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 is the second time that I read In the Middle of Somewhere and I love it even more than the first time. I’d forgotten how amazing this book is! (If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it.)
In the Middle of Somewhere starts with Daniel having a car accident with a dog, after he had a job interview as an English professor at the Sleeping Bear liberal arts college.
He crashes into a tree trying to avoid hitting the dog. Because his car is stuck after the accident Daniel picks up the dog to carry it to the next town to find help. And this is how he meets Rex the first time.
When Rex comes across Daniel and the dog he takes both of them with him to his cabin in the woods to help.
Although Daniel is a bit wary of going with a stranger he doesn’t really have a choice.
At the cabin Rex provides medical care for the dog and gives Daniel a place to take a shower and change into dry clothes. They talk for a bit which then turns into a short – but hot – make out session, which is stopped by Rex because he doesn’t want to take advantage of Daniel. They go to bed and when Daniel wakes up the next morning Rex and the dog are gone and he finds a note with a phone number to a taxi-company.
Fast forward a few months. Daniel has taken the job at the college because it was the only offer he got. And he hopes that he’ll find something better the next year.
Even months after their encounter Daniel still thinks of Rex and can’t decide whether he wants to run into him again or not now that he lives in the same town.
Daniel meets Rex the second time when he’s out taking a walk and suddenly he’s “attacked” from behind by a dog. Turns out that Rex kept Marilyn and she’s excited to see Daniel again. What follows is probably one of the hottest outdoor sex-scenes I’ve ever read. *swoon*
I loved Daniel so much. He grew up having to constantly fight. Be that he had to fight his three older brothers – especially after he came out as gay – and his dad. Or the way he had to fight to go to college, with barely enough money to cover everything, to become a teacher.
He never really had anyone he could trust or were he could relax and just be, except for his best friend Ginger. And he doesn’t know how to let someone in.
His insecurity just about killed me! I wanted to hug Daniel so badly and tell him that he doesn’t have to be the tough guy all the time. Good thing he feels instantly more comfortable with Rex than he ever did with anyone else. And I really enjoyed their chemistry. I loved how, slowly but surely Daniel came to realize that not everyone does things, expecting something in return.
Rex.. *sigh* He comes of as uninterested at first and I remember from the first time I read this book that I was asking myself what his problem was. He was giving some seriously mixed signals with first making out with Daniel and then just leaving a phone number for a taxi-company or later not giving him his phone number but asking for Daniels. And I don’t want to give the reason for that away, just believe me that there is a reason for this behaviour and it’ll all make sense at the end.
Having read In the Middle of Somewhere twice now I know why Rex did what he did, why he did things a certain way and I could enjoy those little clues we got along the way more now. That’s why I love rereads so much. You find little details you don’t remember from the first time or maybe didn’t notice and suddenly the story becomes even richer.
I love Rex so much. He’s such a sweetheart, so strong, yet vulnerable and flawed at the same time.He’s loving and caring. Really the perfect partner for Daniel and they complement each other so beautifully.
I didn’t realize this until the second time reading the book but Rex and Daniel are both more similar than they think. They’re both afraid to be hurt (again) but can’t help to be drawn to one another. I could relate to both of them so easily!
Their chemistry is seriously intense. And the sex-scenes are tender yet hot and passionate. And even though they don’t tell each other that they’re in love until almost at the end of the book, there’s never any doubt for the reader about the feelings between them. It’s shown in the little caresses, in the way Rex takes care of Daniel by cooking for him whenever he can and yes, also in their love-making.
I also loved the secondary characters. Ginger and Will are great and I love their protectiveness. I wish they could be my friends too.
“Look, Daniel, everyone Rex has ever cared about either died on him or left town, okay? Then, here’s you. The hot professor from Philly who’s slumming it in out little town until something better comes along. I mean, I get it; I do. You’re so Rex type it isn’t even funny. The perfect lost cause. I’m not surprised he’s all over you like a dog on a bone. But, before you come in here with your accusations and your self-fucking-righteous demands about Rex, I want to ask you one question. Are you here to stay?”
And not to forget sweet, quirky Leo. That kid is seriously adorable. (Please Ms. Parrish, write a story with him. Please??)
“Are you dating Rex Vale?” Leo asks, his eyes wide.
“Would you quit eavesdropping!”
“I ain’t been droppin’ no eaves, sir, honest,” he says, in a dopey quasi-British accent.
“What are you-?”
“Hello! Sam, from The Fellowship of the Ring? Have you seen a movie released after 1985?”
The writing is absolutely fantastic! It’s gripping and emotional and so vivid that you’re transported to Michigan. You’re *there* in the cabin with a fire crackling in the fireplace, or out in the woods with Rex and Daniel when they meet the second time.
And while the book is long, the story is great and kept me thoroughly engaged the whole time. I love the characters and the food in this book! *moans* I have to mention the food because Ms. Parrish made me SO hungry while reading! There’s a part when Daniel describes Rex kneeding dough and the only word I have for the description is food porn. Yeah, this book features some serious food porn! (The only other books that left me hungry were those by Garrett Leigh. She’s also someone who writes fantastic food porn.)
There’s so many passages I highlighted in this book and I want to share them all, but if I did that I’d probably have a copyright problem with Dreamspinner Press and Roan Parrish, so I’ll refrain from doing so and just advise you to go and read the book NOW! Seriously, don’t wait, go and buy the book!
In the Middle of Somewhere is available for the discounted price of 99 ct right now! Also don’t miss the sequel: Out of Nowhere (out Feb. 29th)!