ARC Review: Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven + Cover Reveal: Broken Juliet

Bad Romeo (Starcrossed, #1) Publication Date: December 23, 2014
Book 1 of the Starcrossed Series


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.

My Review: ★★★★ 4 stars 

When I first saw this book on NetGalley, I thought this might be a fun, quick read that I can sneak in during breaks at work or whatever it is I'm doing for the day. And it really is! If it weren't for my madly hectic work and real life schedule, I would have been done with this in two days. Although having frequent and long breaks tends to reduce my overall enjoyment of a book, my experience with BAD ROMEO was still great all in all. This book was a comfort, to be honest. When I was starting to feel too stressed at work, I knew that I only need to pick this up for even just a while I'd have a really good laugh for the next 15 minutes.

What I loved the most about BAD ROMEO is the tone of the narration. It was very pleasant to read! It's in Cassie's POV and she's this quirky character with a really witty and funny mind that reminds me a lot of Tara Sivec. Hats off to Leisa Rayven for her ability to throw out words like penis and vagina in such a candid and humorous way! I did not cringe during those mentions, just laughed and giggled all the while. Her humor is not even dirty or lewd. It's more of an in-your-face type that I imagined the characters delivering penis and vagina lines in a poker, unfazed face. It's doubly funny the way I imagined it anyway!

So back to Cassie. I love that she's not painted as this meek, innocent girl who shies away from intimacy. She's actually looking forward to it (and it was so hilarious reading her thoughts and diary entries on the matter!) but not once did she come across as a tramp. This is the first time I've encountered a virgin heroine who's very honest about how she's looking forward to her first time and hoping that it won't suck. And she's being charming all the while, too!
Taylor, you're the most forward virgin I've ever met. Most are frightened of the things lurking inside men's pants.

Leisa R. really did very well with Cassandra. She was so real. I could totally relate to her humor and the way she responds to the things happening around her. The emotional push and pull Ethan's got her tangled with? It's getting tiring man, tell me what you're really on about and let's stop dancing around each other. Oh, so he thinks he's got our future figured out huh, that we won't work out? Well judging by how the prick's behaving right now, there's no need for a fortuneteller to come up with that prediction.  She sounds a bit like that. I really enjoyed her sarcasm and the way she parries words with Ethan. It was never a secret that she likes him... and many can also see that he feels the same.
If I didn't occasionally catch him looking at me like he wanted to make a three-course meal out of my boobs, I'd never know he actually liked me.
My problem is I'm sure everyone can tell I really like him. I laugh too loudly at his jokes and sit too close to him in class. His demonic sexual voodoo has kicked into overdrive, and I can't get enough of him.

OK, now… Ethan. Normally I'd be so exasperated with characters that can't seem to make up a firm decision regarding the other lead. I wasn't too annoyed with him though because Leisa R. makes sure to insert little things here and there to assure readers that the guy is just a bit of a stupid chicken at times; also has a tendency to be infuriatingly undecided; but really, he does care for the heroine a lot.

Other things I loved are the flashback scenes when Cassie and Ethan are practicing Romeo and Juliet onstage. Oh, they were precious! I laughed A LOT. At least once I dropped my kindle and clutched my cheeks in embarrassment on their behalf. I loved how they'd get carried away, and as the reader I was conscious of the fact that they still had an acting teacher and an audience watching them. I kept giggling at those scenes!

Their banter really is a joy to read. The conversations flow very smoothly. They actually remind me of Gilmore Girls. The show is known for the rapid exchange of dialogues (Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham were excellent at it). My eyes just went on and on down my kindle, and in my mind the characters are speaking the lines in rapid-fire speed—just like in that TV show. It made the humorous scenes a lot funnier to me.

So to sum up, BAD ROMEO is really one heck of a refreshing, funny and feel-good book that I'd recommend to anyone who's having a hard week. If you want something romantic but not angsty, humorous but not over-the-top, trying-hard material, this is definitely for you. I love the author's writing and how she made the characters smart and witty. You should know though that this is kind of a Happy-For-Now book. There is a sequel coming up, and I for one am looking forward to it! Bring on BROKEN JULIET!

Buy Links

**My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the advance reading copy!


the sequel for BAD ROMEO, coming April 25, 2015

Despite destroying Cassie Taylor twice before, Ethan Holt now wants another chance, but how can she possibly take him back knowing it could all go to hell again? And yet, knowing how much she still loves him, how can she not?

Second chances are hard to come by. Third chances, even more so.

Shakespeare once wrote, "The course of true love never did run smooth." Next to that quote, he should have included a picture of Cassie and Ethan.



  1. Thank you so much for this wonderful review, Jay! I'm beyond honored.

    I hope you have a fantastic holiday season. :)

    1. Oh my gosh, I am stoked! :D Thank you so much for taking the time to read my review...! I'm cringing now, I spelled your name wrong! **facepalm/slap**
      Congrats on Bad Romeo, it's a really funny read! I am grateful for it, and to you, because the book was really my source of laughs during the last two weeks of work for 2014!


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