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’s pitch-perfect Riven novels can be read together or separately:
RIVEN | REND
Praise for Rend
“[Parrish] deftly balances the darkness with a passionate romance that’s heartbreakingly tender, romantic, and moving. . . . This is one second-chance love story that will twist you up, wring you out, and then leave you wanting more.”—All About Romance
“Melancholic . . . truly magical.”—My World of Books
“If you loved Riven, then there’s no doubt that Rend will capture your heart.”—The Written Voice of Is
“A touching and flawless second installment of the Riven series . . . [Rend is] beautifully written and delivers some remarkable characters.”—The Romance Reviews
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
I shuffled the papers, files, and leaky pens on my desk into a semblance of order, and swept a busted phone charger and an apple core into the garbage, along with the cheesy dollar-store smiley face eraser my last client had left. I appreciated the gesture, but I didn’t want that thing grinning up at me when I got back to work.
Sun streamed through the cracks in the blinds and the AC unit in the window chugged valiantly, to little effect. Sweat along my spine and under my arms dampened my shirt and my hair had been a riot of curls all summer. I wiped hopelessly at my forehead with the heel of my hand.
This was August at Mariposa. This was August in New York.
“Boy, you look like you just ran a mile,” a warm voice said from my doorway.
“Hey, Imari.” I smiled at her.
Imari had run Mariposa since it was a group of three volunteers circulating information to a few foster programs, eight years ago. Now, it was a full-time nonprofit that worked with clients all across the city to provide resources for youth during and after their transition out of the foster system. We had ten full-time staff and a number of volunteers, and ran programming at two satellite offices onsite in foster care facilities to work with youth before they aged out of the system.
Imari had also been the one to hire me when most people would’ve told me to f*** off. I was never sure what it was about me glaring and telling her to shove it that made her think, Potential employee of the month. All I know is that after I snarled that her suggestion to list references on my résumé was unrealistic because who the hell did she think paid more than five seconds’ attention to foster kids in public schools, she narrowed her eyes at me, and said, Hmm. Then she told me to come to this address the next day because she thought I could be useful.
That was almost two years ago, now, and I was pretty sure working at Mariposa had saved my life. At least, it had saved the life I wanted to have from the one I’d expected, although it had been rough in the beginning.
Imari held out a client file to me.
“This is Noé Caldera. Eighteen, mad as hell, and a pain in the ass.” As I took the file from her she bopped me on the knuckles and winked before handing it over. “Sound familiar?”
I mmhmmed flatly and opened the file to see a glaring boy whose combination of hostility and fear were as familiar as breathing. I’d seen it in the faces of hundreds of boys I’d been with at St. Jerome’s. Hell, I’d seen it every day in the mirror.
“I’m hoping you have more luck with him than Nando or I had.”
“Shit, Imari, if he won’t listen to you—”
“It’s not about listening to me, Matt. It’s about learning to listen to something in himself.” She took the file from my hand. “Don’t worry about it now. I just wanted to make sure you had it for next week. He’s coming in to see you first thing on Tuesday.”
“Thanks. And thanks again. For the day off. For understanding.”
The sparkle in Imari’s eyes told me I wasn’t going to like what was coming.
“Well, how could I say no to giving you a long weekend to spend with your husband, the rock star, before he leaves on tour.” Her emphasis was teasing but her smile was warm as always.
“He’s not a rock star.” I kicked at the seam where the carpet was coming up. “It’s not even rock music,” I added.
The heat in my face was only partially from rock star. Most of it was from husband. It had been over a year and my brain still couldn’t reconcile the word with the life I thought I’d have, to say nothing of the man himself.
“I know,” Imari said, saving me from the helpless flush of joy I got whenever I thought about Rhys. “I went to his show last night.”
“You did? What? Why? He didn’t tell me.”
“Oh, I didn’t stick around to say hey after. Took my ass home to bed. He’s really something, Matt.”
I looked at the floor so she wouldn’t see me smile. “Yeah.”
“And as to why.” She didn’t move any closer to me because she knew I didn’t like to be touched, but everything in her posture spoke of fierce care. “Because I care about you. I care that you’re happy. I wanted to see the man who makes you so happy. Problem?”
“No, ma’am,” I murmured.
“Good. Tell your husband I said he’s no Otis, but I liked his show just fine.”
“Tell Rhys you like him better than Otis. Got it.” I ducked as she swatted at me with another file.
“Psh, get outta here.”
I shot her a grin as I grabbed my wallet and phone and headed for the door. “Happy Friday. Tell the professor I said hey.”
