Review: Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: December 23, 2014
Source of my copy: bought
Series: Starcrossed #1
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 buddy read Bad Romeo with Reg and Kim. It was my second buddy read with them and it was great time even though the book ended up being a dud for all of us.

Okay, so I had such high expectations going into the book because of the high ratings on Goodreads and friends, whose opinion I trust, love it. I Instagramed and tweeted about picking it up for our buddy read and the author was super nice (she even sent me signed bookmarks all the way from Australia where she's from). And Bad Romeo started okay. I was into it for the most part and I expected it to get better. Unfortunately, the opposite happened and things went downhill.

Basically, Bad Romeo is about this couple, Cassie and Ethan, both actors, who had a bad break up but were reunited when they were both cast opposite each other in a new Broadway play. The present chapters alternates with chapters set in the past and we see how they met and eventually become a couple.

Sadly, I couldn't connect to either Cassie and Ethan--past Ethan, especially. I just found him to be too much of a jealous asshole. Ethan of the past was EVERYTHING I hate in a love interest: he was hot and cold towards Cassie, he's jealous (the I-don't-want-you-but-you-can't-be-with-anyone-else type--he'd get jealous after seeing Cassie talk to a guy and not speak to her for a week), he had a mysterious reason why he avoids relationships and his asshole behavior towards Cassie (but the reason when revealed was weak and did not excuse his behavior). Here's just one example: there was this scene where they went to study at Cassie's place. Cassie left the room to answer a phone call and Ethan looked in her backpack for their textbooks, he comes across Cassie's diary and reads it, got really upset about what he read, and then blames Cassie for leaving it around for him to read (but she didn't because it was in her backpack). That just made me go WTF?! Then, at a later scene we learn why he got really upset about Cassie not keeping her diary under lock and key, but it just made me roll my eyes.

Present time Ethan was better, but his past self just bothered me a lot. I pretty much hated that angsty guy. He annoyed the crap out of me. In the present, Cassie and Ethan's attitude were reversed. Ethan wanted to make amends while Cassie was the one pushing Ethan away.

Cassie wasn't as bad as Ethan, but she had her eye rolling moments. I did find it refreshing how open she was about how she lusts for Ethan and how much she wanted to jump his bones--she was the sexual aggressor in the novel, which was funny because she's the virgin and he's the "experienced" one.

There was nothing about this couple that made me root for them to get back together, or to get together in the first place. However, as much as I disliked the main characters, I thought the writing was really good. It was very readable and there was always something going on--no dull moments. I was able to push through to the end despite my negative feelings for Cassie and Ethan.

I know Broken Juliet is part two of their story, but I don't know if I'll pick it up anytime soon. I do want to get to Wicked Heart though, which is about Ethan's sister. I heard Wicked Heart is better than Bad Romeo and Broken Juliet so I have high hopes for it. Unfortunately, I have to read Broken Juliet first to get to it. I don't know if I can take more Cassie and Ethan angst. Sigh.

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