Cover Image: Raze

Raze

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Member Reviews

Roan Parrish writes very emotional, dig-down-deep stories, and this one is no exception. Her characters tend to have quirks, but not gratuitous ones. This story, as with the others in this series, is more about the characters' inner life, experiences, and baggage than about the plot. If you love character-rich m/m romances, and enjoy a small town setting with a tinge of the music world, this is a very good read.
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Felix Rainey has assisted in the care and support of his mother and younger siblings since he was 15 years old. Right now, he and his sister Sofia share a tiny apartment in New York. Felix works at a bagel shop but has dreams of making dioramas for the Natural History museum. He and Sofia sing at Huey's bar one Tuesday night--karaoke is not Huey's thing but it draws a crowd--and their duet of a Riven song has Huey calling his dear friend Caleb Blake Whitman---and Theo Decker, former lead signer of Riven. The band is looking for a new frontman, and Felix seems to have the chops.

Felix, however, has stage fright and he gets Theo and Coco, Riven's guitarist, to listen to Sofia sing the heck out of a couple of Riven songs. That lands her a formal audition and Felix is overjoyed. Things move quickly for Felix and Sofia after that--Sofia gets hired and is constantly with the band, leaving Felix alone for pretty much the first time in his life. He resolves to do something for himself, and the first thing he can think to do is go back Huey's bar and strike up an acquaintance. Maybe ask him for a date. He nearly chicken's out, but Huey's commpassionate care helps Felix find his courage. And, they make a date. 

Huey--which is a nickname of his last name Hughes--is a recovering pain pill addict. He's been a sponsor for NA for years now, and he's been sober going on a decade. He was Caleb's sponsor a few years back and that's how they became such good friends. He's used to locking down his emotions, but he's really supportive of the needs of people he meets--to the point that his life is more about others than himself. The idea that a beautiful man like Felix could want him is...puzzling. But, the bond between them grows steadily. Felix is irrepressible and his light is a foil for Huey's deep and brooding facade. The truth is, Huey needs Felix the same way Felix needs him. They are two lonely souls who've sacrificed themselves to help others: Felix for his mom and younger siblings and Huey for the people he might be able to help overcome their addictions. It's hard for them to think of themselves first, and to ask for what they truly need. 

They do get some thing right from the start. The sexytimes are yummy and their conversations move quickly form stilted to comfortable. They can spend time with one another and just be--but the abandonment Felix is experiencing as Sofia prepares for her tour is exacerbated when Huey's also taking care of the people he sponsors. They struggle a bit, but it's not super intense. Neither Felix nor Huey is happy with being apart, and they each push the other into new and uncomfortable society--with good results. Felix befriends Matt, husband of Rhys from REND, and that helps with his issues of loss now that Sofia's gone. Huey realizes that he's overextended himself both with the bar and as a sponsor. It's interfering with him taking care of himself--and Felix. 

These guys have found their One at just the right moment, but it's still hard for them to take anything for themselves. Huey's sure his sobriety has been maintained by rigid control, and he's afraid that his upset schedules to accommodate visits with Felix might cause a relapse. I liked how they worked through it with Felix being brave for himself--taking chances both professionally and personally--and Huey taking the sage advice of people he'd often counseled. The story is a little heavy on description and backstory, which made pacing a bit slow in the front end. These are two regular "famous-adjacent" guys just figuring things out, messing up, and figuring them out again, which was a nice twist for this series. I loved that Huey literally carved space into his apartment to make Felix feel more welcome, and I loved how Felix just fit Theo, and soothed his battered heart and Sharpie-d flesh.   

This book brought a good sense of closure to the Riven stories, having three solid couples finding three stellar HEAs. I really enjoyed all of them.
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Man, Roan Parrish is like my kryptonite. But in a good way. I love her stories! Like love love love them. Like cannot put them down and it doesn't matter what is happening around me I am reading and don't see the outside world love. Like feel all the feels and cannot get enough of them love. Seriously, her books are amazing. I only just found her earlier this year and so many of her books are now all time favorites. So many. She writes such amazing characters, people that feel so real and struggle as a lot of people do and they find love. They find their happy. They make me feel everything and I never want the stories to end. But they do and then I am tasked with trying to find a next book to read that will be even half as good as one of hers. It is a fantastic problem to have, especially since I can just go back and re-read these stories again and again and again. 

Raze is the third book in the Riven series, but you don't have to have read the prior books to read this one. You should read them because they are amazing, but if you haven't you could just jump right into Felix and Huey's story. I loved these two so so much. They are so freakin cute together I can't stand it. I love their relationship and how they are when they are together. Gah! This story was amazing!

