Monday, April 13, 2015

Bad Romeo By: Leisa Rayven


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 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 Leisa Rayven's Bad Romeo, the intoxicating romance beloved by over two million fans online--a story that'll captivate you and hold you breathless until the final page. (From B&N)

Ok so I had been dying to read this book, and just never got myself in gear to do so. I had been reading pretty nonstop this past couple months with ARC's and then just new books releasing in general.
Well Thanks to the lovely people at St. Martin's Press I was given the opportunity to receive an early copy of Broken Juliet in the mail a day or 2 ago, and well... It got me going and I started and finished this book this weekend. Not my quickest reading time, but 2 days is pretty fast when your busy both those days lol

So I guess on to the actual review now huh?
I loved this book. It was a great mix of past and present, and left me wanting to read ahead of the page I was on more than once. Rayven did a great job of presenting great contrast in her characters. Not just Ethan compared to Cassie, but past Ethan compared to present Ethan. And Past Cassie compared to present Cassie, if you get my drift. In the 3 years between the 2 time frames we see a drastic change in both characters, and I thought that added an intricate deeper level to the story. You realize why each of them is the way they are, and see why they struggle when they didn't before.
You also are able to relate better to both Ethan and Cassie through this I think. You realize that they could be just some normal couple walking down the street going through normal relationship problems like any one here in the real world would. Don't get me wrong. I love books because they push limits and give me a break from reality for a little while. But I also like it when an author can give me a story that I can possibly relate to. A story that I could sit here and say "oh this could seriously happen to me" (If I was a famous Broadway star dating a super hot other Broadway star hehe) Anywho, I love that aspect. It makes for such a greater story to follow, and much easier to sink yourself deeper into that authors world.

Ok so lets talk a little about the how the title ties into the book. Obviously we are talking Romeo and Juliet here. And as I kinda mentioned earlier as a side note. Both our star crossed lovers are actors. And not the flashy Hollywood kind, but the honest to goodness best kind of acting there is... Broadway actors. And how should these to meet and then meet again you ask? On a stage of course. Well, at least around a stage that is lol. And (Ok I'm warning you now. It is possible I am going to drop a bunch of really cliche stage terms when they fit in just a few. Just shake your heads at me and carry on hehe) 
To set the stage (See? I warned you) our weary lovers meet in drama school. Well, to tell you the truth, drama school, does not just mean on the stage either. Drama kids are dramatic (You're looking at me funny with that, well duh face aren't you?) And Ethan and Cassie are no exception. While both, at least with each other keep things pretty real and down to Earth, they too deal with a whole heap of drama. Sexual drama, stage drama, fitting in drama, abandonment drama... The list goes on and on. But what I love is how they kinda sorta help each other through it. Ethan keeps Cassie grounded and makes her realize some things about herself (cough cough, people pleaser) And Cassie helps, or well, tries to help Ethan with his commitment/abandonment issues. 
Their on stage chemistry is explosive to put it mildly, and their off stage chemistry could make the theater catch fire. 
But much like their Romeo and Juliet characters, they are doomed for tragedy. That whole the hotter you burn the faster you burn out thing kinda has some merit in this case. 
I know I'm making this sound like a bad thing. That is so far from my intention. I truly loved this story and loved how the characters chemistry was. Remember my little real life rant earlier? Well that is what I'm talking about. You can not tell me you have never had that one person you were so attracted to body and soul that it ended an explosion of epic proportions. I personally have not had that little experience yet, but I whole hardly expect it, and actually welcome it. I feel everyone deserves that kind of relationship, the kind that has so much passion you burn from the contact. No matter the hurt it causes, it shapes you, and will show you how it feels to be with the right person good or bad as it may end. (Yeah yeah, I know I sound nuts. I just really believe in that true love blah blah blah stuff) And lets all admit it, as annoying as Romeo and Juliet may be (I truly hate this play with a passion I cannot fully express in text) we still go and watch it. Read it. Listen to the old formal words and hope for an ending a little less tragic. We hope for love to conquer all. And yet we know it never will. But that is the beauty in this play being one of the focuses in this book. It is used to show that maybe. Just maybe these two can overcome that age old tragedy, and that their love can bring them back to each other. It is the contrasting factor to them. And makes for a much greater story.

