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Crushed: Redemption #2 by Lauren Layne with Excerpt and Giveaway

Welcome to my stop for the second book in Lauren Layne’s Redemption Series, a New Adult Romance from Loveswept Flirt.  Please read on for my excerpt, enter the tour-wide giveaway where you could win a $25 eGift Card of Winner’s Choice Bookseller,  Loveswept Mug and Nail Polish, and don’t forget to check out the other tour stops to see what others thought of this title.

Crushed

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.

Crushed: Redemption #2 by Lauren Layne with Excerpt and Giveaway

Title: Crushed
Author: Lauren Layne
Series: Redemption #2
Published by: Flirt, Loveswept
ISBN: 9780553390360
Published on: 14 April, 2015
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 304
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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About the Book:

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?

See the Redemption Series on GoodReads

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

Tasty Excerpt

 

“Your shirt’s untucked in the back.”

I turn, giving a half smile of gratitude to the blonde who’s just followed me out of the unisex restroom at the Cambridge Country Club tennis courts.

She giggles as she runs a hand over her tennis skirt, smoothing it over tanned, toned thighs. “I can’t believe I let you talk me into doing that in a public restroom.”

Yeah. Right. I hadn’t talked Mindy McLaughlin into shit. Everything from the location to the position had been her idea.

But I don’t remind her of this.

If I’ve learned anything in my first month as tennis pro to the rich and richer, it’s that cougars don’t like being reminded that they’re the ones doing the pursuing.

I give her a wink as I finish tucking in my shirt, before scanning the courts to make sure we don’t have any witnesses to the fact that we just spent the first twenty minutes of Mindy’s sixty-minute tennis lesson fucking against the wall of a bathroom stall.

Luckily, it’s the middle of the day and hot as hell. Most people hit the courts in the early morning or not at all.

Mindy follows me to the benches, where we retrieve our rackets. “Should we finish up?” I ask.

She lets out a low laugh, running pink manicured nails down the front of my white polo. “I think we already did that.”

I ignore this, and hold up the tennis ball questioningly.

“It’s hot,” she whines.

It is. Way too fucking hot to play tennis. She still has forty minutes left, but I’m not all that surprised that she wants to bail. We both know she didn’t come down here for the tennis.

It’s just as well. I hate the damn sport. I only work the courts three days a week, and my lesson schedule is packed with women who are probably better at tennis than I am.

I’m passably decent at tennis, because, once upon a time, I was one of the spoiled brats taking lessons, not giving them. I don’t love the sport. I’m not like these other douche bags that work the courts and make a big show of how they could have gone pro if they wanted.

My tennis skills aren’t why I was hired, and I damn well know it. Growing up on the Upper East Side of New York taught me early that women of the idle rich class get bored easily. A boredom they often ease by taking up with men other than their husbands.

Fortunately for me, most of my life I was blissfully unaware that my own mother fell into that category of straying housewives.

Ignorance truly is bliss.

And when ignorance is over?

All hell breaks loose.

 

 

 

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About Lauren Layne

Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of more than a dozen contemporary romance novels.

Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. A year after moving from Seattle to NYC to pursue a writing career, she had a fabulous agent and multiple New York publishing deals.

Lauren currently lives in Manhattan with her husband and plus-sized Pomeranian. When not writing, you'll likely find her running (rarely), reading (sometimes), or at happy hour (often).

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