Bad Romeo

Bad Romeo

by Leisa Rayven

Paperback(First Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250063274
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 12/23/2014
Series: The Starcrossed Series , #1
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 307,139
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

LEISA RAYVEN is a freelance actor and producer in Brisbane, Australia, who makes frequent trips to L.A. and NYC. Bad Romeo is her first novel.

Read an Excerpt

Bad Romeo


By Leisa Rayven

St. Martin's Griffin

Copyright © 2014 Leisa Rayven
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4668-6837-3



CHAPTER 1

TOGETHER AGAIN, TOO SOON


Present Day
New York City
The Graumann Theater
First Day of Rehearsal


I rush down the crowded sidewalk, and a nervous sweat has broken out in all my most unglamorous places.

I hear my mother's voice inside my head—"A lady doesn't sweat, Cassie. She glows."

In that case, Mom, I'm glowing like a pig.

Anyway, I never claimed to be a lady.

I tell myself I'm "glowing" because I'm running late. Not because of him.

Tristan, my roommate/life coach, is convinced I've never gotten over him, but that's crap.

I'm so over him.

I've been over him for a long time.

I scurry across the road, dodging the unstoppable New York traffic.

Several cabdrivers curse me out in various languages. I merrily wave my middle finger, because I'm pretty sure flipping the bird means "fuck you" all over the world.

I glance at my watch as I enter the theater and head to the rehearsal room.

Dammit.

Five minutes late.

I can almost see the look of amusement on his bastard face, and I'm horrified that before I've even set foot in the room I have an overwhelming urge to slap him.

I pause outside the door.

I can do this. I can see him and not fall apart.

I can.

I sigh and press my forehead against the wall.

Who the hell am I kidding?

Yeah, sure, I can do a passionate play with my ex-lover, who broke my heart not once, but twice. No problem.

I bang my head against the wall.

If there were a Nation of Stupid People, I would be their queen.

I take a deep breath and exhale slowly.

When my agent had called with news of my big Broadway break, I should have known there'd be strings attached. She raved to me about the male actor who'd also been cast. Ethan Holt—the current "It Boy" of the theater world. So talented. Award winner. Adored by screaming fans. Handsome as hell.

Of course she didn't know about our history. Why would she? I never talk about him. In fact, I walk away when other people mention his name. It was easier to cope when he was on the other side of the world, but now he's back and tainting my dream job with his presence.

Typical.

Bastard.

Finding my game face isn't going to be easy, but I have to.

I pull out my compact and check my reflection.

Goddammit, I'm shinier than the Chrysler Building.

I slap on some powder and retouch my lip gloss as I wonder if I'll look different to him after all of these years. My brown hair, which used to be down to the middle of my back in college, now sits just below my collar, messy-layered and edgy. My face is a little thinner, but I guess I'm basically the same. Decent lips. Okay bone structure. Eyes that are neither brown nor green, but a strange combination of both. More olive than hazel.

I snap the compact shut and throw it back into my bag, pissed I'm even contemplating looking good for him. Have I learned nothing?

I close my eyes and think about all the ways he hurt me. His stupid reasons. His crap excuses.

Bitterness floods me, and I sigh in relief. That's the insulation I need. It brings my anger to the surface. I wrap it around me like iron and take solace in the aggressive simmer.

I can do this.

I pull open the door and stride in. Before I even see him, I can feel him watching me. I resist looking for him because that's what I want to do, and one thing I've learned with Ethan Holt is to push down my natural instincts.

Following my gut is how things got screwed up between us. It told me I could have something from him, when in fact he offered me nothing.

I head over to the production desk where our director, Marco Fiori, is having a discussion with our producers, Ava and Saul Weinstein. Standing next to them is a familiar face—our stage manager, Ethan's sister, Elissa.

Ethan and Elissa are a package deal. He has it written into his contracts that she runs all of the shows he works on, which baffles me, considering they fight like cat and dog.

I'd say that Elissa is his security blanket, but of course, why would he need one? He doesn't need anyone or anything, right? He's untouchable.

He's freaking Teflon.

Elissa gestures to a scale model of the set we'll be using, as she talks about the stage mechanics.

The producers listen and nod.

I have no issue with Elissa. She's a fantastic stage manager, and we've worked together before. 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.

They look up as I approach.

"I know, I know," I say as I drop my bag onto a chair. "I'm sorry."

"It's fine, cara," Marco says. "We're still talking production details.

