The One That Got Away by Nicky James #Audiobook #MMRomance #Contemporary #Review #LGBT #Angst

Erryn reviews ‘The One That Got Away’ by Nicky James. This book was released by the author on March 22, 2021, and is 337 pgs long. The audiobook version of this story was narrated by Nick J. Russo.  It was released on January 3, 2022, and is 12 hrs and 34 mins long. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Why I read this book:  I loved The Endless Road to Sunshine.


Someone is following me. I’m not imagining it. I’m not crazy. 

Charlie Falkingham is convinced someone is stalking him. There are signs. There are clues. But no one believes him. After living through a childhood horror, Charlie suffers from a severe paranoia disorder, among many things, and the Hamilton Police Department has labeled him the boy who cries wolf. 

When the only person in the department who ever listened to Charlie’s concerns retires, who can Charlie reach out to for help? 

Arrogant and young, Officer Takoda Dyani has a chip on his shoulder a mile wide. He’s rude and brash and doesn’t play well with others. He has more enemies than friends. When his senior officer assigns him to be Charlie’s consultant, Takoda knows it will end badly. He doesn’t have time to coddle a prissy rich boy. 

However, if he can’t calm Charlie’s paranoid delusions and act civil for once, he’ll lose his job. 

But are they delusions? 

The longer he knows Charlie, the more Takoda realizes something isn’t right. 

Is someone really stalking Charlie, or is Takoda getting too wrapped up in Charlie’s world? 

The One That Got Away is an MM romantic suspense thriller. Triggers for severe anxiety and panic disorder, OCD, dissociative episodes, and PTSD. The plotline includes a reference to a past child kidnapping and sex trafficking incident. Details of sex trafficking are NOT discussed in any part of the story.


Buy Links: Audible  | Amazon  | Add to Goodreads 

My Review:

I love me some Nicky James – especially when I’m in the mood for some good old-fashioned angst.  Charlie is one of my favorite characters in Ms. James’ stable. I just wanted to wrap him up and hold him tight.  He was a victim of sex trafficking as a boy (never discussed in detail), and that experience has colored how he sees the world.  He sees patterns where none exist.  He sees stalkers that aren’t there.  For the past twenty or so years, he’s lived in fear.  While his mother and sister have walked away from him, his father has remained steadfast.  But even he worries about Charlie’s delusions.

All that being said, Charlie has made a good life for himself.  He’s a fantasy author who has seen some success.  There are a few things he is able to do on his own.  But, for the most part, he’s stuck in his childhood home with demons who won’t quit.

For years, the cop who rescued Charlie was his point person at the Hamilton Police Department.  Charlie could always bend the man’s ear and know he was being heard.  When that cop retires, Charlie needs to be assigned to someone.  His mother’s political connections along with a deep-seated guilt within the department for not having rescued him sooner (and for the horrific outcome for all the other victims) has the higher ups attempting to appease Charlie as best they can.  When he comes in with another story of being stalked, he’s assigned a beat cop named Takoda.  Charlie is Takoda’s last chance. Literally. His last call was to deal with a couple of drunk teenagers and when he went to the house to confront the parents who supplied the alcohol to the underage kids, he, uh, doesn’t do so well.  Rich people aren’t his jam, and although everything he did appeared to be accidental, it endeared him to no one – least of all his boss.  So Takoda is assigned to babysit rich and spoiled Charlie.

Now, although Takoda’s antipathy is never in question, Charlie’s perception of the world is.  Is he really seeing someone out there?  Is he being stalked?  Or is it his imagination running off wild in all directions?  Charlie’s father and the former police officer who used to help him both believe it’s the latter.  So does Takoda…until a few strange things happen.  At first, he writes off those incidents, but Charlie’s reaction to them demands attention.

Now, since this is a thriller, I suspect you know which direction this might be going.  Alas, I will neither confirm nor deny your suspicions.  I will say this is a smart book that had me questioning everything.  I adored Charlie and empathized with him and his anxiety.  I felt awful for what he endured as a child, even if details were never given.  I worried that he wouldn’t even be able to have an emotional and physical relationship or that the right man might not even come along.  But even people with mental illnesses and/or childhood trauma deserve happiness.

I also came to like Takoda, despite the attitude and chip on his shoulder.  His family situation was rough and he’s fought to put together a life he can be proud of.  He’s done a good job…if he can just keep his gig as a cop.  As things deteriorate, that also came into question.  You’ll have to read to find out what happens.

Quick shout out to Nick J. Russo for another stellar performance.  He always nails it and he works well with Ms. James.  Can’t wait to see where they go next.

My Rating:

10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars

Facebook | Twitter: @NicoleJames1978 | Goodreads

I live in the small town of Petrolia, Ontario, Canada and I am a mother to a wonderful teenage boy (didn’t think those words could be typed together…surprise) and wife to a truly supportive and understanding husband, who thankfully doesn’t think I’m crazy.

I have always had two profound dreams in life. To fall back hundreds of years in time and live in a simpler world, not bogged down by technology and to write novels. Since only one of these was a possibility I decided to make the other come alive on paper.

I write mm romance novels that take place in fantastical medieval-type settings and love to use the challenges of the times to give my stories and characters life.

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