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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2021 Nicky James (P)2021 Nicky James

What listeners say about The One That Got Away

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Great listen!

This audio was great! I loved the narrator and the story! I highly recommend this audiobook !

3 people found this helpful

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4.5

I like to think of myself as a semifunctioning adult; one for whom leaving a keyboard smash as a review would never be an option. But as I tried to figure out exactly how I would formulate my thoughts, it began to seem more and more appealing. I hesitated over starting this book at first. Having read the author’s trigger warnings, it seemed like death—which is touched on in this novel but not in an excessive way—and gore would not be present. But I hesitated nonetheless. The psychological thriller was the next part to snag my attention. I worried that, depending on how the author wrote things, it might end up giving me some anxiety/leading to some paranoia of my own. But I kept coming back to it; reading the sample and scouring reviews. Finally, I gave in and bought it… And then I came to my next hurtle. I already felt like I’d like Charlie from his chapter. But I immediately went on the defensive, as a WOC, reading about an officer being an ahole—punching some random in the face, damaging property, I was a little on edge. But, warily, I soldiered on. I started understanding Takoda a bit more. Learning about his background helped… but I remained wary. So I’m not quite sure when it happened, maybe when Takoda was clearly feeling uncomfortable following his superior’s orders when it came to handling Charlie’s condition. Maybe it was, while still being an ahole, when he seemed concerned for Charlie’s well-being not just for the sake of his job (or that could’ve been wishful thinking). Anyway, like I said, I can’t pinpoint when it happened, but all of a sudden I was invested. I stayed up till 6 AM, something I haven’t done in a while to know what was happening next—during the suspense bits—but also to read about the budding friendship/romance during the “slice of daily life” bits. I loved what Charlie and Takoda became for each other. They complemented one another so well. I loved how patient Takoda was and watching Charlie gain confidence in himself. I really appreciated the relationship Charlie had with his dad. And I thought the conclusion to the mystery was great (in a disconcertingly surprising way. And then there was the narration by Nick J. Russo. I’m pretty sure I would still have liked the book on it’s own,but I think he brought it to a whole other level! He had distinct voices for Charlie and Takoda and I think a few more for other characters. It was just great! Oh, another thing I enjoyed about this book was that the drama/suspense/angst happened outside of the romance. With Charlie’s insecurities and Takoda’s hang-ups, there was definite room for romantic drama on top of everything else. I do have complaints: Takoda never apologizes for his initial treatment of Charlie. I wanted to know/see more with Takoda’s brother. We never got a followup with mom after the complete 180 it sounds like her character did. So I might knitpick a bit and make this review 4.5. Nicky James is a name I’ve seen around but never checked out. After this story, I’m eager to read what else this author has to offer.

1 person found this helpful

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Heartstoppingly Suspenseful!!

Wow!!! What an amazing romantic suspense! I loved Charlie and Takoda. I read this initially and this was an immediate but for me when it hit audio. Once again Nick Russo knocked it out of the park with his portrayal of Nicky’s characters. When I read this, I was so enthralled with their story I could hardly put it down. In audio it was even more difficult to have to step away. Nick Russo really pulled me more into their story than before and I was so drawn in! I found my heart pounding at parts as Nick took us through this amazing romantic suspense. My heart went out to not only Charlie, but to Takoda as well. Charlie faced some serious battles and somehow Takoda knew just how to soothe his wounds. Takoda was truly Charlie’s person. Their story was wonderfully suspenseful with just the right amount of romance tucked in. I was at the edge of my seat and I both wanted their story to hurry up for the story to unfold, and at the same time I didn’t want it to be over! Nicky James writes some of the most endearingly broken characters, which she helps piece back together with her wonderful storytelling. She really did an amazing job of pulling me into their world! Oh and reader? While Takoda has some rough edges, I promise you that you’ll come around to love Takoda too!

1 person found this helpful

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listened to in 3 sittings

I'm starting to gain a patter with all Nicky James books. Low number of sittings. if I didn't have to sleep or do other things that required my ears i would have had this be a one and done. Again

At first i wasn't to sure about Takota and Charlie, I should have known better but hey. i am wrong a lot. by the end of the book i was wanting them to win against everything. They both go on a journey that helps them both grow, and there might be a furball or two on the way. who knows.

i love Nick's voice for this book, he hit the emotional tones so well the anger the heart break, i forgot there was only one narrator. i was able to sink right in.if your a Nicky fan then this is another to add to your list to read. If your not already, What are you waiting for?

1 person found this helpful

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Absolutely Riveting!!!

I devoured this book when I read it so I was thrilled when it came out on audio and could not wait to dive in. Boy oh boy did Nick J. Russo just NAIL IT! He was sublime bringing Charlie and Takoda to life with all the emotions, feelings, suspense, anxiousness, and love. I Could. Not. Stop. Listening.


