ARC Review: Crushed (Redemption #2) by Lauren Layne

» 31 January, 2015 » A-minus Reviews » 3 comments

Lauren Layne is fast becoming an auto-buy author for me. This is the second book from her that I’ve loved.

After Michael St. Claire learned of the devastating truth about his parentage, he runs to Dallas to find his father. For those who have read the previous books in the series, you all know about Michael’s feelings for Olivia and the eventual fallout he had, not only with Olivia but with Ethan as well.

Not only that, he just found out a monumental family secret that had him questioning his identity. It upended his life. Everything he knew about himself were nothing but lies. In other words, Michael’s life was a mess.

Chloe Bellamy is the opposite of everything Michael wants in a woman. She’s mouthy, extroverted and unrefined unlike her sister, Kristin, who was more of Micheal’s type. Chloe has been in love with her sister’s boyfriend for years even though he never really noticed her.

When Micheal found out about Chloe’s feelings for his half-brother, he offered to help. His motives were not pure though. Aside from wanting Kristin, he also wants to get to know his biological father. But the more time Chloe and Michael spend together, the more they realize how much alike they are, how much they need each other and how much they are attracted to each other.

Their progression from enemies to friends and then to lovers was simply delightful to read. Their banter, their camaraderie that later on became little flirtations had me turning the pages, and I didn’t stop until I reached the end. This is the kind of book you can read in one sitting. Once I started I couldn’t put it in. I was thoroughly engaged.

I loved the chemistry between Chloe and Michael. And despite Michael’s issues and hang-ups, I truly saw him fell for Chloe. I understood why he didn’t aggressively pursued her. He’s been there and done that and got burned. All he knew was Chloe was hell bent on getting Devon, and he didn’t want a repeat of his relationship with Ethan and Olivia.

Little did he know that Chloe was also falling fast for him. I loved Chloe. She’s feisty, funny and real. You can relate with her insecurities because she wasn’t burdened by it. It’s there and she has it but she knows how to deal with it.

The only reason this one didn’t get a five was the ending disappointed me a bit. It’s good. It’s believable but instead of Ethan, Olivia, Stephanie and Paul actually coming up with a plan to win Chloe back, I wanted it to be just Micheal. I know he’s confused but come on, he could have looked for her himself and tried to win her back but he didn’t. It doesn’t diminish the HEA for me but I wish he took the initiative first and then bring in his friends as the last resort. So that took points off of my rating a bit. But it’s a small thing and the epilogue was still sweet.

So definitely, I’ll recommend this one. The great writing, wonderful characters and an engaging storyline made this a winner for me.

ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


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