Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction


Sunday, March 8, 2020

Rend (2018) Roan Parrish (Riven)

RendOh. My. God.

So much crying.

I hate crying. Yet, I kept stifling tears as I read this story.

Kids in the system slipped through the cracks in school because they didn’t have a support system. They didn’t have people helping them with their homework, or telling them they could live their dreams if they worked hard or joined extracurriculars so they could go to college. A lot of them skipped school because they needed more hours at work, or dropped out entirely, knowing that as soon as they turned eighteen they’d need to be self-sufficient so they may as well start early. And that was to say nothing of the kids who had it bad.

Matt Argento survived the foster system and found a man who loves him: Rhys Nyland, musician, singer, and songwriter. They’re married and love each other, but when Rhys goes on tour, all of Matt’s defenses are stripped and he suddenly has to deal with his past.

The more uncertain he seemed, the more I needed to be reminded of what we had. I wanted him to hold me down and show me who I was.

This is a really difficult book to read. Matt and Rhys are already married, and we do get flashbacks to when the met and their whirlwind relationship, but the heart of the story is Matt learning how to deal with his past without destroying what he and Rhys have.

Here’s the thing that was hardest–I totally understood why Matt didn’t want to tell Rhys about his past, about just how broken he was, and about the people that broke him and the systems that didn’t save him.

My chest was so tight I couldn’t breathe. He had told me that. He had. But then every time I’d told him just a piece, shown him just the corners, the look on his face… the fucking pain he felt for me. It was like he was asking me to touch a red-hot poker to his gut. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t stand to inflict such pain on him. He loved me so much. I couldn’t bear to tell him things that would hurt him.

This story is entirely from Matt’s point-of-view. The reason that’s so important to mention is that towards the end of the book, Matt overhears a conversation between Rhys and Caleb, and although Matt takes it as a prod to take steps he could have ages ago, it also clarifies to you, the reader, that Rhys is not actually as perfect as Matt sees him. It’s a very important bit of the book–not just for the reader, but because Matt finally takes the steps he needs to, to begin his own process of healing.

And that’s what made this story so damned good.

In some ways, Rhys has already rescued Matt at the beginning of the story. But being rescued isn’t as easy as either Matt or Rhys things it is, and we are reminded again and again how much work it takes to get through to the other side of the issues Matt has.

I’m warning you–this book will most likely make you cry. But it’s so damned good, you’ll keep reading through the sniffles and the blurry pages.

Publisher: Loveswept
Rating: 9/10


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