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Inside Darkness

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  111 ratings  ·  52 reviews
He’s come in from the field, but the darkness has followed him home.

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.

Kindle Edition, 234 pages
Published June 11th 2018 by Riptide Publishing
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3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  111 ratings  ·  52 reviews

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Optimist ♰King's Wench♰
4.25 Hearts

I honestly don't know what came over me here. Nothing about that blurb usually appeals to me. Hurt/Comfort is hit or miss. I'm averse to books that feature mental illness. Pain usually sends me into the blanket fort, but for whatever reason when I first saw this book a couple months ago I was drawn to it. Maybe it's the word 'darkness' in the title, maybe it's the cover or maybe it's some weird woowoo shit. Whatever it was I'm glad for it, because this book was seriously good.

Cam has
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-arc, m-m
3.5 stars

5/4-Full review now posted.

3.50 stars
Hudson Lin, author of Inside Darknessis a new to me author, but I will certainly keep an eye out for her books in the future.

Cameron Donnelly is an UN aid worker and is burnt out and returning to NY has not helped him feel like his old self. For him, it is a daily struggle to survive in the “darkness”. He is filled with despair and he believes the darkness helps him get through his everyday life. A darkness that was created by years of felling helpl
DNF 40% - no rating

The writing style wasn't catching me - too repetitive and too much telling - but I just can't with the slut shaming. Such a turn off, plus very hypocritical coming from the host of a sex party. If it had just been that one instance I might have forgiven it, but then to be hit again with it from Cam's sister - who really needed to mind her own business - and then Ty starting to feel self conscious about it, I was done.

ARC of Inside Darkness was generously provi
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, 2018
This felt awful real and that’s a compliment!
Cam works as an aid worker in Kenya when he meets the gorgeous journalist Ty.
Cam is grumpy and hostile toward Ty but their is also physical attraction and tension.

Ty returns home and after some time Cam makes the decision to go home too.
When they collide again there is the a bunch of attraction. Only Cam has PTSD and he doesn’t need help.... he just glides away in his own space. He only gets out to smoke and drink himself into his space again. He is i
There were some really good themes in this book, and there were some things that weren't so good.

Let's talk about the good stuff first.

The author does a fine job exploring the impact and effects of PTSD that Cameron experiences, and how it shapes his interactions with the world around him, even when (and perhaps especially when) the traumatic events leading to the PTSD have passed. The darkness to which Cameron escapes is a place of safety to which he retreats when he's under extreme pressure or
I was captivated by this story. Strangely, and almost against my will, reeled in.

There are two MCs and two main struggles in this story. Cam, a UN field aid worker, suffers from untreated and escalating PTSD. Ty is an American of Chinese heritage. Orphaned at a young age and raised in the American foster care system. He has made a life as a journalist relying on no one but himself. His struggle against race typing and discrimination is tangible.

These two meet when Ty travels to Cam's aid outpost
Wynne Katherine
Dec 14, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf

I'm at that stage of book slump where I can't even be bothered to write a review anymore tbh


somebody save this bitch from this endless darkness

Blog : It's the Choo Choo train (pardon my ass for being weird)

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This was one of those books that catches your eye due to the cover or the blurb but you don't know the author and you have no idea what to expect. You kind of roll the dice and say a book hail mary and hope it turns out ok. This turned out better than ok for me. I really liked this book and I'm super glad I took a chance on it.

It starts in a country in Africa where Cameron works as an aide worker. He's been doing this high stress job for ten years and he's burnt out. He's exhausted and sufferin
Joyfully Jay
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sue
A Joyfully Jay review.

4.75 stars

Inside Darkness was an excellent exploration of PTSD and the effects it can have on an individual (and their family) long after the actual traumatic event has passed. The book mentions that 30% of aide workers suffer from PTSD and it’s a statistic that doesn’t get much attention. In Cameron, we see a man who has dedicated himself to helping others. But in doing so, he’s seen violence, death, and human suffering on a near daily basis. The author has done an excell
This book was provided for free by the publisher and Love Bytes in exchange for an honest review.

This review was first posted to Love Bytes: LGBTQ Book Reviews. It has been slightly edited here for content.

I’m not a smoker, but damn, this book makes me want to light up—and not just because one of the main characters has a pretty steep nicotine addiction. This is one hell of a depressing book. Darkness, as stated in the title, is a very present theme—in fact, the word comes up on just about every
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
That was intense. But it went remarkably quickly.
4.5 stars- Raw and emotional story that held me captive cover to cover

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 co
Tracy~Bayou Book Junkie
4 Stars

This book sounded so fabulous, and broken characters are one of my favorites tropes, but once I opened the book up and started reading, I wasn’t so sure if maybe Cam wasn’t too broken to be put back together. He was a complete and utter twat at times, well, throughout most of the story, to be honest, but my heart broke for him and all he’d been through. I can’t imagine going to a foreign country to try to aid and assist the residents there and having to walk around with armed guards so yo
Mar 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Arc reviewed for Netgalley
(minor spoilers – to avoid them, skip paragraph four)

Cameron’s situation is tragic. He has given years of his life to help others while hiding his true self behind a wall of fear that leaves him trapped within his “darkness,” which is actually PTSD manifesting as a means of hiding himself away from the world and not dealing with his issues. Turning to alcohol and booty calls only quicken his downward spiral. Tyler is a journalist on the rise, isolated by his foster care
T.A. McKay
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Copy from NetGalley.

I'm not even sure how to put into words what I thought of this book. It has me all mixed up.

