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Middle of Somewhere #3

Where We Left Off

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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 fairytale 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.

260 pages, ebook

First published September 26, 2016

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About the author

Roan Parrish

35 books2,042 followers
Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia, where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.

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.

She is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary Agency.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 529 reviews
September 8, 2016
~~BR with Jewel~~

You guys, I want to include some disclaimers. Here they are:

- I'm going to try really hard not to be ranty. And I'll probably fail because this book made me crazy.

- I'm not discouraging anyone from reading this book. I admit I hated one of the MCs from the get go, and that colored my perception of the story.

- The comments are full of spoilers!

Moving on:



I really liked book 2, but we don't see Colin and Rafe here at all. Leo is friends with Daniel though, so we get some face-to-face time with Daniel and Rex from book 1.

The first two books in the series were angsty as hell, but the payoff was high, so the angst was worth it. This book is nothing like the first two. It's definitely sexy. My favorite scene was when Leo took Will over a desk . . . but I digress.

Sexy, YES; romantic, no. NO. NO. NO.



The majority of the book focuses on Leo and his college experience. Will barely comes into play until around the 40 percent mark. Initially, Will doesn't even want to hang out with Leo, newly arrived in New York City. Will is adamant that he doesn't believe in love or relationships or monogamy, so whatever Leo wants Will can't give.

You see, Will's parents didn't love him, and his sister is bipolar and leaves her young kids for days at a time while she goes and plays in the park (but Will won't call Child Protective Services cause, ya know, his sister LOVES them, so they're better off with her even when she sells all their possessions and runs her car into a tree).

Also, Will is beautiful, and everyone stares at him all the time. And this is a problem. It makes Will angry. Will, who dresses like a model and polishes his shoes and has perfect hair, doesn't want to be looked at.

Cry me a river, big boy. Who the fuck complains about being hot?



Leo is a sweet guy, but he's 19 at the beginning of the story and so into Will, he doesn't want anyone else. It takes a while, but Leo finally, FINALLY, tells Will that it hurts too much to see him. But that resolution doesn't last. As soon as Will snaps his fingers, Leo is like a dog chasing a bone.

Both Leo and Will have sex with other people AFTER they get together. Mind you, I can't call it cheating since Will never promises Leo anything (he makes it abundantly clear he wants to fuck whom he wants whenever he wants), but it still felt like an emotional betrayal. I don't blame Leo at all, since he was just trying to move past his Will infatuation, but Will is a fucking bastard.



Here's the best part: Leo actually walks in on Will fucking another man. And Will is just sort of cold and indifferent. At the end of the book, he even has the gall to blame Leo for hurting him by leaving and not being his friend anymore. How much more selfish can you get?

We have pages upon pages of random details about Leo hanging out with his friends, talking to his manager at the coffee shop (her philosophy on relationships goes on and on and on), doing yoga, going to Thanksgiving dinner with his friend Milton.

We get numerous musings about all of Leo's friends, and, hey, they are cool, interesting people, but holy hell, the actual relationship (if you can call it that) takes up maybe a third of the book.

There were just so many WORDS here. So. Many. Words. And I love words. I do. But WHOA.

Parrish is a talented writer, but I think sometimes she has a tendency to fall in love with her own writing. This book is particularly rambly because it's told in the first person from Leo's POV, and Leo is scattered and likes to philosophize about stuff.

I honestly was rooting for Leo to be with anybody else, anybody who WASN'T Will. Will never grew on me. I felt no sympathy for him, and I think Leo could have done much better. Leo's a smart, funny guy with an infectious grin and sweet, tolerant nature; why did he have to pick Will? WHY?

The ending is a tentative HFN. This is the reassurance Will gives Leo, and THIS is the best he can do:

"I can try not sleeping with other people . . . but I don't know if I can promise it forever. I don't know what will happen in the future . . . I reserve the right to find other people desirable. And to, like, renegotiate shit down the line."



I can't with that shit. I CAN'T. But I'm pretty "traditional" in my relationship views, I guess, and need monogamy. The sleeping around thing never worked out for me.

I actually encourage everyone to read this book because it's a conversation starter if nothing else. Maybe y'all will like Will more than I did (which won't be hard). Maybe you'll get the point of all the internal monologuing and long-winded descriptions of Leo's weird roommate, his shoes, his study schedule, etc.

Just don't say I didn't warn you.
Profile Image for Judith.
724 reviews2,586 followers
September 20, 2016
3.5 Stars.

I've really struggled with my rating here.I did have a few issues with it and it's not a 3 Star so I'm going with 4 Stars overall.

Leo.






Will.






I haven't read book one but absolutely loved book two.I think I'm right in saying Leo and Will feature in book one and I don't know but maybe if I'd read that I would have understood their characters more?

Leo is 19 and has been crushing on Will for years ever since they kissed.He's just started college at NYU and it's maybe no coincidence that's where Will lives.He's a bit out of his depth,initially,struggling with the prospect of making friends and the whole college life and gives into temptation and contacts Will.

After that encounter Will doesn't feature until around 30% (apart from in Leo's head ).
There's a lot of content in the first third about Leo's life in college....fitting in,making friends and I actually think this was an important part in his character development.

Will.....I've got to say,I really didn't like him much......
Now,Will is gorgeous,model good looks but he hates it.Hates people looking at him,hates people not seeing beyond his beauty.I kind of get that but I couldn't understand how he didn't let Leo in more when it's more than obvious that Leo wasn't that shallow.
In Will's defence he makes it perfectly clear on numerous occasions that he doesn't want a relationship,doesn't want monogamy but Leo is a bit obsessed and a hopeless romantic and I thought Will was kind of giving out mixed signals....


They hang out a lot,get on really well,have great sex so I could understand a young guy like Leo thinking it was more than it was.


Negatives aside I do admire the Author staying true to the characters.It would have been easy for her to wrap things up with a nice big bow on everything and while they get their HFN it shows that people are flawed,have insecurities and have to work at relationships.

Arc from Author
Profile Image for Gigi.
2,156 reviews1,055 followers
Shelved as 'dnr-dnf-not-4-me'
September 4, 2016
I've decided not to read this book. I stayed off Goodreads for almost 48 hours (that was hard!) so I wouldn't be inadvertently spoiled but asked a friend who has read it one question: How old is Leo at the end of the book? She said 20. Frankly, that is too young for me in a May/December romance. Two 20 year old's? Not my first preference, but I would read it.

We all have our favorite authors and genres. We also have books that we know won't work for us, or rarely work for us. My list is historical, SciFi, non-shifter paranormal and high school romance. I either don't enjoy reading them or have to be in a very specific mood to read them. As far as Where We Left Off goes, I feel one of the characters is too young for me to enjoy the book. I don't want to read a book I already know I most likely won't enjoy. And that especially goes for an advanced review copy.

Do I love Roan Parrish's work? Undoubtedly. In the Middle of Somewhere and Out of Nowhere were both on my top 10 lists for 2015 and 2016 and I was very excited to read Where We Left Off. But the first two books centered around mature adults. They were wonderful, perfect, but I already know I won't like book #3.

Here are some good examples of some of my favorite authors:

1. Kendall McKenna. Tameness of the Wolf is in my top 10 of all time and just about every book I've read by her has been spectacular. But I've never read Nights in Canaan. Vampires don't do it for me.

2. Eli Easton. I love her stuff so much I even read her high school drama Superhero (and loved it) but I've never read The Lion and the Crow. Medieval England? Nope.

3. NR Walker. The Red Dirt Heart, Thomas Elkin, Spencer Cohan and Turning Point series. Gah, could not love them any more. The Cronin's Key series? Vampires again, haven't read them.

