Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Where We Left Off by Roan Parrish

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.

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Book 3
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Perfectly capturing the hope-filled insecurities of every college freshman, this is a much younger book than the first two in the series. Small town Leo arrives in New York City naive, innocent, and with his mouth gaping in wonder. The charming teenager we met in the first book is still obsessed with the much older Will, but he does manage to make friends and throw himself into college life.

The sex in this book is hot and I appreciate the way the author detached sex from love or even romance in parts of the story. However, healthy non-monogamy requires way too much conversation for Will and too much maturity for Leo so the result is an angsty, difficult relationship between two men who want completely different things. I struggled with the romance at times. I enjoyed the discussions about monogamy and alternative relationship structures, which were refreshing in a romance novel, but at the same time, Will’s commitment to non-monogamy just seemed to keep hurting Leo.

A talented writer, Roan Parish always manages to write characters who feel both familiar and real. And very often, it is difficult to like her terribly human men. Neither Will nor Leo was easy for me to like. Will is too self-centred. Leo is too insecure. They are both incredibly immature and very needy. But there is an honesty and truth in their story that I appreciated.

Beyond Will and Leo, the supporting characters – Leo’s college friends and his coffee shop boss – are wonderfully crafted and again feel very real. The college environment also feels very familiar and the new adult themes of identity and belonging are explored beautifully. I really enjoyed this story, even if it didn’t completely work for me as a romance.

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.

Connect with Roan

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Where We Left Off (Middle of Somewhere #3) by Roan Parrish to read and review.

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