Rend (Riven: Book 2) by Roan Parrish

Rend (Riven, #2)

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: November 27th, 2018

Genre: Romance, LGBTQIA

Series: Riven

Riven—Book 1 (review here)

Rend—Book 2

Raze—Book 3 (expected publication date: July 2nd, 2019)

Where you can find Rend: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

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.

Roan Parrish’s pitch-perfect Riven novels can be read together or separately:

My review:

Abandoned as a child, Matt is used to being alone. He has formed no lasting relationships with anyone other than his best friends, Grin and Sid. But that changes when Matt meets Rhys at a bar one night. Looking for a casual hookup, Matt finds himself heads over heels in love with Rhys. Rhys makes him feel safe and secure. Something that was missing when he was a child. But that is soon tested when Rhys, a talented musician, goes on tour. Doubt if Rhys’s will come home takes over Matt’s life. Matt’s life starts to spiral out of control during the last weeks of Rhys’s tour. Which worries friends and Rhys. Matt finally comes clean with his fears and his awful childhood. Can Rhys convince Matt that he is there forever? Can Matt overcome his past? Can Rhys convince Matt that his love is forever?

I was pretty excited to read Rend. I was wondering what the story was behind Matt and Rhys’s relationship. So when I saw that this book was about that, I didn’t even hesitate to request it. I will warn you all. This book gets off to a slow start. It creeps the first couple of chapters. Normally, I would be complaining about slow starts to books. But, in this case, it works. It lays the groundwork for Matt and Rhys’s relationship. It also showed how Matt’s childhood affected him as an adult.

I didn’t exactly like Matt when I started reading the book. Without knowing his background, he came across as needy and insecure. But, as I read the book and as I started to learn more about his background, I realized that he was a damaged person. What clued me in was how he acted when Rhys was on tour. His mental state, which was not great when Rhys was there, disintegrated to the point where he couldn’t even function. When he finally told Rhys about his childhood, my heart broke. It broke for the child he was and the damaged man that he became. What I liked is that the author didn’t have Matt’s issues go away when he told Rhys. Instead, it showed Matt working on getting mentally better with Rhys’s help.

I liked Rhys. He was so devoted to Matt. His confusion over Matt’s breakdown was sad. I do think that he should have pushed for more answers about Matt’s past. Especially since they had known each other for only 2-3 months before getting married. I didn’t agree with his reaction when Matt broke down and told him about his childhood. Leaving was the worst thing that he could have done. I did understand why he left. He needed to get his thoughts in order. I would have done the same thing. The talk that Caleb had with Rhys was blunt but true. Rhys couldn’t save everyone from themselves.

Rhys and Matt had their ups and downs in this book. There were points in the book where I wondered if their relationship was going to make it. It showed that while love is great, it is work. I loved it. It wasn’t showing a happily ever after where everything is fine. Matt had some major issues that needed work. While all was fine at the end of the book, I couldn’t help but wonder if they would stay together.

Of course, the sex was insanely hot in this book. Matt and Rhys didn’t lack sexual attraction or chemistry. Put it this way, I had to fan myself after reading some of those scenes. I will warn that some of the sex scenes are explicit.

I loved that Theo and Caleb were in this book. I was wondering if they were going to be. Theo was just as adorable in Rend as he was in Riven. I loved that he took a liking to Matt and looked out for him. I loved that Caleb was able to talk to Rhys about what was happening with Matt. The advice he gave to Rhys was blunt but true.

The end of the book was a tear-jerker. I won’t say exactly what happened but it was amazing. I felt the love!! Besides making me cry, it did make me smile too.

I gave Rend a 4-star rating. I enjoyed reading this romance. This was a gritty, darker romance that resonated with me. I came to care about the main characters. The plotlines were engaging. I did get irritated with Rhys and Matt during separate parts of the book. But, it was nothing that affected my rating of the book.

I would give Rend an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is language. There is violence. There are triggers. They would be an abandonment of a child. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Rend. I would also recommend this book to family and friends. I would include a warning about triggers.

I would like to thank Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Rend.

All opinions stated in this review of Rend are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

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