I can still love Roan's work and not read a book by her I'm pretty sure I won't enjoy. This takes nothing away from the book. It's not MY jam, but it might be yours.

Either way, I hope you enjoy it!

Profile Image for Rachel Reads Ravenously.
1,791 reviews2,134 followers
September 27, 2016
3.5 stars

"In Zeno's paradox, halving the distance between you and what you sought meant that you would go on forever, always moving closer but never actually reaching it. But maybe if you set your sights on a thing beyond what you sought then you would eventually find yourself smack in the middle of it, having tricked the universe into rendering up exactly what you wanted."



Roan Parrish is easily one of my new favorite authors that I discovered this year. Her writing is spectacular and she always manages to deliver complex and empathetic characters while highlighting issues most readers don't really consider in their day to day lives. When we met Leo and Will back in the first book of this series, their story was one I was highly anticipating and was longing for.

That's why it kills me that I didn't love this book. I think my expectations were way too high and the reality of Will and the insurmountable ass he ended up being were too much for me.

Where We Left Off felt more like a coming of age novel to me than a romance, Leo is dropped in a new environment and he doesn't know anyone and he must navigate this new world on his own. I really enjoyed his personal story, seeing the young boyish person he was at the beginning and then going through all of his experiences and epiphanies that made him into a young man by the end of the book. Essentially he needed to learn that he cannot mold himself to please everyone and at some point he has to let things go and let them be. The side characters were brilliant, I loved all of Leo's college friends and coworkers, but then again Roan is amazing at setting a scene and creating characters that are so vivid and real to the reader.

What I cannot really get past is Will and the giant bag of dicks he ended up being. By the end of the book I understood where he was coming from, but I feel he used his past to make excuses for who he was instead of overcoming it and being a better person for it. I know Parrish doesn't usually do dual POVs but this is a story I feel could have very much benefitted from it because I think I would have been more empathetic of Will knowing his background, instead of being left in the dark like Leo was.

I did like this book, despite my issues with Will I couldn't put the book down. Plus on top of that there are some angsty bits and my angst whore ways ate it up. I loved the pop culture references interspersed throughout the book, luckily I've watched Felicity so I understood a lot of them. As I said before the characters feel like people I would meet in person, no one part of them felt fictionalized. By this I mean Parrish could easily have picked a real person and stuck them in the book. But I wish there had been more than what the ending gave, a very quickly wrapped up happy for now scenario. I was left feeling dissatisfied.

I still love Roan Parrish and no matter what I will continue to buy and read her books because she's an amazing author and she writes great stories. Period. I do recommend if you haven't read books 1 and 2 in this series to go and do so now because they are excellent and among some of my favorite books.

"My feelings for Will were a tender and naked heart beating tentatively in an iron cage, each expansion a risk, each deflation both relief and disappointment."

Profile Image for Katrina Passick Lumsden.
1,779 reviews12.8k followers
September 28, 2016
********SPOILERS********

I really wanted to begin this review with a gif. I wanted to convey to you all how upset I am by this...this...literary abortion. This war crime of a book. I want....

Gah. I can't decide what gif to use. Do I go with a table flip? Someone crying? Screaming at the injustice of it all? My feels are all tangled, and not in a good way. Not in a nice, philosophical, "that's so beautiful and profound I'm going to curl up in a sock drawer and sleep for days" kind of way.

No. I'm pissed. And incredulous. And straight up disappointed AF.

In the Middle of Somewhere, the first book in this series, is one of my absolute favorite books of all time. It's amazing. Daniel and Rex are beautiful, the story is moving, the setting is comforting. Everything about it just works. And it's the book in which we're introduced to Will and Leo, the MC's in this book. Now in between that first book and this one, there's the story of Colin (Daniel's brother) and Rafael. And while I enjoyed that book, it still didn't quite live up to the first in my mind.

And it wasn't this book.

I've been waiting for this book. I've been waiting for what feels like forever for the story of Will and Leo. Because the beginning of their story is in the first book in this series, and as soon as I realized Parrish was going to eventually make something of the two of them, I was hooked. So last week, when it popped up on my Kindle as a pre-order I might be interested in, you can bet your ass I clicked that button with only about half a second's hesitation. I couldn't wait...and I wasn't going to have to anymore.

But.

Always with the big buts.

This. What the fuck was this? Why, Parrish? Why did you make me hate Will? Why did you do that? I could maybe understand it for the first half, or even three quarters of the book, but to keep his behavior so consistently shitty all the way through to the end is a betrayal I'm not going to get over any time soon.

I'm not always a Happily Ever After fan. I enjoy sad endings sometimes. But this wasn't even sad. At least, not in the traditional sense. I felt...tainted when it was over.

Leo. Poor Leo. He deserves so much better than Will. He finally gets his HEA (or HFN, more likely), but at what cost? He comes around to seeing things from Will's perspective, and he thinks maybe he'll be able to deal with Will the way he is...but the reader already knows that's not what Leo wants. He knows it's not what he wants, but he's willing to do almost anything to be with Will. And his guilt over walking out of Will's life? The guilt trip Will laid on him for walking away? That was complete and total bullshit. Leo is a 19-year-old child with a strong case of puppy love. He shouldn't be expected to be the rational adult in this scenario where his 27-year-old fuck buddy can't commit to one person. Especially when Will's reasons for not committing to one person are not rooted in anything even remotely healthy. He's not sleeping around because it's just what he wants. He's doing so to avoid intimacy.

So we get his begrudging admission that he'll try to be faithful to Leo, but he can't promise anything.

Gee, Will, that's big of ya. Try not to strain anything with all that exertion.

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Reading this book was physically painful. The scene were Leo walks in on Will with someone else was emotionally horrifying, and not something I ever want to read again.

