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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 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. Roan Parrish’s pitch-perfect Riven novels can be read together or separately: RIVEN | REND


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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 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. Roan Parrish’s pitch-perfect Riven novels can be read together or separately: RIVEN | REND

30 review for Rend

  1. 5 out of 5

    Judith

    No [email protected] around 40%. I tried,I really did but after two weeks I'm throwing in the towel here. I'm not in the least bit bothered about these characters.I found what I read so depressing and boring.Apparently it gets better in the second half...I honestly wasn't interested to find out. Just about everyone loved this so probably best to move along and check out other reviews. Review copy provided by NetGalley

  2. 4 out of 5

    Renée

    Holy hell, get the tissues ready, folks! This one put me through the emotional ringer. Matt is our exclusive narrator here, and he is a sad dude. A product of the foster system, he learned never to want anything. And even though Chapter 1 begins 18 months into his marriage to Rhys, and he's so in love, he doesn't trust that happiness will last for him. The first half of this book was gut-wrenching. It is a black cloud over your head and you just want to curl up in a fetal position to make the pain Holy hell, get the tissues ready, folks! This one put me through the emotional ringer. Matt is our exclusive narrator here, and he is a sad dude. A product of the foster system, he learned never to want anything. And even though Chapter 1 begins 18 months into his marriage to Rhys, and he's so in love, he doesn't trust that happiness will last for him. The first half of this book was gut-wrenching. It is a black cloud over your head and you just want to curl up in a fetal position to make the pain go away. How can someone be so broken? How can someone literally not want anything because he's never even thought to ask for it? But...… I couldn't put it down. Every painful word resonated into some of the best character development. I read this in one sitting. And the second half happened. What a refreshing way to show resolution of marital problems. The black clouds parted, the sun rays descended, and the angels were singing. I loved, loved, loved the second half. If you're going into this one expecting it to be anything like Riven, you will be in for a surprise. It's like comparing Books 1 and 2 of the Middle of Somewhere series. I will settle on 4 stars because I liked the story overall, even with the pain of the first half. Parrish is very talented in her writing skills. Best quote of the book: I loved his transition from fuckbeast to cuddlemonster.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    I really enjoyed reading "Riven" and so when I saw this one go up...I, of course, had to read it too... But...let me start off by saying that these books are nothing alike. This one was actually much darker/emotional than I expected.  This book is about an already established couple Rhys and Matt. I've got to be honest here and say that I don't remember much about these two from the first book, just that Rhys is Caleb's ex. That said...I read a lot of books, so it's hard to remember every single I really enjoyed reading "Riven" and so when I saw this one go up...I, of course, had to read it too... But...let me start off by saying that these books are nothing alike. This one was actually much darker/emotional than I expected.  This book is about an already established couple Rhys and Matt. I've got to be honest here and say that I don't remember much about these two from the first book, just that Rhys is Caleb's ex. That said...I read a lot of books, so it's hard to remember every single detail. Plus I'm getting older This book is told from Matt's pov and let me tell you...it wasn't always the easiest to read. Matt is dealing with some very heavy issues and when Rhys goes on tour with his band...those issues become ever larger... This book definitely brought on the waterworks for me !!! These two don't give up though. They keep fighting, especially Rhys...he won't give up on Matt and I really loved him for that.  This book was a very sweet, lovable, sexy and hot emotional rollercoaster ride... I can't wait to see what the author has in store for us next !! My reviews are posted on Follow me   

  4. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    Full review now posted, November 27 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 Full review now posted, November 27 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 received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    .Lili.

    Disclaimer: I'm not sure how to write a coherent review for this book. I was twisted up in feelings from beginning to end. I went into Rend by Roan Parrish expecting a similar book to Riven, but the fact is they're entirely different. I think I had a lump in my throat through most of the book. It's told through Rhy's POV, and due to his childhood, he's afraid of being too happy because he's always in fear of the rug being swepped from under him. Matt was solid throughout and was ever so patient Disclaimer: I'm not sure how to write a coherent review for this book. I was twisted up in feelings from beginning to end. I went into Rend by Roan Parrish expecting a similar book to Riven, but the fact is they're entirely different. I think I had a lump in my throat through most of the book. It's told through Rhy's POV, and due to his childhood, he's afraid of being too happy because he's always in fear of the rug being swepped from under him. Matt was solid throughout and was ever so patient with Rhys' feeling- he's a caretaker. Rend had me from their first meeting to the very end. Roan Parrish can fucken write. If you're in the mood for a story that is: -Full of feels -Melancholic -Excellent character development -Outstanding relationship growth -Flawless writing -Hot and emotionally charged sex scenes -And everlasting love Then, read this book. I highlighted the hell out of this book. My favorite passage: This was a love letter. A fucking love letter from a man I'd only met five times. A love letter saying things I'd never imagined anyone would say, seeing me in a way I'd never seen myself. As I read it again a room opened inside me, turning emptiness to possibility, solitude to potential. A room opened inside me, and I wanted to fill it with Rhys. I wanted to choose. I wanted, for the first time in my grungy fucking life, to choose someone and make them mine. And it terrified me. "Oh fuck," I said to no one. "Oh fuck, fuck, fuck me." HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Too Many Books Too Little Time

    4.5 Stars! Sheesh. Talk about hitting you where it hurts. This one was hard to read. Most of the book in fact. It was very melancholic. Even with Rhys' sunny disposition. My hurt broke time after time for Matt. I really feel like I should remember Matt from Riven. After all, Matt and Rhys were married before Theo and Caleb even met. But I don't. Much like Riven, the writing is flawless. It's captivating. It's full of so much emotion. Great addition to the series. I think Noe needs a book. Or Huey 4.5 Stars! Sheesh. Talk about hitting you where it hurts. This one was hard to read. Most of the book in fact. It was very melancholic. Even with Rhys' sunny disposition. My hurt broke time after time for Matt. I really feel like I should remember Matt from Riven. After all, Matt and Rhys were married before Theo and Caleb even met. But I don't. Much like Riven, the writing is flawless. It's captivating. It's full of so much emotion. Great addition to the series. I think Noe needs a book. Or Huey. Oh....maybe Noe and Huey! :) ARC kindly provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

