Rating: 4.75 stars
Daniel Mulligan is tough, snarky, and tattooed, hiding his self-consciousness behind sarcasm. Daniel has never fit in―not at home in Philadelphia with his auto mechanic father and brothers, and not at school where his Ivy League classmates looked down on him. Now, Daniel’s relieved to have a job at a small college in Holiday, Northern Michigan, but he’s a city boy through and through, and it’s clear that this small town is one more place he won’t fit in.
Rex Vale clings to routine to keep loneliness at bay: honing his muscular body, perfecting his recipes, and making custom furniture. Rex has lived in Holiday for years, but his shyness and imposing size have kept him from connecting with people.
When the two men meet, their chemistry is explosive, but Rex fears Daniel will be another in a long line of people to leave him, and Daniel has learned that letting anyone in can be a fatal weakness. Just as they begin to break down the walls keeping them apart, Daniel is called home to Philadelphia, where he discovers a secret that changes the way he understands everything.
In The Middle of Somewhere
I kept hearing about this book on line, on Facebook, on Twitter and everyone kept saying the same thing – how great it is, so I decided to check it out and bought a copy. What a smart move that was! Turns out all the chatter about In The Middle of Somewhere doesn’t even begin to give it justice. This is one of those you can’t put down, you stay up late into the night reading and when it’s over? One heck of a book hangover! I want more! This is storytelling at its finest, characters so well developed you feel as if you know them, unexpected developments, one hell of a story twist (sorry, no spoilers!) and toe curling, shiver inducing, steamy, romantic, full of feels hot sex. Yowza!
Handsome, fit, dark, tattooed, snarky Daniel. Son of an Irish Philadelphia family, brought up in the world of car mechanics and garages, youngest of four brothers and the only one to go to college and want a life beyond his blue collar background. Tormented by his brothers as the youngest, and even more tormented when they find out he’s gay, he wants to move on. Add a crushing experience with his first steady boyfriend in college and you get the final varnish on the emotional wall he’s built for himself and his inability to let himself be vulnerable enough to show love.
“You know,” he says, and he sounds a little shy. “You kind of look like you could be one of those old-time Hollywood leading men.” I look up at him, startled. He’s looking at me intently, leaning forward, but his eyes are sad, dark. “You’d be wasted on black and white, though. Your eyes.” He makes a vague gesture toward my face, then turns away.
Gentle, intelligent Rex. A towering man shaped and molded by growing up with his mother, a woman unlucky in love, moving from town to town, man to man in order to care for and give her son a decent life. Always shy, Rex is even further molded by a horrible incident in his youth with his first love (no spoilers!) and a deep secret about himself that he’s ashamed to share with anyone. Learning early on that life is cruel and that one way, or another, people will leave him he lives the life or a loner in the pristine forests of Michigan.
He has dark hair and eyes, and a sharp nose. That’s all I can see in the dark. But he is definitely much younger than I assumed. His low voice sounded older, but he looks like he’s in his midthirties. And up close, he is massive, with hugely broad shoulders, powerful arms, and broad hips—how much of that is flesh and how much is flannel remains to be seen. He’s nearly a head taller than me, and I’m not short.
What a great story this turns out to be. Daniel and Rex, such two different men yet so much alike in the walls they’ve built around themselves, unable to trust and love someone for fear of emotional and physical pain. Daniel scarred by his family, his ex-boyfriend and his rough and tumble upbringing in Philadelphia, and Rex. Rex terrified of losing anyone close to him, scarred by his loss of everyone close to him in his youth, he becomes determined to protect anyone the he can even remotely get close to, thus becoming a towering fortress of a man. It’s the interplay between these two characters, and those closest to them, that makes for this absolutely riveting read.
Holy Cow, Batman! What writing! Such descriptive, smooth flowing, delectable prose is a beautiful thing to find, a true joy. Ms. Parrish weaves this story flawlessly, no hiccups, no having to go back because huh?! All of the characters, every single one of them, even the smallest characters, are so well developed you feel you know them – no nagging questions. Daniel and Rex come alive through Ms. Parrish as does an excellent supporting cast: Ginger, Daniel’s best friend and tattoo artist extraordinaire with her own story line; Will, Rex’s ex-boyfriend and current best friend; Leo, the young gay man that reminds Daniel of himself at a younger age; and a whole host of other characters that make this such a rich, satisfying read. Add in Rex’s deep secret, incredibly, impossibly hot sex and a grand story twist at the end and you have yourself a classic!
I purchased my copy of In The Middle of Somewhere because the many positive comments made me curious so I thought it’d be a good personal read, instead I found I absolutely had to review it.
ROAN PARRISH grew up in Michigan and lives in Philadelphia, but is always a few minutes away from deciding to move. A former academic, she’s used to writing things that no one reads. She still loves to geek out about books, movies, TV, and music—now, though, she’s excited to be writing the kind of romantic, angsty stories that she loves to escape into. When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, wandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. One time she might or might not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and cheese. But mostly cheese. You can find her on her website or on twitter. Have questions/comments/ pictures of octopi? Want to recommend a strong cheese or express a strong opinion? Drop her a line on e-mail. She’d love to hear from you.
In The Middle of Somewhere, by Roan Parrish
Published by DREAMSPINNER PRESS
5032 Capital Circle SW, Suite 2, PMB# 279
Tallahassee, FL 32305-7886 USA
In the Middle of Somewhere © 2015 Roan Parrish.
Cover Art © 201AngstyG.
Digital ISBN: 978-1-63476-213-7
Library of Congress Control Number: 2015906026
First Edition July 2015