Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Felix Rainey is a caretaker. The eldest of five children, he’s been caring for his siblings, cooking and assisting his mother with household tasks, and working to put in money to support his single-parent family since he was a child. He and his sister Sofia are besties. Closest in age, the duo are now living together while Sofia gets her degree and Felix works to support her. When they walk into a bar to sing a duet on karaoke night, they have no idea their lives are about to change.
Huey has worked to stay clean and sober for over ten years. Caleb’s sponsor, we first met Huey in Riven. His life revolves around his meetings, his sponsees, and the bar he owns. He’s also very rigid in the control he maintains over himself as he adheres to a strict schedule of gym activities, shopping, contact with those he sponsors, and more, including listening to podcasts on every topic known to man. He also uses a magic marker to write daily quotations on his abdomen to help reinforce the positives in his life. In a word, he’s rigid in his control. And then, in steps Felix with Sofia to sing a duet on karaoke night—a duet of one of Riven’s songs. And they nail it!
Huey’s world is turned upside down as the sweet, gorgeous young man seems more interested in him than in meeting Theo Decker, the famous rock musician and former lead singer with Riven. Nevertheless, Huey arranges a meeting, which ultimately turns out much different from what he envisions. The bottom line, however, is that he’s left with a crush on a young cutie and that cutie seems to be attracted to him. Now, what should he do about it?
Like others in this series, what happens along the way makes for a complex and beautiful love story. The author’s treatment of addiction, recovery, and triggers in this book is just as good as in the other stories, but with a difference. This time, the focus is on the sponsor, and along the way, we learn that Huey has lost sight of his own needs. The love and support he receives from Felix goes a long way toward helping him release some of his old fears and controlling behaviors and embrace a new way forward, even though the road to this revelation is fraught with ups and downs of heartache and pain.
I struggled a bit with this book, unlike the others in the series, because I had a hard time relating to Huey. The stern, quiet man was not an easy character to warm up to. However, later in the story, when I got to know the person behind the façade⎯the man whose real name is Dane⎯I was sold.
Felix was the type of character I love, possibly because I can relate to being the oldest and taking on the role of family caretaker. He rarely lost his temper with Dane, mostly because he didn’t feel secure in their relationship and therefore felt unworthy, so why get angry. It’s not until Felix makes strides in his own personal growth that we see the two moving toward each other emotionally, and we can see a happy ending as their outcome.
So, in summary, both characters are different from the norm⎯ or what I expect to be the norm⎯and often difficult to like, never mind love. But by sticking to the story and being open to their emotional growth, readers will be rewarded with a very satisfying love story.
The cover by Makeready Designs is similar to the cover of Riven and Rend with the background mostly solid, in mauve this time, and a large cutout title showing the character looking through.
Sales Links: Amazon
Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 284 pages
Expected publication: July 2nd 2019 by Loveswept
Edition Language English
Series Riven #3