Heyloooo there, and welcome to Rhea’s Neon Journal 🙂 Today I’m featuring a book I’ve been searching for on Netgalley frantically ever since I read Isn’t She Lovely last year. Crushed, the second book in the Redemption series, marks the “love life” of Michael, the third and final member of my favorite new adult trio. And you guys, I LOVED HIM. You will too! Follow the rest of the Crushed tour right here 🙂
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 is back, you guys. After my horrible experience with Made For You and subsequent temporary breakup with all things Lauren Layne, I was heartbroken. You find this author you love and you love her books and her characters are fucking amazing and you’ve struck gold…but then there’s a letdown with one book and you feel like your life is over.
But Crushed. Was. Everything.
Do you remember Michael St. Clair from Ethan’s book (Isn’t She Lovely) and then again in Olivia’s book (Broken)? He’s the guy who was Ethan and Olivia’s best friend…except for the part where he was in love with Olivia even while she was dating Ethan. And then Michael went ahead and kissed and she kissed him back (even though she’s always thought of him in a platonic type of way) and Ethan caught them and that’s where all their paths diverged.
Ethan and Olivia got their HEA’s respectively. And now it’s Michael’s turn.
Except, with Michael, I was really scared. Really, really fucking scared because the damage done to him seemed irreparable. He was the definition of “damaged goods” and his only fault was sticking his tongue where it didn’t belong. KIDDING. (But, yes he did that, didn’t he?) So now, he’s done with love and feelings and makes do with rich Dallas women, who cheat on their husbands with young meat.
Enter: Kristin Bellamy. She’s Devon Patterson’s girlfriend and according to the all the research Michael has done, Devon is his half brother. The plan is simple. Get to Kristin and Devon will come to by himself. But Michael never dreamt of a third complication: Chloe Bellamy. Kristin’s loud, curvy, mostly inappropriate sister has been in love with Devon since she hit puberty and by signing up to help Chloe break Kristin and Devon up, Michael doesn’t know that he’s opened up a whole new Pandora’s box.
Speaking of Chloe Bellamy, am I allowed to say, she’s the BEST. She’s the type of girl I wish I was best friends with. She’s smart and cute and all types of inappropriate and my favorite girl in the entire Redemption series. She puts with brooding, surly Michael and gives back twice as much. And after all their plans and plotting, when she finally gets to Devon, she realizes it’s not him she wants at all. But the man she loves has sworn off of love forever, remember?
In all seriousness, it was easy to see Michael loved Olivia. He really did. But hindsight’s twenty-twenty and now that I’ve read Chloe and Michael together, I’d rather believe that Michael St. Clair was not in love with Olivia—he was in love with the idea of being in love with Olivia. True fax, ladies and gents.
And Michael and Chloe together? You just have to read it! She’s hilarious and he’s the perfect sulker. They’re amazing together. They both make some shitty choices together and apart and they both end up in laughter and tears because of said choices, but God these two are so good together. I stand by my favorites (Paul and Olivia) but it’s so funny and light and real when these two are together…it’s amazing!
And if you’ve seeing the couples from the previous series, then you’re in for a treat. That’s all I’m saying. cough reunion cough
What else? The writing?
It’s Lauren Layne, people. She writes fucking gold. Even when I don’t like the characters or their motives or even their fucking names, Lauren Layne writes gold. ‘Nuff said.
All in all, when I’m reading New Adult, this is what I’m looking for. This type of drama, this type of banter and exactly this type of melodrama. Lovely, lovely conclusion to the Redemption series and if you’re looking for fluff and angst and cute, this is the book to read!
- Open to US ONLY.
- Contest open only until May 6th, 2015.
- Please do not try to game the system. Cheaters never prosper.
Up for Grabs!
25 eGift Card of Winner’s Choice Bookseller, Loveswept Mug and Nail Polish
Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance.
Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. In 2011, she and her husband moved from Seattle to New York City, where Lauren decided to pursue a full-time writing career. It took six months to get her first book deal (despite ardent assurances to her husband that it would only take three). Since then, Lauren’s gone on to publish ten books, including the bestselling Stiletto series, with several more on the way in 2015.
Lauren currently lives in Chicago with her husband and spoiled Pomeranian. When not writing, you’ll find her at happy hour, running at a doggedly slow pace, or trying to straighten her naturally curly hair.
Series Order and Purchase Links:
Click on the cover to purchase from Amazon US. Each book can be read as a standalone.