Kele Moon
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Release Date
July 2012
Book 2 of Battered Hearts
Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance

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.

Book Review by Rho (reviewer)
Jul 20, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
258 people found the following review helpful
When I finished the first installment of the Battered Hearts series by Kele Moon, I begged for Romeo and Jules to have their story told. I didn't think their story was coming next, but it was the one I was most looking forward to reading.

Well, it seems as though my prayers were answered because STAR-CROSSED came out as the second story in the series and it has exceeded every last one of my expectations. I mean, I knew Romeo and Jules were going to bring the heat, but I had no idea it was going to be the sweltering, melt your panties, and have you blushing even a few days later kind of heat!

Romeo is one of those guys who does those mixed martial arts (MMA) fights to the death type of matches, and he is just coming off a loss of the championship belt when he comes face to face with his sworn enemy's twin sister, Juliet (no kidding). They end up having a very hot one-night stand that neither one of them can forget. The problem is that he's got his mafioso family breathing down his neck to throw fights and he knows that he's in no position to have a relationship with anyone, least of all Jules.

Jules is a woman with many hates, she's a lawyer, a deputy in the sheriff's department, and she also runs the MMA center in her town of Garnet--the home of the guy Romeo lost his fight to. She doesn't have time for a relationship her twin brother would be staunchly against, but she can't seem to not answer the phone when Romeo calls.

It seems as though everything is against a relationship between the two of them working out, but Romeo and Jules can't seem to fight the pull. However, Romeo's familial ties become dangerous and that may end up having dire circumstances for both of them.

Oh baby...this was hawt! Romeo with all his slick badboyness (yeah, I know I just made that up) had me wanting him to muss up Jules really badly. She seemed so...not reserved, but inhibited in the last book. I knew she just needed someone to help loosen her up. And Romeo, well, he just knew the right buttons to push. And when those two got together...WOW! I'm just thinking about this one scene where Romeo and Jules are sparring—who'd have thought that beating the crap out of each other would be such good foreplay?

But this would not be a Kele Moon novel if there wasn't a great story. Romeo and Jules both have family issues--although one is illegal and the other one is tragic--and they are letting those issues stifle them as well as keep them from moving forward with their lives. I ached for both of them at times because they were both so torn with wanting to fulfill their obligations to family but at the same pursue this amazing love that they had between them.

The secondary characters in this series are great, and I'm hoping that it means we'll be getting to see a lot more stories about the folks in Garnet. Clay, Juliet's twin, is way too crotchety to be in his early thirties. I can't wait for his story. We really got to learn a lot more about his heartbreak, and I really want to see his HEA. Also, Romeo's brothers, especially Casanova (yes, that's really his name) were much deeper characters than I initially thought. I hope to see more of them as well.

While this is obviously a 5 star read for me, I am still amazed at how well STAR-CROSSED was done. The whole Romeo and Juliet, doomed love, star-crossed lovers thing has been done before. But this was like a whole new story, and I think that's a testament to how well Kele Moon can write. She's an amazing talent, and I look forward to reading her books for years to come.
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Book Review by debra taylor (reviewer)
Mar 08, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
242 people found the following review helpful
A modern day Romeo and Juliet. Star-crossed lovers. That's what this sexy as sin story is about. It was the first book, Defying the Odds, that hooked me on this series. I was, however, ecstatic to discover that this book was hotter and sexier than the last book. If possible, this story was even more emotionally charged and the characters were better developed.

After hooking up with Romeo for one night in Vegas, Jules can't get the big guy off her mind. He made her feel something that no other guy has. But she is concerned that they are too different. It is true that they come from different worlds, with some major obstacles to overcome. There's a lot to be said for the glory of anticipation and for good phone sex. And for exploding chemistry, once Romeo blows back into Jules life. Unfortunately, his past and a whole lot of trouble follow him.

As the story opens, Romeo and Juliet are pulled into each other's orbit really quickly. Once the smexy starts, their relationship developes just as fast, even if it is just phone sex at first. By the time they were reunited, the anticipation and passion almost set the sheets on fire. Kele Moon knows how to write some steamy love scenes. I love that her books don't hold back when it comes to the sex. Fantastic, blow your mind, lose your panties, leave you breathless sex. But she also weaves emotion into the sex. The connection between Romeo and Juliet is something the reader can feel, it becomes tangible, as does the obstacles they face.

I loved the characters in this story. Romeo is a hot alpha hero, and I loved him. Jules is a great heroine. She's smart, independent and takes no crap from anyone. Even the secondary characters had a brilliant charisma that sparkled, and kept the story moving along. I enjoyed the scenes with Jules and her brother Wyatt. The deep bond between them was completely endearing, and I closely related to it myself. I found myself laughing at their squabbling, it lightened up the whole story. The same thing can be said for Romeo, Nova, and Tino. The true story surrounding Romeo and his brothers was as heartbreaking as it was inspiring.

I really expected this to be a fairly light, run-of-the-mill erotic romance. Well, it's definitely erotic and it's definitely a romance, but trust me when I tell you, it's so much more. It's a wonderful story with lots of humor and steam. It's poignant and heartbreaking on many levels. I was sucked into this book, emotions and all. I was completely invested in the story and the characters, and can't wait to get back to Garnet and Wyatt's story. It is truly a wonderful story.
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Book Review by Books Books and More Books (reviewer)
Jan 20, 2020
46 people found the following review helpful
I started reading this immediately following Defying The Odd, Battered Hearts, #1. I was apprehensive at first, the main characters are actually named Romeo and Juliet. Initially, I thought I've experienced this story line too many times; do I really need to reread it. However, Kele Moon gave them unique (enough) experiences which kept the story interesting. By the end, I was completing entrenched in their HEA - I adored them...
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