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Love Me Whole

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Twenty-eight-year-old Oryn Patterson isn’t like other people. Being an extremely shy, social introvert is only part of the problem. Oryn has dissociative identity disorder. He may look like a normal man on the outside, but spend five minutes with him, and his daily struggles begin to show. Oryn shares his life and headspace with five distinctively different alters. Reed, Twenty-eight-year-old Oryn Patterson isn’t like other people. Being an extremely shy, social introvert is only part of the problem. Oryn has dissociative identity disorder. He may look like a normal man on the outside, but spend five minutes with him, and his daily struggles begin to show. Oryn shares his life and headspace with five distinctively different alters. Reed, a protective, very straight jock. Cohen, a flamboyantly gay nineteen-year-old who is a social butterfly. Cove, a self-destructive terror, whose past haunts him. Theo, an asexual man of little emotion, whose focus is on maintaining order. And Rain, a five-year-old child whose only concern is Batman. Vaughn Sinclair is stuck in a rut. When his job doesn’t offer the same thrill it once did, he decides it’s time to mix-up his stagnant, boring routine. Little does he know, the man he meets during an impromptu decision to return to college is anything but ordinary. Vaughn’s heart defies logic, and he finds himself falling in love with this strange new man. But how can you love someone who isn’t always themself? It may not be easy, but Vaughn is determined to try.


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Twenty-eight-year-old Oryn Patterson isn’t like other people. Being an extremely shy, social introvert is only part of the problem. Oryn has dissociative identity disorder. He may look like a normal man on the outside, but spend five minutes with him, and his daily struggles begin to show. Oryn shares his life and headspace with five distinctively different alters. Reed, Twenty-eight-year-old Oryn Patterson isn’t like other people. Being an extremely shy, social introvert is only part of the problem. Oryn has dissociative identity disorder. He may look like a normal man on the outside, but spend five minutes with him, and his daily struggles begin to show. Oryn shares his life and headspace with five distinctively different alters. Reed, a protective, very straight jock. Cohen, a flamboyantly gay nineteen-year-old who is a social butterfly. Cove, a self-destructive terror, whose past haunts him. Theo, an asexual man of little emotion, whose focus is on maintaining order. And Rain, a five-year-old child whose only concern is Batman. Vaughn Sinclair is stuck in a rut. When his job doesn’t offer the same thrill it once did, he decides it’s time to mix-up his stagnant, boring routine. Little does he know, the man he meets during an impromptu decision to return to college is anything but ordinary. Vaughn’s heart defies logic, and he finds himself falling in love with this strange new man. But how can you love someone who isn’t always themself? It may not be easy, but Vaughn is determined to try.

30 review for Love Me Whole

  1. 4 out of 5

    ~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~

    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 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.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nazanin

    4.5 Stars I listened to the audio and it was AMAZING!! Adam Gold did a great job! His performance was awesome. All the voices were distinctive and at some point, I doubted all of them were Mr. Gold’s voice but they were! If I wanted to rate just the audio my rated would have been 10 stars! I have read some hurt/comfort stories but this one was a bit unique in its own way. The characters were all lovable. Vaughn and his patience, that he was so attentive and didn’t rush anything. Oryn, that shy 4.5 Stars I listened to the audio and it was AMAZING!! Adam Gold did a great job! His performance was awesome. All the voices were distinctive and at some point, I doubted all of them were Mr. Gold’s voice but they were! If I wanted to rate just the audio my rated would have been 10 stars! I have read some hurt/comfort stories but this one was a bit unique in its own way. The characters were all lovable. Vaughn and his patience, that he was so attentive and didn’t rush anything. Oryn, that shy boy! Loved that he accepted his situation and didn’t back away from what he wanted/found. Reed, that protective man who wouldn’t let anything upset/harm him. Rain, that sweet sweet little boy with his toothy smile. Cohen, that naughty, carefree boy. Theo, that self-organised man who could cook like a chef. Love them all, even Cove. Oh, poor Cove… My only issue was that during listening to the audio I had this question that what had happened to Oryn in the past and what happened to his family and where they were?!? Told in single POV, 1st person (Vaughn). It’s a standalone novel and slow burn. Overall, loved it and hope you enjoy it as well!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    My first Nicky James book and my first audiobook narrated by Adam Gold. My reaction...MIND BLOWN!! Audio – Adam Gold was AMAZING!!! He gets all the golden stars and so does Nicky James for choosing such a gifted narrator who was able gave her words the perfect voice(s). Story – 5 Unique, Unforgettable, Enlightening stars!! I went back and forth between 4 and 5 stars because the story felt one sided. We only get the point of view of Vaughn, a man dating and eventually falling in love with someone My first Nicky James book and my first audiobook narrated by Adam Gold. My reaction...MIND BLOWN!! Audio – Adam Gold was AMAZING!!! He gets all the golden stars and so does Nicky James for choosing such a gifted narrator who was able gave her words the perfect voice(s). Story – 5 Unique, Unforgettable, Enlightening stars!! I went back and forth between 4 and 5 stars because the story felt one sided. We only get the point of view of Vaughn, a man dating and eventually falling in love with someone with dissociative identity disorder. I wouldn’t go so far as to say, I wanted the points of view of all of Oryn’s other identities, but I would have liked to some insight on how he felt about finally finding love and acceptance. I was, however, grateful that it was never revealed in full detail what abuse Oryn suffered as a child. I decided on 5 stars because I realized this story is like nothing I’ve ever read in my experience of reading romance.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    5 +++++++stars Wow, this book!!! I was absolutely caught up in this story about a man, Vaughn, who falls in love with, Oryn, a man with Dissociative Identity Disorder (personality disorder), and shared his mind and body with 5 very different people. Each person had a specific job in the inner circle and they all wanted to be heard. This was definitely a hurt/comfort read with some characters being more angsty than others. I adored all of them, but I loved the way Vaughn loved all of them. I can’t 5 +++++++stars Wow, this book!!! I was absolutely caught up in this story about a man, Vaughn, who falls in love with, Oryn, a man with Dissociative Identity Disorder (personality disorder), and shared his mind and body with 5 very different people. Each person had a specific job in the inner circle and they all wanted to be heard. This was definitely a hurt/comfort read with some characters being more angsty than others. I adored all of them, but I loved the way Vaughn loved all of them. I can’t imagine the struggle for not only Oryn, but also for Vaughn. I listened to the audiobook, and let me tell you, Adam Gold was amazing with his sexy voice. He had a different voice for each character, and I had no problem figuring out who was talking. Highly recommend!!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sheri

