The descriptive bit: Raze is the third book in the River series by Roan Parrish. Huey is a recovering addict who runs a bar and has scheduled his life down to the most minute details. When he’s not working or working out, he’s sponsoring other folks from NA.
My thoughts bit: I absolutely loved this book and I haven’t even read the first two in the series. Let me tell you, I have just purchased the first two books in the series! That being said, don’t worry if you haven’t already plunged into the series, I didn’t have any trouble keeping up with the story. I would recommend starting the series from the beginning just so that you get to enjoy the story from the very beginning.
This book was a delicious tangle of love, angst, hurt, and passion. When Huey is working in his bar one night and sees Felix Rainey onstage singing karaoke, his curiosity is piqued. But the thing is, Huey has spent his sober life building walls and protecting himself from anything different, challenging or new. He lives his life as routinely as he can.
Huey is shocked when he finds out that Felix is interested in him. Felix is everything Huey isn’t. He’s open and emotional, young and vivacious and … spontaneous. Felix is the oldest in his family and has helped to raise his brothers and sisters. He’s a nervous wreck when he asks Huey out… and is stunned when Huey says yes. And thus it begins!
The romance between Huey and Felix was adorable and heartbreaking and I loved every moment of it. There was something very infectious about Felix. I loved the way that he struggled to say the things he needed to but was completely open at the same time. He was sweet and adorable and if Huey hadn’t wanted him, then I certainly would have willingly brought him home.
Huey is a complex character and I really appreciate the way that Parrish wrote him. I had a friend who was in NA and the realness of some of Huey’s thought patterns really worked for me. There’s been a lot of pain in his life and the way he found to deal with it was to cut off intimacy. So where does that leave Felix? It leaves Felix not knowing quite where he stands with Huey and wondering if he’s even being realistic about their feelings. For all his sweetness and loving nature, he’s realizing that he’s lost himself over the years because he’s been so busy taking care of everyone in his family.
The relationship between these two men is beautiful. It’s real and flawed and full of mistakes and fuck-ups and it’s so well-written.
The warnings bit: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: mention past drug addiction, lots of drinking in the bar, angsty relationships, fights that go unresolved before characters part, large age difference in a relationship.
I received an ARC of Raze by Roan Parrish from Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.