~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~'s Reviews > Love Me Whole

Love Me Whole by Nicky James
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
7999417
This is one of the most moving and extraordinary romance novels I've ever read. Love Me Whole is a testament to the tenacity of the human spirit and the most selfless, abiding kind of love.

When Vaughn asks the withdrawn, painfully shy man in his marketing class to be his partner, he has no way of knowing he'll fall in love, not just with Oryn, but with Cohen too. Vaughn doesn't expect to have a war of wills with Reed, stop Cove from self-harming, eat Theo's meticulously prepared meals, or babysit Rain.

In this life, the life outside the system of his mind, Oryn has one body (the host), but he is not one self.

ORYN is a man broken apart by a horrifying past, a childhood so traumatic the only way to survive was to create another self (or alter) to take the abuse so Oryn could go on.

He is COHEN: cheerful, flirtatious, outgoing, living in the moment. Cohen will always be 19; he is Oryn's sexual, social self, the self who likes meeting new people, and longs to be touched and cuddled.

He is REED: the protector, the one who's angry, who doesn't trust. Reed steps in when Oryn gets stressed or scared.

He is THEO, the caretaker who cleans and cooks and deals with the logistics of daily adult life. Theo is one of Oryn's earliest alters; he's the most like Oryn except much more confident.

He is 5-year-old RAIN, who loves Batman and dinosaurs. Rain is innocent and free; he is the child Oryn never was.

And he is COVE: the self who holds all the bad memories, the self who considers himself a flaw, the one who drinks and smokes and harms. Cove is the self Oryn hates.

Oryn has disassociative personality disorder (DID), once referred to as multiple personality disorder. He loses large chunks of time, and talks differently, dresses uniquely, and has distinct quirks, facial expressions, and talents depending on which alter is "fronting" (taking control of Oryn's body).

Vaughn is the first-person narrator of this story. We feel Vaughn's confusion, his guilt, and devotion. I am not even a fraction of the person Vaughn is. I can barely handle a partner's mood swings, much less deal with never knowing which self will come forth. But Vaughn is an amazing man: steady, patient, and incredibly kind.

Vaughn and Oryn go on a date to a museum, only to have five-year-old Rain show up and start bouncing up and down in excitement. When Vaughn tries to kiss Oryn, he has to confront furious Reed, who's straight and wants nothing to do with Vaughn. Oryn can't handle intimacy, but Cohen can and stirs a hunger in Vaughn that makes him feel ashamed (if he sleeps with Cohen, is he cheating on Oryn?).

Some authors can't manage to sketch two distinct main characters, so it's truly astonishing how complex and separate Oryn's identities are. Not once did I confuse them, not once did I doubt.

Like Vaughn, I fell in love with all of Oryn's selves. If Oryn allows every alter to have a voice, they can work in harmony.

Oryn has no memories of his life before age 16, and Cove will take those memories to the grave. There is no on-page abuse or any descriptions of past trauma. We don't know exactly what happened to Oryn, but we can imagine.

The most raw and painful scenes involve Cove, who carries an unbearable burden and longs to escape the body that has brought him so much hurt. I found it heartbreaking that Oryn fought Cove at every turn, when Cove took all the pain and abuse. Without Cove, Oryn wouldn't be.

The plot is one hundred percent focused on the relationship, with a couple secondary characters, particularly Vaughn's sports-obsessed best friend, Evan, and Vaughn's well-intentioned but slightly bewildered parents, making an appearance.

This is a hefty book (over 7,000 Kindle locations), but don't let the length put you off. I blinked and realized I was at 80 percent. I could have read this book forever.

Against all odds, Love Me Whole has a beautiful HEA. Oryn will never be "normal," but Vaughn loves all the parts of him: I love you whole.

Everyone should read this book. Everyone.
169 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Love Me Whole.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

February 19, 2018 – Started Reading
February 19, 2018 – Shelved
February 19, 2018 – Shelved as: best-hea
February 19, 2018 – Shelved as: comfort-healing
February 19, 2018 – Shelved as: m-m
February 19, 2018 – Shelved as: best-mm-romance-2018
February 19, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 53 (53 new)


message 1: by DarienMoya (new) - added it

DarienMoya I’m so intrigued by this! Great review 👍🏽


~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ DarienMoya wrote: "I’m so intrigued by this! Great review 👍🏽"

I'm so glad I listed to friends and have this one a go. It's a unique, beautiful story!


