ARC Review: Wicked Heart by Leisa Rayven

Wicked Heart (Starcrossed, #3)

Wicked Heart
(Starcrossed #3)
Author: Leisa Rayven
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Expected Publication: May 3, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Drama
My Rating:

4 stars new


Synopsis new

Liam Quinn is talented, gorgeous, and one of the biggest movie stars in the world.

He’s also the only man Elissa Holt has ever truly loved.

After being out of her life for six years, he and his gorgeous fiancé are set to star in the new Broadway show Elissa is stage managing. The only trouble is, when late night rehearsals bring Elissa and Liam together, the line between what is and what could have been gets blurred, and one moment of weakness will lead to a scandal that echoes around the world.

Elissa knows that falling for Liam again would be a tragedy in the making, but as any good romantic will tell you, love doesn’t always follow the script.

my thoughts new

(I buddyread this book with sis Bea. Click her name to read her review) 🙂

Wicked Heart, for me, was like a tornado of emotions! Ever read a book where you find yourself swooning yet you feel scared at the same time because you know your heart’s going to break at the later part? That’s exactly what I felt while reading this book. Gratefully, it ended with a perfect HEA, so no complaints at all from my satisfied heart!

Leisa Rayven has quickly become one of my favorite authors in the New Adult genre. This author really has the gift of hooking her readers and making them feel drawn because of her awesomely attractive and well-defined characters and of course, her brilliant writing style and beautiful romantic plot. Once again, I’m awed. I loved Bad Romeo and Broken Juliet and I also loved this book!

Wicked Heart focuses on Elissa and Liam’s story. Elissa, an aspiring stage manager, met Liam one day. Having been broken-hearted a few times by her ex-boyfriends who happened to be actors, she swore she will never ever date and fall in love with one ever again. But when she learned that Liam was aspiring to become an actor, her heart became confused whether to continue her romantic affair with him or not. An opportunity that offered a promising future to Liam’s career eventually came to him which led him to abandon Elissa and go to New York. This changed their relationship to a whole new level and Elissa ended up broken-hearted. After years of being apart, they met and sparks once again flew.

“Love in an asshole. It doesn’t care about people’s plans. It’s never convenient. It crawls inside of you at the most ridiculous times and makes you feel, whether you like it or not. And even after the time when you should have learned to stop loving someone, it just keeps holding on to them.”

I fell in love with the way the author plotted the scenarios here. It made me miss Ethan and Cassie when they were still working together as actors at The Grove because of the stage works done by the characters. What made me even fall in love with this book was LIAM effin’ QUINN. Darn, why do book Gods continue to shower us with such oozing hot male characters? Liam is definitely one of them!

The only thing that quite bothered me (maybe it was just me) was Elissa’s character. It’s ironic how I find the jolly, naughty Cassie in her character. Like no difference at all. When I’ve read Bad Romeo and Broken Juliet last year, I saw Elissa as someone who’s a bit demure or if I’m not wrong, a woman with a sense of fashion and sophistication. In this book, however, I thought her character changed… or my perception with her character changed, either ways.

Also, I find Liam (most of the time) an a-hole. What he did to Elissa during the first half of the book was really frustrating and unforgivable. However, he was able to redeem himself in the end and yes, I forgave him and loved him for that.

The journey that both Liam and Elissa went through in this book was really beautiful. How they were able to come back to each other after years of being apart– that was so heart-warming. It made me cry and want to simultaneously punch things just because. ALL THE FEELS!

“In the words of Ancient Chinese proverb, it’s all very well for the bird and the fish to fall in love, but where will they make their home?”

All in all, Wicked Heart is wickedly and heart-breakingly beautiful. Definitely a must-read if you are into romantic NA reads with broken and gorgeous heroes. I am excited to find out what Leisa Rayven has in store for us in the future. 🙂

(Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for generously sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review! :))


4 stars new

Pre-order and buy this book at:



xo pearl

Interview with Leisa Rayven, Author of Bad Romeo and Broken Juliet

Bad Romeo (Starcrossed, #1)

Synopsis new

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.


