Review: Bad Romeo (#1, Starcrossed) by Leisa Rayven - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

This post contains affiliate links, meaning I’ll receive a small commission should you purchase using those links. All opinions expressed are my own. I receive no compensation for reviews.

Review: Bad Romeo (#1, Starcrossed) by Leisa Rayven

My Thoughts

One of the freshest, most exciting and
addictive books I’ve read this year.

It’s the perfect blend of sweet and sexy,
romantic and heartbreaking, funny and intense.

5stars

Synopsis

Dec-23

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.

My Review

This book was such a wonderful surprise. I had no idea what to expect, but I reveled in book nirvana as I became engrossed in the addictive, frenzied push and pull between our two main characters. Bad Romeo was jam-packed with conflict, chemistry, sexual tension, humor and engaging dialogue. The story just pulled me in completely. I was so transfixed by the complicated dynamic of the characters, Cassie and Ethan. Through chapters which alternate between past and present, we experience how they fall in love… how their hearts fill and stretch and crack and long for each other over the years. Their love story is volatile, tumultuous and tremendously intense. Because undoubtedly, pair a brooding, enigmatic bad boy with a spirited but inexperienced good girl… and well, sparks will fly.

“I don’t think I ever truly knew the meaning of the word “antagonize” before I met him, but I sure as heck know now. I’ve never had someone rub me the wrong way so intensely before. If I’m being honest, I kind of like the spark.”

When Cassie Taylor lands a career-making theater project, she knows she needs to take it. Problem is, she’d be acting alongside the boy with whom she fell in love, the boy that was her first everything, the boy who shattered her heart in a way that had not yet healed. It had been three years since she’d seen Ethan Holt and she hated him.

“Ethan Holt–the current “It Boy” of the theater world. So talented. Award-winner. Adored by screaming fans. Handsome as hell.”

Ethan and Cassie had met while in acting school, and immediately, it began antagonistically. But while gazes rife with hostility dueled, their chemistry was apparent and undeniable. Together, they were supercharged, whether it be in a turmoil of animosity or the throes of repressed desire. Cassie wanted Ethan, but Ethan seemed to push her away constantly, even though his words and actions indicated otherwise.

“We just don’t mesh. It’s like we’re oil and vinegar. No matter how much we shake each other up, we’re never going to blend.”

Cassie is a girl who is riddled with insecurities. She’s never confident enough to stand her ground or voice her true opinion in front of others. She fears being discounted and ignored, yet with Ethan, she can’t help but say what she feels. She’s assertive, opinionated, honest and unyielding, engaging in a fierce verbal warfare that only further fuels their chemistry. And even though Cassie seems to break though to Ethan in a way no other can, she doesn’t know what to make of his behavior. Does he want her or not? And how much more of his vacillating ways can she take?

“We’re like these giant magnets that keep flipping over and over again, pulling each other in, then pushing away.”

But just as the shields weaken for Ethan, and Cassie gives him a chance, he takes everything and betrays her in a way that cut deeply.

“I tried to convince myself I wanted nothing from you and ended up losing everything.”

I love that this novel is almost like two stories entwined. One is the coming-of-age story where these two people meet and fall in love. Their time together is filled with heartache and strife. Ethan is anything but romantic. He’s mean and cantankerous and entirely confusing. Cassie is insecure and love stricken. Together they are, in actuality,  a romantic tragedy. Two star-crossed lovers too impassioned to make it work. The second part of the story is an emotional second chance romance, brimming with regret and longing and supplication. Ethan is not the same person he once was and neither is Cassie. Their roles reverse to some extent and their future teeters on Cassie’s ability to trust Ethan.

I also love the title of the book, which I think is applicable in multiple ways. Ethan is everything a “leading” man is not. He doesn’t do romance. He doesn’t do relationships. He’s unapologetically arrogant and unyielding. He also told her from the very beginning that he would be bad for her, a truth Cassie learned the hard way. Ethan Holt is truly a bad Romeo who has broken Juliet.

Overall, Bad Romeo just felt so different and fresh. It had great dialogue, bold characters, perfect pacing and an engaging framework built upon an interesting theater backdrop. I loved how she explored the richness of opposing forces, blurring lines between love/hate, true selves/facades, desire/antagonism, attraction/repulsion, chemistry on-stage/off, future possibilities/past demons. It’s difficult to believe this is her debut novel, as it’s ingeniously crafted and so well written. For all those reasons mentioned above and many more, this is one of the must reads of the year and absolutely one of my most favorite. I LOVED IT!

“…as much as I used to think you were better off without me, you’re not. You need me just as much as I need you. We’re both hollow without the other, and it’s taken me a long time to realize that.”

addseriestogoodreads

The series is a duology told in two parts: Bad Romeo (Dec 23) and Broken Juliet (Apr 28).

