Monday, April 13, 2015

Crushed by Lauren Layne

Title: Crushed
Author: Lauren Layne
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: Redemption #2
Main Characters: Michael and Chloe
Release Date: April 2015
Publisher: Flirt
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
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?
My Review:
I feel like the story description on this book is misleading. Yes, all that is in the story, but there's so much more to this book. 

And the main part of that is Chloe. Chloe is a year younger than her beautiful, perfect older sister, Kristin. They are both home for the summer from college. Kristin is about to enter her 5th year. Chloe's going into her senior year. Kristin has been dating the love of Chloe's life. She met Devon when she was 8. They bonded over their mutual geeky awkwardness that he grew out of. She never did and when he transformed, he caught Kristin's very shallow eye. Chloe is that girly...loud-mouthed and snarky, but her snarky wit is to cover her own self doubts. She eats her feelings and as such is more curvy than she should be.

Michael has his own issues. He's the country club's newest boy toy and using that status for all it's worth because he's in town to find one person. His avenue to doing that is through Kristin...and she's interested in what he's offering despite her boyfriend (I did mention she's shallow, right?) Michael's character hurt me to read...just because he is so wounded. He's been deeply, deeply hurt and is punishing himself for it. But he's very smart and very astute and when he meets Chloe, he quickly what all is going on and decides that he may have a better 'in' with her so he takes her on as his project.

This is an ugly duckling story...the difference is Michael sees the swan when she's still hidden behind the chocolate and masses of unruly hair. I love that about him. But he isn't ready for love because he doesn't love himself. 

The book is I'm quickly find out that ALL of Lauren Layne's books are (seriously, I've adored everything I've read by her!) Hands down, Chloe makes this story. She's just one of those people that can see the humor in the most humiliating of circumstances. She calls Michael, who's working as her personal trainer at the gym, Beefcake and is constantly feeling up his muscles. I constantly smiled throughout this book, despite the heavy angst that underlies the entire story. 

I really, really liked it...can you tell? I HIGHLY recommend this one and all of Lauren Layne's books. You seriously just can't go wrong with one of her stories. I haven't read them all yet, but every one I've read so far has been incredible!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review. 

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