Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Illumination” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,001 ratings  ·  173 reviews
Adam Craig is burned out. Lead singer of the hard rock band Black Varen, he's tired of the empty life of groupies, paparazzi, and hotel rooms. Worse, a life in the closet. After the final concert of their latest tour, he flees the after-party in pursuit of memories of lost summers and carefree days, until he passes out on the patio of a shuttered lake resort.

Miles Caldwell
ebook, 307 pages
Published September 30th 2013 by Riptide Publishing (first published September 28th 2013)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Illumination, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Illumination

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,001 ratings  ·  173 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Illumination
Sep 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: m-m
3.5 stars.***Review posted October 4, 2013

Miles and Adam took a swim…
 photo tumblr_mtqnrd7XXu1qffcrao6_500_zps3492d940.gif

 photo tumblr_mqk4krUVUC1rh1wv4o1_500_zps9be3bec4.gif

Most memorable scene of the entire book, at least for me. It's a (view spoiler)
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
I think I'm going to have to add Rowan Speedwell to my "auto-buy" author's shelf. Her work has been consistently fabulous for me. This book was angsty, interesting, and really well researched. Job well done, Ms. Speedwell!

Let me just start by saying that I LOVED, loved Miles. Geeky, awkward, sexy, smart- Rowan, are you reading my mind!? I wanted to alternatively save and bang Miles. Sure, he is riddled with issues and has enough emotional and psychological problems to fill a textbook, but I kind

Severely shattered. Overcoming obstacles. Powerful passion.
Have you ever come across a book that you wanted to slip into?
Sure, I’ve stumbled upon gorgeous fantasy worlds that I would love to escape into, but I mean a story that called you? Beckoned you?
I just did.
I felt a need, a pull, and a desire to make like Alice in her ‘Wonderland’ and jump into the pages of this story. I need to crush Miles into one of my hugs and tell him it’s going to be okay. I must shake Adam by his shoulders and in
Oct 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, netgalley-arc
**Mild Spoilers**

He held his emotions so close to the surface, so honest, so open.

Illumination is a story about two opposite men, from two completely different worlds, that manage to find each other and form an unbreakable connection.

Adam, a lead singer of a famous rock band, comes from a very public and loud life style. He finds himself seeking solitude, away from the chaos of an after party, surrounded by people only seeing him for his fame. Winds up at Indian lake, where he used to visit
~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
This one creeps up on you. Adam and Miles are both well-developed MCs. They feel real. When they meet, they have instant chemistry. I was a little put off by this at first, because it was literally, Hello, you're hot, wanna fuck?

But about halfway through, Adam and Miles part ways. Adam is the lead singer of a popular rock band. Miles is an artist, and an agoraphobic recluse. Adam pretends to be bi (his bestie, Evie, serves as a beard of sorts) and buries himself in parties and drugs. Miles is s
3.5 stars

"'What do I want? First, I want you to take me to bed, ten maybe later a moonlight skinny-dip in the lake, then I want to sleep in your arms all night. And in the morning I want breakfast - pancakes made with questionable eggs, and weird bacon.'

Miles blinked. The knotted fists unknotted. Then he was in motion, lunging across the space that separated them, driving Adam back up against the side of the car, and kissing him the way he had yesterday, fierce and hot and throwing his whole
Jenni Lea
Sep 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013-sh-october, bmbr

3.5 stars

I was hesitant to read this story. After reading the blurb I thought to myself “this is the same old trope as every other rockstar m/m book I’ve read. Its probably wrought with clichés and sappy one-liners.” And I was right. Except in this case, it worked.

And it was all because of Miles.

Who is Miles? Miles is an introvert. Miles is an artist. Miles has been living on his parents’ lake resort property for the past ten years and hasn’t taken a step off of it since he first got there. Mile
Kat, short for Clara
4.5 stars

This quietly crept up on me in such a way that I'm finding it hard to let go of. I adored Miles. And Adam. And Lisa, Grace and Bobby and Doug. I especially adored how loving it was and how genuine it all felt. There was a slight bit of angst but that was superseded by Illumination being ever so lovely and completely guileless with its intentions.

So, so good.

And highly recommended.

And in case Rowan Speedwell happens to read this:

Trisha Harrington
This book was painful, brilliantly so. I'm a fan of angst when it's the right kind. But sometimes a book can grab someone emotionally and take you on a journey you're not expecting. This was one of those times for me. I don't know what I was expecting from the book, but whatever it was, this wasn't it. Even with that, though, I am thrilled I read something like this. The author did an amazing job and I have loved the others I've read by her, this was no different.

Miles and Adam were perfect for
Julio Genao
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
a slow, clichéd start and minor annoyances with the characterization ate my nerves. reads like huge chunks of it were legit lifted from wikipedia.

dull, and then irritating.

dnf at 20 percent.


4.5 stars

Light, warmth, passion. And some turmoil to make the falling in love even sweeter.

