Published: July 3rd 2012 by Loose Id
Series: Battered Hearts #2
Characters: Romeo Wellings, Juliet Conner, Wyatt Conner, Valentino & Casanova Moretti.
Received eARC copy of author for review.
Heavyweight MMA 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
As I began reading Star Crossed I realized something a few chapters in; this books should come with a warning because the sexual heat and dirty conversations between Juliet ‘Jules’ Conner and Romeo “The Gladiator” Wellings are off the chart! You would be in need of a fan and oxygen real quick. So it didn’t take long for me to be completely immersed in the sultry to and fro between Jules and Romeo.
Kele Moon knows how to portray the sexy, let me rephrase that in page-melting sexy and in Star Crossed she took it a creative notch further. Even if I thoroughly enjoyed myself with the erotic antics between Romeo and Jules I also wondered at one point where the conflict would be coming from. The first hundred and thirty pages or so it is erotic romance at its finest and yet I missed a certain element that would tightly weave everything together. Perhaps this is due to the time frame in the first quarter of the story, which spans a few months where I got intervals between events instead of a complete timeline. After the hundred and thirty pages it felt like all elements blended more tightly and became a well-rounded whole where the effect of Kele Moon’s writing was going full force.
First let me talk about characters because each single one adds a wonderful voice to the story. They pulled me into their world and I loved being their every second!! With Romeo Wellings I got a dirty talking, tortured hero who checked off the items on my list of what I want in a hero. He’s very determined when it comes to the woman he falls for. He is sexy personified. He has passion for his job as an MMA fighter. He has issues and emotional scars. And he has heart for his family. Romeo meeting Jules was instant combustion. Jules has a tough-as-nails attitude, she is there for everyone, she has humor and intelligence, she embraces her sensuality but underneath it all there are some complex issues. Together, Romeo and Jules let the romance skyrocket from the pages and it was so easy to invest my emotions in their trials and tribulations.
Next to this magnetic pairing there are Romeo’s brothers, Casanova and Valentino. The camaraderie between the three brothers immediately gives off the vibe of a tight-knit family. Tino (Valentino) is the young, sexy and party-party guy whereas Nova (Casanova) has a fierce intelligence and loyalty. Nova really is my kind of man material. There is darkness, a bit of badness but he is also a soulful man. He triggers that instant curiosity and need uncover what drives him, to get underneath that surface of his attitude. The backstory of both contains so much more than the first impression led to believe. I think it is a masterful move of Kele Moon to introduce these three Italian men; Romeo, Casanova and Valentino to the Battered Hearts cast. And with these men the mafia. It brought a tension to the story that heightened the risks, the romance and the intensity of the interpersonal connections between a multitude of characters.
Of course I also got a dose of Clay, Melody and Wyatt. I remember feeling very irritated by Wyatt’s attitude in Defying The Odds but I got a different perspective of him in Star Crossed. I got a glimpse inside his soul and I was floored. He made me cry even if he still has those irritating moments. There are layers to Wyatt’s character and I can’t wait for Kele Moon to lay it all bare for me! I can’t get enough of the depth in characterization this author brings to each main and secondary character. The connection it forged while I was reading Star Crossed amazed me and I simultaneously reveled in it!
While I initially missed a romantic conflict I had no idea what was in store. The attraction is instant between Romeo and Jules and it births a strong romance. That love gradually got more complicated and got challenged by external conflicts. The tension of the external problems were subtle at first until I got to a point where it got to full-blown chills and thrills danger, which kept me enthralled reading the chapters away. The feelings pouring out of the characters resonated with me and I got to laugh, I got to cry, I felt fear and I got to squirm in my seat. I’m still astound how the story development caught me off guard and I enjoy such surprises. I also fell in love all over again with the atmospheric small town setting of Garnet. It brings an intimate feel to the ‘everyone knows everyone’ angle and a leisure to the rhythm of the days I like.
In Star Crossed, Kele Moon amps it up and creates a deeply touching tale where a breathtaking romance and a riveting conclusion kept me engrossed. With a unique blend of multi-faceted characters who have realistic flaws, provocative eroticism, soul-baring emotions and a writing style that amplifies the former this author can’t write fast enough!
Each time I read a story from Kele Moon I get to fall in love with new characters. What reader says no to that!!
“Well, that’s convenient.” Romeo gave a husky laugh. “’Cause listening to you come until you pass out is exactly what I asked Santa for.”
[…] because Romeo Wellings was one of the most feared fighters in all of MMA. There was a raw fury to his fighting. A wild passion that was beautiful and terrifying. He was swift and agile for someone as big as him, and there was no denying he had a natural gift that likely showed itself at a young age.
“What would you like us to be?” Romeo countered tauntingly, his tone daring her to be honest. [...] “Sweaty and naked,” Jules finally settled on. “Wild, sweaty, and naked. That’s what I want us to be.”
Romeo sucked in a sharp breath. His eyes widened. His entire body tightened as if something electric had struck him...
This time his need was scorching, overwhelming to the point that Jules was consumed by it. His tongue pushed into her mouth, hard and possessive. His hands ran up her back and then pulled down the zipper to her dress.
The very air crackled with the sexual energy vibrating between them. One wrong move threatened to set off a chain of events that could destroy what they both were before this moment—the danger, the lust, it was intoxicating.
“We got all night.” Romeo nipped at her neck, his fingers still stroking her unrelentingly. “You don’t gotta hold back, baby. Gimme what I want.”
Romeo was completely city-crass and demanding and hell-bent hurried to get to where he was going—but Jules was so in tune with him she found herself giving in to his demands despite wanting to fight against them. She came violently, crying out as the pleasure burst inside her. The destruction of it was pure Romeo, fiery and all consuming, leaving a wake of shivering bliss as it tore through her.
It was on the tip of her tongue to say something terrible, to point out that at least she had someone who cared, even if he was far away and only able to connect with her via phone sex. Wyatt had been alone since Tabitha left, and Jules was fairly certain he hadn’t had sex in over a decade.
“Go ahead, say it,” Wyatt taunted, making it obvious he was reading her intentions clear as day. “Cut me, Jules. I dare ya. See if I bleed.” –cries a river-
It was love on their terms, raw and carnal, with no more excuses and no regrets.
This was real to Romeo. This was honest and right. Being with her was perfect synchronicity. The rest was bullshit.
“Touch me,” she pleaded, wanting it to be his hand and body that pushed her over instead of her own. “Please.”
Romeo slid his hand between her body and the bed, finding her clit as he started moving faster, losing himself to the rising tide. He was speaking in Italian. She could tell he was confessing things, and she heard the emotion even if the words were lost on her.
Love. Passion. Fear.
They all spilled out of Romeo as he fucked her body and owned her soul. Then his hand fisted in her wet hair once more, pulling her head back until she was tasting the passion, salty with tears—she didn’t know whose, and it didn’t matter because they were suddenly one soul, two halves that had found home in a place where they least expected it. -romantic orgasm-
With white headphones in his ears, his brother bounced and danced and kicked at that stuffed sack of beans, and for the life of him, Romeo couldn’t tell if he was trying to hurt the thing or date it.
“What sorta heavyweight goes over the upper limit?” Romeo looked at his bare stomach in concern. He’d been eating at that Hal’s place nearly every day, and he was feeling very content and complacent with Jules. Didn’t guys gain ten pounds the moment they fell into a real relationship? “Am I getting fat?” -dies laughing-
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