Huey is a recovering addict and he is pretty set in his ways. He doesn't really get involved with people, be it romantically or otherwise. He is very strict with himself, with what he does day in and day out, because that fear is still there. What happened and how he used to be is still there even though he has been sober a long time. But he is fine. He is paying it back tenfold and doing everything he can to help others. 

Felix is such a giving person. He helps take care of everyone, and has for so long, but no one really takes care of him. He doesn't want to complain about anything or be vulnerable because the thinks that is such a baby thing to do. Like why can't he just be strong and fine by himself? 

Oh my goodness Felix is so freakin adorable I couldn't stand him! I love love loved how he would be so nervous and ramble and just generally be adorable with Huey. How he could be himself and show Huey his vulnerable side. How he says what he thinks and doesn't really filter himself all that much. He was so cute. I loved him so much. 

And Huey? Oh, kill me now. I love the strong, silent types. The big gruff guys who are super sweet teddy bears inside. Huey isn't used to talking, isn't used to emotions and being connected to someone else. He isn't used to a lot of things anymore, but Felix makes him want to try. Makes him do things he wouldn't normally do. Breaks him out of his shell and gets him back into the world. These two were amazing together. I loved reading both of them and how they think about things. My heart hurt for them, but then was so so full once they figure things out. I adored how they talk things out. How Felix understands Huey and Huey Felix. How they talk about what they need when certain things happen. How they love each other. This book was amazing. These characters were so sweet and kind and everything. I loved them, I loved this story.
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*~~*ARC kindly provided from the publisher/author to me for an honest review *~~*

Full review to come

5 stars
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Right. So the moment this hit my inbox I had to read it.
And I couldn't stop reading it until I finished it.

Love Huey (won't spoil the name for you) & Felix, and they have great chemistry. But this isn't my favorite of the series & feels content/style wise more similar to Rend (and the standalone books Ms. Parrish wrote before beginning the Riven series). I wasn't crazy about those. So.

I think I'm going to stew on this a bit.

Longer review to come.
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Title provided via Netgalley.

I've loved every book in this series so far. Parrish's books following the characters of each title are always very intense and passionate. The focus on unique character dynamic issues and this is one I was really excited to read.  This is a slow burn, but the intensity between the characters is always what keeps me drawn in. Because I expect this type of writing from the books within the series, I go it knowing a little bit of what to expect and then they tend to be correct. The romance is just...different. It's not cheesy but real. The way the issues between the characters show themselves is how they make their relationship happen and work, and that's also one of the key things I like about the Riven series in general.
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Good conclusion for this trilogy! I liked the chemistry between Huey and Felix, given their respective backgrounds and issues they're currently dealing with.
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4 stars.

This was a really good read! Although not my favorite in the series, I quite liked it. Roan has quickly become a favorite author of mine so I'm excited for what she writes next!
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Raze gave a strong close to this trilogy. I loved Huey and Felix together. Roan Parrish writes the hurt/comfort trope like no-one else and the issues these characters had to overcome to reach their HEA felt real in a visceral way. I've recommended this book to readers of contemporary, lgbt, and new adult romance.
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Huey (Dane) & Felix

 We first meet Huey in Riven as Caleb's sponsor and friend.   And now we get to see Huey face is demons and come out on top.

I liked Dane and Felix's journey to happiness.  Both had to deal with their pasts and inner demons but together they were able to accomplish this huge feat.  I felt Roan Parrish did an amazing job tackling addiction and how it affects people in recovering people.   It was a refreshing different take on a serious issue.

Even though Dane has been a recovering addict for years and a sponsor to many he still had many demons lurking that were coming to surface and shaking up his life.

This is such a great series and I can't wait for more from this series and this author.

Some of my favorite quotes: 

~ For everyone who sometimes needs permission to be a person.

"Addiction is a mentality, not a directionality."

"Guilt starts as a feeling of failure."

" . . . ' I must not fear.  Fear is the mind-killer.  Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.   I will face my fear.  I will permit it to pass over me and through me.  And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.  Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.   Only I will remain.'"

"The biggest challenge for me," she said, "is no longer a fear that I might use again.  It's overcoming the fear of what addiction revealed to me: that I am not safe. That I am not in control.  That I am subject to something frightening and that will never go away."

