ARC Review: Crushed by Lauren Layne

Crushed by Lauren Layne

Crushed by Lauren Layne
Series: Redemption #2 (full reading order)
Release Date: April 14th 2015
Links: Ebook • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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?

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.

4 hearts

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.

Reading Order: Redemption series

Isn't She Lovely by Lauren Layne Broken by Lauren Layne Crushed by Lauren Layne

#0.5 ~ Isn’t She Lovely: EbookGoodreads
#1 ~ Broken: EbookGoodreads
#2 ~ Crushed: EbookGoodreads


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