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10 thoughts on “Salvage

  1. Julio Genao Julio Genao says:

    stunningthis was written by a marvelous writer at the height of her powersone of the things that defines us as a species is our drive to create metaphor—to tell stories—to create things from the bits of other thingsi know i know; i'm a dork just—waitvery nearly everything we do is an abstraction of something else the names we give things are symbols for the things we have named the words we use are a kind of code for the things the words mean and when we string them together——magichuman magicthe real kindthe word 'dog' is not an actual dog; it's a series of three symbols we have all agreed means 'dog' further we have all agreed that that word sounds a certain way and that sound also means dogif you want to go the other direction think about the letters we use to make up that word—who decided the 'd' should sound like 'duh?' why is it shaped the way it is? how cool is it that we can use that same shape to make that same sound in all sorts of—— i am not high i'm just really really excitedso yeah abstraction everything is an extrapolation a symbol a metaphor and human speech and human writing and human storytelling is a series of them put together which in turn form yet another abstraction a whole other level of meaning—imagery emotion ideas——and in this way art is madea writer writes 'the dog barks' and human beings thousands of miles away long after she's dead reading a translation maybe—they know what that means they see a dog in their minds and they hear it barkingtransliteration conveying a thing from one brain to another using feelings and images made up of millions of metaphors for things everyone understands a certain wayit's how we tell stories symbolscon riley knows how this works and she knows how to play with itmonths ago i reviewed her first book After BenReferring to Ben too many times probably weakened the overall feel of the book but as a device for the purposes of explaining or enriching the context of the situation it works very nicely indeed When you lose someone you really do think of them as often as Theo thinks of Ben You compare everyone to the one you lost and everything has everything to do with themBut in fiction it's sometimes best to be a little bit unfaithful to the literal truth of a thing to keep the story moving along Some restraint here and there with the Ben memories would have better served the story than the still frankly wonderful and amusing glimpses of the kind of crazy charming and funny man Ben waswhat i saw in her writing back then was this astonishing ability to transliterate the way your mind works in grief—the so so often retrieval of memory in loss of the mimetic connection between smells and tastes and sounds to painful memories that savage you when you're suffering it was terribly terribly exciting to see even if the device was slightly out of balanceit wasn't perfect but it was close and it was like being able to read mindsso here we are and she's four books on and that skill that talent—connecting you to the mind of another person she's created so you identify with them and feel what they feel and recognize the way things happen in your own head through the inner ebb and flow of their emotions and thoughts and memories—it'sit's not unbalanced anynow it is perfectgabriel her main character here—he's alive he's human he's real because the way his mind works—memories of conversations experiences sounds smells all coming back at random times to inform his present state of mind—it's real it's accurateand it happens just that way doesn't it?you're thinking of your high school crush breaking your heart twenty years ago just as someone cute standing right in front of you today does something that could be taken a certain way and you react well out of line—you shut them down—and the extent of your emotional response only makes sense in the context of the things you were thinking and feeling just before you went totally nutslike thatbut then riley does one bettershe's mastered that y'see—and now homegirl's just showing off really the way you or i use metaphors to convey 'the dog barks' she uses that—the obscenely complicated and delicate dance of past memory and present experience—to create spellbinding scenes that not only build powerful imagery in your head but blow them up and put them back together again in absolutely incredible waysit was—on at least three occasions— literally breathtakingwhen i reviewed riley's second book Saving Sean i had this to sayover and over you'll find yourself reading something and wondering 'why is this here? why am i seeing this now? what about that other thing?'the narrative loops over and around itself again and again layered with surprising allusions parallels and metaphors—and you'll find that in its playful structure and clever symmetry you've been set up just right for incredibly satisfying emotional payoffsshe'd improved that skill—playing with the symbolism of memory and the process of cognition she'd improved it so much from one book to another i found it astonishing because the talent and ambition behind such writing had grown exponentiallyas it has again herewith this bookyou're given a word—marble—and you're given another and another in a row and they build an image in your mind—green marbles in a glass jar—and then some words images ideas imbued into the marbles—who does what with them and what that means to whom and when—and then it all circles round at the end of a scene and that symbol—marble—means something completely different than it did at the start—something —something incredible—and then hundreds of pages later hundreds of scenes like that later you realize this author's been doing the same thing but with entire scenes the whole novel and those same green marbles now mean something even greater something so vast and so rich and so human—yesyes it's really that goodit's like getting gay lit story for MM moneythis book is compulsively readable and very very recommended