" . . . And what I've come to believe is that addiction is a trauma."
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I discovered this author with Rend, and I enjoyed her writing style. That said, I think the steamy parts were the most successful here, while the overall story was okay. Perhaps on the third book the storyline and its world was stretched a bit thin.
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I received Raze from Roan Parrish via Netgalley (all opinions are my own) and I really enjoyed it. This is the third book in the Riven series, and I’ve really loved them all. Their order is: Riven, Rend, and Raze. I gave Riven and Raze four stars and Rend got five. Raze is about Huey and Felix. If you’ve read the previous two books, then you will know Huey. He’s the sponsor of various famous addicts, and an addict himself. I loved getting to really know him in Raze. It’s tough for him to truly open up, and it causes some problems in his relationship with Felix, but nothing overdone or too dramatic. I loved Felix and Huey together, and of course, we get the couples from the previous two books here and there too which is fun! Raze is a romance, yes, but it’s more than that too, so check it out! Add to Goodreads.
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I will admit, I was a bit surprised to see this novel was set in a world with a rock star and a normal person making a life together, because if I've learned anything from Roan Parrish books it's that they are lyrical and whimsical in a way that makes them different from a whole lot of the genre.

And, as expected, this book didn't really conform to the trope that it appeared to play into at the start.

Huey is an ex-addict who also happens to work at the bar that his sponsor gave to him before he died. It's working well for him--unexpectedly--as are all of the patterns and rules that he's put into his life to make sure that it maintains its controlled reliability.

What isn't controlled or reliable is when Felix comes crashing into it on one of the karaoke nights that are run from the bar. Huey just happens to be on the phone to one of the members of the band Riven at the time and, long story short, Felix ends up being invited for an unofficial audition.

After a bit of bait and switch that occurs there, Huey and Felix go on their first date, which is depicted as just as awkward as a first date usually is (which I loved!!) and they talk about their feelings and why they are each so awkward (which I also loved!!)

I will admit that it was a bit strange that we also had the love story of Coco and Sofia alongside the main romance, but I didn't hate it. It just felt crammed in there when it could easily have been its own novel (I wish it had been its own novel, because those two seemed majorly cute).

Towards the end, it really felt as though it was slowly devolving into its own sequel, with still almost a quarter of the book to go. The feel and direction of the book kinda shifted. Again, not terrible, just didn't appear like a cohesive whole anymore.

Although I did prefer The Remaking of Corbin Wale, I did enjoy this one.
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Raze tells a story of two men realizing that they can build the life they want right now, and wondering what that life looks like. It’s about finding an identity outside of routines and responsibility. It’s less about music than the previous Riven books, and mostly about Huey’s sober habits.

Both Felix and Huey feel awkward in their situation, but they like each other a lot. Their love story leans into that awkward vibe with jumbled conversations, halted speech and unspoken desires to show affection. Huey tends to overthink and not speak or act while Felix does the opposite, which kills me.

They go on museum dates, attend quiz night, listen to podcasts while cooking, and spend a perfect day together at Coney Island. There’s a super cute first hug, and regular cuddling on the couch to watch a Roan Parrish version of ‘Long Island Medium.’ Also, Felix loves listening to YA audiobooks!

There are some very excellent handjobs at the beginning of their romance but about halfway through the book, I realized was... uninterested. I wasn’t invested in their relationship. I was tired of reading the many mentions of how big Huey is. I was irritated by Felix’s immature and unfair criticisms of Huey’s lifestyle. And even though Huey didn’t seem to care about the lie Felix tells at the start, or the violation of his privacy in a desperate moment near the end, I did.

It was wonderful to see Theo and Caleb (of Riven) and Rhys and Matt (of Rend) pop up so often, but for most of the book I couldn’t tell where the story was headed. As the story wrapped up, it felt like Felix and Huey were resolving issues that we weren’t privy to, so the solutions seemed unnecessary and out of left field. I struggled to feel closure or satisfaction when we didn’t know these things were affecting them this strongly.

At the end, I didn’t feel like I understood the characters or supported their relationship; I was just happy that they seemed happy. But your mileage may vary! Maybe you’re not phased by the suggestion that you can’t be a good boyfriend if you’re busy being an NA sponsor. Perhaps you don’t mind some immature drama if the person learns the mature response in the end.

I’m not filled with the all-in adoration for this book that I have for the previous two, but I am glad I read it. Though I’m not sure I agree with the outcomes, Felix and Huey’s conversations were incredibly thought-provoking, and the book definitely made me crave museum visits!

