The Devil Inside by Nicky James #Audiobook #MMRomance #Contemporary #Review #LGBT #Angst

Erryn reviews ‘The Devil Inside’ by Nicky James. This book was released by the author on May 26, 2020, and is 301 pgs long. The audiobook version of this story was narrated by Nick J. Russo.  It was released on April 27, 2022, and is 10 hrs and 51 mins long. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

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

Their love was innocent and pure…

Until they were forced to believe differently.

Until they were brutally schooled on the “right” way to love.

Oakland is not gay.

Jameson is not gay.

Being gay is wrong. It is immoral. It is a sickness they must fight. It is the devil inside that needs to be purged.

At least that’s what they’ve been conditioned to believe.

They’ve spent years trudging through the wreckage left behind after eight months in conversion therapy as teenagers.

When their lives collide again fifteen years later, the denial they’ve lived with for years gets harder and harder to fight.

They loved each other once. Can two broken men find a way to love each other again?

The Devil Inside is a higher angst, second chance, MM Romance novel with a HEA.

**Please heed trigger warnings.**


Buy Links: Audible  | Amazon  | Add to Goodreads 

My Review:

Authors provide trigger warnings to protect their readers.  Some risk giving away the plot, but they want their readers to know that certain tough subjects are going to be addressed and if they have any concerns, they might want to steer clear from the book.  Then they go on to present the best book they possibly can while handling these delicate subjects.

To be clear – many of Nicky James’s books have trigger warnings.  To be clear – I will steer readers toward them when necessary.  So, obviously, this book’s warnings are justified.  All that being said?  It’s a fucking great book.

We’ve heard the horror stories of conversion therapy.  It’s being banned in Canada for children under the age of eighteen.  Frankly, it should be outlawed entirely.  People don’t choose to be gay.  They don’t grow up and decide, ‘hey, I want to be marginalized, ostracized, and harassed for who I choose to love’.  That’s really not a thing.  But when a child grows up hearing that homosexuality is a sin and that they’ll go to Hell – well, that may leave them with few options.  For the record – you can’t pray away the gay.

I think both Oakland and Jameson, at various points in their lives, would have done just that.  But they haven’t been able to.  The result?  One is in a sexless marriage and one haunts gay bars to find anonymous men who will hurt him as they fuck him.  Yeah, so not great.  Both also drink and smoke – attempts to deal with life in general.  One manages to hold down a job and is attempting to maintain a relationship with his parents.  The other walked away from his parents after being forced into conversion therapy and can rarely hold down a job for an extended period of time.

Both are miserable.

Both find decent therapists who send them to a therapy group of people who endured conversion therapy.  A disparate group of men and women who were traumatized in their formative years.

That Jameson and Oak wind up in the same group is pretty remarkable – they both grew up in a small town well outside Toronto, and yet have both wound up in Toronto.  Not entirely surprising – both were looking for anonymity – Jameson and his family hoping to find a new church with people who don’t know Jameson’s past and Oak because starting over again far from home seemed the best option.

Hasn’t really worked out for others.  Yet something really cool happens – Jameson is asked by his parents to help out an elderly lady when her son is out of town.  She’s a little loopy and her mind isn’t all there, but it’s clear he comes to adore her.  Then he finds out she has a secret and it blows his mind.  It changes how he sees the world and himself.  And eventually he brings Oak into this little group and his world is changed as well.

To be clear – this is not an easy book.  There’s a marriage to untangle, there are parents to deal with – there is a shit ton of baggage to unpack.  At first it seemed like the men weren’t even good for each other.  Eventually, that changed.  But they did not choose the easy path, that’s for sure.

Sometimes secondary characters make a book and this is certainly one of those.  This was a very powerful book and I’m so glad I listened.  And speaking of listening – Nick J. Russo did a fantastic job of narrating this book.  His performance was stellar and I recommend this – just read the trigger warnings first.

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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