Release Launch/Review Tour: Broken Juliet: Leisa Rayven

Broken Juliet (The Starcrossed Series #2)
Leisa Rayven
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Expected April 28, 2015

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How do you fix a love that’s been broken beyond repair?

For years, Cassie Taylor tried to forget about Ethan Holt. He was the one great love of her life, and when he failed to return her love, a part of her died forever. Or so she thought. Now she and Ethan are sharing a Broadway stage, and he’s determined to win her back. Claiming to be a changed man, he’s finally able to say all the things she needed to hear years ago, but can she believe him? What makes this time different from all his other broken promises?

Ethan knows he can’t change their tumultuous past, but if he’s going to have any chance of being with the woman he loves, he’ll need to convince Cassie that her future belongs with him. 

Don’t miss this stunning conclusion to the unforgettable love story that captivated over two million fans online.
Graphics are from Leisa Rayven's Facebook page

I believe Ethan wants to repair me. Ironic, considering he was the one who broke me in the first place.

At the end of Bad Romeo, Ethan had bared his soul asking Cassie for another chance. He finally opened himself up to vulnerability. But she is guarded, fearful and has anxiety and trust issues. Basically her present emotions mimic his past ones. A complete role reversal where he is begging for a chance, but she is wary and guarded. He constantly disappointed her,  destroyed her, and she has had years to hate him to hide her true feelings of loss.

"One more chance is all I need to prove how different we can be, Cassie. Please. I know second chances are hard to come by and here I am asking for a third, but...f***, I need you. And despite everything, you need me, too. Just say yes. Please."

In order to prove he is now a better man he will have to open himself up to vulnerability not only about his feelings now, but also those from their past that ruined them. He will have to rebuild her trust and calm her anxiety. They have to face the demons of their past and slay them together.

Am I still terrified of you hurting me? Of Course. Probably the same way you're terrified I'll hurt you. But I'm brave enough to know it's absolutely worth the risk. Let me help you be brave.

He has come a long way in healing knowing what he wants and needs. I really love the new improved Ethan. He still has the intensity and charisma, but it is more positive and confident. He is not afraid to open up about his past and we get to understand more of the emotions and fears that crippled him and made him push her away. But we can also see how changed and serious he is now. He is still hot and sexy, but now is also sweet, thoughtful, determined, patient, and totally ready to fight for her love. A far cry from the troubled, locked-down, impulsive young man he used to be. He has had time to deal with his own issues and try to move forward.

But her issues were caused by him so he has his work cut out for him. He has broken promises to her before and she is wary, still bitter, and scared of being duped and hurt again. At the same time he is the one man that has always brought passion and intense feelings to her life.

This man represents so many things to me. He was my first true friend. My first love. First lover. The master of more pleasure than I knew existed and the architect of more heartache than I thought I could endure. It seems almost impossible to translate all of those men into the one he wants to be. The one who just wants to be a single thing to me. Mine. 

It is told in Cassie's point of view in present and past, but also in Ethan's point of view through past journal entries and a present email.  The present and past are intermixed and we see them coming together and breaking apart a few times in the past. She gets to read what Ethan was really feeling during their past, while he tries to show his sincerity in the present and future. Their lives and art are intertwined with acting in college and the present that sometimes brings them closer together and other times pushes them farther apart. But now she has to face all of  their past in order to move on. This is her turn to come to terms with it and decide if he is worth taking the risk one more time.

"The ultimate tragedy is that ever since you met, you've been completely nutso in love with each other and wasted too much time being stubborn a**es about denying it." (Tristan)

Bad Romeo and Broken Juliet together make an epic, sweeping love story spanning 6 years, countless tears, tremendous pain, and a connection and true soul-deep love that could be damaged but not completely broken forever. This one  still had humor, drama, tension, and angst, but turned up the steam and passion. The characters had depth and were likable despite their faults, and the plot was multi-layered and intricately woven together with past and present. They both had a lot of personal baggage and issues to overcome and their journey was twisted and challenging, but Cassie and Ethan were a passionate, intense, emotional couple that have buried themselves into my heart. 

The side characters were all back and added comic relief, drama and support: his sister Elissa, her past and present room mates Ruby and Tristan, and their college crowd Jack, Connor, Lucas, Aiyah, Miranda, and Zoe. Elissa will be the subject of the next story in this series so hopefully we will get to visit Ethan and Cassie more in the future.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. Quotes are from ARC and subject to change.

Broken Juliet picks up where Bad Romeo leaves off. Ethan and Cassie are working together in the present, but things are tense between them. Because 6 years before, Ethan broke Cassie's heart. Now they have to work together, and are fighting the pull that attracts them. In the time since college, Ethan has done a lot of changing, no longer afraid of his feelings towards Cassie or her feelings about him. This time, it is Cassie with all the hangups.

It took me longer to get into this book than it did the first, but I think that was just where my head was at rather than the book itself. Once I was able to dig in and get into the meat of the story, I loved the pace and the drama surrounding these two.

There is plenty of angst and drama as Cassie and Ethan navigate their history and their present. The story is told only through Cassie's point of view, however Ethan's inner thoughts are revealed in certain scenes through his journals. Only knowing Cassie’s perspective means Ethan’s actions are hard to believe because of his track record. And watching these two try to figure each other out pulled every heart-string.

It was almost as if these two swapped personalities between college and the present. Where college Ethan is closed up, scared, and distant, in the present it is Cassie who must figure out how to get her head on straight. Watching them step into these alternate roles was both heartbreaking and informative. Ethan’s moves from Bad Romeo made so much more sense as Cassie contemplated similar moves.

I love the side characters in these stories. Ethan’s sister, Elissa will be the focus of the next book in the series and I can’t wait to see what she has going on. Cassie’s roommates, Ruby and Tristan are back with the support and humor they brought in the first book, as are their other college friends and present-day co-workers.

These two books together are such a dynamic duo. Characters facing challenges, life changing decisions, and the risks that go along with relationships. Separately, these books are full of drama, but together they tell an emotional story full of a wide range of moments and experiences that make up one star-crossed love story.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 
Bad Romeo (The Starcrossed Series #1)
Leisa Rayven
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Buy Amazon/B&N/iTunes/Kobo
Our 4.5 to 5 star reviews

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.

Leisa Rayven Website/Facebook/Twitter
Writing has always been a passion for Leisa, and even though she originally intended to be an actress, it wasn’t long into her time at drama school that she began writing plays.

Those plays were bad. Very bad. Well, her friends thought they were good, but that’s because they were always cast in them and any opportunity to be on stage was met with an obnoxious amount of enthusiasm.

Since then, she’s honed her craft, and several of her plays have been produced and toured throughout Australia.

These days, playwriting has given way to fiction writing, and Leisa’s debut novel, BAD ROMEO, will be available in a worldwide release through Macmillan Publishing in December 2014.

Leisa lives in Australia with her husband, two little boys, three cats, and a kangaroo named Howard.

(Howard may or may not be her imaginary marsupial friend. Everyone should have one.)


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