  7. 5 out of 5

    Elsa Bravante

    Me ha parecido... maravilloso. Roan Parrish siempre sabe conectar conmigo como lectora, crea personajes que me hacen sufrir profundamente por lo reales que me parecen. Esta vez lo ha vuelto a conseguir, me gustó muchísimo Riven, pero quizás este me ha gustado incluso más. El libro parte de un punto difícil para mí, la pareja ya está formada, es un matrimonio y una de las cosas con las que yo más disfruto es ser testigo de cómo se conocen los protagonistas y se van enamorando. Aquí ese proceso ya Me ha parecido... maravilloso. Roan Parrish siempre sabe conectar conmigo como lectora, crea personajes que me hacen sufrir profundamente por lo reales que me parecen. Esta vez lo ha vuelto a conseguir, me gustó muchísimo Riven, pero quizás este me ha gustado incluso más. El libro parte de un punto difícil para mí, la pareja ya está formada, es un matrimonio y una de las cosas con las que yo más disfruto es ser testigo de cómo se conocen los protagonistas y se van enamorando. Aquí ese proceso ya está superado, ellos están ya profundamente enamorados, pero son dos personas muy distintas, en el exterior y fundamentalmente en el interior debido a sus experiencias vitales. Matt ama a Rhys y Rhys ama a Matt, pero Matt arrastra demasiado equipaje debido a su difícil infancia, juventud, abandonos, y a pesar de haber encontrado a Rhys y tener todo para ser feliz, no encuentra la forma. Por su parte, Rhys ama a Matt, pero no sabe cómo ayudarle... Realmente en el libro ocurre poco, está exclusivamente enfocado en el desarrollo de su relación, en altos y bajos y la búsqueda de la felicidad mutua. Es muy muy romántico, mucho, con escenas de sexo maravillosas, escenas de peleas maravillosas y declaraciones de amor maravillosas. Yo no soy sicóloga, quizás su relación es demasiado codependiente, quizás no es la más sana de las relaciones, pero como dice Theo en algún momento (protagonista de Riven) es su relación, lo que funciona para ellos y lo que les hace felices. Y todo esto acompañados de secundarios, conocidos (Theo y Caleb) y nuevos (Noé y Grin), que lo único que hacen es mejorar la historia. Muy recomendable, lo más destacable es que es un libro de sentimientos escrito para hacer sentir al espectador un abanico enorme de emociones.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Moony Eliver

    Review to come, maybe? We’ll see. I’m a little overwhelmed about what to write, because this one hit me on a cellular level. Oh fuck it, I’ll try. Here goes nothing… This book isn’t for all capital-R-Romance readers. First off, it’s about an established couple, which isn’t everyone’s bucket of fun. Secondly, it’s not all hearteyes and pixie dust. The angst is real, it doesn’t feel contrived for plot’s sake, and it’s not easily resolved. This story IS for... Readers who sometimes feel like the Roma Review to come, maybe? We’ll see. I’m a little overwhelmed about what to write, because this one hit me on a cellular level. Oh fuck it, I’ll try. Here goes nothing… This book isn’t for all capital-R-Romance readers. First off, it’s about an established couple, which isn’t everyone’s bucket of fun. Secondly, it’s not all hearteyes and pixie dust. The angst is real, it doesn’t feel contrived for plot’s sake, and it’s not easily resolved. This story IS for... Readers who sometimes feel like the Romance genre is a pigeonhole. Who crave reading past the HEA, deeper, for better or worse. Who might even want to glean a few hundred bucks’ worth of therapy from a $5 book. I adore Riven. I’ve read it twice in the last six months. This book is different from Riven, but there's a consistent thing between them that has made Roan Parrish an autobuy for me from now on: her willingness and ability to navigate psychological waters. Not only does she clearly know of what she writes, but her skill in doing so is on point. So if you’re looking for some light fluff (and no judgement, that’s exactly what we all need sometimes), leave this one on the shelf for now. But if you are down for going on a cathartic journey where the characters have to really work for it… REND. P.S. I hardcore loved Theo’s and Caleb’s appearances here as my favorite secondary characters ever. If you couldn’t get enough of them in Riven (ahem-buddy read partner-ahem), you’ll love that too. More than just a cameo!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth

    READ MY REVIEW ON THE BLOG 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 t READ MY REVIEW ON THE BLOG 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?

  10. 4 out of 5

    ⚣❣☙ Michaelle ❧❣⚣

    I don't even know what it's about, but after reading Riven I am TOTALLY all in.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jassy

    *** 3.75 stars Rend was an emotional rollercoaster for me. First of all, it's not about two people getting together and everything stops with their Happy Ever After. It's about what happens afterwards and about how to fight for your relationship if problems are arising. The main focus of this book was definitely the relationship between the two MCs and their character development was very well written. We have Rhys, a sunny musician from a happy home, leaving his husband to go on a tour. An *** 3.75 stars Rend was an emotional rollercoaster for me. First of all, it's not about two people getting together and everything stops with their Happy Ever After. It's about what happens afterwards and about how to fight for your relationship if problems are arising. The main focus of this book was definitely the relationship between the two MCs and their character development was very well written. We have Rhys, a sunny musician from a happy home, leaving his husband to go on a tour. And then there is said husband, Matt (our first person narrator), who has some serious abandonment issues amongst other things and who basically falls apart when Rhys leaves. Like really falls apart with nightmares and scary little imaginative friends like that dude here: Matt sure does have his reasons to be the way he is but there were some things that bugged me about him: - He had... zero self esteem at all and he was depressed (my medical opinion at least). - He was so very much dependent on Rhys that at times I found their relationship unhealthy. I mean, I get it... it's also somehow romantic to need your partner so much and it works since Rhys is a possessive guy, but... When Rhys needed someone, he had to turn to Caleb (yeah, we get Caleb and Theo from book 1 :P) and that right there is why both partners should be strong alone. Being in Matt's head was on the one side interesting because the dark thought spirals were very realistic but on the other side it was also very much exhausting. Thank goodness, he takes the right steps at some point. All in all, it is an emotional, angsty read in the hurt/comfort-genre which thankfully gets lighter during the second half of the book. I would recommend it to those who are fed up with fluffy and want a lot of twisted feelings and an emotional read. Pure Roan Parrish style actually, so if you loved her books, you will probably love that one, too. **ARC kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