“All right. Enjoy the time with your man.”
My man. My man, my man, my man. It echoed in time with my steps uptown toward the 125th Street station. I caught the train with a few minutes to spare, and grabbed a window seat, earbuds and sunglasses firmly in place in case anyone near me felt chatty with TGIF cheer.
Despite Imari’s teasing, Rhys really wasn’t a rock star. Or a blues-folk-rock star. He’d worked as a studio and touring musician since finishing high school. He’d written and co-written songs for dozens of artists, knew people in every walk of the business, and had supported himself with his music since he was nineteen. It was rarified air, even before his first solo album debuted last month and did really well—well enough that he was about to go on the road for two months.
Rhys said it still didn’t feel real to him. He couldn’t believe that after a lifetime of being in the background, now it was his name on the album people were buying, the tickets, the T-shirts.
I couldn’t believe it either. Even though Rhys had started working on his first album soon after we met, the music business was normal enough to him that the strangeness of it had rarely touched me. He spoke about it like most people spoke about their jobs—irritated by the minutiae, excited by the successes.
It wasn’t until he’d played me two of his songs that what was going on truly sank in for me.
“What the f***?” I’d asked, gaping at him after he finished the second song.
He’d narrowed his eyes. “Is that a thumbs down, then?”
“No, I— What the f***, Rhys? You’re so f***ing talented. How have you never played me your songs before?”
His slow smile had been warm and satisfied. “They weren’t ready before.”
“Your other songs. The ones people have recorded.”
“You really haven’t looked? You never googled me?”
It was so obvious the second it was out of his mouth, and I cringed.
“Wow, babe, it burns.” He’d pressed his palm to his heart and pouted at me. But that grin had been back in seconds, like his delight at his music was too big to even allow for my lack of musical wherewithal, and he’d tugged me next to him and proceeded to give me an education in the music of Rhys Nyland.
So, no, he wasn’t quite a rock star, but he was my man. My husband. And somehow that was even harder to believe.
The train crossed the Harlem River, then followed it west to the Hudson where it turned north. Urban congestion turned to sprawl, sprawl morphed into bucolic woods and sedate towns north of Yonkers.
Sleepy Hollow was the kind of town I’d never known real people lived in. With charming shops along Broadway, elaborate seasonal decorations, historical tour groups led by retirees or college students in period garb, and very little open after 8 p.m., it seemed like something from a 1950s Christmas movie. Nothing at all like the Washington Heights neighborhood I’d grown up in, or Chinatown, where I’d been living before I moved in with Rhys.
From the Philipse Manor stop it was only a ten minute walk to Rhys’s Colonial cottage. Rhys said it was likely an outbuilding at one time—a version of the main house in miniature. It was by far the smallest house in the neighborhood, and by far the most spacious place I’d ever lived.
Rhys bought it three or four years ago, when the rent money he’d saved by touring the whole year with five different bands coincided with a dip in the housing market. Though it had a large backyard, the cottage had been neglected, and wasn’t big enough for the families looking to live in the area. But for Rhys, the two bedrooms and small living room were plenty, and he had friends come and stay, asking only that they help him strip moldy wallpaper, replace rusted fixtures, and repaint.
Now the cottage was a cheery robin’s-egg blue—at least, that’s what Rhys called it—and was set back from the street by a dirt drive shaded with leafy maple trees.
Away from the city, the heat felt less oppressive, and the cottage glowed in the evening sun. The flutter in my chest as I opened the front door was all for Rhys. It was two-thirds relief and one-third nervous anticipation. Even though we’d been married for a year and a half, neither had waned.
I slid my keys on the hook by the door, dumped my wallet and phone on the table, and went to change. The shower was running in the bedroom, and my heart gave a powerful thud. Rhys. Shower. Naked.
That was another thing that hadn’t waned. My attraction to Rhys was like nothing I’d felt in my life. It was large enough, immediate enough, to block out everything else. Everything he did captivated my attention. He exerted a force like the gravity of a planet whenever he was in the room. Being close to him made my skin thrum and my heart race.
Once, when he’d told me I could do anything to him I wanted, I’d kissed him for so long I lost track of it. Hours, maybe. Kissed him until our lips were raw and his muscular body trembled beneath me, until he was the only thing I could taste or feel or smell. Until we were both breathing so hard we were light-headed and desperate and climaxed together with one desperate thrust between us, sticky and shuddering and still kissing like our bodies had turned to liquid heat.
I didn’t like to be touched, usually. But when Rhys touched me, I wanted him to take me apart.