The writing itself is good. My problem is that Parrish placed an awful lot of emotional land mines around a character who was still trying to come into his own, and it didn't feel like she knew what she wanted this story to be. Is it a romance? Sort of...? A coming of age tale? Mayyyybe...? The only thing I know for sure is that, by the end of this book, I didn't want Will and Leo to be together anymore. And that depressed the hell out of me.
Profile Image for Jewel.
1,779 reviews242 followers
September 2, 2016
~~~~BR with Dani!!~~~~

3.5 Stars

So this series has taken a New Adult/Coming of Age turn. Where We Left Off isn't really what I would call a romance. It does have some romantic elements, but by and large, it just isn't. Now, that isn't at all a deal breaker for me, but I wasn't expecting it, so it took me a bit to settle into the rhythm of the story.

Leo Ware is nineteen (at the start of the story) and finally able to start college at NYU, after being set back a year in his plans because of financial aid issues. He wanted to go to New York, because he hoped that he and Will Highland, whom he met a couple years ago at the cabin Daniel shared with Rex, would maybe get together. That's not the best reason to pick a college, mind you, but ... Leo is young and inexperienced at, well, everything, and does have rather romantic notions about how life should be.

Will isn't the easiest character to like, for sure. He's brash, blunt, and never bothers with the niceties. Will could be amazingly frustrating. He made it plain to Leo, right away, and repeatedly, that he didn't want a relationship at all. Just simply wasn't interested in going that direction. Will was stubborn, but he also had a tendency to hide behind that stubbornness in an effort to avoid things. He had a tendency to be emotionally unavailable, as well, as if hoping that it put everyone off.

I kind of got where he was coming from, though. Will has never had high expectations when it comes to other people. He comes from an extremely dysfunctional home and his sister is bipolar and won't medicate, so she regularly goes off the rails and Will, well, Will is terrified of feeling responsible for someone else's emotions when he can barely manage his own. The thought of getting caught up in someone else's orbit terrifies him because he's never actually been able to depend on anyone in that way. So he just doesn't.

So Will tends to keep an emotional distance between himself and other people. He lets down his guard more with Leo than he ever has with anyone else, but Will is still Will and he really has no interest in monogamy. He did have his sweet moments, as well, and he occasionally showed a great amount of vulnerability, but Where We Left Off isn't really about him. In fact, Will is present in less than half the book.

Where We Left Off is less the story about Leo and Will getting together, becoming boyfriends and getting their HEA, than it is about Leo taking a bit of a hard road in discovering that living someone else's truth simply does not work. And also, that going into any relationship with the idea that you can change the other person is foolhardy, at best.

Most of the story was really all about Leo and him settling into college life and learning how to adult. It was about him making friends and learning that sex doesn't actually have to mean a relationship. It was about learning what could be measured and maybe what couldn't be. It was about stripping away what you want the truth to be so you can see what's really there. It was about letting go of expectations and just learning to be.

The story ends with an HFN, that I, personally, was ok with. One, Leo is 20 years old and is just figuring out life. And two, though he and Will compromise and negotiate a tentative monogamous relationship, Will isn't ready to fully commit to one, if he ever will be. That's going to be a deal breaker for many readers. Theirs is not a traditional relationship, which, again, I'm good with. As long as they're honest with one another and they keep communicating (Will needs lots of practice on the talking about his feelings), I think they'll be ok.

PS -- I kind of loved the scene in front of the planetarium at the end. Will needs to feel publicly embarrassed every now and again. And it made their HFN a little less tentative.

--------------------------------
ARC of Where We Left Off was generously provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Adam.
610 reviews310 followers
October 24, 2016
Anytime a book is set in New York City, I’m automatically a bit more interested. There’s just something captivating about the Big Apple. Seeing the city through Leo’s eyes was a treat.

description

It was easy to love Leo. It would be hard not to! He’s adorable - kind, caring, friendly, and just a tad awkward. He jumps headfirst into his new life in NYC, making friends and enjoying the experience of the massive bustling city.

Will, with his ice cold exterior and standoffishness, took a bit more getting used to. However, his armour breaks off bit by bit as the book progresses, and we get to see the heart underneath all of the ice.

I wasn’t at all surprised that Will and Leo slowly became each other’s best friends. It’s undeniable that Leo and Will have had an emotional connection since they first met in book 1. They may have very different personalities, but they understand each other.

And an emotional connection isn’t all they had. The sexual tension between Leo and Will was killer. It takes them a while to give in to it, but Will and Leo finally do, it was very hot. Leo may have been a newbie to sex, but he was more than willing to take charge.

description

However, an emotional and sexual connection doesn’t necessarily mean that two people will work out as a couple. At the end of the day, Will and Leo have entirely different conceptions of love. Leo wants ever-lasting romance and monogamy, while Will thinks love is fleeting and monogamy is restricting.

Up until the very end, Will refuses to commit to Leo, and hurts Leo multiple times. And I really can’t blame Will, because while his actions were often callous, he was always honest with Leo about what to expect.

I’ve read and enjoyed many romance books in which the couple agree to an open or polyamorous relationship and it works great for them, because both parties want the same thing. But that isn’t the case here.

And I think that’s the heart of the problem - this isn’t a romance between equals. This is a relationship between a man who’s too set in his ways and beliefs to change, and a boy who’s so desperate to hold on to his first love that he would agree to anything.

Will and Leo may have chemistry, but they don’t have what it takes to make it long-term. It’s possible that Leo may eventually share Will’s views on monogamy, or it’s also possible that Will may find that he’s okay with only being with Leo. But I don’t believe either of those things will happen.

I think Leo and Will are two very different people, which is completely okay, in very different stages of their lives and they’ll eventually go their separate ways. And that might be realistic, but that’s not what I look for in my romance reads.



Profile Image for BWT.
2,144 reviews216 followers
May 19, 2021
I've been waiting for a story featuring Will and Leo ever since I read In the Middle of Somewhere. I was surprised it ended up being one story featuring the two of them together. Not necessarily because of their age gap, but because they are in such obviously disparate emotional and psychological places in their lives.

anywhere is better than here

Where We Left Off is a New Adult drama that's mostly about Leo finding his way, his place and, ultimately, where he belongs. Along the way there's also the angst of Leo desperately wanting a relationship with Will. Even though Will doesn't do relationships.


It frustrated me that Leo completely romanticizes the possibility of a relationship with Will, without every really being honest about the reality of their situation.
"That’s what romanticizing something is, kiddo. Having the notion that it’ll be a certain, perfect way based on something fictional. Something idealized.”

You're killing me man
“It’s in the moment that you give up that you realize you could have kept going. It’s also the moment it’s too late.”

I honestly spent 90% of the story actively wanting Leo to get with someone other than Will. Because, seriously, I felt like Leo needed someone else. Someone on his own wavelength who wants the same things he does: like monogamy, commitment, and love. Because that's not Will. And I felt for Will, knowing he couldn't provide what Leo was ultimately craving. And knowing that once Leo realized it he was going to yank away the only real friendship Will has.
“Look, I’m sorry that what I want isn’t the same as what you want. Wouldn’t it be so convenient if we all agreed about everything and wanted the same things?”
“Don’t! Don’t make it sound ridiculous that it hurts my fucking feelings to sit here on this couch with you after a month of basically living together and sleeping together and hanging out together and say that I like you and wish it could continue.”
“Well then stop acting like I’m deliberately harming you by telling the truth when you ask for it. I’m not a monster! I’m not a terrible person or a mean person because I don’t want what you want. And I’m not a sad person or a cold person just because I don’t
feel everything that you do!”