  12. 4 out of 5

    ~Kristin~

    5 Stars I loved Riven, it was my first book by this author, I knew immediately I wanted to continue this series. I will be honest, I usually avoid highly emotional books. I am such a tender hearted, sappy, softie that they really affect me and truth here, I’m a complete and total ugly crier. So when I read a friend’s review, I took a pause because she started off with how broken hearted she was for Matty. And she was right on it, this story had me so twisted up inside, the unfairness life can put 5 Stars I loved Riven, it was my first book by this author, I knew immediately I wanted to continue this series. I will be honest, I usually avoid highly emotional books. I am such a tender hearted, sappy, softie that they really affect me and truth here, I’m a complete and total ugly crier. So when I read a friend’s review, I took a pause because she started off with how broken hearted she was for Matty. And she was right on it, this story had me so twisted up inside, the unfairness life can put people through. The guilt that I can’t take in every forgotten child and give them the love I douse my own children with. So to say I was affected by this story, well that would be an understatement, not only did I have my husband checking in On me, but also my 16 year old who just wanted to make sure Mom was alright. With the crying aside, I’m so very glad I read this story. Matty and Rhys were a story of opposite forces coming together to form a wholeness and there is no light without darkness. I highlighted nearly each passage of Matt’s inner thoughts, they really made me take a pause and think about how words have the power affect a person so deeply. Matt struggled using his words but I think he ultimately found his own strength when he could finally express his thoughts into words. I’m babbling, I know, but I really found this story to be such a wonderful journey. The writing was captivating and really just drew me into Rhys and Matt’s world. I loved it, plain and simple. I’m really hoping there is another addition to this series. **ARC kindly provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sanaa ☆ Sanaa's Book Blog ☆

    4.25 stars. Rend was super an enjoyable read! The characters were really well developed and I loved their story. No matter how heartbreaking and a hard read it was at times. If I'm being honest, I did enjoy book 1 a tad bit more. And if I haven't already said this, I'm now a huge fan of Roan Parrish and I need more. I can't wait for everyone to read this one. An arc was provided in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    David Alexander

    ~4 Stars When Roan Parrish announced that Rend was going to about Matt & Rhys, I wasn't sure what to think because it was my first time reading about a couple already together. Needless to say that next time I won't doubt the ability of an author to write a great story. I felt for Matt the first half of the book, he was always wondering when Rhys would abandon him just like everyone else did. I loved Rhys, the way he never gave up on Matt even though, at times, it seemed like there was no hop ~4 Stars When Roan Parrish announced that Rend was going to about Matt & Rhys, I wasn't sure what to think because it was my first time reading about a couple already together. Needless to say that next time I won't doubt the ability of an author to write a great story. I felt for Matt the first half of the book, he was always wondering when Rhys would abandon him just like everyone else did. I loved Rhys, the way he never gave up on Matt even though, at times, it seemed like there was no hope. P.S. Maybe Grin and Huey will end up together since Huey is up next. Fingers crossed! ***ARC courtesy of the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for a review***

  15. 5 out of 5

    BWT (Belen)

    I'm not going to lie to you...I wasn't really prepared for the emotional roller-coaster that was Rend. I immediately requested an arc after reading Riven based solely on the love I'd had for Riven (one of my few 5-stars-for-real reads this year), and I didn't even read the blurb for Rend, I just thought, "It must be mine!" Luckily it all worked out in the end. We first met Rhys in Riven as an already married man, and Caleb's ex, who's still his best friend. Rend is told entirely from Rhys's husba I'm not going to lie to you...I wasn't really prepared for the emotional roller-coaster that was Rend. I immediately requested an arc after reading Riven based solely on the love I'd had for Riven (one of my few 5-stars-for-real reads this year), and I didn't even read the blurb for Rend, I just thought, "It must be mine!" Luckily it all worked out in the end. We first met Rhys in Riven as an already married man, and Caleb's ex, who's still his best friend. Rend is told entirely from Rhys's husband, Matt's, point of view and begins with the night Matt meets Rhys, a larger-than-life gorgeous Viking of a man who's incredibly, and mind-boggingly, into Matt. But Matt grew up in the system and his past is what shapes him and the relationship he has with Rhys. This was a love letter. A fucking love letter from a man I'd only met five times. A love letter saying things I'd never imagined anyone would say, seeing me in a way I'd never seen myself. As I read it again a room opened inside me, turning emptiness to possibility, solitude to potential. A room opened inside me, and I wanted to fill it with Rhys. I wanted to choose. I wanted, for the first time in my grungy fucking life, to choose someone and make them mine. And it terrified me. "Oh fuck," I said to no one. "Oh fuck, fuck, fuck me." We're all works in progress, some more than others. Matt and Rhys love each other madly, and would do anything for the other. Which leads to a minor relationship miscommunication that happens so often: One partner assuring the other that it's fine, I'm fine so they don't impede the other's dream - even to their own detriment. "...it was like I had to break apart the universe and remake it as one where I could love you more...I know I did a lot of damage. When I was breaking it apart. I know I hurt you. I was clumsy with it. But I wouldn't ever want to go back there. To that other world where I didn't know how to love you. I wouldn't want to live there. While it was gut-wrenching at times, what Matt and Rhys go through together to make sure their happily ever after continues is heartbreaking and heartwarming and has made me all gooey love eyes at this. I LOVE LOVE LOVE RHYS...and Matt's wonderful too. The only thing that would have made this better, for me, would have been having Rhys's POV. This needed Rhys's POV, IMO. Regardless, I absolutely loved reading this and would heartily recommend. Best if read after Riven, because even though it could probably standalone, it's better for having read Caleb and Theo's story. Established relationship romance with a single first-person POV, medium angst, vigorous and super hot sex scenes, dirty talk, emotional growth, an enduring love that just needed a little work, and a very, very happy ending. 4.75 stars Advanced Review Galley copy of Rend provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange of an honest review. This review has been cross-posted at Gay Book Reviews.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Trio

