Shh! (Oxley College #1) by Stacey Nash GUEST POST & EXCERPT

shh tour bannerShh! (Oxley College #1) by Stacey Nash

Release Date: 02/23/15

Summary from Goodreads:

Nineteen-year-old Olivia Dean has the perfect reputation, the perfect boyfriend, and an increasingly perfect CV. She has it all, until Christian breaks up with her in public, calling her out as a self-gratifying sexoholic: the kind that plays solo. But Olivia doesn’t masturbate all night — the only thing she does is sleep … right? Now all the boys on campus seem to want her attention for the absolutely wrong reason — including resident hottie, Logan Hays. He’s pulling out his best moves to gain her attention, so resisting his sexy charm is hard work. With rapidly slipping grades, a disturbingly lurid reputation and demanding parents, Olivia must discover the truth behind her rumoured sleeping problem. If she doesn’t, the perfect life she’s worked so hard for may slip away, including the one person who has Olivia breaking all her rules — Logan.

What do you do when you’re asleep?

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Sounds dirty, right? Like maybe it’s someone who can’t sleep because they’re addicted to sex.

Olivia Dean, the main character in Shh! is a sexomniac. She doesn’t love sex any more than the next hot blooded nineteen-year-old, nor does she fall asleep while doing the horizontal tango. What she does is perform sexual acts while she’s sleeping. Yep, while completely knocked out, in the deepest non-REM cycle, she masturbates.

But self gratification isn’t the only way sexomnia—or sleep sex as it’s more commonly known—shows itself. It is, however, the most common presentation in women. Other sexomniacs might initiate sex with their bed partner, vocalize, or even have intercourse while fast asleep. It’s a rather scary condition, because like sleepwalking, snoring, or talking in one’s sleep, it’s something the sufferer has no recollection of, or control over. Because of this, there have been several rape cases where men have claimed sexomnia, but that’s a whole different story. Today, I want to talk about Olivia’s condition.

Sexsomnia – initiating or engaging in sexual activity with a bed partner while asleep — was reported by almost 8 percent of patients at a sleep disorders center and was nearly three times more common in men (11 percent) than in women (4 percent), according to a new study.

Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine, June 7, 2010. Via,

Up to 30 per cent of all adults suffer from a parasomnia.

Like other parasomnias, there are no known causes of sexomnia. However, stress, alcohol, and sleep deprivation are known to trigger episodes in sufferers. Although studies into the sleeping disorder are relatively new and limited, it appears that there is no cure.

When I first stumbled across sexomnia, I was fascinated by it. By the fact people could experience an orgasm while asleep and not wake up, but as my research deepened, I realized that it’s a very embarrassing disorder that makes the suffer doubt himself or herself. Thus Olivia was born.

In a way I decided to write Shh! because sexomnia is one of those issues that’s almost taboo. With the exception of a few high profile cases that hit the media, it’s not a sleeping disorder that’s widely discussed.

Have you ever heard of sexomnia?



Shh! by Stacey Nash

At five p.m I was starving. After just the muesli bar for breakfast, I’d skipped lunch to avoid a potential repeat of this morning, which meant my stomach had jumped into full riot mode. Nervous about facing my fellow students, I pulled my big girl panties up and marched myself to the dining hall. It was early, so I wasn’t all that brave, if I were being totally honest with myself. The place should have been near empty.

There were half a dozen people in the common room, watching some crappy reality television show. I scooted around the back of the seats and up into the dining hall. Dinner smelled delicious—burgers—if my senses served me right.

Twirling my meal card around my fingers, I strolled right up to the servery and stood in line. The girl in front of me turned and I tossed a confident smile her way. She smiled back. The line wasn’t moving yet as dinner hadn’t officially started, but people began flowing in, increasing the number of voices in the room. I swiped my clammy hands on my jeans. This was the first time in more than a year that I’d come down to dinner alone. Generally I came with Christian and being alone was a little daunting. It was all cool, though. Savvy should turn up soon, then I wouldn’t look like a loner. She never responded to this morning’s text and I hadn’t seen her since Saturday night, but that wasn’t uncommon if she’d hooked up with a guy. Especially with how busy I’d be this year. She knew my Sundays were reserved for study, so she didn’t usually bother me then, and today we’d been at classes. Still, it was a little weird. She could have at least called to chat about Christian, surely she knew like everyone else.