I think I was smiling much of the time reading this.

Miles, is a gifted artist, he illuminates precious manuscripts, turning plain text into decorated works of art, much as church monks of the Middle Ages did before the time of the printing press. He makes his own period pigments, drafts the fancy lettering, and carefully paints in the elaborate embellishments. It’s like lush embroidery on paper. The addit
Vanessa North
Sep 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow, I have to say, I have always enjoyed Rowan Speedwell's books, but this is the first one I LOVED. I don't even know where to start.

The characters?

Miles--oh my GOD. Miles. So weird and vulnerable, and crazy-sexy. Like, I'm reading along and all of a sudden I'm BLUSHING because wha? and it isn't even like the sex that is so sexy (though the sex was really freaking sexy) it's the way he is with Adam, how he's all sweet and awkward but the way he touches Adam, and the way he talks about his ar
♣ Irish Smurfétté ♣
I don't think this will be a lengthy review, I don't want to give away even one mile of this glorious road you'll travel with Miles and Adam.

There isn't a single word in this that feels false or unnecessary. The dialogue is spot on, it sounds like some of my friends and I talking. The ease of it, the references, the humor and difficulty in sometimes being able to say what you mean are all there.

These two get to know each other in a very organically presented way. Their natural personalities spar
Nov 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
This is one of those stories that pushes all my buttons. Broken men, romance, coming out, hot sex. Once again this author has claimed my heart with her off beat, quirky Miles Caldwell. How do you love a hermit, ask Adam Craig, the burned out lead singer of Black Varen.

Adam stumbles across Miles when he hires a cab to take him from Chicago to Milwaukee. He comes out of his drunken, drug stupor long enough to recognize a lake that held happy memories for him as a child. He leaves the cab. For t
Heather C
Sep 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
A beautifully written story!

One thing I can always count on when I start one of Rowan's books, is that I will be losing sleep! I ended up staying up til 3 am reading this and finally finished it the next day during a 3 hour road trip. I was soooooo hooked from the very beginning and I never wanted it to end.

I really, really liked this story. I loved Miles and Adam and their darknesses, plus all the secondary characters...and the bird! It would be sweet and a little sappy...then BAM all angst
Kade Boehme
Oct 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Rowan Speedwell is just fabulous. I've never never been disappointed. The research and well thought out writing is always breath taking and GAH her characters. Adam was kind of a dumbass but i suppose any of us could get swept up in the fame machine. Not-so-much that they could ever talk me into having sex with women... yeah... obvs not cut out for selling my soul. But Miles/Mike. Wow. His story broke my heart. I can't even imagine. Brilliant, brilliant story. ...more
There's something about Ms. Speedwell's writing that always draws me in. When I read her, I know I'm going to enjoy her story and this one is no different.

I absolutely adored these characters. Miles just breaks my heart with his issues. He's complex and has so many hidden things about him. I loved that as the story progressed, we slowly started to understand why Miles is the way he is. I'll admit, I wanted to shake him silly a few times but I also wanted to hug him and keep him safe. I connected
~ Lei ~ Reading Is An Adventure ~
Closeted rock star, Adam Craig, drunkenly ends up at the resort he went to as a kid before his parents divorced. Miles, who was the object of his affections and made him realize he was gay the last summer he went to the resort, stumbles over him passed out on his patio one early Sunday morning.

Miles isn't all that happy to find him trespassing. He is an artist who makes illuminated pictures who has suffered traumatic brain injury and is an agoraphobic and a bit ocd-ish and his only companio
4.5 stars.

I really loved this book. Adam is a rock star who never planned to be a rock star, and Miles is an agoraphobic artist who hasn't left his property in 10 years. They meet when Adam drunkenly ends up asleep on Miles' front porch, and they connect pretty instantly.

The blurb says that Adam charms his way into Miles' bed, but to me, it kinda felt the opposite, that Miles talked Adam into his bed, but it was good either way.

Miles was injured in a car wreck over a decade ago, and his brain do
Oct 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mm, romance

Ok, my objectivity went through window since author made a not-so-subtle nod to Bujold and Miles Vorkosigan!!! One of my favorite authors, series and heroes ever. I feel sometimes like it saved my life too. :)

But really, this was a great book. Rowan Speedwell never disappoints. She has a way with broken characters that just grow on you. I was actually afraid at the beginning that it would be insta-love kind of things, but it wasn't. Great read!
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I admit I was expecting the standard bad boy rocker being tamed by the shy guy kinda story, and to be honest the initial start of this one seemed to confirm what I was getting. But then OMG it turned into so much more.

Miles is such a deep character. At first I did not understand him at all. He did not seem shy or scared, but then as the story flowed I discovered his true depth.

