Wicked Heart – Book Review

Wicked Heart


Title: Wicked Heart

(Starcrossed #3)

Author: Leisa Rayven

Publication Date: May 17th, 2016 St. Martin’s Griffin

Category/Genre: Contemporary Romance


About the book:

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.


4.5 “Broadway and Hollywood drama” Stars 

ARC via NetGalley

Thank you, St. Martin’s Griffin!

First things first… Look at this cover. Look. At. This. BEAUTIFUL. Cover. No, seriously, I want to meet the cover artist and hug her/him, because this is just stunning.

So, when I saw it I thought, this book has to be good, right? You can’t have a gorgeous cover like that and a so-so (or even worse, crappy) book, right? Wrong. I mean. Kind of wrong, because it was more than just good. It was great! It was a “it’s Friday night, my husband wants to go out and I can’t, won’t, refuse to stop reading this” kind of good.

Yeah, go get the book, please. You’ll be doing yourself a favor.

Before we talk about Elissa and Liam, let me tell you this book won me over when I read the “Acknowledgments”. Yes, weird, huh? But hear me out. What Leisa Rayven wrote in that section was freaking great, funny and adorable. Probably the best I’ve ever seen. Don’t believe me? This is what I wrote on my Kindle when I finished it:

Kindle note: Okay. So extra points for writing a kickass acknowledgement.

At that point, I knew I was going to love the book. I didn’t expect to devour it and want more, but what else could I have done?

Wicked Heart is angst at its best. It’s sexy. It’s painful. It’s love.

We meet Elissa when she’s already an established professional working on Broadway. She’s great at her job and is the other half of a fabulous duo with her best friend and assistant, Josh (oh, yeah, we love Josh, too). Elissa is super excited about her next project, an update on Shakespeare’s work directed by a powerhouse name. The only tiny problem is that it stars Hollywood’s hottest man, who happens to be the love of her life, who also happens to be the man who broke her heart. Oh, did I tell you he’s engaged and his adorably perfect fiancée is also part of the play?

Yeah, poor Elissa.

But then, Elissa doesn’t need you to feel sorry for her. She puts on her big girl panties and faces the situation like the professional she is. Inside, she’s dying a little having to see Liam (that’s the bastard’s name) and Angel show the entire world how much they love each other.

Is your heart broken yet? Nope. Oh, don’t worry, it’ll happen soon.

To make sure we feel Elissa’s pain, the author takes us back six years to when Elissa and Liam met, just before he became a famous actor. At first I wasn’t sure how to feel about the flashback. I’m usually not a big fan of being thrown back so many years into the characters’ lives in the third chapter. It almost makes it look like the book started in the wrong place. But I was wrong. There’s no better way to say it. I was just wrong.

I needed – we all did – to meet Liam for the first time when Elissa did. We needed to feel their connection. To understand how and why she got that way. OMG, we needed to experience all that happened between them because it was fantastic and hot (so hot!!!!) and soooo damn painful. My body was on fire one minute and my heart was shattered the next. A roller coaster. One that, as a book lover, I live to ride. Let all books [take] me on that ride.

The people on the no-love-at-first-sight club can say whatever they want about Elissa and Liam, but I dare you not to fall in love with them as quickly as they fell for each other. Man… their feelings were so strong they bled through my Kindle screen. They knocked me flat on my butt. And the heartbreak? I might or might have not hugged my Kindle when Liam did the unthinkable and broke Elissa’s trust and heart.

“When I can’t bear to look at him anymore, I turn and walk away. I hear him yell my name, but I don’t stop. What would be the point?

Everything hurts as I walk, and I curse myself for wanting to run back and beg him to change his mind.

What the hell is wrong with me? Am I really that unlovable?”

Kindle note: My heart!!!!

That’s why I called him a bastard earlier. At that moment, that was what he was. A freaking bastard.

As we go back to the present, heart filled with love and hate for Liam, we follow Elissa’s struggle. There’s nothing harder than to have to be nice to the person who made you feel like shit – and to the woman who’s taking your place in the love of your life’s life. Elissa does it, and she does it so well that I find myself wondering if she forgot what Liam did, because I sure as heck didn’t.
(Do you see how invested I was at that point, right?)


You know what Elissa didn’t forget? Her attraction to Liam.
You know what Liam didn’t forget? Elissa.
Liam, the bastard, turned into Liam, the man I wanted to hug. No matter how much I loved Elissa (and I did love her so very much), Liam’s arc was the one that touched me the most. I went from loving him to hating him to wanting to have his babies. Liam was intense. Liam was life and love.


“Ask me to give up a limb and I swear, I’ll find a way to do it. But don’t ask me to live without you anymore. I can’t. I’m so goddam in love with you, it hurts.”


What happens next is a bunch of mindf**k scenes after mindf**k scenes that will have you wanting to scream, punch the Kindle (or book), hug it, kiss it, take a cold shower, then kill some of the characters just to bring one or two back to life.

“By the time I call an end to rehearsal, everyone breathes a sigh of relief. I think we’re all emotionally exhausted.”


Kindle note: that’s exactly how I feel.


Emotionally exhausted or not, I don’t regret a second of this book. It brought me so much pain, but it also made me so damn happy. I loved all the characters in it. Josh, you’re the friend every girl needs to have. Angel, I adore you and want to be your BFF, too.


Wicked Heart is the reason I love romance books. As fun as it is to read cute love stories, nothing makes me bow down and want to kiss the author’s feet like a book that takes me from tears to smiles in a matter of a couple dozen pages or more.


Read this book. Trust me on this one. You won’t regret it.


You can find Wicked Heart here.




Guest review contributed by U.S. – Brazil Book Review. As a book review diplomat of sorts, this blogger reviews books in English and Portuguese. If there’s romance in the book, she’s probably loving it.

Banished Threads51dk63MHe9L._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_

A valuable art collection disappears, turning a treasure-hunting duo into crime-stopping sleuths willing to risk their lives to vindicate family members in Kaylin McFarren’s action-packed suspense novel, Banished Threads.

While vacationing at the stately Cumberforge Manor in Bellwood, England, Rachel Lyons and Chase Cohen attend an elegant dinner party hosted by her uncle, Paul Lyons, and his aristocratic wife, Sara. Before the evening ends, a priceless collection of Morris Graves’s paintings are stolen from her uncle’s popular gallery, throwing all suspicion onto his wife’s missing granddaughter.

Determined to clear Sloan Rafferty’s name and, in the process, win Paul’s favor, Chase scours the countryside looking for answers. In his absence, the police accuse Rachel’s uncle of an unsolved murder and secrets surrounding her grandmother’s death and the deaths of Sara’s former husbands turn his wife into the most likely suspect. With the true villains hell-bent on destroying Paul Lyons and his family, solving both crimes while ensuring her uncle’s freedom not only endangers Rachel’s life but that of her unborn child.

Will Chase save them before the kidnappers enact their revenge or will the ultimate price be paid, as predicted by a vagabond fortuneteller?








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