M book review of Bad Romeo and Broken Juliet can be found here:

Review: Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven

Review: Broken Juliet by Leisa Rayven

autho interview new new

Hi, Leisa! Welcome to my blog! And thank you for taking time to do this interview with me.

Thank you for inviting me!

Apart from being a writer, you are also an actress. Can you tell us a bit about your acting career?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be an actress. My parents tell a story of me at the age of two, shushing an entire party of grownups so I could perform for them. Clearly, I was a shy child.

The day I auditioned for drama school was one of the most harrowing experiences of my life, and considering I grew up on a cane farm in Australia that was home to some of the world’s most deadly snakes, that’s saying something. Still, I guess I did something right, because I was accepted, and went on to gain my Bachelor of Arts majoring in acting and directing. Funnily enough, even though I’m a classically trained, most of my career has been spent in musical theatre. Right now, of course, performing has taken a backseat to my writing, but I’m really enjoying this career change. No need to put on false eyelashes and swanky gowns when you’re writing. No one cares if you’re in sweatpants and no makeup while you’re trying to bang out a couple thousand words a day. 🙂

Did you get your inspiration to write Bad Romeo from acting? 

Well, as the titles imply, my original inspiration was Romeo and Juliet. Much like Ethan, I’ve always hated Romeo as a character. At the beginning of the play, he’s just had his heart smashed to pieces by Rosaline, and yet when he meets Juliet, he’s all, “Oh yeah, sure. Let me give my heart to another woman. One who I like ever MORE than Rosaline, so who has the power to hurt me even more.” I’ve never seen that as a realistic reaction. For me, a far more compelling story is what happens if Romeo meets his soul mate, but pushes her away because of how damaged he is by past heartache. When I knew that was the story I wanted to tell, I thought a drama school would be the perfect environment to explore that dynamic, because it allowed me to torture Ethan by casting him opposite the girl who he’s desperately trying to avoid.

That’s really amazing. How did you personally come about selecting NA as your primary audience? And what do you like most about being a NA author?

You know, I didn’t actually set out to write NA. I just wrote a story I wanted to read. Realistically, the story straddles the line between genres, as the scenes in the past are New Adult, while those set in the present are more in the Contemporary Romance category.

But for right now, I’m really enjoying exploring stories in which people discover themselves, and I guess for most of us, that happens in the age group covered by New Adult books.

Are there any books or authors that have most influenced you?

I actually grew up loving Stephen King, and read everything of his I could get my hands on. I’ve also read heaps of Dean Koontz, and James Patterson. (Growing up, I didn’t read romance at all.)

The first book I completely fell in love with was The Outsiders, by SE Hinton. I read it when I was ten, and it kicked off my lifelong love affair with books. It was only when I’d devoured it in one session that I found out she’d written it when she was 15/16. It’s still one of my favourite books.

The sex and love scenes in Bad Romeo are amazingly hot. How do you approach writing those scenes?

I think writing good love scenes is really difficult. Sex scenes are easy. Loves scenes – not so much. I really try to put myself into the skin of the character, and I have this weird habit of closing my eyes, because I see the scene really clearly in my mind, very much like a movie. Then I just write what I see. I need to have a visceral emotional response while I’m writing love scenes, or else I know they’ll turn out to be rubbish.

If Bad Romeo were to be made into a movie, who would you choose to play the roles of your main characters?

My ideal Ethan is actually male supermodel, Sean O’Pry, but I have no idea if the man can act. (I really wish he could, because he’s PERFECT.)

My second choice is a gorgeous British actor called Douglas Booth. I’ve never seen him play anyone as broody as Ethan, but I have confidence he could carry it off.

As for Cassie, there’s a great Aussie actress who’s in The Originals called Phoebe Tonkin. I think she’d nail it.

Wow. Great choices there! Any message for your fans?