My tummy grumbled like a truck moving at high speed. I glanced at the clock; it read five thirty p.m. The line started moving, thank the lord. I glanced over my shoulder, and surprisingly the line curled all the way around the edge of the hall. Everyone had to be famished tonight, not just me.

I kept my eyes to the front and walked through the servery  where I built my own burger: meat, egg, tomato, beetroot, no lettuce, and a slathering of tomato sauce—perfect. As I emerged out the other side, my gaze slid over the line, looking for someone who might join me, and the weirdest thing happened. Not a soul met my gaze. It was like they all deliberately looked the other way, or were engrossed in such deep conversation that they didn’t see me.

I’d never had problems with friends. People just … well … they liked me. It had always been that way. I liked everyone, and they all liked me back.

My tummy churned for reasons not associated with hunger. What the heck had I done wrong? I walked over to one of the many empty tables and set my tray down, then flicked my phone out of my pocket and pretended to check my texts. Savvy had replied and I’d missed it.

Sorry I missed breakfast. Catch you at dinner.

A string of girls who I knew—we’d all been freshers together last year—walked right past me, talking softly as if they thought I couldn’t hear, but when people are talking about you, it’s not hard to tell. And those girls were most definitely doing just that. The glances my way every few seconds were a dead giveaway when everyone else in the room was deliberately avoiding my gaze.

I ducked my head, and studied my phone again. Whatever was going on, it was weird. I was the captain of Oxley’s hockey team, netball team, in the social committee, and even campaigning for the university’s student council. I had lots of friends.

Savannah’s giggle sounded like it came from somewhere behind me. Thank gosh. I really needed to talk to her and figure out what was happening. The whispers and stares, the fresher at uni this morning, Dane on Saturday night, sexploits—Oh my gosh. Christian. I glanced over my shoulder, raising my hand to call Savvy over, but my heart dropped into my stomach.

Savvy was attached to Dane’s hip. Her arm hung around his waist and his rested on her shoulders. Christian walked in step with them and the two guys wore massive grins. I hadn’t seen Christian that happy since … well, since I couldn’t remember. I suppose now that I thought about it, lately he’d been kind of cranky and tired. Always tired.

I swung back around in my seat, hoping they hadn’t seen me, and there someone had sat in the chair opposite me: the tool from this morning. He stared like I was some porn star he’d just paid to watch. And he smelled like a brewery; not to mention his eyes looked a little glassy.

Those same eyes locked on my mine and he placed his flattened palm on his chest like he was about to dive headfirst into a heartfelt apology. Which frankly, he owed me. His hand circled over his left pec, going for his heart, but then it moved to the other side and— ohmygod did he just tweak his nipple? My heart pounded a little faster and I glanced away. The entire dining hall looked at us. But he was like a train wreck. I couldn’t stop my gaze sliding back. His hand trailed down his chest and disappeared under the table in the general direction of his groin. He moaned, then his arm started moving slow at first and increasing in speed, all the while his dark eyes held my gaze. Then the crazy guy rolled his eyes back in his head and yelled, “Yes. Aaa—aa—ash. Yes!”

Someone clapped.

He arched his back. What in hell’s name was this freak doing? It was like that old nineties movie where the chick faked an orgasm in the middle of a café, except this was some dude in the centre of the Oxley College dining hall and I wasn’t entirely sure he was faking it.

Spent, he flopped in the seat, his arms hanging beside it, then snapped his head forward again and his face split in a stupid grin as he pushed his chair back, placed an arm across his waist, and freaking bowed.

Everyone laughed.

The whole room full of people thought this idiot was funny. I couldn’t move.

It was as if the air had frozen around me and I was a statue unable to even blink.

“My impersonation of the one and only Olivia Dean,” he shouted, loud enough for the whole room to hear.

Couldn’t the ground just open up and swallow me already? My cheeks burned so hot they should have caught fire. Blood rushed past my ears so loud that I couldn’t hear anything; my stomach lurched.

I was going to throw up.

I needed to get out of there, right now. Whatever held me in place snapped free. I shot to my feet and high-tailed it out of the dining hall, past a million staring faces. The common room was no more than fuzz at the edge of my periphery, Front Courtyard much the same. I cut across the back of block F and made a beeline for K, then darted up the stairs and into my room.

