A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Rend (Riven #2) by Roan Parrish

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Matt Argento knows what it feels like to be alone. After a childhood of abandonment, he never imagined someone might love him—much less someone like Rhys Nyland, who has the voice of an angel, the looks of a god, and the worship of his fans.

Matt and Rhys come from different worlds, but when they meet, their chemistry is incendiary. Their romance is unexpected, intense, and forever—at least, that’s what their vows promise. Suddenly, Matt finds himself living a life he never thought possible: safe and secure in the arms of a man who feels like home. But when Rhys leaves to go on tour for his new album, Matt finds himself haunted by the ghosts of his past.

When Rhys returns, he finds Matt twisted by doubt. But Rhys loves Matt fiercely, and he’ll go to hell and back to triumph over Matt’s fears. After secrets are revealed and desires are confessed, Rhys and Matt must learn to trust each other if they’re going to make it. That means they have to fall in love all over again—and this time, it really will be forever.

When Matt leaves with Rhys, the hot guy he meets at a bar one night, little does he know his life was going to change—drastically.

Readers should know that this story can stand alone from the previous book, Riven. And though characters from Riven appear fairly often, the content and context of their interactions is not to the extent that one has to have read their story to understand their role here. They offer emotional support and friendship to the MCs—Rhys has a long-term friendship with Caleb, and Theo, his life partner, befriends Matt in this story.

Much of this story is a psychological study of Matt’s reactions to being with someone who apparently really wants him and doesn’t plan to abandon him in the future. Matt spent most of his life, after his mother failed to come home one day, living with people who weren’t invested in him. First, his aunt, who turned out to be unrelated, and then a series of foster families. His sexual history has been a series of one-night stands so how can he trust in Rhys, a man he meets at a bar, falls in love with, and ends up marrying him two months later?

Rhys, on the other hand, is blithely unaware of Matt’s emotional struggles. Granted, Matt has hidden his insecurities well, but Rhys comes from a totally different world—one of loving parents and family members, and a long-term friendship and on again off again friends-with-benefits standing with his best friend, Caleb. It’s not that he doesn’t want to understand Matt; it’s that Matt’s issues aren’t even on Rhys’s radar.

All is well until Rhys goes on his first tour as a solo artist. After spending years as a backup musician and songwriter, Rhys is finally in the spotlight and eagerly looking forward to the trip. Matt chooses to stay behind because his work at a nonprofit that helps foster kids transition into society after high school graduation is important and fulfilling. And that’s when Matt falls apart. Knowing he’s not really abandoned and yet emotionally crippled from his upbringing, he can’t cope. It’s during this time that Theo provides friendship and support and shows Matt the meaning of having a best friend.

What happens next is the core of the story and the author managed both characters’ emotional reactions, the highs and the lows, beautifully. There were times I wanted to smack each of them—for very different reasons. And there were times I wanted to hug Matt and show him his worth. Getting involved in a character’s life is one of the best things about reading a great story. There’s no way to stand back and watch the action. Roan Parrish sucks us in and we participate in the angst, sorrow, joy, love, and more. This is that kind of story.

By the end, I was hoping for another hundred pages. I can very definitely highly recommend this to all lovers of MM romance.

Cover by Makeready Designs is similar to the cover of Riven with the design mostly white space and the character seen through the large cutout title.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition, 303 pages
Expected publication: November 27th 2018 by Loveswept
Original Title Rend
ISBN13 9781524799335
Edition Language English
Series Riven #2

A MelanieM Review: Rend (Riven #2) by Roan Parrish

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

After a whirlwind romance, a man with a painful past learns to trust the musician who makes him believe in happy endings.

Matt Argento knows what it feels like to be alone. After a childhood of abandonment, he never imagined someone might love him—much less someone like Rhys Nyland, who has the voice of an angel, the looks of a god, and the worship of his fans.

Matt and Rhys come from different worlds, but when they meet, their chemistry is incendiary. Their romance is unexpected, intense, and forever—at least, that’s what their vows promise. Suddenly, Matt finds himself living a life he never thought possible: safe and secure in the arms of a man who feels like home. But when Rhys leaves to go on tour for his new album, Matt finds himself haunted by the ghosts of his past.

