Dec 23

Bad Romeo by Leisa Raven Review


5 Smooches

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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.


“I’ve never had someone rub me the wrong way so intensely before. If I’m being completely honest, I kind of like the spark.”

OMG! I don’t even know where to start with this book. Bad Romeo is New Adult/ Contemporary GOLD! I put it in both categories because the chapters alternate between their time together in college and the present day years later. The story focuses on Cassie and Holt who have one of the most beautifully complicated relationships I have had the pleasure of reading.

“I can’t believe one kiss has turned my world upside down. I used to think I wanted him, but now what I’m feeling isn’t even in the same universe as want. It’s compulsion. Powerful and hungry. I wish I could go back to the vague yearning I used to feel.”

Holt is my kind of book boyfriend. He is equal parts sexy, mean and damaged. He is closed off and keeps to himself never letting anyone close. He uses sarcasm and wit to keep everyone at bay and doesn’t mind saying what he feels despite how it might make others feel. To be fair if I met him in real life he would piss me off. His anger at life has made him cold and lonely and all of this has him coming off as an ass. Then he meets Cassie. Cassie doesn’t change him, she accepts him, is drawn to him, loves him.

“I push him away. He can’t kiss me like that and say my name with that tone, and completely own me without my fucking permission.”

Cassie and Holt meet at auditions for The Grove, a top acting academy in New York. When paired up during auditions the natural chemistry between the two is evident to everyone around and when they both get accepted Cassie sort of forces her friendship on Holt who is constantly doing his best to push her away even though he is clearly very aware of their connection. When the two are paired up as the leads in the school play, Romeo and Juliet their draw to each other quickly cannot be denied.

“It can’t be natural for one man to be so infuriatingly sexy. Maybe he’s made a pact with the devil. See, that I could understand. He sold his soul to Lucifer in return for sexual powers over frustrated virgins. It would explain a lot.”

Flash forward to the present day and after years of not talking because Holt has so deeply hurt Cassie in some way that these two with their intense connection have not seen or talked. Now all of a sudden they are once again paired up in a play but this time on Broadway and as much as she wants to Cassie cannot walk away from this role  . . .or Holt. Most of the story in the present day has to do with these two trying to see if they can work past their numerous issues and if Cassie can grow past the deep hurt that Holt has caused her deep in her soul.

“Dear Cassandra, sometimes it’s not about trying to fix something that’s broken. Sometimes it’s about starting again and building something new, Something better.”

There are so many aspects of this story that pulled me in. The entire part in the past was gloriously funny, exciting and endearing. Watching these two youthful somewhat outcast youths find each other and fall in love had my heart swelling and my stomach hurting from laughing so hard. Cassie is a desperate virgin who is hopelessly horny and very much wants Holt to help her get rid of her virginity. This made for so many great one-liners my kindle was full of high-lighted potions.

“I bet if he entered his penis in a competition, it would win “Best in Show: and he could walk a giant blue ribbon stuck to his crotch.”

The part of the story that takes place in the present was angsty and at times gut-wrenching. Cassie has been scarred by the damage Holt caused when he walked out of her life that she is no longer the carefree girl she was when we met her. She uses men and sex to drone out the pain in her heart he caused and hearing her pain had me so worked up all I wanted was for her to find a way to love again.

 “As he watches me, he stands a little taller. His chest rises and falls in a deep sigh. Oh yeah. He totally wants to orgasm me. He wants to orgasm the hell outta me. Maybe he’ll use his fingers this time. Please, God let him use his hot-assed fingers.”

Holt for his part has grown and changed too. The way he responds to Cassie now and how he feels shows that he is not the same selfish man he was when he was with her at The Grove. He wants to prove to her that he is different now and capable of getting close to another but the damage done might be too deep.

“That look, That belongs to me. The way your mouth drops open. Your eyelids flutter. That look is all mine.”

The amount of things I loved about Bad Romeo are vast including the plot, the characters, the youthful wit but what stands out among everything for me was Leisa Raven’s way with words. She tells a  beautiful story and she does it with an elegant grace that even when you are reading about something as silly as a young Cassie being addicted to internet porn it doesn’t feel cheesy or over the top at all. The worst part of this story is that I have to wait till April to get my hands on Broken Juliet. I cannot wait to see if after all the work these two put into working through their issues if they can get the HEA they very much deserve.


1 comment

  1. Leisa Rayven

    Thank you so much for your kind words, Miranda! I’m beyond thrilled you enjoyed it, and can’t thank you enough for taking the time to review. I hope you have a fantastic holiday season!

    L x

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