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

A Lila Review: In the Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish

Standard

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

In the Middle of Somewhere coverGrad student, Daniel Mulligan is the youngest of four brothers. They were raised by their father after their mother’s death. The oldest three followed their dad’s path, working with him in the family’s car repair shop. Daniel knew at an early age that he wanted to do something different in order to escape everyone’s shadow. He’s working on his dissertation by the time the story starts.

 After applying to multiple jobs across the country, including in his home state of Pennsylvania, he gets an interview in Holiday– a small college town in Michigan. After the interview, faith intervened and he meets Rex Vale. They have great chemistry from the moment they met and a second chance encounter gave them the opening to reconnect and explore a possible relationship.

Their time together allowed them to learn more about themselves and how they work together. We get to see how real life interferes with the relationship they are trying to build and how events out of their control morphed their perceptions of what they had achieved until that point.

Even so, we get a strong HFN that can be considered the start of a HEA.

 In the Middle of Somewhere is a book that showed on my friends’ newsfeeds almost every day when it was first published. Most reviews were grouped into two camps, like it or hate it. I’m in the middle, no pun intended. It was a hard book to read and rate. I didn’t no connect with Daniel or Rex until the seventy percent mark. If I had to rate the book up to that point, I’d had given it two stars– a DNF was a very real possibility early on. For me, the last part of the book redeemed the characters and their love story. Perhaps, a solid four for that part.

 Getting used to the book’s POV, first person present tense, didn’t take much. After a couple of paragraphs, I had no trouble with it. Unfortunately, the POV created a distance between the narrator and the reader. As a narrator, Daniel felt younger than his thirty years. His internal dialogues were repetitive and all over the place. It was easy to get annoyed by him and miss important parts of the story.

 It took me longer than normal to finish reading it because the middle part is longer than necessary. The day-to-day events became monotonous and the time lapses too wide. One thing I enjoyed about this story were the secondary characters. They saved this part of the story giving us a welcome distraction.

 The first rays of love between Rex and Daniel are what make this book worth it. The MCs come from different backgrounds and have different ideas of what they wanted from life, but when they are together, nothing else matters. Their slow built and quiet companionship let the reader see how two damage boys became smart and loving men against all odds.

 As the first book in the series, we didn’t get all the answers we would want about particular events or the MCs’ future, but there’s enough information to entice the reader into reading the next book.

 The cover by AngstyG works well with the story setting and the characters. I just wish the model representing Rex was a little closer to the book description, though.

Sale Links: Dreamspinner | Amazon | ARe

 Book Details:

 ebook, 350 pages
Published: July 10, 2015, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781634768702
Edition Language: English

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

A Mika Review: In the Middle of Somewhere (In the Middle of Somewhere #1) by Roan Parrish

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

In the Middle of Somewhere coverDANIEL MULLIGAN is tough, snarky, and tattooed, hiding his self-consciousness behind sarcasm. Daniel has never fit in—not at home with his auto mechanic father and brothers, and not at school where his Ivy League classmates look down on him. Now, Daniel’s relieved to have a job at a small college in Northern Michigan, but, a city boy through and through, when Daniel arrives in Holiday, Michigan, it’s clear that this small town is one more place he just won’t fit in.

REX VALE clings to routine to keep loneliness at bay: honing his large, muscular body until it can handle anything, 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. Though he loves the quiet and solitude of his little cabin in the woods, Rex can’t help but want someone to share it with.

When Daniel arrives in Holiday, they are smitten with each other, but though the sex is intense and explosive, Rex fears that Daniel will be one more in a long line of people to leave him, and Daniel has learned that letting anyone in could be a fatal weakness. Just as they begin to break down the walls that have been keeping them apart, Daniel is called home to Philadelphia where a secret is revealed that changes the way he understands everything.

Can a scrappy professor, an intense carpenter, and a stray dog make a go of it in their cabin in the woods? Sometimes, you have to go to the middle of nowhere to end up exactly where you want to be.

It took be a while to think of a rating and a review for In the Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish. I want to say first that for a debut book this author nailed it. She did a great job with the characters and the story line. I enjoyed her writing style a lot. She wrote the perfect guy in my eyes. I love Rex, everything about him. I have no bad words for him, I thoroughly enjoyed his character from start to finish. I understand him more that it’s been 2 days since I’ve finished the book. I get that he enjoys the simple things in life, and people. Sure I wanted to throttle him a few times, but he made up for all the little things he did. The internet, the food, the listening, and just being Rex. I want me a Rex now!!!

Now let’s get to Daniel. Daniel was a lost boy if anybody else was. Gah for all his pigheadedness, I still loved him. I kinda felt sorry felt sorry for him, because he did not know love it seemed like. I don’t know if that is true, but from what I seen he was lacking love outside of Ginger. Goodness his brothers were a class act. Ugh I wanted to rip their entails out. Ummm weren’t they born and bred in Philadelphia? Isn’t that the “City of Brotherly Love” Not really! Ugh I hated his entire family. It’s not going to change since I’ve finished the book. I really liked how the author did the supporting characters, Leo & Will, I liked both of those guys.

Why not 5 stars? Well sometimes Daniel inner voice got on my nerves. It was too much at times. I wanted him to have a little confidence of his own, I wanted him to man up at times, and sure he did it, but by then I was over it. I get why he needed the reassurances, but I sometimes just wanted him to spontaneously do something. I wanted him to put himself out there a little bit more. This might be minor to some people, but it was a problem for me. I can’t wait to see more from this author. I thank her for giving us these wonderful characters.

Cover Art by: AngstyG, The Best Cover of the year. It’s been some nice cover, but wherever AngstyG is and these models I want them in my basement! I love this cover so much. It’s really beautiful. I’m going to keep looking at it forever.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press |  All Romance (ARe)  |  Amazon  | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 350 pages, also in paperback
Published July 10th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press LLC
original titleIn the Middle of Somewhere
ISBN139781634762137
edition language English
series In the Middle of Somewhere #1