Invitation to the Blues by Roan Parrish
Small Change #2
LGBTQ+ Contemporary Romance
Jude Lucen has struggled with depression and anxiety for years and after an attempted suicide he ends up in a hospital in Boston. Fleeing his high pressure job and his ex-boyfriend, he moves back home to Philly; but he’s still struggling to find his place away from music. When Jude starts spending more time around tattoo artist, Faron Locklear, he finds someone who seems to look past the troubles and see the real Jude. But depression is a hard thing to live with and Jude fears the day that Faron will no longer be willing to put up with him.
Invitation to the Blues was a tough but beautiful book to read and Roan Parrish spins an emotional tale about accepting yourself, even when the person you are is imperfect. I knew going in this would cover a lot of hard topics but overall I felt the story was very uplifting and hopeful. Though I have no personal experience with depression, Parrish writes Jude’s experience so well and the reader can really understand the spiraling nature of depression and anxiety. One small complaint — the more flowery prose to some of Parrish’s writing made it difficult to completely grasp everything Jude was going through.
“I cried because I finally knew what it felt like to love someone more than I hated myself.”
I enjoyed both Jude and Faron as individual characters and as a couple. Jude came across younger than this actual age but this comes mostly from his vulnerability and his natural gentle nature. Jude isn’t miraculously cured by the end of the book but you can tell that he’s found acceptance in his story and that he’s not going to give up on himself or on his relationship with Faron. Since this is told completely from Jude’s point of view we really get in his head and I wish we had this deep connection with Faron as well. As Jude and Faron spend more time together we learn about Faron’s history and some of his struggles and I felt that depth but I wanted to know about Faron’s thoughts and emotions too. His support of Jude and his understanding of how to be with Jude, even when the depression gets the best of him, makes Faron seem almost too perfect. Intellectually, I know that Faron must have concerns and doubts and fears but we don’t see that — we only see his near perfect reactions to everything.
I so enjoyed the bonus of seeing Ginger and Christopher from Small Change, especially because it was clear how much Christopher loved his brother and wanted him to be happy. I’m really looking forward to more in this series because we’ve met some pretty intriguing characters along the way and I can’t wait for more!
4 out of 5 stars
Discussion of depression, anxiety, attempted suicide, and feelings of worthlessness
Hero with depression; attempted suicide in the past (off page)
Discussion of anti-military beliefs
Eight months ago Jude Lucen fled his partner, his career, and a hospital in Boston after a suicide attempt. Now back in Philadelphia, he feels like a complete failure. Piano has always been his passion and his only escape. Without it, he has nothing. Well, nothing except a pathetic crush on the most gorgeous man he’s ever seen.
Faron Locklear came to Philly looking for a fresh start and has thrown himself into tattooing at Small Change. He’s only met Jude a few times, but something about the red-haired man with the haunted eyes calls to him. Faron is blown away by Jude’s talent. What he isn’t expecting is the electricity he feels the first time they kiss—and the way Jude’s needs in bed speak directly to his own deepest desires.
Jude and Faron fall fast and hard, but Jude has spent a lifetime learning that he can’t be what the people he loves need. So when the opportunity arises to renew his career in Boston, he thinks he has to choose: music, or Faron? Only by taking a huge risk—and finally believing he’s worthy of love just as he is—can he have the chance for both.
The Small Change series is set in the Middle of Somewhere universe and features crossover characters from that series. Each book can be read on its own.
Published by Monster Press on March 28, 2018
Small Change reviews
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