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. Don't miss the intoxicating romance beloved by over two million fans online - a story that'll captivate you and hold you breathless until the final page. 'An unputdownable debut! Filled with delicious tension that will make your palms sweat, toes curl and heart race' New York Times bestselling author Alice Clayton
Of course when I think of star-crossed lovers, I think of Shakespeare’s classic play Romeo and Juliet…but truly those two ancient lovers have nothing on Cassie Taylor and Ethan Holt… Shakespeare would surely agree if he were here today and had his own Amazon Prime account! Bad Romeo (The Starcrossed Series Book 1) by Leisa Rayven is one of my absolute favorite books of the last year. Followed very closely by Broken Juliet (The Starcrossed Series Book 2).
Bad Romeo begins in present day New York City on Broadway…where all great stories should start. Our “Juliet,” Cassie muses to herself, “Yeah, sure, I can do a passionate play with my ex-lover, who broke my heart not once, but twice. No problem.” We are very clear that we are coming into the middle of an already poignant love affair.
This epic tale is told in the past and the present and Rayven’s flawless writing melds them together exquisitely. They are consistently passionate, torn, and heart-wrenchingly afraid of intimacy in the past and in the present, in the play and in their “real” lives.
When they were young and impressionable they met at a prestigious arts academy. Cassie and Ethan are brought together, first in a fated casting choice for the play Romeo and Juliet and then ultimately in love. Not just any love, but for Juliet, her “first love.” Like the characters they were playing onstage, Cassie and Ethan’s epic romance seemed destined. Until it ended in tragic Shakespearian style when Ethan shattered his Juliet’s heart, leaving her completely broken, with no poison to ease her suffering.
Ethan is the perfect book boyfriend. He’s smart, he’s the classic bad boy, and he is mysteriously aloof. He is so passionate and alive when he acts, but he has dead spaces in his soul that he hides. You cannot even feel too angry with him, when you see how wounded and scared he truly is. Ethan knows he made the biggest mistake of his life letting Cassie go, but trust is a difficult thing to rebuild, once broken.
Shakespeare once said, “He's mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a horse's health, a boy's love, or a whore's oath.” Cassie’s wounded soul is on her sleeve every moment of this tale, and she needs protecting. When we watch her in the past, walking blindly, then jumping completely into the relationship with Ethan, we can feel our hearts clenching knowing what that once felt like.
We want to keep Cassie from being hurt the first time and then never being hurt again…but at the same time we cannot let her possibly miss the love of her life redeeming himself. Every moment of these books, I was rooting for these two kids to make it…for love sake…for all of our sakes…
Bad Romeo is filled with writing that lets us see into these characters in such intimate ways. We can read their diaries, their emails, their texts, AND their dialogue. I felt as if I really “knew” Cassie and Ethan…they became “real” to me. I loved them in school and on Broadway, acting and trying to be real, and I loved being moved back and forth between these two beautifully written worlds.
Although some reviewers mentioned that they were frustrated by the cliff-hanger ending, it’s only because when the book was first published they had to wait for the second one…but now we don’t have to wait…we can drive right into our Broken Juliet. Unputdownable, beautiful, classic…I will read again and again…
Bad Romeo 5*