Riven (CrabbyPatty’s Review)

Title: Riven (Riven #1)
Author: Roan Parrish
Publisher: Loveswept, Random House LLC
Release Date: May 29th 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 262 pages
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 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.

I love Roan Parrish’s writing style and while it took me a while to truly get into this story, I ended up loving this book.

Theo is a reluctant rock star, essentially hired by Riven to write songs and be the front man, yet never feeling part of the band. Caleb is a blues musician, who on the way to success, gets sidetracked with a serious drug addiction (4 stints in rehab) and now lives in a ramshackle house away from all his triggers, striving each and every day to not succumb.

There is a lot of soul-searching here (we get both POVs throughout), as Caleb comes to care deeply for Theo yet worries that Theo’s world will drag him back into addiction. Theo finds in Caleb someone who feels as passionately about music as he does and Caleb gives Theo the unconditional love he has never before had.

“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.”

Their incredible chemistry is front and center, and the sex is incredibly steamy right from the start, but the depth of emotion and love between the two takes a while to simmer and season.

I love the way in which Roan Parrish writes of music, of redemption, of love. At times the story seemed very slow, yet the pay-off is so worth it. 4.5 stars.

Riven Series

Buy Link Amazon Global Author Link GoodReads More Author Reviews

Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Riven provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.


Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas

I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend.

My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh … not in my wheelhouse, but I’m a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre.

Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more.

A few “badges” from NetGalley:
100 Book Reviews Reviews Published Professional Reader

Please comment! We'd love to hear from you.