Bad Romeo (Starcrossed #1) by Leisa Rayven-a review
RELEASE DATE : December 23, 2014
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.
REVIEW: BAD ROMEO is the first installment in Leisa Rayven’s contemporary, new adult Starcrossed romance series focusing on stage actors Cassie Taylor and Ethan Holt.
Told from first person point of view (Cassie) alternating between past and present using flashbacks, time jumps and diary entries, BAD ROMEO is a second chance storyline following Cassie and Ethan’s tumultuous relationship that began six years earlier while both were attending The Grove Acting School in Westchester, New York. Auditioning for parts in the school’s production of Romeo and Juliet, Cassie and Ethan find themselves cast in the leading roles. They say life imitates art, Cassie and Ethan’s love affair will be destroyed by choices made and running scared. Fast forward six years later, our couple will be, once again, cast opposite one another in a storyline that is all too familiar and brings with it painful memories and broken hearts.
The relationship between Cassie and Ethan spans two time lines but concentrates on building love and breaking down walls. Ethan is the ultimate bad boy-moody, sulky, mysterious and emotive- and Cassie is the reluctant virgin who falls in love with her leading man. Six years earlier Ethan walked out of Cassie’s life without a goodbye or backward glance and now he has been given a second chance to claim the woman with whom he had fallen in love years before. Ethan’s love and need for Cassie has never faltered but his issues of family, self esteem and personal trust find Ethan pushing away the only woman he would ever love. Present day finds Ethan desperate to reclaim Cassie and make amends for everything that went wrong. The sexual tension is high as our couple play around one another for a good portion of the story.
The colorful secondary and supporting characters include Ethan’s parents and his sister Elissa; their fellow actors and students at The Grove Acting school –Zoe, Jordan, Lucas, Jack and Connor- as well as Cassie’s roommates Ruby and Tristan. Tristan is very protective of Cassie and makes a point to let Ethan know exactly where he stands.
The world building takes the reader onto the stage and behind the scenes where two people must balance the reality of life and the unreality of the stage. Ethan’s past has formed the man that he is today; Cassie Taylor will need to step up her game-to understand and break through the walls that Ethan has erected to protect his fragile heart.
BAD ROMEO is an interesting and captivating storyline, not too emotional or angst ridden, but I did have some issues with the back and forth between past and present. At times the two timelines were all too similar (and familiar) with respect to what was happening but the author was showing how Cassie and Ethan’s love for one another mirrored itself both past and present; history, did in fact, repeat itself; but it was difficult, at times, to differentiate between the two timelines.
Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley.
Reviewed by Sandy