By JB Salsbury
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.
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.
Wrecked by JB Salsbury is an intense, emotionally charged novel that will leave the readers with new views on emotional issues many suffer from.
The novel begins with an intense horrific scene that gives the reader an understanding of suffering that Aden Colt is dealing with after he’s discharged from the Army. He suffers from severe PTSD and is barely surviving the civilian world. He is suffering from extreme survivors guilt. He has a hard time controlling his anger, his emotions, and his actions. With the offer of a rental management job from his uncle , he came to Ocean Beach to escape his memories and distance himself from those he loves from fear of hurting them. He’s barely hanging on much less in control. It all changes when the quirky tennant, Celia Forrester, returns to Ocean Beach. From the stories he has heard, Celia is a free spirit with a vivacious appetite for life. The woman standing in front of him is anything but that. She is an uptight woman with a lot of obvious fears. As he gets to know her he begins to see that woman, a woman who faces her fears head on and is willing to try conquering them all. Most of all ,she’s a woman that gives him inner peace with her acceptance and understanding.
Sawyer Forrester reluctantly agreed to take her dying twin sister, Celia’s, place in Ocean Beach while closing up her apartment. Her sister wanted her to step outside of her comfort zone and experience her life. Sawyer has suffered from extreme OCD and obsessive fears all of her life. She has lived in a neat little colorless, lifeless box all of her life. Celia wants the best for sister and feels like a walk in her shoes may be the change Sawyer needs. She didn’t know how right she was until it became so wrong.
Celia ( aka Sawyer) and Aden connected on a much more personal level. They were able to draw out each others fears and offer comfort to one another. The only problem was it was all based on a lie. Aden had been betrayed before in the worst way and Celia’s (aka Sawyer’s) betrayal can be the last strand that completely unravels the loose strings holding Aden together.
Both Aden and Sawyer face their biggest fears but they pay a high price. They will both be completely Wrecked before the fragile pieces of their lives are put back together.
JB Salsbury wrote an emotional novel that pulled at my heartstrings. I would highly recommend this book.
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.