Whatever was going down, it looked like I was the centre of a joke I didn’t find funny or nice.
Young couple lying on grass against clear sky


Stacey Nash writes adventure filled stories for Young Adults in the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres. She loves to read and write books that have a lot of adventure, a good dose of danger, a smattering of romance, and KISSING! Hailing from the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, she loves nothing more than immersing herself in the beauty and culture of the local area. Author of the Collective Series and the Oxley College Saga.

Author Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest


Monsters in the Dark Series – Pepper Winters MEGA SALE!

MD sale


USA Today Bestselling Series: Monsters in the Dark

For a STRICTLY limited time, you can pick up the entire trilogy (Tears of Tess, Quintessentially Q, Twisted Together) for only 99c! That’s a $13.00 savings!

#1 Erotica, #1 Romantic Suspense, #1 Thriller. Award winner for Best Dark Romance, Best BDSM, Best Dark Hero, and Best Strong Heroine.

This is a story of eroticism, horror, tragedy and ultimately undying and unwavering love.

Amazon | | iBooks | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Google Play

fan made 42

About this Author

Pepper Winters is a NYT and USA Today International Bestseller. She wears many roles. Some of them include writer, reader, sometimes wife. She loves dark, taboo stories that twist with your head. The more tortured the hero, the better, and she constantly thinks up ways to break and fix her characters. Oh, and sex… her books have sex.

She loves to travel and has an amazing, fabulous hubby who puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends. She’s also honoured to wear the IndieReader Badge for being a Top 10 Indie Bestsellers, best BDSM series voted by the SmutClub, and recently signed a two book deal with Grand Central. Her books are currently being translated into numerous languages and will be in bookstores in the near future.

Her Dark Romance books include:
Tears of Tess (Monsters in the Dark #1)
Quintessentially Q (Monsters in the Dark #2)
Twisted Together (Monsters in the Dark #3)

Debt Inheritance (Indebted #1)

Her Grey Romance books include:

Upcoming releases are:
First Debt (Indebted Series #2)
Ruin & Rule (Pure Corruption MC)
Je Suis a Toi (Monsters in the Dark Novella)
Forbidden Flaws (Standalone Erotic Romance)

To be the first to know of upcoming releases, please join Pepper’s Newsletter (she promises never to spam or annoy you.)


Or follow her on her website

She loves mail of any kind:

You can stalk her here:

Facebook Pepper Winters
Twitter @pepperwinters

The Thorn and the Sinking Stone by C.J. Dushinski – GUEST POST


The Thorn and the Sinking Stone

by C.J. Dushinski

Release Date: March 2015

Entangled Teen

313 pages

Summary from Goodreads: Warring families. Forbidden love. And danger they can’t escape… Daggers. Roses. Cowboys. Boat Men. Survivors of Earth’s Last War, four “families” vie to rule the dreary streets of Rain City through violence and blood. Valencia Hara, Princess of the wealthy Black Roses, is raised in warrior ways with sharpened steel. But she is no ordinary Rose. She is Cursed—tainted with the ability to see seconds into the future… To avenge his father’s death, Sebastian Leold, of the rival gang Two Daggers, must face off against the Black Princess, he with his dagger, she with her katana sword. Yet a secret from a shared past leaves him unable to kill beautiful Valencia; nor can she kill him. For they once knew each other beyond their blood feud…and they have more secrets in common than they know. But in a world filled with vengeance and violence, there can be no room for love…


Buy links:

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GUEST POST – The Soundtrack to the Thorn and the Sinking Stone

As with many writers, music is a huge inspiration to my work. I don’t generally play music while I write; I tend to require complete silence in order to let the scene come to life the way I truly intended, without outside influence. But, prior to actually putting the words on paper, a lot of my scenes, characters, and elements are completely inspired by music. I’ve actually had this list of songs in a word document titled Song List since 2009, the year I began writing The Thorn and the Sinking Stone. Every song on the list somehow inspired the story, as you’ll be able to see quite clearly after reading. I never intended to share the list, but now that it’s all over, it seems like the story can’t quite be fully appreciated without the soundtrack that inspired it. Some songs you may know, most you won’t, so I encourage you to check them out, because if nothing else, there are some great tunes on this list. For your listening pleasure, here it is…

Rain City – Turin Breaks: Well this one is quite obvious, isn’t it? This is how Rain City came to be. Something about this song always captured the city in my head. It was a little haunting, but hopeful too, just like the city where Sebastian and Valencia live.

