After a decade as an aid worker, Cameron Donnelly returns home jaded, tired, and with more than just a minor case of PTSD. Plagued by recurring nightmares but refusing to admit he has a problem, Cam quickly spirals into an alcohol-infused depression, and everyone around him is at a loss for how to help.
Journalist Tyler Ang met Cam on a reporting assignment in Kenya, and their first encounters were rife with hostility and sexual tension. Back in New York, their paths continually cross, and each time, Cam’s brokenness reminds Ty more and more of his own difficult childhood. Letting Cam in goes against Ty’s instinct to live life autonomously, but the damaged aid worker manages to sneak past his guard.
Their relationship is all sharp corners and rough edges, and just as they’re figuring out how to fit together, a life-threatening accident puts it all in jeopardy. If they want a future together, both will have to set aside their egos and learn to carry each other’s burdens.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.5 stars- I’ve recently had a good run of books whose covers caught my eye and blurbs capture my attention ending up being fantastic reads. Inside Darkness marks another title to add to that list. My first book by this author, I was immediately drawn into this hurt-comfort romance which starts in a refugee camp located in Kenya. Not only were the characters likable with interesting backstories, but the premise was so different that I couldn’t help but be swept away and found it exceedingly hard to put Inside Darkness down for any length of time. There was a lot that completely captivated me about Inside Darkness. The pacing of the book was brisk enough to keep things moving without ever rushing the plot or relationship between Tyler and Cameron. I also really appreciated the raw details the author included about field aid work as well as its toll on “lifers” like Cameron. As for the romance, this was more of a slow-burner, which worked well given how the characters meet, their professional lives, and their current circumstances. What I loved about that approach was their chemistry wasn’t only fueled by that intense draw between Ty and Cam, but it also provided plenty of time to grow and cultivate love and a bond as they spent more time together. Simply put, the story and romance was not easy by any means, but it was believable. I read a lot of hurt-comfort romances and a fair amount of books that also deal in PTSD, and I found Inside Darkness to be one of the better ones- both in its brutal honesty of what Cam and his loved ones deal with, and also in the way the author never lost sight of the character or relationship development. I’ll definitely be reading more from Miss Lin and would recommend Inside Darkness to any fans of hurt-comfort stories. *eARC received via Netgalley. The author and publisher had no influence over this review*
Cameron Donnelly is already feeling pretty world weary after 10 years in the field, suffering nightmares and keeping things barely stable with alcohol and nicotine when he meets broadcast journalist Tyler Ang. A one time encounter at a camp in Kenya starts their rocky relationship, compounded by Cam's PTSD when they meet up again in New York. With their careers calling them in different directions and the challenges of dealing with Cam's issues, is a happy ending possible? I really enjoyed this emotional, sometimes heart-wrenching but ultimately hopeful romance. The subject matter is difficult but handled well, with the reality of Cam's past experiences coloring his present ones. There is no magic fix for his PTSD, but seeing a therapist, and having someone like Tyler in his life make a big difference and give him hope for the future. There are some ups and downs, good times and bad as Tyler and Cam learn to communicate and share their lives with each other. Cam's had to hide his true personality for fear of the consequences while on assignment in countries that are not friendly to gay rights. Though he is free to act on his feelings in the U.S., he still struggles with being openly gay after hiding it for so long. He and Tyler share some sexy scenes together but they are also fraught with complicated emotions for Cam. Tyler doesn't come off scot free in the emotional baggage department, having lost his mother at age 8 and grown up in the foster system. As an American of Chinese ethnic decent, Tyler gets put into what's effectively a journalism corner, dealing with the Chinatown beat when what he really wants is a prized foreign correspondent role. Career prospects make for difficult choices and consequences. In the end, Tyler and Cam come to realize that what they have is worth fighting for, and is of more value than a life apart. It's an emotional and intense but very satisfying read.