Rend by Roan Parrish
Series: Riven #2
Published: November 27, 2018 by Loveswept
Genre: LGBTQ+ Contemporary Romance
Matt Argento knows what it feels like to be alone. After a childhood of abandonment, he never imagined someone might love him—much less someone like Rhys Nyland, who has the voice of an angel, the looks of a god, and the worship of his fans.
Matt and Rhys come from different worlds, but when they meet, their chemistry is incendiary. Their romance is unexpected, intense, and forever—at least, that’s what their vows promise. Suddenly, Matt finds himself living a life he never thought possible: safe and secure in the arms of a man who feels like home. But when Rhys leaves to go on tour for his new album, Matt finds himself haunted by the ghosts of his past.
When Rhys returns, he finds Matt twisted by doubt. But Rhys loves Matt fiercely, and he’ll go to hell and back to triumph over Matt’s fears. After secrets are revealed and desires are confessed, Rhys and Matt must learn to trust each other if they’re going to make it. That means they have to fall in love all over again—and this time, it really will be forever.
Roan Parrish is an expert at writing emotional books that squeeze your heart until you think it will burst but she always finds a way to keep them uplifting and hopeful. I really liked Rend and connected with the characters much more strongly then the previous book. I don’t often find romance books about couples that are already married so I enjoyed seeing how Matt and Rhys go from a quickie marriage to a deep and understanding relationship. While I’m not totally sure why Matt, who was very hesitant while dating, would have agreed to marry Rhys after such a short time, it’s clear that these two love each other. Even when they’re working through their problems they’re both open and honest about their love.
“You make me want everything, Matt.”
Rend is written completely from Matt’s point of view and he goes through a lot of ups and downs as he tries to conquer his feelings of abandonment and low self-worth. As a child, Matt was left by his mother and then later his aunt and the foster care system taught him to keep his problems silent and his trust minimal. In his heart he knows that Rhys loves him and would never leave him but his mind gets tangled up while Rhys is on tour for two months. While Rhys is initially unaware of the problems Matt is going through, he completely supports Matt when he realizes what’s going on. Rhys was such a devoted and caring husband and his constant reassurance to Matt that he loves him was really sweet. I wish we could have had Rhys point of view too but I am glad we at least had flashbacks to the early days of their relationship.
While just about everything in this worked for me I did get a little confused by the “hauntings” that Matt experiences while Rhys is away. It all had a very gothic feel and I couldn’t tell if we were supposed to believe there was something creepy going on or if it was all supposed to be a manifestation of Matt’s mindset. This took up a large portion of the middle section and then felt like it was mostly dropped in the end of the book.
We get to see more of Theo and Caleb from Riven and I really loved the friendship that developed between Matt and Theo. Both of these guys desperately needed a friend and the each understand what it feels like to be an outsider. Overall, this was a great read with sweet characters and an emotional love story.
**Reader Safety: Hero experiences anxiety and possible hallucinations (on page)
4 stars – it was enjoyable
ARC provided by NetGalley for honest review
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