Author: Roan Parish
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release: 26th September 2016
Genre: M/M (contemporary)
Middle of Somewhere: Book Three
Leo Ware may be young, but he knows what he wants. And what he wants is Will Highland. Snarky, sophisticated, fiercely opinionated Will Highland, who burst into Leo’s unremarkable life like a supernova… and then was gone just as quickly.
For the past miserable year, Leo hasn’t been able to stop thinking about the powerful connection he and Will shared. So, when Leo moves to New York for college, he sweeps back into Will’s life, hopeful that they can pick up where they left off. What begins as a unique friendship soon burns with chemistry they can’t deny… though Will certainly tries.
But Leo longs for more than friendship and hot sex. A romantic to his core, Leo wants passion, love, commitment—everything Will isn’t interested in giving. Will thinks romance is a cheesy fairy tale and love is overrated. He likes his space and he’s happy with things just the way they are, thank you very much. Or is he? Because as he and Leo get more and more tangled up in each other’s lives, Will begins to act like maybe love is something he could feel after all.
Where We Left Off is a MM contemporary romance and the third book in Roan Parrish’s Middle of Somewhere series. While this book is about a different couple than in book one and two, both the protagonists do appear previously in this series. I do recommend reading book one and two before diving into this one simply because I believe you’d get a greater reading experience by reading the first two books in sequential order. Plus, the first two books are amazing!
So in this instalment to the series we get Leo Ware and Will Highland’s story. Ever since young nineteen year old Leo met Will, he’s been undeniably infatuated and there is no turning off the part of his brain that thinks about all things Will. The pair met a couple of years ago and despite their connection, Will returned to New York and Leo has not heard from him since. Now, Leo is starting college and it is no coincidence that he picked a college in New York. He’s a romantic at heart, young, and wants nothing more than to pursue things with Will. Leo is a little like fish out of water at first and can’t help but break down and contact the one person he can’t get off his mind. Will, who is as blunt and impetuous as they come, makes it very clear to Leo that he is not into monogamous relationships. With the two men coming from two very different stratospheres, can they pick up where they left off?
I have to say that this third book is nothing like its two predecessors in this series. At the crux of this entire story and reading experience is Leo himself. This book is told solely from his POV. What I was expecting was a sexy romance. What I got was mostly a coming of age story that focused on Leo’s college experience and him going on this voyage of discovery. It was not always roses and he certainly learned some painful lessons. Leo goes through an emotional journey of growth and self-discovery and this was the real focus of the book. Therefore, the love story (if you can call it that) between him and Will was sort of left of the back burner. Will does not even play a big part in the overall story arc until after the 30% mark or so. While I am all for coming of age stories, I was very disappointed with how things played out between Will and Leo when the story finally turned in their direction. The thing is, this book does depict and exemplify how hard and painful love can be at times. However, unlike the first two books, I did not come out feeling like Will and Leo would somehow make it through the cloudiness and despair. I was left feeling uncertain about their future and I did not like that!
Ms. Parrish went to many of my “no-go” zones and this was another one of the reasons that I could not enjoy this book as much as I would have liked. I won’t go into any details. I never really warmed up to Will…. at all. Yes, I do understand that he hasn’t exactly lived the easiest life and keeps himself emotionally distant from people. However, it does not excuse that fact that he is such an ass. There were so many points in the story that I literally wanted to punch him in the junk. I hated how he strung Leo along and how Leo simply allowed it. It was frustration at its finest! Gah! By the end too much had happened and I could not buy into the tentative “happy-for-now” ending the author offers.
I still believe that Ms. Parrish is a masterful story-teller and does a stellar job accurately depicting issues that are very real. I simply could not get over where she took this story. It was not for me. All in all, Where We Left Off was not what I was expecting and I was left disenchanted. I will not give up on this series or any other book this author decides to write. I will simply chalk this one up to “it is me, not you”.
Series Reading Order and Purchase Links
In The Middle of Somewhere
Out of Nowhere
Where We Left Off
Connect with Roan Parish
Roan Parrish is currently wandering between Philadelphia and New Orleans. When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.