Author: Roan Parrish
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Rating: 4.50 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 07/10/2015
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Contemporary, Drama, Gay, M/M Romance, Romance
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.
First of all, holy wow, what a cover. Those beautiful tattoos fit my picture of Daniel just as well as they fit the story in and of itself, since tattoos play quite a big role.
Next, the writing. My exasperated first thought (“oh sh**, not another 1st person POV present tense again”) almost immediately made way to “hey, that’s not so bad”, quickly followed by “wow, that’s awesome”. There aren’t many books that totally rock 1stPOV present like this one does. It brings Daniel’s voice to life – and he has a lot to mull over. Which also suits him well, since words and language are his profession and he’s been used to his own company for most of his life. Well, except for his best friend Ginger, which is why Daniels inner voice sounds like her sometimes, adding a little humor to his ramblings. However, his inner monologue felt a bit repetitive at times.
The characters I found well-drawn, not only Daniel and Rex, but the secondary cast, too; especially Daniel’s father stood out to me, completely out of his depths as he was with his so particular son.
While I empathized with Daniel and felt for him, I totally fell in love with Rex. He’s just adorable–sweet and built, shy, intense, smart, romantic, good with animals and good with his hands.
Daniel and Rex’s relationship was insta-lust, but still a slow build. Lots of angst on both sides, misgivings and misunderstandings got into their way. The focus of the story was entirely on the relationship. I loved how the erotic tension AND the tenderness almost jumped off the page. Beautifully done.
I had some minor issues with this book, mainly with regard to one particular subplot around one of the side characters. Well, this is book one in a series, so I get it that there’s got to be a book two, which will be likely centered around said side character, but I found his introduction rather awkward. A twist that threw me right out of the story. Also, the sex scenes between Daniel and Rex – undeniably hot as they were, I could’ve done with less of them.
Those small niggles aside, this is a very enjoyable book, beautifully written, with well-drawn characters and just the right mix of angst, emotion and sensuality to make it a beautiful romance. And it has a dog named Marilyn.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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