Author: Roan Parrish
Narrator: Spencer Goss
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 10 hours and 33 minutes
At a Glance: Spencer Goss’ narration adds to the depth of the book and is a nice bit of voice work that pays attention to the emotions of the story as well as treats the characters with respect.
Reviewed By: Mike
Blurb: 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 does 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.
Review: The story opens just before the end of book one in this series, but does not require you to have read it to enjoy this story. The events in this book do continue after the climax of book one and deal with the fallout of those events by one of the four brothers.
Collin Mulligan is trying to make sense out of his life. He has always been awful at relationships with women, and even almost found himself a teenage father. His hard drinking father and brothers, with whom Collin runs a family car repair business, exist in a world of uber machismo and insults. Collin’s youngest brother, Daniel, has escaped this world, and Collin attacks him and everyone else with flashes of anger and violence that hide Collin’s secret repressed sexuality.
Enter sexy, dangerous Rafael Guerrera, a man with a past, a huge heart, a broken car, and openly gay. The unlikely pair find a common ground in Rafe’s volunteering for a youth group. Collin finally finds something he can do: teaching disadvantaged kids about car repair. Over the first day, Collin discovers the youth group is for gay kids with nowhere else to go.
Here, Collin and Rafe begin a dance of romance, discovery, and frustration that comes from repression, buried secrets, and pain that has remained unprocessed by both of them. When Collin’s father dies unexpectedly, Collin must begin to face his past and his future. He also has to face his openly gay brother, who he has been instrumental in making a family outcast.
Collin and Rafe retreat to Rafe’s seaside home, and the two make confessions and admissions that lead them towards love. How that finally works out for them is interesting to see, even if it is a bit frustrating for two obviously intelligent men to ignore the biggest issue they have. This leaves the reader wishing that one of the two men, or one of their outside friends and confidants, would urge both of them into therapy to get them past their issues a lot quicker. But, in the end, the book leaves us with a plausible ending that won’t leave you angry because it doesn’t get wrapped into a shiny package with a big floppy bow.
Spencer Goss’ narration adds to the depth of the book and is a nice bit of voice work that pays attention to the emotions of the story as well as treats the characters with respect. It is flamboyant and broad when it needs to be, and tight and terse when the words call for it.
The only drawback is that Mr. Goss seems unfamiliar with Spanish names. Rafael is called Rafe for short through most of the book. He pronounces it with a long-A sound that acts like a speedbump for those of us more familiar with Latino names. Other than that, this narration is a lovely listen. You rarely get a perfect read, but the respect that these characters are treated with comes right though the voice of the narrator.
I can highly recommend this book. If you want to know the history of the characters that appear near the end of the book, pick up book one, Middle of Somewhere, but it is not necessary to enjoy this book.
You can buy Out of Nowhere here: