Series: Riven: Book Two
Author: Roan Parrish
Length: 259 Pages
At a Glance: The power of Matty and Rhys’s love for each other is immense and fills the pages with hope. Do not miss this book, you guys! I’ve already added it to my top reads of 2018 list.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: After a whirlwind romance, a man with a painful past learns to trust the musician who makes him believe in happy endings.
Matt Argento knows what it feels like to be alone. After a childhood of abandonment, he never imagined someone might love him—much less someone like Rhys Nyland, who has the voice of an angel, the looks of a god, and the worship of his fans.
Matt and Rhys come from different worlds, but when they meet, their chemistry is incendiary. Their romance is unexpected, intense, and forever—at least, that’s what their vows promise. Suddenly, Matt finds himself living a life he never thought possible: safe and secure in the arms of a man who feels like home. But when Rhys leaves to go on tour for his new album, Matt finds himself haunted by the ghosts of his past.
When Rhys returns, he finds Matt twisted by doubt. But Rhys loves Matt fiercely, and he’ll go to hell and back to triumph over Matt’s fears. After secrets are revealed and desires are confessed, Rhys and Matt must learn to trust each other if they’re going to make it. That means they have to fall in love all over again—and this time, it really will be forever.
Review: As I sit down to write this review, I’m finding myself at a loss for words. My feelings on the book are clear: It was unbelievably gorgeous, and tender, and gut-wrenching, and I absolutely loved it. But, I’m honestly unsure how to properly convey the beauty to you guys. I don’t know how to quantify or describe in words how much I loved Rhys, or how to explain how full my heart was (and still is) when I finished reading it. Rend is not an easy book to read. In fact, it was a big old gut-punch at times, and some might find the overall tone to be sad, but I honestly didn’t. Even though it deals with tough subjects, and Matty is definitely sad more than he’s happy, I actually found the overall tone to be hopeful rather than sad. And that hope, the beauty that absolutely radiates from this book, is hugely down to Rhys.
Those who read Riven, the prequel to Rend, will of course be at least a little bit familiar with Rhys. Having not read Riven myself, this book was my first introduction to his character, so I don’t know how large a role he played there or how well readers got to know him, but I can only assume that he was as perpetually sunny and kind-hearted in that book as he is in this one. Rhys is steadfast, caring, hot as sin, and exactly what Matt needs. I loved how he was able to lift Matty up with simply his presence.
When his lips touched mine, something unspooled throughout my whole body. A bright, sweet pulse of something like possibility. Like the sun rising and driving away the shadows of night.
Since the sole voice in the book is Matt’s, there are lots of little gems like that one, showing us how vital Rhys quickly becomes in his life. When Rhys is around, Matt feels whole. Unfortunately, though, when Rhys isn’t around, Matt is a mess, which is the focus of the majority of the story. Matt’s abandonment issues and history of growing up in the foster care system have understandably shaped who he is, and even though he’s finally got a job he finds fulfilling and is proud of, he still doesn’t feel he’s truly worthy of having anything good in his life, or that anything good will last.
Roan Parrish’s writing is exemplary. She knows how to deliver a story that will grab you and not let go, and characters that lodge themselves in your heart. But, what I really loved about this book in particular was the uniqueness of the story structure itself. The prologue—which is beyond gorgeous—shows us how Matt and Rhys met and sets up the love story, but then, rather than following along with the typical romance formula, where the end game is so often the wedding or at least a proposal, chapter one opens with Matt and Rhys already married and living their lives together. And what follows is them learning what it truly means to be married, and to tie yourself to someone else.
Like I said earlier, this book really is tough at times. The weight of Matty’s sadness is a lot to bear, and feeling his struggle is hard. But there is a massive amount of love in the book as well. The power of Matty and Rhys’s love for each other is immense and fills the pages with hope. Do not miss this book, you guys! I’ve already added it to my top reads of 2018 list. <3
You can buy Rend here:
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