Title: In the Middle of Somewhere
Series: Middle of Somewhere 01
Author: Roan Parrish
Narrator: Robert Nieman
Length: 13 hrs, 31 minutes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (25th March 2016)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 4.5 Hearts
Blurb: 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.
Review: This is the first time that I’ve experienced Roan Parrish’s writing – in audio or in text, starting the Middle of Somewhere series was really a big step for me. However, I have to say that the blurb took me in – I’m a sucker for the secret tough guy who is also the black sheep of the family. And that is exactly the type of story you are getting here, so if you’re like me and that’s your thing, I say give it a whirl and you will probably be pleasantly surprised.
The story follows Daniel. He is the black sheep of his family. He has been ridiculed by his brothers and father since he was a child – since the untimely death of his mother. At one point as a child his one haven was his big brother Colin but he even lost that – it’s a story line that I loved in the book and was so happy that it was picked up further in the sequel.
Daniel just never fit in, especially once he came out as a teen to his super-macho father and brothers and even more so when he decided that he wanted to go to school instead of becoming a mechanic. It seemed his decision was simple when he decided to pack up his life in Philly so that he could move to the remote town of Holiday to become a college professor. I really connected with Daniel’s woes over his career purely because it was so realistic and I am in the exact same position he is in the book in my real life. Honestly, I didn’t know whether I should laugh or cry.
In Holiday, Daniel meets Rex. Rex is a gentle giant who is painfully introverted. It was the introverted part of his character which I found I was able to come completely connect with. The fact that I connected with both MCs, which of course cannot always happen, was what kept me going with the audio. It was just so easy to get into, though there were times I thought that the pace needed to speed up a bit, but it was nothing that overly bothered me at the time.
Even the narration by Robert Nieman was a first time for me. I have quickly come to have my list of my favorite narrators and Robert Nieman has definitely made the list. He pulls off Daniel’s narration wonderfully (the books was basically all in Daniel’s POV). He pumps the words with emotion, even to the point that I may have shed a tear or two.