Book Review: Broken Juliet by Leisa Rayven

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Title: Broken Juliet (Starcrossed #2)
Author: Leisa Rayven
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 288 pages
Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis

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.

Ivy

In the second and final book, Cassie and Ethan must figure out a way to fix all their broken pieces to finally get it right and find their way to their HEA. If they don’t expire from the angst first.

The Good, The Bad and Everything In Between
-Their chemistry is still phenomenal: When I first read Bad Romeo, I was intrigued by these characters and I’m happy to say that Cassie and Ethan’s connection and the heat they can generate was still in evidence in this installment. During their love scenes, and those moments where they let down their guards and simply allowed their connection to flower, I was completely into it. If you’re main interest is super sexy chemistry between your leads, this is definitely the kind of series for you. Their love scenes were the highlight for me and helped me to remember what I loved about these two. I do love the push/pull of desire, the need to be together, and Ms. Rayven certainly has a talent for conveying how much these two desire each other.

-Starts right where we left off: Which is a good and bad thing. I love that we went straight o where things left off, so there was no long wait to see what happened at that door. Unfortunately, we also dive headlong into pages and pages of nothing but chest beating and severe emotional pain. The unbelievable neuroses that Cassie and Ethan exhibit really brought things down for me. Now, I know that they’re both actors, and that seems to be part and parcel of most actors’ psyches, but I can only take so much self-flagellation. Ethan’s determined not to hurt Cassie, so he hurts her horribly, and Cassie’s determined to protect herself, but ends up hurting herself as well. It was alot to go through without enough light hearted scenes to balance it all out. Which leads me to…

-The angst is just exhausting: There’s angst…and then there’s the kind that’s based on extreme emotional reactions that kind of overwhelm the narrative. That, in a nutshell is my main issue with this installment. Now, there was angst in the first book, but there was balanced storytelling. There were light, funny scenes that pulled me in before Ethan’s mental damage shone through. Much like that lobster sitting in a pot of water, by the time the angst turned up to the boiling point, I was already cooked. I had to know how it all turned out.

-The Cliffhanger still not a fave: The cliffhanger tortured me, because the buildup for this relationship was solid. I thought they were really interesting characters, and even knowing Ethan had some serious emotional hangups, I knew that their second breakup had to be epic. Emotionally devastating. I was concerned as to what Ethan could do to “break” Cassie so badly. Hell, I even started a prayer circle with Grace hoping that it wouldn’t be cheating because every horrible scenario ran through my mind. What I should have worried about was the angst. While it was dramatic, ultimately I have to say that had this story been kept to one volume and tightened up the narrative to not include every single agonizing moment of angst, then I really think it would have resulted in a much stronger story.

The Bottom Line
Based on chemistry alone, it would be an easy 4-5 star read. But the angst factor overwhelmed the story, so I had to settle for merely liking this installment. That said, Ms. Rayven’s writing has intrigued me, so I’d be willing to see what happens with Elissa and Liam.

– Ivy

*ARC provided by publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Click on the image below to purchase book one:

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