    If you're looking for a stellar example of soulmates, this might be the most precise portrayal I've ever seen. I've witnessed countless beautiful pairs that fit together seamlessly. However, I truly believe Vaughn was meant to love Oryn. There could be no one else. The call was for his soul and his soul alone. When things began to fall into place and these ultimate soulmates became clear, I lost my breath. I literally paused and took in the intensity of the moment. And it wasn't the last time I If you're looking for a stellar example of soulmates, this might be the most precise portrayal I've ever seen. I've witnessed countless beautiful pairs that fit together seamlessly. However, I truly believe Vaughn was meant to love Oryn. There could be no one else. The call was for his soul and his soul alone. When things began to fall into place and these ultimate soulmates became clear, I lost my breath. I literally paused and took in the intensity of the moment. And it wasn't the last time I stopped to grapple with the tsunami of feelings. I'll admit that it took me a bit before I fell into step with this story. It was not an easy read. It was not a light read. It was...unlike anything I've ever read before. As this was my first time with this author, it took me a few chapters to click with the writing. However, the story snagged me from the beginning and I was a slave to the pages. What's to like: I'm struggling to find the right words...it's challenging to write a review for such a complex story. First off, I'm grateful that I didn't read any reviews prior to reading because I believe my experience was much more profound without knowing too much. I'm also very thankful this came across my radar with the help of a buddy read. I'm not certain I would have read it otherwise. So, how do *I* compose a review without risking any spoilers or modifying your potential reading experience? How do I ensure you will behold the same beauty that I did? The only conclusion I can find is...with extreme ambiguity and soft descriptions. With recounting my feelings rather than their's. Basically, by emotional babbling. Here goes...this disorder isn't something that I am familiar with. Yes, I've seen the movies but that is the extent of my knowledge. I felt inspired like Vaughn was to...know more. Yet as much as I was fascinated by the intricacy of Oryn's life it was the tentative steps of their relationship that held me captive. Love is such a beautiful thing and why I am drawn to romance stories. The power that love wields can blow me away. And Vaughn and Oryn are a perfect example of pure, powerful, unconditional love. What's to love: I could say that Vaughn is amazing but so is Oryn. I could express my admiration for his patience but again, it goes two-fold. One of the many things that I found remarkable was the open mind, open arms, and open heart that we witness. It's not clear what traumatic events led Oryn to his fractured mind but...that's okay. History is simply that. What is important is the here and now. And eventually, the promise of a future. My quick rundown on the alters within Oryn would be: Theo- practical, sturdy & constant. Reed- watchdog, defender, & resolute Cove- haunted, stormy & survivor Cohen- free, joyous & playful Rain- spontaneous, refreshing & innocent. These pieces come together and form an extraordinary man. But there is no separating, they come as a package deal. And no one has ever loved them before. There are many first's within these pages but this was by far the most amazing. I loved how Vaughn loved them. I loved how they loved Vaughn. And the ending brought happy tears to my eyes. Beware of: Dissociative identity disorder is complicated. Oryn's daily battles are exhausting and almost inconceivable. And their love is cautious yet all-consuming. Special shout out for the cover, it is absolute perfection! This book is for: Anyone willing to take a chance...Love Me Whole is one of the most tremendous love stories that I've ever read and you may very well feel the same. What are you waiting for? Book UNfunk

