In December 2014, I did something really stupid. I bought Bad Romeo and I let it sit on my bookshelf. In April 2015, I did something stupid again. I bought Broken Juliet, placed it carefully next to Bad Romeo on the bookshelf, and left it there, just one more victim of my impulsive buying habits and slow reading speed. A few months ago, I finally picked up Bad Romeo and as I began reading, two questions kept swirling around in my head – “What in the world took me so long to decide to read this book?” and “Where has Leisa Rayven been all my life?” – the answers to which are “I’m stupid and obviously make really poor life decisions” and “I don’t know, but I want to drown myself in her words for the rest of my life.”
Leisa is more than a writer or an author – she is a master storyteller with a tremendous gift for crafting stories that fully immerse the reader into the worlds she creates and evoke visceral emotional reactions. At one point while reading Broken Juliet, I literally sighed/swooned. Out loud. Embarrassingly loudly. Over the course of the Starcrossed series, I have lost track of the number of times I have busted out with genuine belly laughs. These swooning, laughing moments are the ones I live for as a reader.
With Wicked Heart, Leisa presents a story that at first glance has the potential to fall into the trap of the frequently revisited plot of Hollywood actor falling for someone “beneath” his hot commodity status only for the two to be kept apart by life circumstances and interfering outsiders. It quickly becomes clear, however, that she has every intention of taking this plotline and making it her own. She is successful in large part due to the authenticity of her characters. Elissa and Liam don’t always make the right decisions or say the right things, but they are so relatable that you can’t help but be completely invested in how their story turns out.
Wicked Heart is proof that the literary alchemy created by Leisa in the earlier books in the series was no fluke. Every choice she makes in her writing feels deliberate, but fresh and unplanned at the same time. I never feel as if she’s choosing the safe option and the payoffs for her choices are incredibly satisfying. So, if you’re stupid like me, I strongly urge you to check out this series sooner rather than later. We could all benefit from a little more Leisa Rayven in our lives.
“And I have the strongest feeling that having part of you is going to be better than having all of anybody else.”
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