Happily Ever After Book Nerd Favorite
The Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish
Series: Middle of Somewhere #1
Published: July 10, 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
Genre: LGBTQ+ Contemporary Romance
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.
I loved this book and found myself captivated and unable to put it down. I love good, strong, character driven romances and Roan Parrish does a fantastic job with this one. The romance is wonderful and when I say romance I mean the little things. All the hugs, small touches, little kisses. The day to day parts of a relationship that build intimacy, trust, and love. Daniel and Rex might have insta-lust and jump into things quickly but they have a nice slow burn to the other aspects of their relationship.
Rex, Rex, Rex! He might be one of my new favorite book boyfriends. I loved his quiet, shy demeanor mixing with his confidence when he was with Daniel in the comfortable environment of his home. He’s so protective and sweet and gentle. Rex is particularly demonstrative and I loved it because his care and his expression of his caring was so great. I LOVED the scene where Rex describes how he first met Daniel. Since this book is completely from Daniel’s POV it was a really great moment to see deeply into Rex’s thoughts and emotions. It was so sweet.
“There’s something about Rex that makes me feel calm. As if I’m scattered until that moment I see him and when he touches me I fly back together in a configuration that makes sense.”
Daniel goes through a lot of personal growth in this book and it was really great to read about. Often times characters are stagnant in a book but not the case here. He really grows in how he learns to trust Rex and others, how he opens himself up to others, and how he learns to accept that not everything has to be met with anger and fists. I do wish Daniel had shared his nightmares with Rex. He shares everything else about his ex and his family and Rex can somewhat guess that Daniel has been hurt in the past, but that conversation never happens, even though Ginger urges Daniel to share what he’s going through. I would have thought that Daniel would have a better understanding of why his students might be struggling with their papers. After all, Daniel didn’t finish college through the traditional route and he knows what it’s like to feel like he doesn’t get or have what others do. He eventually realizes how hard he’s being but it takes him a little while.
Series Note: I have to say that though I plan to read more by Roan Parrish, I will not be reading the next in this series, Out of Nowhere. Due to my personal opinions and preferences, I just can’t read about Colin as a romance hero after all the cruel things he put Daniel through growing up, regardless of his troubled and tortured reasons for doing it. If this doesn’t bother you, then go for it as many people loved the second one.
5 stars – loved it!
Middle of Somewhere reviews
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