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer☠Pher☠

    This was absolutely fascinating, and beautiful and frightening and confusing and it was everything. This is going on my favorite shelf. I loved this book so much. I never wanted it to end. Breathtaking. I can't stop thinking about it. I didn't have a lot of time to read this weekend but this book was on my mind constantly and I feel like it will be on my mind for a long time to come. I am at a loss for the right words. It was the perfect blend. The author did a fantastic job I think, meshing the This was absolutely fascinating, and beautiful and frightening and confusing and it was everything. This is going on my favorite shelf. I loved this book so much. I never wanted it to end. Breathtaking. I can't stop thinking about it. I didn't have a lot of time to read this weekend but this book was on my mind constantly and I feel like it will be on my mind for a long time to come. I am at a loss for the right words. It was the perfect blend. The author did a fantastic job I think, meshing the education and all the information but keeping it a very romantic and hopeful book. I just loved it. Beautiful.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    3.5 stars This was certainly a very unique book. But OMG, I feel exhausted after reading this. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I don’t think I will be rereading this any time soon. Vaughn and Oryn meet when Vaughn is taking a marketing night class at the local college. Oryn is softspoken, shy, but obviously intelligent. Vaughn doesn’t get why their classmates are making fun of Oryn all the time. Vaughn thought he didn’t have to deal with bullies at 35 years of age. When they need a partner for a 3.5 stars This was certainly a very unique book. But OMG, I feel exhausted after reading this. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I don’t think I will be rereading this any time soon. Vaughn and Oryn meet when Vaughn is taking a marketing night class at the local college. Oryn is softspoken, shy, but obviously intelligent. Vaughn doesn’t get why their classmates are making fun of Oryn all the time. Vaughn thought he didn’t have to deal with bullies at 35 years of age. When they need a partner for a project, Vaughns decides to ask Oryn, but when he does Oryn is hesitant to accept. Oryn then explains he has DID, Dissociative identity disorder, also known as someone who has multiple personalities. But that doesn’t deter Vaughn in the slightest so they do end up partnered together. When Vaughn starts coming over to Oryn’s house he gets to meet some of Oryn’s alters, and he finally understands how difficult it must be for Oryn. Slowly Vaughn learns that something bad happened to Oryn in his childhood for him to develop the DID. The alters protect him. There is Reed, who is a straight weightlifting jock, who has sworn to protect Oryn at all cost. Then there is Cohen, a flamboyant 19 year old. Theo, the asexual super organized guy, Rain, the 5 year old little boy. And finally Cove, who is hurting so badly he is harming himself. When Vaughn gets to know Oryn (and his alters) more, he knows he cannot walk away from him, despite how hard it may be to have a relationship with him. He doesn’t even know if Oryn is capable of any kind of romantic relationship, but all he knows is that Oryn is worth it… While I really liked this book, there was one thing that bothered me enough to detract some stars from this. Vaughn and Oryn start a relationship, but not yet a physical one, since that is a trigger for Oryn. Vaughn has spent some time with Cohen too, since Cohen is the one that is outgoing and flirty and appears when Vaughn asks Oryn out on dates. Oryn still can’t have sex with Vaughn, but tells Vaughn it is okay to have sex with Cohen. And after some consideration and thinking on Vaughn’s part, they do indeed have sex, Cohen and Vaughn. I thought that moment came too soon. I get that Oryn has different alters (who all had their very own personalities and even looked different in their own minds), and it is amazing that Vaughn can love all of them, but at that moment I felt as if Vaughn didn’t know Cohen enough to have sex with him and used him as a stand-in for Oryn, since they share the same body. Yes, it did feel a bit like cheating at that moment. I know it’s not really cheating but know that Cohen was indeed a totally different person from Oryn and Vaughn kept thinking it was Oryn who he was in love with. Later on it got better when Vaughn admitted to himself he loved Cohen just as much as Oryn and he just had a relationship with several people instead of just with one man. But I would have been happier if the sex between Vaughn and Cohen would have happened later on in the book. Because this made me uncomfortable for a long time. Still, this is a very interesting story even though it was too exhausting for me. (Oh, and can I just say that I was slightly disappointed we never learn anything about Oryn's past. I don't need details, but we didn't get anything at all.)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Eli Easton

    I loved this book. Not only was it highly readable and addictive, it was also fascinating. I learned a lot of things about DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) that I didn't know. I loved the way the main character, Vaughn, had to navigate not only his relationship with Oryn, but with all of the other personalities that resided within Oryn as well, including one who was very much a "straight dude bro" and a child. This was SO well done. I highly recommend this hurt-comfort story as one of the I loved this book. Not only was it highly readable and addictive, it was also fascinating. I learned a lot of things about DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) that I didn't know. I loved the way the main character, Vaughn, had to navigate not only his relationship with Oryn, but with all of the other personalities that resided within Oryn as well, including one who was very much a "straight dude bro" and a child. This was SO well done. I highly recommend this hurt-comfort story as one of the best. Cudos to Nicky James for managing a very difficult narrative and pulling it off 100%. See my full review here: https://www.elieaston.com/eli-easton/...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kaje Harper

    This was a fascinating picture of a man learning to love someone with Dissociative Identity Disorder (what was once called multiple personality disorder.) Vaughn meets Oryn in a college class, and suggests that as two people who seem to be outside the typical student attitudes, they might collaborate on the group project. Oryn at first seems like just a shy, smart, reclusive person, but over time, Vaughn sees moments when Oryn's whole behavior and attitude turn on a dime. At first he's puzzled This was a fascinating picture of a man learning to love someone with Dissociative Identity Disorder (what was once called multiple personality disorder.) Vaughn meets Oryn in a college class, and suggests that as two people who seem to be outside the typical student attitudes, they might collaborate on the group project. Oryn at first seems like just a shy, smart, reclusive person, but over time, Vaughn sees moments when Oryn's whole behavior and attitude turn on a dime. At first he's puzzled and worried by these changes, but Oryn reveals that his body is in fact inhabited by five personalities or "alters". Those distinct individuals splintered out from his life at unknown times in the past, protecting him from a probable childhood of severe abuse. Oryn doesn't remember his past, because another personality protects him from it. Sheltered by his alters, he's trying to live a normal life while writing a book about his DID. The descriptions of Oryn and his alters, their behavior and functions in his life, and how they either negotiated or switched consciousness at need or with triggers, was fascinating and felt well researched. From alter 5-year-old Rain, experiencing a happy childhood Oryn never had, to dark Cove, harming the body they all shared for reasons Oryn can't access, they all were distinct and fascinating. And as the book progressed, and Vaughn worked out how to interact with the alters as they appeared, I was cheering for their progress. My only quibble with this book is that Vaughn is very perfect. (view spoiler)[Although he occasionally pushes a bit fast with physical touch, I was waiting for the moment when something he did or said would really backfire in more than a momentary backlash. Or for the moment when he would express normal irritation at having things upset by Rain appearing, or would have a real conflict with Cove or Reed - the two most protective alters. Vaughn never fails or flinches in any significant way, and for me the book would have been a bit more real and interesting if he did. This was also one more book where a person with a possible rape/abuse history reached the success endpoint of enjoying bottoming for sex, and I was kind of hoping it would be one where that goal wasn't reached and never would be, and things were wonderful without it. But the sex progression was well done and very slow. (hide spoiler)] This story is about a unique main character, who doesn't get miraculously "cured" but has to find his own version of "okay" right to the ending. One of my favorite things about M/M is the inclusion of men who break the mold of romance hero, but get their HEA anyway. This is definitely one of those stories, and I really enjoyed it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I loved this SO much !!! I read all night and couldn’t put it down. This was stunning. Such a genuine and compassionate insight in multiple personalities which was written with great sensitivity. This was a unique romance that was all about acceptance, friendship and trust. I will no doubt reread it immediately just because I feel like I can’t let these people go I loved this SO much !!! I read all night and couldn’t put it down. This was stunning. Such a genuine and compassionate insight in multiple personalities which was written with great sensitivity. This was a unique romance that was all about acceptance, friendship and trust. I will no doubt reread it immediately just because I feel like I can’t let these people go ❤️