O’ Valencia – The Decembrists: Again, another obvious one. And this is a big one. This song inspired the whole story. There are elements that are taken, quite literally, from the lyrics. Forbidden love, two warring families, a murderous brother… this, folks, is where it all began. This is the song that made me sit up one day and say hey, I should write a story about this, it’s so good.

Run – Snow Patrol: I don’t think a more beautiful song exists. This song has always given me chills. I could still listen to it all day, every day and never get sick of it. The desperation, the longing…it completely captures how I wanted Valencia and Sebastian’s love to feel to the reader—the kind that makes you sad and happy at the same time.

Volcano – Damien Rice: I debated keeping this song on the list because it actually inspired a secondary relationship to the story that didn’t make the final cut. But it felt wrong to remove it, since it was very much part of the initial process. A very dark, one-sided type of love. Maybe it can make a reappearance elsewhere, in another story, another time.

The Funeral – Band of Horses: This is the song that inspired the opening scene. I struggled for a long time on the perfect place to begin the Thorn and the Sinking Stone. And then one day while driving in my car this song came on, and I thought, ‘Yes, that’s it. We’ll begin where another story ended…with Lucky’s death.’ This is the song I imagine playing in Sebastian’s head as he watches his brother carry his father’s casket to the boat.

Swords – Band of Horses: Another Band of Horses song you say? Well, yes. Because they are awesome. And if you don’t know them, check them out. This song really reminded me of the Two Daggers and the Leolds and their bond as brothers. It helped shape them as a family more than a gang, which is drastically different than that of the Black Roses.

Night-watchman – Bell X1: Another stellar Irish band (after Snow Patrol). Something about this song was so, so sad to me and reminded me of how Valencia must feel when she looks out of the city and how alone she must feel in her Curse, hunted and unwanted. And somewhere in there, just the little bit of hope, like how she feels with Sebastian. And now you know why the Watchmen are called the Watchmen.

Simple Song – The Shins: Just a simple song. I love this, because that’s exactly what it is. It feels so simple. So peaceful. So loving. And I feel as if this is what Sebastian strives so much to achieve. A way to lead a simple life…

I’ve Got Friends – Manchester Orchestra: Just a little bit of angst here. But you can’t really write about being a teen without a dash of angst. And for me, this song sums it all up. When I listen to this, I feel like I can actually hear Sebastian and Valencia screaming it, while their respective families stand in the background, wanting to tear them apart.

Yellow –Coldplay: Everyone needs a little Coldplay in their writing. To me, this is exactly how Sebastian feels about Valencia. There is nothing he wouldn’t do for her, to reach her. To him, she is perfect. She is everything he is fighting for.

Crawl – Kings of Leon: A little anger to go with that angst. This isn’t a perfect love story, as most in real life go. There is a lot of crap these two must go through for even the sliver of a chance to be together. For me, this song really summed up the struggles of their relationship. This is a little bit of both Sebastian and Valencia at their worst.

I’ll Believe in Anything – Wolf Parade: This song is a rarely known gem. This is mainly for Valencia, when her walls begin to fall and she first falls in love with Sebastian. She is blinded by him and all the beautiful things in him she’s never seen in anyone else. She’s always been somewhat naïve, and now, in her eyes, he can do no wrong, and she would follow him anywhere.

I Will Wait – Mumford and Sons: Would you wait for the one you loved? Despite distance and blood feuds and loyalties? This song inspired a lot of the challenges Valencia and Sebastian face throughout their growing relationship. I can’t listen to it without wishing that all love in the world felt the way this song makes me feel.

Well, that’s it! I hope you take the time to listen to a few of the songs that inspired the Thorn and the Sinking Stone and I hope they allow you to imagine the world of Rain City a little more vividly.

About the Author

cj d authorWhile attempting to navigate life as a responsible human being, CJ graduated from university with a B.Comm and worked her way along as marketer, copywriter, and graphic designer to earn a paycheck while pursing her passion for creating fantastical stories set in dark and wondrous corners of the world. Born amongst the wheat fields and open skies of the Canadian prairies, CJ’s imagination has always run wild, taking her on adventures across the world from modeling in Seoul, South Korea to backpacking through Europe and surfing (poorly) in Hawaii.

