Torn (CrabbyPatty’s Review)

Title: Torn
Author: Rick R. Reed
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 21, 2019
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 202
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5


Ever been torn between two lovers? That’s Ricky Comparetto’s problem. It’s 1995 and Ricky is making his very first trip across the pond with his best friend. Ricky, hungry for love and looking for it in all the wrong places, finds it in the beach city of Brighton. His new love has the curious name of Walt Whitman and is also an American, which only serves to make him sexier and more intriguing. By the time Walt and Ricky part, promises are made for a reunion in Boston. But the course of true love never runs smooth. In Chicago Ricky almost immediately falls in love again.

Tom Green is a sexy blue-collar beast with the kindest heart Ricky has ever run across. What’s he to do? With a visit to the East Coast on the horizon and a new love blossoming in Ricky’s home of Chicago, Ricky truly is torn.

Torn. In the context of Rick R. Reed’s new novel, Ricky is torn between two lovers (wait, isn’t that a song?). As a reviewer, I’m also torn about this book. Firstly, this is not what many M/M readers may consider a contemporary romance. Simply put, Ricky Comparetto’s a huge slut, darlin’, and arriving at a point in his life where he’s pondering …

What had I been doing with my life up to this point? Chasing love through being a slut? I wasn’t in my twenties anymore. Had promiscuity ever worked for anyone in terms of finding love, real love? I’d always been sex-positive, but right now I felt like my whole ‘out’ youth, I’d been trading sexual experience for my soul, my future.

My advice to you as you pick up this book is to not expect anything vaguely stereotypically “romantic.” “Torn” rebels against that dream that you’ll glance across a crowded room and find your true love forever and ever, amen. It’s more a case of glancing across a crowded leather bar and getting f$cked and s$cked in a back room (graced with a sling in the corner and a St. Andrew’s Cross.) Or as Ricky says “the floor probably had enough DNA soaked into its concrete to populate an entire country. Maybe the whole world.” Ewwww.

I can’t say this is one of my favorite Rick Reed books, and I’m probably not going to read this one again and again, but it’s a necessary read. We all want the happy ending (and no, not in the way Ricky gets it in “Torn” again and again, and yes, again). We all want that absolute positive sign from the universe that we are making the Right Decision. Just suck it up, buttercup. Life is gloriously messy and unexpected and yes, you’re going to be “torn” in many directions. 4 stars.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Torn provided by Dreamspinner Press 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

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