This is my first read from Lauren Layne, but it won’t be my last! Thankfully, since I hadn’t read the previous book, each of the books in this series can be read as a standalone, though I got the gist of what happened in the previous one in this novel. I think I still might give the previous books in the Redemption series a try, since I adored Crushed! It was an easy book to read and enjoy – I highly recommend this sweet, funny, heartwarming novel about finding redemption and falling in love with the person you least expected.
Michael St. Claire left his dysfunctional, upper class family to move to Texas to find a way to meet his biological father, Tim Patterson. His relationships with his family and friends are a mess, and he’s hoping to find a place to belong during his stay in Texas. While working as a personal trainer, he meets Kristin Bellamy, who in addition to being gorgeous, has connections to the Pattersons. He’s attracted to Kristin, but she has a boyfriend, and all he really wants an in to meet the Pattersons.
“Cute,” the girl says, gesturing between Kristin and me. “If you two copulate, I’m calling Pampers to tell them I know where their next baby model is coming from.”
Chloe Bellamy is Kristin’s sister. Chloe has always lived in Kristin’s shadow and she’s not about to move out of that place anytime soon. She’s a sarcastic, feisty, straightforward girl – I loved her! She’s hilarious, relatable, and did I mention sarcastic? She’s the kind of heroine I wish I could be friends with. But underneath all the sarcasm, Chloe doesn’t have much confidence in herself, and it doesn’t help that the boy she’s in love with is her sister’s long-time boyfriend, Devon.
When Chloe and Michael meet, they’re… intrigued by each other. Chloe is unlike anyone Michael’s met, and vice versa. They banter hilariously and they discover that their companionship is easy and comfortable. When Michael become’s Chloe’s personal trainer, they spend more time together and they become somewhat friends, though Michael still keeps his secret about his father. He decides to get an in to the Pattersons through Chloe instead of Kristin now, and he offers to help Chloe get Devon to notice her. Neither of them expected that their friendship could turn into something more.
And somewhere from the vicinity of my chest, the truth sneaks up on me. I know what I really mean is I like you like this. I like you so much more than I should.
I loved the dual POV between Michael and Chloe. I got to understand them so much better that way, especially Michael. He thinks so lowly of himself – he’s a bit of a tortured hero. He’s been hurt and has hurt other people in the past, and he doesn’t believe he deserves a happy ending even though the girl who’s perfect for him is right in front of him. I loved the way their relationship grew in a gradual, realistic way. And the banter between them was the best! I was laughing so much throughout this book – it’s a light-hearted read with just the right amount of angst. I highly recommend it!
With Chloe, it’s easy to forget that I’m nobody.
Because she makes me feel like somebody.
Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.