Where We Left Off (Vallie’s Review)

where-we-left-off
Title: Where we left off
Author: Roan Parrish
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 26, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary
Page Count: 260
Reviewed by: Vallie
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Blurb:

Leo Ware may be young, but he knows what he wants. And what he wants is Will Highland. Snarky, sophisticated, fiercely opinionated Will Highland, who burst into Leo’s unremarkable life like a supernova… and then was gone just as quickly.

For the past miserable year, Leo hasn’t been able to stop thinking about the powerful connection he and Will shared. So, when Leo moves to New York for college, he sweeps back into Will’s life, hopeful that they can pick up where they left off. What begins as a unique friendship soon burns with chemistry they can’t deny… though Will certainly tries.

But Leo longs for more than friendship and hot sex. A romantic to his core, Leo wants passion, love, commitment—everything Will isn’t interested in giving. Will thinks romance is a cheesy fairytale and love is overrated. He likes his space and he’s happy with things just the way they are, thank you very much. Or is he? Because as he and Leo get more and more tangled up in each other’s lives, Will begins to act like maybe love is something he could feel after all.


Ok, this settles it. Roan Parrish is one my favourite authors. Her writing just speaks to me. And the third book in the series is just as amazing as the first two.

This is Leo and Will’s story. Leo has the hugest crush on Will, Rex’s friend from book 1, and decides to go to college in New York in the hopes of becoming closer with him. Will is all about the one-night stands, serial non-monogamist, and weirdly endeared to Leo’s teenage ways.

This is a coming-of-age story. Or rather, it is not a romance in the traditional sense, but a story about romance.

Leo is hopelessly romantic. He is absolutely and devastatingly in love with Will and he will do absolutely anything and everything to convince Will of that. They become friends though and practical circumstances allow Leo to move in with Will over the break between semesters. What happens during this time is what made me fall in love with them. They were essentially a couple but without the sex and the title. From talking about everything to cuddling and sharing house chores, they were everything a couple should be.

You want to talk about the sexual tension.

sexual-tension

Dear lord! It was a palpable thing. Combustible. And when they gave in to it? The emotion, the dirty talk, their closeness, everything was just perfection.

Will was a character that I can see a lot of people having a hard time liking. He is drop dead gorgeous but he resents his looks. He is deeply insecure and manages to keep everyone at a distance because he feels people only care about fucking him. Leo becomes Will’s best friend and when things go to shit, naturally, because Will does not want ”a relationship”, Will is the one I actually worried more about.

The story is told from Leo’s POV and a big part of it is about Leo’s life as a college student, his friends, and his growing up. Leo is literally growing up page after page, trying to figure himself out, thinking about life, about relationships, about what it means to love someone. It is the quintessential coming-of-age story and I absolutely loved it. The writing felt poignant and so introspective and I am completely addicted to it.

There is angst, in the form of Leo’s feelings not being reciprocated for a large portion of the book and Will’s sister. The hurt/comfort levels are nowhere near where the second book was, but they add some weight to the character development.

If you enjoy coming-of-age stories, you will love this one. Like I said earlier, it is not the traditional love story where guy meets guy and they get together. It’s complicated and a little unconventional but I never once felt the romance slipping. It is a story about learning how to love someone in a healthy way and having realistic expectations about relationships. Being in Leo’s head for all those pages…man it made me reminisce about being a teenager myself and questioning everything.

The HFN did leave something to be desired because I wanted to feel the gravel falling once and for all on Will’s bullshit but it was still satisfying. Please put some closure on this faint question mark author! A #3.5 story or some feedback on how they’re doing in a future book would be appreciated.

Definitely a favourite of mine. Highly recommend!

Middle of Somewhere Series


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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Where we left off provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.

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