Friday, February 16, 2018

Riven Review

Title:  Riven
Author:  Roan Parrish
Publisher:  Random House LLC - Loveswept
Release Date:  May 29, 2018
Purchase Link:  Amazon

My Rating: 
Cover:  5 Seductive Hearts
Story:  5 Raw, Sensual Hearts

*Many thanks to Loveswept for a copy of this arc via Netgally.

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.

Readers Beware!  Riven is raw, seductive, and highly addictive!  Once you partake, you'll be hopelessly hooked and craving more, more, more . . . more of Theo & Caleb, more of their sensual, passionate story & music, more of this author's rhythmic, unique voice.  What struck me like a lightning bolt about this story is the "honesty" resonating throughout, growing stronger & more demanding beat by beat.  Although denied by both men for a long time, it drives both main characters to finally face the haunting, debilitating truths holding them each back individually.

There's little doubt that Riven is character driven - the story of two men consumed heart and soul by music in its purest form.  Caleb's career has waned as he succumbed to the rock lifestyle and is now paying his penance - left believing that the only hope for his sanity and survival is giving up the very thing that keeps his heart beating - music and everything & everyone associated with it.  On the other hand, Theo is riding the monster crest of fame, but he's drowning under the never-ending adoration of fans and the relentless pursuit of paparazzi - a reluctant rock star in that he hates the fame, lifestyle, and all it entails.  He, like Caleb, lives for the music and songs reverberating in his head. 

As this story opens, the two men meet and their erotic, passionate, troubled journey begins.  Their chemistry is electric, and readers are gifted with love scenes that are highly combustible.  Parrish's characterizations are authentic - so real and powerful and explosive that my heart overflowed with their truths and turmoil.  There's a song from Dan Hill (later recorded by other artists) from way back that portrays Theo & Caleb and their conflicted emotions and inner battles best for me (it is not used in this book).  I began hearing it in my head as this story played out and will quote it here as it describes the way I saw and felt these two men better than my own words can.  The chorus goes like this:

Sometimes when we touch,

The honesty's too much,
And I have to close my eyes & hide.
I wanna hold you 'til I die,
'Til we both break down & cry,
I wanna hold you till the fear in me subsides.
(*by Dan Hill - Protected by copyright)

The honesty and love of these two men for music and each other is painful, all-consuming, & overwhelming at times as they work through their fears in an effort to move forward. And yet, through it all, they always feel genuine.

Riven is NOT your typical Rock Star story; in fact, there's nothing "typical" about this book.  It's a gift, a rare treasure - one readers only dream of discovering once in a blue moon hidden among all the other books on the shelf.  The sensuous yet mysterious siren of a cover seduced me into taking a closer look at this book, and the blurb sealed the deal.  I decided to take a chance on it and am so glad I did.  Roan Parrish has delivered a story and characters that will forever play in my head, heart, and soul.  All I can ask is "More, please!"  A Page Burning, Must Read!

My Rating:  5 Raw, Seductive, Sensual Hearts . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx

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