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.
©2015 Roan Parrish (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press
I do love a good book. I also love a good audio performance of a good book :-)
I read this story when it was first released, and was deeply moved by Daniel's awakening heart. This audio version, featuring superb narration by Robert Nieman, tripled my pleasure. In The Middle of Somewhere is first and foremost Daniel's story. It's told in first person present tense, with much of the running commentary occuring soley in Daniel's head, so it was crucial that the voice for this story be convincing. No worries here. For me, Mr. Nieman IS Daniel. He captured the character to perfection, and crafted every minute of this 13 hour story into pure listening pleasure. I don't know if it was a conscious decision, but the voice of the other characters are performed as being not very distinguishable from Daniel's. I believe it was done this way because the reader/listener is purposely submersed in Daniel's take on the world around him. I realize not all first person narratives are performed this way, but it worked for me in this case. Who said what was still perfectly distinguishable. Daniel was telling me everything.
This book grabbed me by the gut and wrapped itself around my heart. It has become one of my favorite reads of this year. Daniel and Rex are incredible, intriguing leading men. I absolutely fell in love with Daniel’s inner voice, as well as his outer one. Writing this story from his POV, really worked for me as his impressions of the world around him, his new town, the people, the atmosphere, even Rex, made me feel as though I were experiencing them myself. The added mix of a fated dog, good cooking, musical references, and a setting in my native Michigan didn’t hurt. ;-)
The basic plot for ‘In The Middle of Somewhere’ seems fairly simple. Two “opposite” type men meet in an unlikely location, are attracted to each other, get to know each other, and end up realizing they are as necessary to each other as the air they breathe. Thing is, this story, this author’s writing, is anything but simple. As with most people, Daniel and Rex are both products of their pasts -their childhoods, their family dynamics, their personal successes, struggles, and deepest hurts. They have both built walls around their true emotions. They share the trait of making judgements about others based on pre-conceived notions, and acting defensively out of self- preservation. Subconscious it may be, but it sure plays havoc on their budding relationship – whatever it may be. As I was reading, there were occasions which made me sit up with my mouth gaping, thinking “oh crap, that’s what has been going on with him/them.” Seems I had been guilty of preconceptions too. Brilliant writing.
Daniel and Rex are attracted to each other, and okay, sex is a pretty easy fall- back position. No emotion necessary, right? Wham bam and maybe a thank you. Only… not so quick. Even early on, both men are getting something from the other that they have been missing. And I don’t mean generic sex. Of the two, Daniel is the less aware (accepting?) of this fact. Gradually they begin to push each other’s boundaries, to find out more of what is under the other man’s skin. Through genuine caring, gentle (and not so gentle) coaxing and a few more of life’s hard knocks, there is a shift in their relationship. They are able to demonstrate vulnerability and intimacy, both emotionally and physically. Raw, wounded, and craving emotional closeness, this new vulnerability makes for some of the most honest merging of two souls that I have ever read. Their sex morphs from great chemistry to white hot, sensitive and stirring. Talk about getting inside each other literally and figuratively, they had that going on. These scenes absolutely contributed greatly to character and relationship development. Daniel and Rex’s cathartic soul searching – sometimes via light moments, sometimes via snot laced crying jags, sometimes via sex, sometimes all three at once – resounds with realism.
This story is far from an angst-fest. There is a lot of witty humor and levity. Much of this is provided by Daniel’s best friend, Ginger. Daniel and Rex move steadily, though cautiously, forward, often with the help of their closest friends. There are some minor setbacks and detours, but they become adept at coaxing candor from of each other. Ultimately they find themselves feeling safe enough to share their deepest personal demons.
This book had a profound emotional effect on me. Again, the writing is amazing and evokes such a great connection with the characters and settings. I can still vividly picture every location, can smell the welcoming aroma of pine, cedar, roast chicken and freshly baked gingerbread enveloping Rex’s cabin haven. Reading the end scene, I was smiling like a big old, satisfied, love sick fool wrapped in a cocoon of contentment. I did fall in love with Daniel and Rex and their impassioned journey. I fell in love with Roan Parrish’s expressive, poignant writing. This book is one of those that will stay with me for a long, long time.
