After reading the first book of this series, it was quite clear to me, that I had to read this second one as well. It turned out to be in a completely different style and tone. Sure, it is without a doubt, written by Leisa Rayven. You can tell that by looking at the plot and the figures. But this novel isn´t like the first one. And it took me a while, to get into it. But it was worth my time and that I gave it a chance. 

Broken Juliet*
by Leisa Rayven
The Starcrossed Series #2
Publisher St. Marin´s Griffin on April 28, 2015
Genre Novel
Pages 324
Format Softcover
Source Publisher

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 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.
Cassandra can not believe it: After all these years, Ethan wants a new chance and makes her feel that he still believes in their love. But too much happened for Cassie. Now that Ethan is back at her door again, and the old emotions are coming over her with all his might, she does not know what to do, because if she still can trust him – or wants. But where her mind still quarrels, her body speaks a different language.

From the point of view of Cassie, the reader goes through an emotional roller coaster, which does not really want to ignite the first half of the novel. The love for Ethan brings Cassie to the brink of destruction, which in turn she cannot allow. Her internal conflict, her struggle for herself, trust in Ethan, and how he reacts to it, the author shows in a strange mood.

That only changes in the second half, when it becomes more and more clear through the two strands of the story – one plays in New York about 6 years ago and shows how life was back then for Cassie and Ethan and that strand tells a story which comes closer and closer to the second strand, which plays in the present where Cassie struggles with her feelings and all that comes with the new Ethan.

This second book isn´t as much fun, as the first one was, but that´s because the feelings have changed, Ethan and Cassie have changed and there are no scenes anymore, where they have to play things and get all those instructions from their director. I missed that actually, it was exactly what made the charm of that novel. Now the author uses more silent tones, there is a lot of pain, fear to lose, and they fight on a whole different level now.

How messed up and upset are the feelings of Ethan and Cassie, and how it looks in them gives the reader in Bad Romeo his very own idea. While Ethan has overcome his doldrums and is practically at peace with himself and the world, Cassie still has this walk ahead of her.

Ethan has changed a lot over the years. He is now much more open, lives alone, and does everything to win Cassie and her love for him back. The way how he does it is quite something and the author knows exactly which buttons to push to make it work. Fine, the end wasn´t really my thing, but the pages till then were wow. There is suddenly a depth, a vulnerability, and a fear – which gives the reader an unvarnished insight into the two characters. And that creates a charm and warmth that are completely different from what was presented in the first book, but it makes it even more believable, even more, real, and becomes the absolute plus point.

For Cassie it isn´t easy to trust Ethan again – and that struggle is shown very good. She still has the old Ethan in her mind and the way how he treated her is hard for her to overcome. So she ends up at the exact same spot as Ethan did some years back and now she is the one who has to deal with her feelings, her inner darkness, and to get clear with it.

Sensitive, clear, and often very direct. It may sound strange, but in the end, I was like numbed, agitated, and totally sad – all at the same time. If you can stick to the book during its bit dogged start you´ll get rewarded with a very haunting and emotional story that´s worth being read. And when you´ve read Broken Romeo, this novel is kind of a must for you.

Happy reading

*I read the German edition published by Fischer TB on October 22, 2015.

Leisa Rayven
Leisa Rayven ©Stephanie Do Rozario

Leisa Rayven lives at the other end of the world, in Brisbane, Australia. Actually, she wanted to become an actress. "As a young woman, I often did not know where I belonged, it seemed to me easier to play different identities than develop my own identity. This is particularly true when you are suffering from a wild temperament, but actually shy and introverted.” Leisa Rayven is a freelance actor and producer and became famous beyond Broadway when one of her texts sparked a wave of enthusiasm with more than 2 million internet readers almost overnight.


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