Book Review- In the Middle of Somewhere
I’m going to start off by saying this review is of a book that’s firmly outside off my wheelhouse when it comes to reads. I’m completely fine with books having sexy time and I don’t judge others for reading smutty reads (unless that’s the only thing you’re reading, then we may have to have a talk). I gave it a shot though and basically wish I didn’t.
In the middle of somewhere is an M/M romance set between about a young (early 30’s) professor Daniel Mulligan who packs up and moves out of Philadelphia and into a quaint Michigan town called Holiday where he runs into Rex Vale, a talk dark and handsome stranger. The two quickly find themselves falling for each other and having to overcome their respective hang ups around self-acceptance and what it means to be in love.
Sounds ok right? I thought so too when I picked it up. Unfortunately there were so many chicle’s and cringe worthy moments that I found myself speeding up the pace just to get it over with.
The downsides (there are a lot)
I had the audiobook version and honestly, I can’t bring myself to go back and find quotes to outline just how awful some of the moments were. I’m not sure why romance novelists in general (in my experience) seem to go out of their way to create conflict out of a lack of communications. There are times when Daniel is actually having a monologue where he is justifying his irrational reaction to situations.
Aside from the characters inability to think rationally, huge chunks of time were just missing. From one chapter to another, weeks or months seemed to have passed which made it hard to tell what the timeline was. It was almost like the author said “I have their relationship arc planed but I don’t have the writing chops/time to make it flow naturally so I’ll just skip a few weeks here and there and hope no one notices.” I noticed. I didn’t like it.
In addition to poor plotting and flat characters, I can’t d a book review on a sexy time book with out talking about the sex. The problem is, the sex was…well it was awkward at times. For one, the number of times Rex hit Daniel’s prostate was shocking. It seemed like every scene someone’s prostate was being slammed or hit or touched or tickled. Someone needs to tell this author that’s not how that works. Also, somehow Rex was able to slide 2-3 (very large from his descriptions) finders inside of Daniel with barely any lubrication (OR, in one instance, with conditioner…that’s right, hair conditioner). I had a feeling that this was written by a woman but after that I questioned if it was even written by a human. It
The upside (aside from the fact that it’s over)
Outside of the relationship issues, the book does deal with things like homophobia, the “found family” most LGBTQ people create in their lives, acceptance, and self-worth. That’s really the only reason this ended up with a 2 star instead of 1 but still ended up in my “regret reading” pile. I felt like there was something there, it just wasn’t done well enough for me.
I will admit that I found myself wondering how the characters stories continued in subsequent books in the series but mostly because of the potential, not the author’s ability to create a story I’ll like.
To sum up
I don’t usually do a book review on something I didn’t like but that being said, if you’ve got a few hours to kill and set the bar VERY low, this might be a good read for you. I have to say though that there are plenty of other books that might satisfy the itch of romance or sexy time reading but actually done well, try The Agent of Hel Series by Jacqueline Carey. Carey is one of my all-time favorite authors and her Agent of Hel trilogy is light and fun but still well written and sexy.