I love the story, a lovely book, with characters who are easy to believe in and love. The narration is ... okay. I really like Robert Nieman's voice, and he does well with parts of the story, but his pauses, and starts are often badly spaced or in the wrong places altogether. It made for confusion at times because I would think a sentence had ended when it hadn't or a new sentence had started when it was still part of the last one. Worth a listen, but the next two books are simply amazing and the narration is stellar so don't let the weaknesses of this one stop you from continuing.
I'm an unabashed fiction fan: mostly M/M, Romance, Erotica, Suspense, Thrillers, Action, NA/YA genres.
Warm and fuzzy, slightly angsty, contemporary romance that's solidly enjoyable particularly because of characters Rex, Ginger and Leo.
Daniel Mulligan has been working for twelve years towards the moment when he can defend his dissertation and be awarded his Ph.D. He's interviewed, but the only job available is in the middle of nowhere, in picturesque but boring Holiday, Michigan. For Philadelphia born and raised Daniel, this is not exactly the optimal outcome. The one thing that the town has going for it though is the guy who saves Daniel after a minor car crash, Rex Vale.
Rex is big, brawny, and quite shy. He doesn't quite know what to do with Daniel, and Daniel definitely doesn't quite know what to do with Rex...aside from jumping his bones.
The sex in this is hot and steamy and oh-so-good.
I like that we get to see the full progression of Daniel and Rex's relationship. Though there's some friction, mainly due to Daniel's family, Rex is consistently there for Daniel and heart-swooningly wonderful.
Told entirely from Daniel's point of view, I would have really loved to get Rex's. Daniel's a tough nut to crack for the first half of the story...he has some thoughtless actions, and his attitude isn't fantastic...though I came to realize just how damaged he'd been by his life in Philadelphia before moving to Michigan, which gives context to why he is the way he is.
Rex's obvious longing for, love and desire to take care of Daniel, and Ginger's stalwart friendship were, for me, the absolute undeniable highlights of the story.
Now for the narration...first, Robert Nieman does a really good job. He puts a lot of emotion into the story, and I totally believed and fell even more in love with the characters. I really enjoyed the narration, quite a bit more as it goes on, which is good because this is a 13 and a half hour audio.
It should be noted that there are only a few character voices, and none of them are for the main characters, which was more than a little disappointing to me. I really wanted to "hear" Rex's deep voice. I wish I would have known coming into it that was the case, especially since the story is told entirely from Daniel's POV so I could have prepared. I was hoping to get some different voices, but the story is told pretty much entirely in "Daniel's" voice. Also of note, Nieman has a couple of flubs, but not enough to detract or hurt the storytelling.
Even without different character voices, Nieman is very entertaining throughout and best of all: he takes the steamy, sexy scenes and makes them come to life, so all is well in my world.
All in all it's an entertaining read with good narration, lots of emotion, just don't expect character voices.
P.S.: I'm looking forward to the other stories in the series featuring (hopefully) Will, Leo and Colin.
Awesome story, steamy with great dialog but needs heavy editing because some parts just go on and on without advancing story. The narrator though...he totally made this.
This is such a great romance story. Rex and Daniel, gah!! Everyone longs for a love like theirs. There are also amazingly hot sex scenes. Can't wait to find another story this good. I really wish there was a sequel to this one. I was sad when it ended because I liked it so much. The narration is on point too. I'll definitely read this author again.
The most amazing story. TOTALLY GOT ENEVELOPED IN THIS WORK. I think u have a new favorite author and narrator. Kudos to both artists.
Avid listener. Cisfem. Ally. I have a degree in English am getting a Masters in social work and listen to as many books as I can afford.
I don't particularly like print books. They give me headaches. That said, this writer got me so invested in this family - biological and found - that I am considering buying the sequel in print just so I don't have to dither around waiting for it to get recorded. It was that good. Ugh. Boys. My feelings. This author is one to watch. She's going places. You mark my words.
The academia stuff rang so freaking true. I'm a grad student myself and I could relate so intensely to some of the crap Daniel h ad to go through. I'm not a PHD or anything but the drudge of having to slave to get what you want was visceral. Also, the author really captured that feeling of being looked at as being a "know-it-all" when really you just think things are neat and want to share. Oh and the sex. The sex was hot. The most memorable moment though? Definitely in the bathroom. You'll know it when you get there and you wont be disappointed.
Ginger. Camp and delicious without being a hag. She was lovely and fun without being too far over the top.