I felt far more connected to Will than I did to Leo, which I thought is odd since this is completely from Leo's POV. But perhaps it's because Leo is so young, and so terribly naive about some things, or maybe because I understood where Will was coming from most of the time. But in the end this is a romance where Will changes, and molds himself more closely to the ideal that Leo dreams of in order for their relationship to work.

Then there is a whole side story about Will's sister and her kids, which, to be honest, I thought was left unsatisfactorily unresolved. I struggled to understand what, if anything, it brought the story.

The writing is on par with the other stories in the series, and Parrish certainly delivers the heat (eventually) as well.

But, once again, I find myself wishing for multiple POV and wishing I bought into the relationship side of the story more, which is where my focus was on. The whole coming of age drama, which is most of the story, just didn't really strike a resounding chord with me. I understand this is ultimately about Leo's growth. I just didn't need to read so much about his classes, and friends, and boss, and yoga.

All in all, though the writing is good, this one didn't really work for me. But I think those who love New Adult coming of age stories with a sprinkling of relationship angst, some sexy times, and a HFN that holds a glimmer of possibility for more will probably be head over heels for this.

For my 5 Star audio review of the book, click here.

Advanced Review Galley copy of Where We Left Off (Middle of Somewhere #3) provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.

This review has been cross-posted at Gay Book Reviews.
Profile Image for Ele.
1,265 reviews41 followers
Read
September 30, 2016
You guys....I just don't want to rate this book. I won't rate it, actually. It's definitely a divisive and unconventional story, but it's still romance. Just not my kind of romance, and I don't want to give a low rating to something that is very real to some people just because it doesn't agree with my rather traditional views of relationships.

The "coming of age" part of the story was done perfectly, the college students and college life in general was so very realistic, and the sex was smoking hot. The rest of the story? It took my romantic heart out of my chest, stomped on it, and then threw it against the wall. And not because , but because of Will. And that ending.

I believe Will when he says that sex with other people doesn't mean the same as with Leo. I believe that non-monogamous relationships can work great, as long as both parties agree, and that we re the ones that define the "right" kind of reationship for us. I also believe that a few years down the road these two will be there for each other, or even friends. Do I believe that they will be together, in a romantic relationship? No, I really don't. Because at the end, Will is like :
And Leo is still:


As a side note, I have to say that Will's character confused me sometimes. For example, he's not monogamous but he's complaining that other people want to fuck him only because he's drop dead gorgeous. He wants to sleep with other people but I don't know, maybe it's me or the fact that this book was so wordy, I lost track sometimes.

Anyway, that was my take on things. I don't discourage anyone from reading it, but I don't know if I recommend it either or, to be exact, whom to recommend it to. It's certainly not your usual romance.
Profile Image for Elsa Bravante.
1,107 reviews170 followers
September 27, 2016
I loved it. Fantástico. Real. Diferente. Valiente. Romántico.

Comencé este libro con absoluto terror, las críticas no me tenían convencida y después de desear durante meses que saliera iba a ser doloroso que al final no me gustara. Doloroso porque me gusta la autora y porque, con todas sus faltas, adoro esta serie y sus personajes.

Nah, no tenía por qué haberme preocupado, debería haber sabido que muchas veces mis opiniones no coinciden con los de la mayoría, al menos en este entorno. Will y Leo ya nos lo presentan en el primer libro, aquí en el tercero Leo comienza la universidad en NY buscando una nueva vida y una relación con Will, diseñador gráfico con las ideas muy claras sobre lo que quiere o no quiere en la vida. Pronto, Leo va a tener que afrontar la realidad de que lo que el busca no es lo mismo que busca Will. El libro no es solo la historia de amor de los personajes, estamos constantemente en la cabeza de Leo en su viaje hacia la madurez, a comprender que hay más cosas además de lo que ya conoce, le acompañamos cuando descubre nuevas pasiones como la Física o el Yoga o hace amigos por primera vez. No es solo una historia de amor, es el despertar a la vida de Leo, y mientras ese viaje a algunos les puede parecer aburrido porque le quita espacio a su historia de amor, para mi es fascinante. Lo más importante cuando leo cualquier historia es el desarrollo de los personajes, poder entenderles y saber realmente cómo son, que la autora me muestre esta cara de Leo hace que pueda conocerle más, sentirme más vinculada a él y empatizar con todo lo que le está pasando, ninguno de nosotros somos solo nuestras relaciones amorosas, hay mucho más dentro de cada uno y en nuestra vida.

Leo es un personaje absolutamente adorable, fácil de querer, incluso en sus momentos más bajos en su relación con Will podemos identificarnos y pensar en aquel momento en que alguno de nosotros fuimos patéticos al enamorarnos de alguien. La cosa es distinta con Will, Will es un personaje complejo, su visión sobre las relaciones no es tradicional. Pero, es SU visión de las relaciones, no es ni mejor, ni peor que la mía o la de otro, es suya, y en ningún momento engaña a Leo sobre ello. Leo sale herido en diferentes ocasiones, pero el principal responsable de ese dolor, aunque el causante sea Will, es el propio Leo. No podemos culpar a alguien por no querer lo mismo que nosotros cuando ese alguien ha sido honesto con nosotros. Hay momentos en los que Will es un auténtico capullo, como cuando se queja de los problemas de ser tan guapo (venga, hasta luego) o cuando confunde la honestidad con la mala educación o la grosería. Pero, no creo que haya nada que recriminarle en su relación con Leo. Y al final, dos personas que parecen tan lejanas crecen, una madura, la otra aprende a apoyarse en alguien más, y pueden encontrar un lugar común. Cuando leo, yo solo soy una espectadora, los personajes no son yo, y tampoco son alguien con quien yo vaya a tener una relación, los personajes se tienen que complementar entre ellos, no conmigo y mis ideas sobre cómo debe ser el amor, la relación amorosa no tiene que funcionar conmigo, tiene que funcionar entre ellos. Yo sí confío en el futuro de Will y Leo, es más, creo que tiene las mismas posibilidades que la de cualquier pareja de romántica, nadie puede prometer un para siempre porque todos crecemos a lo largo de los años y a veces de forma separada, solo podemos prometer el querernos en ese momento y el trabajar para que nuestra relación funcione.

Después de leer el libro y las primeras críticas estoy segura que Roan sabía cuando llegó el momento de publicar el libro que no sería recibido como los dos primeros. Ha sido valiente al plantear una discusión sobre las relaciones, el sexo, la monogamia a través de sus personajes siendo consciente que muchas de estas ideas no son las popularmente aceptadas y muchas son francamente rechazadas, por el mundo en general, y por la comunidad de la literatura romántica en particular, estoy hablando en general, o sobre opiniones mayoritarias, por supuesto. A pesar de ello, ella ha seguido adelante con la historia, siendo honesta con los personajes y con ella misma, y cuando un autor hace eso, cuando no escucha a la opnión más generalizada y lo que los demás quieren, eso es muy de agradecer, nos guste o no lo historia. Últimamente leo muchos libros que parecen un resumen de lo que leo en las redes sociales, parece que los autores han apuntado en una agenda todos los puntos que se tocan y las opiniones, las preferencias, y tal cual lo plasman en los libros, pues… Meh.

Cada vez que termino un libro de Roan lo hago en un estado de excitación por lo mucho que me ha gustado y un punto de tristeza porque se ha acabado. Se ha acabado y yo quiero saber más, quiero coger a Roan y atarla a una silla y decirla: escribe, escribe, escribe, cuéntame cómo están Daniel y Rex en Philadelphia, cómo lo va llevando Colin, qué pasa con los chicos del Centro Juvenil, cómo avanza la relación de Leo y Will. Ay Roan, escribe, escribe, escribe…

Perdón por la chapa.
Profile Image for Elsbeth.
1,173 reviews41 followers
November 16, 2016

BR, November 13th with Paul.

*2.5 stars*


I've never been that happy finishing a book. I'm so disappointed.

For the life of me I couldn't understand Leo's attraction to Will. I was begging for Leo to grow the fuck up and find someone else, anyone. I didn't like Will AT ALL. I thought he was an emotionally constipaded asshole that treated people like shit.



If you're wanting to read about a romance, I wouldn't recommend this. It's more of a coming-of-age kinda book. About an incredibly navive 19 year old boy Leo that has this concept of being in love with Will. Will, Rex's ex from book 1.

So what you get is a lot of words about Leo's growing up, his friends, his major, his... You name it, it's there. It was sooooo boring.

description

Will's behavior does get somewhat explained. Somewhat...

And a lame HFN afer the ever so sweet words of Will;

“I can try not sleeping with other people,” he went on, “but I don’t know if I can promise it forever."


