Review: Invitation to the Blues (Small Change #2) by Roan Parrish

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Synopsis:

Eight months ago Jude Lucen fled his partner, his career, and a hospital in Boston after a suicide attempt. Now back in Philadelphia, he feels like a complete failure. Piano has always been his passion and his only escape. Without it, he has nothing. Well, nothing except a pathetic crush on the most gorgeous man he’s ever seen.

Faron Locklear came to Philly looking for a fresh start and has thrown himself into tattooing at Small Change. He’s only met Jude a few times, but something about the red-haired man with the haunted eyes calls to him. Faron is blown away by Jude’s talent. What he isn’t expecting is the electricity he feels the first time they kiss—and the way Jude’s needs in bed speak directly to his own deepest desires.

Jude and Faron fall fast and hard, but Jude has spent a lifetime learning that he can’t be what the people he loves need. So when the opportunity arises to renew his career in Boston, he thinks he has to choose: music, or Faron? Only by taking a huge risk—and finally believing he’s worthy of love just as he is—can he have the chance for both.


The Small Change series is set in the Middle of Somewhere universe and features crossover characters from that series. Each book can be read on its own.

Content warning: This book contains explicit discussion of depression, anxiety, attempted suicide, and feelings of worthlessness.

Review:

I read Small Change a while ago and I didn't really remember Jude since it has been so long. I just remember I was super excited to read his story. When I finally picked up Invitation to the Blues...oh, Jude and Faron are so wonderful together. I loved this story so so much. Really love is not strong enough for what I felt while reading this book.

I loved reading Jude's story. It is not often that I see a book with someone with mental illness that gets such a happy ending. Because they deserve it too. I wanted everything for him, and it would be so hard to have to sit back and just see him go through everything and not really be able to do anything to help. But you do it because you love them. Jude has depression. Like serious, life-altering depression and anxiety and it is really difficult. He has been in a really bad relationship for a long time and he doesn't really think he deserves better. He can't be what other people would want, he knows that, so he won't be happy ever. He is used to seeing that hurt and helplessness on his families face which just makes him feel worse. His ex was also horrible and cut him down even more and so he is not in the best of spots. He also has some really sensitive senses. Like he loves music, but it hurts to hear people play poorly. Or when something is happening and music is playing if it is not on the same beat, if it does not go together, it is painful for him. And touch is also sensitive at times and forget about food. He can't stomach eating most things because of smell or taste or texture. I was so glad the author told us his story as I loved him, faults and all. He was wonderful and it really made me think of how I could help. There was one moment where Jude gets a note from someone saying sorry I never spoke up about your ex and the horrible things he did, it wasn't right the things he would say about you and that simple acknowledgment that it wasn't just in Jude's head meant a lot. Jude thought on some level that maybe it wasn't that bad, maybe he was making more of it than it was because no one ever said anything. It is not easy being in a situation like that on the outside and knowing what to do to help your friend. I was talking with a friend who got out of the relationship like this about another friend who is living with a guy who has sooooo many red flags and I try and be there for her and let her know it is not right without being super harsh and pushing her away. My friend was saying that she really needs that as when she was married she thought she was a horrible person for not being able to deal with her now ex because no one ever said anything. It was so timely that I was reading this book after just talking to my friend about this. I loved that that was in there because it is a small thing, but can mean a lot to someone who needs to hear it.

Then Faron. Oh, Faron. He is so sweet and kind and wonderful and just there for Jude however Jude needs. He doesn't pressure Jude, he makes sure everything is okay and that he knows he is not leaving even if Jude can't be connected at the moment. He is perfect for Jude and I loved him. To find someone so tuned into what you think and feel and need and want and be able to give you that and them to you in return? It is amazing. Everyone could be so lucky. I loved how these two were both super artistic, Jude with music Faron with paints, and the way they talked about it. How Faron saw things and could make the most mundane thing beautiful and special. How Jude heard music in everything. How he sings through life while Faron dances. They were beautiful and I am so happy I got to know them. Their relationship won't be easy, but the right things aren't always. I loved these two so so much.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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