Weekly Wrap Up: June 30th through July 6th, 2019

Clicking on titles under Books I’ve ReadNetGalley Haul,and Email Haul will take you to Goodreads.

Clicking on titles under Books with Pending Reviews and Books with Published Reviews will take you to Amazon.

Clicking on titles Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz will take you to that specific blog post.

Clicking on links under Giveaways I’ve Entered will take you to that giveaway

Clicking on the titles under Freebies I Scored will take you to Goodreads.

Clicking on the links under Weekly Posts will take you to that specific blog post.


Books I’ve Read:

An Unorthodox Match

A Highlander Walks into a Bar

29 Seconds

Books with pending reviews:

29 Seconds—review coming September 10th, 2019

The Truth Behind the Lie—review coming August 27th, 2019

Books with published reviews:

A Highlander Walks into a Bar—review here

Raze—review here

The Shadowverse—review here

We Went to the Woods—review here

NetGalley Haul:

Dark Alpha’s Redemption

Christmas Angels

Followers

The Wives

Email Haul:

Red Dawn Rising

Dirty Cooking

Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz:

Under the Skin—Excerpt

She’s a Spitfire—Excerpt

A Highlander Walks into a Bar—Blog Tour

Giveaways I’ve Entered:

Toxic Toffee—from Kensington Books

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Theme Thursday

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Raze (Riven: Book 3) by Roan Parrish

Raze (Riven Series Book 3) by [Parrish, Roan]

3.5 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept, Loveswept

Date of publication: July 2nd, 2019

Genre: LGBTQIA, Romance

Series: Riven

Riven—Book 1 (review here)

Rend—Book 2 (review here)

Raze—Book 3

Where you can find Raze: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Sometimes the walls we build to save ourselves have to come tumbling down.

For the last ten years, Huey has built his life around his sobriety. If that means he doesn’t give a damn about finding love or companionship for himself, well, it’s probably better that way. After all, the last thing he wants is to hurt anyone else. Until Felix Rainey walks into his bar, fresh-faced, unbearably sweet—and, for some reason Huey can’t fathom, interested in him.

As the eldest of five kids, Felix Rainey spent his childhood cooking dinner, checking homework, and working after-school jobs. Now in his twenties, he’s still scrambling to make ends meet and wondering what the hell he’s doing with his life. When he meets Huey, he’s intimidated . . . and enamored. Huey’s strong and confident, he owns his own business—hell, he’s friends with rock stars. What could he ever see in Felix?

As Huey and Felix get closer, the spark catches and soon they can’t get enough of each other. But Huey’s worked hard to avoid intimacy, and Felix threatens his carefully constructed defenses. Huey realizes he needs to change if he wants to truly put his past behind him—and build a future with Felix. 

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


My Review:

"In the corner of my bar, a cheerfully drunk man sang loudly and out of tune."

I was excited to see that there was another book in the Riven series. I had enjoyed the previous two books and was hoping that I would like Raze. For the most part, I did like it. But the parts that I didn’t like did affect my rating.

Raze’s plotline was enjoyable to read. It was well written, and the author didn’t let anything lag. She also didn’t drop storylines. The plotline was also a fast moving one. Put it this way; I was able to sit down and read Raze within 2 hours.

I liked Felix, but man, he annoyed me. He was too whiny and too clingy. He didn’t know how to talk to people. He was immature. But, when he wasn’t being any of those traits that I mentioned, he was a good guy. He was a good son and a great sibling. He cared about Huey. But those good traits were buried beneath the stuff that I didn’t like. I wish they were showcased more.

I didn’t know what to make of Huey. Getting his backstory was like pulling teeth. It was leaked a little at a time. It drove me nuts. I didn’t like that I couldn’t pinpoint what his feelings were for Felix. Again, drove me nuts. I liked seeing a different Huey appear by the end of the book. He was grounded and happy. Loved it!!

Like I stated in the paragraph above, I couldn’t get a handle on Huey’s feelings for Felix. Because of that, the romance between them seemed forced.