Leo, tell him to take a hike.

Shelved as 'dnf'
August 7, 2020
Audio 5 Stars I have no idea why there aren't more than 3 audiobooks narrated by Spencer Goss. The man is an amazing performer!

Story dnf at 71%

Almost all the dialogue and interaction between the characters in this book is like listening to a therapy session or a philosophical discussion. Even the internal musings are like the character is working out an issue that leads to enlightenment.

I couldn't take it anymore because...

Profile Image for Dia.
534 reviews133 followers
November 22, 2017
3,5 stars

Again I have to mention I couldn't keep my ranting spoiler-free. So there are spoilers ahead:

This is the third book in the Middle of Somewhere series. I couldn't wait to read Will and Leo's story ever since I finished In the Middle of Somewhere. Sassy but romantic 19 years old Leo and beautiful model-looking Will shared a kiss that made Leo fall desperately in love and go all the way to NYU to chase Will. Leo was infatuated with Will even before they got the chance to get to know each other. Imagine my eye-rolling.

My biggest problem with this story would be Will's attitude and actions. This book isn't really a romance and it isn't focused on them as a couple. We get only Leo's POV and this feels like a coming of age with some pretty hot scenes in between.

Somehow I imagined this story WAY different. I mean, I knew it was going to be hard to get Will to want a relationship with Leo, because of their age difference, but I still wanted him to be mesmerized by Leo and want him enough to give up to his aversion to monogamy.

Well I saw Leo's "I know what I'm getting into" in SO many books, but I really think he hoped Will will change in time, because there were so many clues that showed how much Will cared for him. Unfortunately he didn't care enough. They were sweet together, they shared funny messages, they went shopping and kissed in public, they even played house together and then the bubble broke... I was really sad for Leo when he had to admit he couldn't go on with it, knowing Will still didn't want him enough.

Another thing that bugged me would be Will hating his good looks and how people seemed to want only that, but Leo clearly didn't want him for his looks. It was so obvious he fell for his charm and sarcasm. I got so frustrated with Will, especially when he kept saying he didn't believe in monogamy!

The author did a great job in showing their emotions and even in a crisis Leo was sarcastic, remember the cake foot print? Anyway, I couldn't quite get past my anger and shattered hopes about Will falling in love with Leo and NOT wanting other men.

I loved how the author portrayed Leo's hurt and broken heart, but I also would have wanted many more scenes with the two of them. I was kind of frustrated because we didn't get more. OK, I get it, Leo needed the heartbreak to get more mature, to have another sex experience, but I hated it... So much! I really hate it when our MC's sleep with others, even if they weren't together at the time. It might sound crazy but this is just something I hate in books.

I wished the author would have found another way for them to meet again. Maybe a big gesture from Will after realizing what a moron he has been. I didn't like how Leo went flying to him... Of course they both needed reconnecting, but Leo felt too weak, not able to stay away.

I was SO disappointed with the ending! I expected a wonderful revelation from Will and a beautiful declaration of love, BUT what we got really wasn't enough... I mean what was that "we'll see in the future"? It took SO much from the romance and sweetness I was expecting. It was SO not what I wanted for them... I had such high hopes. I even hoped Will would realize he was SO deeply in love with Leo and wouldn't need anyone other than him EVER! And what we got here felt cold. It was abrupt and well I really wanted an Epilogue!!! How come this book doesn't have one when this couple SO needed it?! I would have wanted to revisit them after some time and witness how happy they are together, maybe just like in book #2, all of them sitting at a table and reconnect.

SO, as much as I would have liked to enjoy this ending, it felt rushed and complicated for no good reason. It is a HFN but SO weak and not at all what I wanted.

I loved the writing, I liked how they grew and how their relationship changed BUT I still would have wanted more. More scenes with the two, much more time spent together, more promises made to each other. So it felt really weak to me.

I don't know if it was ME again, but I just didn't warm up to Will from the moment he told Leo that he is against monogamy - after they practically lived together as a couple.

I enjoyed it less than I expected. The first book is still my favorite and this one might come second, because book #2 wasn't what I expected either. So I'll go with 3,5 stars.
Profile Image for Karen.
1,859 reviews84 followers
October 16, 2016
I wish I even knew where to begin with this one. This is probably going to be a bit of a rambling rant because I'm honestly at a loss for how to explain this book and how I felt about it. So here goes nothing...or maybe everything...

Let's start at the beginning and by that I mean the cover. I've loved the covers on these books every last one of them without exception.

Ok, moving on to the real issue here...what's between the covers...is the story of Leo and Will. If you've read the first book you'll remember them from there. Neither of these characters appeared in book 2 and if you read my review for that book you'll remember I stated that they didn't really even blip my radar. So let's start with Leo...

For whatever reason Leo just wasn't my cuppa', for most of the book I just could not warm up to him. His fixation with Will was a little intense bordering on stalkerish. Seriously? He moved to New York under the pretense of going to school...truth,..Will lived there. He only applied to 1 university...you guessed it NYU...stalkerish much?

My other issue with Leo was he was a 'romantic'. Ok, if that means you hear what you want to hear and interpret things to have the meaning that you want them to have...Leo was a romantic. Thankfully as the book progressed even Leo started to see that maybe his 'romantic nature' wasn't in tune with the rest of the world. I did find Leo more likable when he was just being a university student and hanging out with his friends Milton, Charles, Thomas and Gretchen, which I guess makes sense given the dynamics of the relationship between him and Will. What I didn't see in Leo at this point no matter who he was interacting with was someone who was read to be in a long-term committed relationship. On this point I was definitely on Will's side. I'm not saying that Leo needed to sleep with every gay guy at NYU but just because Will was the first guy to kiss him, doesn't make him 'the one'.

Then there's Will I didn't love Will, hell a lot of the time I didn't even like Will. But I did feel that he was or at least he tried to be honest with Leo and he's soooooo gorgeous I mean seriously handsome beyond belief, I m pretty sure Adonis would be jealous. I like an attractive man as much as the next person...really, I do, but I did get a little tired of hearing about it and about what a burden it was for poor Will being so attractive and having people always wanting to sleep with him...really, say what now? WTF? Didn't he keep telling Leo how he liked having sex with whoever he wanted and that was part of the reason that he didn't do relationships? Will, I'm confused is being so incredibly attractive a blessing or a curse? I need you to pick now. He told Leo more than once that he was not relationship material and that he didn't do relationships. In Will's eyes relationships were basically a way to lose your individuality...ok, it's a little more complicated than that but really if you want the full score on this read the book because truthfully...it's complicated and more rambling than even I want to do.

Somewhere in this muddle was suppose to be a May/December romance but between Leo's internal dialogue and all the philosophy classes...can I get my diploma please? I just found things getting a little murky and I think because Leo was so young I really would have been more comfortable with a bit of clarification as to what Wills age was. May/December romances really aren't my thing, not a deal breaker but neither is it the icing on my cupcake.

So right about now I'm sure anyone who's still reading is wondering 'but you gave it 3 stars' you must have liked it...well, yes and no. There were some moments that I liked even a couple that I really enjoyed but mostly those three stars are because I read this book from start to finish over the course of a couple of days. I wouldn't have even taken that long but you know real life and all that. As much as I was for want of a better word disappointed in this one. I was also pretty impressed by an author whose writing skills kept me reading in spite of the fact that the story just didn't draw me in.

On a more positive note there were two things I really enjoyed about this book one was Will's response to a lengthy dialogue that Leo was trying to have with him to explain how he felt,,,

"... and then everything's different anyway, you know?"

Will was silent for a beat and then he nodded. "Yeah, totally."

"Yeah?" I let out a breath of pure relief.

