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?
Crushed is the second book in the Redemption series and is a great follow up to Broken. Crushed follows the story of Chloe and Michael. After having his heart broken following the events of Broken, he returns home just to have another bomb dropped on him. He finds out that his life is not what he thought, his family is not who he thought they were. Now, he finds himself in Texas, to meet his real father. He’s working two jobs and is trying to figure out his next move. That’s when he meets Kristen. She is everything that he always wanted in a woman. The problem? She’s dating Michael’s half-brother, Devon.
Chloe has been in love with Devon for as long as she can remember. They were childhood best friends, until high school. Devon was suddenly one of the cool kids and to make matters worse, he hooked up with Chloe’s older sister, Kristen. So, when Michael comes to her with a plan to break up Devon and Kristen, Chloe is all for it. I mean, nothing can wrong, right? As things start to come together, Chloe starts questioning what she really wants and is surprised by what she discovers. Will she go after the man that she’s always wanted or will she take a chance on the guy who totally took her by surprise?
Crushed was a really great read. As with Broken, Crushed had a great theme to it, it is a re-telling of The Ugly Duckling. Chloe is just like every other girl. She wants that epic movie love. She is that smart, amazing girl, who doesn’t realize just how beautiful and amazing she truly is. I love that Michael was the one who made her see what everyone else saw and took the time to get to know her and didn’t mind that she wasn’t the perfect size 2. And Michael. There is so much more to Michael than what meets the eye. He was hurt in the past and his life was a mess. He was afraid of letting anyone get close to him and really know him. But, somehow, Chloe managed to get herself under his skin and slowly became everything he never knew he wanted.
Crushed is a great story about friendship, redemption and second chances. I loved the story-line and the characters.The characters are fun, they’re flawed and that’s what makes them so real and so easy to relate to. They’re not perfect. It was great finally getting to read Michael’s story and I loved the little visit we got with some old friends. This story made me laugh, frustrated me and made me swoon at the same time. This is a really great series and I definitely recommend checking it out!
*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*