  11. 5 out of 5

    Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

    Ohhh, excited about this! Price drop to $0.99 at Amazon US, 7/21/18

  12. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    DNF @60% I really tried but the switches were happening too often for me to really enjoy or fall in love with any one of the alters or the host. I’m sure this is an amazing book as most seem to love it so definitely give it a shot if it piques your interest DNF @60% I really tried but the switches were happening too often for me to really enjoy or fall in love with any one of the alters or the host. I’m sure this is an amazing book as most seem to love it so definitely give it a shot if it piques your interest 😊

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elsbeth

    I'm still shaken up by this. I was very curious to read it. A main character with 5 other alters and a man falling in love with this person..... I'm so in awe of this story. About Oryn's and Vaughn's love story. Oryn's mental health, this DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) killed me. What Oryn lived through during his childhood was never fully discussed but it was evident it was horrific. That horrific that Oryn's mind shut off and made these alter characters just to survive. Every one of these I'm still shaken up by this. I was very curious to read it. A main character with 5 other alters and a man falling in love with this person..... I'm so in awe of this story. About Oryn's and Vaughn's love story. Oryn's mental health, this DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) killed me. What Oryn lived through during his childhood was never fully discussed but it was evident it was horrific. That horrific that Oryn's mind shut off and made these alter characters just to survive. Every one of these alters had a purpose and together they were a system, they were one whole person. Oryn really broke me. He never had a friend in his life. Being ridiculed all his life because people found him weird because all the time Oryn felt the need to switch to another alter to cope with life. And then he met Vaughn... Vaughn was so perfect for him, had so much patient with Oryn. I had so much respect for him that he was able to put his own needs aside and was able to win Oryn's trust. Not only Oryn's trust was important but all of Oryn's alters needed to trust Vaughn. pic from Nicky James's post on facebook; "I’d fallen so completely in love, and the knowledge that something so terrible and traumatizing had happened to him as a child, causing his mind to split into separate people, utterly broke my heart. There was no need to think or wonder how I would handle being around Rain in public. I would just be. No matter what part of Oryn I faced, be it Rain, Cohen, Reed, Theo, and even self-destructive Cove, it didn’t matter. It didn’t change how I felt for him, it only confirmed what I already knew." Nicky James was absolutely brilliant with this and has easily become an auto-buy for me. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

  14. 4 out of 5

    Eugenia

    Remarkable!! My review cannot possibly do this book justice, so I won’t even try. Suffice it to say this was a story of pure and unconditional love of the kind I can’t even imagine. Despite the subject matter, it’s not angsty. It’s a journey of discovery and healing for both (or all 7) MCs. A solid HEA awaits you at the end! The narration by Adam Gold was superb. Just do it and read it! This was my first book by this author and it won’t be my last.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nazanin

    This is a beautiful story and Adam Gold did an amazing job narrating it! Cannot recommend it enough!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Bassett

    Different and compelling I’ve been looking forward to this book for a while now, because I know someone with DID, and it’s just not something that’s ever really addressed in most books. Though every experience is different, the author obviously did her research and tried to portray DID in a respectful and authentic way. There were no quick fixes or easy answers - in fact, at some points I wasn’t even sure how there could be a happy ending. I feel like the struggles were balanced enough with Different and compelling I’ve been looking forward to this book for a while now, because I know someone with DID, and it’s just not something that’s ever really addressed in most books. Though every experience is different, the author obviously did her research and tried to portray DID in a respectful and authentic way. There were no quick fixes or easy answers - in fact, at some points I wasn’t even sure how there could be a happy ending. I feel like the struggles were balanced enough with progress and hope that it never became too heavy, and though there was obviously past trauma, it was not discussed in any detail. The different personalities, or alters, were fascinating to me. It’s hard to comprehend having an alter that is left-handed when you are right, or that can play guitar when you’re not musical. Most outsiders were disbelieving or cruel, and sadly, that seems fairly accurate to real life as well. Oryn was someone who desperately needed a friend, and sometimes I just wanted to reach through the book and hug him. Vaughn was perfect for him - almost unbelievably perfect, though it’s nice to imagine someone that patient - and his willingness to go slow to build trust, as well as his acceptance of all the alters, was sweet. I became so immersed in this world that I was sad to see it end, even though I feel like it wrapped up well.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sanaa

