May 29th, Riven released onto the world in all its musical, sexy, rock star, LGBT glory. I’ll start this review by gushing about the author, Roan Parrish, because she’s quite literally one of my favorite people. Her goal is to write “love stories in every genre”, and I think that’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard. So hat’s off and a champagne flute to her, and a HUGE congratulations on this masterpiece.
One of my favorite pieces of Theo and Caleb’s story is the fact that the LGBT element is so understated. It’s not made into this big life defining element mixed in with angst on the part of the character and a dramatic coming out moment. Their sexuality is accepted, their love story is beautiful, and the reader is given permission to interact with them as two (super sexy) men in love without having to obsess over the sexuality that got them there. Their natural banter, the sensuality they weave around each other, and Theo’s natural sex appeal (because hello, rockstar) makes this book a fast, incredible, coming into yourself read.
This book is also about more than sex. Theo’s story involves chasing a present that matters, while Caleb’s involves staying away from a past that claims him. Over the course of the story, the reader is invited into this journey with them, and hopefully comes out a little better and stronger for it.
Trigger warning: Caleb is a recovering addict, and his struggle throughout the book is authentic and meaningful. If that’s something you’re walking through, this book could help a lot. But if you’re newly minted into this new life of strength and choice, then do whatever you need to do in order to keep that space in your head and your heart safe. And read this book when you’re ready.