Title: Out of Nowhere (Middle of Somewhere #2)
Author: Roan Parrish
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 29th 2016
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary
Page Count: 274 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.9 stars out of 5
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.
It takes real chutzpah to focus the sequel to a wildly popular story on the biggest antagonist from the first story. It takes a really, really good writer to make that story engaging, believable, and engrossing. I couldn’t really believe it at first but Roan Parrish managed to do that for me.
Colin Mulligan is full of self loathing, he self harms to feel something, he drinks too much, and he takes terrible chances to feed that inner monster within that craves the touch of other men. It’s only when he meets Rafael Guerrera, and begins to spend time with Rafe, that Colin begins to work through some of his issues.
I thought the writing is well done, the characters are realistic and believable, and…man, I’m sorry, but I hate Colin. I hated him while reading In the Middle of Somewhere and nothing that happens in this installment warmed me up to the character. I kept waiting for a scene or chapter that would somehow make me like him…but it never came.
On the other hand, I absolutely loved Rafael and felt like he was such a wonderful character. I only wish I could have gotten Rafe’s POV. I absolutely loved Rafe and Colin’s scenes together, and the comfort and passion they shared.
In the end, though, Colin’s character is so well done, and the writing is so good, it kept me engaged throughout the whole story. Parrish weaves a complicated story about a man who has hidden his entire life, a man who loathes himself so deeply that he is intrinsically destructive to himself and the relationships around him, but, ultimately, a man who wants to be better and to love and be loved in return.
The only real complaint I have for the story itself was how the epilogue was written as more tell than show. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the information I got from it, but it felt a little out of place from the rest of the story.
Bottom line: It’s really well written, and I’m definitely looking forward to the next installment in the series.