Crushed: A Redemption Novel

Crushed: A Redemption Novel

4.6 48
by Lauren Layne

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


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?

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

“Honestly, I’m not sure if Layne could write a book I wouldn’t absolutely love. The only bad part about reading Crushed was finishing it and not wanting to read anything else . . . except maybe another Lauren Layne book. Now to try be patient until her next one comes out.”—Amanda’s Daily Grind
“I would recommend this author to anyone looking for a funny and romantic, yet emotional read.”—EscapeNBooks
Crushed is filled with priceless banter, humor and sexual tension! This is one of those books that you can and will devour in one night. It is a great friends-to-lovers read that will have you rooting for this couple to let go and move forward!”—Rude Girl Book Blog
“I loved this book so much that I reread it immediately.”—Will Read for Feels
“I’ll keep my eyes on any other book by Layne. I really recommend this book to you guys. It’s so good and very fast to read.”—Fairen Reads
“This story was sweet and funny and something I would suggest for people who love friends (enemies) to lover stories.”—Fiction Fangirls

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Redemption , #2
Sold by:
Random House
Sales rank:
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Lauren Layne is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance novels. Prior to becoming a writer, she worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. In 2011, Lauren and her husband moved from Seattle to New York City, where she decided to pursue a full-time writing career. It took six months to get her first book deal (despite Lauren’s ardent assurances to her husband that it would only take three). Since then, she’s gone on to publish several books, including those in the bestselling Stiletto series, with more stories always in the works. Lauren currently lives in Chicago with her husband and their spoiled Pomeranian. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her either at happy hour, running at a doggedly slow pace, or trying to straighten her naturally curly hair.