Calm down, get a coffee. We'll get started soon."

"Cool." I dig in my bag for my rehearsal supplies.

"Hey, you," Elissa says, and smiles warmly.

"Hey, Lissa."

For a moment, my anger is tempered by a flood of nostalgia, and I realize just how much I've missed her. She's so different from her brother. Short to his tall. Rounded to his angular. Even their coloring is different. Blond and straight versus dark and chaotic. And yet, seeing her again reminds me why we haven't spoken for years. I'll always associate her with him. Too many bad memories.

As I pull out my water bottle, my bag slips off the seat and flops loudly onto the floor. Everyone stops to stare. I grind my teeth when I hear a low chuckle.

Screw you, Ethan. Not even going to look at you.

I pick up my bag and throw it back on the chair.

The chuckle happens again, and I swear to the Almighty God of Justifiable Homicide, I'm going to murder him with my bare hands.

Although he's on the other side of the room, he might as well be right next to me, because his voice vibrates through to my bones.

I need a cigarette.

I glance over at Marco, resplendent in his cravat as he flamboyantly describes the play. This is all his fault. He's the one who wanted Holt and me to do this project. I convinced myself it would be a great career move, but in reality it's going to be the last show I ever do, because if the chuckling idiot in the corner doesn't shut up, I'm going to go on a murderous rampage any second and be put away for life.

Mercifully, the chuckle stops, but I can still feel his gaze searing my skin.

I ignore it and rummage through my bag. I have my cigarettes, but my lighter is MIA. I seriously need to clean this sucker out. Jesus, is there anything I don't have in here? Gum, tissues, makeup, pain-killers, old movie tickets, small bottle of perfume, tampons, keys, a one-legged WWF action figure—what the hell?

"Excuse me, Miss Taylor?"

I look up to see a cute African American boy holding out what smells suspiciously like my favorite green bean macchiato.

"Wow, you look stressed," he says, with just the right amount of concern to prevent me from ripping off his ears with my teeth. "I'm Cody. The production intern. Coffee?"

"Hey, Cody," I say while eyeing the cardboard cup. "Whatcha got there, sport?"

"A double-shot green bean macchiato with mocha and extra cream."

I nod, impressed. "That's what I figured. It's my favorite."

"I know. I made sure to familiarize myself with the likes and dislikes of yourself and Mr. Holt, so I could anticipate your needs and facilitate an enjoyable rehearsal environment."

An enjoyable rehearsal environment? With me and Holt? Oh, you poor, deluded child.

I take the coffee from him and sniff it while I continue digging in the Tardis of Crap. "Is that a fact?"

Where the fuck is my lighter?

"Yes, ma'am." He pulls a lighter out of his pocket and hands it to me with a crazy-cute smile.

I sigh and drop my head back.

Sweet Jesus, the boy has been sent from God Himself.

I take the lighter and resist the urge to hug him. Tristan says I can be a little too touchy-feely. Actually, his term is touchy-fucky but I modify it to make myself feel better.

I smile at the kid instead. "Cody, I hope you don't take this the wrong way, because I know we've only just met, but ... I think I love you."

He chuckles and lowers his head. "If you want to duck outside, I'll come get you when they're ready to start."

If he didn't look like he was sixteen, I'd probably kiss him. With tongue.

"You're a rock star, Cody."

I see a dark shape in my peripheral vision, slouching in a chair on the opposite side of the room, so I draw my shoulders back and strut like I don't give a crap.

The heat of his gaze follows me until I hit the stairwell, then I just go numb.

I tell myself I don't miss the burn.

The stairs are steep and dark and lead to an alley behind the theater. Before the door even closes behind me, I have a lit cigarette in my mouth. As I lean against the cool bricks, I inhale and look up at the thin finger of sky visible between the buildings. The nicotine does little to calm my nerves. Pretty sure nothing short of hospital-grade sedatives is going to help today.

I finish my cigarette and head back to the stage door, but before I can grab the handle, it opens, and the trigger for all my anger issues steps out.

His dark jeans hug him in ways I really shouldn't be noticing.

His eyes are the same as I remember. Pale blue, mesmerizing. Dark, thick lashes. Intensity to burn.

Everything else, however ...

Oh, Lord, I'd forgotten. I'd made myself forget.