  2. Heather K (dentist in my spare time) Heather K (dentist in my spare time) says:

    When you are burnt out from the breakneck pace and scratch your head where did it come from I love yous from the typical MM romance just open up a Con Riley book I promise you it will restore your faith in MM romances Thank you Con Riley for giving me a worthwhile reading experienceSalvage is about a man who comes home to help his ailing father and sister with the family business of architectural salvaging However it is so much than what it appears on the surface To me this book was about the process that each of us go through when we mature and realize that our parents are not infallible It is about flawed people learning to trust others and allowing yourself to take risks Each character is multidimensional I loved all of them and what they brought to the table The author creates such lovely characters that each have a heart and a soul From the father to the sister to even the people they met at the bar they felt real to me And Con Riley has the pace of this book down pat I love how I didn't feel rushed in the relationship between Gabe and Scott It felt organic natural and anything but boring Sure this book has a bit of a contemplative melancholy feel but I love the atmosphere that Con Riley managed to create I found this book to be beautiful and completely worthy Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review


  3. Baba Baba says:

    2 starsDNF at 65 % Review posted October 15 2013I guess I must come to terms that Con Riley’s writing and my reading tastes are no longer compatible I just don’t know After loving and devouring After Ben I was so thrilled to read the entire series and it is very unfortunate that the other two books of the series didn’t wow me at all In fact I was uite disappointed Same goes for Salvage A gloomy and somber atmosphere didn’t encourage me to jump around in delight Honestly why was it necessary to add so much drama to every character? It’s not realistic I mean we all deal with problems now and then but each and every character of Salvage has been depicted as either view spoilerhandicapped hide spoiler


  4. Sheri Sheri says:

    When it comes to Riley’s stories I eagerly jump in without pause I’m to the point that I close my eyes and hold out my hand heart hammering with anticipation I see the titlehmmm okay this should be interesting something is being rescued Then I see the coverwhich has been updated and improved if you ask me with a man I like this man I don’t know why but there’s something in his eyes that calls to me and I can’t wait to meet him I skip the blurb because well I don’t need it foolish I know but you can remind me in a second I take a deep breath and I open it AndI’m not really sure what’s happening ahem and this is why there’s something called a blurb but I don’t care It’s almost as if the big picture was slightly blurred and I could only see the center Gabe Cooper is the pivot of this tale and I could see him clearly I just couldn’t make out everything else rotating around him Why did he leave his family five years ago? Is Jamie his best friend or boyfriend? What happened to his sister? How come his dad won’t look him in the eye? And his neighbor what in the world is his story?? All good uestionswith even better answers Wanna find out?What's to like I live in a small town and always enjoy visiting others So it’s no surprise I had a great time in rural Minnesota Gabe left his hometown several years ago without a backward glance and is holding onto sharp memories It was easier to leave and stay away when he felt unwelcome He has missed his sister his twin but he struggles with her new reality She may have forgiven him but he will never forgive himself And bearing witness to her physical limitations is like a fresh tear to his seeping emotional wounds But his dad needs him and his family morals burn brighter than his shame Coop raised the twins on his own and instilled core values into his children So when an old neighbor appears out of nowhere frazzled and obviously in over his head Gabe steps up to help As my Granny would say “he gets it honest” Meaning he just can’t help himself He jumps in and throws Scott a life preserver because he is clearly drowning Turns out this helping hand is a lot fun and serious than he ever imagined sigh I just love it when they unexpectedly fall in loveWhat's to love It was easy to love Gabe It was obvious he has been carrying the heavy burden of remorse and the weight is wearing him down He’s been so focused on keeping Jamie safe he’s lost himself Running after his sister’s accident was cowardly but at the time it seemed the only option There are few people he holds close to his heart and he’s already failed once he can’t fall short a second time However when he is forced to come home everything shines in a different light Did he see things wrong before? Or only see what he wanted to? Regardless he’s back and going to dig his heels in when he’s needed As it turns out he’s very much needed Scott’s world was flipped upside down one day and it hasn’t stopped flipping Standing in to care for his niece and nephew wasn’t on his radar untilit was the only thing Emma and Josh will stand out and make their mark on your heart and I can guarantee you won’t forget them anytime soon My heart ached for them and yet I couldn’t help but feel proud of them The struggles are real the emotions are sharp and love pulses from the pages Be it neighborly sisterly or fatherlyI felt it Gabe and Scott are imperfect men in an imperfect situation but their love wasperfect I loved how they came together and stayed togetherand I am confident you will see the beauty in them tooBeware of Secrets But never fear they don’t keep for long Restoration Hearts are healed and bonds reconnect Slow burn Work and kids don’t always make sexytime easy but that only intensifies the moments caughtThis book is for Anyone searching for a touching tale of two men and their journeyhomeBook UNfunk


