Series: Redemption #2
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary Romance
Published by Flirt, Random House on April 14, 2014
Reviewed by: GinnyAlso in this series: Against the Ropes, In Your Corner
Purchase Links: Amazon ✦ Barnes & Noble
Book Links: Goodreads
Lauren Layne’s latest novel about the healing power of redemption tells the story of a crush gone wickedly wrong, proving that what you want isn’t always what you need.
Growing up in New York, Michael St. Claire never expected to spend his twenties wearing cowboy boots. But that was before he learned about his real father, a total stranger with a family in Cedar Grove, Texas. Once in the Lone Star State, Michael meets Kristin Bellamy, who is exquisitely refined and everything Michael always thought he wanted in a woman. The only problem is that Kristin is dating Michael’s new half brother, Devon.
Kristin’s mouthy, curvy sister Chloe has always been in love with Devon Patterson. So when Michael offers to help Chloe break up Devon and Kristin, Chloe agrees to a deal that seems too good to be true. Before long, Chloe finally gets her man, only to make a startling discovery: She no longer wants the guy she had to fight for—she wants the one who stood by her side.
After all he and Chloe have been through, Michael swears he’s damaged goods. Can Chloe convince him that love is worth the risk?
So this is why people have meaningless, no-strings-attached sex. Because guy-to-girl contact feels good.
I am at that point where I’ll read almost anything Lauren Layne writes. I’ve read & reviewed her books in the past and continuously seek out more. I hadn’t heard of this series so when I saw it on Netgalley, I had to try it out. Then I realized that it was the second book in the series, so I then had to purchase book one (worth it) and read that before this one. Now, you don’t NEED to do that, you could read them out of order, but I recommend reading them all — if only because she’s a fantastic author.
But I digress: in Crushed I’ve found a kindred spirit in Chloe. Curvy girl with low self esteem but the sarcasm and snark to hide it. And Michael sees past that all… yes, he does initially attempt to use her as an ends to a means, but also genuinely wants to help her with her body and self esteem. He finds in her a magnificent friend who sneaks past all the walls he’s put up.
I will admit, at first, that I was a bit annoyed with him for wanting her to change her body — as was she, but he makes it very clear that he wants her to have a healthier lifestyle and mental health — rather than turning her into a twig. I kind of wish I had the money to have a trainer like him because it would be so very helpful. I have no self control. But maybe I’ll use her as inspiration!
Lauren Layne created another world of fascinating characters, humor, grace (and falls from), and another moment in which a character says, “That’s what she said.” Oh the joy in my heart upon reading those words!!
Grab this book when it comes out on
Valentine’s Day April 14th! Grab the others if you haven’t already (She has a Redemption book 0.5 as well that I need to buy).
** Update: I read the publishing date incorrectly, I apologize! **