Riven by Roan Parrish
Author: Roan Parrish
ISBN: 9781524799328| Pages 262 | Price: $4.99
Genre: M/M Rockstar Romance
Release Date: May 29, 2018
Theo Decker might be the lead singer of Riven, but e 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.
by Roan Parrish © 2018
“I thought . . . I thought we were pretty hot together before,” Theo said. He didn’t sound quite as confident now. “Course then you left, so . . .” When he shrugged, he seemed to shrug with his whole body. A lost thing wanting to be found. I leaned forward and caught his shoulders in my hands. His lips parted and his eyes widened at the proximity.
“I didn’t leave because it wasn’t hot between us.” I let my desire for him spill into my voice. “It was definitely hot.” His pupils dilated and his eyelids grew heavy. I could practically feel the lust coming off him, and I definitely wasn’t unaffected. “I left because you make me want things. And it’s easier not to want anything. Safer.” “You don’t seem like the safe type,” he murmured.
I snorted ruefully. “Yeah, I’m not. Hasn’t served me all that well.”
Theo nodded, then slid forward in his chair, put his hands on my knees. Just a firm pressure, but it felt like more.
“I feel . . . better around you,” he said softly. “Like, here, with you. I feel like I can actually just be myself instead of that person that everyone sees me as. You . . . you see me.
Just me. And I like you. And, yeah, I kind of want to fuck you constantly.” He shot me a look and I couldn’t help but smile. “But, your call.” When he removed his hands I felt like I might float away.
I swore under my breath. I wanted him, of course I did. But I’d spent the last year learning to mistrust the things I wanted. Learning that chances were if I desired it, it was going to kill me eventually. It was hard to reconcile that lesson with the man in front of me, offering himself with one hand and protecting me with the other. I just needed to know that I wasn’t powerless in the face of the things I wanted. That they weren’t uncontrollable forces that would suck me under like sand in the surf. I needed to know I could exert some will.
“I want that too,” I murmured. “The fucking you constantly part, I mean.” I winked at him. “I think I just . . . Just not tonight, all right? It kills me to say that, especially with you all—shit, look at you.” I pulled away from him a little, as if the distance had any hope of quelling the combustibility of the air between us. “I just need to think a little bit. Make sure I’m making a choice. You can stay, if you want? Long drive back to the city. But I’ll crash on the couch. God knows I’ve done it often enough before. Okay?”
“Course. I mean, of course it’s okay to not, uh, you know, tonight.” His sudden shyness hit me right in the gut. “But I’m sleeping on the couch. Jesus, I’m not kicking you out of your own bed.” Then he squeezed my hand and cleared the table before I could respond.
Part of me couldn’t believe I’d just turned down sex with the most gorgeous guy I’d ever been with. Especially when I was quite aware of how good it could be between us. But I felt a deep need to slow things down. To do the opposite of what I would have done before.
Not forever. There was no timeline in my head. I just needed to make sure I was acting rather than reacting. That I was making a choice instead of allowing the tides of other people’s feelings to pull me under.
All or nothing was a cliché, but it felt dangerously accurate to describe the way I tended to operate, barreling full speed into anything I took even one step toward. When Theo asked for a blanket and settled on the couch after we’d talked for a bit, I draped one over him and retreated to my room. It felt like there was some kind of force magnetizing my attention to the living room. I could hear Theo tossing and turning for a while. Then I heard low humming and the sound of the porch door opening. I followed, to find him standing on the porch, looking out at the stars as I’d done so often in the past year.
“Couldn’t sleep?” I asked softly so I wouldn’t startle him. He was wearing only black boxer briefs, and I couldn’t peel my eyes away from the straight line of his spine, the wings of his shoulder blades. In the dim light, his tattoos looked like they were being projected over the canvas of his pale skin. I wanted to reach out a hand to make sure they were real.
“Your couch is uncomfortable as shit,” he said, low, with no resentment at all.