When Rhys returns, he finds Matt twisted by doubt. But Rhys loves Matt fiercely, and he’ll go to hell and back to triumph over Matt’s fears. After secrets are revealed and desires are confessed, Rhys and Matt must learn to trust each other if they’re going to make it. That means they have to fall in love all over again—and this time, it really will be forever.

I truly had to think about the formatting of this story and the author’s expectations for it’s promise when writing this review because I think it was a huge factor in how I ended up feeling about the characters and this novel.  You see, in  Rend (Riven #2) by Roan Parrish the story opens right as the two men meet, jump immediately into a  relationship and then the first chapter proceeds when they are already married.  Boom.  It’s a done deal.  The reader has no time to relate to the men, establish a connection to each one, let alone be  able to evaluate any chemistry or depth of relationship.

I believe that was intentional.  Because the marriage and relationship as we slowly find out isn’t based on reality.  Matt hasn’t been truthful about his background and deep emotional issues with Rhys.  Nor has Rhys dug deep beneath the surface with  Matty. It’s a marriage based on wishes, dreams, and smoke. And lots of sex and love.  But that’s oddly insubstantial here because it has no honest foundation.

There is no honest communication between the lovers and, really the reader and Matty too.  We know he is truly a troubled and haunted individual who needs professional help.  Which, horrifyingly no one suggests he gets until 84 percent into the story.  Abandonment issues and the foster care system have done a number on him mentally, emotionally, and that carries over to physically.  We see those results…oh him, his marriage, and his partner who he doesn’t talk to until 80 percent into the story.   Which is when we learn enough about them to start connecting with them all as Rhys and Matty haul together the pieces of their lives, marriage and uncover who they are together….honestly.

Up until then?  Matty remains something of an enigma to all around him and us.  Not a good thing.  He has a close friend, Grim, in Florida.  We don’t see or really hear him to gain any insight into Matty himself until the end of the story, another element lost.

So I understood that the format was to slowly reveal who Matty truly was to Rhys and even himself as he came to grips with his past.  But it came at the loss, at least for this reader, of any connection to their relationship, a sense of questioning why no one got this man the help he so obviously needed earlier on, and just a sense that had we been able to see more of the real Rhys and Matty we see at the end at other parts in the story, this   wouldn’t have felt like such cold read than the romance it ended up being.

I did love Theo and Caleb from Riven, the first story.  Plus Max.  As I said, I think the format kept me from getting to know the characters until too late in the story.  I did learn to love them then and their very HEA.  That’s a terrific ending

There’s another story  in this series on the horizon   and  I know I will have to see who that’s about.  If you are a fan of this series, you no  doubt have already picked up and read this story.  It works as a standalone too.

Cover art is ok but doesn’t really speak to me considering the bleak storyline and its complexity.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition, 303 pages
Expected publication: November 27th 2018 by Loveswept
Original Title Rend
ISBN13 9781524799335
Edition Language English
Series Riven #2

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Riven (Riven #1) by Roan Parrish

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Theo Decker is a rock star—his dream come true. But he hates it. Give him his music and he’s happy, but give him paparazzi, crowds of fans, and no privacy and he’s immobilized with fear. He’s even socially awkward around his bandmates. Riven was a three-person band looking for a lead singer who could compose music when they happened to connect—a match made in heaven, or at least in rock star heaven. But they were all friends before Theo joined them so he continually finds himself on the outside looking in. Uncomfortable is almost too mild a word to describe how he feels both on and off stage when he’s on tour with them.

Caleb Blake Whitman is a formerly famous brilliant musician and a currently recovering drug addict. His fear of relapsing again (his fourth time) is so huge that he’s secluded himself at a cabin in the woods and spends most of his time alone and in his vegetable garden. A former bandmate and lover, Rhys, visits frequently and supports him wholeheartedly. He also has support from his sponsor, Huey, an old codger who says little, but knows much about life.

When the two meet, it’s like the stars collide. Theo is over-the-top excited to meet someone like Caleb and Caleb is in awe of Theo’s talent. As their relationship moves from friends to friends-with-benefits to more, however, Caleb is frightened of the thought of relapse. And he knows it will happen if he allows himself to enter Theo’s world. After all, each time he tried to stay clean in the past, it was something related to touring with his band that triggered him into relapse, and though he wants this time to be different, he’s deathly afraid it won’t be.

