[ARC REVIEW] “Kiss to Salvage” (Blairwood University #7) By: Anna B. Doe

What is Kiss to Salvage by Anna B. Doe about?

I never expected to fall for my best friend’s little sister, and I definitely didn’t count on her breaking my heart.

Jade Cole entered my life like a tornado, and I never saw her coming. I should have been strong enough to resist her. After all, she was forbidden, my best friend’s little sister, and the bane of my existence.

But the more she got under my skin, the harder it was to resist her. Until I couldn’t fight back any longer. One kiss led to another, and the more I had her, the harder it was to let go.

Then she dropped the bomb I never saw coming.

I have cancer.

And it’s like I’ve been sacked to the ground all over again. I’ve already lost somebody I love to cancer, and I can’t do it again.

But I also can’t walk away from her.

Because Jade and I? We’re like magnets. And no matter how hard you try to separate us, we’ll find our way back to each other, regardless of the destruction we leave in our wake.

NOTE: Kiss To Salvage is book two in Shattered & Salvaged Duet. You need to read Kiss To Shatter in order to understand this book. Shattered & Salvaged Duet contains dark and mature themes appropriate for readers 18+. For the full list of trigger warnings please visit the author’s website.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Review:

Y’all. This book. This book ripped my heart out and then put it back together — I couldn’t put the book down, and am still thinking about it days later!

“Kiss to Salvage” starts immediately after “Kiss to Shatter” ends, so if you haven’t read the first book in the duet (or really any of the series), don’t keep reading this review, and go read them all first! “Kiss to Salvage” mostly follows Jade reeling from and dealing from her breast cancer diagnosis, along with her friends and family navigating this new reality with her. We see Prescott struggle especially, both with the possibility of losing her, and with his own demons, both past and present. The story does deal with heavy topics such as cancer and drug addiction, plus other trigger warnings that go along with that. (You can read the full list of trigger warnings for this duet and all of Anna’s other books here, but be advised, that does spoil a few plot points for each of those books.) I do have a somewhat personal connection to Jade and Nixon’s backstory too, so that’s another reason why the book hit me harder.

If you’re looking for a fun, light-hearted romance, look elsewhere, because not a whole lot about Jade and Prescott’s love story in this book is fun or light-hearted. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great book — it’s one of my favorite in the series, although since it’s so heavy, I’m not sure that I’ll be re-reading it. (I also devoured it and read it within a few days, for hours and hours at a time…so it was one of those instances where it felt like I was existing more in Jade and Prescott’s world than my own while I was reading, and that took me a few days to get out of once I finished reading.)

Still, I’m glad that Jade and Prescott find and fight their way to their own happily ever afters, and I’m happy that we as readers get to go along for the ride. From reading Jade’s brother’s book, “Kiss to Forget,” and Jade’s first book, “Kiss to Shatter,” I knew some of what they’d gone through and it really helped to understand some of the situations that happened in this book, such as the reappearance of a family member. (Trying to keep it as vague as possible — you’ll have to read the book to find out who!) We also got to see how close Jade and Nixon are, and how they grew closer throughout the book too, which was really special. Nixon is also navigating his support for Jade and betrayal of his best friend sleeping with his sister behind his back, so that’s interesting, too.

I love love loved getting to see characters from previous books in the series (and future ones!) in this. The only person we don’t physically see is Hayden, since he’s away in the NFL, but everyone else is present a lot. Penny’s story is the next and final book, and hers gets set up at the end. (I’m awaiting that one very impatiently, but it won’t be out for awhile, especially because she’s also starting a Bluebonnet Creek series next year, which is where the #0 book in the Blairwood University series takes place. Although we did get both books in Jade’s story just a few weeks apart, so I guess I can’t complain too much.)

There is a surprise proposal that happens, and I obviously won’t be spoiling what couple it is (is it Jade and Prescott? Alyssa and Maddox? Someone else? Guess you’ll have to read to find out!) that, although it was sweet, the timing felt kind of “stealing the spotlight”-y of the girl getting proposed to. It worked for them, and it worked in terms of whose POV the story is from, but I’ve never been a fan of “proposing during a holiday/other special event” thing, because I feel like it’s overshadowing the special-ness of the original thing, but that’s just my personal preference! As in the previous book in the series, there were a lot of descriptions regarding the brows of each character which got kind of distracting, but that was less distracting as the book went on.

Overall, I think this was a great book, and I’m so thankful to Anna and her team for letting me read an advanced copy! The book is available to buy now and read for free in Kindle Unlimited. As with all new adult books, I recommend it for 18+ due to some of the sexual content, and for this one, along with the heavy subject content — but as always, read at your own risk, and don’t let me tell you what to do!

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