  5. Breann Breann says:

    SALVAGE is so much than your typical MM romance It was that too but so much it was like a breath of fresh airGabe was back in Minnesota after leaving for college in San Diego years before He had left because his family experienced a traumatic event that Gabe thought they'd never be able to come back from Their relationships were fractured in a way he had no hope to repair Now he's back to help his sister and sick father with the businessGabe is working to save what's left of his relationship with his father and sister He's desperately trying to grab all the pieces he can and fit them back together in the way they once were But of course nothing can be exactly the way it was before People change and grow as do their relationships I loved Gabe and his family; their interactions were so real and I could feel all the struggles they had to cope with They were a little estranged for some time but I could tell there was love still between them and reading about their reconciliation was so touchingWhile in town another man is struggling to get his life in order Gabe's neighbor Scott had just been handed his niece and nephew to take care of and he had no idea what he's doing Luckily he had a great family living next door that's willing to help him out when nobody else wouldWhile Gabe is trying to save himself from his past Scott is drowning in his present He has these two kids he doesn't know very well in a new town trying to be the guardian they need and deserve He was completely lost in his new situation and was very literally falling apart at the seams I loved how Gabe stepped up to help Scott out without being judgmental but because he really just wanted to help somebody who needed itScott and Gabe just simply took care of each other; they were exactly what the other needed in order to let go of what was holding them back and to look forward The natural flow of their relationship was just that natural They were friends someone to rely on and someone willing to listen when it was needed before there was any romance Like I said SALVAGE was like a breath a fresh air Give me a meet cute and some tight bods and I'm usually all set But this? The slow pace of the relationship the believable relationships and the sense of family was just wonderfulSALVAGE I don't know if there's a aptly named romance novel out there The title can be taken in so many directions and applied to so many people and events in the story These men are trying to salvage so many things in their lives and the way they were able to do this together was simply beautiful to read about


  6. Bev Bev says:

    Re read to celebrate this series being re released in the next few weeks If you haven't experienced Con Riley's superb writing before you're in for a real treatReview 2013What a heart warming read this was Absolutely delishjust the sort of story to curl up on the sofa with a box of choccies and a glass of wine or 2 all within reach We had happy tears and lots of smiles so it can only get a massive and bring on those dancing girls Gabe Cooper has reluctantly returned home to Minnesota after 5 years in San Diego with Jamie to help his dad out running the family salvage businessdad Coop has had a massive heart attack and obviously has to take things easy and twin sister Ariel is non too well herself after an accident left her partially disabledshe does what she can to help out but things are pretty strained at homeOne night a stranger knocks on the door in the middle of an awful storm the stranger is carrying a young boy and is trying to find a young girl who appears to have run off The stranger is worried out of his mind and the little boy is having a panic attack until Coop walks into the warehouse carrying the little girl who turned up on their doorstep soaked to the skin and frightened to death calling for her mother Who is the stranger and why does he have 2 young children with him?? Why was Gabe in San Diego when he really should have been helping out at home?? What happened to Ariel?? Who is Jamie?? All these uestions and will be answered in this storyyes folks it's an 'ah bless' story and I absolutely loved it