    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 th 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. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for the purpose of my honest review

  17. 5 out of 5

    Fabi

    dnf @ 35% Very well written but I'm the wrong reader for this story. It isn't working for me.

  18. 4 out of 5

    haletostilinski

    Wow, what an amazing read! Rhys is Caleb's best friend from the first novel, and remember how he was married? Well this is his and Matt's story. Rhys grew up in a rare truly happy home. He grew up with parents who loved him and supported him and never left him, and a good sister too. Matt, of course, had the opposite life. His dad left when he five, and his mother left him two years later, so he mainly grew up in the system. He broke my heart when he told the story of how he'd wait for his mom t Wow, what an amazing read! Rhys is Caleb's best friend from the first novel, and remember how he was married? Well this is his and Matt's story. Rhys grew up in a rare truly happy home. He grew up with parents who loved him and supported him and never left him, and a good sister too. Matt, of course, had the opposite life. His dad left when he five, and his mother left him two years later, so he mainly grew up in the system. He broke my heart when he told the story of how he'd wait for his mom to come home on that stoop like he'd done when she still there, everyday for years. And Matt's problems in this book really stem from that abandonment, and like who he is isn't good enough for the people in his life. Rhys and Matt were such opposites, but they were so good for each other in that way. Rhys was light and good and happiness and he brought that into Matt's life, and Matt was someone who wouldn't leave Rhys and was as committed to him as Rhys was to him. That's all Rhys wanted, a life with someone filled with love and happiness and commitment. But it isn't smooth sailed, it so very rarely, if ever, is. When Rhys goes on tour for two months, Matt slowly starts to get worse and worse, as the doubts start to creep in, as old fears make themselves known. Matt pushed them all down to the back of his mind when he married Rhys because Rhys made him happy. But that wasn't dealing with already existing problems, that was just ignoring them and leaving them to fester. Matt made mistakes, Rhys made mistakes. They got married to0 early - only after two and half months! - and while they did marry each other for love, they didn't quite think it all the way through, that it takes more than love to sustain a marriage. But the thing is, they try. Even when Matt is so scared to, even when Rhys maybe gets a little too intense with how hard he's trying, they don't give up. Rhys doesn't let them, and when Caleb - who, if you guys remember, had his own shit to work through in the first book - says some pretty damn insightful things, Matt agrees to go see a therapist. It takes time, and will be a lifelong thing, but Matt gets to a much better place by the end of all this, all because Rhys wouldn't give up. Rhys' upbringing make him be a little short sighted, a little rose-colored glasses like, a little blind to the reality of things, but it also is, I think, what saved their marriage. Because Rhys believed in love, in happiness, in building a life together and having a partner. He didn't want to give up and he determined not to give up. Not that Matt didn't love Rhys - he loved Rhys about as much as Rhys loved him (which is a lot. These two adored each other to the moon and back) - but he had such a self hatred, a fear that he was worthless and he ruined Rhys' life. I loved how this author didn't go the usual route with that. And I mean Rhys giving in to Matt's fears for drama's sake and "letting him go" and then breaking up and going through more pain all for the ~drama of it all. This book didn't do that. It had it's drama, for sure, but it came from a real place, and I loved that. It wasn't manufactured, and these two didn't break up, they didn't end at all, they worked through it, together, which so many pieces of writing with romance so rarely do. It's refreshing to have read it, and these sort of established relationship stories are the ones I want. The couple working THROUGH it instead of crashing and burning and then getting back together some time down the line. Honestly, time apart wouldn't have done these two good, imo. Rhys would have just been miserable and heartbroken, and Matt would have been too, but he also would go on living thing it was best, that he stay our of Rhys' life and not "ruin it" and he would probably just get worse, with the added heart break on top, and would never get the help he needs. These two staying together was the best thing for them, and I love (view spoiler)[in the end how they choose to renew their vows and have another wedding! With friends and family this time :D (hide spoiler)] . I definitely recommend this, especially if you loved the first book. Now I hope the next book in this series is abbout Huey (and hopefully Grin? Or maybe they both can have separate books? :D). I loved this, everything about this book. It didn't shy away from the angst at all, but it didn't run into the same pitfalls many other books do (and I'm remembering how Riven did that too. There was still a break up, but it happened super early in the book instead of in the last 20 or so percent like books usually do). It just made this book that much better. Definite thumbs up from me! <3 ***ARC generously provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.***

