The one guy she can’t have is the one she can’t forget.
Liam Quinn is one of the biggest movie stars in the world…and 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. Now one moment of weakness is about to create a scandal that will echo around the world.
Elissa knows that falling for Liam again would be a tragedy in the making, but as any good romantic knows, love doesn’t always follow the script.
Honest review in exchange for an ARC from NetGalley
5 amazing, wonderful, fantastic stars for Wicked Heart!
This was my first book by Leisa Rayven. I own the first two books but have yet to read them (they have moved to the top of my TBR list now due to this beautifully crafted story). Even though I didn’t read the first two books yet, I chose to dive into this book since it can be read as a stand-alone, and the teasers were too good to pass up. I wasn’t disappointed with my choice, because I absolutely adored this story and these characters.
The structure of this story draws the reader into the lives of the characters immediately. Leisa Rayven accomplishes this by having Liam and Liss see each other again at the beginning of the book. The story then flashes back to their first meeting in order to see their courtship, which heightens the intrigue of the reader. I was invested in these characters by 13% and emotionally destroyed so many times throughout the first couple chapters. This agony, and I mean it in the best way possible, is only drawn out as the reader returns to the present to see Liss handle Liam while trying to remain professional at work and stay loyal to her friendship with Angel. The story ultimately caused me to experience a varying range of emotions, and when an author can make you feel a hollowness in your chest, an aching in your heart, and butterflies in your stomach all in one story, you know the writing and story are fabulous!
More than the story, I loved these characters. Angel is beautiful, sweet, kind, and in the end her loyalty to her friends makes her such a likable character, even when you want to hate her. Josh, can we be friends? I loved him, and his comic relief was expertly placed to relieve tension in scenes. He was also incredibly loyal and supportive to Liss throughout the whole story. (There was one area at the end of the book during the epilogue between Liss and Josh that surprised me because it didn’t show throughout the book. So, although I thought is was odd to include the detail at the end of the book, it didn’t bother me that it was there. I just personally didn’t feel it was necessary.) Liam and Liss were fantastic characters. Both have lived their lives to fulfill obligations to others, but eventually have enough. Liam is your typical heartthrob, but I loved him anyway. Liss, like Liam, spends a good portion of the book being honorable, but eventually realizes that life is just too short. This idea is summed up in my favorite line from the book, “…You can give up a lot of things in life and still be happy…but the one thing you’re absolutely not allowed to give up on is true love. When you find it, you should grab it with both hands and never let it go, because although it may not be easy or convenient, it’s worth it…You get the love you fight for. The one you think you deserve” Liss and Liam decided to fight for what they thought was worth it.
Finally, the other part I enjoyed about the story was the lack of vilifying a character I loved. Leisa Rayven could have easily taken the traditional route with the conflict, but I loved the use of an outside secondary character. I would have been devastated if one of the characters I came to adore had been tainted by certain behaviors, but it never happened. In the end, the reader is left with a happily ever after for all involved.
Ultimately, the writing was beautiful, and the characters were wonderfully complex. I can’t say enough complementary things about the book, and I can’t wait to see what this author does next!
Amazon: Wicked Heart