Sunday 11 January 2015

Review ~ Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4 Stars

“She can have all the faith in the world. All I’m capable of giving her is bad Romeo.”

For those that know me and my reviews, they know that I am a sucker for second chance romances and this one fell beautifully into that category. Between beautiful yet witty prose and the Romeo and Juliet theme running throughout the book I was totally captivated by Cassie and Ethan’s story.

Romeo, Romeo, where for art thy Romeo…well our Romeo in this case is Ethan Holt, is he bad? Well, personally I don’t think so. Ethan seemed disconnected with life in general, he was cut off, aloof, broody, he just seemed emotionally broken; disenchanted with life in general. He was a successful actor an up and coming star, but he was a man on a mission.

Cassie is our modern day Juliet, a natural, talented actress, but one that seems despondent with the opposite sex. She has obviously been burned…and badly. It is only once you get to see what has happened in the past that you finally begin to understand the dynamic and the past between them.

“Love at first sight is a myth invented by romance novel authors and Hollywood. It’s bullshit.”

This story is told in the present but with alternating chapters of the past. I must admit, at times this was frustrating because just as the story was beginning to come alive, you would then flash back to the past. For fluidity, I would have preferred fewer flashbacks, but with the flashbacks that were there to be longer, but that is just me.

It is during the flashbacks that you begin to understand the past that these two share. Through acting school these two connected and Ethan did not connect with anyone. I have to admit the difference between “past” Ethan and “present” Ethan is gargantuan and “past” Ethan was someone that irritated me…a lot. However, “present” Ethan was lush and was totally reformed from the man he was before. Now it was up to him to try and make up for his past mistakes and try and get his Juliet. Without Juliet, Romeo was nothing and that is exactly how Ethan felt in the present.

“Cassie, I felt like a ghost while I was away from you. Now, I want to feel real again.”

The present is Ethan and Cassie reunited on stage in a production of Romeo and Juliet, their chemistry is still undeniable and they literally set the stage on fire, but the past plays a huge part and this is something that Ethan needs to atone for. Cassie, on the other hand, needs to forgive, but is the past too raw, too fresh for her to forgive and forget? Cassie however is not the Cassie that Ethan once knew, gone is naïve and innocent Cassie. Ethan now has to contend with the emotionally broken, hold a grudge forever Cassie and those walls that she has built up to protect herself seem impenetrable. Ethan was the cause of their erection, can he also be the demolition man?

“I saw what I wanted to see. Felt what I wanted to feel. He just played his part. 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.”

The connection between these two was undeniable and I was totally invested in their story. The stark differences between the past and the present leave you toying with your emotions and especially your opinion of Ethan. The “past” Ethan was a bit of an ass, yet you knew that something must have happened for him to be that way. Even though not all was revealed during Bad Romeo, I feel that the surface has been scratched and now I desperately want to know the nitty gritties.

“Believe me, I know. I don’t say this to make you feel bad, but between my self-imposed dry spell and doing this show with you, my balls are bluer than the entire cast of Avatar.”

For me, what made this book was the Romeo and Juliet setting, forever the romantic this book grabbed my emotions and despite the ups and downs with the characters, the angst, the tooing and froing, the sexual tension and sometimes the frustrating situations my pleasure never waned as I made my way through this book in one sitting. I cannot wait for what comes next and will be eagerly awaiting the next instalment of their story.

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