Even now, he's the most handsome man I've ever seen. No, that's not right. Handsome doesn't do him justice. Soap actors are handsome, but in a completely predictable, bland way. Holt is ... captivating. Like a rare, exotic panther: equal parts beauty and power. Enigmatic without even trying.

I hate how good he looks.

Strong, furrowed brows. Sharp jaw. Lips that are full enough to be pretty, but in the context of his other features seem powerfully masculine.

His dark hair is shorter than it was when I last saw him, and it makes him seem more mature. And taller, if that's possible.

He's always towered over me. Six foot three to my five foot five. And going by the width of his shoulders, he's been working out since college. Not a huge amount, but enough for me to see clear muscle definition beneath his dark T-shirt.

Blood rushes to my cheeks, and I want to slap myself for the reaction.

Trust him to show up looking more attractive than ever. Douche.

"Hi," he says, like I haven't spent the last three years dreaming of punching him in his gorgeous bastard face.

"Hello, Ethan."

He stares at me, and, as usual, I feel the vibration of him in the marrow of my bones.

"You look good, Cassie."

"You, too."

"Your hair is shorter."

"Yours, too."

He takes a step forward, and I hate the way he looks at me. Appraising and approving. Hungry. It draws me in against my will, like he's flypaper, and everything inside me is buzzing and trying to wrench itself free.

"It's been a long time," he says.

"Really? I hadn't noticed." I'm trying to sound bored out of my mind. I don't want him to know what he's doing to me. He doesn't deserve this reaction. More importantly, neither do I.

"How've you been?" he asks.

"I've been fine." Automatic response. It means nothing. I've been anything but fine.

His gaze stays on me, and I really want to be somewhere else, because right now he looks like he used to, and it hurts to remember.

"And you?" I ask with white-knuckle politeness. "How have you been?" "I'm ... okay."

There's something in his tone. Something buried. He's left just enough of it poking through to make me curious, but I don't want to dig to find out more, because I know that's what he wants.

"Wow, that's awesome, Ethan," I say with just the right amount of perky to piss him off. "Good to hear."

He looks at the ground and runs his hand through his hair. His posture tenses into the familiar form of the jackass I know so well.

"Well, there it is," he says. "Three years, and that's all you have to say to me. Of course."

My stomach rolls.

No, asshole, that's not all I have to say, but what's the point? It's all been said before, and talking in circles isn't my idea of a good time.

"Yep, that's it," I say cheerily, and push past him. I fling the door open and clomp down the stairs, ignoring the tingle on my skin where we touched.

There's a muffled "Fuck" before I hear him hurrying after me. I try to outrun him, but he grabs my arm before we reach the bottom.

"Cassie, wait."

He turns me to face him, and I expect him to press against me. To ruin me with his skin and smell like he has so many times before. But he doesn't.

He just stands there, and all the air in the narrow, dark stairwell is as thick as cotton. I feel claustrophobic, but I won't let him see.

No weakness.

He taught me that.

"Listen, Cassie," he says, and I hate that I've missed hearing him say my name so damn much. "Do you think we could just put all our bullshit behind us and start again? I really want to. I thought you might, too."

His expression is full of sincerity, but I've seen it before. Every time I trusted it, I ended up getting my heart ripped out.

"You want to start again?" I say. "Oh, sure. No problem. Why didn't I think of that?"

"It doesn't have to be like this."

The implication is that I'm being unreasonable. If I weren't so angry, I'd laugh.

"Then what should it be like, huh?" I ask, words like acid. "Please, tell me. After all, you're the one who always makes decisions about our relationship. How do you want to play it this time? Friends? Fuck buddies? Enemies? Oh, wait, I know. Why don't you play the piece of shit who broke my heart, and I'll be the woman who doesn't want anything to do with him outside the rehearsal room? How would that be?"

His jaw tightens. He's angry.

Good.

I can deal with angry.

He rubs his eyes and exhales. I expect him to yell, but he doesn't. Instead, he says in a quiet voice, "None of what I said in my e-mails meant anything to you, did it? I thought we might at least be able to talk about what happened. Did you even read them?"

"Of course I read them," I say. "I just didn't believe them. I mean, there's only so many times I can swallow bullshit before I despise the taste. What's the phrase? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice—"

"I'm not fooling you this time. Or myself. In the past, I did what I needed to, for both of us."

"Are you kidding me? Do you actually expect me to thank you for what you did?"

"No," he says, voice brimming with frustration. "Of course not. I just want to ..."

"You want another chance to ruin me? How stupid do you think I am?"