    All the stars!!! “Because when you love someone, you don’t get to just love the good stuff and turn it off when things are difficult. It doesn’t work like that. When you fall in love, you are accepting someone wholly and completely.” There's not enough or proper words in the English dictionary to do this book justice. I mean what can you say? Aside from the fact that this book was as wonderful as it was heartbreaking. It was complex, heartwarming, and something I devoured in less than a day. All the stars!!! “Because when you love someone, you don’t get to just love the good stuff and turn it off when things are difficult. It doesn’t work like that. When you fall in love, you are accepting someone wholly and completely.” There's not enough or proper words in the English dictionary to do this book justice. I mean what can you say? Aside from the fact that this book was as wonderful as it was heartbreaking. It was complex, heartwarming, and something I devoured in less than a day. Everyone needs to read this book. Everyone. Love Me Whole is told in Vaughn's POV but is a story about Oryn who has disassociative personality disorder (DID) aka multiple personality disorder in the past. He has 5 alters that help him deal with the traumatic past. He is Reed who's protective, Cohen the 19 year old who's the complete opposite, Theo the caretaker, Cove is the one who dealt with all the traumatic moments, and 5 year old Rain who Oryn never got to be. “You’re a beautiful person, Oryn. Inside and out. Anyone who has discarded a chance to know you better is an idiot...” This book shows us what Vaughn goes through, the guilt he feels and how much he cares and loves Oryn. The world needs more people like him. I am in awe of both of them. What they go through and how they overcome all the hurdles. Together we are strong. Together we will survive, was written in cursive script over one arm. While, I won’t fade into darkness. I will be heard, covered the other. This book was completely focused how their relationship worked. There were a few secondary characters and they were also exceptionally written and fit really well into the book. I completely fell in love with Oryn and all his alters and Vaughn as well. This is probably one of the few books that I can read over and over again and still feel all the emotions that I felt the first time I read it. I absolutely loved every second.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I love finding a new author and falling in love with his/her writing! This is my first read by Nicky James and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's very different than anything else I've read. Oryn has Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) which used to be referred to as Multiple Personality Disorder. Some long-term trauma as a child caused him to develop multiple personalities or alters to cope with his life. I found the whole thing fascinating. But it was also very romantic. Vaughn meets Oryn in night I love finding a new author and falling in love with his/her writing! This is my first read by Nicky James and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's very different than anything else I've read. Oryn has Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) which used to be referred to as Multiple Personality Disorder. Some long-term trauma as a child caused him to develop multiple personalities or alters to cope with his life. I found the whole thing fascinating. But it was also very romantic. Vaughn meets Oryn in night school and decides to be his friend after seeing how the other students treat him. Their relationship is a very slow moving as Vaughn gets to know all Oryn's alters and learns what DID is. He was so patient and so supportive when most other people would just have given up. Their story is beautiful and it ends with the best HEA.

  19. 5 out of 5

    ❧A Bookish Berkeley Girl❧

    Love Me Whole - This book consumed me! This book captured my heart. I skimmed bits of the middle, but, this book pull me in for the most part. And, this was NOT my typical read so that was a win. Oryn Patterson was a beautifully written multifaceted character. There was for me a few dry spots at midpoint. But, after a bit, the book would capture me again. Thus 4 stars...almost perfect.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Annika

    Audiobook review Wow... just wow... How in the world am I going to write anything about this book that will even come close to describing how wonderful it was? I haven’t the faintest idea. I’m kind of speechless right now, even a couple of days after finishing it. I’m so filled with love for these guys. Love Me Whole is one of the most beautiful love stores I've ever had the pleasure to read or listen to. I love the uniqueness of it. The emotions it evoked in me. I’m sorry that I’m rambling, but Audiobook review Wow... just wow... How in the world am I going to write anything about this book that will even come close to describing how wonderful it was? I haven’t the faintest idea. I’m kind of speechless right now, even a couple of days after finishing it. I’m so filled with love for these guys. Love Me Whole is one of the most beautiful love stores I've ever had the pleasure to read or listen to. I love the uniqueness of it. The emotions it evoked in me. I’m sorry that I’m rambling, but this book….well… this book… The plot might seem like a simple one; boy meets boy in a marketing class at college (Vaughn and Oryn). Or I guess I should say men as they were 28 and 35 when they first met.... Anyway they get to know each other, fall for each other, overcome a few hurdles and then live happily ever after. This book is so much more than that. It is all about the journey. Accepting the differences in people, each other’s scars, looking beyond the surface and know the true person underneath. But also accepting one self and knowing that you are worth to be loved, to have happiness, friends – a family. Oryn isn’t like other people. He is really shy, stutters at occasion and in general keeps to himself. However, Oryn isn’t only Oryn. He’s also Reed, Cohen, Theo, Cove and Rain. He’s all of them, and all of them are him, his system, his alters. They are his way of coping with life. He developed DID - Dissociative Identity Disorder due to childhood trauma Oryn. Reed is the protector and fronts whenever Oryn feels threatened or scared, he’s a few years older than Oryn and also straight. Cohen is the social butterfly, the flirt, the twink. He’s 19 and out and loud and proud and typically fronts in social or intimate situations. Theo, asexual, is the organiser in the bunch and in general tries to keep everyone on track. He’s also a great cook. Then there is Rain, the five year old boy obsessed with all things Batman. Lastly there is Cove. He is self-destructive, self-loathing and in so much pain. He alone carries the memories what happened during their childhood. Oryn is scared of Cove, at war with him and it causes dissonance in the system. As an outsider looking in, this all fascinates me. It’s not something I’ve come across before in books or real life. In some movies sure, but let’s agree on throwing those out. I can’t speak to the accuracy of it, but the way James portrayed DID felt real, and after this book I can only say that I have the deepest respect for everyone living with DID, in person and as a loved one. This book is character driven and told solely from Vaughn’s point of view, we see though his eyes, hear his thoughts and share his feelings. However the book is also mostly focused on Oryn and all of his alters, getting to know them, their personalities, triggers, wants and needs. But also navigating what it meant to be in a relationship with someone with DID. I had so many emotions while listening. I was teary eyed for every step forward Vaughn and Oryn (and all of his alters) took. Each hurdle they overcame. Sure there were set-backs, but they fit. I loved it, I loved it all and was so engrossed in this story that I just had to listen to it all in one go. However, now, after finishing I’m also left thinking “what about Vaughn?” Like his best friend Evan said, he also needed some time to focus on himself and not only living for Oryn and his alters. Something struck a chord with me while listening and it was a conversation between Vaughn and Reed, the first time they really talked. Where Reed, was checking out a woman in the bar and Vaughn was getting a bit jealous. Reed shared that Oryn was the only one that was allowed to date. It made me sad in a way. I mean the alters were each their own personalities, with unique mannerisms, speech, and even different looks from Oryn. I know that they are all part of the whole, the system, but still, it made me feel for Reed, knowing what he could never have, but still seemed to want. I’m not sure how that would work and I know that it’s up to the individuals in a DID relationship to set up limits. But it’s something that got to me all the same. Adam Gold was outstanding narrating this book. He captured Oryn and all his alters just perfectly in regards to different speech patterns, voices and personalities. I loved Rain, his eagerness and exuberance truly shone through. As did Reeds protectiveness of Oryn. And Cove… the pain he felt was there in every word. And they hurt. They hurt a lot. Gold captured it all and really highlighted all of the emotions and brought you into the world, sharing it with Vaugn and Oryn and everyone else. I'm so glad to have had the privilege to listen to this book. If you haven’t had the pleasure yet, please do pick this book up, you won’t regret it. It’s a beautiful tale that highlights that love is for everyone willing to take the chance. A copy of this audiobook was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