I stripped out of my sweaty clothes and walked into the bathroom. Rhys was humming softly, back to me. The first time we slept together, I’d been too overwhelmed to pay good attention. But the next time I saw him naked—saw him standing in front of me, bathed in sunlight—I thought he looked like a superhero. I’d stared at him stupidly, then, and he’d grinned at me. He wasn’t vain, but he knew what he looked like and how it affected some people.
Now I took in the way the water broke over his broad shoulders, streamed down the clean groove of his spine, and curved around his round ass to run down thighs thick with muscle. The water had darkened his blond hair and the humid air smelled of amber and sage.
I must’ve made a noise of appreciation, because Rhys jerked his head suddenly toward me.
When he saw me, his smile was so bright I nearly staggered backward from the force of it. I still didn’t know how it was possible that I could make anyone this happy. But he told me I did, and I usually believed him.
His happy grin turned to something sharper when he saw I was naked, and he gave me a raking once-over before opening the shower door and reaching for me.
I let my eyes drift closed as I was pulled against Rhys’s firm heat. He was taller and broader than me, and the sensation of having him all around me had taken a little time to get used to. At first it had felt risky, vulnerable. But as I began to trust Rhys, it transformed. Now it was the thing I looked forward to all day. The moment when I could shrug off the cloak of distance I wore against the world and replace it with Rhys’s overwhelming closeness.
“Hi,” I said into the hollow of his throat and tightened my arms around him. I traced his spine and the thick muscles of his back. I let myself focus completely on him.
“Hi,” he said, fingers tangling in my hair to tilt my chin up. He kissed me, slowly. A hello kiss. An I missed you today kiss.
Before I met Rhys I didn’t know there were kisses like that. Now I got to have them all the time.
We washed our hair and soaped up without talking, skin sliding against skin, trading kisses every few minutes with the kind of lazy sensuality borne of knowing we had plenty of time for sex later. Another thing I hadn’t felt before Rhys.
We dried off and before I could dig out clothes to change into, Rhys slid his palm up my arm to the side of my neck and kissed me.
“How was your day,” he said against my mouth. I huffed out a breath, smirking when he jerked his head away like a shying horse.
I got a swat on the ass and a lazy grin for that.
“Tell me,” he said, and sat down on the bed. He’d sit there, naked, staring at me until I answered, so I flopped down next to him. Rhys’s bed was great. King-sized and perfectly firm, with pillows I liked to bury my face in against the morning sun. I buried my face in one now and sighed happily as Rhys started stroking up and down my back.
Rhys asked me how my day was every single day. I turned my face to the side so he could hear me.
“I found a new place I want to add to the list,” I said. With my eyes half closed and my face half in the pillow, all I could see was Rhys’s tan, muscled belly. I reached my hand out and rested my palm there. His skin was warm, and I could feel his heartbeat in his stomach.
“The Faroe Islands. They’re between Iceland and Norway, but they’re owned by the Kingdom of Denmark. And they’re beautiful.”
“Sounds great,” he said. He rolled onto his back and tugged me toward him. “What made you want to add them to the list?”
“I was walking around during lunch, and it was so hot. I was disgusting and sweaty and I bought one of those frozen lemonade things.”
“Mmm,” Rhys mumbled. He was constantly hungry and got hungrier at any mention of food.
“I sat in the shade and searched for pictures of cold places on my phone.” Rhys laughed and I shoved at him.
“Shut up, it totally works. Anyway, I was looking at pictures of glaciers and snowcapped mountains and these pictures tagged with the Faroe Islands kept coming up.” I turned my face into his neck. “I’d never heard of them.”
Rhys’s hand was soft in my hair. “But they look beautiful.”
“Then we should go,” Rhys said, rubbing my scalp with his fingertips.
“You’re gonna put me to sleep if you keep doing that,” I murmured.
But I made myself sit up. I hated falling asleep and waking up at strange times. It always left me feeling disoriented and confused. I picked at a loose thread in the pillow case. Rhys twined his fingers through mine and brought my hand up. He kissed my knuckles, and I squeezed his hand.
“Hey, look,” he said. He hauled himself out of bed and grabbed his phone from the top of the dresser. “I talked to Morgan this morning.”
Morgan was Rhys’s sister, who lived in Raleigh with her husband and two kids. Their parents moved down there five years ago when the first grandchild was born.
“Tommy’s obsessed with that little cartoon that you drew of yourself on his birthday card and Morgan took a picture of it and printed out a bunch and he colors them in like a coloring book. So now their house is littered with all these yous.”
