Thursday, June 14, 2018

Virtual Book Tour: Inside Darkness by Hudson Lin (Reviews, Excerpt + Giveaway)

Welcome to the blog tour for Inside Darkness! I’m Hudson Lin and I’m here to share some behind the scenes sneak peaks about my debut novel, available June 11th. Leave a comment on the tour posts for a chance to win a $10 gift card from Amazon!

About Inside Darkness

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.

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.

Exclusive Excerpt:

Two weeks later, Ty set his carry-on bag on the floor of the lounge and dropped into an empty seat facing the tarmac at Heathrow Airport.
He was late in returning to New York, but the change of plans had worked in his favor. The colleague who was supposed to cover the start of trade talks between the US and the UK had a wife who’d gone into early labor, and Ty had happened to be there to step in. Two foreign reporting assignments in a row—things were looking up.
Ty was exhausted, but it was the good kind of exhaustion which came from work he enjoyed and that contributed to something worthwhile. He would welcome the exhaustion any day of the week over the monotony of muggings and car accidents in Chinatown.
He’d gotten some good stories the past couple of weeks. His favorite was the one with the school children singing and dancing, a spot of joy in a roster of depressing stories. There was a foreign correspondent position opening soon; if he could polish this raw material to a shine, there should be no reason why they wouldn’t give him the job.
Something flashed in the window overlooking the tarmac, and Ty caught the reflection of a figure walking behind him. He snapped his head around but couldn’t find that auburn man bun, or the tensed shoulders that swam in oversized clothes. He must have imagined it—what would be the chances?
But, now reminded, his brain wouldn’t let go of the thought of Donnelly and that strange night in the cabin. Ty wasn’t an idiot—he knew why Donnelly had invited him back to that cabin. He’d had all the reasons in the world not to go. Top of the list was not mixing work and play, lower down was that Donnelly wasn’t really Ty’s type. But he’d still gone, because he’d seen something in those bright-green eyes that belied the gruff exterior Donnelly showed the world.
He leaned forward in his seat and pulled out his phone. By force of habit, his fingers took him to Twitter, and he scrolled through updates without really reading them. Instead he replayed that night in his head: the hazy expression of surrender on Donnelly’s face as he came, dissolving into outrage and disgust—not directed at him, Ty was certain of that, though he couldn’t explain why. But then, directed at who?
He tapped away from Twitter and called up the results of his search efforts the past week. There wasn’t much out there on a Cameron Donnelly who worked for the UN. Ty had tried every search combination he could think of, and had only managed to find a bare-bones LinkedIn page and a protected Facebook profile with a picture of Donnelly that must have been taken when he was in college.
Clean-shaven, ruddy cheeks, wide smile, auburn hair cut short and smart, and green eyes that shone even on the small screen of Ty’s phone. The man in that picture was Ty’s type, but that man was a far cry from the Donnelly he’d met in the refugee camp.
The PA system crackled to life.
“Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. This is a preboarding announcement for British Airways flight 175 with service to New York JFK. Please have your boarding pass ready for inspection and your passport open to the photo page. We will begin boarding by zone numbers.”
Ty locked the screen on the picture of young Donnelly and stuck his phone in his pocket. As he joined the line of people inching toward the counter, he brainstormed additional search terms. He was acting like a bona fide stalker. At this rate, he’d end up staking out UN buildings and tailing Donnelly back to his apartment.
“Welcome aboard, sir.”
Ty nodded at the flight attendant with an automatic grin, then checked his boarding pass for his seat number: 15C. Shuffling down the aisle, Ty stopped short before he reached his row.
“You’ve got to be kidding me, right?” He laughed out loud.
Sitting in 15A, by the window, was Cameron Donnelly, with his curly man bun and scraggly beard.

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 you aren’t attacked, or worse, murdered. The things Cam has seen over the years has left him one very damaged man. 

I also wasn’t too sure about Tyler at first, but he quickly won my heart. As much as he wasn’t looking for a relationship there was something about Cam that drew him in and wouldn’t let go. I loved that he was caring and nurturing, but I especially loved that when it really counted, he was there for Cam and wouldn’t let Cam push him away. 

These two men together, complimented one another well, their chemistry was off the charts and they sizzled together, both in and out of bed. The story is well-written and l has a satisfying ending. 

I loved that the author dealt with Cam’s issues realistically and that even once he and Ty had a solid relationship, Cam still struggled and they still had to work everyday to make their relationship work. 

This was an enjoyable read, an emotional hurt/comfort story that definitely delivers all the feels. Definitely recommendable! 

*** Copy provided to me via NetGalley  for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***

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 darkness?

Okay, so first, I have to say that this book was intense in the sense that I could actually feel the cloud of depression surrounding Cameron and honestly, I wasn't sure if he would be able to work through it. It just felt insurmountable at times. He had a great support system in his sister, parents and eventually Ty, who was great with him, all things considered. While I wasn't too sure about Tyler at first, my heart broke at everything he'd had to go through and felt he was shortchanged with Cameron sometimes. Yes, Cam was dealing with a lot of things, but he was very judgmental when it came to Tyler, not really giving much value to his complaints about his work, his past and such. At least not until Tyler actually spoke up and got the record straight about what was bothering him about it all. Same with Izzy and Cary, Cam's sister and friend, who were all too happy to point out that Tyler had been a bit slutty before meeting Cam, but were equally happy to leave Tyler care for Cam when he needed to be cared for. I guess at least Izzy eventually got nicer to Tyler. *sighs*

Anyway, I actually wasn't sure if Cameron would ever be ready to be in a real relationship with Ty. Yes, he was going to therapy and he fell in love with Tyler, but neither is a magic solution for PTSD and I appreciated that the author showed that it was still a struggle for Cameron even after getting together with Ty.

Overall, I really enjoyed the story, it was a very emotional journey that I have no trouble recommending.

*** copy provided to the reviewer by Riptide Publishing via NetGalley, a review wasn't a requirement. ***

About Hudson Lin

Hudson Lin was raised by conservative immigrant parents and grew up straddling two cultures with often-times 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 about outsiders who fight to carve out their place in society, and overcome everyday challenges to find love and happily ever afters.

When not engrossed in a story, Hudson knits, drinks tea, and works the nine-to-five in the beautiful city of Toronto, Canada.

Connect with Hudson:


To celebrate the release of Inside Darkness, Hudson is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 16, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!


  1. Sounds like a great story. Hope to read more of it. (Like all of it)
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  2. Thank you for the review. It sounds really good!

  3. Thank you for the review, guys - it gives insight what to expect further for when I read this book.
    Congrats on your debut, Hudson! Looking forward to check out this book soonest. :)
    puspitorinid AT yahoo DOT com

  4. Congrats on the release! This sounds like a good book.

  5. Thanks for the reviews!
    jlshannon74 at

  6. Thank you for the review!
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  7. thanks for the reviews :)


  8. Awesome review and excerpt. Thanks so much for posting.

  9. Congrats, and thanks for the post. Perfect title to match an intriguing story that seems very real in its dealing with obstacles - of self, others and circumstances. - TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  10. Congrats, and thanks for the post. Perfect title to match an intriguing story that seems very real in its dealing with obstacles - of self, others and circumstances. - TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com