"No! I have no fucking clue what you're talking about! Key terms I heard: sunrise yoga, which I really want to refer to a cocktail; flavor of love, which I think was a reality show on VH1; entropy, which I know is a band; and changed forever, which is what I hope this topic is about to be."

I cannot lie in that moment. Will made me laugh so much, I loved him for it.

and in the end Will showed a vulnerable side...
"...Because I wanted you. I didn't know how exactly, but I just...I wanted you, Leo. I always wanted you."
(There was a lot more to this conversation but that's all I'm sharing.)

It was quite honestly the last 20 to 25% that really saved this book for me and took it from being 2 maybe 2.5 stars to 3 not because it was hearts and flowers and rainbows of love because truly it was't but for this pairing it was a realistic promise of possibilities and sometimes at the end of the day it's the promise of what is possible that makes tomorrow worthwhile for any of us.

*******************
An ARC of 'Where We Left Off' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Skye Kilaen.
Author 14 books290 followers
September 8, 2021
A painful but ultimately hopeful gay romance between college student Leo Ware and older graphic designer Will Highland. It breaks apart the romance novel trope where one character wants blissful monogamous love and the other insists they don't, but secretly they do, by making Leo the romantic and Will the guy who actually doesn't want the fairy tale. Leo is infinitely smitten with Will, and Will cares for Leo a great deal, but these two are in completely different headspaces about love and romance.

Parrish is unrelenting with how much hurt she's willing to let these characters go through as their desires continually smash into each other, but it's beautiful in its brutal honesty that you can't just assume everyone sees the world as you do. The romance reader is conditioned to see Leo as "right," but Parrish does an amazing job showing Will's emotions and perspective even without his POV. His life is heavily influenced by his past, but he's not broken or cruel, he's just very different from Leo.

Recommended if you want something different from the usual love story and you're interested in significant character growth. NOT recommended if you need your main characters to only sleep with each other once they get involved.
Profile Image for Vallie.
683 reviews68 followers
September 25, 2016
Ok, this settles it. Roan Parrish is one my favourite authors. Her writing just speaks to me. And the third book in the series is just as amazing as the first two.

This is Leo and Will’s story. Leo has the hugest crush on Will, Rex’s friend from book 1, and decides to go to college in New York in the hopes of becoming closer with him. Will is all about the one-night stands, serial non-monogamist, and weirdly endeared to Leo’s teenage ways.

This is a coming-of-age story. Or rather, it is not a romance in the traditional sense, but a story about romance.

Leo is hopelessly romantic. He is absolutely and devastatingly in love with Will and he will do absolutely anything and everything to convince Will of that. They become friends though and practical circumstances allow Leo to move in with Will over the break between semesters. What happens during this time is what made me fall in love with them. They were essentially a couple but without the sex and the title. From talking about everything to cuddling and sharing house chores, they were everything a couple should be.

You want to talk about the sexual tension.

sexual-tension

Dear lord! It was a palpable thing. Combustible. And when they gave in to it? The emotion, the dirty talk, their closeness, everything was just perfection.

Will was a character that I can see a lot of people having a hard time liking. He is drop dead gorgeous but he resents his looks. He is deeply insecure and manages to keep everyone at a distance because he feels people only care about fucking him. Leo becomes Will’s best friend and when things go to shit, naturally, because Will does not want "a relationship”, Will is the one I actually worried more about.

The story is told from Leo’s POV and a big part of it is about Leo’s life as a college student, his friends, and his growing up. Leo is literally growing up page after page, trying to figure himself out, thinking about life, about relationships, about what it means to love someone. It is the quintessential coming-of-age story and I absolutely loved it. The writing felt poignant and so introspective and I am completely addicted to it.

There is angst, in the form of Leo’s feelings not being reciprocated for a large portion of the book and Will’s sister. The hurt/comfort levels are nowhere near where the second book was, but they add some weight to the character development.

If you enjoy coming-of-age stories, you will love this one. Like I said earlier, it is not the traditional love story where guy meets guy and they get together. It’s complicated and a little unconventional but I never once felt the romance slipping. It is a story about learning how to love someone in a healthy way and having realistic expectations about relationships. Being in Leo’s head for all those pages...man it made me reminisce about being a teenager myself and questioning everything.

The HFN did leave something to be desired because I wanted to feel the gravel falling once and for all on Will’s bullshit but it was still satisfying. Please put some closure on this faint question mark author! A #3.5 story or some feedback on how they’re doing in a future book would be appreciated.

Definitely a favourite of mine. Highly recommend!

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. See this review on Gay Book Reviews.
Profile Image for BevS.
2,691 reviews2 followers
October 23, 2018
 photo review audio books_zpstpgogvma.jpg

Well, my wish came true and Spencer Goss narrated the audio book. How did he do?? Read on.....

This is going to be a gushing review, so I make my apologies now [but am NOT sorry in the slightest 😋] in case you have need of tissues [or a bucket]. All the stars….and more, in fact even the one called ‘The Shire’….

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A really well-written story from Roan, and as seems to be the norm with her work, Spencer puts his heart and soul into the narration…just as he did with Out of Nowhere and Rhys Ford’s Fish Stick Fridays. For me, he has elevated this story from merely really good up a couple of notches to…let’s say sublime or magnificent, as either works in my opinion. Narrated solely from young and impressionable Leo’s POV, wearing his rose-coloured glasses [and come on, who didn’t love Leo eh??], I freely admit there were several times when my eyes welled up just from listening to the quavering emotion in Spencer’s voice. The pacing, the characterisations….just everything was excellent, sighs.

Spencer treats the words given to him by the author with the utmost respect….with as much TLC as if he himself had written them, wringing out every last drop of emotional intensity whether it be anger, sadness or happiness AND as usual, I was totally blown away by his mad narrating skills **fangirling moment 😍😍😍**. His narrating is a kind of art form IMHO; he’s just so involved, interested and invested in the story and its characters, he doesn’t appear to treat the narration as just another job…and that care shows, in every word he utters. He doesn’t race through things, he seems methodical [and is 'slow' to use his own word], but I’d far rather listen to someone who truly cares about a story than not, and that is why I’ll probably buy everything he narrates within reason [even I have my limits with some authors ;)]….he is just that good!!

I was much kinder to Will’s character in my review of the story than some other readers, and I loved Spencer’s interpretation of him too. Yes, it looked as though Will was supposed to be the story’s token bad guy, and had been sending out mixed signals to Leo [he SO had], BUT he was a private person, in way over his head, and had never truly expected anyone to ‘get’ him in return. Yes, Leo had known from the start that a relationship wasn’t on the cards; Will had warned him and made it perfectly clear that he would carry on with his life in his own way, and Leo had seemed to accept it then….but the heart wants what it wants, and love makes fools of us all at some stage. So yes, even though I ‘got’ Will, I didn’t like the way he did things sometimes. The last chapter however was a revelation and a real ‘light bulb’ moment, and to , witnessed by a small crowd of onlookers in Central Park was poetic justice I thought, and left me with a big smile on my face and tears in my eyes.


**Book review....which I'm minimising**

Profile Image for Rafa Brewster.
257 reviews21 followers
September 27, 2016
5 Stars
Reviewed for Just Love: Romance
ARC received by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I flat-out adored Leo from the first book in this series, so to say I was excited about this release is an understatement. The first thing I noticed is that College Edition Leo is less sassy and a little less sure of himself than the kid from In the Middle Of Somewhere. But that’s to be expected; he’s a 19 year old from a small town who’s about to start school in New York City, where his crush (ha!) Will lives. And worst of all, he has no idea how things stand between them since they last saw each other over a year ago.