Rhys held up the phone and there, on Morgan and Doug’s refrigerator, were four variously colored versions of the cartoon of me.
“Kids are so weird,” I said, zooming in on one of them where my face was purple but my hands were green.
“Yeah, I guess Tommy likes you more than me now,” Rhys said with a pout.
That would never happen. According to Morgan, Tommy worshipped Rhys, who flew him around over his head like a rocket and flipped him upside down until he puked. Instant hero. Two-year-old Sarah wasn’t quite sturdy enough yet to appreciate the rocket, and she’d only met Rhys when she was a baby so she could take him or leave him.
“They just like scribbling out my face better than yours.”
“I told you, babe, the cartoon version of me that you did looks like Thor.”
I raised my eyebrows and looked him up and down deliberately. “If the hammer fits . . .”
Rhys caught me by the hand and pulled me off the bed and into his arms. He squeezed me so hard it lifted me off my feet, and I didn’t even think he was doing a Thor bit. Sometimes Rhys didn’t know his own strength. He put me down with a kiss and a nip at my neck.
“I’m starving,” he said. “Want to grill?” Grilling was pretty much the only culinary skill that either of us bothered with. Fortunately, nearly anything could go on the grill, as we’d proven this summer. I nodded and put on cutoff sweats and an undershirt.
“They want to meet you,” Rhys said from the doorway.
“Who?” I’d shot for casual and only achieved squeaky.
“You know who, baby. My family.” Rhys’s voice was soft, calm. He was the most confident person I’d ever met. Not egotistical, just confident, like a tree that had stood for a hundred years and was happy being exactly what and where it was. But this was a point of insecurity for him. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to meet his family because I wasn’t committed to him—I’d told him that a dozen times. It was just . . . something always seemed to get in the way.
“I—yeah, okay. I know . . . Sure.”
“Okay,” he said simply. “Good.”
I fired up the grill while Rhys took care of the food, appearing after a few minutes with a disturbingly large piece of meat and some foil-wrapped packages. He put the meat onto the grill with a sizzle.
“What is it?”
“Lots of lambs on the Faroe Islands.” The pictures had shown them grazing in the mountains, woolly white bodies nestled in the grass. I squinted at the meat. “That’s what lamb looks like?”
“You’d eat roadkill if it came in a Chef Boyardee can,” Rhys scoffed, dropping a kiss on my head.
I shrugged. “I probably have. That beef ravioli.”
“Try not to starve to death while I’m on tour, okay?”
I’d been hungry before, but at the reminder he was leaving, my stomach just felt hollow.
“I did fine before I met you.”
The scent of smoke and cooking meat filled the backyard, and my stomach growled. Rhys gazed at me steadily. His light-blue eyes could look as cold as glacial ice or as hot as neon.
“Did you?” he asked.
I sighed. “No.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This just about broke me but I loved it. Rend is the second book in the Riven series but it is also a standalone. Characters from book one, Riven, appear but you won't be lost if you haven't read it. If you've read any of my reviews, you're probably tired of hearing me say that a book broke me and then put me back together again. Sometimes I just don't know any other way to describe what a book did to me. Rend was such a heartbreaking, emotional read but in a good way. Matt had a difficult childhood which left him emotionally scarred. Even though he and Rhys have been married for a year or so he just can't believe that it will last – everyone he ever loved left him and he expects that Rhys will, too. Rhys always wanted a close, loving relationship like his parents have and he loves Matt more than he can say – if only he can get Matt to believe that it will last. It was so hard to read Matt's feelings and internal conversations when he was struggling to not fall apart. As long as Rhys is around, he's pretty much OK but after Rhys leaves to go on tour all of his old doubts and fears come rushing back and he pretty much has an emotional breakdown – he just doesn't tell anyone how bad things are. When Rhys finds out that Matt has been keeping things from him, he gets so angry that he has to leave for a while. This is what Matt always knew would happen, no matter how much Rhys had told him he would never leave. Writing a book review is sometimes really difficult because when a book makes me feel things so much, I just don't have the right words to express how it made me feel. Rend had my eyes leaking more throughout the story than most I've read lately. It may be crazy but this is a sure sign that I loved it. The story was so compelling I couldn't put it down once I started it. Lucky for me it was a crappy day weather wise when I read it and other planned activities were cancelled so I was able to devote my entire day to reading without a bit of guilt! I looked over my review for Riven (from May 2018) and see that I also said it was a very emotional story. So, while you most certainly can read and enjoy Rend without reading Riven, I recommend it because it was also a great book if you like emotional stories which I certainly do. A review copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley but this did not influence my opinion or rating of the book.