“And my clock is still all fucked up from being on tour.”
I grabbed a pack of cigarettes from the ledge and held it up. “Bother you?”
He shook his head and gestured for one before I put the box down.
“Bad for your voice,” I said. He shot me a quelling look and smirked.
We smoked in silence for a while, Theo with an arm wrapped around his waist.
The position looked natural, like he had been made to hold himself together in the absence of anyone else.
When we went back inside, we didn’t need to speak. He followed me to my room and got into bed beside me. He pressed a fierce kiss to the back of my neck, then rolled over and threw an arm under his pillow, curling into a comma with his back to me. I lay awake beside him for a long time, watching the moonlight dance across the messily plastered ceiling, half hard, and feeling comforted by the fact that I could choose to do nothing about it. Sometimes, he would shift in his sleep, and I’d catch a whiff of his scent. He made small sounds, light snores, and a few muttered words I couldn’t make out. Everything about him worked its way under my skin, like a bullet slowly making its way to my heart.
Riven by Roan Parrish
Rosa’s rating: 5 of 5 iScream Books
“Ghosts of the past and hopes for the future were a dangerous cocktail.”
Yeah, you guessed it. I found another rockstar romance that led me to a new-to-me author. I’ve found some amazing rockers and some even more amazing authors this way, and Riven was indeed #AMAZING.
Look out Roan Parrish, you have a new fan, so prepare to be stalked. I can’t describe the experience of reading this story more clearly than by saying that you made me feel your words. You put me in the heads and hearts of your characters and made me love them, flaws and all.
Theo has been tagged by the media as The Reluctant Rock Star. Nobody can deny he’s extremely talented. His fans and his band members agree that his songwriting, vocal ability, and concert performances are outstanding. It’s all the rest of it that sucks. Joining an established band as the lead singer is a daunting experience when the other band members have a longstanding relationship and can finish each other’s sentences. Talent alone is not enough to make him fit in and he can’t help feeling like he’s on the outside of that relationship. The question is, are they making him feel that way or is it all in his head? And then there’s photo shoots, album covers, videos, and interviews. While his bandmates are excited and thrilled at the process and attention, he’d rather be home alone writing songs. While they love being recognized and gushed over by fans, he’d rather remain anonymous. WTF?
When faced with all his blessings he feels ashamed of these feelings. He has so much to be grateful for. However, there’s some truth in the statement, “If I learned anything in this business, it’s that getting what you thought you wanted doesn’t necessarily feel anything like what you thought it would.” Fan acceptance doesn’t replace previous rejection. Record sales don’t equal love and support. Being in the spotlight doesn’t erase those times he was ignored. He feels alone in spite of rarely being by himself.
He heard Caleb before he ever saw him. His music called to him as he walked by a bar, at night, wearing his hat to hide from his fans. He was drawn to the guitar playing but once he got a look at him he couldn’t avoid his lustful thoughts. Their chemistry was immediate, both musically and physically. Would one night be enough? It would have to be because Theo was leaving on tour the next day…
Caleb knows that Theo is the last thing he needs at this stage in his life. He didn’t let on that he recognized him, but he knows Theo is the lead singer of the successful band, Riven. He’s made a point of isolating himself, living a loner lifestyle. He doesn’t want the eyes that are constantly following Theo to find him. But he wants him…
Okay, I set it up for you. Two sexy, talented, very broken musicians who suck up all the oxygen in the room when they are in it. The irresistible force that pulls them toward each other and the many very good reasons why it’s not a good idea. But let me tell you, for such a bad idea, it feels oh so good to both of them. And as for this virtual voyeur, I give their performance two thumbs up. And I’m not talking about their music (wink-wink).
I really enjoyed the music industry details in this story. The songwriting process, the concerts, the touring, and the recording. And I really loved the author’s writing style. I will most definitely be looking forward to whatever she has for her readers next. The line forms here…
Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia, where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre. When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.