Rating: 5 stars out of 5 ★★★★★
The only thing in Colin Mulligan’s life that makes sense is taking cars apart and putting them back together. In the auto shop where he works with his father and brothers, he tries to get through the day without having a panic attack or flying into a rage. Drinking helps. So do running and lifting weights until he can hardly stand. But none of it can change the fact that he’s gay, a secret he has kept from everyone.
Rafael Guerrera has found ways to live with the past he’s ashamed of. He’s dedicated his life to social justice work and to helping youth who, like him, had very little growing up. He has no time for love. Hell, he barely has time for himself. Somehow, everything about miserable, self-destructive Colin cries out to him. But down that path lie the troubles Rafe has worked so hard to leave behind. And as their relationship intensifies, Rafe and Colin are forced to dredge up secrets that both men would prefer stay buried.
Colin Mulligan’s story runs concurrently with book one in the series. As we know, he’s an ace when cars are involved, but everything else in his life is a puzzle. When the story starts, we get immediately immersed into Colin’s rage and self-hate. We get to experience, first hand, how he deals with it and the extremes he gets into in order to find some peace. In that first scene, we get exactly who Colin is and what he things about himself.
After spending some time with his best friend, Colin finds himself in a local club looking for a hook-up. He first crossed paths with Rafe at the club, but goes with a different man instead. Even so, Rafe is there when Colin needed him even if he didn’t appreciate the help. The following day, Rafe founds a way to see Colin again and from that moment on, the road to their future starts.
From this point on, the reader gets to experience the ups and downs of Colin’s and Rafe’s relationship, the daily troubles, and how they deal with everything changing around them. They get to interact with a multitude of characters that would shape their path and change how they see their life worth.
This is a complicated story with complex characters, but in the end, we get a resolution that fits their growth. The MCs have a lovely relationship with a strong HFN and a positive outlook for their future. Yes, it’s filled with angst, hurt, pain, and many other dark aspects, but the MCs’ journey compensate for all their suffering.
Out of Nowhere has everything I like about a book. Dark and damaged characters, trials and tribulations, amazing chemistry and sex scenes, and the opportunity to see how hard the MCs work for their happiness. Plus, mentorship and charity programs. What else is to ask for? Older characters! Colin is thirty-six.
Disclaimer thought, I may, or may not have cried a little reading this book.
Well? Okay, going back to the beginning. I’m glad I survived book #1, In the Middle of Somewhere, which I rated 3.5 stars after considering a DNF. In that book, we met Colin through his younger brother’s eyes. And we get a little peek at Rafe. Neither is to say that Colin’s and Daniel’s relationship was not an easy one, but we learned from both books, that Colin was Daniel’s hero when they were younger.
The majority of Colin’s darkness comes from hating his brother, not for being gay, as Daniel see it, but of envy at Daniel’s courage. Colin’s self-hate absorbs all his time and thoughts, and it only gets worse when he acts on his desires. He pushes his physical boundaries with demanding exercise sessions, lack of sleep, and alcohol to numb his feelings.
His hopelessness makes him vulnerable to others, and he hates himself even more because of it. He welcomes pain as a relief from life, no matter where it comes from. Until Rafe, literally, saves him. From their first encounter, we get to see Rafe’s need to help and Colin’s uneasiness. They recognized each other’s potential and want to do better for the other. Slowly, they started a relationship that tested them many times and only the tentative strings of their relationship kept them from falling apart.
I loved how Colin integrated himself into Rafe’s life and social work, even when his constant panic attacks threaten him at every turn. We see the internal and physical changes in Colin as the story progresses and have a chance to understand the man he had become over the years. The events told by Daniel during the first book, make a difference when told by Colin and we get to experience how this affected them and their family.
With love and understanding, Rafe gives Colin the strength he needs to come back to life. He’s forceful when he needs to, but he is the reason Colin take the first steps to recovery. He has his own problems, and we get to see them almost destroy him, but having Colin on his side and depending on him allowed Rafe to let go and be rescued in return.
Between all this pain, hurt, and angst, there’s a group of great supporting characters that would steal your heart if you let them. They are the perfect antidote to all the moodiness in this story. And for those who loved book #1, there’s a lot more Daniel and Rex to fill your greedy hearts.
Great cover by AngstyG. It shows an important moment in the story. Plus, the darkness represents Colin’s inner troubles and Rafe’s past perfectly.
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ebook, 274 pages
Published: February 29, 2016, by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English
Series: Middle of Somewhere
Book #1: In the Middle of Somewhere
Book #2: Out of Nowhere