Genres: Dark Romance
***This book contains mature content and touches on the basis of child abuse, bullying, and alcoholism. If the themes listed above bother you and you still choose to read, please proceed with caution. This book is intended for readers 18+ and has a cliffhanger. *** The first book in the SALVAGE Duet will always be a beloved book to me. It's not a love story with a big red bow at the top. Aleman plans to make us work for the fairy-tale ending we crave. Brilliant writing, gut-wrenching story line, and characters that will forever be in my heart. Salvage, Book 1 is just the beginning, and I can't wait to continue this journey in the sequel. ~ Shayna Renee's Spicy Reads "Sometimes love isn't enough to salvage a relationship. This book is about redemption and second chances and will keep you turning the pages." ~ Heather Davenport - Naughty and Nice Book Blog Stereotypical trailer trash. That’s how people saw me. I’m Karmen Butler, the girl everyone teased, tortured, pranked—bullied. After graduating high school, I left my shithole of a town behind with no intentions of ever returning. My dreams were within my grasp. Or so I thought… Luck. That’s what was on his side. Brayden Stephens was on top of the world and the biggest prick of all. At least that’s how I remember him. Then he lost it all. His vices took over and now he’s a washed-up has-been with a cocky smirk and arrogant attitude. Valued. That was how he made me feel. One night changed everything for us. In an instant I was lost to his touch, his voice. Everything about him captivated me. Against my better judgment, I let him in. I let him see the real me. Since he’d walked into my office, he’d been trying to redeem himself of his past mistakes. Glimpses of a love and life I’d never known before were all he had given me. Now he’s done it, the one thing he said he wouldn’t. He’s broken me. AGAIN. Excuses are what I was fed. The truth restrained him, bound him to his past, and now, I’m left to deal with the aftermath. Is there anything left to SALVAGE? I don’t know… You tell me.
This book is a great example of what we WISH could happen as adults. As someone who was bullied a bit (nothing like what Karmen went through) you always wonder if one day, as adults, your bully/mean girl would feel remorse. Are they different now? Do they even see how hurtful they were? We don’t always get that chance; sometimes if we do, we realize the person isn’t sorry at all. So, this book shows us our own ‘what could have happened’. It also touches on why some people are bullies. Anyone who has been bullied has heard ‘Oh they only do that because they are jealous’ or ‘Their lives must be bad to pick on you like that’. This book gives us a glimpse into why a bully is a bully and you actually feel for the guy! Reading about how they work through their past was fascinating.
I really did like this book and it was one that certainly stuck with me. Warning: CLIFFHANGER!
While I enjoyed seeing people get a second chance to make something right, do I think it would have happened? Not likely. I am not one who usually looks for realism in my romance novels (I know its not real, thats why I like it! If I wanted real, I would just live my life and not read!), however since this book was dealing with issues that are so prevalent it made this book seem more like a bullied kids imagination. Not necessarily a bad thing and don’t get me wrong, I love this book. Its just one thing that kept me from giving it 5 stars.