Hands down the best book I've read this year! This was a long book and I did not skip a single word. I was captivated from the get go and then taken on a rollercoaster of emotions until the last page--sympathy, compassion, anger, worry, happiness, joy, excitement, and pure contentment. It was glorious! Whenever I read a Nicky James book I expect great things, she is an amazing writer, but this went beyond all expectations. I was completely submersed into Charlie and Takoda's world and didn't want to leave.
I don't want to give away the plot, you need to experience this book for yourself. Read and heed the trigger warnings, the backbone of the story is about a very traumatic event, but it is handled beautifully and with so much compassion. While the main focus of the book is the mystery and suspense plot, the romance between Charlie and Takoda is ever-present and just so beautiful. Takoda, who you wont like at first but will fall in love with pretty quickly, sees beyond Charlie's trauma and his struggles and issues. He is tender with him, understanding, and sees past the surface level issues to the man inside who is strong, capable, intelligent, and so loveable. He doesn't treat him like a fragile being, he treats him with love, respect, and trust.
I just adored this book. It pulled me in hook, line and sinker. I was there with Charlie in the world he created to escape the pain, for his first kiss, for his worries and fears, and as he found his love who saw him for the wonderful man he was inside. Just set aside some time to read this book, you wont want to stop until you are done!


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  • Mandy
  • 01-16-22

Utterly Amazing and Brilliant 💖💖

Absolutely blew me away simply brilliant and captivating from start to finish the fantastic book by Nicky James and listening to audio is a whole new level Nick J Russo as done a brilliant and unforgettable job of bringing Charlie & Takoda to life its simply heartbreaking full of suspense and intrigue but oh so beautiful couldn't stop listening to this recommend so much. 💞💞

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  • AL
  • 01-12-22

Gripping and emotional

Story: Nicky James created a riveting suspense story that I was hooked on from the get go. Loved the plot, but even more - I loved the deep dive into the emotions of both characters. A unique pairing and a very unique, and trademark to this author, approach to emotional issues and psychological struggles.
Narration: Great job by Nick J. Russo. Clearly distinguishable characters and perfect portrayal of all the emotions.

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  • Mrs N
  • 01-10-22

I was hooked from the first minute !

What a story !!
What incredible narration !!

Boy oh boy, I couldn't tell you what I enjoyed the most about this story.
Charlie has so many heartbreaking debilities, trying to survive in a world he doesn't really want to, while creating a world he has complete control over, where monsters always die, but he is a real sweetheart.
Then there's Takoda, a police officer with a huge chip on his shoulders. He is aggressive, and loud and rude and hates Charlie's privileged background. I may have called him a name or two in the beginning, but the kinda redeemed himself to everyone. He hated being forced to what he called " holding the rich boy's hand " but his case was so much more than he could have ever imagined .
This story has so many layers and so much depth, the complex and broken characters and the constantly changing and escalating scary situations kept me hooked. I felt deeply for Charlie and his intense anxiety, and cheered when he showed his cheeky side, but Takoda's love for his animals gave me all the feels. That bad-ass copper deserved everything he got from his colleagues, but Charlie showed him the right path, and boy did he have to work for it.
A really enjoyable story made better by the talented Nick. J Russo, the light and shade in his voice and those accents were so good, I loved it all .

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  • Macbandit
  • 01-09-22

Story and narration so far above 5 star.

I’m adding to my book review. I got the gift of being able to listen to the audio book. I listen to and read a lot of books. In this case, Nick J. Russo did an outstanding job. He is able to make each character original. He even has the talent to be able to do accents and articulate the personality that makes the characters individual. I still feel the same about the story. If anything I’m more appreciative of the quality of writing.
Original book review:
I’m stunned. I’m still trying to get over the last book by this author, The Endless Road to Sunshine which is almost indescribable, and she comes up with another story so totally different and yet just as fascinating. Charlie was kidnapped at 12 years old and was supposedly the only child saved. He has so many problems that at 29 he is going to have reasons he will be forced to face them. Takoda is a police officer with more than a chip on his shoulder. He is forced to deal with Charlie’s fears. This book has so many twists and turns. There are just as much emotion all through the story. I love how this author can take a romance with added mystery and make it impossible to set down. I also have to praise this author. She doesn’t miraculously just happily just hurriedly tie up her stories. She takes the time to make the story believable and then takes the time to write a well thought out ending. She doesn’t happily find all the answers, she makes everything possible and makes me feel overjoyed to have found her and her stories. I just can’t imagine what she will have next. This is so far above a five star story.

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  • Starwarslover
  • 01-09-22

holy omg

this was.... omg wow.. i have no words.. this was hott.. this was terrifying. .this was sexy and creepy and amazing.. the writing alone is amazing but hearing nick pull this off was seriously frightening in spots. it was amazing!

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  • Katie townsend
  • 01-07-22

amazing and absolutely breathtaking performance

nick j russo again gave us such a Incredible breathtaking performance that had me hooked and made me feel like I was involved and made the mystery feel real in the one that got away

I love every story that nicky james shares with us is amazing and always has me intrigued