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Crushed: A Redemption Novel 4.6 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 48 reviews.
Lab228 More than 1 year ago
After finding out the man Michael called “father” was not his biological father he decides to find him. He moves to Dallas and becomes a tennis instructor. He decides to befriend the Bellamy sisters in the hope they would lead him to his half-brother Devon, which would then lead him to his father. While he set his sights on Kristin, he meets her sister Chloe. Michael sees Chloe has a crush on Devon. But Devon is dating his sister. Michael sets out to help Chloe get her man. However after spending time together, they soon realize they are developing feelings for each other. But Chloe is not the typical woman Michael is interested in. She is feisty, mouthy, and funny! Sometimes you didn’t know what was going to come out of her mouth. But somehow Chloe’s fantastic humor and curvy body win him over. Michael sees Chloe for who she is. Yes a little chubby/“curvy” Michael tells her she shouldn’t change a thing except maybe her wardrobe. While she is a little insecure about her weight and tends to hid under big clothes, she doesn’t burden herself with it and deals with it by using humor. It took them a long time to get together, which is rather nice. It is not one of the books where they jump in bed with each the day they meet. Their feelings develop slowly. Sex scenes are not too descriptive. I loved how all the character from previous books come into play at the end. If you are looking for good clean read and great story then this one is for you. I most definitely am looking forward to other books by this author.
IreneC More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars Crushed was such a good read, loved it! Michael and Chloe's story had me turning the pages well into the night, I didn't want to put it down.  Loved the characters and the storyline had everything I enjoy in a book. Great banter, humor, believable and relatable characters and a love story that will touch your heart. Chloe and Michael are truly made for each other. Lauren Layne is a very talented author, she never fails to give her readers an entertaining and heartfelt read. I've read all her work and I'm excited to read what she has planned for us next =) The Redemption has been such a great series to read. Each book can be read as a standalone, I highly recommend them all! 
Anonymous 8 months ago
Couldn't put it down.
2kasmom More than 1 year ago
This is the 2nd book in the Redemption series. This book can be read as a standalone. I recommend reading the series, since the author always gives us an HEA and makes it easier to understand each companion novel. Michael meets Chloe, when she tags along with her sister to a tennis lesson he is giving. He recognizes right away that she has a lot in common with him and reminds him of his past weaknesses. Then he learns to like her outgoing personality. Chloe is bored, at home for the summer and sick of being in her sister Kristin's shadow. Everyone just assumes she is the fat sister and not worth their time. Well, not dating has given her time to like herself, be almost finished with a double major, and spend time wondering why her sister's boyfriend has forgotten her. Michael is in Texas to solve his past. It is causing trouble with his present. He is also getting distracted by the amazing and lovely Chloe. Why is he suddenly noticing her more than her sister? This book is so much better than the average romance. It gives one the feels and makes you want to hug the book itself. The characters are refreshingly honest with one another, and the sexy times are seriously sexy and hot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Worth every penny, well written
WhatsBeyondForks More than 1 year ago
Remember Michael St. Claire from the first book, Broken? Things are about to get even harder for him when he finds out who his real father is. So, now he's in Texas with a plan get back at his father for knocking up his mother and leaving. I'm not sure what he was really planning to accomplish with this plan, but he had one none the less. What he didn't count on was Chloe. I love, love, love Chloe! I think everyone can relate to this girl in some way. She's the real deal, even if she has a few inner demons of her own. Put these two together, and they were pretty funny. Especially early on in their friendship... if that's what you call it. Chloe keeps Michael in his place, and after his behavior in book one(I'll be honest, I did feel a little bad for him after what Paul did), he needs someone to keep him in his place. He just needs someone. I really enjoyed Michael's story. He went from a character that I didn't particularly like, to someone pretty decent. Who knew? I love how each book in this series takes on a theme of a different fairy tale. To me, the Ugly Duckling in Crushed was always a beautiful swan inside and out. Lauren Layne sure knows how to make you love her characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Laughed out loud! Couldn't put i t down. Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
cheekys_dance More than 1 year ago
The best part about this book is the humor. The author knows how to write witty dialog. Loved it!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this romance - the endng was great. Will be buying next book for sure!!! GJRA
sugarpine721 More than 1 year ago
"I don't think it's about who loves you first. It's about who loves you best. And that's me. I love you best. More than I love anyone. More than you've ever been loved." Sometimes a book just touches you and this is one of those books! I just loved every bit of it! I didn't think it could be as good as Broken was but it so was!!! There is something special in this series and I can't wait for the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love love love this book! As well as the series. This book is hilarious! Chloe is awesome! She had me laughing during the entire book! It's a must read! You will not be disappointed!
onlyminordetails More than 1 year ago
My Thoughts: I haven't met a single book by Lauren Layne that I haven't liked. In fact, I've enjoyed all of them thoroughly. So when I saw this New Adult novel, I had to get my hands on it as quickly as possible. Once I read it, I realized how rare it is to find a good NA, because this story was exactly what the "genre" is all about. Chloe is a heroine you can't help but love. She's not the kind of person to stand idly by--she's willing to do whatever she possibly can to make things better. And that's something I applaud her for. With Chloe and Michael, they each have their reasons for helping each other (her wanting Devon and him wanting Kristen), but in the midst of it they somehow become friends. During this whole friendship, they don't realize until later how much more than just friends they are. All it takes is one kiss... Crushed is a new adult book that everyone should pick up. There was so much love and heart and amusement throughout that you just want to hug the book to your chest. The one thing I found hard to believe was how either of them could want to be with either Devon or Kristen (read the book and you'll completely know what I mean). But I adored Chloe and Michael together. Just... adored. All in all, an amazing read! My Rating: Very Good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ReneeEntress More than 1 year ago
