Series: Riven #3
Published by Loveswept on November 27th 2018
Genres: LGBT, MM Romance
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After a whirlwind romance, a man with a painful past learns to trust the musician who makes him believe in happy endings.
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.
by Roan Parrish
We met Matty and Rhys in RIVEN. Since they were married then already I didn’t expect that we’d get a story about them. Little did I know how hurt and desperate the quiet Matty was. His childhood trauma made it impossible for him to believe that somebody could love him unconditionally, and that’s what Rhys did.
They married after a few months of dating, and while the love between them was undoubtedly there, they didn’t know each other enough, that they could settle into their life together and not have let it be affected by their respective pasts. Storm clouds start to appear, when Rhys, a musician whose star is rising, leaves to go on a two months tour and Matty stays behind. All of a sudden the shy, introverted beautiful young man has to deal with his demons and doubts about pretty much everything except their love for one another.
I wandered through the empty house as if I might find Rhys in a cupboard or under a chair like a misplaced book.
Rhys is a fixer, his sunny disposition finds something good in everything and everyone. His frustration and fear are overwhelming when he realizes that he can’t help or fix Matt.
There were some incredibly angsty and emotional parts in REND, some made me hurt for Matty so much that I got choked up. He was so hungry for Rhys’s love, but his abandonment issues made it impossible for him to enjoy what he had at first. Rhys did everything he could, this big, sweet, patient guy who loved his husband with his whole being.
“Am I your real life person?” I blurted, leaning my head back against the couch.
“You’re my everything person.”
There was a lot of sex in this book and while I’m usually all for some dirty, hot boy-on-boy lovin’ I found myself skimming those parts at some point. There was also an exorbitant amount of “I love yous” which I only realized later, that they had a purpose. Rhys just really needed to hammer it into Matt’s head by repeating it over and over again.
Healing went both ways – Rhys always wanted a relationship like his parents had, but until Matt none of his previous relationships wanted to be serious. Matt was made for Rhys – finally he could shower his love on someone who soaked it up like a sponge and returned his feelings.
“…it was like I had to break apart the universe and remake it as one where I could love you more.”
When you grow up in a steady home you can forget that some people aren’t that lucky. It’s definitely good that you can and nobody should feel guilty about it. But at the same time a reminder that other people may need help because of their childhood will put the things, we whine about, into perspective. I didn’t mean to get all philosophical on you but REND definitely resonated with me, because it showcases the damage a child with a negligent and unloving parent can sustain. Matt is that child and he was lucky to find somebody with an endless capacity to love and the patience of a saint.
I loved how Theo and Matt’s friendship grew and turned into something special. And Caleb proved to be an amazing friend to Rhys, somebody who provided the insight his friend couldn’t see because he was too close to the issue.
“I’m saying Matt has had a rough go of things and never dealt with them. And then you came along. Big old beast of sunshine and plans and charisma and a steady damn hand. And he fell in love with you. And suddenly Matt— with all that shit in his past— was hanging out with you all the time. Where do you think that shit went? It didn’t disappear. It didn’t transform from pain to joy like water to fucking wine, Nyland.”
Roan Parrish’s writing is really special and beautiful. It was something I loved in the previous installment and my admiration for her art has only been cemented in this one. Personally I loved RIVEN a little bit more story-wise, however, Rhys and Matt were wonderful characters and I am definitely looking forward to reading RAZE. I wonder who that will be about?