I picked this one up on a whim, thinking the cover was pretty and the story sounded intriguing. At the time, I didn’t realize it was categorized as New Adult – a genre I have steered away from, or I might have put it back on the shelf. That said, I found myself sucked into the story fairly rapidly, and I enjoyed the dialogue and the change of pace from historical romance. This is actually the third book in The Starcrossed Series, but it did well as a standalone since I hadn’t read the first two books.
Elissa Holt is a stage manager on Broadway, good at what she does, and she prefers to stay out of the spotlight. At the start of a new play, she discovers that the leading man is none other than Liam Quinn, the man who broke her heart six years previously. They had a brief, passionate fling when he was starting out as an actor even though she had sworn never to get involved with someone like him. Liam is described as basically sex on legs, and she really isn’t sure why he was even interested in her and she resists falling into bed with him until the play they are working on together is over. Which also happens to be right before he is leaving for Hollywood to seek fame and fortune. And after he didn’t tell her he was leaving, she had to find out from others in the production company…and still she went to bed with him.
Now Liam is one of the top actors in the country, lusted after by women everywhere, and engaged to the co-star of the new Broadway play. This is the reality that Elissa has to face, seeing the man who broke her heart with his fiancee, and the best way she can deal with it is by trying to maintain a cool professional distance.
“Jesus Christ.” He rakes his fingers through his hair. “Could you please stop talking to me like you’re my bank manager? Like we don’t even know each other?”
“I don’t know you anymore.”
“You’re the only one who’s ever known me.”
To make matters more confusing, Liam’s fiancee, Angel Bell, befriends Elissa and insists that they hang out together. And despite herself, Elissa can’t help but be charmed by Angel’s open friendliness. Add Elissa’s best friend from childhood, Josh, to the mix (he is smitten with Angel) and you have a foursome that is very conflicted.
And then the angst begins – Liam and Elissa are thrown together more and more, and the attraction between them has obviously not dimmed over the years. Elissa still wants Liam, but she’s conflicted since he’s engaged; Liam wants Elissa, but he isn’t telling her the whole truth about his relationship with Angel; Angel tries to get Elissa to help pick her wedding gown to add insult to injury. Liam and Elissa go back and forth with flirting and nearly crossing the line into intimacy again, only to back away. Truly, that’s all there is to the book until they reach the inevitable climax, ahem…
Liam was kind of a weak character, and the reason for keeping away from Elissa was rather silly. It was also unrealistic that he had been gone for six years, and Elissa basically put her life on hold, daydreaming about him and their one blazing night of passion. I did enjoy her friendship with Josh, and Ms Rayven writes some funny dialogue between them; I felt their relationship was more interesting than between Elissa and Liam. Again, because it’s told from Elissa’s point of view, we have no idea how Liam is feeling other than what he is telling her.
Overall, I liked the first part of the book and then it nosedived into too much angsty drama for me. From what I’ve read about the first two books in the series, I won’t be bothering with them. Bad Romeo and Broken Juliet are about Elissa’s brother Ethan and the woman he continually breaks up with, told over two books – I guess one wasn’t enough to bring the angst level high enough.