  19. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    A complimentary copy was provided in exchange for an honest review. Wow. Just wow. Roan outdid herself with this one. Matt and Rhys are an amazing couple and my heart pounded when Matt was going through his troubles. We meet Rhys in Riven, which is another amazing book. Rhys was sort of involved with Caleb, but then Caleb and Theo get together and Rhys is their friend. I loved Rhys. His character was just beautifully written. He is a big man and he takes such care with Matt, which Matt can't help A complimentary copy was provided in exchange for an honest review. Wow. Just wow. Roan outdid herself with this one. Matt and Rhys are an amazing couple and my heart pounded when Matt was going through his troubles. We meet Rhys in Riven, which is another amazing book. Rhys was sort of involved with Caleb, but then Caleb and Theo get together and Rhys is their friend. I loved Rhys. His character was just beautifully written. He is a big man and he takes such care with Matt, which Matt can't help but love. When Matt forgets his wallet and can't pay for groceries, Rhys loves that and of course uses his card. And Matt on one hand doesn't like himself when he forgets, but he LOVES it when Rhys takes care of him and, well, babies him, but in a good way. The whole time I am reading this Matt comes across as a man just waiting to be made into a submissive, kneeling and begging and serving. That doesn't happen, but when Rhys is away on tour, Matt felt so lost and alone, and he didn't have Rhys around telling him what to do, or reminding him to eat or go shopping for food. It would have been 100% genuine if their relationship had morphed into that. Shame it doesn't, although still in a way they are because Matt is built that way and demands Rhys own him and hold him never let go. This book isn't just about Matt and Rhys's relationship. There is a surprising supernatural element to this too. (view spoiler)[Matt's friend from when he was a kid/teenager has been out of touch for several months, so Matt and his other friend, Grin, are calling around trying to find her. And Matt fully embraces the search. The whole time Rhys is gone, Matt suffers insomnia and when he does sleep he dreams these really weird and disturbing dreams. One night he dreams about his mother leaving him and when he wakes up, Matt knows just knows that the friend he is searching for is dead. (hide spoiler)] Matt's emotions are all over the place and my heart ached for him. I think he needs professional help, and I don't know how they plan to handle Rhys going on tour in the future. What really got me was that I wasn't being force fed his emotions. They grew naturally and I never once felt like it wasn't genuine. It's hard to explain, and I don't want to give away too much of the story anyway, but know that Matt couldn't help himself when it came to loving Rhys and he still struggles with believing that Rhys loves him and really wants to be with him. This is part of what is driving Matt so crazy with Rhys being gone. His absence, regardless of the fact that he is coming back, makes Matt feel like he has been abandoned like when his mom left. Poor Matt. He needs Rhys just like Rhys needs Matt. These two wouldn't survive without the other. I whole heartedly recommend this book and the series and I see there is a 3rd book on the horizon. Can't wait to see what it's about! Squee! 5 stars

  20. 5 out of 5

    Hollis

    I know there's more to everything you say, but I like how you make me feel like there's time to learn everything about you. Oh look there's feels and emotions spilling out all over the place. What a surprise! Not. He looked like a Viking and moved like a rock star. He kissed like he wanted to fuck me through the wall of the diner and touched me like he wanted to wrap me up in a bear hug. And all of it just made me want more. I honestly don't even know how to write this review. I loved RIVEN so much I know there's more to everything you say, but I like how you make me feel like there's time to learn everything about you. Oh look there's feels and emotions spilling out all over the place. What a surprise! Not. He looked like a Viking and moved like a rock star. He kissed like he wanted to fuck me through the wall of the diner and touched me like he wanted to wrap me up in a bear hug. And all of it just made me want more. I honestly don't even know how to write this review. I loved RIVEN so much and I was so excited for REND. I wanted to see how Parrish spun a love story when the couple was already together. And let me tell you it wasn't all sunshine and roses but oh god it was sweet, real, raw, and hard. The romance is something of an opposites attract in the sense that their backgrounds are very different, they are moving through life with very opposing experiences and expectations, and yet met and fell in love and married and continue to love one another. Powerfully. And that was beautiful and hot and heartbreaking and oh god I just love Rhys. That man.. ugh. I want one. "If you're worried about offending me because you came from a perfect family and, like, know how to love, and I'm basically a Dickensian waif, don't bother." I'm pretty sure I choked back tears a dozen times and definitely cried at least twice, so. Know what you're getting into here. But it's a Parrish story so I mean.. you probably already know. Her books aren't always easy reading, they can feel overwhelming with the highs and equally harsh with the lows, but that's life and it makes that (second, for these two) happily ever after even more deserving. Just be prepared for the feeeeels. Also giving me feels? I'm pretty sure we have a third book on the way and that makes me so happy, too. ** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rafa Brewster

    First off, that prologue should be outlawed it was that incredible. Secondly, well.... I will endeavor to put my thoughts into writing at some point closer to release date. I thought Riven took my breath away, and Rend somehow managed to top that. So much emotional depth in a complicated character paired with a beautiful romance. ETA: Okay, here's my full review below. Rend was quite simply a stunning read. In the most basic sense, it’s a second-chance romance between established couple Matt (who First off, that prologue should be outlawed it was that incredible. Secondly, well.... I will endeavor to put my thoughts into writing at some point closer to release date. I thought Riven took my breath away, and Rend somehow managed to top that. So much emotional depth in a complicated character paired with a beautiful romance. ETA: Okay, here's my full review below. Rend was quite simply a stunning read. In the most basic sense, it’s a second-chance romance between established couple Matt (who struggles with loneliness and a lifetime of abandonment) and Rhys (who positively brims with intrinsic joy and seemingly unlimited optimism). But what you get is so much more than an opposites attract story, and my heart couldn’t be fuller upon the conclusion of their story. Nevermind the conclusion, my heart was fit to burst just from the prologue - it was so whirlwind sweet and hearteyes amazing. With a prologue like that though, I just knew I was in for one hell of a ride. What came next wasn’t so much a crash landing, but a series of jarring bumps that rattles Matt’s sense of wellbeing once the honeymoon period was over. Sure on the surface the book sounds depressing AF. Matt pretty much goes on a downward slide while Rhs heads out on tour. Certain incidents in his otherwise normal life bring up not-so-old insecurities. His slide is scary in its ease and inevitability, and there’s even bits of gothic horror thrown in for good measure (partly thanks to their little town of Sleepy Hollow - of the headless horseman fame- and partly due to city boy Matt’s fears and paranoia being by himself way out in the “country.”). I can’t go into too much detail without giving the story away, and even if I wanted to, there is just so much to talk about. What I will say is that I loved everything about this book. Every element was so meticulously plotted, and went above and beyond at delivering a realistic portrayal that resonated with me. I’ve come to learn that Parrish is not one to write in half measures and this series in particular has been a tour de force (okay I know this is only book 2) that is also very clearly a labor of love. She did an amazing job portraying Matt as a real and multifaceted person, and not just “some sad dude.” Overlooked and undervalued all his life, he quite simply doesn’t know how to be the center of someone’s universe, and Rend takes us on his journey to find his place in the world. The book reminded me that happiness doesn't come naturally for everybody and that it often takes work, even when on the surface everything seems fine. Unsurprisingly, Theo and Caleb appear in Rend, but I was pleasantly surprised of the extent to which their stories intertwine, and the part Theo plays in Matt’s journey. One of my favorite things about this book was the beautiful relationship between Matt and Rhys. There were so many ways that they brought balance to one another, and one way in particular that it showed was in their beautiful and fuckhot D/s dynamic. It wasn’t formal or even really acknowledged, but the ownership kink was strong with these two ;-) I thought the ending was perfect (I did not see that coming!) and a great way to end their story on such a hope-filled note.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Eugenia