Adam for the most part had my heart from the start. Trapped by what society expects and living the dream that's more eve
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Shannon by: Susan A
Shelves: aa-recommend
More 4.5 stars due to the almost insta-love going on but rounded up because, holy shit, I loved Miles. So broken and scared and desperate for anything really. Being touched, kissed, held, he just needed. It made me laugh and cry and shake my kindle. So much better than I was expecting. Loved it!
Nov 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, on-my-kindle, arc
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shirley Frances
Sep 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
4.50 stars

Miles is an artist whose life was turned upside down after a car accident that took his parents' lives and left him with no memory of his former self. After experiencing seizures while in public that left him helpless and at the mercy of others he decides to seclude himself. And when he goes to visit the resort he and his sister inherited, he feels drawn to it and retreats there. His only companion is Grace, a talking parrot, with his human interactions consisting of weekly visits from
Mello ❣ Illium ✮Harry✮ ☀Myrnin☀ Torin Ichimaru

Adam Craig is burned out. Lead singer of the hard rock band Black Varen, he's tired of the empty life of groupies, paparazzi, and hotel rooms. Worse, a life in the closet. After the final concert of their latest tour, he flees the after-party in pursuit of memories of lost summers and carefree days, until he passes out on the patio of a shuttered lake resort.

Miles Caldwell is a brilliant artist, tied by agoraphobia and social anxiety to his family's lodge. Alone but for his parrot, he s
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm-romance, musicians
4.2 stars. A very well written book, multi-dimensional characterisations that resulted in complex protagonists, an engaging plot and a quite satisfying happy ending. But throughout its course, I had the constant impression that I was reading two distinct stories belonging to troubled individuals, who were trying to cope with their present and find new avenues for the future. Early on, their paths intersected, Adam and Miles forged a connection, yet they soon had to separate and most developments ...more
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jo by: Sheri
Sheri, Thank you so much I really liked

Review coming...
Review will be seen in Oct issue of RT Book Reviews Magazine
Sammy Goode
Oct 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
I grappled with the rating on this review for a few days. Had I stopped three quarters into this novel I would have given this book a definite five stars for I really had been swept into the lives of these two men, in particular, Miles. For me, there was a decided connection to these fellows and I found myself unable to put the story down for any length of time, needing to see where this relationship was going to travel.

Adam was trying to escape a life that never really fit. His time with the po
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines illumination as: spiritual or intellectual enlightenment OR decoration by the art of illuminating. In Rowan Speedwell’s Illumination, both definitions apply. Miles Caldwell is an artist who practices the art of illumination and Adam Craig is a rock star who attains intellectual enlightenment when he realizes he can no longer live his life the way he has been. Neither of these men were given at birth the names that they use.

Miles Caldwell is an agoraphobic a
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Secret Admirer (Love Notes, #1)
  • Falling Down
  • A Ferry of Bones & Gold (Soulbound, #1)
  • Until Forever Comes (Mates, #2)
  • Where Death Meets the Devil (Death and the Devil, #1)
  • The Alpha's Warlock (Mismatched Mates #1)
  • Off Plan (Whispering Key, #1)
  • Starting from Zero (Starting From #1)
  • Cry Wolf (Big Bad Wolf, #5)
  • Hell & High Water (THIRDS #1)
  • The Hanged Man (The Tarot Sequence, #2)
  • Screwed (Four Bears Construction, #4)
  • Someday, Someday
  • Stripped Love (Guys Next Door, #1)
  • Once Upon a Time (Calluvia's Royalty, #3)
  • Superhero
  • Dragon Scholar (Dragon Hoard, #1)
  • Oz (Finding Home, #1)
See similar books…
An unrepentant biblioholic, Rowan Speedwell spends half her time pretending to be a law librarian, half her time pretending to be a database manager, half her time pretending to be a fifteenth-century Aragonese noblewoman, half her time… wait a minute… hmm. Well, one thing she doesn't pretend to be is good at math. She is good at pretending, though.

In her copious spare time (hah) she does needlewo

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
33 likes · 10 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“You love my art?"

Adam laughed. "Jesus, I tell you I love you and you're more interested with the fact that I love your fucking art? Yeah, Miles, I love your art. I love your smelly paints and weird concoctions and the way you run your hands throught your hair so it stands on end. I love your crazy-ass bird. I love the way you completely lose yourself so deeply in what you're doing that an atom bomb could go off next door and you wouldn't even notice. I love how you look when we've just made love, and I love when you're all pissy and cranky and yelling. I love this cottage and this resort and I love this room and I love your room. I love you." He took a deep breath and forced himself to meet Mile's eyes. "I love you. Do you...can you..."

"Moron," Miles said with a grin. He took Adam's hand and dragged him to Miles' own room.

There had to be six-no-eight-no, eleven portraits of Adam hanging on the walls of Miles' bedroom.”
“I should ask if it was good for you," Miles murmured, "but given that evidently you acquired the answer to life, the universe, and everything, it must have been-excuse the word-cosmic.” 1 likes
More quotes…