Okay, so let's start with I REALLY enjoyed it. It was a slow burn that just made me want to scream at both men. But the slow burn was needed. It would have completely ruined the story if everything had happened quickly. The chemistry between the men was *sigh* ...even if against I wanted to scream at them both and tell them to get their heads out of their arses!
Anyway...the story was
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-on-gr
4.5 stars. Review upcoming.

CW: PTSD, therapy, breakdowns, etc., flashbacks of a deadly gay bashing

✦ UN aid worker
✦ Journalist (Asian American)

This is the dreaded “it was ok” kind of book. I didn’t hate it, didn’t love it, and have very little to say that’s at all helpful. :/

I did feel like the romance was a bit lite. Example: we don't get any discussion of them being anything behind occasional fuck buddies until about 95%. That's . . . a bit too MIA for me. I’m not saying I needed them to sit down and confess their love
Mel Sparks
Inside Darkness by Hudson Lin in my opinion was neither good nor bad. It was one of those average books that had a plot I struggled with, I found myself skimming chapters, avoiding it for days at a time, forgetting to continue in favor of something better and to be fair the writing was ok. Was I enraptured by it? No, but could I follow along? Yes. I got the gist that Cam had PTSD and Ty felt overlooked in his field of journalism but apart from all this, their story just seemed to drag on...and o ...more
Ije the Devourer of Books
This story is brilliant. It is both edgy and gripping and I really enjoyed reading it. For me the best part of the story is that it is very realistic and draws upon the lived experience of the author and it manages to do this without being dry or technical. It is this sense of reality that makes the story gripping because although it is fiction, it could actually happen in real life.

Cameron has spent ten years working in UN refugee camps. He is excellent at what he does and he is a lead UN staff
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reviewed for Just Love.

3.5 Stars

Hudson Lin is a new author to me, leaving me with no real idea how I’d like her writing, which meant I had little to no idea about Inside Darkness, save the blurb. So diving in, not sure what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised. Still, I’ve struggled with now to rate this book.

Inside Darkness is a rough story about Cam and Ty. Cam, an aid worker with the UN who has a lot of “field-cred”, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. And Ty, an investigative reporter
Roberta Blablanski
**Copy provided by author for honest review.**

3.5 out of 5 stars

Cameron, an international aid worker, suffers from PTSD from being out in the field for several years. His darkness is a place of fear at times, and at times a place of safety. He meets Tyler, a journalist, while on location in Kenya. The attraction is mutual but they part on less than ideal terms.

As the title implies, darkness plays a big part in this story. The insight into Cam's struggles (his "darkness") is written in such a wa
Diane Dannenfeldt
I enjoyed the fact the the person suffering PTSD was not a solider. Tyler Ang, a refugee himself had has his own sad life. Growing up in foster care after the death of his mother and being thrown around and harrassed more than once, his ultimate goal is to make something out of his life, to be someone, which also makes him ambitious in his job to a fault. Nothing and no one will stand in his way and he had built up bricks around his heart. Hook-ups are his own distraction and that earned him a c ...more
Isabella ~Mikku-chan~
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Full RTC

Emotional and hooking.
Full of heavy moments, two very unique MCs, dealing with their own troubles.

A few points including CWs
- mental illness, depression & anxiety, PTSD not "magically cured"
- CW for on page flashbacks/dreams of violence/on page talk of death of a side character
- substance abuse, excessive consuming of alcohol & cigarettes
- hidden racism
- CW for description of physical pain, due to accident
Alexis Ames
DNF - couldn't get into the story or the characters and stopped caring.
Carol (bookish_notes)
I finished this book all in one sitting and was up WAY too late reading this. lol I really loved the characters and the story with showing what aid workers go through. One thing I would have loved to see more of is Tyler, since his entire story seems to be wrapped around Cam’s life and what Cam is going through.

***Thanks to the author for providing me an ARC to review***
Annie Maus
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hudson Lin’s Inside Darkness is precisely why I review for a blog where I’m exposed to new authors. What a treat to find a writer as good as Lin. Of course I may be prejudiced, since Inside Darkness features cities and circumstances quite similar to those of my own youth.

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, e
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m going to have to put Hudson Lin on my auto-buy list based on this book alone—it’s that good.

I think what made this book work so well for me is that the author managed to bring a level of reality to the story that many romances don’t achieve. Often, there’s something that will feel contrived—the way the characters are thrown together, the speed at which the protagonists fall in love, the obstacles in the path of their relationship, etc. But with this novel, everything seemed just right.

The ro
Mari Cardenas ~ Bayou Book Junkie
4.5 Stars!

Cameron is a UN aid working in Kenya when he meets Tyler, a journalist sent to work a piece about their mission. While Cam is not out, they have one hot hookup just before Tyler leaves Kenya and after they're both back in NYC, they see each other again. However, Cameron is dealing with PTSD and when it is too much, he feels as if a darkness envelops him. Will Tyler, who has avoided relationships before he met Cameron, be able to help him or will Cameron lose the fight against the darkn
Maria Rose
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 e
Arc from NetGalley

I know I’m late! I’ve had this arc for quite some time but I read the summary very fast and only after been approved I realized it was about mental health. I wasn’t in the mood because my mental health is conditioned by what I watch/read so I wanted only bubbly, fluffy, easy books about good feelings, sunshine and rainbows. So days went by and I didn’t start it.

The day it was published I ordered me to read it, and I did, and I liked it. It was hard and it triggered me a little,
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Hudson Lin was raised by conservative immigrant parents and grew up straddling two cultures with ofttimes conflicting perspectives on life. Instead of conforming to either, she has sought to find a third way that brings together the positive elements of both.

Having spent much of her life on the outside looking in, Hudson likes to write stories about outsiders who fight to carve out their place in