Review: Riven by Roan Parrish

RIVEN
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance
Author: Roan Parrish
Release Date: May 29, 2018

Theo Decker might be the lead singer of Riven, but he hates being a rock star. The paparazzi, the endless tours, being recognized everywhere he goes—it all makes him squirm. The only thing he doesn’t hate is the music. Feeling an audience’s energy as they lose themselves in Riven’s music is a rush unlike anything else . . . until he meets Caleb Blake Whitman. Caleb is rough and damaged, yet his fingers on his guitar are pure poetry. And his hands on Theo? They’re all he can think about. But Caleb’s no groupie—and one night with him won’t be enough.

Just when Caleb is accepting his new life as a loner, Theo Decker slinks into it and turns his world upside-down. Theo’s sexy and brilliant and addictively vulnerable, and all Caleb wants is another hit. And another. That’s how he knows Theo’s trouble. Caleb can’t even handle performing these days. How the hell is he going to survive an affair with a tabloid superstar? But after Caleb sees the man behind the rock star, he begins to wonder if Theo might be his chance at a future he thought he’d lost forever.

AMAZON

He was lust and heat and power and I fucking loved it.

Have you ever read a book for the cover alone? What? Now don’t look at me like that. Have you seen this cover? There’s just something about it that’s utterly magnetic. It lures you in. And then you read the blurb, and INSTANT HOOK!

This was my second book by Roan Parrish and I’m definitely a fan. Riven is an emotional, character driven story that was as gripping as it was raw. Now normally, I don’t really enjoy a romance where the main characters hook up in less than 20% of the book. But that’s what happened when Theo first stumbles onto Caleb. The unwilling rockstar that’s trying to escape his reality meets a brooding recovering addict and sparks fly immediately. After no more than some conversation over their love of music and a romantic walk, they fall into bed together. But yet somehow it totally worked in this story.

The chemistry between Theo and Caleb may have been instant, but it also progresses over the course of their courtship. Caleb struggles daily with his sobriety. He was such an endearingly imperfect character. This is a man that’s as far from perfect as it gets, and he knows it. After several failed stints in rehab, he hopes his third will be the charm. Cutting himself off fully from his previous life is the only way he sees of serving sobriety this time around. And Theo and his fame threatens everything he’s worked so hard for.

Theo was absolutely adorable. There was something so vulnerable about him that you can’t help but fall for him. He wears his heart on his sleeve and his emotions all over his face. He’s one of the most genuine characters I’ve read in a long while. His fame is still a shock to him and something he struggles with. He loves music, but hates the notoriety that has come with it and the weird vibe that he seems to have with his bandmates. Caleb is his escape from his own gloom reality.

Theo had burrowed deeper than I’d realized, dug barbs into me. And when he’d ripped away—when I’d pushed him away—it had felt like they all tore loose at once.

This was a bit slower paced than I normally like, but it still worked for me. I loved the characters, and I absolutely loved the story. It may not have been my normal cuppa, but it was one I enjoyed from beginning to finish. Caleb and Theo were adorable together and oh so sexy. If you’re looking for an emotionally charged, character driven story, this is a definite must read.

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