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Our Review

‘I set about the business of learning what being lonely felt like. Because being lonely was what being sober felt like. Trapped, forever, in the real world.’

A reluctant rock star and a recovering addict and former musician; Theo and Caleb. That’s who we met and fell in love with in Riven. Two very lost men finding each other by chance when they need someone the most and discovering the music that resides within them both. Roan Parish wrote two characters with such depth and detail we felt like we knew them, heard the lyrics of their soul and felt their bond and intense attraction.

‘Theo, who would never assume that people would think he was worth paying attention to because for most of his life, people hadn’t.’

Theo, the lead singer of Riven is lost. The frontman for a successful band with adoring fans he is amongst people every day but never feels part of a unity, lyrics swirling through his head; an extraordinary beat drumming in his veins. We wanted to protect this musical genius; this shy and sweet boy. Vulnerable, gifted and haunted he feels as if he fits in, well…nowhere. Until he meets Caleb. When someone sees through your layer of self-protection and encourages your inner strength it’s hard not to want to be around them. Add a passionate attraction to the mix and you have a boy hopelessly in love with a man he greatly admires.

“I hate being famous. Being…me.”
“What do you hate about it?”
“It’s too…loud. Not the music. That’s the part I love. The people. It’s like they’re too in my head. Their voices. Their opinions. Their grabby hands. They want something from me you know? I don’t like them looking at me, – or it’s like they make me into this puppet. A doll. A version of myself that isn’t real and they can control.”

Caleb is hiding. He’s a recovering addict trying to avoid anything to do with his former lifestyle as a famous musician, afraid to fall back into a life of dependency. The night he meets Theo he knows just what he’s letting himself into so he runs. Back to the countryside where temptation and flashing lights don’t exist and can’t lure him back. He can’t forget the man he met though such was the attraction and need to protect. It’s easy to let fear rule your life but when love rears its powerful head nothing can withstand it.

‘The hope on his face nearly tore me apart. Because it was all for me. This man, standing in front of me, was dreaming a dream for me, and it was humbling as fuck.’

Beautiful writing, a unique voice, such depth of character and vivid imagery made this a wonderful romance that had every human emotion depicted in such an emotional and passionate way. Caleb and Theo came across as real honest and flawed characters that truly crave nothing more than a human loving touch. Their love story was lyrically addictive and wore its heart on its sleeve. Sometimes we find our home in the heart of another, we find somewhere we belong.

“Strip away my desire/ dismantle the star/ I’ll drag this bare body wherever you are.”

Synopsis

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.

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