  7. Sandra Sandra says:

    I must start this review by saying that I've seen Con Riley's books up and down my timeline for uite a while Heck my two review buddiesco bloggers have read 'After Ben' and were blown away And yet I stupidly resisted Sure I follow Con on Twitter and she seems like an awesomesauce person but I hadn't seen a lick of her writingUntil Salvage Which after reading this book means I must now do everything in my powah to get all her published books and devour them because if THIS is the caliber of writing we can expect Imma need to be all over her Her books I mean Jeez PervsSo Salvage Sucked me in from the start Gabe Cooper the prodigal son returns to his hometown in Minnesota after his father Coop has a heart attack There's some hinting at something happening in the past with Gabe's sister Ariel and Gabe's not really boyfriend but best friend Jamie that has kept Gabe away for a five years but nothing is explained no info dump thank all the sweet angels So Gabe is working in his dad's architectural salvage shop cataloging things unpacking boxes and feeling generally rather sorry for himself with a dollop of guilt to round out the self pity sundae The relationship with Jamie is touched upon and the reader gets a feeling of unreuited love from Gabe's end with Jamie seemingly being a hard partying pleasure seeking don't give a damn about your feelings narcissist I was kind of glad that Gabe was away from himThe relationship between Gabe and his father is a bit strained with Gabe having some misconceptions about his father's feelings towards him and Coop being an old coot curmudgeon doesn't help their communication Gabe being a somewhat unreliable narrator you can still feel the underlying love and respect and the familial bonds that bind these two and Gabe's sister ArielThen Scott Stark appears on the scene during a huge rain storm clutching a little boy Josh to him looking for the boy's sister Emma We hear about his backstory bit by bit we're introduced to the kids and we start to feel the UST between Scott and Gabe At this point I was glued to the pages The book touches on many themes ranging from ASD to family secrets to deep seated guilt alcoholism rape and the after effects crime gay bashing misconceptions despair there's a shit ton of stuff going on behind the story front that in some books would have ended up in some convoluted mess Not here Here the author weaves a thread of family around all the issues she brings up and creates from it a tapestry of such brilliance that at the end of the book you sit there with this huge smile on your face and a happy satisfied sigh leaving your lungsAt the heart of this book it's all about family The one you were born in and the one you choose It's about family stretching beyond a blood bond only It's about things not being as they seem a point made again and again in very subtle ways and how forgiveness is the greatest gift of allIt's a wonderfully satisfying read with a good amount of boysecksing that still never takes center stage and detracts from the emotional connections between the charactersWhile Gabe and Scott might initially appear to be the main characters their lives are so interwoven with the rest of the cast that the lines blur and you realize that all of the characters are in major ways important to the storyThere were some funny moments that had me laugh out loud because kids will say the darndest things and some moments that put tears in my eyes because I was overwhelmed by the emotions Con Riley put on the pages The epilogue was cute and brought the book to a point of closure though I wouldn't mind seeing of these people Read this book I beg you It's available on 91613 Or better yet pre order it so you too can immerse yourself in its awesomeness I received a free ARC from the author prior to publication A positive review was not promised in return


  8. Debra Debra says:

    This book is so beautifully written I felt like I was actually there with the main characters watching the story play out Salvage unfolds at such a natural pace nothing felt rushed or out of place More than just a romance it is a story about family acceptance and friendship When Gabe returns home after 5 years to help with the family salvage business and care for his father who is recovering from a heart attack every relationship has seems strained He worries about his best friendroommateex lover Jamie who he left behind in San Diego His relationship with his father has been tenuous and defined by a lack of communication since he left for college shortly after an accident that severely injured his sister An accident Gabe blames on himself One stormy day Gabe meets their new neighbor Scott Stark who also has an unpleasant family history and has suddenly become guardian of his sister's two young children one of which has autism To say Scott is in over his head is an understatement as he has cannot find his niece and his nephew appears to be in the midst of a meltdown Soon the families begin to bond and their back stories are slowly revealed Gabe returned to MN planning to go back home to San Diego as soon as his father felt better but he is soon faced with the fact that he will not be leaving as soon as he thought Scott is also living there on what he believes to be a limited stay but that is another situation that is up in the air There is a slow build to the romantic relationship between Gabe and Scott while the two men focus on their families There are so many issues to be dealt with and they all flowed together so easily I never felt distracted by one storyline over another and each played out very naturally and the ending fit the tone of the rest of the story


