Monday, March 14, 2016

[Review]: "In the Middle of Somewhere"

In the Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (July 10, 2015)
Series: Middle of Somewhere, 2
Genre: M/M Romance -- Contemporary

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.

Where to Buy*:
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My Review:

You may recall I had this cover as a L4C when it was revealed. I mean, look at that cover! How could I not? But, like so many books, it went onto my GR "want to read" list, and has been there ever since. When it was on sale a few weeks ago, I quickly snatched it up, but it was thanks to @gimmethosebooks -- AGAIN! -- that I bumped it to the top of my March reading list. And once again, I'm so glad I listened to her.

There's something about Rex that makes me feel calm. As if I'm scattered until the moment I see him and when he touches me I fly back together in a configuration that makes sense.

Daniel has a lot of issues because of his childhood and home environment. Considering how he was treated as a kid, I can't blame him at all. Rex may be the strong, quiet one, but he, too, has a painful past. For both men, their past truly molded them into who they are today. They're both "broken", in a way, but together . . . well, together, they're able to pick up the pieces and move towards a future.

I must admit, there's something about Parrish's writing style that took me a bit to get into. For the first chapter or so, I wasn't fully invested in the book, though I was more than happy with the story premise. I can't even pinpoint what it is about her writing (perhaps Daniel's stream of consciousness at times?), but regardless it did grow on me and before long I was fully immersed in the book -- and a very unhappy reader when I was interrupted.

I do wish we could have had Rex's POV, too, but perhaps I'm a bit greedy like that. :)

I nip at Rex's full lower lip and he growls, frustrated, and grabs my ass in his hands, pulling me against him and lifting me off the ground to hold me against the tree with no effort at all. I wrap my thighs around his hips and he thrusts against me.

I've never been with someone so built, and his strength is driving me crazy. It's like I could do anything to him without hurting him and he could do anything to me, which makes my mind spiral to a thousand places at once.

He pushes harder against me, spreading my legs with his body until he can grind against me. He's holding my whole weight like it's nothing and as he rocks into me he brings our cocks into perfect alignment.

"Fuck," I breathe, stiffening with the effort of not coming right away. It's been too long. He eases off a little, still kissing me, and lowers me to the ground.

I can't even begin to tell you how hot this book was. It's hard to explain why a book is sexy. Any reader will tell you it's not just about the explicitness, it's something more -- something in the writing, something in the chemistry between the characters, as well as the reader's connection and care for the characters. When all of that is combined, and the author knows how to write a good sex scene, well  . . . it's explosive, to say the least. In the Middle of Somewhere was one of those rare Super Sexy books, for all the reasons I listed and more.

"You look at things that you think are nice or happy or cheerful and you think they're too good to be true. You think they're too good to be real, so they must actually be bad."

But it gets even better. Besides being hot as fuck, this book was also so damn sweet! And by that, I mean it was so sweet to see both men open up and take care of each other -- mostly Rex taking care of Daniel, to be honest, but that care is reciprocated by Daniel, too, just less often and in a different way. I could have happily read about Rex cuddling Daniel for pages, or Rex's desire to take care of Daniel's needs (and no, I don't just mean the obvious ones in the bedroom, though Rex definitely has a focused mind when it comes to that!). It was all just . . . gah, so good and left me with a smile on my face. I just wanted to see these two men finally happy, and that's what I got.

I wanted to point out this great scene (below) because I couldn't stop laughing while reading it. I can't say there's a lot of funny moments like this in the book, but there are a few. This one stood out the most for me.

"What's this?" Leo asks, peeking into the pot on the stove.

"Hemlock," Will mutters.

"Oh my holy god," Leo says, sounding genuinely upset.

"What?" I ask, thinking he burned himself or something.

"Are you boiling bacon?"

"Um. Is that wrong?" I say.

"Argh! I want to punch you!' Leo says.

"Sadly, we all know you can't," Will says, elbowing him out of the way and using tongs to pull a piece of bacon out of the water. It definitely doesn't look the way it does at the diner.

"Bacon, bacon," Leo chants, like some demented, carnivorous monk.

"Why the fuck would you boil bacon?" Will asks.

"Um. I thought it would be like hot dogs?"

"Jesus Christ, you boil hot dogs. You poor thing. I take it all back. Thank god Rex found you."

"Thank god Rex found him, why?" Rex asks, walking in the door.

"Rex," Leo says plaintively. "I -- he -- and -- he boiled the bacon."

Rex looks in the pot and then looks at me and bursts out laughing.

"I didn't know!" I say.

Rex puts his hands on my cheeks and kisses me, shaking his head.

I'm curious how book two will turn out; Colin was such an ass to Daniel, and for me to forgive him and love him by the end, there's going to have to be A LOT of explaining and changing.

4 1/2 STARS! 

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I bought a copy of this book.

*Note: The quotes used belong to Roan Parrish; TBQ's Book Palace does not claim them. Any mistakes or typos in the quotes are my own fault.

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So. Good! I'm definitely keeping an eye on Parrish's future books now. :D

BTW, I'm guilty of boiling hot dogs. Yes, yes, I know. But don't worry, boiled bacon is a HELL TO THE NO. :P

Remember, since this is a Royal Pick, come back on March 31st for a chance to WIN an ecopy of your own!


Until Next Time,


  *TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

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