Review: In the Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish

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.

I have to be honest - if you stick a snowy scene on the cover of a book, especially a log cabin in a snow covered forest, the chances are I'm going to read the story, whether I've read the blurb or not. It 's like Russian roulette with books (whaddya mean I need to get out more?) - sometimes the story is great, sometimes not so much. This one I really enjoyed though.

Parrish tells us the story of two people who don't quite fit the mould. Daniel sees himself as not quite worthy of the teaching position he holds, his background is not a family of academics, but of manual workers. He always felt like a square peg in a round hole at home, but going to university didn't change that. He still felt like the odd one out. He spends his whole life trying to fit. To be comfortable with himself and who he is. Don't be mistaken into thinking this means he is an apologetic excuse for a human, because he really isn't. He's just never quite found where he belongs.

Rex is in a similar situation. He has a secret he is ashamed of and builds up defences around himself to counteract this. He is very protective by nature and wants to look after Daniel. Something Daniel is not used to and it makes him feel a bit useless.

I like the fact that, despite their differences, it was their similarities that brought them together. Roan Parrish developed these characters really well and they are the starting point of the whole story. I like how problems were resolved and the characterisations developed as the story went on.

This kind of book is like a hot chocolate to me. Sometimes it's the only thing that'll hit the spot. I thoroughly enjoyed it, the setting, characters and storyline were all fantastic. I'm certainly going to look out for more by this author.
A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.
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