Some things aren't to good to be true.
Rex is a frigging sweetheart. I wanted to give him all the hugs. I was left wanting more from a certain Mulligan family member and am very excited to see that they will be getting their own book as shall Leo and Will.
And did mention the hot sex? The sex was hot. Hot hot sex. The scene in the woods? Ngh. Lucky my earbuds didnt melt.
I loved this story. The author just became a new favorite! The main characters seemed so real, it was likehistory in the making. Listening with audible was a real treat as well
"Perfect voice for a brilliant book"
I've actually read this book before but when I was initially browsing Audible for my first audio book, I was recommended the second one. I wanted to refresh my memory and loved it the first time round.
I can honestly say that I loved it even more the second time around. A beautiful world is created by Roan Parish and his characters have such depth and an intense relationship. Robert Nieman's voice is perfect for it, I can just imagine this being Daniel's voice. It's so easy to listen to. I originally planned just to listen at work, but that was too slow for me so I ended up with it at dinner time and evenings too.
I can't wait to listen to the next book from Roan
"The Sweetest, most believable gay romance I've listened too in years!"
This book is an amazingly genuine, sweet and delightful story.
The plot is devoid of any predictable over dramatic events, which ruin many romances. Instead, the plot points are simple, effective, realistic and believable.
In the Middle of Somewhere feels more like a heartfelt memoir than a romantic fiction. I would genuinely love to believe that this is precisely how my love life would turn out.
The characters in the story have real depth and emotion and their reactions are realistic and well thought through, rather than the cringeworthy actions and speech that can often inflict the genre.
Any future audiobooks from Roan Parrish will be in my library as soon as I find them. I eagerly await more.
I would absolutely and completely recommend this book to anyone.
"fantastic book excellently narrated"
loved it from beginning to end.
narration was excellent and really made me feel like a part of the story.
Great story with some originality. Obviously quite sappy but very well narrated. I enjoyed the mix of characters and unrealistic plot but it did strike a chord.
What a great book! Loved every part of it, made me smile, cry, laugh out loud.
One of the best gay novels I've read and an excellent recording. Highly recommended.
"Emotional and Hearfelt"
Robert, I love his narration, he did such an amazing job with a very powerful storyline, He brought all the characters to life and made this story even more real.
It is hard for me to compare this book to any other as really I haven't read anything like it before. Don't get me wrong I have read plenty of M/M material but I think is unfair and unrealistic to compare it anything else. I will just say the book was exceptional..
OMG so many! I love the encounter in the forest between Daniel and Rex it was so well described I almost felt like a voyeur into their rendezvous, and I loved every minute. I love Rex showing his sensitive side, so the scene after the cinema date was very emotional, as with most of the chapters of the book, I think I can't pinpoint one in particular.
I have seldom cry with books but with this one, I was a blubbering mess! I love Daniel, I love his quirky, crazy, monologue speaking self; but most of all I love how in spite of life throwing him lemons, he has made the perfect lemonade! He reduced me to tears. And not taking anything away from the Author because ultimately this is his story, Robert OMG he just gave me my perfect Daniel, I felt like he was there talking to me telling me his poignant story.
This book without all the heavy drama that some of the greatest tales of love and survival normally have, could be easily compared to an 1890 Dickens novella where the lead character has come from a poor background or has learnt to make the best of a precarious situation going through life in search of something of value.
I will recommend this book to all lovers of the M/M romance but also to those who appreciate a good solid story with the added benefit of steamy sensual scenes.
"We can experience nothing but the present moment, live in no other second of time, and to understand this is as close as we can get to eternal life." PD James The Children Of Men.
"An enjoyable listen"
I enjoyed this book it kept you engaged without too much angst . Which was exactly what I was looking for. I have already downloaded the next in the series.
Interesting characters, a slow simple story but very hot. Great first book.
I really enjoyed the audio, no over dramatised voices it was kept simple which suited the first person narration. A good match.
"Comforting and Easy to listen "
I wouldn't say this is the most exciting read bit it really is enjoyable akin to a soap opera storyline. it's just great to see a well thought out and convincing gay storyline. All too often we here the coming of age plots, but this is something different a true romance novel. This really is an easy listen and found myself popping it on while pottering about the house, stopped only in my tracks with the odd steamy moment. definitely recommend for anyone interested in lgbt literature or romance in general.
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