4-4.5 stars- I thoroughly enjoyed Riven, the first book of the series by the same name, and was really excited to see where the author would take readers next. That said, I was also a little nervous after reading the blurb for Rend because we’d already met the couple in the previous book and they seemed wholly in love and without major complications. I need not be worried though. After all, this author is known for delivering characters and stories that aren’t what they seem at first glance. In Rend, Miss Parrish captured both that chemistry and intimacy between an established couple, as well as all the hiccups two people in love are bound to encounter as they adjust to life together. As a fan of rock star romances, the Riven series was an easy choice but I really appreciate that, as in the first book, the author addresses a subject most in the trope ignore. Rend focuses on a couple dealing with the rigors of touring. Picking up just after Rhys’s solo career launches and as he prepares to set off on tour, the book explores the difficulty that comes with a couple who has to be apart for extended lengths, as well as reflecting on how these two got their start. Matt’s story definitely wasn’t what I was expecting based on the glimpses we saw in Riven, reminding readers what we see is rarely the full picture. I enjoyed seeing the story develop and Matt evolve and address his issues. I also liked that we saw how well Rhys and Matt work together in the truly difficult times, yet another topic that is rarely explored in contemporary romances. My only hang-up was the pace. Particularly at the start, the slower unveiling of the layers of problems and Matt’s hesitancy to admit his concerns drug the story down and made it a little harder to embrace his character. However, the latter part of the book changed the tone and made me appreciate the meticulous development in the first part of the story. Additionally, I can’t deny that this author’s words never fail to reach inside me and take hold. So while Rend wasn’t quite a five-star read, there’s no refuting it is one that will stick with me- particularly a few passages that were simply beautiful and incredibly poignant in their descriptions of love, nerves, and fear of loss. If you’re in the mood for a good dose of angst and can handle a melancholic character fighting to get their well-deserved, beautiful happily ever after, this is an easy recommendation. *eARC received via Netgalley. The author and publisher had no influence over this review*
Riveting book. I was so captivated from beginning to end that I couldn’t put it down. I love books that have angst, and intense. This was book was very emotional. Matt had issues from his childhood. Low self-esteem, abandonment, and thinking he’s not good enough because where he came. Rend was just a ray of sunshine and that’s what Matt need to get over his issues. Rend being on the go didn’t help Matt but made him start doubting his love and commitment to him. Theo and Caleb from the first book are just what Matt. Theo kept him on his toes and tried to get Matt to open up. The communication between Rend and Matt was not there. I’m glad that Rend was able to get Matt to finally open and get help for his issues. Loving someone is hard enough but when you throw in emotions and self-doubt it can be toxic to any relationship. I hope I’m not giving too much of the plot away with my review. This book was romantic, dark, sexy, and sometimes funny. Roan Parish always writes books that I have to keep tissues by my side. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.
This is book #2 in Riven series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader understanding and to avoid spoilers, I recommend reading series in order. Matt meets Rhys thinking he would be an amazing one night stand. To his surprise, there is something more there. Now he must learn to fight for what he has. Rhys knows saying the wrong thing will scare Matt away. He cannot help how he feels. So he keeps Matt any way he can. This story caught me by surprise. As a breath of fresh air. The men must learn to put each other above the rest, even with odds against them. I loved the sincere feelings that came across. The real search for the one who can love you most. ***This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review by Netgalley and its publishers.
I had the pleasure of reviewing Rend and it was wonderful. I am new to Roan Parrish's writing and I will be looking for more from this author. Rend takes you on an emotional journey with Matt and Rhys and lets you see what working at love is like.