Bookreader87(Amanda) Great review. This book is on a back burner for me. I want to read this book just out of curiosity but I have not been able to work myself up to it yet. I dated someone with DID and believe me I know how hard it can be. I'm itching to read how the author presents it just to compare notes. One day I'll work myself up to it.


message 4: by Kinga (new) - added it

Kinga Your reviews are always so insightful and I know I can trust your judgement so I'm going to try this book, you make it sound so lovely(and sad).


message 5: by Jan (new)

Jan  And here I was, thinking you couldn't do angst Lol
Jesus! this sounds angsty and intense as hell!
Amazing review, Dani. xx


Anna Cieszę się bardzo, że Ci się podobało i prawda, każdy powinien przeczytać tą książkę!!


message 7: by Anja (new)

Anja Beautiful review, Dani! :)


Zeinab Amazing review !! One of the best books I've ever read


~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ BookReader87 wrote: "Great review. This book is on a back burner for me. I want to read this book just out of curiosity but I have not been able to work myself up to it yet. I dated someone with DID and believe me I kn..."

I have never dated anyone with DID. As far as I know, I've never even met anyone with DID. I took several psychology undergrad courses and studied DID then, but I'm definitely not an expert on the disorder. I can tell you that the author certainly didn't sugarcoat how difficult such a relationship can be.

I would be really interested in your thoughts if you read the book!


~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ Zeinab wrote: "Amazing review !! One of the best books I've ever read"

I added it to my Best of 2018 list.

Anja wrote: "Beautiful review, Dani! :)"

Thanks, Anja!


~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ Kinga wrote: "Your reviews are always so insightful and I know I can trust your judgement so I'm going to try this book, you make it sound so lovely(and sad)."

It's a truly poignant story, painful but also filled with helpful. Thank you for your kind words.


~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ Jan wrote: "And here I was, thinking you couldn't do angst Lol
Jesus! this sounds angsty and intense as hell!
Amazing review, Dani. xx"


Surprisingly, it wasn't as angsty as you would expect based on the blurb. There are no descriptions or discussions of Oryn's past abuse, and while my heart broke for Oryn's fear and isolation, Vaughn's love for him was a beautiful thing.


~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ Anna wrote: "Cieszę się bardzo, że Ci się podobało i prawda, każdy powinien przeczytać tą książkę!!"

Bardzo mi sie podobala! Wspaniala ksiazka o milosci, odwadze i poswieceniu.


Some1possible You know, I just logged on to Goodreads right now just so I can message you and recommend this very book-I finished it yesterday-but it seems like you already got to it lol. Now the pressure is off, and I don’t have to worry about you liking my recommendation or not. I’m glad you found it as amazing as I did.


message 15: by Dawn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dawn Beautiful review for a spectacular book. Still sticking with me a month later.


~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ Dawn wrote: "Beautiful review for a spectacular book. Still sticking with me a month later."

I have no doubt I'll remember this story for a long, long time.


~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ Some1possible wrote: "You know, I just logged on to Goodreads right now just so I can message you and recommend this very book-I finished it yesterday-but it seems like you already got to it lol. Now the pressure is off..."

😃 That would have been a great recommendation.


message 18: by Renée (new)

Renée So not my jam, but glad you loved it!


Daphne What a fantastic review. I loved it just as much but couldn’t do it justice. Such a unique premise and so incredibly well done. This was a book of such love - such a deep and abiding genuine love of one human for another. The scene at museum and Oryn waking up in the car on the way home with the silly hat on... just pure love in so many forms.


AGandyGirl I could agree more. This book is everything. ❤️


AGandyGirl I couldn’t I mean. ;)


~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ Renée wrote: "So not my jam, but glad you loved it!"

You might be surprised.


~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ AGandyGirl wrote: "I could agree more. This book is everything. ❤️"

Yes! All the 💘!


~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ Daphne wrote: "What a fantastic review. I loved it just as much but couldn’t do it justice. Such a unique premise and so incredibly well done. This was a book of such love - such a deep and abiding genuine love o..."

I loved how Vaughn just went with it and stood up for Rain, and later tried so hard to give him a real Christmas morning. He understood that taking care of Rain meant taking care of Oryn, giving him just a glimpse of a childhood he missed out on.


Sanaa Yay! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Fabulous review, lovely ❤ *moves up on tbr*


message 26: by Ele (last edited Feb 21, 2018 06:27AM) (new)

Ele This sounds scary. Is it anything like Unquiet, angst wise?


Daphne ~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ wrote: "Daphne wrote: "What a fantastic review. I loved it just as much but couldn’t do it justice. Such a unique premise and so incredibly well done. This was a book of such love - such a deep and abiding..."

Yes - agreed. The way that Vaughn loved Oryn was loving each of his alters, in the way that each particular alter needed to be loved. Can you imagine? It can be hard enough to unconditionally love one person, but five people - in five different ways (some romantic, some not)... not to mention doing so in the presence of the stigma of mental illness.

One of the amazing things was the way the author provided just enough information that we knew that Oryn suffered terribly in order to become disassociated, but she didn't touch on the whys or hows or even whos at all. She didn't veer into salacious horror for the sake of cheap thrills like some other authors do, and it made for so much more of a powerful (and accessible for people who avoid that sort of trauma on page like me) story.