4.5 star If you have not read the below I would recommend reading those books(s) first Broken (Redemption, #1) This is Chloe and Michael’s story. Michael went to Texas to get closer to his father.  Which there he meets his half-sister Kristen and her sister Chloe.  With the constant talking that Chloe does with absolutely no filter from her brain she finally breaks through Michael’s anger.  The more he trains her in the gym the better she looks the more attention she gets.  But when she finally gets the attention from the one she thought she wanted will she realize that Michael is the better man?  Can Michael and Chloe make a relationship work even if that was not originally want they both thought they wanted?  I felt I was able to connect with the characters and the story was a great read.  I highly recommend this book and can’t wait for the next story from this author.
dsubsits More than 1 year ago
Crushed (Redemption #2) by Lauren Layne After discovering that the man that raised him is not his father, Michael St. Claire, sets out to Cedar Grove, Texas, to meet his biological father.  He gets a job working at the local country club where he comes across and becomes interested in, Kristin Bellamy, the girlfriend of his new half-brother, Devon Patterson.  Discovering that Kristin’s sister, Chloe, is in love Devon, the two conspire to break them up. I really like Michael.  He went through a lot of bad things that made him cynical.  He is extremely observant.  He is hard on himself.  He admits he can be a jerk. Even though he originally had alternative motives that were not really nice.  I like that he helps out Chloe.  She becomes more confident and healthy.  I love that Michael likes the real Chloe: the girl who likes to eat and has wild curly hair. They become true friends. Chloe is the best.  Her humor had me laughing throughout the book.  I felt bad that Chloe was always interested in her childhood best friend, Devon, even before he became popular.  Then to make matters worse, her sister to end up dated him; that would be a difficult situation to be around.  Chloe is a really great girl. So many of the characters show tremendous growth throughout this novel.  Lauren Layne did a phenomenal job with her character development.   We really get to know and become invested in the individuals. The plot was interesting and well done.  It had a little of everything: mystery, romance, drama, humor.  I really love the ending.  This is the first book I have read by Lauren Layne.  I enjoy her writing style.  It has good flow and details. Complimentary copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  
Caroles_Random_Life More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars! I fell in love with this book! I have never read anything by Lauren Layne before this book and now I am sitting here wondering why I have missed this author. I have read so many romance novels that lately I have starting feeling a little bored by them. I have blamed myself and have tried to mix things up a little bit by reading other genres. After reading this book, I realize that I still like a well written romance novel as much as I ever did. I find that I usually like a book about as much as I like the characters in the book. There are exceptions to that rule of course but speaking in generalities the characters oftentimes really can make or break a story. The characters in this book really are phenomenal. I adore Chloe. Chloe has lived her life in her sister shadow in a lot of ways. Chloe is funny, smart, and says what she is thinking. Chloe is not the Barbie doll that her sister, Kristin, is and has not had a luck of luck when it comes to romance. Chloe has actually been in love with her sister’s longtime boyfriend, Devon, for a very long time. Michael has had his world turned upside down. He comes to Texas to try to figure things out and has plans to get close to Devon and Kristin. Michael meets Chloe during one of her tennis lessons and after a little bit of banter Chloe has a new personal trainer, Michael. Michael and Chloe say what they are thinking to each other and soon realize that they are becoming friends and maybe feel a little bit more about each other. This book did so many things well. I was pulled into the story right away and really had a hard time putting this book down until I was finished. The characters were perfect. Chloe was so easy for me to relate to. I loved that she wasn’t perfect and needed to learn to gain some control over her life. I loved that the focus was never on Chloe losing weight but on her gaining control and becoming healthier. Michael had a few moments that made him look a little bit like a jerk but because half of this book is spent inside of his head you realize that he is really just as confused as anyone else. I think that the alternating points of view in this book were perfectly executed and I just loved getting to know what both Michael and Chloe were thinking. Not only did this book do a great job with characters that I love, I can’t believe how much I grew to hate some of the characters, namely Kristin and Devon. I love to laugh and this book accomplished that goal. This book was funny without trying too hard. The banter between Michael and Chloe was top notch. I liked the fact that the story was able to balance the funny moments with the more emotional moments. This is still most definitely a romance novel. I really liked the fact that this book was able to bring a couple together by getting them to really get to know each other. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a great romance with a few laughs. I can’t wait to get my hands on some other books by Lauren Layne because her writing style is just wonderful. I received a copy of this book from Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.
gaele More than 1 year ago
The first I have read in this series, Crushed was instantly engaging and drew me into a non-stop read it right through moment, staying up far later than I expected. Working well as a standalone title, I would suggest reading Isn’t She Lovely (a novella) and Broken (novel one) before this – it may bring you more satisfaction overall. But, alone – it was damned good, so I’m not complaining. Michael is intriguing, a New Yorker who is transplanted to Texas where his father lives. He’s got a series of struggles with his past and  present, and the narration from his point of view help readers to see him as more worthwhile than he often sees himself: early on he is  the ‘boy toy’ for the older married women at the country club, and one might dismiss him as uncaring and rather manipulative. But it is so far from the truth, and early on we see the depth of his own emotional pain and concerns. Still pining for Olivia who headed to Maine  after he had shared his feelings, he’s not interested in commitment or challenges- he’s waiting for her. Chloe is Michael’s half-sister Kristen’s sister, and a more perfectly perky, comical and caring heroine will make you laugh out loud as  she winds her way into your heart on the way to winning Michael. Not the first choice on either’s love list, Chloe NEVER stops talking –  and with no filter between brain and mouth, she’s honest and lovable and funny. Together, the two are good for one another, Chloe’s zeal for life and living, and her constant chatter work on Michael’s anger and  issues, and he finds that she is trustworthy and caring. He’s able to appreciate the curvy chatterbox for who she is, and not just her  looks. But, as her appearance starts to change from the training that Michael is providing in the gym, she catches the eye of the man on  the top of her love list, Michael is not prepared for his reactions. There is plenty going on here from personal growth and learning to a relationship that grows organically between two friends who  realize they are attracted and intrigued by one another. Delightfully angst free, this is a story where situations and intentions change dramatically from beginning to end. Lots of moments to laugh out loud, a few where tears are appropriate, Lauren Layne leaves readers with a smile and plenty to think about after the last page. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