Content Warnings: addiction (painkillers, narcotics), NA meetings, Huey’s sponsee Morgan deals with unsupportive siblings while their mom is dying, compulsive behavior, panic attacks, nightmares, unprotected sex. There are quite a few uncomfortable sentences that hold no relevance to the story but that you may find triggering. For example, “What if I ask him out and he gets upset and beats the shit out of me?” “His big dark eyes looked almost bruised.” “He pulled me to his chest so hard I nearly cracked my nose on his chin.”
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3  Dane  Stars 
As I have with the two previous books please note I am not an avid MM reader and for that my review may be skewed . this story is about Huey which I was super YAY for.. and a  new character Felix who just came on the scene.  They should have been perfect… they were not. Huey and Felix are beautiful broken men but the lack of consistency in character was too jarring for me. Felix one moment was crazy needy then trying to be alpha.  This book did read smoother than the first two in the series so I think the authors writing is coming along really well.  It felt … rushed to me and it also felt like book 1 all over again with Riven and addiction  but with less angst.
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Heuy is a bar owner and has his share of problems. He doesn't let anyone get close to him. He's trying to keep his sobriety. Felix has been taking care of his family and doesn't know what to do with himself. He walks in to Huey's bar and instantly finds him attractive and wants to get to know him better. I didn't like the way Huey treated Felix at times but I understood both characters had their issues. All in all I liked this story and would recommend it.

I received a copy of this book via Netgalley and am leaving a review.
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I hate first person POV, but this trilogy (Riven, Rend, and now Raze) was worth gritting my teeth and dealing with it. This is a very lovely and psychologically mature romance between two "caretaker" protagonists (Felix, an oldest sibling of five who has dedicated his life to his family, and Huey, a sponsor for Narcotics Anonymous who runs his life by an unyielding routine) who must learn to let themselves be taken care of instead. Felix's internal monologue, in particular, is very heavy on articulating his wants and needs, which may rub some readers the wrong way, but none of it is unreasonable (and Huey certainly wants and needs just as many things, even though he's terrible at admitting it even to himself); I think there's a certain visceral reaction to sharing headspace with a character who has been neglected for a long time and is finally able to demand what they need that some people like and some people don't. There's a significant age gap between the two characters (but no daddyplay, if that's a concern) and some delicate hints of BDSM/service top dynamic. Characters from Riven and Raze make cameos (especially Theo) but I think the book would work as a standalone. Overall, it's a very solid trilogy and I recommend it to contemporary romance fans!
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4.5 Stars for Raze by Roan Parrish 
This is my read by this author and I’m really not sure why she hasn’t crossed my radar before now but after reading Raze that’s about to change because I really enjoyed everything about this book.
Raze is book 3 in the Riven Series but it can certainly be read and enjoyed as a stand-alone.
Huey and Felix are amazing characters who have many issues to overcome before they can open their hearts to each other and this is their love story. I say love story but for this was more of a journey and it was a journey I was happy to be on because this book has all the feels, it’s romantic, it has the perfect mix of passion and angst, it has characters you can’t help loving and it has a HEA, what more can you ask for. I’m looking forward to catching up on  the previous books in this series as well as what’s next in the Riven series.
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I really enjoyed this- the whole series, actually. Roan Parrish has an amazing ability to focus in on the details of feelings and character that make the stories feel incredibly real; while at the same time, leaving much room for the imagination. I found Huey and Felix fascinating in their difficult struggles to find each other and more importantly, themselves. The interactions with 'the crew' from the previous books was just icing on the cake. (Though each book reads completely as a standalone as well.) Will more adventures follow?

I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Huey and Felix have been used to taking care of others for a long time. For Huey, a strict schedule and the help he provides to recovering addicts, has been the key to stay out of his own addiction. For Felix, being the head of the family and giving his siblings and mother whatever they need, has being his whole life. When they meet each other, the emotions between them, start to change the life as they know it. Felix is slowly destroying the wall that Huey had built to hide his emotions away. The fear of change have them struggling and fighting to hold on to each other to get to the happy ending they so desperately need.

I was having a lot of problems getting myself into the story. It took me a lot to get to a point when I was enjoying the book. It was very slow paced, but I don’t think it had something to do with that. I have enjoyed slow paced books. There was something about Huey and Felix’s connection that didn’t quit click at the start. Happily things change, a lot, and I end up loving how they fit each other as a couple.

 What I liked about it was the place when I start, not being able to care for the main characters and how I felt about them when I finish the book. The character development was perfect and it make me get to a point when I love them. It was fantastic to see the struggles each of them have and how much it affect the way they interact with each other. The book is full of emotions, which makes it a bit angsty at times, something I always appreciate in a book. The romance between them start very quickly, but getting to a moment when I actually believe they love each other, took a while. I really enjoyed the journey.

 Even with the few issues I had, I liked reading the book a lot. Readers who like books with a lot of emotions and a bit of angst might be able to like it.
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