    Fabulous!!!! I want to do this book justice with my review, but I fear that I can't. It was just so.... Refreshing: This isn't your typical romance. It followed a new playbook, one with moves and plays I haven't seen before. How often do we get a "romance" with a married couple? For this, I thank Roan Parrish. Introspective: We only see Matt's POV. Through his eyes we struggle with his inner ghosts--those of the past, present, and future. Even though were in his thoughts a lot, I never felt like I Fabulous!!!! I want to do this book justice with my review, but I fear that I can't. It was just so.... Refreshing: This isn't your typical romance. It followed a new playbook, one with moves and plays I haven't seen before. How often do we get a "romance" with a married couple? For this, I thank Roan Parrish. Introspective: We only see Matt's POV. Through his eyes we struggle with his inner ghosts--those of the past, present, and future. Even though were in his thoughts a lot, I never felt like I got sucked in the mire. His fears, joys, and love kept me moving forward with him. And as uncertain as he was in himself, I had faith that Parrish would pull Matt through his inner demons toward an HEA. After all, this is a romance. But I admit that I loved the uncertainty that I didn't know what would happen from one minute to the next. Sexy: The heat, the sex, the dirty talk, the need in this book was off the charts for me. The sex never felt staid, it was new and fresh--like I said earlier, this book if following a new playbook. Well crafted and written: A book that is so singularly character driven has to be well written and crafted since it relies on the intricacies of human thought and emotional rather than plot. I loved how the words played out on the page. Beautiful! This book was all of the above and so much more. The characters, one seemingly perfect and the other less than, both face their flaws and strengths. Both grow and change in such a way that is subtle, but so, so right and believable. You don't need to read the previous book, Riven, to enjoy this one, but I would highly recommend doing so. Theo and Caleb both make appearances in this one. I already had Roan Parrish down as one of my favorite MM author. Now, it's cemented. I have the next book preordered. Enjoy this one. It's angsty, but in a very good and very real way.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥

    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 . . 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 Rend 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! *Many thanks to the author and publisher for an arc of this book via Netgalley. **Reviewed at Cross My Heart Reviews

  24. 4 out of 5

    River

    This book, oh this book! I love love it. I knew going in that it was going to be a slow paced story since the couple is a established one but it totally worked for me. Sometimes when you are supposed to be okay you are not, sometimes your worst enemy is your own head and sometimes you just need a little help even when you don't think you need it. Beautiful story, beautiful characters. I can't wait for book 3.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sahitya

    After the absolutely beautiful love story that was Riven, I thought I knew what I was getting into with Rend but wow was I wrong. This book put me through an emotional wringer and I have truly forgotten how much I cried. This is not the story of two people falling in love, but about how two married people deeply in love have to fight for their relationship when there are unresolved issues. The story is through the single POV of Matt, who we realize from the get go has lot of issues to work throu After the absolutely beautiful love story that was Riven, I thought I knew what I was getting into with Rend but wow was I wrong. This book put me through an emotional wringer and I have truly forgotten how much I cried. This is not the story of two people falling in love, but about how two married people deeply in love have to fight for their relationship when there are unresolved issues. The story is through the single POV of Matt, who we realize from the get go has lot of issues to work through. Being a product of the foster care system, he has serious abandonment issues – first by his mother, then his aunt and then by the other foster parents before he ended up in a group home. He has really never learned how to want for anything, because he would never get it. He gets overwhelmed by even having to make the simplest of choices, can’t believe why Rhys chose him and never trusts that their happiness will last. It’s a very melancholic narration and being in his head is very sad and exhausting but it did make me feel satisfied when he decides to work on his issues. Rhys is almost the exact opposite of Matt. He has a very larger than life personality, always lively and active and and only wants Matt to be happy. But being from a very happy family and having led an almost privileged life, he doesn’t always understand what Matt is going through or why he wants to keep his past a secret. He is also possessive by nature and wants to fix everything by himself. However, the second half of the book revolves around both of them deciding to try to be more honest and more open with each other. It was wonderful to see that despite Matt almost falling apart and Rhys hurting due to it, they never leave each other and their unconditional love is never in question. They really are each other’s partners and support systems and even though, sometimes it felt like they were too dependent on each other, I think it worked for them and also made me believe that it would only get better. The writing in this book is truly magical. It made me sad, cry, laugh and fall in love with their love and adoration for each other. It shows us that marriage is not the end but the beginning, and I thought the author explored the highs and lows of the couple very well. The setting of their home in Sleepy Hollow, their late night walks to the cemetery and Matt’s pensive sadness or even his nightmares made for quite an eerie ambiance and I don’t think I could have chosen a more atmospheric book for the month of Halloween. It was also nice to see a little more of Theo and Caleb and they played important roles in helping our main characters – Theo’s wanting to be friends with Matt and Caleb trying his best to help Rhys keep his sanity were definitely turning points in the story. If you want to read a love story like Riven, then this is not that book. But if you want something that explores the deep issues of a man who has seen so much unfairness in his life but still wants to do good and hopefully, live a life of peace with the man he loves – then you will love this one. Its emotional, you’ll end up crying buckets, but it’ll ultimately make you happy because theirs is a love for the ages.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lily

    * 4.5 stars * Man, this book is not an easy one, and if you expect it to be similar to Riven, you’ll be disappointed. But it’s not a bad thing in my opinion, this book is almost as good as Riven, but just in a different way. First of all, before you start reading this, I advice you to get some tissues ready, because when those feels hit you - they hit you HARD. This book follows the struggles of Matt, the husband of Rhys - Caleb’s bff from the previous book. Matt married Rhys 18 months ago, after * 4.5 stars * Man, this book is not an easy one, and if you expect it to be similar to Riven, you’ll be disappointed. But it’s not a bad thing in my opinion, this book is almost as good as Riven, but just in a different way. First of all, before you start reading this, I advice you to get some tissues ready, because when those feels hit you - they hit you HARD. This book follows the struggles of Matt, the husband of Rhys - Caleb’s bff from the previous book. Matt married Rhys 18 months ago, after a whirlwind romance. In the beginning of the story, everything looks great. Matt and Rhys are deeply in love, Matt has a job he actually likes and Rhys’s musical career is going extremely well. However, when Rhys goes on a tour for the first time since they got married, things go from bad to worse. Matt grew up in the system after he was abandoned by his parents, and Rhys leaving him for the first time since they met cause some issues to arise, issues he never truly managed to overcome. He starts having these awful thoughts and disturbing dreams, he constantly wonders why Rhys chose him and doesn’t believe he deserves him. Matt’s confidence and feeling of self-worth hit rock bottom, but the worst thing is that he doesn’t tell Rhys anything. You see, he thinks that Rhys lives in this perfect world, and doesn’t want to disturb it with his dark thoughts. But you can’t keep it all inside for long, and it all comes to a head somewhere in the 50%-60%, forcing Matt and Rhys to make some tough decisions. Being in Matt’s head was fascinating and exhausting. He tells the entire story from his POV, so you get to spend a lot of time inside his mind, and damn if it’s not a twisted place. Sometimes it was painful as hell to read, and yes, I ugly cried more than once. But it was worth it. Why? Because of Rhys and Matt. These two love each other so damn much, it was sometimes overwhelming. Rhys wasn’t going to give up on Matt, and that’s exactly what Matt needed - someone who loves him completely and no matter what. Theo and Caleb also make an appearance. Well, several appearances. They support both Matt and Rhys during those rough times, and damn if I wasn’t happy to read about them again. Overall, I highly recommended this beautiful love story, just be ready for some tears and angst. You can read this as a stand-alone, but I highly recommend you to read Riven as well - it’s amazing! An ARC was kindly provided by the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    ♡❀✦☞ Sammy ☜✦❀♡

    4.5 Stars!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Calila

    *Received ARC from Netgalley* I really loved this. From the first instance the characters felt like full people who I'd known forever. Actually at first I thought this was a direct continuation from the first book (it's a different couple, but we met them in the first book I guess) with the same couple. That's how well formed they felt right away. How invested I was in their story from the start. It's not a happy fluffy book, Matt and Rhys deal with some pretty heavy trauma, mostly all Matt's. Bu *Received ARC from Netgalley* I really loved this. From the first instance the characters felt like full people who I'd known forever. Actually at first I thought this was a direct continuation from the first book (it's a different couple, but we met them in the first book I guess) with the same couple. That's how well formed they felt right away. How invested I was in their story from the start. It's not a happy fluffy book, Matt and Rhys deal with some pretty heavy trauma, mostly all Matt's. But I think Rhys has his own issues, and just when I started to get frustrated with him someone would call him out on it. I'm really happy that it was saved from being one-sided by that. One thing I really appreciate is the author wasn't afraid to let the characters get "ugly". They went deep and their "fights" felt real and true. No one crossed the line into unforgivable territory, just human territory. Neither are perfect, they both jumped fast and then got smacked with reality and had to figure out and make hard choices on how to deal with it. Couldn't recommend this more. You don't even need to have read Riven.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Santy

    This book wasn’t easy to read in the least but I ultimately enjoyed it. Why? It was real. It provided a sense of reality that I believe us Romance readers need once in a while: HEAs are hard work. Yes, whirlwind romances are all well and good but the fact remains: the couple really doesn’t KNOW each other. These gaps in knowledge will definitely pop up and might cause tension or worse. I believe the key is to fight like hell for the union like Matt and Rhys did in this book or your HEA will be a f This book wasn’t easy to read in the least but I ultimately enjoyed it. Why? It was real. It provided a sense of reality that I believe us Romance readers need once in a while: HEAs are hard work. Yes, whirlwind romances are all well and good but the fact remains: the couple really doesn’t KNOW each other. These gaps in knowledge will definitely pop up and might cause tension or worse. I believe the key is to fight like hell for the union like Matt and Rhys did in this book or your HEA will be a fluke. Matt had a ton load of trauma and abuse from his childhood and naively believed that the power of his love for Rhys would automatically make him okay but as we all know, the real world doesn’t work that way. He was triggered when Rhys left and couldn’t put his “brave face” back on for Rhys after it’d been shattered. What followed was what made up the majority of this book; which was Matt recognising that he might not have been as “cured” of his demons as he thought and Rhys realising that his optimism and sheer “goodness” could not transform the one he loved the most. As I said earlier, it wasn’t an easy book to read as everything was solely in Matt’s POV and it sometimes got very depressing and sad to read about. However, in his POV, you could see how deeply he loved Rhys and how much, despite all the negativity, he didn’t want to lose him. I’ll be honest though, I believe Rhys’ POV would’ve rounded up the story much better. Caleb and Theo made good showings in this and helped out when they could which moved the story forward and also gave important updates on how they were doing after their book. Ultimately, as I said, I enjoyed this book. I hope Huey’s book is next as I am very interested in his backstory and would love to see him happy. But pleeease Roan, make it lighter than this! :D *** Review Copy Was Graciously Provided By The Publisher Via Netgalley In Exchange For An Honest, Unbiased, Review ***

  30. 5 out of 5

    Caz

    4.5 stars I haven’t (yet) read Riven, the book that preceded Rend, but I gather than Rhys Nyland was introduced there as a secondary character who was very much in love and happily married.  Rend turns the lens in the opposite direction, focusing on Rhys and his husband Matt, telling the story of how they met and giving readers a glimpse into their lives for the eighteen months since then up until the time when Rhys – a musician, singer and songwriter – goes on tour… and Matt slowly begins to fal 4.5 stars I haven’t (yet) read Riven, the book that preceded Rend, but I gather than Rhys Nyland was introduced there as a secondary character who was very much in love and happily married.  Rend turns the lens in the opposite direction, focusing on Rhys and his husband Matt, telling the story of how they met and giving readers a glimpse into their lives for the eighteen months since then up until the time when Rhys – a musician, singer and songwriter – goes on tour… and Matt slowly begins to fall apart. The author pulled me in immediately with the prologue, in which Matt, who is clearly a troubled young man, has gone into a bar hoping to get picked up for the night - to avoid sleeping on the lumpy sofa in the crowded apartment he shares as much as for the sex.  When a large, blond and really handsome guy plonks down next to him, Matt is completely on board with the idea of going home with him – but that’s not what happens.  Instead, the man – who introduces himself as Rhys – takes Matt to a diner and orders a mountain of food which they tuck into while they talk.  At the end of the night, both men have established a surprisingly intense connection and they exchange a passionate kiss, but that’s it – and it’s how things go between them for the next few weeks. They date, they kiss, but nothing more – and Matt starts to worry that perhaps Rhys just isn’t into him that way.  Finally, he gathers up his courage and texts Rhys to ask him if he wants to have sex with him – needless to say, the answer sends Matt rushing back to Rhys’ arms and bed.  After a passionate night, Matt sneaks out – only to have Rhys text him afterwards with one of the most beautiful fictional love letters I’ve ever read. From then on, they’re inseparable. Then we skip ahead eighteen months to find Matt and Rhys happily married and living in Sleepy Hollow, New York.  Matt is working for a charity that helps young people coming out of the foster system – in which he himself grew up – he’s been growing more and more confident in his role there and he’s deeply in love with his husband… even though he still can’t quite believe that his happiness can possibly last.  Life has taught him not to expect it to.  But right now, the only cloud on the horizon is the fact that Rhys is about to go on tour to promote his first solo album, and although Matt’s rational mind knows Rhys is coming back, his animal brain is telling him the opposite.  Everyone he’s ever loved has left him eventually, and he can’t shake the fear building in him that Rhys is going to do the same. Matt tries desperately to keep those fears from Rhys, not wishing to spoil what should be a time filled with success and happiness, but the longer Rhys is away, the harder Matt finds it to cope. Plagued by nightmares and dark thoughts that persist in telling him Rhys deserves someone better, Matt can’t sleep, he can’t eat and finds himself returning over and over to the only home he’d ever known, the one he lived in when his mother left him and the last one he’d known before he was shunted into the foster system.  Terrified that Rhys will reject him if he knows the truth about his past, Matt’s reticence to talk and vagueness about how he is and what’s going on communicates itself to Rhys in their phone conversations, leading to the creation of an emotional distance between them that’s never been there before.  Matt is locked in a downward spiral of fear, guilt and desperation – when the tour finishes and Rhys comes home.  But has he come home in time to save their marriage? Rend is a gut-wrenching read, no question, heart-breaking and deeply emotional but it’s also uplifting, and quite, quite beautiful.  As we witness Matt’s physical and emotional breakdown, we are also given some rather lovely insight into their relationship after that initial meeting in the prologue, which works well as a way to break up the scenes of Matt’s gradual descent into darkness.  Rhys and Matt are total opposites in many ways, both physically – Rhys is a blond Viking where Matt is small and dark – and personality-wise; Rhys is like a blast of sunlight, optimistic, open-hearted and completely and utterly in love with Matt, and I loved that he wouldn’t let Matt give in to his fears and was willing to make it clear over and over that Matt was his and that neither of them were going anywhere. And Matt… well, Matt is sweet, quiet and oh, so broken.  Always looking over his shoulder waiting for life to pull the rug out from under his feet, he learned early on never to ask for anything for himself, and wants only to make Rhys happy. The author doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to showing how profoundly Matt’s past has affected him, and he goes to some dark places as his fears begin to overwhelm him; his struggles are portrayed so vividly that it’s easy to understand why he feels and acts as he does.  The characterisation of both leads is excellent – they’re brilliantly drawn and the intensity of their love and longing for one another really does leap off the page. The one niggle I had was that sometimes the relationship seemed a little… unhealthy, with Matt being so dependent on Rhys for his happiness and, well, pretty much everything. Rend is that rare romance – one that shows what happens after the HEA and that even the most meant-to-be-together of couples has to work at making a go of it. It’s a superbly crafted portrait of a marriage in trouble that encompasses incredible highs and incredible lows, but there’s no question that Matt and Rhys thoroughly deserve their hard-won happy ending.

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