Rend is the second book in the Riven Series written by Roan Parrish. This is the first book I have read by this author and it will certainly not be my last. Although I am new to this author I have the feeling that she writes from the heart. No one could write a book this heartbreakingly beautiful without putting their entire soul into it. I also love how creative Ms. Parrish was with the title of this book, sheer perfection. This book celebrates the deep love that two people share, with one of them coming into the relationship a very broken man. Matt was abandoned by his mother, ended up in the foster system and then an orphanage. Matt’s life was not an easy one. I had many heavy-hearted moments while reading about this character, to the point, at times I wanted to reach into the book and hold Matty and tell him that he is worthy of love. This book is written from Matt point of view, at times you feel like you are in his head. Rhys is the complete opposite of Matt. He grew up in a wonderful, supportive and loving family. He is a successful musician but has always been in the background. Now, he is at the inception of going out on his own and has the potential to be a star. What came through for me in this book was the journey these two men took. Matt was so broken, but Rhys didn't care, he loves everything about Matty. The angst comes when Matty struggles with his horrific past and the beauty comes in reading how the love that these two men have for each other heals them both. I also thought the author did an exceptional job in exploring and illustrating the feelings of isolation, rejection, and loneliness that can be a part of life in the foster system. Yes, this book was somewhat dark at times, but I felt it add a certain depth. This book was so well written and the characters were painstakingly developed and stayed true to themselves. I thoroughly enjoyed Rend and plan to back and read Riven. And of course, I would love another story about Huey or maybe Noe…..please. ***I kindly received an ARC of this book by way of NetGalley/publisher/author. I was not contacted, asked or required to leave a review in order to read this book. I received no compensation, financial or otherwise. This is my honest review.***
When a book has no outside forces or circumstances keeping the two main characters apart, I tend to get frustrated. JUST SAY WHAT YOU MEAN! or STOP BEING SO STUPID! It takes a lot of subtlety and finesse to convince me there are legitimate reasons for the misunderstandings that are keeping them apart. Well, this author definitely nailed both subtlety and finesse on all counts. Although Matt's mental health issues stemming from his childhood form the backbone of the problems Matt and Rhys face, I loved that the way Rhys reacts to problems was also acknowledged as an issue. All too often, the person with the obvious difficulties are labeled the "problem" in a relationship, but this story was so masterfully done that it was clear that although Rhys looks put-together on the surface, his ingrained patterns affect all his relationships, not just his relationship with Matt. I was excited to see Theo and Caleb again and watching Theo and Matt become friends was very sweet. It was also nice to see Caleb and Rhys' relationship from Rhys' side after seeing Caleb's in the first book. I laughed at times, cried more than once, and ended the book wanting more.
This is the second installment in the Riven MM series, which is set in the world of rock music. The characters in the book have complicated emotions and the author did a great job allowing the reader to understand what the character was feeling. The pace of the story was excellent, I had a hard time putting it down. The story has the ups and down that go with romance, and at times you wonder if they will get their happy ending. It was a great read, and can be read as a stand-alone book.
Rend By: Roan Parrish ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ After a whirlwind romance, a man with a painful past learns to trust the musician who makes him believe in happy endings. This book is very emotional at times gut wrenching at others. 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.Authors Blurb: 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. Authors Blurb: 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. This book has everything I love in a book. Then you add that it's beautifully written and believable. It is easily a five star read. Written in dual POV my personal favorite this story flows so incredibly well that the next thing you know your 80% into the book and loving every second of it. The believable way the characters interact is perfect. Run, Hop, Jump or use your (1 click) finger to do whatever you have to do and get this amazing book. It'll break your heart, you'll want to scream with frustration and it'll let you discover that love just might conquer all. The chemistry is steamy and sweet and oh so romantic. Thanks Netgally for letting me read and review.
I have to admit, I was a little disappointed that Rend was not about Theo and Caleb, the couple from Riven, but it is about Caleb’s oldest friend, Rhys. We already know Rhys is married to Matt, and Rend is their story. The first half of the book is, well, rather boring. It tells of Matt’s day to day life, and I just felt like it was almost void of any emotion from Matt. Rhys is full of life and is madly in love with Matt, but Matt is struggling. The second half of the book, you learn more about Matt’s heartbreaking past, and it had me wondering if the author made the first half emotionally boring to make the reader feel so much in the second half, because the emotions hit you hard. Matt, started questioning if he was good enough for Rhys, even feeling unworthy of being loved. His childhood is full of heartache and hurt, and you begin to understand why Matt is so afraid, but Rhys will fight for him. Yes, Theo and Caleb are in this book, quite a lot, actually. I enjoyed catching up with them and seeing such a strong bond between Caleb and Rhys. Once again, the author’s writing will hit you with all the feels, and I have a feeling, this story will be with me for a long time.
I was given this arc in exchange for an honest review. I loved Riven. I loved Theo and Caleb and I have loved so many of Roan Parrish's works. The relationships she creates and weaves are just amazing. Rend was no less. Rend was a bit different because we kind of glossed over the getting together part and went straight to post marriage, but it was so much better because it was the meat of Matt and Rhys's problems and love and hope and despair. Honestly, I really enjoyed how honest and real it was. I loved that even though Matt thought he had no one but Rhys, he had Grin and he had Theo, which was so great, but he also had Caleb and Mona and a family. Loved it, loved the characters and Ichabod Crane and the cemetery and the music and Max. Thank you to Roan Parrish for writing another brilliant work.