What happens along the way makes for a complex and beautiful love story. The author’s treatment of addiction, recovery, triggers, and the need for a sponsor and an outlet for the fears is spot-on. Her portrayal of Theo as a young, insecure musical genius was totally different from what I expected and absolutely perfect for this story. Caleb and Theo belong together and readers should enjoy their journey. It’s not an easy one but there is an HEA and for that I was most thankful.

I highly recommend this story to lovers of MM romance, especially to those who love a story featuring musicians, age gap, hurt-comfort, addiction recovery, and just plain love.

A note about the cover: This is a stunning cover – the best I’ve seen in a long time, unfortunately the cover artist is not listed in the ARC. Most of the cover is solid black with a view of the MC, Theo Decker, through the thick lettering of the title: RIVEN. The author’s name appears below in thin white lettering. This cover is unique and extremely well done.

Sales LInks:  Penguin House | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 235 pages
Expected publication: May 29th 2018 by Loveswept
Original TitleRiven
ASINB0755Z3SH1
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesRiven #1

BOOK BLITZ for NATURAL ENEMIES by Roan Parrish (excerpt and giveaway)

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Natural Enemies by Roan Parrish

Surprise release date: April 17, 2018

Sale: $.99, for one week

Price: $3.99, as of April 25, 2018

On sale at:

AMZ: https://amzn.to/2H2GOvY

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/natural-enemies-roan-parrish/1128496850?ean=2940155618591

On sale in: ebook and paperback

Pages in print: 150

Blurb

When opposites attract, love blooms in unexpected places.

Buttoned-up botanist Stefan Albemarle has felt like an outsider his whole life. As a result, he mostly keeps to himself—makes it easier not to notice that no matter how he tries, people think he’s a know-it-all and a snob.

Freewheeling urban gardener Milo Rios has worked hard to get where he is, and he’s passionate about his job at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. He can get along with almost anyone, but no one has ever made him care enough to stick around.

When Stefan and Milo meet on Milo’s tour of the Botanic Garden, it’s hatred at first clash. But hatred quickly turns to lust as Milo shows Stefan how exquisite it can feel to lose the control he’s clung to for so long. As Stefan’s mask begins to slip, Milo sees a deep vulnerability in the prim academic. Once he’s experienced Milo’s world, Stefan can admit that he wants more from life than professional success. If they can work together, Stefan and Milo just might be able to cultivate the future they both yearn for. 

Excerpt

“Why did you come here, man, seriously? What is this?” Milo asked.

This close, I could see the flecks of amber in his brown eyes, could see the softness of his lashes and the way one of his front teeth was in front of the other. A curl of his hair hung over his forehead and he had a smudge of dirt on his chin. As I watched, his eyelids drifted half shut and I found myself completely unable to look away. I was frozen to the spot and my heart began to race.

“Unless,” he said slowly, stepping right up to me, “you didn’t come here to talk shit at all. Maybe you came here for something else.” His gaze dropped to my mouth and he bit his lip. “Nothin’ to say now?”

I blinked madly, trying to sort things into brand-new categories. Was Milo…hitting on me?

I took a step backward as Milo stepped forward, then another, as if we were dancing. Then my shoulder blades hit the fence and Milo was so close I could smell him—fresh soil and sunlight and the sweetness of light sweat.

We were the same height, so when I looked at Milo, he was looking right into my eyes.

“What’s it gonna be, Stefan?” Milo’s voice curled around my name and it felt like a hand around my cock I was so suddenly turned on. I took a shuddery breath and Milo’s mouth curved in a knowing smile. “Huh,” he said. “That right?”

I closed my eyes and bit my lip. I was so hard and so mortified. How could this be happening? Things like this did not happen. Not to me.

Milo leaned in close and I opened my eyes to see hunger in his expression.

Then he was kissing the hell out of me, mouth hot, tongue slick, a hand at my throat and the other sliding up my back to drag us together.

A shot of pure lust blasted through me and I grabbed at Milo too, squeezing his hips and pulling us together. My head fell back against the fence as he fed on my mouth and I heard myself cry out as his hand slid down to my ass.

