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DANIEL MULLIGAN is tough, snarky, and tattooed, hiding his self-consciousness behind sarcasm. Daniel has never fit in—not at home with his auto mechanic father and brothers, and not at school where his Ivy League classmates look down on him. Now, Daniel’s relieved to have a job at a small college in Northern Michigan, but, a city boy through and through, when Daniel arrives in Holiday, Michigan, it’s clear that this small town is one more place he just won’t fit in.
REX VALE clings to routine to keep loneliness at bay: honing his large, muscular body until it can handle anything, 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. Though he loves the quiet and solitude of his little cabin in the woods, Rex can’t help but want someone to share it with.
When Daniel arrives in Holiday, they are smitten with each other, but though the sex is intense and explosive, Rex fears that Daniel will be one more in a long line of people to leave him, and Daniel has learned that letting anyone in could be a fatal weakness. Just as they begin to break down the walls that have been keeping them apart, Daniel is called home to Philadelphia where a secret is revealed that changes the way he understands everything.
Can a scrappy professor, an intense carpenter, and a stray dog make a go of it in their cabin in the woods? Sometimes, you have to go to the middle of nowhere to end up exactly where you want to be.
So… I kinda could not put this down. This, after I had almost had a little bit of a scare, thinking it might be an insta-love book. While I don’t mind the insta-love books, I didn’t want this story to turn out like that. I waned to be able to dive into a longer story. One with deeper feelings, conflicts and issues that showed me interesting characters who grow. Not just grow in themselves, but grow together. Thankfully, that’s the kind of book this is, but you should know that this is not fast paced. There is a slow kind of loping feeling to the book. Nothing happens quickly because that’s just not who these people are. It’s quiet as it builds, softly and sweet. As such, In the Middle of Somewhere left me feeling pleasantly sated. Daniel and Rex are two very different people, with very different experiences and lives. When they meet, the attraction is instantly there, but they’re not to quick to declare anything. What happens is a slow burn that left me with that sated feeling that is still here, lingering even days after.
Told from Daniel’s POV, we are intimately involved in all of his neuroses. He really does hide his true self from everyone, with the exception of his BFF Ginger, a woman I instantly loved. She’s so fierce in her friendship and love for Daniel. She’s smart and witty, kind and generous. I wanted to just hang out with her all day. But as she’s the only one who really knows Daniel, the process of figuring him out, and watching him grow was super fun. He’s really a bit neurotic. I swear, sometimes I wanted to shake him. The thing is, he’s really a product, as many of us are, of his environment. When he grew up, he never really felt like part of the family. When he came out, that feeling expanded ten-fold. He’s not had any real friendships besides Ginger, he’s never had a real relationship that functioned as it should. Always worrying about fitting in, always trying to figure out the angle, never really getting it right.
When Daniel and Rex start dating, the learning curve is a pretty big one. The struggles they have, the push and pull of their relationship… that’s what I loved the most. Well, and Rex himself. Rex. He’s quiet, shy, so smart and talented. He’s also very tactile and passionate. He’s calming for Daniel and they work so well together, I don’t know that I’d ever get enough of Rex.
Great writing, complete with fantastic side characters, a story line or 3 that were not fully realized or solved, this book left me wanting the second immediately. Give me the next book! Please? :)