Ok so I guess now that I just tried to shove my deep profound sentiment of love down your throats I should move on to the fun part of the review right? And that of course would be the characters themselves. 
So lets start with some of the supporting roles shall we? (Oh no, another kind of sort of pun hehe)
Lets go with Connor and Jack. The two guys that might actually be some of my favorite guys in the whole story. Sorry Ethan (Not sorry)
So Connor and Jack... Both boys are funny, and crazy, and make dear Cassie and Ethan come out of their shells. They are the fun in some serious moments of the book. And truly show that they care about each of them in their own ways. Particularly Connor to Cassie. Even when he knows hes the understudy he still supports her and watches out for her in any way he can. He is the sweet guy you know you should like, but can never choose because you can't get past the blinders you have for the guy that's bad for you. (I do have experience with this, God do I know this feeling. And I still wonder what things would have been like if I had made a different choice) Anyways, off my tragic love fest. Connor is great and I really loved him through the story. So that leaves Jack. The nerdy Star Wars loving geek with the big... equipment??? Oh yes I went there hehe. I actually could totally use a spin of series about him and Zoe (Hint Hint Leisa, I need that story in my life lol)
He is the character you can't help but be friends with. He always has a funny graphic tee on, and is all to willing to lay a sexual joke on ya. I luv this guy so much. (Yes I used LUV on purpose, pronounced loue-ved lol)
Ok so now that those two are covered... On to Tristan. Oh Tristan how art thou love thee! As much as I love the other 2 guys, there is just something about Tristan that makes me smile so much. He is Cassie's protector and best friend. And I love how he can go from life coach to party fiend in the same second. You can see how much he cares for his friend. And I love that he is willing to go all alpha male on Ethan if he even looks at Cassie the wrong way. Every woman should have a Tristan in their lives. Someone to be there for them, and also know how to make them laugh and pull them from their darkest depths. Plus who doesn't love the gay best friend? hehe

Ruby, Zoe, and Elissa are next on my list.
I love love loved Ruby. She is the fun loving crazy roommate every college girl should have. She is supportive but also makes sure Cassie has some fun and takes a risk here and there. Plus I loved her witty banter and ease with everyone in the group.
As I said earlier I would love to see a spin off of Zoe and Jack. Those two alone are brilliant. Zoe is the hot popular girl you love to hate. She has everything, and knows it. But as the story progressed we got to see a bit more of her, and I couldn't help myself from really liking the girl. Minus her witchy tendencies.
Last we have Elissa. She is Ethan's little sister, and voice of reason. While her and Ethan spend a lot of time fighting, everything the girl does is out of love for her brother. And she tries hard to make him feel needed and in place. Also she is a sneaky little devil and is all for team Cassthan (Does that sound right?)

Ok, So I guess I should probably talk about our leading lady now right?
Well to tell the truth. I did like Cassie but I like past Cassie better than present Cassie. And don't misconstrue my meaning. I know why present Cassie is the way she is. And I would probably be right there with her if I had experienced what she had. But I really liked how past Cassie let blind faith and love lead her. Present Cassie is much more guarded and shut off from the world. And I was sad for her, as she dealt with all the emotional baggage Ethan left in his wake. But I also kinda wanted to smack her round a little and tell her it was ok to love again. I wanted her to be happy. I guess that means Rayven did a good job in writing her character if she was able to make me really truly feel for the fictional girl. 
What I think I found most interesting about Cassie, and Ethan as well, is that they switched rolls. I said it earlier. Like way way in the beginning of this long review. But seeing both characters go through the same emotional roller coasters just at different times allowed for a more dynamic story.

And finally... Romeo. Romeo. Where for art thou Romeo?
I had a love hate relationship with Ethan. Like with Cassie I found myself drawn to one version of him. And wanting to smack some sense into the other. Although I kinda more wanted to hug past Ethan than hit him most of the time. That boy had a lot of personal stuff to deal with and I wanted to wrap him up in a big hug until he felt better. I hated how he pushed Cassie away. I wanted that girl to get so far under his skin she could make a nest and live there. Then maybe he would see how great he is, and how loving someone and letting them love you is worth the chance. Thank god and all that's holy that present Ethan pulled his head out of his you know what and finally figured that out. I found myself routing even more for the sexy actor. I wanted him to win his girl back, and to finally be happy with the person he loves with the job he always wanted. And the support system he deserves. 

This book was so good. I wasn't really sure what to expect when I first cracked it open. But I will say I was not disappointed one bit. I cannot wait to start reading Broken Juliet and plan on starting it tonight while the kids I nanny are at sports. 
Thank you Leisa Rayven for such an amazing story.
Oh and if you read this. I'm sure it's said somewhere. But I saw that this series started as Fanfic. What was it Fanfic for. I have been racking my brain to guess. And Other than the obvious in your face I feel dumb for not thinking that, was R&J. But I want to say that is not it. But if it is BRAVO. I like this version so so so much better hehe

I give Bad Romeo:

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