Reading a Roan Parrish book is always an emotional, gut-wrenching experience . . . one where you know going in you'll need tissues and enough alone time to finish the book in one sitting - and then recovery time before facing real life again. Once you begin, there's no turning back. Parrish runs her characters and readers threw the high angst wringer every single time. Love it or hate it - there's no denying this author's gift for writing character relationships that are pushed to the limit . . . and then shoved over the edge. No one does it better. Two hearts, souls, and worlds collide in Rend. Will anyone survive the fallout? Matt Argento is a product of the foster system - a man haunted by his past, heavily laden with insecurities elevated by an unhealthy dose of trust and abandonment issues. Rend is told from Matt's pov, putting readers at high risk of emotional overload. I was giddy with joy when Matt was happy and lost in dark despair when he was low. After a whirlwind romance (all in the Prologue), musician Rhys Nyland offers Matt forever when he asks for his hand in marriage. Rhys is everything good - a rainbow on a stormy day, a safe harbor for a sinking ship (or man), a gorgeous man from a loving home and family. Matt can't believe Rhys chose him to spend the rest of his life with . . . and therein lies part of the problem. The issues escalate when Rhys leaves on a two month tour, and the ghosts of Matt's past move in - invading his nightmares and infiltrating the harsh light of day until Matt's no longer sure what's real and what's not and is in grave danger of crashing and burning. His angst, pain, and depression are so realistically portrayed that I found it hard to breath at times. Can Matt slay the ghosts of his past and build a true partnership with Rhys? Or did Rhys make the biggest mistake of his life leaving Matt alone with his demons? Darkness settles over this couple as they struggle to hold onto an illusive happy-ever-after based on dreams and ideals. The overall plot line is not overly complicated, but the story is masterfully woven and beautifully delivered through complex, emotionally charged, well-developed characters. As heartbreaking as this story is at times, the mood and heart are set aflame by sinfully sexy, passionate love scenes. Fans will love the appearance of Theo and Caleb as they interact in strong, supportive roles. The only reason this is a 4 instead of 5 star read for me is that I reached a saturation point and started feeling a little inundated with all the repetitive heavy scenes of angst as well as with the explosive, off-the-charts, heat-generating, fan-yourself sex scenes that I love. Gasp! I know, right? What can I say? They're fantastic, but sometimes less is more . . . if you know what I mean. Having said that, readers will gobble this up and beg for more! I know I am so stoked for the next one! A Sinful, Sensuous Must Read!
I was so in the mood for an established couple romance! I hadn’t really put it all together when I was reading Riven, but Caleb‘s ex-partner and best friend, Rhys, is married to Matt. I remember Theo being kinda uncomfortable reaching out to Rhys when he needed help with Caleb and Matt was there... Anyway, don’t worry about any of that, Rend can be read as a standalone. We see Theo and Caleb a fair bit, but none of their story will be spoiled if you read this one first. There were so many things that made this novel incredible. Matt’s narration of his life story is a heart breaker, and beautifully done. Thinking of everything this young man went through and how he’s processed it, it's humbling to see where he is at the start of this novel. I enjoyed watching Rhys come to understand Matt’s story, and reevaluate his own life. What it adds to him as a person, and what it does for their relationship is powerfully moving. Of course Rend is full of all the gorgeous prose I expect from Roan Parrish. I highlighted so many meaningful statements and poetic thoughts… reading over them now, it’s too hard to pick just one to share here. I’ll take the easy way out and simply encourage everyone to read this truly stunning novel. It was some of the most beautiful angst I’ve ever read, and it was a journey I’d happily take again.
Oh boy. I'm not going to lie, I really hoped that Rend would tear me up with its honesty and emotional realities like Riven did. Happily, Rend delivered everything that Theo and Caleb gave us and so so much more. Roan did a fabulous job of telling Matt and Rhys' story without slowing down the pace. We start in the past and quickly, like chapter one, jump to the future and through the book (told from Matt's pov) we get snaps and memories of when Matt and Rhys first meet, dated and subsequently got married. I think... I feel like there are a lot of people who can relate to Matt and what he feels are his emotional shortcomings. Even though I got frustrated with him, I could understand the panic at not being good enough or being lacking or him holding Rhys back. And Rhys... Boy he had a small pair of rose tinted glassss on. He wanted to fix Matt and he wanted Matt just the way he was. But when he couldn't make it all better... Well like Caleb told him... It sounds a bit like entitled privilege. Assuming you CAN fix it. No matter how you spin this review, Rend is fabulous. It's emotional and honest. It's real - though my husband isn't quite as loosey-goosey with the "get what you want/like" from the grocery store like Rhys is with Matt. Beautifully done. Phenomenal read.