I felt like I was dissolving into velvety heat everywhere we touched—mouth and throat and ass and groin—and suddenly it was too much. It had been so long since anyone had touched me. I was so close. I was going to come.

About Roan Parrish:

Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia, where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.

When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.

Connect with Roan:

website |  newsletter  | twitter | facebook | goodreads |  instagram | pinterest

 

 

 

Giveaway:

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Win one of three prizes: 1) swag pack of Roan Parrish goodies or 2) 1 of 2 ecopies of any back catalog book by Roan Parrish (reader’s choice!)

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/88d45f0355/

RELEASE DAY BLITZ: Invitation to the Blues (Small Change #2) by Roan Parrish (excerpt and giveaway)

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Invitation to the Blues (Small Change #2)

Publisher: Monster Press

Release Date (Print & Ebook): March 28th, 2018

Length (Print & Ebook): About 81,000 words

Subgenre: Contemporary romance

Content warning: depression, suicide, thoughts of worthlessness, food issues

Links:

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2GdIBgN

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2EnDP3V

Ibooks: https://apple.co/2BFfDaM

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2C9aiJP

Angus & Robinson: http://bit.ly/2Cudrzz

Book blurb:

Eight months ago Jude Lucen fled his partner, his career, and a hospital in Boston after a suicide attempt. Now back in Philadelphia, he feels like a complete failure. Piano has always been his passion and his only escape. Without it, he has nothing. Well, nothing except a pathetic crush on the most gorgeous man he’s ever seen.

Faron Locklear came to Philly looking for a fresh start and has thrown himself into tattooing at Small Change. He’s only met Jude a few times, but something about the red-haired man with the haunted eyes calls to him. Faron is blown away by Jude’s talent. What he isn’t expecting is the electricity he feels the first time they kiss—and the way Jude’s needs in bed speak directly to his own deepest desires.

Jude and Faron fall fast and hard, but Jude has spent a lifetime learning that he can’t be what the people he loves need. So when the opportunity arises to renew his career in Boston, he thinks he has to choose: music, or Faron? Only by taking a huge risk—and finally believing he’s worthy of love just as he is—can he have the chance for both.

The Small Change series is set in the Middle of Somewhere universe and features crossover characters from that series. Each book can be read on its own.

Content warning: This book contains explicit discussion of depression, anxiety, attempted suicide, and feelings of worthlessness.

Excerpt:

My problem with Faron was that he was stunning.

He was tall and taut, with broad shoulders and an elegant neck. His tawny brown skin was flawless and he had dreamy, gray-brown eyes that always seemed to focus on something in a plane beyond this one. His riot of corkscrew curls was sometimes loose, but today was caught up in a topknot. It had been bleached nearly white when I first met him and was now growing out. His cheekbones were high and broad, casting shadows that made him look like he was candlelit from every angle. His mouth was lush and full, and his rare smiles turned his chiseled beauty to a warmth so engaging that you didn’t ever want him to look away from you.

His beauty was a problem because it made me want him and I hated wanting anything. Desire was the beginning of disappointment.

It wasn’t just his looks, though. I could’ve handled that. I’d known a lot of beautiful people.

No, it was everything.

He was graceful and forceful at the same time. His focus was intense, whether it was on the things that only he saw or on whoever he was listening to. And he made me feel calm—as if he held the whole world in his hands and slowed it down or sped it up to whatever speed I was going.

It was intoxicating: a promise of peace as long as I was in his presence.

A hope.

And hope was even worse than desire.

About Roan Parrish:

Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia, where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.

When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.

Connect with Roan:

website | newsletter | twitter | facebook | goodreads | instagram | pinterest

Rafflecopter code to win 2 e-copies of any back catalog book by Roan Parrish:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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An Alisa Review: The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parrish

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5

Last month, Alex Barrow’s whole life imploded—partner, home, job, all gone in forty-eight hours. But sometimes when everything falls apart, better things appear almost like magic. Now, he’s back in his Michigan hometown, finally opening the bakery he’s always dreamed of. But the pleasure of opening day is nothing compared to the lonely and beautiful man who bewitches Alex before he even orders.

Corbin Wale is a weirdo. At least, that’s what he’s heard his whole life. He knows he’s often in a fantasy world, but the things he feels are very real. And so is the reason why he can never, ever be with Alex Barrow. Even if Alex is everything he’s always fantasized about. Even if maybe, just maybe, Corbin is Alex’s fantasy too.

