Broken Juliet, Leisa Rayven
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Well, last year I read Bad Romeo, and had a few issues with things in it. I felt it could be five star but the gripes brought it down for me. That Ethan though – he’s been plaguing me ever since to re-read it, saying I’d not got the point. Finally I gave in, knowing Broken Juliet was due out ( and then – hurrah, I got an ARC for it, so could read both back to back, my preferred way of reading stories) I couldn’t believe how the issues that annoyed me first time round were so much easier to accept on second reading, and them disappearing more into the background let the story and drama play out for me raising it from a 3 to a 4.5. Then I read this one, and the issues I had are all answered here – in full, and it was a fabulous, romantic, dramatic read.
Its still told in flashbacks and alternating POV, and this time I found it easier to keep up and keep my mind in the time period the story was in. That’s good, as really there are three separate times: the present time, the college years six years back, and the three years between now and finish of college. It sounds confusing but it wasn’t.
Cassie really is broken, she’s shut her heart and emotions away now, vowing no-one will ever have the power to break her again. She doesn’t think she could get over it, so when Ethan comes along asking for a third chance – she doesn’t want to know. Rightly so – after all how can she know he’s changed? But he has and he’s happy to take as long as it needs to show her his true heart, that he loves her openly, fully and won’t let her down again. He knows he’s got a hard line to tread though, but it seems he’s going to be persistent!
We see them back at college, and see just how badly Cassie was hurt, then that second breakup – the one that puzzled me so badly in book one. Finally I understood just why she was so adamant. Poor Cassie, I felt for her in the first book, and this one, well – thank goodness she’d been blessed with such loving and supportive friends. She needed them after that second breakup, and without them I think she’d have been suicidal. There’s such drama here, such pulling at emotions, but where before we just saw the results of Ethan’s actions, now we get an insight into just why he behaved that way, his motivation, how he felt and that he really thought he was doing the right thing. Is it possible to change so much though? Can Cassie get past such sorrow, such heart break, such betrayal of trust? Well, Ethan really has grown, and finally faced his fears, and now he has to convince Cassie to face hers. Even if they don’t get back together she truly is broken as she is, hasn’t been able to have a relationship since they’d split, just a series of unsatisfactory one night stands. She can’t go through life like that without ending up embittered and unhappy at everything and everyone. Her heart knows it belongs to Ethan, he just has to convince her head to let him have one more chance. He knows this time he won’t let her down, he has a confidence and a maturity that shows through, and he’s just so incredibly supportive, so open and loving, so unsderstaning that he made me fall in love with him all over again.
Its a fabulous read, full of emotion, drama, romance, and yet deals with issues that affect many people. It shows us how we can get stuck in a pattern of behaviour. I so wanted Cassie to give him another chance – once I knew why he had changed. I liked that there was a real reason for that change, that he could come out and say what was wrong for him, and what he;’d done to put it right. I liked that it took time, both for him to heal and become the man he now is, and for Cassie to believe him. After all the dramas they’ve been through it wouldn’t have been right if he said “give me a third chance Cassie, please?” and she just said yes…they needed that time, we needed that time to read and understand them both. I loved seeing an update of Erika too at the end, and it made me wonder just what had gone on in her life. It was clear she recognised the strength of love and emotion between Cassie and Ethan right from the start, and seeing her at the end closed the circle perfectly.
Stars: five, a fabulous read that answers all my questions from book one.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers