Crushed: A Redemption Novel

Crushed: A Redemption Novel

by Lauren Layne

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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

Lauren Layne’s New York Times bestselling Oxford Novel series can be read in any order:

Don’t miss any of Lauren Layne’s hot reads:



The Redemption series: ISN’T SHE LOVELY  | BROKEN | CRUSHED

The I Do, I Don’t series: READY TO RUN | RUNAWAY GROOM

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553390360
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/14/2015
Series: Lauren Layne's Redemption Series , #3
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 278
Sales rank: 133
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Lauren Layne is a New York Times 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 take only three). Since then, she’s gone on to publish ten books, including those in the bestselling Sex, Love & 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 at happy hour, running at a doggedly slow pace, or trying to straighten her naturally curly hair.

Read an Excerpt


I’ve been in love with Devon Patterson since I was eight.

And I know what you’re thinking . . .

That I didn’t have hormones when I was eight, so it wasn’t real love, or even real attraction.

You’re wrong.

I love him.

And I know he could love me back, if only he’d look at me.

But ya know? I can’t even blame Devon for not seeing me.

It’s probably hard for him to be aware of his surroundings when my Disney Princess sister has her tongue in his mouth.

I mean, why would you want the funny sidekick when you can have the heroine?

And that’s the type of person Kristin is. Or at least thinks she is. She’s the heroine in every story.

Even other people’s.

As if he reads my mind, Devon slowly pulls back from his reunion kiss to join the land of the living where the actual people do not have eyelashes the size of small bats and a waist the size of a toddler’s.

But, actually, it’s not fair to pick only on Kristin for her blinding good looks.

Of the four of us here on this godforsaken tennis court, I’m the only one that’s not outright beautiful.

Take Devon, for example. Blond. Blue-eyed. Chiseled jaw. Tall, but not too tall, muscular but not bulging. Yummy.
As for the new tennis instructor . . . I don’t even know what to make of him.

My first thought? Beefcake. It’s obvious why he was hired, and it’s not because he can make contact with a tennis ball ten times out of ten.

Nope, it’s definitely the way his biceps strain the requisite Cambridge Country Club polo, and the way his tanned skin contrasts perfectly with the crisp white fabric.

That and the sulky bad-boy gaze that I’m pretty sure he’s aware of. Maybe even practiced.

New guy is definitely gorgeous. And Kristin’s definitely noticed.

I shift my gaze to where Devon is tucking a lock of Kristin’s ever-silky hair behind her ear. We both have curly hair, but Kristin’s is the kind that can be blown out into all kinds of satiny shine. Unlike my corkscrews, where each curl is like its own rebellious teenager.

It’s clear which version Devon prefers.

And Beefcake, too, given the way he was practically undressing Kristin with his eyes when he thought she wasn’t looking.

I liked that about him. The way he didn’t let her know he was looking. He was playing games, but by his own rules.

But, anyway, who cares about tennis boy.

Tall, dark, and brooding isn’t my type.

I like them blond, smiley, and kind.

I like them like Devon Patterson.

Did I mention I love him?

Devon’s torn himself away from Kristin’s pink lip-glossed mouth long enough to shake hands with Michael. Any other dude would be sizing up the competition—I mean, not three minutes ago, Kristin was totally giving the tennis instructor all kinds of come-hither. But Devon has a friendly smile for the guy who was staring at his girlfriend’s butt.

I wonder if it even occurs to Devon that his girlfriend isn’t immune to Michael St. Claire’s dark, I pop cherries for a living kind of appeal.

Nah. Devon knows how perfect he is. He’s not going to be worried about some bad-boy tennis pro with too-big biceps.

I pretend to read my book while Devon informs Michael that despite Kristin’s modesty she actually plays tennis for her college team, and Kristin blushes prettily and pretends that it’s no big deal, like she hadn’t already told Michael about her illustrious tennis skills in excruciating detail.

Kristin likes to pretend that her tennis “career” is the reason she didn’t graduate in four years, and the good ol’ parents never seem to wonder if it has something to do with the fact that she changed her major seven—yes, seven—times before settling on French.

The only French Kristin is good at is kissing, but she’s so freaking pretty that nobody seems to notice. Or care.
Meanwhile, I’m on schedule to graduate early with a double major in biology and econ. Not an obvious combo, but, hey . . . a girl’s got to have options, especially when an MRS degree isn’t exactly right around the corner.
My dad is proud of me.

My mom . . . well, she’s proud, too. I think she just wishes I were a skinny double major.

You and me both, Mom.

Anyway, none of this really matters.

What matters is that I’d been counting on having my upcoming senior year to myself. Davis University is a small college, and having the beautiful, charming Kristin a year ahead of you in school and light-years ahead of you in popularity has gotten, well, old.

But then sister dearest dropped the bomb that she was two dozen or so credits short of graduating.

My parents hadn’t even blinked.

Me? I’d consumed an entire pint of Häagen-Dazs, and I’m more of a Ben & Jerry’s kind of girl.

That’s how bad it was.


I snap my head up from the book I hadn’t actually been reading to see Devon moving toward me.

My heart flips.

I know.

It’s bad.

I’m ashamed.

No, I’m not.

Devon pulls me off the bench into a bear hug, and I sniff his neck. Just a little, while glancing at Kristin to make sure she doesn’t notice. But she’s just smiling her usual pretty smile, completely confident that chubby Chloe could never be a threat.

She’s right.

My eyes skip over to Beefcake, and, interestingly, he seems to have noticed that the smell of Devon’s cologne is making me flush and that I cling to Dev just a little more tightly than is appropriate.

This Michael St. Claire guy lifts a knowing eyebrow, and I jerk my gaze away before pushing back from Devon’s big-brother hug.

“Congrats on graduating,” I say, giving him a friendly-yet-dorky punch on the shoulder.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see Beefcake roll his eyes.

I ignore him.

A couple weeks ago, Devon graduated from UCLA. I didn’t fly out to the ceremony, of course. That was a right reserved for his family and girlfriend, but I’d been proud from afar. Devon is Kristin’s age—a year older than me—but, unlike Kristin, he managed to graduate on time.

Mostly I am just glad to have him back in the state of Texas. And, according to Kristin, he’s here for good, planning to work at his father’s company.

I secretly wonder what happened to his long-ago dreams of an East Coast law school, but I guess he has the right to change his mind. God knows he’s smart and charming enough to do whatever he wants with his life. Devon may have been the quintessential Texas quarterback in high school, but he was also the valedictorian.
You’re seeing why it’s impossible not to love him, right?

The thing is, I loved him before everyone else did.

Customer Reviews

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Crushed: A Redemption Novel 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 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 More than 1 year ago
So sad that I read this entire series because I didn't want it end. So sexy and funny and sweet. Great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I waited a while before writing a review on this book to completely absorb it. It is a beautiful story, well written by Lauren Layne. It is the third book in the Redemption Series. I enjoyed the plot as well as the characters Michael and Chloe. They were made for each other. LA-TXN
Anonymous More than 1 year 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.