He shakes his head. "I want things to be different. If you want me to apologize, I'll do it until I lose my fucking voice. I just want things to be right between us. Talk to me. Help me fix this."

"You can't."

"Cassie—"

"No, Ethan! Not this time. Not ever again."

He leans forward. He's close. Too close. He smells just like he used to, and I can't think. I want to shove him away so I can clear my head. Or beat him with my fists until he understands I haven't been truly happy for years, and it's all his fault. I want to do so many things, but all I do is stand there, hating how powerless he can still make me feel.

His breathing is just as uneven as mine. His body's just as tense. Even after everything we've been through, our attraction still tortures us. Just like old times.

Thank God the door at the bottom of the stairs opens. I look over to see Cody staring up at us with a confused expression.

"Mr. Holt? Ms. Taylor? Is everything okay?"

Holt steps away from me and rakes his fingers through his hair.

I exhale a ragged, shallow breath. "Everything's fine, Cody. All good."

"Okay, then," he says brightly. "Just letting you know we're about to start."

He disappears, and it's just Ethan and me again. Oh, and the shitload of baggage we carry.

"We're here to do a job," I say, my voice hard. "Let's just get it done."

His brows furrow and his jaw tightens, and for a second I think he's not going to let it go, but he says, "If that's what you really want."

I push down a vague sense of disappointment. "It is."

He nods, and without saying another word, heads downstairs and out the door.

I take a moment to compose myself. My face is hot, my heart is pounding, and I almost laugh when I think how he already has me tied in knots, and we haven't even started rehearsals.

The next four weeks are going to suck harder than a black hole.

I straighten myself up and head back into the rehearsal room.

By the time I grab my script and a water, there's only one chair left at the production table, and naturally, it's beside Holt. I drag it as far from him as I can and sink into the uncomfortable plastic.

"Everything okay?" Marco raises his eyebrows.

"Yep. Fine," I say with a smile, and it's like I'm back in the first year of drama school, saying what others want to hear so they'll be happy even if I'm not.

Playing my role.

"Then let's start at the beginning, shall we?" Marco says. There's a rustling of paper as everyone opens their scripts.

What a great idea. All good stories need to start somewhere.

Why should this one be any different?

CHAPTER 2

IN THE BEGINNING


Present Day
New York City
The Diary of Cassandra Taylor


Dear Diary,

Tristan has suggested I use you to help chronicle the events in my life that led me to being the maladjusted individual I am today. He wants me to look at some of the unhealthy relationships that have made me moody and emotionally unavailable, so I thought I'd start with the jackpot of all my regrets:

Ethan Holt.

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


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven. Copyright © 2014 Leisa Rayven. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Griffin.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Title Page,
Copyright Notice,
Dedication,
Epigraph,
1. Together Again, Too Soon,
2. In the Beginning,
3. Back to Before,
4. Making the First Move,
5. Birthday Wishes,
6. Courageous Casting,
7. Point of No Return,
8. Emails and Zen,
9. Faking It,
10. Connection,
11. Stage Fright,
12. New Roles,
13. Not Caring,
14. Push and Pull,
15. Green-eyed Monster,
16. Denial,
17. Sick & Tired,
18. Sure Bet,
19. New York, New York,
20. Desperation,
21. Epiphany,
Teaser,
Acknowledgments,
Praise for the Author,
About the Author,
Copyright,

