Book 2, Redemption - A Redemption Novel
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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?
Lauren Layne’s exquisite Redemption series can be read in any order:
ISN’T SHE LOVELY
Don’t miss any of Lauren Layne’s hot reads:
The Love Unexpectedly series: BLURRED LINES | GOOD GIRL | LOVE STORY | WALK OF SHAME | AN EX FOR CHRISTMAS
The Sex, Love & Stiletto series: AFTER THE KISS | LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH | JUST ONE NIGHT | THE TROUBLE WITH LOVE
The Oxford series: IRRESISTIBLY YOURS| I WISH YOU WERE MINE | SOMEONE LIKE YOU | I KNEW YOU WERE TROUBLE
The I Do, I Don’t series: READY TO RUN | RUNAWAY GROOM | JUST RUN WITH IT
Praise for Crushed
“I couldn’t stop smiling. I hated that the book had to end! Lauren Layne is a force to be reckoned with, and I can’t wait to see what she has up her sleeve next!”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken
“I read Crushed in one sitting because I was utterly unable to put it down. Lauren Layne’s characters are so witty and real. This story warmed my heart and left me feeling good all day. Go Team Curvy Girls!”—New York Times bestselling author Courtney Cole
“Filled with humor and heart, Crushed draws you in with an unlikely friendship turned steamy romance as Chloe and Michael turn imperfections into flawless love.”—Renita Pizzitola, author of Just a Little Flirt
“Prepare to fall in love. Lauren Layne takes your hand, brings you into her world, and introduces you to a loud, vivacious, very hilarious, and often inappropriate heroine—and the broken hero who never saw her coming.”—Cecy Robson, author of the Shattered Past series
“From beginning to end, I was totally engaged in this fantastic read. I enjoyed it so much that I plan to read more of Ms. Layne’s titles ASAP.”—The Romance Reviews
Angsty, age appropriate drama. Stand alone/ no cliffs.
CRUSHED (Redemption #2)
by Lauren Layne
April 14, 2015
approx 304 pages
Romance: Contemporary, New Age & College, Comedy
** Provided by the Publisher and Netgalley in Exchange for an HONEST Review **
-- MY THOUGHTS --
Judging a Book by it's cover:
The cover is sweet, soft, and inviting - a bit misleading when considering the drama and angst inside. The synopsis is a little busy and chaotic, but captures the general essence of the book.
The beginning starts out with a bang... pun intended. There are several important characters and key factors introduced within the first chapter, so make sure you're paying attention -oh, and, keep your hand and feet inside the car at all times - it promises to be a crazy ride! It's hard to break this one down purely by Lead male, lead female, and secondary characters because of the relationship dynamics. We know Michael *is* the lead male, but from there, it's mix-and-match drama for a bit. Unrequited lust, drama, angst, chaos, jealousy, spite... oh, it's got it all. The characters are all unique in personality and attitude, which provides some entertaining moments. Dialogue and interaction range from a bit awkward to natural and believable. The plot is solid with a steady and progressive flow. As you could imagine when a several love triangles intertwine, there is plenty of conflict. Add in there the parental and sibling drama and it's truly a drama of epic proportions, but the conflicts are handled in realistic, age-appropriate ways. There was not a lot of predictability. The conclusion was rather solid, but the epilogue felt like an afterthought without a significant, defined purpose. Overall, it was a good read for those who enjoy the angsty, dramatic plots of the NA genre.
This story CAN stand alone. I read it without reading BROKEN first with no problems.
Heat Level: 3.25
Tina J / Happily Ever Chapter
Smut Book Junkie
CRUSHED is definitely a satisfying conclusion to the Redemption series!
Received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Oh, Lauren Layne. Let me count the ways I love thee... You write such layered, flawed, and interesting characters. You bring a sharp humor and sexy edge to a story which written by any other NA author would be a melodramatic and cheesy hot mess. I could go on... ;)
CRUSHED is definitely a satisfying conclusion to the Redemption series. I adored Chloe--she was the perfect spunky match to Michael's broody 'beefcake.' Their chemistry was great, the story flowed nicely, and the ending was sweet (if not a little rom-com cheesy). Layne does a great job of never taking herself or the story too seriously, which makes for a truly enjoyable read.
This wasn't my favorite in the series (ISN'T SHE LOVELY still reigns supreme for me), but it is definitely worth a read. Particularly if you want to tie everything up in a nice, neat package. Another fun read! Thanks, Lauren Layne!
5 Beefcake Stars
If you want to stay up all night, ignore your chores for the day, laugh, melt and maybe even shed a tear or two Lauren Layne is the perfect author for you.
Michael St. Claire is broken. After he destroys his relationship with his best friend and the girl he's loved for a long time doesn't return the same feelings Michael is devastated. Then when he comes home he hears more news that sends his head spinning. He finds out that for almost 24 years his parents have kept a secret from him. His mother had an affair and got pregnant. The man he calls dad is not really his dad. He over hears his parents talking about it and leaves his life in New York to find his real father. He trades in his suites and his money for some cowboy boots, two low paying jobs and a rented out basement. Defiantly not the life style he's used to.
While working at a country club as a trainer he meets Kristen Bellamy. Kristen just happens to be his half brother Devon's girlfriend. Michael sees a perfect opportunity to get close to Devon and his biological father. He however doesn't expect to get close to Kristen's totally opposite sister Chloe.
Chloe is not a size two like her sister. Chloe doesn't care that she's a nerd and loves books and her snacks. She doesn't care that she's not noticed by anyone. She tells it like it is and goes on about her way. She is perfectly fine sitting in a chair reading while everyone else is out enjoying the pool or whatever else is going on outside.
Since its summer break everyone's home. Including the love of Chloe's life Devon Patterson. Chloe's sisters boyfriend.
Chloe and Devon have been friends since grade school. Both of them out casts because of their looks and their love of books. Eighth grade summer changes Devon. He gets rid of his braces, acne and has a growth spurt. This sends him to the popular side and also Kristen leaving Chloe behind. We'll sort of. They are still friends just not as close as they were.
Chloe becomes the third wheel hanging out with her sister and Devon as much as she can. She starts going to the country club with her sister while Kristen's getting the un-needed tennis lessons from Michael. Chloe and her don't give a s### attitude gains Michael's attention right away.
Chloe sees how Michael is playing with Kristen's head and Michael sees how Chloe only has eyes for Devon.
Michael comes up with a better plan to get close to his father. He stops trying to woo Kristen and focuses on Chloe. He's going to get the smart mouth, snack eating, book reading and wild hair Chloe in better shape.
I loved how Michael had no problem with the way Chloe was. He just wanted her to be healthier and have better self esteem.
Once these two start working out a few days a week Chloe starts getting under Michael's skin. She makes him want to talk and smile.
Of course once Chloe starts getting a little braver wearing different clothes showing off her more toned curves she gets noticed. She gets the attention of the one man she's loved forever. But does she still want his attention?
I loved Chloe and Michael! They banter back and fourth. Chloe making Michael open up and face what he was in Texas to do. Michael making Chloe feel comfortable not being a size two like her sister.
We get a surprise visit toward the end and I was very happy:)
I really enjoyed this series and hope we get more!
I recommend you clear your schedule and click the buy button on this baby! You will not be disappointed!
***ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley. Thank you so much!!***
- Category: Contemporary
- Published: Apr 14, 2015
- Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
- Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
- Print Length: 278 Pages
- Language: English
- Series: Book 2, Redemption