After wandering through ancient cities and civilizations, learning from diverse cultures, and surrounding herself in new experiences, CJ was inspired and began work on her debut Young Adult novel THE THORN AND THE SINKING STONE, to be published by Entangled Publishing 2014/15. CJ currently resides in Calgary, Alberta Canada – home of the Canadian Rockies – and keeps one hand on her passport and pen at all times, ready to pick up, see the world, and weave her experiences into stories.

CJ is represented by Marlene Stringer of the Stringer Literary Agency LLC.

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Seducing the Billionaire’s Wife – Marquita Valentine AVAILABLE TODAY!

It’s release day for SEDUCING THE BILLIONAIRE’S WIFE by Marquita Valentine! Check out Marquita’s Facebook page today for fun and giveaways!


Title: Seducing the Billionaire’s Wife

Series Name: Seducing the Billionaire

Author: Marquita Valentine

Age: Adult

Genre: Contemporary Romance


Promises, Blackmail, and Revenge…the perfect combination for seduction.

Seducing the Billionaire’s Wife

Andrew Montgomery has everything money can afford him, except time. His father is ready to give up the helm of Montgomery Industry-something Andrew has been groomed for since birth. Only, his father won’t allow him to take control until he satisfies one demand. Andrew must marry and stay married for five years, or the company will be sold off for charity, one share at a time.

Resort hotel maid, Hannah Miller never dreamed that the boy she spent every summer with until she was seventeen would grow up to become ruthless billionaire Andrew Montgomery. Or that he would call in the silly IOU she’d given him for saving her from a dangerous riptide when she was thirteen years old.

But, nothing can prepare Hannah for what Drew demands as repayment. The sexy man not only intends to marry her, but to share their marriage bed as well. In every sense of the word.

About the Author:

New York Times Bestselling Author, Marquita Valentine, writes sexy heroes that make you swoon and sassy heroines that make you laugh. She’s the author of the bestselling contemporary romance series, Holland Springs, and the new adult romance series, Boys of the South.

Marquita met her husband aka Hot Builder at Sonic when they were in high school. She suggests this location to all of her single friends in search of a good man—and if that doesn’t work, they can console themselves with cheesy tatertots. She lives in North Carolina in a very, very small town with Hot Builder and their two children.

The Letting – Cathrine Goldstein SALE BLITZ


The Letting

Release Date: 12/15/14

335 pages

Summary from Goodreads:

What if the Devil doesn’t know he’s the Devil?

This is the question Veronica “Ronnie” Billings poses to Phoenix, her sworn enemy, the leader of the Peaceful Revolution, and the one she loves.

Kidnapped by Phoenix’s rebels, Ronnie learns how wrong she has been. She had no idea that her patriotism was wasted on a corrupt government. Ronnie was proud to be a Leader; taking hundreds of harvested girls to the Letting facility. After all, she was saving them from future Couplings and bringing them to the safety of the New World. Or so she thought…

Confused, Ronnie realizes the only way to discover the truth is to trust her heart. Together, Phoenix and Ronnie devise a plan to stop their corrupt government and preempt the dangerous rebel coup which is approaching. But when their plan goes awry, will Ronnie be strong enough to save Phoenix, her country, and herself?


SALE FOR ONY $.99 March 13-27! #theletting99cents

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“What if the Devil doesn’t know he’s the Devil?” I ask.

Phoenix shakes his head, confused.“What?”

“Why? Why does the bad I’ve done have to define me?”

“Because you’re a murdering sadist,” he snaps back at me.

“No, I am not.” I clench my teeth, standing my ground. I am tired of these labels I am suddenly wearing. “I never, I mean never knew what happened to those girls I led to the Lettings. I am so very sorry I played any role in this vile enterprise in which we exist, but I was clueless. Maybe I’m ignorant, or downright stupid, but I would rather have been dead than be responsible for hurting anyone. And before you go throwing malicious names around, maybe it’s time you consider maybe you’re wrong…? What if you kidnapped and tortured me in the name of a revolution that is wrong?”

“It’s not,” he argues.

“But I didn’t think I was wrong, either.”

I am exasperated. “Don’t you get it?” He takes a step back away from me, but I go on. “We are completely turned around. The only information we’re fed is from a corrupt enterprise. What makes you think your information is any more accurate than mine?”

For the first time ever, he looks terrified. I let a moment go by before I gesture for Raven to come over, and she hurries to my side.

