Tuesday, 24 February 2015
Review: Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven
Publisher: St.Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: December 23rd, 2014
Series: Starcrossed #1
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When Cassie Taylor met Ethan Holt at acting school, sparks flew. She was the good girl actress. He was the bad boy about campus. But one fated casting choice for Romeo and Juliet changed it all. Like the characters they were playing, Cassie and Ethan's romance seemed destined. Until he broke her heart and betrayed her trust. Now the A-list heartthrob is back in her life and turning her world around. One touch at a time.
Cast as romantic leads once again, they're forced to confront raw memories of the heartbreaking lows and pulse-pounding highs of their secret college affair. But they'll also discover that people who rub each other the wrong way often make the best sparks
Now that is what I'm talking about. Just so so so good. How had I not heard about Bad Romeo before last week? That's like blasphemy. But don't worry. I am now doing my job as a book pusher and well pushing and shoving this book in peoples faces. Watch out I'm coming for you next.
Bad Romeo is about Cassie's and Ethan's relationship. Which being a romance book makes sense. But it's also about second(third) chances, forgiveness, and learning to be yourself. It's really hard to find a unique or different romance novel these days. I mean everything has been done. So for me it's all about the story telling. Rayven does a fantastic job of pulling me into this addictive story. Of believing this strong and instant connection between Cassie and Ethan.
Starting off we know that Ethan broke Cassie's heart three years ago. To say Cassie is still trying to recover from that is a bit of an understatement. Now she's not only going to see him and have to talk to him for the first time since then, but Cassie is going to be starring beside him in what should be a pretty intense stage show. Which means Cassie is going to have to confront Ethan and her feelings.
Bad Romeo follows two different time lines. The present and also six years ago when Cassie started at acting school and met Ethan. So we know that Ethan is going to break Cassie's heart, but we don't know what happens or why he leaves. The six years earlier portions are the start of their love affair, which of course is also the lead up to the eventual heartbreak.
So let's break this down in past and present day Cassie and Ethan.
Past: Cassie is 18 and getting away from her over bearing parents for the first time. But being a little naive in some areas makes her a people pleaser. She just wants to fit in and to get along with everyone, especially when her opinion is different. Cassie doesn't want to be different. Except around Ethan. She has no problem being sassy and opinionated. Actually Cassie has no problem being herself. Cassie is also quite secure with her sexuality. Which is surprising seeing as she's a virgin. I would think she'd be a bit shy. But nope. She's actually quite obsessed with sex. Which makes for a lot of hilarious and embarrassing moments. Cassie also feels insecure with her acting abilities. She literally has no experience. But it doesn't matter because Cassie just has a natural talent. Cassie is just learning to come out of her shell.
Ethan is one of those guys that right away plays the asshole. But Cassie doesn't believe he is one. She's pretty sure it's all for show. He is an actor after all. But Cassie see's through it when hurt will quickly pass over Ethan's face when Cassie plays into his asshole moments. Or the fact that it's really easy to see through the facade to a broken guy with trust issues. I never for a moment believed Ethan's act. He may be a fantastic actor when on stage, but when trying to hide his feelings from Cassie he's about as good as me. Ethan tries to play the "you don't want to be friends with me card" and the "I'm really bad and don't want to hurt you card", but Cassie's having known of that. She pushes her way into his life. She can't not. The connection between the two of them makes it impossible for her to stay away.
Which brings me to their relationship. Even though Ethan tries to stay away from Cassie, he just can't. Their chemistry is to strong. I could feel the sparks jumping off the pages. It's hot. But it's also the friendship they offer each other. Cassie can pull secrets and feelings out of Ethan. And Ethan pulls the real Cassie out. It's really unfortunate that as the reader you know they're going to be apart for 3 years.
Present: I actually don't want to say too much about the present day. It's clear that Ethan being back in Cassie's life is really messing with her. The fact that they have to play the romantic leads is not helping. Cassie finds it hard to think straight when they're kissing. But I'm pretty sure that's part of Ethan's plan. The thing is he left Cassie broken. And she's still not whole again. Even after 3 years. I love that we see Ethan now as the guy that can say, "I'm sorry" or just want to talk about his feelings. It's a great bit of growth to know that Ethan got help to get himself better. Now he feels like he deserves Cassie because he can give himself fully to her. Now it just comes down to if Cassie is willing to forgive and give Ethan another chance. It's very clear that they could be a power couple. But I think Cassie has a lot to work through first. It's 6 years since they first meet, so yes the spark is still there but that length of time can certainly change a person. I think they'll also have to come to know the present day Ethan and Cassie and not dwell so much on the past.
Which leads me needing the sequel, Broken Juliet like yesterday. I need to know that Cassie and Ethan are going to come through together. I want another round of fantastic banter and tension. Bad Romeo was just such a lovely surprise. The theatre and acting school is a fun background to the romance. Just superb all around. I really don't know what else to tell you guys except to gush gush gush and that it's a few days later and I'm still addicted. Talk about a book hangover. Haven't had one of those in a while. Hat tip to you Bad Romeo you did your job and you did it very well.