  21. 4 out of 5

    ~nikki the recovering book addict

    5 stars! Wow.. this was riveting. I avoided this book for awhile because I didn’t know how the author was going to handle this disassociative identity disorder. As in, would it be super heavy or, on the other side of the spectrum, be comedic? I wasn’t sure if I could have handled it in either extremes. So I came into this slightly worried and apprehensive although what bolstered me was having had experience reading a Ms James novel. I shouldn’t have worried! This was handled with utmost respect 5 🙌🙌🙌 stars! Wow.. this was riveting. I avoided this book for awhile because I didn’t know how the author was going to handle this disassociative identity disorder. As in, would it be super heavy or, on the other side of the spectrum, be comedic? I wasn’t sure if I could have handled it in either extremes. So I came into this slightly worried and apprehensive although what bolstered me was having had experience reading a Ms James novel. I shouldn’t have worried! This was handled with utmost respect and care that I’m floored. Completely floored by such a complex character and for all intents and purposes, a pretty difficult plot line to tackle. I take my hat off to Ms James and gladly kowtow to her for not only attempting this character and storyline but acing it completely! Multiple times I wish we had more information about Oryn’s childhood but I think that would have detracted from his DID. And I think the author made the right call to focus the story on Oryn and not his childhood because that would alter the essence of the story drastically. I enjoy reading Ms James’ books. I learn so much about people or topics I normally wouldn’t ever encounter in real life. For me that refreshing and expands my horizons and I’m truly thankful to have found Ms James! Sorry, I’m gushing 😅 I’ll just...slide this way...don’t mind me...🏃🏻‍♀️ whoops, wrong direction 🙈 😂 Seriously tho, awesome, awesome read this one 👏👏👏

  22. 4 out of 5

    DW

    Love Me Whole is one of the sweetest books that I have read in a very long time. I was all in my feels with this one. Oryn was such a sweet and gentle soul. He wanted to be normal but was scared to death. The multiple personalities that he had was all he had ever known. Oh and Vaughn has to be the most patient and selfless person ever. His love for Oryn was the sweetest. He accepted all six of his personalities even when a couple made it difficult. I had no idea what it was about going in. It was Love Me Whole is one of the sweetest books that I have read in a very long time. I was all in my feels with this one. Oryn was such a sweet and gentle soul. He wanted to be normal but was scared to death. The multiple personalities that he had was all he had ever known. ❤️ Oh and Vaughn has to be the most patient and selfless person ever. His love for Oryn was the sweetest. He accepted all six of his personalities even when a couple made it difficult. I had no idea what it was about going in. It was on KU and I just bought it. So so sweet!! ❤️❤️

  23. 4 out of 5

    ⚣ Marco ⚣

    Billions and billions of stars! Billions and billions of stars! 💖💖💖

  24. 5 out of 5

    Teri

    I don't even know what to say. It won't be enough. This book was amazing. Like nothing I have ever read. It was painful and sad at times, but hopeful and sweet too. I was nervous often. Vaughn was such a great guy, really trying to be patient and really wanting to understand when others had just avoided. Oryn was so sweet. I loved everything about this, even the pain (view spoiler)[ cove broke my heart-the writing the screaming, the "I'm ugly, I'm bad" all that self-harm, god it was frightening I don't even know what to say. It won't be enough. This book was amazing. Like nothing I have ever read. It was painful and sad at times, but hopeful and sweet too. I was nervous often. Vaughn was such a great guy, really trying to be patient and really wanting to understand when others had just avoided. Oryn was so sweet. I loved everything about this, even the pain (view spoiler)[ cove broke my heart-the writing the screaming, the "I'm ugly, I'm bad" all that self-harm, god it was frightening and I understood where oryn was coming from, but it was so...just gut-wrenching. I wasn't sure about Reed at first, while I "got" his place in the system and all, he made me cringe in the beginning. (hide spoiler)] Highly recommend. This is my second novel by Nicky James, both 5 stars--total auto-buy for me going forward.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jay

