Book Reviews

Torn by Rick R. Reed at NineStar Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Historical / Recent (1990s) / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 29-June-2020

Book Blurb

Ever been torn between two lovers? That’s Ricky Comparetto’s problem.

It’s 1995, and Ricky is making his very first trip across the pond with his best friend. Ricky, hungry for love and looking for it in all the wrong places, finds it in the beach city of Brighton. His new love has the curious name of Walt Whitman and is also an American, which only serves to make him sexier and more intriguing. By the time Walt and Ricky part, promises are made for a reunion in Boston.

But the course of true love never runs smoothly. In Chicago Ricky almost immediately falls in love again. Tom Green is a sexy blue-collar beast with the kindest heart Ricky has ever run across.

What’s he to do? With a visit to the East Coast on the horizon and a new love blossoming in Ricky’s home of Chicago, Ricky truly is torn.



First edition published by Dreamspinner Press, May 2019.


Book Review

An emotional roller coaster set in recent history and reaching into the present, this character-driven novel focuses on an age-old problem that appears as a literary theme quite frequently: that of someone being torn between two lovers. Ricky tells his story in first person, with lots of humor and utter honesty. His exploits are very real and all the details add lots of color to his adventures. The story starts in the present to set up Ricky’s back story and his problems with finding love once he knows to start looking for it, then returns to 1995 for the details of what happened to him, then jumps forward again to the present. The setup kept me guessing as to which man Ricky was going to end up with, as was entirely the author’s intent, I am sure. It’s also the reason why I won’t say anything about the ending – other than that I was sort of expecting a surprise and that was exactly what I got.

Ricky is determined to find love, but he has no idea how to do that or even what it might look or feel like. All he knows is that having fun is part of it, so he experiments a lot and is, basically, focused on the physical side of things. During a trip to Britain with his best friend, Ricky meets the love of his life, only to find out things are not as he expected. His next venture upon his return to Chicago has him almost as enthusiastic and hopeful as the first – and Ricky ends up totally torn as to whom to choose.

But there is much more to this story than Ricky debating which man would be better for him. He starts out pretty immature and not certain at all about who he is or what he wants – other than “adventure” and not to be bored. But as he experiences life and the disappointment that sometimes comes with it, he begins to mature. His journey is long and complicated, but is realistically written and was able to keep my attention as I followed his growth into a more mature man who can finally be happy.

If you like character-driven stories that focus on growth and self-discovery, if finding romance and love in unexpected places is your thing, and if you’re looking for a read full of humor, sexual escapades, eventual self-reflection, and a wonderful twist at the end, then you will probably like this novel.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the publisher for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 63300 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 29-June-2020
Price $5.99 ebook, $15.99 paperback
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