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I read this story when it was first released, and was deeply moved by Daniel's awakening heart. This audio version, featuring superb narration by Robert Nieman, tripled my pleasure. In The Middle of Somewhere is first and foremost Daniel's story. It's told in first person present tense, with much of the running commentary occuring soley in Daniel's head, so it was crucial that the voice for this story be convincing. No worries here. For me, Mr. Nieman IS Daniel. He captured the character to perfection, and crafted every minute of this 13 hour story into pure listening pleasure. I don't know if it was a conscious decision, but the voice of the other characters are performed as being not very distinguishable from Daniel's. I believe it was done this way because the reader/listener is purposely submersed in Daniel's take on the world around him. I realize not all first person narratives are performed this way, but it worked for me in this case. Who said what was still perfectly distinguishable. Daniel was telling me everything.
This book grabbed me by the gut and wrapped itself around my heart. It has become one of my favorite reads of this year. Daniel and Rex are incredible, intriguing leading men. I absolutely fell in love with Daniel’s inner voice, as well as his outer one. Writing this story from his POV, really worked for me as his impressions of the world around him, his new town, the people, the atmosphere, even Rex, made me feel as though I were experiencing them myself. The added mix of a fated dog, good cooking, musical references, and a setting in my native Michigan didn’t hurt. ;-)
The basic plot for ‘In The Middle of Somewhere’ seems fairly simple. Two “opposite” type men meet in an unlikely location, are attracted to each other, get to know each other, and end up realizing they are as necessary to each other as the air they breathe. Thing is, this story, this author’s writing, is anything but simple. As with most people, Daniel and Rex are both products of their pasts -their childhoods, their family dynamics, their personal successes, struggles, and deepest hurts. They have both built walls around their true emotions. They share the trait of making judgements about others based on pre-conceived notions, and acting defensively out of self- preservation. Subconscious it may be, but it sure plays havoc on their budding relationship – whatever it may be. As I was reading, there were occasions which made me sit up with my mouth gaping, thinking “oh crap, that’s what has been going on with him/them.” Seems I had been guilty of preconceptions too. Brilliant writing.
Daniel and Rex are attracted to each other, and okay, sex is a pretty easy fall- back position. No emotion necessary, right? Wham bam and maybe a thank you. Only… not so quick. Even early on, both men are getting something from the other that they have been missing. And I don’t mean generic sex. Of the two, Daniel is the less aware (accepting?) of this fact. Gradually they begin to push each other’s boundaries, to find out more of what is under the other man’s skin. Through genuine caring, gentle (and not so gentle) coaxing and a few more of life’s hard knocks, there is a shift in their relationship. They are able to demonstrate vulnerability and intimacy, both emotionally and physically. Raw, wounded, and craving emotional closeness, this new vulnerability makes for some of the most honest merging of two souls that I have ever read. Their sex morphs from great chemistry to white hot, sensitive and stirring. Talk about getting inside each other literally and figuratively, they had that going on. These scenes absolutely contributed greatly to character and relationship development. Daniel and Rex’s cathartic soul searching – sometimes via light moments, sometimes via snot laced crying jags, sometimes via sex, sometimes all three at once – resounds with realism.
This story is far from an angst-fest. There is a lot of witty humor and levity. Much of this is provided by Daniel’s best friend, Ginger. Daniel and Rex move steadily, though cautiously, forward, often with the help of their closest friends. There are some minor setbacks and detours, but they become adept at coaxing candor from of each other. Ultimately they find themselves feeling safe enough to share their deepest personal demons.
This book had a profound emotional effect on me. Again, the writing is amazing and evokes such a great connection with the characters and settings. I can still vividly picture every location, can smell the welcoming aroma of pine, cedar, roast chicken and freshly baked gingerbread enveloping Rex’s cabin haven. Reading the end scene, I was smiling like a big old, satisfied, love sick fool wrapped in a cocoon of contentment. I did fall in love with Daniel and Rex and their impassioned journey. I fell in love with Roan Parrish’s expressive, poignant writing. This book is one of those that will stay with me for a long, long time.
25 of 25 people found this review helpful
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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.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful
I've actually read this book before but when I was initially browsing Audible for my first audio book, I was recommended the second one. I wanted to refresh my memory and loved it the first time round.
I can honestly say that I loved it even more the second time around. A beautiful world is created by Roan Parish and his characters have such depth and an intense relationship. Robert Nieman's voice is perfect for it, I can just imagine this being Daniel's voice. It's so easy to listen to. I originally planned just to listen at work, but that was too slow for me so I ended up with it at dinner time and evenings too.
I can't wait to listen to the next book from Roan
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Great story with some originality. Obviously quite sappy but very well narrated. I enjoyed the mix of characters and unrealistic plot but it did strike a chord.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Like cuddling in bed with a warm blanket and tea while it rains. If the bed also contained a super hot guy wanting to jump you every 5 seconds.
Did this book focus to much on sex? Possibly. But who cares because listening to this book was more fun than all the serious books in the world.
Sweet. Sappy. Romantic. Hot.
Roan Parrish you are a wizard.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
if my friend was into this type I would thoroughly recommend it it is loving, funnt and ver y sedy.
What was one of the most memorable moments of In the Middle of Somewhere?
when the two characters finally fell in love and said so to each other
Have you listened to any of Robert Nieman’s other performances? How does this one compare?
not sur ebut I really loved this one, if I sind any more of hi sbook I will get them?