Starcrossed Series Spotlight!


 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
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21411058-bad-romeo?ac=1

Ms. Rayven I am impressed. When I decided to read this book based on the blurb, I knew it would either be a really good read or a total bore with no middle ground. Once I started reading Bad Romeo, I began to worry that it wasn’t going to work for me. Yes the tension between Cassie and Ethan is palpable from the first chapter and the author gave me just enough that I had to know where things went wrong. What did Ethan do that broke Cassie’s heart? How did he betray her? And then we get to chapter two and it’s presented in a diary-style format. I actually groaned out loud because I rarely enjoy books written like a diary. And yet, it was perfect as Ms. Rayven used Cassie’s diary entries as segues to scenes from Cassie’s past with Ethan.

Because the book is told from Cassie’s point of view, I quickly found myself sucked into her story as the author weaves the telling of the past with the present. Rather than finding her insecurities and conflicting emotions annoying, I was sympathetic to Cassie’s plight. As someone who grew up as a relatively sheltered child, I understood her need to please and fit in with her classmates. I felt her anxieties as she tried to find her place in school, in a new city, in a new state, far, far away from her friends and family. And I totally got being overwhelmed in the face of all the beauty that was Ethan. As much as I was able to relate to Cassie’s character, I also found myself in awe of her acting because I am one of those people that their instructor referenced as being terrified of public speaking. So I was fascinated by their classes, their rehearsals, their rituals as they prepared to take the stage, and especially how Cassie “became” her character because it was easier to be someone else than to be herself (because she didn’t know who she was).

With the manner in which Bad Romeo jumps back and forth between past and present, the emotional rollercoaster takes some rather abrupt turns and drops, but somehow they work in this book – at least they did for me. I loved the chemistry between Cassie and Ethan and how it translated both on stage and in the bedroom. The “supporting cast” of characters were a motley crew of personalities that I found entertaining in their own right. The only thing I didn’t like about Bad Romeo was the ending. Seriously?!?!? I am beyond relieved that I already have Broken Juliet queued up on my Kindle to read next because that was not nice at all Ms. Rayven. I will give you props for hooking me completely, but that was a cruel way to leave your readers hanging. And now on to Act II.

5str Cassie is very sheltered by her parents. But, she convinces them to allow her to try out for a performing arts school and to their surprise, she is accepted. Cassie loves acting because is excited to attend this new school. Ethan is full of so many layers. But, he is broken and does not allow anyone in. Until Cassie. He is surprised and scared that he shares so much with her and allows her to see the real him. Cassie is intensely in love with him in return. However, Ethan breaks her heart.

I fully expected this to be a cheesy teen love story, but it is so much better than that! The writing is wonderful and the complexity of Ethan and Cassie’s love is so much more than expected. This is not just another love story, but a deep look into this couple’s emotions and how each affects the other.  Well done!

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Broken JulietHow 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.

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 Where Bad Romeo jumps between past and present, Broken Juliet picks up right where Bad Romeo left off and answers the question on how Ethan broke Juliet’s heart. Cassie is trying to decide if she should give Ethan another chance. I absolutely love the way this story went! LOVE IT! The characters have grown so much, especially Ethan. I was cheering for them to get together the entire time, even though I knew Cassie was so heart broken. Ethan is the one begging and chasing Cassie this time – the opposite of their dynamic in Bad Romeo. It showed his vulnerability and how much he really did love her and regretted how much he hurt her.
The entire story was so well written and intense…I can’t find a single thing that I did not love about Broken Juliet! I’m so in awe of the author’s writing abilities and can not wait to delve into the next book in this series! VERY well done!

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When I finished Bad Romeo I wanted to delve immediately into Broken Juliet because I had to know what happened between and to Cassie and Ethan. And even though I had Broken Juliet on my Kindle, queued up and ready to go, I forced myself to read something else in between. I needed to come down from the rollercoaster ride the Ms. Rayven took me on in Bad Romeo. I had to make sure that I was starting the second part of Cassie and Ethan’s journey from sound footing, even if they weren’t. I also had to make sure that I could give Broken Juliet its own review, rather than reviewing the two books as a series. But because Broken Juliet picks up right were Bad Romeo leaves off – with the knock at the door – I found myself sucked right back into Cassie’s anxiety, her fear, her doubt, her mistrust, her love, and her brokenness.

Even though I finished book one less than 24 hours ago, I still find myself amazed at Ms. Rayven’s ability to draw me in with a writing style I tend to dislike – Cassie and Ethan’s diary entries. And again, her shifts from present to past to present work seamlessly to reveal exactly what it was that Ethan did that broke Cassie – because he did break her – and how it is now affecting their present. I absolutely enjoyed this book, both of them actually but especially Broken Juliet. The author managed to twist my emotions so fully that I was simultaneously hopeful for the present because of the progress that Ethan has made in the intervening years AND fearful and anxious as I waited for the other shoe to drop in the past. Even knowing that Ethan left her and how heartbroken that left Cassie, I still wasn’t prepared to actually relive that moment with Cassie. And just when I thought everything in the present was going to work out and Cassie was finally going to get her happily ever after, a single phone call sends her (and me) running back behind the wall she built to keep her heart safe. I honestly did not know if the author was going to give Cassie and Ethan the happy ending I thought they deserved.

While I again found the acting elements fascinating, I enjoyed Cassie’s therapy sessions even more. They not only provided an excellent means of revealing the painful events of the past, but they also provided even more insight into Cassie and what she endured as she tried to fight Ethan’s insecurities in their previous relationships. Even though we didn’t see any of Ethan’s sessions, his behavior in the present was a testament to how committed he was to exorcising his demons. And because we were well acquainted with the explosive sexual chemistry between them from book one, the sexual tension in the present between Cassie and Ethan was that much more palpable. Because I don’t want to ruin the reading experience for anyone by spoiling the ending, I will simply say that I absolutely loved Broken Juliet and was satisfied with the resolution the author provided Cassie and Ethan. I look forward to rereading both books, and I’m really looking forward to reading Elissa’s story in Wicked Heart.

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