  9. AnnaLund AnnaLund says:

    I have been trying for two days to formulate this review It's not working so I'm just going to gush and spill and suee and be generally obnoxious for the duration There truly is nobody who writes uite like Con Riley; for me this is simply How You WriteCon Riley does it for me on so many levels but mostly because her writing is so darned intelligent She doesn't write stuff on my nose she doesn't Tell me anything but she Shows me all she doesn't scream at me You get it? You get it? Huh? Huh? no it is so much subtle Also she doesn't tell me everything at once she doesn't dump backstories and information on me when I don't need it YetThis writing just presents information as it is needed and when needed Not a second earlier Con Riley has the knack of keeping me on my toes for the whole run and there I am thinking just one chapter and then suddenly it's been two chapters three chapters four and there's just no stopping me I keep reading like a river in full spring snow melting water madness running from angry bulls and swimming in deep dark oceans and it just KEEPS ME READING until my eyes bleed or drop or my iPad hits my face or I keep on until until until until it's done Finished And then there is wailing because FeelingsThe book is over Cue wailingIt's finished Snotsobbing happensAnd by all that is holy this was a ride and a half I adored Gabe Hated Jamie for almost the whole book but—no never mind you read it and tell me what you think mkay?—and I positively fell in love with Scott Some parts made me scream out loud laughing like a crazy person and some just gutted me How Con Riley manages to circle around so many difficult themes ha you want to know which ones? How about autism rape homophobia handicaps illness alcoholism circle and circle and never get heavy or boring or teaching Just the softest touch by a hand that shows me what it means to live with a child on the spectrum What it's like to have a mother who drinks How you live with the loss of limbs And it never feels like I'm being taught new things never am I being punished for being whole unraped straight happy Yes a lot of books try to make me feel bad about who I am instead of showing me how other people live I sincerely prefer the second This book makes everything just feel like FAMILY Like fucking family Warm and good and comforting Even when things are all fucked up beyond any measure I have ever had to deal with myself I appreciate the voice in this telling I appreciate taking a stand being there for your friends Or simply for someone who really needs a hand Especially the little woman who stepped up at the mall to tell people to mind their own business when Scott was having a hard time was brilliantAnd that's the low key bonus in Con Riley's story she treats women in mm stories like real people Like assets Not like asshats Well some are asshats too goes without sayingWhat really amazes me is how what seems like an unimportant detail in the beginning can go and become a major point towards the end Brilliant writer is brilliant Why am I not surprised one little bit?And I'm going to keep all of my own personal 21 highlights to myself because you? Need to read this one for yourself Go slow and enjoy the wording Highlight the shit outta this book A free ARC of this book was given to me before publication A positive review was not expected nor ever promised in return And you know what? They say it is out today


  10. Irina Irina says:

    Disclaimer I'm uite cold hearted – or a glacial bitch as some would say – so take what I'm about to say here with a pinch of salt This book might make you cry buckets even though it didn't do that to meWhen I say this novel was light pleasant reading I definitely do not mean that it's a simple easy story I mean that it's a difficult story handled with an incredibly delicate hand that somehow managed to sueeze my heart without making it bleedCon Riley's strength lies in words It's not the plot that had me glued to the pages – although that has its merits too – but the way it it was toldThe story unfolds over the course of a few months not once lagging or speeding up too muchGabe Scott Ariel Jamie and Coop's backstories are doled out in small doses just enough at a time to keep the reader happy but slightly obsessed and hungry for But what I found most fascinating about each character Gabe and Scott in particular is that despite a slight air of mystery around them at least in the beginning and the uttermost complexity of an actual human being that Riley managed to transpose here there is a crystal clear transparency about them that had me following their thought processes agreeing with their actions and sympathising with them even when the path they chose wasn't one I would have chosen myself; even when it seemed to me they were doing something senseless somehow I saw the sense in itThe romance is not by any means the main focus of this story of personal growth but it's delicious heartwarming and sexy all the sameIn a story full of issues and trauma the love story between Gabe and Scott is the only easy and angst free happening It's plain to see how well they fit together right from the start in a way that reuires no words and no explicit commitment but comes naturally and brings only joyThe other characters are just as lovable and interesting each of them with a clearly defined personality and a past that shaped them and changed them In a way most of them aren't even secondary characters because they spend just as much on page time as Scott That makes this of a choral family centred story – family in every sense the one you're born with and the one you build for yourself – and despite the fact that my tastes don't usually run in that direction I loved it I absolutely adored it I enjoyed the hell out of it Is there a way to make this any clearer or emphatic?The issues in this story ranging from rape to illness homophobia and ASD have the potential to be very heavy and difficult to handle – for the author and for the readerBut what I said about Con Riley's magical way with words comes into play here too and the narration never turns preachy or oppressiveEvery plot thread every single small detail is weaved into the plot so seamlessly that at the end when this masterpiece of a tapestry was finished I was left smiling completely satisfied and speechless Speechless All that came out of my mouth for the next three hours was “green marbles”Irrealistically realistic astonishingly beautiful and heartbreakingly comfortingThere's probably a lot to say about this but other people have already written everything you need to know I can only hope I helped someone make the decision to pick up this book because it's worth every penny and every minute This is the uality I hope for every time I start reading a novelOriginally reviewed for The Blog of Sid Love which is now dead


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Salvage ➿ [Download] ➽ Salvage By Con Riley ➵ – Thomashillier.co.uk Five 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 an Five 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 longScott 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.