Thursday, May 23, 2019

Review Tour: Torn by Rick R. Reed #Review #Excerpt #Giveaway

Length: 63,424 words

Cover Design: Reese Dante

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press


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 smooth. 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.


Ricky is a self-proclaimed man whore—after all he’s young, attractive and horny so why not? But lately between his job and his one night stands, Ricky is also feeling a bit lonely—maybe it really is time to settle down? When his best friend convinces him to travel to England with him and visit his family, Ricky jumps at the chance of an adventure. Going clear across the pond to find a man he could easily find himself falling in love with wasn’t Ricky’s game plan but meeting Walt Whitman changed all that. Unfortunately Walt is from Boston and Ricky is thousands of miles away in Chicago but they still promise to get together as soon as Walt is back home.

Poor Ricky—when it rains, it pours—and in this case it’s men just like the song says. Upon arriving back in the states, Ricky meets Tom—a rough and tumble blue collar guy who loves his alcohol and Ricky. Tom has one thing going for him that Walt doesn’t—he lives in Chicago! But Walt hasn’t forgotten Ricky and before long is asking him to come visit—now Ricky must figure out who he really loves and finally make a choice.

With incredible humor and delightfully eccentric characters, Rick. R. Reed offers up a new novel entitled, Torn. I’m not sure who I loved more—Ricky or his best friend, Boutros. Their dynamic together coupled with their scathing honesty with each other was really delightful to read. Boutros called it as he saw it and he never failed to let Ricky know that he thought his whoring ways were going to get him into trouble one day and, of course, they do. Ricky was really a sweet man—he loved sex and saw no reason not to get some as often as possible but he definitely was heading toward the idea of settling down when he met Walt in London. I never really keyed into Walt—his character was difficult to get a handle on and I felt that Ricky falling for him so quickly felt a bit contrived. But the author did establish Ricky as someone who often leaped before he looked and so it did make sense that Ricky fell headlong into the idea of loving someone he only knew for a few weeks.

Tom on the other hand seemed a much better fit for Ricky and I really liked their dynamic. But I must admit that Boutros stole the show every time he was in a scene with his wit and his dry delivery of some of the most outrageous insults that he leveled at his friend, Ricky. In the end, I liked who Ricky ended up with—it all made sense to me and the two of them fit each other pretty perfectly.

If you are looking for a comedy that is long on laughs and friendship but not your typical romance by any stretch of the imagination, then Torn is the novel for you!


I’m going to tell you how this story ends, but not with whom. That’s a fair promise to make, isn’t it?

So…. Yes, you’ll get your happy-ever-after ending—if there truly is such a thing—you just won’t be privy to all the details. Unless you read on….

Almost twenty-five years ago, I was thirty-five years old and privileged to cross the pond to merry old England for the very first time. I was finally able to say I’d traveled internationally by the grace of my best friend, a writer of boys’ adventure stories with the improbable name of Lord Boutros BinBin (no, he was not an actual Lord; he told me once he simply had parents who were “quirky” and “creative,” also known as “free spirits”). He wrote under the much plainer moniker Beryl Kensit.

At that time, and during that trip, I was also blessed to fall head over heels in love with a gorgeous, kind, and sensitive man I met at twilight on the streets of the beachside city of Brighton . He ticked every box on my imagined list for the perfect lover—exotically handsome, spiritual, artistic, amazing in bed, and… I could actually hold a conversation with him. Our silences were okay too, comfortable. We launched into a passionate affair and promised that we’d meet again.

But the course of true love, as they say, never did run smooth. Ain’t it the truth?

I returned home from those two weeks with a satchel full of memories, a sexually transmitted infection, and the knowledge that I’d found true love.

But then, only a week or two after settling back into my little apartment in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago , I found myself falling head over heels in love again—this time with a salt-of-the-earth, charming, and sweet man from the South Side. He was nothing like I ever imagined I would be compatible with—our tastes, educational background, intelligence, and cultural awareness made us like creatures from two different planets—yet somehow the magic, the spark, was there.

How would I reconcile the two? Whom would I choose? Could things ever end satisfactorily when, as in Mary MacGregor’s song, you’re “Torn Between Two Lovers”?

Read on, my friend, read on… and discover how the head won out over the heart.

Or was it the other way around?

Real Men. True Love.

Rick R. Reed draws inspiration from the lives of gay men to craft stories that quicken the heartbeat, engage emotions, and keep the pages turning. Although he dabbles in horror, dark suspense, and comedy, his attention always returns to the power of love. He’s the award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction and is forever at work on yet another book. Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…” You can find him at or Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA with his beloved husband and their fierce Chihuahua/Shiba Inu mix.

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