In The Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish
Narrated by: Robert Nieman
Series: Middle of Somewhere (Book #1)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Audiobook Release Date: May 25, 2016
Book Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Audio Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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.
This review is going to be split into a review about the audio and a review about the book itself because I want all of you audiophobes to read this book.
Nieman’s voice is really soothing and he does a very good job with his pacing and tone.
However, Nieman’s vocal characterizations of Rex, Daniel, and Ginger (Daniel’s bff) made it worth the wait. I was impressed with how he changed the inflection of his voice for each character because it let me get immersed in the story without stopping to have to figure out who was supposed to be talking. If for some inexplicable reason I talked to Nieman and he changed his voice I could pick them out in a heartbeat.
My name is close to one of the character’s names in the book and I was listening to this at work (it’s allowed I promise!) so I kept turning thinking someone needed to talk to me when that name was mentioned.
The only downer about the audio book for me was that I wanted to know what happened asap but I had to wait the whole 13.5 hours to find out! How rude is that?
For those of you who have little to no interest in audiobooks you should definitely get the paperback and/or ebook of this. Even though I have the audiobook I am going to go invest in the ebook so I can read this on my upcoming vacation. There are a few scenes in particular that I want to reread a few times in a row to have more feels over.
The main characters are Rex and Daniel and they are loveable as hell. I can’t remember loving both characters in a book this much in a long while. Usually I’ll like one half of a couple more than another in a book even if I enjoy both characters.
Both of these characters suffer from feeling out of place and having trouble making strong connections with other people (me too, pals). Daniel is a snarky academic with ~baggage~ and an equally snarky bff named Ginger who helps him not be a dummy with Rex. He’s still a dummy but I promise that it is charming and makes him more of a loveable woobie instead of a jerk.
Rex is an odd duck. Well, only because you think he’s going to be like other characters you’ve read before but he’s not. He’s this awesome sweetheart muscular guy living in the forest and being generally a competent human being. He’s what Ron Swanson would be like if he actually liked people.
Snarky academics and sweetheart lumberjacks are two of my favorite character archetypes so I was super into this book from the start. Parrish upped the ante by taking these characterizations and giving Daniel and Rex so much more personality and individuality. It made it like I knew these guys personally and it made me more invested in them and their relationship.
You could probably already guess but I absolutely adore their relationship. It is my new standard for the whole opposites attract trope. This has a lot to do with the fact that there was conflict between Rex and Daniel (welcome to human interaction!!!) but it wasn’t because they wanted the other to change. I do not particularly enjoy books where people spend a good time arguing about something that is inherent in or important to the other person.
Another thing Parrish nailed in this book was the humor. The characters all had their own sense of humor and it translated really well to my own humor and what I find funny. It was great that Parrish was able to include the side characters (Ginger, Will, Leo) in on this and add more to the friendships in the book. It made everything seem like you were reading a book about people that you had known for a while. In a non creepy way I promise…
I wish I could have listened to this book faster. I was binge listening to this and I was like oh I have 7 hours to go before I know exactly what happened. It was a fantastic book and it made my heart expand three whole sizes. Don’t worry though it’ll shrink back.
Now if you’ll excuse me I need to go look up Parrish’s other books to see what’s up.
ROAN PARRISH is currently wandering between Philadelphia and New Orleans. When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. 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.
You can find out more about Roan and her works over at her website (click here!).
Both books in this series are currently on sale on the Dreamspinner Press website! Check them out now before the sale ends! You can read El’s review of Out of Nowhere (Book 2) here ()
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.