The book is written in Leo’s POV so his life as an NYU student plays a major role. Having been a foreign student in a major US city myself, I totally related to Leo and I enjoyed those parts of the book immensely, even the seemingly mundane aspects of dorm living and first year probs. Because with every turn of the page, we learn a little bit more about Leo as he discovers things about himself and the world around him.

You see, something magical happens in the narrative as Leo splits his time between mooning over Will and adjusting to his new life. His growing fascination with physics, astronomy, and even yoga start coloring the way he sees the world – from routine observations to more profound concepts – in terms of space and time, and energy and gravity. It sounds lame when I describe it, but there’s real beauty in the way it lends a kind of poetry to Leo’s narrative and subtly transforms the language of the book.

I was so aware of Will’s body in space, could feel his warmth even when he wasn’t touching me, like a slight electrical charge in the places between us. I hadn’t exactly felt untethered in the time since I’d seen him, but now I slid back into his orbit as easily as breathing.

Leo’s pursuit of Will was at times endearing, sometimes awkward and mostly a complete disaster. In other words, I found it pretty realistic, seeing as the two men (one hopeless romantic and the other a borderline misanthrope) 1) don’t have much in common, 2) are in different stages of their lives and more importantly 3) want completely different things in terms of relationships. Will’s character is unyielding, disagreeable and absolutely not kidding when he says he doesn’t want a relationship. Nevertheless, there’s an intensity to their interactions and an undeniable chemistry under the confusion that left me breathless and bewildered – so you can only imagine what it did to poor Leo.

“Can we…?” He held his arms out tentatively, and I went into them like gravity.

I should probably warn readers that the book explores the idea of alternate relationship models – not surprising when Will is flatly opposed to romantic relationships and Leo is well, in college broadening his horizons. Romance purists might take issue with certain turn of events, but I personally found the narrative refreshing and realistic – and frankly for me, essential to Leo’s character growth. It made their coming together so much more satisfying and believable when they finally decide to give things the old college try.

For me, the book ended on a perfect note with a HFN. Not that I don’t see them spending the rest of their lives together – I actually do. But one thing I learned from Leo’s story is that it’s perfectly okay to still be figuring things out and live in the now.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who’s looking for an out-of-the-box romance and has no strict notions of “the perfect relationship.”
Profile Image for Jennifer☠Pher☠.
2,696 reviews221 followers
March 27, 2018
Man, I put reading this book off for what feels like forever. It had a lot going against it. Mostly my friends reviews; they weren’t all that great or well, all over the place. I was nervous and then I just kept putting it off and now it is years later.

I finally jumped in and I did everything I could to put aside any preconceived notions I may have had and just tried to fall into the story. It was not easy. Weekends are shit for reading time and I started and then didn’t pick it back up and honestly was nervous to pick it back up.

The beginning did not make me feel good.

I was so freaking nervous that this was going to be Leo missing out on his life due to his pining.

Wow, wow, wow. Once I got going Monday morning I couldn’t put the book down. Seriously. I hadn’t been spoiled but I had some ideas about what was going to go down and the entire first half or so I think my heart was racing but I was thoroughly enjoying the read. A lot.

And then my heart just stopped and man it fucking hurt. I am not going to lie. I had to stop but I also just had to keep going, you know?

So I did and I ended up mostly loving the book.

It made sense to me. I didn’t love everything about it and there were some things I want to question and understand better. There are some things that maybe should have happened differently but overall I loved it and I finished it with a stupid grin on my face.

But I get it you know? The people who didn’t like this or were totally disappointed. I even get the people who just didn’t read it. I can see both sides of this, um, argument, or discussion. It makes sense both ways really. No lie, on any given day I could have easily fallen into the other camp.

But gah, I really did like this book a Hell of a lot.

Will. My God. I had no idea and never in a million years thought he could be so much. He was so much and he was so fucking broken and I loved him. Like really, really loved him. I hated him a little too but yeah, mostly love.

Leo. What can I say about Leo? Is this ideal? Probably not. Should he be living free while he can? Maybe. Is he too young? Well…On the other side of that though I have to ask myself…Do I believe the connection? Yes. Do I believe it can be good? Yeah, I believe that too. Do I believe it will be forever? I don’t know and honestly, I don’t know if it matters for this story. Shocking but it fits.

Leo makes a statement at one point about being older or more mature than Will and it resonated with me and calmed me. It made a lot of sense.

I think I am one of those people who sees life the way Leo does. I stared at my bedroom ceiling last night while in bed going over and over this book in my head and yeah, I realized I want to see so many things romantically. Even something as simple as a snow storm, when it snows I want it to be the kind of snow you walk the dogs in and everything is pretty. So, I totally relate to Leo. I don’t know if I want to identify anything else I discovered about myself while reading this at this time, or ever. I also relate to Will and that way is not hidden. Not as extreme but there are for sure pieces.

But anyway…

I am sitting here trying to figure out how to rate this book. I’m still thinking about it but it had things I don’t like but it had things I really got and enjoyed. I guess I’ll just stick with 4★'s. Part of me, in the light of day wants to rate the story higher. That ending easily swept so much of the ugly away. I guess you can’t rate and entire book on an ending though, right? If I could it would easily be a 5★ read.

Roan Parrish is climbing the ladder to my favorite author shelf for sure.
Profile Image for  ⚣ Marco ⚣.
96 reviews47 followers
February 16, 2020
Honestly, this was a chore to finish. Leo and his inner monologues got on my last nerves at the end of the book.

I also needed a little more commitment from Will to consider this as a real HFN/HEA.

Throw in WAY too many unnecessary details (mostly revolving around Leo's life in college) and I was glad when I was done.

Maybe with some cuts and better editing I would have liked it better. But here we are and 3 stars it is.
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,337 reviews1,822 followers
February 18, 2022
On the one hand, though we did not go out with a win, this book -- unlike the second -- did not give me any déjà vu feelings. So that's nice.

On the other hand, however, the author made an interesting choice with how this story shook out. In this series finale, we are reunited with secondary characters we met in book one. Leo, a young queer boy living in Holiday, and Will, an older man who has since relocated to New York, and, oh, is Rex's ex. They had a bit of a flirty dynamic in book one but it was well established nothing would happen due to the age different and how young Leo was. But now, a few years later, Leo is in New York for university and, also, for Will; a man he hasn't been able to forget.

I skimmed some reviews after finishing this book because I wanted to see why the rating for this one was so much lower than the rest (not that it means anything to me, seeing as I've rated all three the same), and wow, readers did not hold back on this one! I'm not spoiling anything, you can go take a look if you're really interested, but again I'll just reiterate : Parrish made some interesting choices. I'm not against it or for it, I feel pretty middling, but I completely understand the frustration.

What was a nice change, however, was that for the first time in this series, it wasn't our POV that I had the hardest time with. I actually did like Leo a lot and really appreciated how the author tracked his coming of age progress. But nor did I hate Will. I could understand his motivations well enough.. to a point. I think there did come a point for things didn't quite make as much sense as they did in the early stages but.. yeah. Also, the whole thing with his looks, I don't know, that was strange at times, too.

As an aside, I'm starting to wonder if the author's current obsessions found their way into the each book; the middle instalment was very preoccupied on Supernatural for a few chapters and this one had a lot of page time dedicated to Felicity. A little weird. Oh well.

If nothing else, I've knocked the first series off my Five Series to Finish list and, yeah, to that end, in general, I'm glad to have completed one more series that I started so long ago. They can't all be winners.

2.5 stars

---

This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.
Profile Image for Susan65.
1,514 reviews50 followers
September 22, 2016
Loved, loved, loved books one and two....yet barely finished this one.

First off, this book is absolutely nothing like the first two, it felt almost as if a different author wrote it.
