We are today's stop on the Star Crossed Review Only Tour hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions. Star Crossed is a sexy modern day retelling of Romeo and Juliet written by Kele Moon. There is an excerpt, a giveaway by the author and our review.
Star Crossed (Battered Hearts Book 2) by Kele Moon
Contemporary romance*ebook, 294 pages*Published July 3rd 2012 by Loose Id
Heavyweight UFC fighter, Romeo Wellings comes from the hard streets of New York where his family ties to the mafia cause him nothing but pain. His life takes a surprising detour when he crosses paths with the twin sister of his long time enemy. After a steamy one-night stand, he faces the fight of his life, but it’s not in the cage. The secret relationship that blooms between Romeo and his real life Juliet has him battling his family and a dark past rather than let her go.
The only lawyer in her hometown of Garnet, Jules Conner is also a volunteer Sheriff’s deputy and co-owner of a successful MMA training center. Strong and dependable, Jules is always there for those who need her. Until one forbidden night in Las Vegas with Romeo leaves her feeling so alive she can’t stop reaching out to the sexy, bad boy of MMA, even knowing the forbidden love affair could jeopardize everything.
As the tide rises against them and the people they love work at keeping them apart, Romeo and Jules hold onto a dream for a better life together and vow to go down fighting rather than accept a tragic ending.
EXCERPT:“Got enough bags?” asked a warm, sexy voice behind her, amusement laced thickly in his New York accent. “Don’t they teach those country boys manners? They got you carrying everything. I guess chivalry’s officially dead.”
Jules turned around, giving Romeo a look of horror. He just smiled in response, bold and cocky as ever. She wasn’t sure why she was surprised. She glanced back to Wyatt, seeing that he had indeed heard Romeo and was now glaring in their direction as he waited for their tickets.
“Wellings,” she said coolly, despite her pulse picking up and her body responding to him being so near. “Strange coincidence running into you.”
“Not that strange. We all got places to be.” He stepped closer, invading her personal space.
Jules jumped when Romeo reached out and grabbed her hand, squeezing it in his larger one. His thumb swept over the top of it as he leaned in and whispered, “If you were on my team, I’d carry all those bags for you.”
Jules jerked her hand out of Romeo’s embrace, turning around to make sure Wyatt hadn’t seen. Feeling very self-conscious, she snapped, “I’m a capable woman. I don’t need anyone to carry my bags for me.”
“Maybe you do, and you just don’t know it yet.” Romeo’s smile grew broader. “You ever think of visiting New York?”
“I’ve been to New York,” Jules said, unable to resist a teasing smirk. “I ain’t all that impressed with it.”
Romeo laughed. “That’s ’cause you haven’t seen my New York.”
Wyatt came up before Jules could respond. He handed her the new ticket, saying, “They fixed ’em.” He grabbed Clay’s carry-on off Jules’s left shoulder, all the while glaring at Romeo before he managed a tense greeting. “Wellings.”
“Conner,” Romeo responded, all good humor gone from his voice.
It was an awkward moment. Jules was just pondering how to break away without being too rude to Romeo or too obvious to Wyatt when one of Romeo’s brothers, who lingered near the sliding glass doors, waved him down.
“You coming or what?”
Romeo waved back, looking irritated at his brother before he gave Jules a look: longing, regret, sadness. She wasn’t real sure what it meant, and she didn’t have time to analyze it.
He turned to leave with a clipped, “Later.”
“Okay,” Jules said softly, trying to sort out her own feelings. That seemed like too humble a good-bye for what they’d shared, but she found herself echoing his words. “Later.”
About the author:
A freckle-faced redhead born and raised in Hawaii, Kele Moon has always been a bit of a sore thumb and has come to enjoy the novelty of it. She thrives on pushing the envelope and finding ways to make the impossible work in her story telling. With a mad passion for romance, she adores the art of falling in love. The only rules she believes in is that, in love, there are no rules and true love knows no bounds.
So obsessed is she with the beauty of romance and the novelty of creating it, she’s lost in her own wonder world most of the time. Thankfully she married her own dark, handsome, brooding hero who has infinite patience for her airy ways and attempts to keep her grounded. When she leaves her keys in the refrigerator or her cell phone in the oven, he’s usually there to save her from herself. The two of them now reside in Florida with their three beautiful children, who make their lives both fun and challenging in equal parts—they wouldn’t have it any other way.
I'm always up for reading modern day retellings of favorite classics. It's always interesting to see how authors re-imagine timeless tales. Kele Moon has updated Romeo and Juliet by placing the star crossed lovers in a contemporary setting, made Romeo a New Yorker, a heavyweight UFC fighter with a mob connection and Juliet is now named Jules and she's a lawyer, co-owns a training center and, as if she doesn't already have enough to do, volunteers as a Sheriff's deputy. One chance evening between the two strangers makes them lovers, marking them forever as something more--Star Crossed.
I really enjoyed the premise of this story. Romeo and Jules were likable though I didn't connect with them on another level, here I didn't feel like I needed to. I wanted to witness them connect as an outsider and it worked for me. A simple act of gratuity with her invitation to dinner so she can thank Romeo for his heroic act winds up with the two creating sparks. Jules is the twin sister of Romeo's rival and is off limits so when they meet and connect, they are forced to keep their relationship a secret.
Star Crossed has sexy phone calls, lots of action (in the bedroom and out), gun fights, and a sizzling chemistry between the lead characters. I would have liked a little more background into Romeo's family and mob connections and I thought the two fell in love awfully quick, but with Moon's writing, the love scenes never came across as redundant or overdone. Well written dialogue, a fast paced story, an involving plot and a convincing couple to like makes Star Crossed a welcome addition to readers who enjoy their contemporary romance hot.
Cover comment: Flirty fun. I love the expression on their faces--that says it all for me.
Book source: I received an eARC from the author in return for my honest review during a review only book blog tour.
Kele will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Follow the tour and comment to increase your chances of winning.
The tour dates can be found here.