Best book I've read in a long time.


message 28: by Virginia (new) - added it

Virginia Cavanillas Your review is beautiful. I’ll think about it. Thank you, Dani ❤️


~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ Ele wrote: "This sounds scary. Is it anything like Unquiet, angst wise?"

No, not at all. I half-expected it to be, but I'm not sure I'd call this book angsty. It's heartbreaking at times, yes, and if I thought too hard about what Oryn must have gone through, I wanted to cry, but the focus is on possibilities. Vaughn is such a wonderful MC, and Oryn becomes braver with Vaughn's support.

The only truly painful scene (view spoiler)


~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ Vir wrote: "Your review is beautiful. I’ll think about it. Thank you, Dani ❤️"

Thank YOU, hon!


~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ AddictSucker4NxtFix wrote: "What a grt review i will totally be reading this one next hope i like it as much"

Sanaa ☆ Sanaa's Book Blog ☆ wrote: "Yay! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Fabulous review, lovely ❤ *moves up on tbr*"

Thank you! I hope you both love it.


~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ Daphne wrote: "One of the amazing things was the way the author provided just enough information that we knew that Oryn suffered terribly in order to become disassociated, but she didn't touch on the whys or hows or even whos at all. She didn't veer into salacious horror for the sake of cheap thrills like some other authors do, and it made for so much more of a powerful (and accessible for people who avoid that sort of trauma on page like me) story. "

Yes to all of this! So many authors shove pain and violence down our throats, but like you, I don't want to watch that kind of trauma on page.


Elsbeth So glad you loved it. Is absolutely one of my favorites this year. So much respect for Vaughn and Oryn... Sigh


~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ Elsbeth wrote: "So glad you loved it. Is absolutely one of my favorites this year. So much respect for Vaughn and Oryn... Sigh"

I loved them together. Despite the potential for massive angst, this story made me smile. It was like good triumphs over evil.


Nat ReadingAllNite Wonderful review! I might read it one day but I’m a little afraid. Not sure I could handle it.


message 36: by Lyn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyn This book was already on my TBR. I've been hesitant to read it because I was worried it would be a very heavy sad read. After reading your review, I'm all in. Amazing review, Dani!


~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ Lyn wrote: "This book was already on my TBR. I've been hesitant to read it because I was worried it would be a very heavy sad read. After reading your review, I'm all in. Amazing review, Dani!"

It really isn't, and I think you can trust me on that since I have a very low angst tolerance.


~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ Natalie wrote: "Wonderful review! I might read it one day but I’m a little afraid. Not sure I could handle it."

Don't be afraid! It's a beautiful story.


message 39: by Ula'ndi (new) - added it

Ula'ndi Hart Really good review dear. I'll put this on the TBR list for sure


~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ Ula'ndi wrote: "Really good review dear. I'll put this on the TBR list for sure"

Thanks, hon!


~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ Heather K (dentist in my spare time) wrote: "I WANT!"

It's on KU. I borrowed it first, then bought it.


message 43: by Ky (new) - added it

Ky Amazing review Dani! I'm adding it


~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ Ky wrote: "Amazing review Dani! I'm adding it"

Thanks, Ky! I hope you love the story.


message 45: by Fluffpug (new) - added it

Fluffpug I’m currently reading this book and I really do love it, but I also find it exhausting. Exhausting because I also get these conflicting thoughts while reading this. Apparently, I have troubles in reacting to the whole DID situation, especially with regards to Cohen. Is it weird if I say that I’m all for a Oryn-Vaughn romance despite the fact that I’m definitely not receptive to a romance with Cohen?


~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ Fluffpug wrote: "I’m currently reading this book and I really do love it, but I also find it exhausting. Exhausting because I also get these conflicting thoughts while reading this. Apparently, I have troubles in r..."

Not at all. Cohen is a different person. I initially felt the same as you, but I ended up really liking Cohen and could see how he was integral to an Oryn/Vaughn relationship.


Liber_Lady Absoluetely loved this book.. God, it was one of hte best read for me this year..I loved each and every guys..I fell in love with every one of them.. <3 Loved the review..!!


~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ Liber_Lady wrote: "Absoluetely loved this book.. God, it was one of hte best read for me this year..I loved each and every guys..I fell in love with every one of them.. <3 Loved the review..!!"

It was a glorious book and one of my top reads of the year also. You should check out the author's new one, Rocky Mountain Refuge. I loved that one, as well.


Liber_Lady ~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ wrote: "Liber_Lady wrote: "Absoluetely loved this book.. God, it was one of hte best read for me this year..I loved each and every guys..I fell in love with every one of them..

It was a glorious book and..."


I will definitely check it out. I might not pick up the series of No Regrets. I cannot handle anyone dying at the end.


message 50: by Boyslove (new) - added it

Boyslove Great review! I’ve got to read it now!


« previous 1
back to top