Published by: Dreamspinner Press
Format: Kindle ARC
Genre: M/M Romance
Reviewed by: Judith
Rating: Hands down one of the best romances I’ve read. EVER.
Roan Parrish has a gift. She can take seemingly mundane situations and turn them into something achingly nuanced and compelling. This book is nothing short of breathtaking. It truly is everything you want in a romance: it’s sexy, it’s intimate, the characters genuinely like each other and spend a great deal of their time on the page together talking and learning each other; it reads as 100% natural and nothing about it or their relationship is forced. Not one thing. Get it, devour it, adore it. Then come find me and let’s discuss it cause I just can’t stop talking about this one to anyone who will listen.
Plot: DANIEL 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.
Review: I said it above and I’ll say it again (and again ad nauseum): hands down, one of the best romances I’ve read…ever. How can any one book be so truly, effortlessly amazing? Don’t know! Don’t care! But trust me on this: it is and it will wow you.
Daniel is a tatted, world weary professor who ends up taking a teaching post in the middle of nowhere Michigan. He expects to tough it out for a year or two before moving on to bigger and better things. He has a big family but isn’t close to them and has no real attachments to anyone other than a tattoo artist back home. Rex is a quiet, hulking (and hunky) carpenter without much education and no real family to speak of. He’s honest and unassuming and just an honest to god good person. When these two meet, sparks fly and…well, it’s nearly incendiary. They are equal parts quiet and loving, realistic and open; just two people discovering one another and how to mesh themselves together to become a couple. It’s insanely intimate and reads as wholly genuine.
The thing I adore most about this book and what sets it apart from almost all contemporary romance is, there is no real drama or angst. Don’t get me wrong, there is tension and conflict. I mean without anything at all this story, any story, would be dull dull dull. Yet this is anything but. Daniel and Rex have some big odds to overcome on both sides and they each have their own ideas of how to do it. But it’s not melo-dramatic or angsty. This honestly is a romance in the truest sense. We meet Daniel and Rex right on the cusp of their first interaction and we see how their entire worlds are thrown into upheaval after it. We watch the evolution of them as a couple from the very beginning and watch it grow and change steadily over time. It’s beautiful and natural; there’s nothing that smacks of drama for drama’s sake. It’s just a book about two people learning one another – all the good and the bad – and learning to love in spite of and because of all that. It’s oh so lush and beautiful and refreshing. I never wanted it to end.
Roan Parrish has a writing style that just clicks with me.The words live and breathe – they’re gorgeous and genuine; nuanced in such a way that you feel right along with the characters. For a debut author, her writing is in a word, AMAZING. Literally. There are no flaws. Everything is just spot on and lush. Now it goes without saying, any book that focuses on the intimacies of coupledom, will be a very quiet book and this is no exception. It won’t try to impress you with tons of action or over the top lust-fueled scenes (though the ones we get? SMOKING). But it will make you think; it will also make you laugh and cry as you watch two people meeting and falling in love at exactly the right moment. Sometimes that’s exactly what we need in a beautiful romance. Nothing more, nothing less. Give it a shot and fall in love with Daniel and Rex just as much as I did.
Things you will love: beautifully portrayed and fleshed out characters; hotter than hot sex scenes (so hot; so so so hot); some interesting glimpses into life as an academic; fantastic writing; there’s a dog!
Things you may not like: as I mentioned earlier, this is a very quiet read so if you want something with action and/or angst, it’s not this; dogs?; tattooed main characters?; words?
Seriously, one of my top picks in romance. If there’s one book I would urge you to read this year, it would be this. Give it five pages and you will be hooked.
ROAN PARRISH grew up in Michigan and lives in Philadelphia, but is always a few minutes away from deciding to move. A former academic, she’s used to writing things that no one reads. She still loves to geek out about books, movies, TV, and music—now, though, she’s excited to be writing the kind of romantic, angsty stories that she loves to escape into.
When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, wandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and cheese. But mostly cheese.
In the Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish is available now!