Review: Crushed by Lauren Layne

crushedReviewed by Shelly

After reading Broken, book #1, in the ‘Redemption’ series, I said I wasn’t going to read another but I forgot I said that and ended up reading this anyway. This is the 3rd book in the series as there’s a 0.5 in the series which tells Ethan Price’s, Olivia’s ex-boyfriend and Michael’s best friend, story. I’ve not a clue as to how that went.

Once I started reading this, I remembered one of the reasons I didn’t truly care for the first story. It’s very difficult for me to feel any level of compassion for young adults. Chloe’s 20, who drives an Audi while going to college that the parents paid for. And in Michael’s situation, we’re talking about an immature 23/24 year old driving a Jaguar, who went through college courtesy on his parents’ dime. That doesn’t mean that Chloe wasn’t a nice person, she actually was quite nice, but I really can’t seem to drum up any ‘woe is you’ tears for her.

Let’s be honest here, Chloe’s entire life seemed centered around this crush that she has on her sister’s boyfriend, Devon Patterson. So while Chloe’s crushing on Devon, her sister Kristin is flaunting her wares to any Tom, Dick, or Harry who will pay attention to her. Kristin’s name soon became synonymous with vapid for me. She’s one of those girls who will always be a succubus on some poor soul who will fall for her beauty. Now Michael, I didn’t like him nor did I think he deserved Chloe.

Michael St. Claire moved from his home in NY to find his biological father. He ends up in a well to do, country club, neighborhood with the requisite MILF (am I allowed to say that?) types. The thing is Michael doesn’t really want to have sex with those women; he’s only doing it so he can keep his tennis instructor and personal trainer job at the country club. Okay, sure, I’ll believe that. In addition, Michael is angry. He’s angry at his mother and the man who raised him because they didn’t tell him the truth about his true lineage. He’s angry at this mother because she had an affair while married to the man who raised him. He’s angry at the man who raised him because his mother cheated and the man who stepped up to raise him cheated on his mother too. All around, he’s angry and very temperamental. The anger got really old, really fast for me. Especially towards the man who raised him. He had no gratitude whatsoever and to me, it seemed like Michael had some entitlement mentality that he was owed something. By whom, I’m not sure. He was so spoiled that I had zero compassion or empathy for him.

Like I said, Chloe was a nice girl. She saved this story for me. Her dialogue was witty. She had a bit of self-deprecating humor that rang believable to me. The thing is Chloe’s chubby, probably even fat, and didn’t allow her weight to turn her into some kind of a ‘skinny people hating’ person. She’s still in her own world and it’s a very small world. After she meets Michael at the country club and they team up to break apart Kristin and Devon for their own selfish reasons, the story turns but not in the direction that I expected it to. There’re some pleasant surprises between Chloe and Michael, and yes even Devon and Kristin.

What I enjoyed most about Chloe was that she stood up for herself. Granted, there’s no big strife in her life but for what she had to deal with, her thoughts were surprisingly not too angsty. I especially liked that she didn’t take too much crap from Michael, even with his washboard stomach and broad shoulders. The romance between these two did take a while to build, but it wasn’t drawn out and when it did happen it was good.

Happy Reading Folks!

Rating: B

*ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley for review

Click to purchase: Amazon

by Lauren Layne
Release Date: April 14, 2015
Publisher: Flirt

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