Book Reviews

Out of Nowhere (Middle of Somewhere 2) by Roan Parrish at Monster Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Blue-Collar Workers / Erotic Romance / Drama
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 29-November-2019

Book Blurb

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 does 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.

First edition published by Dreamspinner Press, February 2016.

Book Review

I can honestly admit that I waited a little bit after reading book one in this series to begin 'Out of Nowhere'. Daniel and Rex's story was so incredible and left me reeling for days. Since Colin is kind of a jerk throughout Daniel's story, at least until the very end, I needed a breather before tackling what I knew was going to be another emotional ride. This book picks up during and before the end of 'In The Middle of Somewhere', and it's definitely Colin's story, but I would recommend you read the first book in order to get the background on these characters.

Colin is such a sad, lonely soul who is very much the stereotype of the closeted gay man, terrified of anyone finding out, scared of what his father and his brothers would do, and so he hides it all beneath a rough exterior. He loves working as a mechanic, drinking beer with his dad and brothers, watching horror movies and sports. But there's a part of him that's started to want to get out, into the light ever since Daniel left. Every time Colin indulges by letting some guy give him a blowjob in the alley behind the gay bar, he's filled with shame, self-disgust, and revulsion. This all leads to his frequent anger outbursts (rage he's had since he was a kid), his rabid working out, and the fights he ends up in.

Rafe carries his own scars deep inside but he's made a path for himself in helping others. He runs the YA, Youth Alliance, for queer teenagers up to age eighteen. He tries to help these children overcome bad home situations by letting them know they're okay just as they are, and helping them to learn life skills. After a frightening meeting between Rafe and Colin, Rafe gets Colin to volunteer at YA on Saturdays to teach the kids about cars and mechanics. The attraction between these two is incendiary, but Rafe won't do a thing until Colin can ask for what he wants. Personally, I thought Rafe might be waiting a really long time because I think Colin's closet is really a cement bunker.

“All I mean is, there’s a huge part of you that’s a secret to all the people you care about. And that means you can’t think about what the future will be like. You’re suspended in the present. Getting through each day without anyone finding out about you. Running hard enough that you feel okay. Drinking enough that you forget about the world long enough to fall asleep and wake up to a new day. Only it’s the same thing then, too.”
My life in his words makes me want to puke. Because he’s right: that’s how I feel most of the time. But… not when I’m with him."

It was inevitable that a blowup would happen at some point and Colin let loose with all his rage and the acid choking him inside. Then his dad dies, Daniel and Rex show up, and Colin lets loose on Daniel because… hell, he doesn't even know. Not until he calls Rafe later and they talk and Rafe tells him that Colin is jealous of Daniel being out and proud, bringing his boyfriend home. Colin has such difficulty understanding his own emotions that sometimes it's as if he's put himself inside a bubble.

Another insanely fabulous novel by Roan Parrish. The writing was so honest and the characters simply pulled me in. I fell for Colin and Rafe, and watching them fall in love, especially Colin, was heartbreaking and achingly beautiful. I'm really hoping there's another book in this series because I'm addicted to the author's writing.





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Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 276 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 18-July-2019
Price $5.99 ebook, $15.99 paperback
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