Audiobook Review: Out of Nowhere (Middle of Somewhere #2) by Roan Parrish, Narrated by Spencer Goss

The only thing in Colin Mulligan’s life that makes sense is taking cars apart and putting them back together. In the auto shop where he works with his father and brothers, he tries to get through the day without having a panic attack or flying into a rage. Drinking helps. So do running and lifting weights until he can hardly stand. But none of it can change the fact that he’s gay, a secret he has kept from everyone.

Rafael Guerrera has found ways to live with the past he’s ashamed of. He’s dedicated his life to social justice work and to helping youth who, like him, had very little growing up. He has no time for love. Hell, he barely has time for himself. Somehow, everything about miserable, self-destructive Colin cries out to him. But down that path lie the troubles Rafe has worked so hard to leave behind. And as their relationship intensifies, Rafe and Colin are forced to dredge up secrets that both men would prefer stay buried.

From the beginning of Out of Nowhere, Roan Parrish’s words and Spencer Goss’s narration will grab a hold of your feels by the scruff and not let them go until the end. It is one hell of an emotional ride and the payoff is worth every heartrending moment.

In general I’m not a fan of angsty books. I don’t normally seek them out, as RL is hard enough, I read to escape and I don’t need to make a trip to Anguish Island. Which is really stupid, because some of my favorite all time reads are the angsty ones. Because, when it’s done right, the story is amazing and that’s exactly what Out of Nowhere is.

I didn’t read or listen to Middle of Somewhere yet, I did immediately buy it after finishing this one. I can’t decide if that’s good or bad considering the overwhelming loathing of Colin I read about in reviews for Middle of Somewhere. I will say, as far as the story arc goes, I had no trouble following along or getting the gist of what a total dick he was to Daniel in the first book.

Colin is a hot mess from page 1. The dude has so much self-loathing it’s amazing it can be contained in one body. He’s been living a lie since he figured out he’s into men. But, has he really figured it out? Nope, not even a little bit. His confusion and loneliness make him lash out and make stupid, dangerous decisions, just to feel something. Colin truly believes he does not deserve any good in his life and when he gets a chance of something good with Rafe, he grabs what he can and then beats himself up after.

The author did an amazing job of showing me what was going on in Colin’s head in a way that captured all of his confusion, but her translation gave it the clarity it deserved so that as a reader, I really GOT it. Colin shouldn’t have been a sympathetic character, but damn, I felt everything for this poor broken bastard.

And then, Spencer Goss comes along and breathes so much life into Colin’s voice. His “Broken Colin”, that’s what I called it in my head, was pure gold. It hurt to listen to, but I couldn’t get enough. It would happen when he’d open up to Rafe. It was so hard for Colin to put his feelings into words, so when he did, they really meant everything. I can only liken it to listening to the most heartbreaking of songs and while you hate the words because they are killing you to death, you listen to it again and again, because the bittersweetness of it all is just too good and the voice skips over your brain and goes right to your heart, sets up camp and makes you empathize with all the emotions.

OK, now I see why I don’t read the angsty stuff. I’m a ridiculous sap when I do apparently. Good Lord, I want to make fun of myself right now.

 Anyway . . . there was a lot going on in Out of Nowhere; family drama, mental health, at-risk youth, reinventing characters, yeah, a lot. But, the author balanced it all really well and each piece played an integral part to the overall story. None of it was superfluous and the MC’s had more depth because of everything that was playing out. Rafe was no angel, but one of my favorite things about Out of Nowhere was the view each MC had of the other. While each of them struggled individually, the other MC could see all the amazing potential and strength in the other. It took a long time for each to believe, and rightfully so, but I loved every little breakthrough.

And then there’s my other favorite and seriously , my most favorite thing in Out of Nowhere, the kisses. And yes, I’m going to go all sappy again. You know how I said Colin has trouble communicating? He has so many emotions and has never learned the skills needed to express himself, so he gets overwhelmed and shuts down. Rafe sees Colin’s struggles, especially with intimacy, and being the smart cookie that he is, devises a system. When Colin wants to give Rafe the green light, all he has to do is give him a kiss. This sweet little scheme kept the communication door open, proved it can be done in more than words and led to some of the most endearing moments in the story.

Out of Nowhere is by no means an easy read/listen, but it is so worth every moment. Roan Parrish wrote a beautiful story of love, family and personal redemption and Spencer Goss brought it to life. I loved every heartbreaking word and the ending was completely worth the journey.

For more information on Out of Nowhere and the whole Middle of Somewhere series, check it out at Dreamspinner Press.

**a copy of this audiobook was provided for an honest review**

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