On the plane ride to RT last month I started to read In The Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish. It came highly recommended by a close friend. I usually don't read on planes because I get restless, and all I want is to get to my destination. Flying is not my favorite. This was one of those rare occasions I actually wanted the flight to be a bot longer so I could continue to read my book. I don't read very many first person present tense stories. Can't remember the last one I did, but this one had me hooked from the beginning. I loved Daniel and Rex, loved getting to know them, watching them fall in love. I felt for Daniel. His situation was a familiar one, and I wanted to see him succeed, wanted him to get his happily ever after.
The author did a fabulous job of slowly building the relationship between Daniel and Rex. She also did an amazing job slowly revealing their characters. Rex was a mystery at first. This big, handsome lumberjack of a guy who lived by himself in a cabin in the middle of snowy nowhere. We get to know him as Daniel does, learn little secrets, heartbreaking stories about his past as well as the challenges he faces at the present. Daniel's family infuriated me, and soon I started to suspect why Colin was such a jackass to his brother.
Which of course brings me to Out of Nowhere, Colin and Rafe's book. The more I read Colin, the more I felt for him. He was filled with so much anger and self-loathing. I loved that both he and Rafe had very real, very deep flaws, both battling their demons on a daily bases. I was exhausted for Colin, having to keep up with all the secrets and lies. Colin isn't good for Rafe. He's on a destructive path that Rafe needs to stay away from for his own good. Reading about these two men, their fight to just get by, to make it through another day without destroying themselves was heartbreaking, and I was rooting for them to get through it, to find a way to be together.
Both these stories were superb, and I absolutely loved them. I was up until the wee hours of the morning reading when I should have been sleeping, but you know, who needs sleep when you're in the middle of a good book? Highly recommend this series.
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.
Middle of Somewhere: Book Two
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 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 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.