The sex scenes were hot. What Felix and Huey lacked in the romance department, they made up for with sex. Those scenes were so hot that I was expecting my screen to implode. The only scene that didn’t do it for me was the ass eating scene towards the end of the book. I am open-minded about everything but I just couldn’t with this. As I was reading that scene, I kept thinking, “What if he didn’t wipe good.” Which then led my thoughts too well, you know where I am going with that.

The end of Raze was heartwarming. I was left wondering if there was going to be a book 4 or if this is that last book in the series. There were some characters (Grin, Morgan, Jhoi stand out the most in my mind) that I would love to see get their happily ever after.


I would give Raze an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread Raze.  I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

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:
RIVEN | REND


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**


Have you read Rend?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

Riven by Roan Parrish

Riven

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept, Loveswept

Date of publication: May 29th, 2018

Genre: LGBTQIA, Romance

Trigger Warnings: Talk of past drug use, talk about past alcohol use, talk of emotional neglect of a child

Where you can find Riven: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

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.

My review:

I haven’t read a lot of romance with rock stars in them. For some reason, I never read one when they were the big thing. So, I saw Riven up for review on Loveswept’s NetGalley page, I decided to request it. Plus, I love romances were both parties are damaged. It makes the romance more realistic and the big “I Love You” scene so much sweeter to read. Another reason I requested the book was because of the cover. I loved it. Simple with only the headshot of the model.

The romance aspect of Riven was intense. I got goosebumps because their attraction carried off my Kindle. Of course, Caleb tries to go and ruin it all. But I could understand why he fought it so hard. Every single relationship he ever had been ruined by his actions. He felt that it would be better keeping people at arm’s length. Then he met Theo. On Theo’s end, he craved affection. He did come across as a little too needy during parts of the book. His neediness both made me like and dislike him. He was shattered every time he and Caleb fought. It got old after a while.

The sex scenes were amazing. They were so hot and dirty. Man were they dirty. I did think that the sex scene also got repetitive after a while, though. I understand tops and bottoms (look it up if you don’t know) but I wanted to see Theo on top at least once. There was also one sex scene that made me want to throw up in my mouth. I won’t get into it but I will say that I hope Theo wiped well because Caleb did what he did. Other than those two complaints, I loved the sex scenes!!

I couldn’t understand why Theo never finished a sentence. A good part of his sentences ended in “…..“. Which drove me bat-poop crazy. I hate it what the character always trails off. I get why the author had Theo do it but still.

Speaking of Theo, I liked how his character was written. He was damaged but not as bad as Caleb was. His damage came from his parents being distant and cold to him. That affected him in everything that he did. He chased men for the warmth he got during his sexual encounters. So I understood when he clung to Caleb and why he was so upset when they fought. I do think that what happened with the band should have happened earlier. Theo would have been way happier.

I loved Caleb. The author did a great job of capturing the rocky slope that he dealt with to keep his sobriety. He spoke candidly of relapsing to Theo and made no promises that he wouldn’t do it in the future. I also liked the fear he had about his music and not being able to play. A very real fear considering what went with the lifestyle before. I do think that he could have been a bit nicer to Theo about certain things. But he wasn’t. Even that turned out in his favor.

The end of Riven was emotionally charged. I cried when Caleb did what he did for Theo. I cried for Theo. I cried because of everything that was said. I cried. So, be warned, it is a tear-jerker.

What I liked about Riven:

A) Theo and Caleb’s romance

B) The hot sex scenes

C) The realistic view of Caleb’s recovery

What I disliked about Riven:

A) Theo coming across as too needy

B) Theo not finishing sentences

C) A certain sex scene.

I would give Riven a rating of Adult. There is explicit sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read Riven.

There are trigger warnings in Riven. They are talk of past drug use, talk about past alcohol use, talk of emotional neglect of a child. If you are triggered by any of these, I would suggest not reading this book.

Riven is a book that I would recommend to family and friends. This is also a book that I would reread.

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

All opinion stated in this review of Riven are mine.

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