Customer Reviews

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Bad Romeo 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
bluesome_books More than 1 year ago
There used to be a time when books drew me in on a regular basis and there was never a book I started that I did not finish. That time is so far gone in the past that I've felt like I have spent more time skimming lately than actually reading. Until this book. I started reading this morning and my Nook has not left my hand since. I took it into the bathroom while I was getting ready for work. I rescheduled a client so I could stay home longer. It stayed in my hands so I could read at traffic lights. It was on my lap while I was supposed to be working (sorry, boss!) and then I rushed home, begged my family for quiet time, and didn't come up for air until it was finished.  I loved this book so much that when I realized there was a cliffhanger... I didn't roll my eyes. I didn't toss it aside. I didn't curse the author for trying to prolong a story and then permanently write her off. No. Instead I felt suddenly desperate and in shock to find out that I have to wait MONTHS to find out WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. And you know what? I love it. This author actually managed to write a book that made me... care. Ending it felt like that moment where you're dropping your best friends off at the airport, knowing you won't see them again for awhile. That, in and of itself, feels like a miraculous feat these days. I haven't fallen so into two characters since Colleen Hoover's Will and Lake.  P.S. In case you actually wanted to know something ABOUT the book... and not just my reaction to reading it... just know that it's a really great story. She does what many other authors have tried to do... and that is build a connection between two characters that you FEEL.... she does, as others have said, switch back and forth between past and present. But, honestly, I felt like she did this seamlessly and the timing of it was perfection and really added to the story. I laughed out loud so often (which really - I'm not prone to do when reading) that I found myself going back and rereading some of the most funny parts before I could move on... because they were just. that. funny.    Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to enter into an advanced stage of denial so April doesn't seem nearly as far away.  
CoffeeBreakandaGoodBook More than 1 year ago
Cassie is very sheltered by her parents. But, she convinces them to allow her to try out for a performing arts school and to their surprise, she is accepted. Cassie loves acting because is excited to attend this new school. Ethan is full of so many layers. But, he is broken and does not allow anyone in. Until Cassie. He is surprised and scared that he shares so much with her and allows her to see the real him. Cassie is intensely in love with him in return. However, Ethan breaks her heart. I fully expected this to be a cheesy teen love story, but it is so much better than that! The writing is wonderful and the complexity of Ethan and Cassie’s love is so much more than expected. This is not just another love story, but a deep look into this couple’s emotions and how each affects the other.  Well done! I received a complimentary copy of this book for review. 
asgoodrich More than 1 year ago
Ms. Rayven I am impressed. When I decided to read this book based on the blurb, I knew it would either be a really good read or a total bore with no middle ground. Once I started reading Bad Romeo, I began to worry that it wasn’t going to work for me. Yes the tension between Cassie and Ethan is palpable from the first chapter and the author gave me just enough that I had to know where things went wrong. What did Ethan do that broke Cassie’s heart? How did he betray her? And then we get to chapter two and it’s presented in a diary-style format. I actually groaned out loud because I rarely enjoy books written like a diary. And yet, it was perfect as Ms. Rayven used Cassie’s diary entries as segues to scenes from Cassie’s past with Ethan.  Because the book is told from Cassie’s point of view, I quickly found myself sucked into her story as the author weaves the telling of the past with the present. Rather than finding her insecurities and conflicting emotions annoying, I was sympathetic to Cassie’s plight. As someone who grew up as a relatively sheltered child, I understood her need to please and fit in with her classmates. I felt her anxieties as she tried to find her place in school, in a new city, in a new state, far, far away from her friends and family. And I totally got being overwhelmed in the face of all the beauty that was Ethan. As much as I was able to relate to Cassie’s character, I also found myself in awe of her acting because I am one of those people that their instructor referenced as being terrified of public speaking. So I was fascinated by their classes, their rehearsals, their rituals as they prepared to take the stage, and especially how Cassie “became” her character because it was easier to be someone else than to be herself (because she didn’t know who she was). With the manner in which Bad Romeo jumps back and forth between past and present, the emotional rollercoaster takes some rather abrupt turns and drops, but somehow they work in this book – at least they did for me. I loved the chemistry between Cassie and Ethan and how it translated both on stage and in the bedroom. The “supporting cast” of characters were a motley crew of personalities that I found entertaining in their own right. The only thing I didn’t like about Bad Romeo was the ending. Seriously?!?!? I am beyond relieved that I already have Broken Juliet queued up on my Kindle to read next because that was not nice at all Ms. Rayven. I will give you props for hooking me completely, but that was a cruel way to leave your readers hanging. And now on to Act II.  I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.  Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!
Lisa_Loves_Literature More than 1 year ago
