- File Size: 1821 KB
- Print Length: 234 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Riptide Publishing (June 11, 2018)
- Publication Date: June 11, 2018
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07DBGLRSV
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #757,218 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$17.99|
Save $14.00 (78%)
Inside Darkness Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
"Lin's deft handling of the lovers' psychological wounds and convincing buildup of their genuine care for each other make this a rewarding story." - Publishers Weekly
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Despite the telling habit, the author managed to show me how serious and crippling and dangerous Cam's PTSD is. Conversely, except for one scene, I found Ty's issues less well supported, told what they were, told why he's career-focused rather than shown. Telling removes the power, the urgency of a childhood wound serious enough to drive his whole adulthood (until Cam shows up). However, I really liked Cam and Ty's dynamic, the intense attraction versus what each thinks he wants/needs/deserves, and I liked the other characters, even the slut-shaming sister, even the racist mother. In fact, Ty's troubles with racism were striking, it was one of the better aspects of his character, in that 'you're your own worst enemy, sometimes' way. (He's Chinese American.)
I liked what Cam's darkness was and how it changed as he did. Despite its flaws, give this one a try.
Cameron (Cam) Donnelly is a UN crisis camp administrator stationed in Eastern Kenya. He was raised with ideals that could never survive the realities of camp starvation, illnesses, and the systematic violence against refugees, especially gays. Cam has ignored his emotions to subsist, and frozen his sexuality to protect others. “Don’t Look; don’t be gay. Indulging in those desires only led to people getting hurt out here,” he reminds himself.
Impeccably dressed and handsome journalist Tyler (Ty) Ang arrives to investigate the camp for a national news agency. He hopes to break out of his type-cast role as the Asian reporting on Chinatown issues. In fact, he was raised in the system, where he had no exposure to Chinese culture. “‘Constantly rotating through foster homes, getting beat by some foster parent who felt like taking their shit out on me? And starving because they didn’t feel like feeding me?… So don’t f***ing tell me I don’t have field cred,’” he challenges Cam who implies Ty is a lightweight.
When Ty crosses Cam’s path stateside, Cam appears even more haggard away from Africa’s dangers. Lin conveys the terror of trauma superbly. “Some days, it felt like he’d been dropped into the center of a giant whirlpool where everything spun in circles around him, slipping through his fingers and making him nauseous as he tried to orient himself,” Cam realizes.
Though Ty knows Cam will be more than his preferred casual encounter, their chemistry is too hot to ignore. Then he watches Cam’s darkness dissipate under his touch, and Lin tells us, “Ty took a second to understand that it (Cam’s gaze) was directed at him – no one had ever looked at him like this before, like he was someone worthwhile, like he had something valuable to give.”
Can Cam heal… and if he does, can Ty let anyone past his protective maze of barriers? Lin writes, “Ty recognized a deep sense of loss so familiar and so intense that he wasn’t sure if the feeling came from Cam or from himself. A thought occurred to him: maybe that was why he found it so difficult to say no to Cam – his hurt felt like Ty’s own hurt.”
As a clinician, I love reading therapy sessions with a ring of truth. Cam’s therapist gently uses his resistances to help him escape this spiraling thoughts. But, Lin doesn’t take the easy path. Neither love nor therapy is miraculous. Instead, both reveal more of Cam’s strengths than his weaknesses.
Lin’s timing makes this novel realistic. Though Ty and Cam want to prevent love from seeping into their pores… it enters at such a glacial speed they cannot resist. While encounters with others deplete them, each encounter together is fortifying.
Readers cringe in recognition at Tyler and Cam’s mistakes. This is the art of the storyteller, to make us love her characters, flaws and all. For example, Ty denies the importance of Cam’s family’s acceptance. ”It was only Thanksgiving, for f***’s sake. He was still trying to convince himself of that when exhaustion finally overcame him.”
“Inside Darkness” is anything but dark. it is a much needed light on issues Americans rarely consider, brought with a dignity and compassion that allows us to brave the realities of our stark world. For me, this is a 4.5 heart read. I highly anticipate reading Lin’s future novels to watch her style as it matures.
Top international reviews
So why was it so good? It tells the tale of how two men, who on the surface should not be a match, actually find solace in each other. From the first moment they meet, the impeccably dressed & handsome Ty is drawn to the darkness of Cam (even with his manbun!) and they find themselves drawn to each other time and time again. In some ways as a reader you get to know Ty far better than Cam, who is closed and fighting for his sanity against his 'darkness'. The trauma he has experienced as an aid worker has caused untold damage to him and he drinks & smokes heavily as a result. Ty sees this in him and yet is still drawn to him. The scenes following the episode in the police station were realistic and touching, leading to Cam finally getting the help he needed. The sessions with the therapist reveal Cam's inner thoughts and he finally starts to see what he wants. What is particulary pleasing, is that his emerging love for Ty is not a magic healer. As for Ty, his veneer of calm confidence is slowly drawn back and shown to Cam and though they are not a true 'couple' for most of the book, their story rings true. They need each other.
A thouroughly enjoyable book, with two emotive MCs who despite their faults, you rooted for. A no-quibble 5 star read. I only wish it had been longer!