 “This is Raven,” I say, slowly, talking to Phoenix. “She’s your sister.”


About the Author

Given my love for cities and all that is gritty, my new obsession with trees really has me stumped. (Sorry.) Maybe it’s because trees are the inspiration behind my new YA/NA novel, theLETTING.

Whatever the reason for my new infatuation, some things remain constant — like my love for: coffee (although sadly, it’s now decaf); yoga; Luna bars (I am petitioning for them to bring back Chocolate Raspberry!); running in my neighborhood; Hemingway; Bukowski… and, above all, my husband and my girls.
I am the author of the bestselling novel, Sleeping With Mortals: The Story of a New York Mistress, and I’m also a playwright. I have my B.A. in English and my M.A. in Theatre.


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After You (Sequel to Me Before You) – Jojo Moyes COMING SEPTEMBER 2015

It isn’t even Spring yet and here I am wishing for Autumn! I adored Me Before You and cried copiously pretty much throughout the whole thing. Now I have learned perhaps after everyone else that there is a sequel in the works! HUZZAH!

If you haven’t read Me Before You yet drop everything and read it now. The only downside to this is that you will be left in an agony of anticipation waiting for After You like me, but so be it.


Me Before You

DESCRIPTION – Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

Audiobook link –


154_1jojo_moyes136Jojo Moyes is a British novelist.

Moyes studied at Royal Holloway, University of London. She won a bursary financed by The Independent newspaper to study journalism at City University and subsequently worked for The Independent for 10 years. In 2001 she became a full time novelist.

Moyes’ novel Foreign Fruit won the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) Romantic Novel of the Year in 2004.

She is married to journalist Charles Arthur and has three children.



Crushed (Redemption #2) – Lauren Layne ARC Review

Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive! – Sir Walter Scott, Marmion, Canto vi. Stanza 17.


Crushed: A Redemption Novel

Lauren Layne

SYNOPSIS – 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.


Isn’t She Lovely was the first Lauren Layne that I read, suffice it to say that I loved it. While the author loosely touched on some of the themes common to New Adult writing I loved the fact that her protagonist was not a stereotypical tattooed bad boy with a heart of gold living on the wrong side of the tracks instead Ethan Price was decidedly a “good guy” with a more than healthy bank account. Though apparently the rich and beautiful are not without their problems too, Ethan had the very great misfortune of walking in on his best friend and girlfriend in flagrante delicto. This obviously brought both relationships to a very abrupt end. The second novel Broken told Olivia’s story, Ethan’s ex-girlfriend and in Crushed Layne has definitely saved the best for last.

Michael St. Claire’s life as he knew it has been destroyed, worse because largely it was by his own hand. He lost the two most important people in his life, his best friend and the girl he loved, his best friend’s girlfriend. If the guilt of this was not enough he discovers that the life he has been living is not his own. He is not in fact a St. Claire at all but the result of an extramarital affair his mother had. Michael abandons his life in Manhattan to search out the father that he has never met and in the process discovers that everything he ever thought he wanted wasn’t what he needed.

While I praised the originality of Layne’s good guy character Ethan in the first of the series, Crushed is definitely a darker story as Michael’s intentions are far from pure throughout most of the book. However the exploration of the third character in the dysfunctional triangle introduced in Isn’t She Lovely was by far the most satisfying. In Crushed, the reader is treated to something that one would think every romance would have but sadly doesn’t, a true “love story”. The boy and girl do not lay eyes on one another and know immediately that they are meant to be together *gag* instead they don’t even particularly like each other when they meet.

In Chloe, Michael recognizes a kindred spirit and immediately strives to take advantage of her infatuation with her older sister’s boyfriend. Instead these two characters slowly over the course of the book get to know each other and against their best intentions become friends. I cannot recommend Layne’s stories highly enough if you are in the market for a emotional yet often humorous romance in particular Crushed and in general everything else that she has written. If you have not read the Redemption series I would highly recommend reading them all starting with Isn’t She Lovely. I know I will be re-reading them in short order myself.

Author Info

Lauren LayneLauren Layne graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. in political science that she has yet to put to good use. After dabbling in an e-commerce career in Seattle and Southern California, Layne moved to New York City, where she now writes full-time. She lives with her husband and their plus-size Pomeranian in a tiny Manhattan studio.

Connect with Lauren: Facebook | Twitter | Website

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