kimberlyfaye More than 1 year ago
I’ve been a fan of Lauren Layne’s since I first picked up the novella, Isn’t She Lovely, years ago. Sadly I seem to have gotten distracted somewhere along the way and neglected to read the first full-length book in this series, Broken, until recently. I could kick myself, but the good thing about waiting is that I had got to read it and Crushed nearly back-to-back. Can’t complain about that! My favorite part about this book, hands down, is Chloe. What a kickass heroine. She was a real girl, someone I could certainly relate to on a number of fronts. I loved how spunky she was. We would totally be friends in real life. I liked that she wasn’t the picture perfect heroine. I also liked that she didn’t feel sorry for herself, which would’ve been easy to do with people like her sister Kristin in her life. You can probably guess I wasn’t a Kristin fan. She was shallow and fake and everything she did was totally contrived. I truly went back and forth with my feelings for Michael. On the surface, he wasn’t a very nice guy. He was a player and a user and it was difficult to connect with him. I particularly disliked the way he was using Chloe – and the way he spoke to her at times. He really just rubbed me the wrong way a lot of the time. But, over the course of the book, I started to appreciate his character more. I saw another side of him and began to realize why he was how he was. I liked how he grew up during this book. The dynamic between Chloe and Michael was an interesting one. There was some fun banter and tons of chemistry. I liked that Chloe gave as good as she got. She didn’t back down to Michael. The changes she began going through started at his urging, but quickly became something she did for herself. I liked watching how they came together to try to get the people they both thought they wanted (Devon and Kristin, respectively) but then wound up finding what they really needed in each other. The “crush on an unattainable guy” book has been written many times before, but I don’t care. I still enjoy it every time. This book might scream love triangle or, worse, love rectangle, but it didn’t really give that vibe. Crushed had loads of humor and heart, and characters I won’t forget any time soon. I love Lauren’s writing style and I’ll definitely keep coming back for more! I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SantanaBlair_TheBookNerd More than 1 year ago
I had to take a some time after reading this book before I sat down to write this review  because had I not I would have filled this space with a whole plethora of heart emojis and exclamation marks.  I picked it up one afternoon to start reading and I barely looked up until I was completely finished.  For those of you who may not know, this is the third book in the Redemption Series by Lauren Layne, each book can be read as a standalone but if you're like me you'll want to check them all out. Ethan and Stephanie's story in Isn't She Lovely tackled Layne's unique spin on Pygmalion, while Broken was all about Olivia and Paul's Beauty and the Beast tale... but in Crushed, Layne gives us a special twist on a classic Ugly Duckling story.  I must make a small note that while this is a sort of ugly duckling to swan story it was endearing because her beauty is noticed and commented on before the transformation. Any changes that were made to Chloe were with the insistence of Michael that she was doing so to be healthy and happy with herself; to help her find her own confidence in her quest to be noticed by the guy she loved. Michael has left behind his life in Manhattan but he's brought his broken heart to Texas. Working at a country club for some of the elite he crosses paths with Kristen the girl that pales in comparison to the girl he longs for. Along with Kristen comes her sister Chloe, the girl that is full of curves, spunk, and sass. Chloe becomes his friend while also becoming his "so much more". But Michael is still trying to navigate the hurt in his past and his newly discovered present to be anything of importance to anyone. When he realizes that Chloe is in love with her sister's guy he decides to step in because if anyone knows what it's like to be the third wheel in that kind of complicated love story, it's Michael. This story is so much more than the book synopsis had me expecting and it doesn't waste any time in grabbing your attention. If you're not a fan of the love triangle, have no fear, pick this up and read it anyway.  Now because I did read the others I had this little sinking feeling that I wasn't going to like a book about Michael St. Claire (for reasons that won't be elaborated on due to not dropping any spoilers). I was right, I didn't like Michael...I loved him. He totally came out of the wood work and surprised me because I was only about five minutes into the book and already had him stamped with my book boyfriend mark. It's his deeper emotional conflicts that revealed him to be more than what I had thought previously. Somehow he reveals his own emotional rawness and becomes the guy you just wish you could give a hug to and make it all better.  And then it did get better. I thought Olivia would be my favorite character from this series but then Chloe Bellamy enters the story and not so quietly completely enamored me. Her character is completely refreshing and so down to earth real, she made the entire story so much better. She made me smile and laugh out loud so much. She's determined and fiesty but her own insecurities make her a relatable character.  "...I don't think it's about who loves you first. It's about who loves you best.  And that's me." 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent read. I could really relate to Chloe. Love this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everything I have read by this author has been terrific. This is a standalone novel with no cliffhanger. You do not have to read the first two books in the series to understand this book, but they are both excellent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chloe is absolutely hilarious. Great story, great series. I LOVE Lauren Layne's writing. I just wish it would have been longer, didnt want the story to end!
CarolineBritt More than 1 year ago
LOVED THIS! The heroine, Chloe, is so likable and relatable. She definitely has real average everyday girl struggles and insecurities.  This entire series is definitely worth reading! I couldn't even pick a favorite. You don't need to read the others to understand this one, but it I would recommend reading the other two, just so you can get every nuance and so you can have your own expectations of Michael, the main guy. My expectations of him were pretty low, but getting in his head really rounds him out as a character and you understand exactly where he's coming from.