‘Bad Romeo’ and ‘Broken Juliet’ by Leisa Rayven

Starcrossed #1
Starcrossed #1
Starcrossed #2
Starcrossed #2

Published by Panmacmillan July 2, October 22 2015, 336/ 416, £3.59.

Quick description: Contemporary NA, set in an arts college.

Steam?: Way too much for my own good.

Plot: Bad Romeo The heart wants what it wants . . . and sometimes it wants something bad While performing the greatest love story of all time, they discovered one of their own . . . Cassie Taylor was just another acting student with big dreams at her prestigious performing arts college . . . then she met Ethan Holt. She was the good girl actress. He was the bad boy on campus. But one fated casting choice for Romeo and Juliet changed it all. Like the characters they were playing on stage, Cassie and Ethan’s epic romance seemed destined. Until it ended in tragedy when he shattered her heart. Now they’ve made it to Broadway where they’re reunited as romantic leads once again – and their passionate scenes force them they’re forced to confront the heartbreaking lows and pulse-pounding highs of their intense college affair. For Ethan, losing Cassie was his biggest regret – and he’s determined to redeem himself. But for Cassie, even though Ethan was her first and only great love, he hurt her too much to ever be trusted again. The trouble is, working with him again reminds her that people who rub each other the wrong way often make the best sparks. And when it comes to love, sometimes it’s the things that aren’t good for us that are the most irresistible.

Broken Juliet- Some loves never let you go . . . Cassie swore she’d never forgive Ethan for breaking her heart when they were in acting school years ago. He was her one great love, and when he refused to love her back, a part of her died forever . . . or so she thought. Now she and Ethan are sharing a Broadway stage, and he’s determined to win her back. Finally he’s able to say all the things she needed to hear years ago . . . but can she believe him? Has he really changed, and what makes this time different from all his other broken promises? The answer lies somewhere in the past, and now the truth will come to light. Will Cassie rediscover what it’s like to be trusting and open again – the way she was before Ethan? Or is it too late for these star-crossed lovers?

These two books have left me pret-ty exhausted. I would not recommend reading one after the other like I did. Set a two week breather between them I think. I liked the first book better. The writing was fast-paced, addictive and delved into describing some deep emotions. The protagonists suffer from deep insecurities, and the author drew out very honest and raw profiles. Cassie and Ethan materialized as very real and complicated characters. And the problems keep getting deeper and more complicated as we get on. The tension between them was- woah- it was so hot it practically slid of the page. In case you didn’t really gather before, this book is very sexy. Probably too sexy for me. Try reading this packed against everyone else on the tube hah! Awkward..

But I do feel I need to warn anyone who is not used to swearing in books because there’s a lot of that here. For someone a little prude like me, it was a bit of an eye-opener. O.O (my face most of the time). But I enjoyed reading something a little different from my more polite regencies. The other characters, loud, very crass and quite funny, reminded me of those in the movie ‘Fame’… I probably would not have survived this school ;).

I really liked the structure. The chapters alternate between past (broken up) and present (starting off). You see how they are in present day and wonder how they ended up like that, given the previous chapter they were so happily entwined. The two settings start to mix up and get confusing, for example tension start building up again in the present, or the past starts falling apart. I think this was the author’s intention- to convey the fluidity of the lover’s tumultuous affair. You can’t tell one end from the other, if you get my drift.

The author takes tease to a whole new level for me. There were some seriously great bits, but I think it got too frustrating after a while. You really have to throw the reader a bone sometimes. It was fine in the first book, when I was made of more sturdy stuff. But the hope for a satisfying conclusion carried onto the sequel and was stretched quite thin. I’m not sure if it was necessary for a second book and a less patient reader would have trouble waiting for the finale. There was a lot of stopping and starting, which is what got me so exhausted. But anyway, the clever structure held out. It really was the end transforming into the beginning. And overall, it was an enjoyably distracting read.

Thanks Panmacmillan for my review copies xxxx



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