Title: In the Middle of Somewhere
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Author: Roan Parrish
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 is a contemporary novel that follows two young men who have to learn to be true to who they really are. They are total opposites from each other, yet the attraction between them is too hard to deny. This leads to some intense, but not always happy moments.
Daniel comes from a tough background, one where showing emotions isn’t something that happens regularly, unless it’s to give him a hard time for being gay. Deciding he needs a change, he applies for a job at a small college. Once he gets to Michigan he begins to wonder where the hell that crazy idea came from. Rex is comfortable in his little cabin in the woods. Since he does not do well with change, Rex has no plans to ever leave Michigan, even though some in town are leery of him because of his size. Rex is an easy character to like and from the beginning I found myself drawn to him, and I am not the only one. The connection between these two men is instantaneous, but because the feelings they bring out in the other is so different from anything they have ever known, they are unsure what to do or how to act.
The book has some well written secondary characters that play important parts in this story. There are also some angst moments that make you wonder if the couple will find their HEA. There are also moments that will have you close to tears, as well as a scene that will surprise the heck out of you.
In the Middle of Somewhere is written in the first person from Daniel’s point of view. While not always my favorite writing format, I love the way this author handles everything. First, Daniel is snarky as all get out, which the author brings through wonderfully. More than once I found myself chuckling at something he said, more often than not when he was freaking himself out thinking about horror movies. Secondly, I loved the way she introduces these two to each other. Granted the fact that Daniel runs over a dog sucks, but the way he man’s up, and tries to find a way to help her and ends up running into Rex was fantastic.
I think those who love this genre should give this book a try. It is entertaining and will keep you reading from the first page to the last. The characters, including many of the secondary ones, grab your attention and you can’t wait to see what will happen with them. I was glad that I was able to give this story a shot and will look for more from this author.
Reviewed by: Lydia