So, I finally decided to just use my last credit with Audible to buy this one, since I have the sequel in paperback, but didn't know when I'd get the first one. Plus, at the time, I thought that I might be meeting the author at Book Bonanza this summer. However she is no longer attending, which sucks because I NEED to tell her how much this book got me crying, both sad tears and happy tears. And then the cliffhanger! Gah! I will compare it to the same feeling I had after one of K. Bromberg's cliffhangers. As I listened to this, I made a lot of notes whenever I updated my status on Goodreads. I have to point out that at first I was unsure whether I would like the book because the main character smoked. I know, that's silly, but I am so not a smoker, and so anti-cigarette, that is hard for me to connect to a character that is a smoker. Fortunately the way the author handled it, and didn't make it a huge part of the story, worked in her favor for me to finish. I loved Cassie's thoughts on being a virgin. So much of them reminded me of my younger days, when I started college, as well as what I consider my current born-again V-card status. I have all those same feelings, just haven't been able to put them into the words quite as perfectly as this book does. By halfway through the book I was at the point of berating myself for waiting so long to finally pick it up and read it. I needed to know why Ethan was the way he was about relationships, and when we finally find out the basic reason why, it does make sense. Now I need to figure out where I put my copy of book 2 so I can find out what happens next. Although the rush to burn through it is a little on hold since the author won't be there this summer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I never heard of this author but I bought a book wormbox. Inside the bookworm box was this book. I read the back and was very excited to read it! The story is so good. I love the way its written with going from present to past. I just started the second book broken juliet and I'm loving it. Its hard to put down.
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CrystalMarie218 More than 1 year ago
THIS is exactly the kind of romance I live to read. Loved the tension, the chemistry, the plot…loved it all. Cassie is a stage actress. She gets the lead in a Broadway play, which is awesome. The one problem is that it’s opposite the only man she ever loved, and the one man who broke her heart. Ethan was her lover in college all those years ago, and now they have to work together, each bringing their own baggage to the table. For Cassie, it’s that she still harbors resentment for getting her heart broken and for Ethan it’s that Cassie is his biggest regret. Ethan seeks to redeem himself and Cassie seeks to protect her heart. Who will succeed? First, the history between Cassie and Ethan is DEEP. She was a good girl, he was a bad boy and they came together for a relatively short, but explosive time. The number one thing I look for in books like this is the chemistry and build up between the H/h and this book had it in spades. Though the chemistry would mean nothing if it wasn’t written well and I really felt captivated and entranced by this author’s writing style. Cassie and Ethan’s relationship was intense and emotional, and I felt every bit of it. Perfection, seriously. Overall, I think this is one of the better books I’ve read this year. I would have included it in my “best of 2014” list if I could have! The writing and the characters are all done so well. The way the story is told through a series of flashbacks spliced together with the present day really adds dimension to the story. It was awesome. Can’t wait to get my hands on the next book! 5 stars. Reviewed by Sara Squared for Crystal’s Many Reviewers *Copy Provided for review*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful story! Funny! Sexy! Can't wait for the sequel to come out.
KatsNook More than 1 year ago
Bad Romeo is a story about young love, heartbreak and second chances.  I did like the story but it was difficult reading the first half of the book.   Cassie Taylor and Ethan Holt first meeting at the performing arts college auditions is unforgettable. They instantly clash but there is an intense chemistry between them.  Ethan is the dark bad boy who doesn’t believe he is worthy of anyone caring for him.  Cassie is the naïve smalltown girl who is afraid to show her true self because of her fear of disappointing others.  As the new school year begins Cassie and Ethan continue to argue but with playful teasing, and underneath it all they are both avoiding the attraction. When they are cast as the lead roles for Romeo and Juliet it becomes apparent to themselves and everyone the intense feelings they have for each other.  But just like the characters in the play Cassie and Ethan are destined for doom, just as Ethan warned her. I was captivated with the story of Bad Romeo but I was disappointed in the direction it went.  I thought the pace of the story was too slow.  Bad Romeo alternates between the present time and flashbacks to their time together in college. I thought the switch between timeframes was good but there were just too many.  Just when the story was on the brink of an exciting scene the author would switch to another time. This left me on the edge of my seat but after a while the constant going back and forth was frustrating.  By the time I hit 57% of the book I was tempted to stop reading because there wasn’t enough of the story for me to connect with the characters.  The present time alludes to the major breakup but the build up for it is really slow.  But I am glad I stuck with this because by the time I hit 70% of the book everything finally made sense. I’m not going to give any details but this is when I finally understood more about Ethan. From here on the story moves faster and grows even more intense.  And the final chapter was so emotional I am so glad I didn’t miss this.   Despite the slow pace I am looking forward to the next book, Broken Juliet. I recommend Bad Romeo to readers who love young romance that is complicated and filled with drama.
