In my blog post about the audiobook experiment I told you that one of the books I’d listened to and loved was Raze by Roan Parrish, and I also said that I’d gush about that book in a separate post. Well, this is that post! 🙂
Sometimes the walls we build to save ourselves have to come tumbling down.
For the last ten years, Huey has built his life around his sobriety. If that means he doesn’t give a damn about finding love or companionship for himself, well, it’s probably better that way. After all, the last thing he wants is to hurt anyone else. Until Felix Rainey walks into his bar, fresh-faced, unbearably sweet—and, for some reason Huey can’t fathom, interested in him.
As the eldest of five kids, Felix Rainey spent his childhood cooking dinner, checking homework, and working after-school jobs. Now in his twenties, he’s still scrambling to make ends meet and wondering what the hell he’s doing with his life. When he meets Huey, he’s intimidated . . . and enamored. Huey’s strong and confident, he owns his own business—hell, he’s friends with rock stars. What could he ever see in Felix?
As Huey and Felix get closer, the spark catches and soon they can’t get enough of each other. But Huey’s worked hard to avoid intimacy, and Felix threatens his carefully constructed defenses. Huey realizes he needs to change if he wants to truly put his past behind him—and build a future with Felix.
This book. This book! 😍
Roan Parrish is slowly cementing herself as one of my favorite authors. Everything I’ve read by her so far have been five stars books. Even more. Ten star books on a five-star-scale. I gushed about The Remaking of Corbin Wale here, and Invitation to the Blues was one of the best books I read in 2019, but I think maybe Raze is my new favorite.
It’s everything I like. No seriously. Look at this list:
- age gap
- size difference
- strong, silent type
- gentle giant
- sensitive character
- MCs want to be together from early in the book and work hard on their relationship
- relationship focused
- soooooo emotional
- super romantic
It’s as though Roan Parrish looked into my brain and thought What if I wrote a book that ticked all Nell Iris’s boxes? and then proceeded to do it.
All the times I’d stared at the beautiful lines of his face, the angle of his collarbone, the cowlick in his perfect, messy hair. All the times I’d breathed deeply into his neck, trying to fill my entire being with the sweet, comforting scent of him. All the times I’d felt his heart against mine when I touched him, kissed the corners of his eyes because they seemed like the most intimate place I could think of touching another person. All the times I’d stayed silent so that he would never stop talking to me because I loved the sound of his voice… And he didn’t know. My beautiful Felix thought I didn’t care. And it was my fault.Quote from Raze by Roan Parrish
I’m sure I would have loved this book as much if I’d read it instead of listened to it, but the audio added another layer of greatness in my opinion. The narrators were perfectly chosen; Tor Thom with his deep raspy voice for Dane (Huey), the big silent ex-drug addict guy who’s entire life is focused on his sobriety. He doesn’t have a life, he has routines and he’s a NA sponsor and always, always available for his sponsees whenever they need him. Kirt Graves was perfect for Felix, the young, sensitive guy who feels lonely when his sister who’s his best friend suddenly gets a life without him. He doesn’t know what to do without her and starts drifting. Kirt Graves has this sensitive nerve in his voice when he narrates Felix’s chapters that hit me right in the heart and I found myself sobbing several times.
I leaned in and kissed him, then, because he was beautiful and alive and today I was a person.Quote from Raze by Roan Parrish
Felix and Dane connect instantly and they spend the entire book trying to build a relationship. My favorite books in the whole wide world is when the characters actually want to be together and fight tooth and nail to make it happen. No, it isn’t easy for Felix and Dane. Felix is sensitive and needy, and Dane is quiet and stoic and that causes problems for them, but they want to try. They’re doing their damndest to make it work, stepping out of comfort zones, talking even when it’s difficult, giving space when needed, and all this make my heart so happy.
His smile was small and sweet, and I was dangerously aware that I’d go to great lengths to be able to put it on his face again.Quote from Raze by Roan Parrish
Raze is also a very character driven story and both Dane and Felix grow and change during the book. Their relationship helps them find their true selves, but outside factors are also catalysts. Felix’s sister and family. Dane’s friends and NA contacts. It’s a beautiful journey of two broken characters slowly healing themselves and each other.
I listened to this book through a subscription service, but when I finished it, I rushed over to Amazon and bought it. Raze is definitely going to be on my Top Ten 2021 list of favorite books. I give it all my stars.
(Raze is the third book in the Riven series, but I haven’t read the previous two books and had no trouble following along. Yes, there’s a lot about the band Riven in the book, but it’s explained enough for me to understand anyway so it didn’t bother or confuse me.)