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Bad Romeo
 By Leisa Rayven


Bad Romeo is an addictive read that I just didn’t want to put down.  The writing is flawless and captivating.  Leisa Rayven did a great job of balancing the emotions in this book.  Yes, there is a truckload of angst and heart pounding moments, but there is also a perfect amount of witty dialogue and humor mixed in with all of the intensity.

Putting myself in Cassie Taylor’s shoes, I’m not sure there could be anything more daunting than being cast as the romantic lead opposite the first man I had ever loved…a man who had also shattered my heart.  The sparks between Cassie and Ethan began back in college, and ignited when they were cast as Romeo and Juliet in their college production.  Now, they are cast once again as these romantic, tragic characters on Broadway.  They need to be able to move on from the heartache of their past, but that would be a lot easier if they didn’t still love each other.

While Bad Romeo is told entirely from Cassie’s perspective, I was able to get a full appreciation of the relationship that developed between Cassie and Ethan.  The book begins in the present day with Cassie’s first impending meeting with Ethan after years spent apart.  The book goes back and forth between the present day and six years in the past.  This is done seamlessly, providing the reader with a perfect understanding of how they met, how their relationship developed, and all of the highs and lows that went along with their time together.

Honestly, I was consumed by this book and the story that developed between Ethan and Cassie.  Cassie was the good, naïve, innocent student who just wanted to fit in and be liked by her peers.  Ethan was the classic bad boy who gave off a confident, hardened, aloof vibe and didn’t give a damn if he was liked or not.  He made it pretty clear from day one that he wasn’t out to make friends, he just wanted to be an actor.

I loved looking back to when Cassie was that innocent drama student.  She was unfiltered, endearing, amusing…and so sexually frustrated!  Even though Ethan didn’t always treat her in the manner in which she deserved, Cassie couldn’t help but be drawn to him.  Being the people-pleaser who always wanted people to like her, she didn’t understand why he was against becoming her friend, or at the very least, being friendly with her.  But Ethan’s indifference was a shield that he used to guard his own heart, and he was more than a little intrigued by Cassie.

The chemistry between the characters was extremely intense.  Their relationship was a slow burn that built up over time.  I wanted them to be together, knew that they would be together, but I was also enjoying the anticipation of when they would finally succumb to their obvious attraction.  Of course, the downside was that I also knew that their relationship wouldn’t last.  I knew that he did something that completely changed her outlook on love, something that would be nearly impossible to forgive, but I was dying to know what he actually did to break her heart.

The spark between Cassie and Ethan was still burning strong, but while Cassie was trying her best to keep it all on a professional level, Ethan, on the other hand, was trying his best to make amends for his past wrong doings.  It was interesting to witness Ethan’s evolution from the indifferent bad boy actor to the man who wanted to get an opportunity to finally apologize for breaking Cassie’s heart.  He wasn’t ready to let go of his feelings for her.  He wanted to get a chance to start over with her, to demonstrate that he wasn’t the same man that he was back then.  But would Cassie be able to truly forgive Ethan?  Would she be able to let herself love him again?  Bad Romeo does leave off on a cliffhanger, but it just makes me want to delve into Broken Juliet that much faster.

I can’t say enough kind words about this book.  It hooked me from the beginning, put my emotions through the wringer, and kept me thoroughly entertained until the final page.  I am looking forward to finding out what will become of these star-crossed lovers.


​*5 Stars