I can always count on Roan Parrish to deliver stories with a lot of heat and plenty of heart. Raze, the third installment to her Riven series, is yet another testament to this fact.
Here, we get the story of Huey, the AA sponsor extraordinaire who owns and runs a bar of all places. Not only is he a former addict himself, but he managed to become an anchor for a few who continues to fight their demons day in and day out. Though at some days, he too, has his demons to fight. But through a rigorous routine and living a life free from emotional entanglements, Huey has managed the life of sobriety for the last ten years. Albeit, a lonely one at that.
Along come Felix; a guy who is about to shatter Huey’s carefully created world. Huey was not ready for Felix’ sunny disposition, but he couldn’t help but be drawn in regardless. These two souls didn’t know it at first, but they — in their own ways, needed each other’s help to break free from the doldrums of their existence.
I love how different they are. Huey’s quiet but imposing personality matches well with Felix’ happy-go-lucky friendliness. However, they have being nurturers in common. Felix has been the caretaker of his family – his mom and his sister. While Huey has taken care of anyone who needed the support during their weakest moments. Unfortunately, the years of being everyone’s pillar and support, and his predisposition to help others becomes yet another weakness he had to overcome.
Felix had so much insecurities that held him back. He just didn’t think he has a lot to offer to anyone. Once he was freed from his family responsibilities he was able to step back and reassess what he wants to do with his life. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as easy. The usual insecurities plagued him.
I’ve been enjoying this series a whole lot. I’m not always aware when they come out, but when I see it, it’s an instant download. I guess you can say that Roan Parrish is my go-to author for M/M romance.
Remember when I used to do Shelf Envy posts? It’s when I invade other people’s privacy by asking them to send me pictures of their bookshelves and what’s in them. Well, today, author Roan Parrish talks about her favorite authors, her recent book purchase, and book recommendations.
Thanks for doing this, Roan!
On Her Favorite Authors:
Donna Tartt, China Miéville, Andrew Smith, Tana French, Santino Hassell, Garrett Leigh … I could go on forever.
On Her Most Recent Purchase:
The last physical book I purchased was Red Dragon, by Thomas Harris, which I bought to read by the pool on vacation. I definitely got a few raised eyebrows as I sat sipping margaritas and reading about cannibalistic serial killers, but it was pretty par for the course.
Her Perfect Reading Spot:
Usually I read on this pink velvet couch that I Craigslisted in New Orleans, and nearly always my cat, Dorian Gray likes to sit with me. Well, mostly on me. Sometimes she’s even kind enough to hold my kindle!
The Most Controversial Book on Her Shelves:
Hmm, I’m not really sure any of the books on my shelves are particularly controversial. I’ve gotten rid of most of my grad school books—political theory and philosophy, which would’ve been the real controversial ones. Perhaps Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card, which lives in the category of a book I really like even while I think the author is horrible and problematic. It’s difficult and uncomfortable to feel legitimate admiration for a work when you have actively loathe everything its creator stands for.
Her Book Recommendations:
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander [http://newjimcrow.com/]. It’s about the ways that the U.S. criminal justice system operates as a modern day racial caste system due to the way black men specifically, and communities of color more generally, are targeted. And it insists that an analysis of mass incarceration must therefore be central to current social justice work.
Roan’s new book, Small Change came out on June 1st. The first in a series that will feature M/F and M/M romances.
Small Change by Roan Parrish
Ginger Holtzman has fought for everything she’s ever had—the success of her tattoo shop, respect in the industry, her upcoming art show. Tough and independent, she has taking-no-crap down to an art form. Good thing too, since keeping her shop afloat, taking care of her friends, and scrambling to finish her paintings doesn’t leave time for anything else. Which … is for the best, because then she doesn’t notice how lonely she is. She’ll get through it all on her own, just like she always does.
Christopher Lucen opened a coffee and sandwich joint in South Philly because he wanted to be part of a community after years of running from place to place, searching for something he could never quite name. Now, he relishes the familiarity of knowing what his customers want, and giving it to them. But what he really wants now is love.
When they meet, Christopher is smitten, but Ginger … isn’t quite so sure. Christopher’s gorgeous, and kind, and their opposites-attract chemistry is off the charts. But hot sex is one thing—truly falling for someone? Terrifying. When her world starts to crumble around her, Ginger has to face the fact that this fight can only be won by being vulnerable—this fight, she can’t win on her own.
Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre. When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique. She is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary Agency.
In case you didn’t know, October is Queer Romance Month. It’s to celebrate queer fiction in all its glory. I, for one, am a huge fan of books starring LGBT couples. When Judith of Binge on Books contacted me to participate, I didn’t hesitate to join in the fun. Today, I have a sample audio from Roan Parrish’s novel, In the Middle of Somewhere. I hope you’ll give it a whirl, and much love to Judith and Roan for the review copy of this book! READ MY REVIEW BELOW!
Published: July 10th, 2015
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
DANIEL MULLIGAN is tough, snarky, and tattooed, hiding his self-consciousness behind sarcasm. Daniel has never fit in—not at home with his auto mechanic father and brothers, and not at school where his Ivy League classmates look down on him. Now, Daniel’s relieved to have a job at a small college in Northern Michigan, but, a city boy through and through, when Daniel arrives in Holiday, Michigan, it’s clear that this small town is one more place he just won’t fit in.
REX VALE clings to routine to keep loneliness at bay: honing his large, muscular body until it can handle anything, perfecting his recipes, and making custom furniture. Rex has lived in Holiday for years, but his shyness and imposing size have kept him from connecting with people. Though he loves the quiet and solitude of his little cabin in the woods, Rex can’t help but want someone to share it with.
When Daniel arrives in Holiday, they are smitten with each other, but though the sex is intense and explosive, Rex fears that Daniel will be one more in a long line of people to leave him, and Daniel has learned that letting anyone in could be a fatal weakness. Just as they begin to break down the walls that have been keeping them apart, Daniel is called home to Philadelphia where a secret is revealed that changes the way he understands everything.
R E V I E W
This book was all romance, you guys! I never thought I could be just satisfied with a languid tale of two guys trying to make it work as a couple, but man, it is only because I feel in love with them that I was able to fully enjoy a book with very little to no tension. And you know me, I’m always looking for action – so to speak, but Rex and Daniel gave me plenty to be excited about.
Sometimes, character-driven plots are the best ones to read if you’re looking for a real, honest-to-goodness relaxing read. So what could be more enjoyable than reading the story of a couple of people who met, connected, and eventually fell in love? I love seeing them evolved from two people full of doubts about themselves and each other, to a couple who will come to understand that accepting their individual frailties and strengths could give them their best odds at making it work.
This is my first Roan Parrish book, but I’m thinking it’s the start of many more to come. I tend to succumb to boredom if a book is character-driven, but Roan Parrish sure gave me a run for my money. I couldn’t read fast enough – couldn’t get enough. I wasn’t held in suspense by a plot conflict or twist. Instead, I was completely immersed in the couple’s story.
A U T H O R B I O
Roan Parrish grew up in Michigan and lives in Philadelphia, but is always a few minutes away from deciding to move. A former academic, she’s used to writing things that no one reads. She still loves to geek out about books, movies, TV, and music—now, though, she’s excited to be writing the kind of romantic, angsty stories that she loves to escape into.
When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, wandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and cheese. But mostly cheese.