling led her to earn a degree in Media Communications. Since 2013 she has published six bestselling novels in The Fighting Series and won a RONE Award. JB Salsbury lives with her husband and two kids in Phoenix, Arizona.