When Corbin begins working at the bakery, he and Alex can’t deny their connection any longer. As the holiday season works its magic, Alex yearns for the man who seems out of reach. But to be with Alex, Corbin will have to challenge every truth he’s ever known. If his holiday risk pays off, two men from different worlds will get the love they’ve always longed for.

I loved this story, both Corbin and Alex have wanted someone that they needed or that needed them but they either weren’t looking for it or were too scared if it were to happen.  Alex and Corbin first begin with a tentative friendship which builds up to more on both sides but they have to learn how to really open up to each other to risk everything.

Corbin is considered strange but I think he has persevered despite his non-traditional upbringing.  I love the world he has built around him and how he sees the world differently than most.  These things are what initially draw in Alex and he just wants to learn more about this elusive man.

I liked that we got the opportunity to see this story from both characters’ points of view.  We get to see Alex’s open mindedness and
how he doesn’t allow others to influence his life negatively.  I also loved seeing how Corbin’s mind worked, at times it was harder to
follow that others but that was expected but also how he was willing to try and change what could happen in his life despite what he was told as a child.  I loved their support of Alex’s best friend, Gareth, and the support and push they need in return.  I was so happy to see both of these men find their HEA and would love to see a story about Gareth someday.

Cover art by Natasha Snow is wonderful and I love it.

Sales Links: Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:
ebook, 237 pages
Published: November 27, 2017 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-62649-692-7
Edition Language: English

In the Spotlight: The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parrish (Riptide Publishing 2017 Charity Bundle Tour and Giveaway)

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The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parrish
Riptide Publishing

 Read an Excerpt/Buy it here at Riptide Publishing

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Riptide Publishing’s 2017 Holiday Charity Collection Tour.

About The Remaking of Corbin Wale

Last month, Alex Barrow’s whole life imploded—partner, home, job, all gone in forty-eight hours. But sometimes when everything falls apart, better things appear almost like magic. Now, he’s back in his Michigan hometown, finally opening the bakery he’s always dreamed of. But the pleasure of opening day is nothing compared to the lonely and beautiful man who bewitches Alex before he even orders.

Corbin Wale is a weirdo. At least, that’s what he’s heard his whole life. He knows he’s often in a fantasy world, but the things he feels are very real. And so is the reason why he can never, ever be with Alex Barrow. Even if Alex is everything he’s always fantasized about. Even if maybe, just maybe, Corbin is Alex’s fantasy too.

When Corbin begins working at the bakery, he and Alex can’t deny their connection any longer. As the holiday season works its magic, Alex yearns for the man who seems out of reach. But to be with Alex, Corbin will have to challenge every truth he’s ever known. If his holiday risk pays off, two men from different worlds will get the love they’ve always longed for.

Available now from Riptide Publishing!

About the 2017 Holiday Charity Collection

20% of all proceeds from this title will be donated to the Russian LGBT Network.

Each year, Riptide Publishing releases a holiday collection in support of an LGBTQ charity. Twenty percent of the proceeds from this year’s collection will be donated to the Russian LGBT Network.

The Russian LGBT network was founded in April 2006. It is an interregional, non-governmental human rights organization that promotes equal rights and respect for human dignity, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. They unite and develop regional initiatives, advocacy groups (at both national and international levels), and provide social and legal services.

To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visit their website: https://lgbtnet.org/en.

This collection would not be possible without the talent and generosity of its authors, who have brought us the following holiday stories:

Cecilia Tan, Watch Point

Roan Parrish, The Remaking of Corbin Wale

Katie Porter, Came Upon a Midnight Clear

Buy all three in the collection and save!

 

About Roan Parrish

Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.

When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.

She is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary Agency.

Connect with Roan:

Website

Newsletter

FB group

Twitter

Instagram

Bookbub

Amazon

Goodreads

Giveaway

  • To celebrate the release of The Remaking of Corbin Wale, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Amazon gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 2, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

 

A Lila Release Day Review: Where We Left Off (Middle of Somewhere #3) by Roan Parrish

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

where-we-left-off-by-roan-parrishLeo Ware may be young, but he knows what he wants. And what he wants is Will Highland. Snarky, sophisticated, fiercely opinionated Will Highland, who burst into Leo’s unremarkable life like a supernova… and then was gone just as quickly.