Under_The_Covers_BookBlog More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars Reviewed by Francesca and posted at Under The Covers Book Blog I will be completely honest, I was sold on this when I read the blurb.  It sounded so interesting I couldn’t pass it up.  What I quickly found was the type of new adult that can easily get on my nerves, though.  I still pushed through because a spark of interest was lit. BAD ROMEO goes back and forth in time telling us the story of Cassie and Ethan.  They met in acting school, had what you can assume to be a turbulent past, and in present day have to work together for a play.  Cassie wants nothing to do with Ethan now, and Ethan wants her back. This book had plenty of moments I enjoyed and quite a few that were a bit frustrating.  The chemistry was one of those good moments.  It keeps this story riding on a high.  There’s plenty of sexual tension, and frustration.  This was one of my favorite things because it doesn’t rush to that sexual finish line.  The build up is very enjoyable. But I have to complain about something that annoys me in general.  And this is a personal preference that I’ve complained about before.  The hero that thinks he’s so guilty for something that happened in his past that he could never be good enough to another woman.  When that thinking happens, I expect a good backstory.  And I feel like the one in this book was very weak.  It made no sense that he would feel that way to me. All that aside, if you like some anger and angst with a lot of sexual tension, then you will enjoy BAD ROMEO.  A lot.  That’s the core of this book.  And this is not a story that ends in book 1.  Yes, there’s a cliffhanger and you will have to read the next one.  I know I will because now I have to know how this all ends. *ARC provided by publisher
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It took me a min to get into it, but knce i did I was hooked!!! Can't wait till the next one!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was kind of in a book rut I guess you would call it. The last two books I read were just bad. I hated how one ended and couldn't finish the other. Then this book was suggested to me on Goodreads and I said why not. I am so glad I took the time to read this book. I just really needed something like this. A book I couldn't put down and this was that book. I am so excited to see how Ethan and Cassie's story will end!!
Shanrock19 More than 1 year ago
What!? It's over! Ah, man I need more ending! But despite the ending, I still loved this book! This book has spice and heat, and heart and soul. The tension the author created between the main characters was very intense in the most awesome way. I like the present story and the glimpses into the past; it really built up the characters. I almost didn't like Cassie, but I never got to that point because her humor and honesty with herself was refreshing, and all I could feel for her was understanding. She is trying to cope with living without a piece of her. Ethan was excellently written and he had depths to him that added to the enjoyment of reading about him and all he goes through to come to terms with himself. This story is exceptionally sweet and heartbreaking and full of so much emotion. I will definitely be looking into more books by Leisa Rayven in the future! Superb Read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book, kept my attention throughout. Read in one night. Wish it wouldn't be part of series though.
SezjbSB More than 1 year ago
I read many great books last year, it was just my luck that the very last book that I read in 2014 was one of my favorite reads all year long. From the very first page I was enthralled, Bad Romeo is new adult contemporary romance at its best: the bad boy, a virginal good girl, an extremely enjoyable story and the inevitable plotline of any new adult book featuring a main character with a hurdle to overcome before the hero and heroine can find their happily ever afters. Cassie is reunited with ex-boyfriend Ethan in a new play on a Broadway, after a disastrous relationship that broke both their hearts, Cassie is hesitant about seeing Ethan again, she is shocked when Ethan admits to her that he wants her back and that he won't take no for an answer. Interspersed throughout are flashbacks to their past, of the first time they met, their friendship and eventually their relationship leading to the end of their time as a couple. The dialogue and witty banter between the two leads made for such a wonderfully entertaining, amusing and engaging novel. I'm eager to read the next book to see what becomes of Cassie and Ethan's relationship. This was such a well written debut novel, highly recommended.
sugarpine721 More than 1 year ago
Absolutely, engrossing story!!! I could not put pit down. The characters are rich and beautifully developed. There are lots of serious emotions but they are sprinkled with moments that will just make you laugh out loud. I loved every minute and cannot wait for Broken Juliet to be released. What a GREAT first novel!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favrorite books in long time! Had everything in it that I was looking for! I highly recommend it and am super excited for th next book! "Broken Juliet!" I will definately continue to read books by this author! Lots of angsty love an I especially enjoyed the past tense story of their relationship! Lots of fun! You won't e dissapointed!!!! Must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What i loved about this book... EVERYTHING. Leisa Rayven weaves you from the past to present in a flawless fashion. Two former lovers meet again, but it's in the past where their story lies and what a story. Wow! One filled with humor, a delicious and abundant amount of sexual tension, and heart-tugging angst. I loved Cassie. She was a young woman I could really relate too. The story she told with her raw and revealing internal dialogue made the book a five star winner for me. Can't wait for the follow-up of Broken Juliet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago