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Publisher's Summary

Theo Decker might be the lead singer of Riven, but he hates being a rock star. The paparazzi, the endless tours, being recognized everywhere he goes - it all makes him squirm. The only thing he doesn't hate is the music. Feeling an audience's energy as they lose themselves in Riven's music is a rush unlike anything else...until he meets Caleb Blake Whitman. Caleb is rough and damaged, yet his fingers on his guitar are pure poetry. And his hands on Theo? They're all he can think about. But Caleb's no groupie - and one night with him won't be enough.

Just when Caleb is accepting his new life as a loner, Theo Decker slinks into it and turns his world upside down. Theo's sexy and brilliant and addictively vulnerable, and all Caleb wants is another hit. And another. That's how he knows Theo's trouble. Caleb can't even handle performing these days. How the hell is he going to survive an affair with a tabloid superstar? But after Caleb sees the man behind the rock star, he begins to wonder if Theo might be his chance at a future he thought he'd lost forever.

Contains mature themes.

©2018 Roan Parrish (P)2018 Tantor
  • Series: Riven, Book 1
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

What listeners say about Riven

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A rockin good listen

I actually added this book to my library in late November, 2018. I listened in January and just listened a second time over night. Let me first tell you that I love rocker romance. I also love male/male romance. I don’t enjoy romantic comedy, funny or light romance of any sort, the darker the better. While this is not a dark romance, in the truest sense, it is not the happiest of stories. These men are musicians, gorgeous and tatted up, talented and miserable. They stumble into each other in a bar, one night stand material for sure. One is a sad man whose career in music has ended in unhappiness, the other is a young and reluctant misfit. As their lives unfold they hurt one another, heal each other and fall deeply into a forever love. This book is beautifully written, flowery in parts and stark in others. There is a bit of humor a lot of tears and, some very hot and sexy parts. Roan Parrish shows us loneliness, drug addiction and fear and how these things are overcome in heroic and very ordinary ways. Now, a word to the narrators. Chris Chambers and Iggy Toma become these men. They are the perfect choice and pair as beautifully as any couple could. I love them both. Iggy Toma was my “boy crush” last year. I think this will still be his year. I sincerely hope the two of them continue to work together.

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Angsty

I rather liked most of this. A couple of guys with limited friendships & all the anxiety make music together. The tension before a particular show was the emotional highlight of the book for me. Well done.

The guys tried to encourage each other’s best selves, but I was frustrated that while generally supportive, Caleb’s go to move when stressed is to cut himself off from Theo. Now that I think it through, he deescalated from lashing out to running away which, while progress, still put the burden on Theo to not upset him, which was hard because lots of things set him off like music and going places. They seem more settled by the epilogue so here’s hoping it works for them.

Also, how do two grown adults not figure out how to actually cook? If they were ordering takeout, I’d understand, but how do they not make more progress in getting decent meals? Learn recipes exist & make meals or buy them, I don’t care, just for improve your food situation.

(And for the record, too many beignets never made me or my friends feel ill, so it was odd to have it described as if it’s inevitable that eating beignets will make someone feel sick.)

Steam: Med-high. M/M on page early and fairly often. Some had much more emotional weight than others.

Narration: Liked the dual narrators, made it easy to know POV.

3 people found this helpful

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I've read 100s of M/M romances; this is my #1 fave

This book is pure poetry. It touched depts of my soul that are so tender from being previously ignored. So hot it'll leave you with 3rd degree burns. This is everything you want in an M/M romance!

2 people found this helpful

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ummm, top shelf

I have become an absolute front of the line, can't wait for the next book, FAN of Roan Parrish. His books suck me in from the first page and I don't want to stop till the end.
Iggy Toma , I've been a fan since the first book I heard him narrate, and Chris Chambers was impressive as well. THANKS FOR THE GOOD READ

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent story, perfect narration!

I love Roan Parrish. This book is just lovely. It’s a wonderful story of people battling with themselves to simply live and create.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Emotional; Raw

I listened through Roan Parrish‘s Somewhere Series and fell in love, so I had to snag this book up right away.

This book I found was very emotional, it sucks you in slowly until you don’t want to stop listening because you don’t want to leave the characters.

Theo and Caleb are both battling things inside themselves and it was almost as if like recognizes like. Sure they have the connection of music and sexual attraction, but I think they also saw something else too.

Theo struggles with fame and wanting to be a part of something more. Caleb is struggling to stay clean and though that is a feat in and of itself, it’s also learning his limitation and know how strong he really is. I think the book needed to have a little faith in themselves.

The story really is raw and necessary; I think if you pick up this book you will enjoy these two as much as I did.

I enjoyed the narration, I liked Caleb’s narrator a little bit more his voice has that gruff deep thing that I love. Theo’s narrator was perfect for Theo if that makes any sense he just has that youngish vibe that Theo seems to have.

10 people found this helpful

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sooo good!!!

all the r ight feels...I've been searching for the excitement of a great book and didn't want to stop listening to this one! can't wait for the next....so worth it!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not bad. Decent.

I went back and forth on this one. I’ve loved Roan books so much in the past that I’ve never wanted them to end. This was not like that. I found myself getting bored or aggravated at the characters. The story had some good sections where I got really deep into it then, I’d get bored again. It was weird, it ended well. Both narrators were good. Overall a solid 3 stars.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Kudos to Roan Parrish for tackling a tough subject with ease

As the spouse of someone in recovery, I recognize the honesty given to the realities of those post rehab - from the fears of relapse to the pack a day habit. TBH I hovered between three and four stars for all categories, but I tipped to four because it was not easy material, and could have gone very, very wrong.

What didn’t work so well for me? I might be wrong, but I believe it is Chris Chambers who narrates Caleb. The slow place nearly killed me, I generally liked how his other characters were handled. It’s tricky when slipping into voices that could become racially stereotyped, but overall handled pretty well. I enjoyed Theo’s narration.

The story? It takes many of the necessary liberties available to romance writers. Not much about the Riven storylines rang true, it was all so fast. IMO, Theo could have been a couple of years older and with the band longer, three years for arena tours seemed awfully fast. Getting hired at his first open mic? And set ups like the stalking paparazzi seemed crazy, if he was so unhappy with the fame it would make sense he was always being followed, why did it seem so unexpected for that to happen? But, it’s generally forgivable in this storytelling format. What was hard to overlook was how quickly he would forgive Caleb’s rebuffs. Theo had the most believably written heartache - but it could, and should have been more. Maybe it was implied, but it could have been spelled out better. Unable to eat, sleep, not wanting to perform. We should have known for as much pain as he carried that physical manifestations were there. And why were his parents let off the hook? The story cried for a takedown. Caleb was fine, we knew how bad it was, it was spelled out again and again. But he seemed to feel more accountable to his friend Rhys than to Theo. I continue to hold the Somewhere series as what Roan can create in terms of a well balanced story. This comes closer than others I’ve read, but still not as solid. I am sure to try the next book in the series, see where things go.

What I loved was how well the addiction and recovery aspects of the story felt true. Very few people kick narcotics addiction easily, certainly not many in the first try. His relationship with his sponsor was great, I’m overlooking how much time Rhys received because he is likely someone who was supportive during rehab/recovery and seems to hold Caleb accountable which is so important for those with addiction. Also, Caleb’s hesitation to get into a relationship, and all those mistakes are fully expected. What I wanted was to see was that those behaviors - even after rehab put a lot on to loved ones. No one pulled Theo aside to explain how to deal or what to expect, or even resources available. I know I needed all that. I was pleased that there was no hiding in the closet, or straight guys in discovery mode.

As mentioned before, I could have gone with three stars, but it would have been petty to down grade what is overall a solid title, I just want more! I realize that intimacy is a huge part of these stories, but ten fewer pages of sex redirected to ten more pages of character development would be a delight in this story. Recommended.

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MM Rockstar Romance

Theo Decker completely made this book!! He is a wonderful, wonderful character who I want the world for. He is such a sweet person, and so very talented and just wants to find love and acceptance in the people around him. He is such a loyal person, but true to himself, that his family pretty much wrote him off and emotionally abused him for his trouble. Then he elevates a band who treats him like less than, and doesn't want to include him, and yet he feels like he owns them or something and works himself to death for them. Then he hears a beautiful song from Caleb Whitman, and falls for him hard. Only thing is, Caleb is battling some pretty heavy demons of drug addiction and is not ready to love Theo, and give him what he so deserves. Eventually all is well, but it is tough ansty road to get there. It was a 3 star read until the end, and I loved the ending and so 4 stars for me. Also, the powerhouse narration of Iggy Toma & Chris Chambers was the icing on this delicious morsel!!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Christina Azariadou
  • 05-28-21

4,5 stars rounding down

*Spoilers ahead*

Chris Chambers voice is magical and lyrical and just listening to him transports me to the story. Iggy Toma is an excellent narrator and was a wonderful Theo.

This is my 2nd listen of the story but first time reviewing it and I have to say I loved it this 2nd time more.

Caleb and Theo both have baggage and are struggling, each with their own demons, trying to work through them, protect the other from them. Most times that imploded with them breaking up, and the reason why I didn't give the story 5 stars was of Theo sleeping with groupies the first time he broke up with Caleb which frankly did nothing for the story and was never mentioned, and resulting with getting to know the others ticks.

A beautiful, gritty, heartwrenching story, do not miss.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • HMM
  • 04-19-21

Narrator to avoid

After this novel I decided Chris Chambers is a narrator I am going to avoid.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Book.it.to.me
  • 06-12-22

MM Rockstar romance perfection!

Beautifully written, especially about the issues they each face. The characters were so real and I loved the musical process throughout. Spicy, loving and low angst. Narrators did an amazing job too

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  • Deos2
  • 09-19-20

Love discovering another author to add to my personal pantheon!

Enjoyed the main protagonists. Both are musicians - one rock, one blues - who struggle with their lives. Both have fears that control and shape those lives. Both have to use their love to grow and come to understand that the stories they’ve created to protect themselves aren’t finite. Their stories can change, as life itself changes for them. Opposite as they are, Theo and Caleb each find their love reshaping their lives, giving them confidence to make the decisions necessary for a life together.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Wide Eyes, Big Ears!
  • 08-30-19

Great start to a strong series!

Lead singer of Riven, Theo Decker, is growing tired of everything to do with being a famous rock star, except the music. When he hears Caleb, a washed-up musician, singing in a dive, it opens up Theo’s mind, music and his heart. Strongly drawn characters, a mesmerising plot, and a chance to feel good!