Riven (Belen’s Review)

Title: Riven
Author: Roan Parrish
Publisher: Loveswept, Random House LLC
Release Date: May 29th 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 262 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5


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.

Riven took my expectations of a rock star romance and completely obliterated them. This is unlike anything I thought it was going to be. I anticipated it being good because I have yet to be disappointed by a Roan Parrish novel, but I didn’t realize how invested I would be in these characters.

In sweet, naive, Theo.

I couldn’t deny that it was satisfying— amazing, even, to have people love our music so much. I was so gratified whenever I saw people touched by what we made. And the performances themselves, I loved. But I felt like I’d waded into calm waters only to be pulled out to sea by a powerful undertow. Choked breathless, unprepared, defenseless, looking around in panic as the shoreline receded farther with each wave.

In broken, but mending, Caleb.

Everything about him worked its way under my skin, like a bullet slowly making its way to my heart.

Upon finishing I could only think, “I’m wrecked.” and had a book hangover for a day or two where I couldn’t get the story or Theo and Caleb out of my head. The best kind of wrecked.

“If you’re looking for a prize, you ain’t lookin’ for love. Love isn’t a reward. It’s not something you deserve or don’t deserve.”

The writing is almost lyrical, and pulled me in like some of my favorite music that I can listen to and let the world disappear. I got lost in this book.

I loved so much about Riven, from the dual POV that let me get inside the heads of these two incredible characters, to the way it flowed, to the way it ended, to the way it made me feel. And, man, did it make me feel so much.

I’m wowed by this story. I just…I loved this so much.

“I don’t need the world to love me and I don’t need my parents to love me. I just need you to love me. Because I love you.”

God, I hope Roan Parrish gets Spencer Goss to narrate this.

Highly recommended!

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Riven provided by Loveswept, Random House LLC via NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.


I am an unapologetic book addict/lover. I'm happiest when reading and I spend most of my time with my Kindle, which is never far from my hand. I love to be told a good story! I mostly read fiction: Romance, Erotica, Young Adult, New Adult, Paranormal (shifters? Yes, please!), a little BDSM when I'm in the mood, and I love a good ménage story. I DEFINITELY PREFER A HFN/HEA! My biggest no-no's are cheating, miscommunication / misunderstanding plots, unnecessary angst, and cliffhangers.

A sampling of my "Favorite M/M" stories:

Carry the Ocean The Half of Us Red Dirt Heart Adulting 101 Tied Up In Knots
Shelter the Sea Manties in a Twist David, Renewed Ethan who Loved Carter Perfect Imperfections
Wolfsong Fight the Tide How to Walk Like A Man The Lightning-Struck Heart Forging the Future
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