What would you do if your heart was broken, not once but twice, so thoroughly that the pieces were but minuscule particles of dust that couldn’t possibly be put back together, and the same man who broke it asked for one last chance?
Cassie Taylor has loved and lost. Twice. She’s spent the last three years trying to erase all traces of Ethan Holt from her life. He was her one and only. He was also unable to adequately love her back and left her shattered.
Now he’s back, not just invading her professional life but also requesting for an opportunity to prove that he’s changed and determined to give her what she’s always wanted and needed, himself completely. After having walked in his same fear-damaged shoes, can she be capable of trusting him once more?
For all his life Ethan Holt carried abandonment issues like no one’s business. He used them as a shield against everyone except the one girl on whom that shield was useless. But the fear of not being good enough, of being left and knowing he’s causing Cassie pain because of all this was too much. Thinking it was better for her, he leaves for good.
“What if my true self is shit? Just defective and toxic and unlovable. Why would I ever let someone see that?”
But his love for her is far too great and moves him to do what he thought impossible. He sought help for years and changed.
“Do you feel this?” he whispers. “This is what makes us keep coming back, despite everything we’ve gone through. This is why I had to change, and why, despite how much I hurt you, you can’t walk away. The way we sink into each other. The way I can’t tell my heartbeat from yours… It’s about this.”
In Bad Romeo, Leisa Rayven wonderfully narrates how Ethan and Cassie met and connected in drama school. Even though they clearly loved each other, their relationship was far from easy and Ethan left her brokenhearted.
Broken Juliet starts right where Bad Romeo leaves off. Ethan and Cassie are on the same stage again and Ethan has sent a beautiful declaration of love to Cassie and asking her for one last chance to prove they unequivocally belong together and that he’s going to fight for them.
“What I want from you isn’t easy. It’s messy and complicated, and I don’t have a clue how to cope with it at all. But I’ll find a way, because I love you. And love is hard, but it’s worth it. You’re worth it. And I hope one day you’ll realize I’m worth it, too.”
Ethan Holt was moody, broody and absolutely tortured. His fears dominated him and my heart squeezed for him every time he self-sabotaged. It was clear he loved Cassie and wanted her to be happy. That he didn’t want to hurt her or himself, but for too long he was blinded by his low self-worth and I understood where he was coming from when he left her.
I also felt so much for Cassie. I felt her anger and rage and saw why she would be weary and cautious. It was heartbreaking for both. But his love for Cassie is so much bigger that it was impossible not to have him melt my heart knowing all the struggles he went through to become a better man in order to get her back.
As much as I felt their pain, I also felt their passion and connection. It was palpable in every page. Their chemistry was explosive and their bond was undeniably deep. There is in fact a lot of heartache, but the book is perfectly evened out with passion and humor that made me swoon, smile and laugh.
“His skin speaks to mine on a different frequency. The pulse of his blood powers the tempo of mine.”
“I’m thinking if I use my tongue in exactly the right way, I can give you a hickey that reads, ‘Cassie belongs to Ethan. Step the fuck off.’”
I loved reading between past and present. Leisa seamlessly told their complete story moving forward and back. Even though the book is told from Cassie’s point of view, there are few wonderful entries where we get to read Ethan’s thoughts.
This is a fabulous close to the Starcrossed duology. Leisa Rayven’s writes a gorgeous story about plove = passion+love, between two damaged characters whose love has the power conquer time and the deepest of heartbreaks.
“About fear and how to conquer it. About learning from past mistakes. About how we’re both better people together than we ever were apart.”
Book facts:Broken Juliet is the second and last book in the Starcrossed series. This is not a standalone and should be read in order. It’s written from the heroine’s point of view. No cheating. Happy ending.
Amazon US -> http://amzn.to/13XNeZu
My review for Bad Romeo -> https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1102840404
* I was given an ARC of this book courtesy of the author via NetGalley. The excerpts are from that copy. *