    4.5 stars -- It's been a while since I last wrote a review (I've been on a self-imposed hiatus), and a longer review is forthcoming once I've had time to collect my thoughts, but I will say that this was a very good way for me to get back into reading romance. :-)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    A complimentary audio was provided in exchange for an honest review. This was such a good story. I don't know that I have the words to adequately express how amazing this story was. I am going to start with the narration because without it, this book would not have been nearly as captivating or enthralling. I have not listened to anything by Adam Gold before, but that is an oversight I will rectify at the first opportunity. Adam Gold is a rare talent, in my opinion. He has everything you want in A complimentary audio was provided in exchange for an honest review. This was such a good story. I don't know that I have the words to adequately express how amazing this story was. I am going to start with the narration because without it, this book would not have been nearly as captivating or enthralling. I have not listened to anything by Adam Gold before, but that is an oversight I will rectify at the first opportunity. Adam Gold is a rare talent, in my opinion. He has everything you want in a narrator: a good voice, range (multiple characters sound unique), emotion, the ability to integrate sound effects and voice effects. Adam made this story possibly ten times more enjoyable than if I had just read this. Now that I have gushed over the narration, on to the story. :) I don't recall ever reading a story about multiple personality disorder, now known as disassociative identity disorder (DID). The blurb for this story caught my attention right away and I was just waiting to fit this in to my reading schedule. When the audiobook offer came my way I knew this was the right time. I would guess most people don't think of the life experiences of others. We know our experiences and be they good or bad, I think we as a general rule in society also tend to assume most people live like our experiences teach us. Just as an example of what I mean, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the story, a teenager who is caught drinking or doing drugs gives the automatic justification statement of "all kids/teenagers drink/smoke/do drugs/have sex." We all know this isn't a true statement, but it's an individuals experience that drives them to assume "everybody" does "it." The reason I bring this up is because of Oryn. Oryn has not had a "typical" life or upbringing. And Vaughn's life experiences in no way teach him that DID is a thing, and while intellectually Vaughn know child abuse exists, it's not something he thinks about (because his life experiences didn't show him this). We don't even know what really happened to Oryn, which is something I am legit upset about. I wanted to know who did what to Oryn (not the nitty gritty, but enough to understand). But regardless, we still know something bad happened to Oryn and it's because of that history that Oryn created multiple identities to handle a past he doesn't remember. Reed is Oryn's protector. Cohen is an outgoing, flirty nineteen-year-old who shows up to handle social situations Oryn can't. Cove is the one who suffered the abuse from their childhood. He is self-destructive and it's unknown what triggers him to push forward, but Oryn's refusal to let Cove have any control is tearing them apart. I think Cove alone knows what happened to Oryn as a child. Theo is the one who cooks and I think cleans. He is not usually around in social situations and is the most like Oryn in personality but Theo can function better. They get along the best. Rain. OMG, he stole my heart. Rain is five years old and is innocent. He represents the childhood Oryn was denied. All Rain cares about is playing, having fun, and of course all things Batman. Each of these characters won me over, even the jerk Reed. :) Reed comes around, but this was literally a group effort. All of Oryn's personalities had to work thru Oryn's history to finally find peace and happiness and balance. It's thru Vaughn and his love and determination that Oryn finally gets his happily ever after. Vaughn is a special person and is genuinely a kind man who wants to befriend a lonely and shy Oryn. They team up for a class project and things progress to friendship, to love, then lovers. It wasn't easy, far from it. Oryn's DID is a frustrating aspect to getting closer. There were no overly dramatic ups and downs with their relationship, for which I am so grateful. Neither thought they should leave the other to "protect" them. They both knew what they wanted and went after it. I don't want to spoil the story or the ending so I will say they do have a happy life. (view spoiler)[Oryn, Reed, Theo, Cove, Cohen and Rain are all still present in their lives and they have finally learned to coexist. And Vaughn has grown to love each of them as individuals. Oh, and there is a wedding at the end. :) (hide spoiler)] If you love emotional, touching stories about characters that seem so real and genuine, you will love this story. If you are an audio lover, I highly recommend this as opposed to reading. 5 stars all around and I would love it if we get more (even short) stories. Checking in with them would be such a treat.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cristina

    Love Me Whole is the second novel I've read by Nicky James after Rocky Mountain Refuge and, once again, I fell in love with the characters, the story and the author's writing style. Vaughn, 35-years-old and a bit adrift in life - boring job, no real prospects, no relationship - decides to enrol to an evening marketing class at his local college. There he meets the shy and elusive Oryn and slowly begins to discover a whole new reality that will challenge his securities and ideas on life. Oryn Love Me Whole is the second novel I've read by Nicky James after Rocky Mountain Refuge and, once again, I fell in love with the characters, the story and the author's writing style. Vaughn, 35-years-old and a bit adrift in life - boring job, no real prospects, no relationship - decides to enrol to an evening marketing class at his local college. There he meets the shy and elusive Oryn and slowly begins to discover a whole new reality that will challenge his securities and ideas on life. Oryn suffers from dissociative identity disorder and getting to know him means getting to know also his five alters. Each one of these identities has his own life, personality and history and Vaughn finds himself dragged into Oryn's puzzling and painful existence. I won't tell anything here about Oryn's alters and how Vaughn gets to interact with them because following him in his journey of discovery and awareness is certainly one of the best things about this compelling and beautiful novel. I really appreciated how Nicky James didn't turn her novel into an investigation into Oryn's past and the trauma that has caused his DID. That awful history of abuse and violence that has forever rewired his brain to protect himself is left unsaid and not knowing it means feeling even more invested in Oryn's story, who's the first one who has no idea of his past and childhood. There is no discovery, no retribution, and also no easy solution. Oryn grows into understanding more about his condition and Vaughn offers to the whole of him all his support and love despite setback and incidents. The concept of 'normality' is constantly challenged by the novel. What does it mean to be normal? And what happens when someone doesn't conform to society's norms? This novel really made me think about that and I loved the quiet pace of the narration, Vaughn's narrative voice - eager to be there for Oryn and sincere in his affection but also puzzled and doubtful - and the beautiful quality of James' writing style. Love Me Whole is a novel to cherish and go back to. Highly recommended.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dee Wy

