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.
Lin (Stepping Out in Faith) opens the In My Own Skin contemporary romance series with two emotionally scarred protagonists learning there's more to life than work. Early in his career, Cameron Donnelly, an international aid worker, witnessed the brutal murder of a gay acquaintance in Kenya. He swore to stay closeted for his own and others' safety, and focused on the relief work he feels called to. Tyler Ang, whose beloved mother died from cancer when he was eight, grew up in the foster system and has made his way in television journalism, but feels trapped in New York City's Chinatown beat because of his Asian heritage. After Cameron and Tyler enjoy a brief romantic encounter in Nairobi, the two reconnect in New York and savor steamy sex while resisting commitment. Cameron attempts to treat his trauma with alcohol abuse, and Tyler's professional frustrations prompt him to look for work abroad. While some supporting characters remain underdeveloped, Lin's deft handling of the lovers' psychological wounds and convincing buildup of their genuine care for each other make this a rewarding story.