Tuesday, 23 December 2014

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

Bad Romeo (Starcrossed #1)  by Leisa Rayven
Publication Date: December 23rd, 2014
Genres: New Adult, Adult, Romance, College, Contemporary
Warnings: Sexual content, language
Format: eARC from NetGalley
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 

Bad Romeo  is a book about second chances. And maybe third chances. Cassie is about to be thrown back into the world of Ethan Holt when he's chosen to play the leading man in a production where she's the leading lady. This all seems very deja vu to her and throughout the book we go from past to present in order to piece together this pair's rocky history.

I really enjoyed this one! I gave it 4.5 stars because it had everything I adore; getting to figure out things for myself, cute guys, a strong female main character and... cute guys. Why not 5 stars you may ask? There were a couple of small things I didn't like very much and although I thought about giving this book 5 stars I couldn't ignore those small things. Fairly, I took points away but let's start with what I did  like. Which is most of the book.

This was the perfect 'you-don't-know-what-you-have-until-it's-gone' story. It was so easy for me to become Cassie whilst reading from her perspective. I've honestly never felt so empathetic towards a main character but I really liked it. I felt everything she felt, enough to make it real for me. What I liked most about this book was the back and forth between Cassie and Ethan's past and present. It showed such a contrast and it was as if they'd morphed in to each other over the years they'd been apart. The reader is able to sort of piece together what happened as they go along. The present day chapters are full of questions whereas the past chapters hold answers and it all flows really well. I wasn't left with a bunch of unanswered questions by the end.

Cassie, pre-'that night', was a wonderful character. She was equal parts caring and head-strong and I didn't grow to like her, she was just likable from the start. It's what she does best; make people like her. She did annoy me at times because it become very clear that at first she was unable to let people not like her. That was her main character development, she eventually realised that that doesn't matter as much as what she thought of herself and whether she liked herself. Ethan played a huge part in this by calling her out. After 'that night' she became bitter in an attempt to keep feelings at bay. She became everything Ethan used to be; cold, emotionally unavailable and very good at faking indifference.

I loved Ethan's character for the most part. He was the complete opposite of Cassie and after that one night their characteristics were switched. As I said, it was such a contrast to read about both the past and the present. Past Ethan was moody and unwilling to put any effort into a relationship that may  break him whereas Present Ethan was hard to not like. He seems to have done a whole 180 and he's now open with his feelings and willing to fight for what he lost. He was complex to say the least but the great thing was that we got to learn about him over time. OH AND HE READS. *fans self* It was hard to hate him for what he did when I read about how he turned out because he was just trying so hard. He seemed to have really worked to change himself and he reveals something towards the end that made me kind of annoyed at Cassie for not even giving him the chance to talk. But then there's my girl-power side which is all "NO. MAN BAD. NO." because what he did was a little awful.

The other characters were good, not very complex but then again they're like background actors. You enjoy them whilst they're in the scene but once they're off stage they pale so the leads can shine. I think that's how all 'others' should be in books, too many times I've preferred the best friend to the main character or the funny one that just shows up to poke fun. I love those characters but I'd like to focus on the main story and not be waiting for that other character to be written into the chapter. I can't tell if that makes sense or not.

The back and forth between Cassie and Ethan gave me LIFE. I loved the banter and I laughed numerous times, especially when Cassie would be in her head with the reader hearing her thoughts. Most of my favourite quotes at the bottom of this post are from her although most of them do sound a tad strange out of context. I adore it when the MCs can banter back and forth, it makes things more interesting especially when the subjects the book is dealing with are more serious. Here's a quote, Cassie is on the phone with her overprotective mother and Holt is over so they can study together;

"Hurry up, Taylor! I think your bed has put my back out. I can't get up!" I'm going to kill him!

And here's a quote from the same scene when Cassie stands up to her mother; *wipes away proud tears*

"Mom just stop. Whether or not I have a man here is none of your business. I'm an adult now, and I don't need your approval for my every decision. Now, I love you, but I have a very good-looking man in my bed and I have to go."

The sexual tension in this book. Oh my goodness I was about ready to spontaneously combust. There's this one scene where their class is sat around smoking and holy crap.  That's all I'm going to say... Comment when you get to that scene/if you've read that scene because it was ridiculously hot.

There was a totally unrelated scene where Ethan is talking to his sister and I just have to quote it here because even though Ethan comes across as tough and indifferent the way he is with his sister is so normal and childish;

Her voice is muffled by the wood when she yells, "You are such a tool!" Holt snatches the door open and whispers, "Oh, and by he way, I haven't told Mom and Dad that Cassie and I are together, so if you could keep your giant trap shut, that'd be sweet. Thanks."
Do I recommend this book? Absolutely. I'd say 16 years and older would be okay but please check the warnings at the top! If you're uncomfortable reading about that sort of thing then you'll know not to pick this one up. Overall it was a really satisfying read and I can't wait for Broken Juliet. Give me my very own Ethan Holt and I'll never ask for anything ever again.

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review with no compensation.

Favourite Quotes

"In fact, a million years ago we used to be good friends. Back when I still thought her brother was born of a human mother and not spawned straight from Satan's asshole."

"Holt is... captivating. Like a rare, exotic panther; equal parts beauty and power. Enigmatic without even trying."

"The first time I saw him, I was simulating anal sex with someone I'd just met."

"...and I think the upstairs neighbor dances naked in the moonlight while he sacrifices small animals, because seriously, the dude is weird."

"For a moment, we're united in our freakish normalcy. Our unremarkable unremarkableness."

"Of course, Holt doesn't know that. I open my mouth to tell him I'm riding Connor like a rodeo bronco..."

"Sometimes he's behind my eyes, weeping and exposed, and he's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. But it was an act. He's an actor. And he's very, very good.

"With much effort, I stop myself from petting his crotch."

"Methinks the gent doth protest too much."

"The cautious part of me is whispering that being with him is like wearing the world's most comfortable pair of shoes that sometimes catapult you headfirst into a wall."

"If you look up the word "awkward" in a dictionary, there'd be a picture of this moment."

"I will not lose this damn bet, just because he decided to dress like a hot-bodied edible man treat."

"A kaleidoscope of regret fills his eyes. "Cassie, I felt like a ghost while I was away from you. I was. Now, I want to feel real again."

"I look back at Holt's ass as I try to figure out what to say, because I'm betting that if I stare at it hard enough, the secrets of the universe will be revealed to me."

"There are various whoops of approval around us, but we ignore them. It's kind of easy when all my focus is directed at resisting the urge to become a slutty limpet."

"He looks at me like I've accused him of liking Adam Sandler movies."

Saved the best for last there. I laughed for ages at that one.


  1. LOL, Amber. My husband is reading the book as I type this, and he just guffawed at the Adam Sandler line. Great minds!

    Thank you so much for your amazing review. I'm beyond honored.

    I hope you have a truly spectacular holiday season. :)

    L x

    1. That was one of my favourite lines for sure! It was a wonderful book, I hope you get more 4/5 star reviews. You deserve it.

      Thank you, I hope you do too :)