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.
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Expressive and poignant. An all-time favorite.
- Dianne T.
No character voices.
Warm and fuzzy, slightly angsty, contemporary romance that's solidly enjoyable particularly because of characters Rex, Ginger and Leo.
Daniel Mulligan has been working for twelve years towards the moment when he can defend his dissertation and be awarded his Ph.D. He's interviewed, but the only job available is in the middle of nowhere, in picturesque but boring Holiday, Michigan. For Philadelphia born and raised Daniel, this is not exactly the optimal outcome. The one thing that the town has going for it though is the guy who saves Daniel after a minor car crash, Rex Vale.
Rex is big, brawny, and quite shy. He doesn't quite know what to do with Daniel, and Daniel definitely doesn't quite know what to do with Rex...aside from jumping his bones.
The sex in this is hot and steamy and oh-so-good.
I like that we get to see the full progression of Daniel and Rex's relationship. Though there's some friction, mainly due to Daniel's family, Rex is consistently there for Daniel and heart-swooningly wonderful.
Told entirely from Daniel's point of view, I would have really loved to get Rex's. Daniel's a tough nut to crack for the first half of the story...he has some thoughtless actions, and his attitude isn't fantastic...though I came to realize just how damaged he'd been by his life in Philadelphia before moving to Michigan, which gives context to why he is the way he is.
Rex's obvious longing for, love and desire to take care of Daniel, and Ginger's stalwart friendship were, for me, the absolute undeniable highlights of the story.
Now for the narration...first, Robert Nieman does a really good job. He puts a lot of emotion into the story, and I totally believed and fell even more in love with the characters. I really enjoyed the narration, quite a bit more as it goes on, which is good because this is a 13 and a half hour audio.
It should be noted that there are only a few character voices, and none of them are for the main characters, which was more than a little disappointing to me. I really wanted to "hear" Rex's deep voice. I wish I would have known coming into it that was the case, especially since the story is told entirely from Daniel's POV so I could have prepared. I was hoping to get some different voices, but the story is told pretty much entirely in "Daniel's" voice. Also of note, Nieman has a couple of flubs, but not enough to detract or hurt the storytelling.
Even without different character voices, Nieman is very entertaining throughout and best of all: he takes the steamy, sexy scenes and makes them come to life, so all is well in my world.
All in all it's an entertaining read with good narration, lots of emotion, just don't expect character voices.
P.S.: I'm looking forward to the other stories in the series featuring (hopefully) Will, Leo and Colin.