Darling Starcrossed Fans,

Thank you so much for reading and taking Ethan and Cassie’s story to heart. I’m completely humbled and honoured by your sweet reviews and messages of support, and wish I could smoosh all of you in person.

Passionately yours, Leisa. x

And that was the amazing author Leisa Rayven. Find out more about her and follow her on  and  or go visit her website

You can purchase her books in:

Leisa Rayven

about the author new

(Bio taken from Leisa’s website)

Writing has always been a passion for Leisa, and even though she originally intended to be an actress, it wasn’t long into her time at drama school that she began writing plays.

Those plays were bad. Very bad. Well, her friends thought they were good, but that’s because they were always cast in them and any opportunity to be on stage was met with an obnoxious amount of enthusiasm.

Since then, she’s honed her craft, and several of her plays have been produced and toured throughout Australia.

These days, playwriting has given way to fiction writing, and Leisa’s debut novel, BAD ROMEO, will be available in a worldwide release through Macmillan Publishing in December 2014.

Leisa lives in Australia with her husband, two little boys, three cats, and a kangaroo named Howard.

(Howard may or may not be her imaginary marsupial friend. Everyone should have one.)

xo pearl

Review: Broken Juliet by Leisa Rayven

Broken Juliet (Starcrossed, #2)

Broken Juliet
(Starcrossed #2)
Author: Leisa Rayven
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Published: April 28, 2015
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Drama
My Rating:

five stars


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.

my thoughts

Broken Juliet

“Despite all the things I would have changed about our journey, I’d never want a different destination. It’s always been you.”

My love for this book cannot be described in words! Broken Juliet is an excellent continuation of Bad Romeo and a perfect conclusion for Ethan and Cassie’s love story.

After their devastating relationship mistakes in the past, Cassie makes the greatest decision of a lifetime– to either accept Ethan back or deny their chance of forever.

I just can’t get enough of this book! It’s perfect and it’s one unforgettable, breathtaking story. The kind where you just can’t help but laugh, cry, swoon, and fall in love. This book transformed me into such a complete emotional mess!

Leisa Rayven’s writing style is utterly beautiful and intricate. The way she sent her readers back in the characters’ past through flashback perfectly worked well with me. I also love the way she fleshed out Ethan and Cassie’s character, making them more likable. And my oh my, the chemistry Ethan and Cassie shared in this book was truly undeniable!

This book also made me understand Cassie’s heartaches and Ethan’s inner turmoil which were the reasons why the story become even more beautiful. In this book, forgiveness and second chances were greatly defined– things that made their push-and-pull relationship crucial.

I found myself really enjoying this book as a whole, because why not? Broken Juliet is not only an emotionally-driven love story. It’s also mixed with humor and sexiness that made it an absolute page-turner!

This series is now one of my favorite NAs. It totally deserves all the ratings it gets. I can’t wait to read more of this author’s books in the future!

Rating: 5 Stars


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Review: Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven

Bad RomeoBad Romeo
(Starcrossed #1)
Author: Leisa Rayven
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Published: December 23, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Drama
My Rating:

five stars


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.

my thoughts

Bad Romeo

“We’ve never been over. You know it as well as I do.”

I absolutely, totally love this book! A story about ex-lovers rekindling their spark, the book opened with an introduction of main characters Cassie Taylor and Ethan Holt, two renowned stage celebrities who had a high-profile relationship when they were at drama school. Three years after separating, they reunited again, with Ethan pursuing Cassie to bring back the old romance and start all over again.

Bad Romeo is a perfect novel for readers who are looking to breeze through a quick, easy, and enjoyable read. It’s delightfully addicting, with a great chemistry between the characters that you just find yourself rooting for them until the end of the book. This novel was also coupled with a humor that will keep you entertained. I expected myself to enjoy this book before I started it but little did I know that IT’S SO MUCH BETTER! It’s sweet, sexy, and emotionally driven. It’s a completely out there kind of take on Romeo & Juliet. For New Adult romance readers, this book is a real treat! I highly recommend!

Rating: (more than) 5 Stars!


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