    I'm in awe that the author was willing to take on one of the most complicated mental illnesses on the books: dissociative identity disorder, commonly known as multiple personality disorder. Although childhood trauma and abuse were mentioned multiple times during the story, thankfully the author did not provide any detail, so the reader is spared reading something horrible. Oryn is very brave in dealing with his challenges, and when Vaughn offers to partner with Oryn in a college class I'm in awe that the author was willing to take on one of the most complicated mental illnesses on the books: dissociative identity disorder, commonly known as multiple personality disorder. Although childhood trauma and abuse were mentioned multiple times during the story, thankfully the author did not provide any detail, so the reader is spared reading something horrible. Oryn is very brave in dealing with his challenges, and when Vaughn offers to partner with Oryn in a college class assignment, Oryn shares his mental health issues to warn him off. Most people would have walked away, but Vaughn is drawn to Oryn and decides to research his condition instead. Long story short they work together and Vaughn is faced with trying to cope with what happens to Oryn when other personalities take over and he is dealing with "people" he doesn't know. Fascinating story I couldn't put down. Great ending. Loved it!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Gabi

    4.5 stars I can't tell you the most interesting thing about this book, I just realized, cuz spoiler. lol Vaughn was very patient. It's hard not to get whiplash when you face 6 personalities in one body, and when the switch happens frequently and sometimes without a warning that it's about to happen. It's chaotic. Sometimes this wasn't the most exciting book, they did mundane things, but just when I wanted to take a break, because I didn't much care about them exploring a museum, an alter would come 4.5 stars I can't tell you the most interesting thing about this book, I just realized, cuz spoiler. lol Vaughn was very patient. It's hard not to get whiplash when you face 6 personalities in one body, and when the switch happens frequently and sometimes without a warning that it's about to happen. It's chaotic. Sometimes this wasn't the most exciting book, they did mundane things, but just when I wanted to take a break, because I didn't much care about them exploring a museum, an alter would come forward and make it interesting. Which coming out of my mouth, sounds horrible. I think people with DID would much prefer a quiet day without any excitement. So this isn't the kind of book that would make you grip the edge of your seat, bouncing up and down. But it's fascinating. Not Oryn in particular but how Vaughn tried to navigate their very fragile relationship in a sea of uncertainty. It was really emotional. I also wouldn't call this a particularly dark book. There isn't even a mention of anything dark, more like a conjecture, speculation of what might have happened to Oryn in the past that resulted in 5 alters to come forward. And at times I teared up, because he himself didn't even remember the reason. He just knew that something bad had happened.... oh, no... there is something that might trigger some people: (view spoiler)[ suicide attempt, but I don't think it was really an attempt more like a call for help?... or, the physical manifestation of the inner pain, he wanted to hurt just as much on the outside, as he was hurting on the inside. (hide spoiler)] I seriously feared the ending. Just this one time I did not want a perfect HEA. I can't tell you why, cuz that would be a spoiler too. The length of the book allowed the relationship to develop in a slow but steady pace, and also for us to understand someone who lives with this disorder. The balance was perfect, the romance did not get overshadowed by the struggles of living with a disorder, unlike in the Trials of Fear series, in my opinion. It's a beautiful love story and I liked it lots and lots. :)

  30. 5 out of 5

    AGandyGirl

    Together we are strong. Together we will survive. The mind amazes and scares me. Knowing people in my life who have mental issues and seeing firsthand the images and situations that can be created within the mind is fascinating but also so damn frightening. The mind holds really all the power over the human body and to see a mind conjure up such vivid images and thoughts is scary. And yet, the mind can also protect the body by guarding memories from coming forward. How? I am utterly amazed. Ok I Together we are strong. Together we will survive. The mind amazes and scares me. Knowing people in my life who have mental issues and seeing firsthand the images and situations that can be created within the mind is fascinating but also so damn frightening. The mind holds really all the power over the human body and to see a mind conjure up such vivid images and thoughts is scary. And yet, the mind can also protect the body by guarding memories from coming forward. How? I am utterly amazed. Ok I am crying now. This book is one that I feel will stay with me for the rest of my life. I fell in love with all of these beautiful characters and personalities. Their differences, their similarities and yet their common love for Oryn. Their true desire to protect. This is not a book I can easily review however. This is a journey and an experience that as a reader you just need to submerge yourself into. DID, or Dissociative Identity Disorder, from what I have since read further about on line, is so amazingly and accurately depicted in this book. Written with such care and compassion. Yes, disorder is chaotic. Yes, it is chaos. And yet for me this disorder is offering protection. It is creating safety and love and the mind is trying to hold together something that could spiral out of control if it were not doing so. For me this book is about order not chaos. This is about the mind finding a way. And Vaughn…gaaahhh sweet Vaughn. If everyone could look at another human being the way Vaughn looks at Oryn, this world would be a better place. Ok literally, I cannot see my screen through the tears. I need to stop now. Read this book. Just read it. Go in with as accepting of a mind as Vaughn, and while you will be as scared as he is at times, you will feel so many similar emotions, conflicting thoughts and will be equally challenged by what is considered “normal”. Realize not every relationship is the same, not every mind is the same and certainly not every love is the same. *Highly recommended*

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