Secondly, it was so boring dealing with Leo and his classes, Leo and his friends, Leo growing up and learning to be an adult.

This truly was not a romance, in my opinion, just a kid who fell for a man who told him from jump street that he was not "love" or "relationship" material, but pushed the issue anyway. Leo got hurt, Will ended up being the bad guy, and they settle for a HFN at the end.

I actually liked Will because at the least the guy was honest.
Profile Image for Chris.
2,066 reviews
September 27, 2016
Frustrating as all hell !!! I loved Leo and applauded his persistence, he was gold ❤️ Will took a while - his closed off vulnerability wore on me a bit but I guess that was the nature of his character. Certainly enjoyed it, but some parts were a bit harder to slog through
Profile Image for MishyJo.
160 reviews62 followers
Shelved as 'try-again-later'
May 13, 2019
I'm pausing at 50%. I love Leo. I find Will confusing. I have a feeling I am going to end up crying on Leo's behalf and I can't deal with that right now.
Profile Image for JESSI.
850 reviews97 followers
February 23, 2021
Honestly, this book was not for me. There was nothing wrong with it necessarily it just wasn't for me. I didn't hate either of the MC's they just didn't mesh well with me & the ending was cute, but I just didn't love it. I wanted more for Leo and Will just didn't quite measure up.

I am not going any further with this review because I don't want to discourage people from this book. You might love it, quite a few people did. It just didn't do it for me.
Profile Image for aleksandra.
297 reviews126 followers
December 4, 2022
1.5

"I care about you so much. But I can’t really because giving you what makes you happy makes me so… so fucking miserable.”

I’m basically mad at how the author decided to made this book. It had a really great potential, because the last two books were good, but here we are, it was bad. I highlighted more things I didn't like than things I liked.

Two most important things are that Leo deserves better, and Will is a dick. Now the stuff I didn’t like (there is a lot of them :)))
1. Will was so freaking mean, I get that he went through some stuff, but Leo did too. And guess what? Leo didn’t behave like a dick, and Will did.

"You’re the one who wanted to switch places!”
“No, I mean…. Will, come on. Please. I know it’s maybe a joke to you, but I really haven’t ever done this before, and you’re kind of making me feel like shit.”
I opened my eyes a crack and looked at Will. He looked away.
“Like, I want you you, not sex you.”
“Sex me,” he repeated.

It was Leo’s first time, and I would basically cry if someone was that mean for me at it’s not even the worst fragment.

2. He was described as soo handsome that basically everyone was in love with him from the first sight. He thought that everyone is with him ONLY because of how he looks like. At that was the reason why he didn’t wanted to be with Leo, he basically thought that he thinks of him this way. Not more comments here.

3. I don’t know why Leo wanted him honestly. He might be handsome, but that was basically all. At if he wanted him based on how he looked, means that he has to seriously grow up.

4. "I can try not sleeping with other people,” he went on, “but I don’t know if I can promise it forever. I don’t know what will happen in the future. And I can’t fucking take it if you leave me again because you were making us something in your head that we aren’t.”

Bitch seriously, and in the last chapter he said SPOILER that he loves Leo. Sorry, but if you love someone you won’t cheat on them. Period.

4. The plot was boring.

5. I wanted Leo to end up with someone else.

Sadly, the worst book in the series.
Profile Image for Fabi.
1,009 reviews145 followers
October 17, 2016
More! I want more!

I loved it! I held my breath waiting for it and it didn't disappoint. Incredible, original, beautiful, modern love story.

I'll review in a sec, when I catch my breath.

OK...so,

I love coming of age stories. This is a coming of age story.
I love characters who stay true to themselves even when it hurts or worse, hurts other people. These characters are solid. There are no nice little bows with one of them doing an abrupt turnabout.

Leo is 19. Will is older. Maybe not that much older. Less than 10 years or so. But at 19, a boy is still pretty young usually. Leo definitely is. He has no real life experience. Will probably already has too much considering his age. It's not a match made in heaven. But there is chemistry and compatibility. Relationships have started on much less.

I love how the author presented this story. It's REAL. Leo has to grow up. He has to mature. Go to college and live a little life. He is not a pretty 19 y.o. girl who is going to get married right out of high school, have babies and be fulfilled. He is a young man who still needs to find his place in the world.

I absolutely adore Will for giving Leo the space and the honesty that he needed. Maybe Leo didn't know he needed it and maybe it wasn't what he wanted, but it was the right thing for someone in Will's position to do.

Will is a pretty complicated character. I connected with him. I GOT him. I understood his motivations, his responsibities, and even his hesitation to commit to things he wasn't completely sure about. His background was a little hard to believe, but that's probably my only niggling doubt about the plot. Otherwise, it's perfect.

The ending had me grinning like a fool.

The previous two books were four star for me. This one was an easy and powerful five star.

I very much appreciate authors going outside the box to write stories that touch on tough, real life situations without sugarcoating. These stories are still just stories, but they have plausibility that Cinderella has never had.
Profile Image for Izengabe.
259 reviews
September 30, 2016
Me ha gustado muchísimo. 6 estrellas y directo al cielo de los OTPs

Ya estaba vendida a Will y Leo antes de empezar, y tras leer su historia ya soy suya para siempre.
Will… Aawwwww, Will te quieroooo. Qué personaje tan maravilloso… Empiezo a escribir sobre él para acabar borrándolo después porque no encuentro palabras.
Y Leo… Leo es adorable, y valiente y lo quieres abrazar mucho, mucho.

Creo sinceramente que hacen falta más historias como esta en el género, da gusto leer algo que se sale de la norma, a mí al menos me ha resultado liberador (además de un placer porque me encanta leer a Roan). Si diéramos menos importancia a nuestras expectativas y acalláramos un poquito nuestro ego (que la mayoría de las veces no se entera de nada) disfrutaríamos mucho más de la vida y de las personas. (Perdón por este momento libro-de-autoayuda que me ha dado xD)

Mi agradecimiento y mis aplausos a Roan por escribir una historia tan sincera, tan inteligente y tan romántica, porque la historia de Will y Leo es un romance precioso. Puede que no encaje en nuestra idea de romance, pero precisamente es eso lo que ha hecho que resulte más real (y más rom��ntico) para mí.

Roan, por favor, NECESITO saber más de estos dos.





Profile Image for Gillian.
882 reviews24 followers
October 5, 2016
5 stars

Wow. Just...wow.

I wasn't sure if Roan Parrish could improve upon the previous two books in this series, but she really outdid herself here. I couldn't love Will and Leo more if I tried. I honestly think that if things went differently between the two of them, if things had been easier and tied up neatly at the end, I would have been disappointed. And I think anyone who reads this and is still upset that they didn't get the typical paint-by-numbers HEA, is completely missing the point. I love that the characters show real growth here, especially Leo who starts off blindly hoping Will will change for him, only to realize that it's not only unrealistic to want that, it's unnecessary. Will gets his 'aha' moment too, when Leo forces him to confront his unrealistic expectations that Leo should be able to intuit all his feelings all the time. I dunno...other people have written better reviews so read them if you want something a little more coherent. Better yet, read this book. Honestly, it's amazing and wonderful and honest and heartbreaking and and and...I could go on. But just read it, okay?
Profile Image for MaDoReader.
1,365 reviews147 followers
Read
November 23, 2017
***Opinión impopular y absolutamente subjetiva***
Pues me parece que lo voy a dejar sin puntuar, porque a mi este libro no me ha gustado nada, desde las tripas, pero también creo que no se merece una estrella.

La clave en esta lectura son los MC, y a mí ninguno de ellos me ha hecho tilín, ni por separado y mucho menos juntos, ya en ITMOS me cayeron fatal, si a eso le añades que el "coming of age" me engancha en muy contadas ocasiones, el resultado es un cóctel Molotov que me ha explotado en la cara: me he aburrido, así de simple. Esperaba que me ocurriera como con el anterior, que a pesar de los MC el libro me enganchase, pero no ha sido así.

Paso de Leo y sus comeduras de coco YA y paso de Will y su actitud de "me duele la cara de ser tan guapo", me parece bien que deje las cosas claras a Leo (si es que no, es que no, e ir "pa'ná" es tontería xD), pero se puede hacer sin ser un capullo, gracias. No me valen redenciones peliculeras, eso me ha tocado las narices.

Dicho esto, me quedo con Will antes que con Leo, porque el personaje es mucho más complejo y no he tenido que aguantarle monólogos internos agotadores.

A pesar de los pesares, leeré el libro de Ginger ;)
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