I was pretty excited to read Rend. I was wondering what the story was behind Matt and Rhys’s relationship. So when I saw that this book was about that, I didn’t even hesitate to request it. I will warn you all. This book gets off to a slow start. It creeps the first couple of chapters. Normally, I would be complaining about slow starts to books. But, in this case, it works. It lays the groundwork for Matt and Rhys’s relationship. It also showed that how Matt’s childhood affected him as an adult. I didn’t exactly like Matt when I started reading the book. Without knowing his background, he came across as needy and insecure. But, as I read the book and as I started to learn more about his background, I realized that he was a damaged person. What clued me in was how he acted when Rhys was on tour. His mental state, which was not great when Rhys was there, disintegrated to the point where he couldn’t even function. When he finally told Rhys about his childhood, my heart broke. It broke for the child he was and the damaged man that he became. What I liked is that the author didn’t have Matt’s issues go away when he told Rhys. Instead, it showed Matt working on getting mentally better with Rhys’s help. I liked Rhys. He was so devoted to Matt. His confusion over Matt’s breakdown was sad. I do think that he should have pushed for more answers about Matt’s past. Especially since they had known each other for only 2-3 months before getting married. I didn’t agree with his reaction when Matt broke down and told him about his childhood. Leaving was the worst thing that he could have done. I did understand why he left. He needed to get his thoughts in order. I would have done the same thing. The talk that Caleb had with Rhys was blunt but true. Rhys couldn’t save everyone from themselves. Rhys and Matt had their ups and downs in this book. There were points in the book where I wondered if their relationship was going to make it. It showed that while love is great, it is work. I loved it. It wasn’t showing a happily ever after where everything is fine. Matt had some major issues that needed work. While all was fine at the end of the book, I couldn’t help but wonder if they would stay together. Of course, the sex was insanely hot in this book. Matt and Rhys didn’t lack sexual attraction or chemistry. Put it this way, I had to fan myself after reading some of those scenes. I will warn that some of the sex scenes are explicit. I loved that Theo and Caleb were in this book. I was wondering if they were going to be. Theo was just as adorable in Rend as he was in Riven. I loved that he took a liking to Matt and looked out for him. I loved that Caleb was able to talk to Rhys about what was happening with Matt. The advice he gave to Rhys was blunt but true. The end of the book was a tear-jerker. I won’t say exactly what happened but it was amazing. I felt the love!! Besides making me cry, it did make me smile too. **I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**
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. 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.
Rend is a fantastic M/M contemporary romance that is steamy and heartwarming. I truly enjoyed the overall story although some parts felt a bit drawn out. The story is told from Matt's POV and deals with his abandonment issues and fears of being left again. Rhys is the light to Matt's dark and exactly the man Matt needs in his life if he will just let himself believe. Rhys loves hard and knows what he wants. He's determined to make Matt understand and feel all he has to give. A great love story and a book I found very enjoyable. I definitely recommend it.
Great M/M Romance Read!!! I enjoyed Rend as much as I did the first book in this series. I absolutely loved the characters in this story and was glad that this story included the characters from the previous one. Theo and Caleb were my favorites, but in this story I absolutely enjoyed Rhys and Matt. Rhys was funny, sweet, charming and Matt was the complete opposite of Rhys but they fit together perfectly. They were two characters that both needed to feel wanted by each other and had two very different backgrounds/upbringings. I loved the love Rhys had for Matt. Matt was definitely an easy person to love but he had his own demons to fight and it definitely tested their relationship. This story was completely different from the first story and I appreciated that a lot. There were times I wanted to grab Matt and either shake him or hug him because he frustrated me at times, but no matter what I couldn't hate him because when it came to certain things he looked at it differently. This is a story worth reading and all I would say is to go at this story with an open mind because even though it is a romance story it has a little twist to it that seems a little odd but fits the story perfectly when you get to the end. Would I recommend this story? Yes, it was a great M/M read with characters readers will enjoy and a storyline that will have you wanting more from the very beginning.
To really make love last it requires work and OMG do Matt and Rhys have to work. These characters were so real, complex, and messy and I loved every minute of their story. Rhys is just what Matt needed to help him realize that he is worth loving, Matt really hurt my heart and I was so glad when he got the help he needed to be happy. This was a great follow up to Riven, the author really knows how to bring her characters to life and get her readers invested in their story.