Reading Order and Links

bad romeo cover broken julie cover

Connect with Leisa

Facebook | Twitter 

✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦

Follow VBB: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Subscribe by Email

Subscribe for Updates:

Share This Post

Related Posts

One Comment:


  1. leisarayven2014 said:

    I’m blushing so hard over here right now, you don’t even know! Thank you so much, Vilma. I’m completely humbled by your words. Sending you love and warm wishes this holiday season. 🙂

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

On Facebook

SuperWebTricks Loading...

On Twitter

Review: The Girl He Used To Know by @traceygarvisgraves! https://t.co/fsz1DWXVBV

Farmer’s Market this morning. Had to pick up these gorgeous 💐 from cassiopeiafarm. Happy Saturday!!! @ Downtown Austin, Texas https://t.co/6jM2fXkC8D

FRIDAY GIVEAWAY!!!! 💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻

Did you see the stunning new covers of the RLC series by @quirkybird?! 📚 I LOVE THEM SO MUCH! I totally have been digging the illustrated covers and these are so bright, fresh and... https://t.co/Vp6wwFloWk

FRIDAY GIVEAWAY!!!! 💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻

Did you see the stunning new covers of the RLC series by @imaquirkybird?! 📚 I LOVE THEM SO MUCH! I totally have been digging the illustrated covers and these… https://t.co/BtaSO5xdSd

Have you ever done a clinical grade peel before? What did you think? @drdennisgross gifted me their new Clinical Grade Resurfacing Liquid Peel—a pro-level mix of acids that helps reduce the appearance of pores,... https://t.co/59ducMW13a

Have you ever done a clinical grade peel before? What did you think? @dgskincare gifted me their new Clinical Grade Resurfacing Liquid Peel—a pro-level mix of acids that helps reduce the… https://t.co/3E8mniDnQX

Read an excerpt from Vengeance by @RebeccaZanetti! @1001darknights https://t.co/YDZJZYs6Lj

Who else is so excited about the aftermovie?! 🙋🏻‍♀️ Did you see that the movie tie-in paperback is out as of this week?! I’m obsessed with this cover and this limited-edition bookbeau is… https://t.co/57C1TedUkX

Q&A with Kristen Proby on the Crossover Collection! https://t.co/ep2VVT6LDi @Handbagjunkie @1001darknights

Read an excerpt from A Dangerous Collaboration by @deannaraybourn! @berkleypub https://t.co/A8cY1YQkVR

Read an excerpt: From Breath and Ruin by @CarrieAnnRyan! https://t.co/E3K1A87PCS

Such a wonderful French market - Les Enfants Rouges. Cafés, wine, cheese, flowers. Heaven. 🥖 🧀 💐☕️ @ Les Enfants Rouges — at Les Enfants Rouges https://t.co/Z8DcySZqsx

Anyone else a @tatcha_v fan? Do you use their skin mist? 🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️ I love pretty much their entire collection (and their packaging is so so elegant and gorg) and recently they… https://t.co/0AaqpXp8S8

📣 𝐆𝐈𝐕𝐄𝐀𝐖𝐀𝐘 📣 #partner

Meet Aimee Sinclair: the actress everyone thinks they know but can’t remember where from.

Except one person.

Someone knows Aimee very well.

Ahhh I cannot wait to… https://t.co/CVivrd1T9f

Some of the cool places from last night here in #London. 🇬🇧 😍 @ London, United Kingdom — in London, United Kingdom https://t.co/dAspwHr7Ad

Oh gosh you guys. The tea. The tea shops. I’m in love. 😍 I bought a beautiful Alice in Wonderland tea set and I cannot wait to show you guys when I get home (tightly packed now). We had… https://t.co/CiEOvjT2IT

Oh gosh you guys. The tea. The tea shops. I’m in love. 😍 I bought a beautiful Alice in Wonderland tea set and I cannot wait to show you guys when I get home (tightly packed now). We had… https://t.co/HFPdHjK7uh

Hitting some touristy stops in London bc it’s my first time here! Taking #TheMister along in my adventures! 📖 Now off to get some tea... it’s chilly! @ Buckingham Palace — at Buckingham Palace https://t.co/NsUDj38fRa

Hitting some touristy stops in London bc it’s my first time here! Taking #TheMister along in my adventures! 📖 Now off to get some tea... it’s chilly! @ Buckingham Palace https://t.co/WoQpACRE8L

Don't miss this SPARKLY 5 STAR Review for Tinsel by @devneyperry - Vilma Iris @vilmairisblog https://t.co/egDWgORRUn

Load More...