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 do 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.
(Book one reviewed here https://openskyebookreviews.com/in-the-middle-of-somewhere-by-roan-parrish/)
Wow! This book is completely gutwrenching on so many levels. Colin. Oh my poor Colin.
I’ll start by saying that you absolutely must read the first book in this series “In the Middle of Somewhere”. In that book we first meet Colin and he truly did not leave a good impression on me. Colin was rude, foul mouthed and was so cruel to his brother Daniel. He would tease Daniel and say all kinds of homophobic things to him. “Out of Nowhere” really lets you in and shows you exactly why Colin is so hateful.
In fact, he’s such an unlikeable person that at times it was hard to read. Colin made me so frustrated – I wanted to punch him- probably because he’s so full of self-hate and in complete denial of his sexuality.
Colin lives his life to please his father and is completely jealous of his brother Daniel (who was brave enough to come out to their family). As a result, he punishes himself continuously with alcohol and exercise. He uses running as a way to escape the thoughts in his head.
Throughout the story Colin gave me the impression of “living in his head”. This leads to him misinterpreting what family members and other people say – especially his brother Daniel. (Later on in the story we learn of other ways Colin punishes himself and it’s truly heart-breaking.) But… what girl doesn’t love a damaged man? And the hope that someday he will fall in love and everything will work out in the end? That’s what keeps ya readin’… knowing his redemption is going to be oh so delicious the more horrible he is at the beginning.
I love how the Roan Parrish was able to make my feelings for Colin go from “intensely dislike” to “love”. A true sign of a great author.
Colin has to face some very hard truths about himself and his life. The author showed us that Colin gained purpose through his work with the YA group and by teaching others. Mikal, Ricky and DeShawn are great secondary characters. Colin grew so much through his experiences with these youngs kids and of course…. Rafael.
Ah Rafe. Rafe is a saint. Rafe has a past of his own and has made something positive out of his life with his work with the YA group.
Rafe is Colin’s very own knight in shining armor. He literally comes to Colin’s aid one night as Colin is getting beat up. He saves the day and there begins a complicated frienship/attraction. Rafe shows Colin how to care for others – including himself. Rafe shows Colin through his work with the YA group that everyone’s life has its ups and downs and everyone deserves to be happy and they deserve a second chance.
It’s not an easy road for Colin and Rafe. The author navigates their relationship so well. It’s not all hearts and flowers and insta-love. These guys have to work for it -especially Colin. Rafe’s instinct to be a caretaker make him want to be there for Colin since he touches something deep inside Rafe’s heart.
I loved how the author shows the stories overlapping. I am such a big fan of Daniel and Rex it was great to see another perspective on the boys’ childhood.
Daniel and Colin have very different memories about growing up. Colin believes that Daniel thinks he’s too good for their family and couldn’t wait to move away from them. Whereas Daniel believes that no one really cares about him. Once Daniel comes out to his family it changes everything.
When a tragic event strikes the family it becomes even more apparent how split apart this family is. Colin has to come to grips with some pretty serious issues and once his eyes begin to open he can start the repair process to salvage the relationship between himself and his brothers. Colin comes to slowly realize he’s living a lie and once he accepts certain truths – then he can grow and that is when the magic happens.
This is truly a wonderful story. It’s a story about life, love and the complications of family. Through the love of one man Colin is able to rise above all of his self-hate and learn to love himself. This is a very passionate book full of intense scenes. It’s easily ranking as a favorite of mine.
If I could I’d give it ten stars! Highly Recommended.
Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review