For the past miserable year, Leo hasn’t been able to stop thinking about the powerful connection he and Will shared. So, when Leo moves to New York for college, he sweeps back into Will’s life, hopeful that they can pick up where they left off. What begins as a unique friendship soon burns with chemistry they can’t deny… though Will certainly tries.

But Leo longs for more than friendship and hot sex. A romantic to his core, Leo wants passion, love, commitment—everything Will isn’t interested in giving. Will thinks romance is a cheesy fairytale and love is overrated. He likes his space and he’s happy with things just the way they are, thank you very much. Or is he? Because as he and Leo get more and more tangled up in each other’s lives, Will begins to act like maybe love is something he could feel after all.

Where We Left Off is a new adult, coming of age story. The majority of the book is about Leo and his experiences as a young gay man moving into the city; including his first times with sex, lust, and new love. There are a lot of details about Leo’s everyday routine, and his friendships. Rating it solely on this, I could give it a solid four.

As a romance, Will is kept on the outside of Leo’s circle. We get a limited amount of information about him, and it’s difficult to be invested in their relationship. Most of their time together happened off-page, and we are told about it from Leo’s point of view. I think their love story is more of a goal than something they felt for each other.

One thing they do have is a great friendship. I like how Will was a bit of a tutor for Leo; someone for him to feel comfortable asking questions and exploring his sexuality. And this made the smexy times well worth it. They have great chemistry in those moments they spent together as friends and during the sex scenes.

The reasons behind Will’s distant behavior were somehow over the top, and not entirely resolved by the end of the story. There was a lot left to the reader’s interpretation on that front. I also didn’t like some of the events which occurred when the MCs weren’t together, but I can’t say more without spoilers. The book ends with an HFN, but I’m not too sure about the possibilities for it to turn into an HEA in the future.

This book works well within the series but it relates more to the first book than the second. Unfortunately, the second one was my favorite. In the end, if you enjoyed In the Middle of Somewhere, this one is for you.

Another matching cover by AngstyG. It goes with the story, but it’s a bit depressing.

Sale Links

        

 

 

 

Book Details – add it to your Goodreads shelf here:

ebook, 260 pages
Published: September 26, 2016, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781634776912
Edition Language: English

Series:  Middle of Somewhere
Book #1: In the Middle of Somewhere
Book #2: Out of Nowhere
Book #3: Where We Left Off

An Alisa Audiobook Review: Out of Nowhere (Middle of Somewhere #2) by Roan Parrish and Spencer Goss (Narrator)

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

out-of-nowhere audioThe 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 does 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 lies 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.

 

I really enjoyed listening to this story.  Colin has spent so long denying that he is gay he almost believes it himself becoming more and more self-destructive as time goes on.  He only has one friend and is determined to make his father proud of him.  Rafe made some mistakes in his youth and has spent the rest of his life trying to make life better for LGBT teens with opportunities that he never had.

 

This story is told from Colin’s point of view; however, we are able to see Rafe’s emotions, if from a skewed view.  Rafe wants to show Colin that he is worth more than he believes.  When Colin really opens himself up to admitting to others that he is gay, he realizes that he would do anything for Rafe.  Seeing him finally reconnect with Daniel, his gay brother from book one, is wonderful.

 

Spencer Goss did a wonderful job narrating this story.  The use of different voices for the characters helped me keep track of the story.  He did a great job of portraying the characters emotions and feelings in his reading.

 

Cover art by AngstyG is great and follows the series style.

 

Sales Links

 

 

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 10hrs 33min
Published July 4, 2016 (ebook first published February 29, 2016)
Edition Language: English

Series: Middle of Somewhere #2

A Lila Review: Out of Nowhere (Middle of Somewhere #2) by Roan Parrish

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5               ★★★★★

Out of NowhereThe 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.

 Sale Links: Dreamspinner | Amazon | ARe

 Book Details:

 ebook, 274 pages
Published: February 29, 2016, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781634769037
Edition Language: English

 Series:  Middle of Somewhere
Book #1: In the Middle of Somewhere
Book #2: Out of Nowhere