I Spy Something Christmas

Title: I Spy Something Christmas
Author: Josh Lanyon
Cover Artist: KB Smith
Publisher: Just Joshin’
Buy Link Amazon:
Genre: Contemporary M/M romance
Length: Novelette (54 PDF pages)
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

 A guest review by Tj

Summary Review: A simply wonderful Christmas story from Josh Lanyon with Mark and Stephen from the I Spy series, that not only gives us a glimpse into their holiday, but moves their relationship forward.

The Blurb: Nothing says Christmas like a bullet with your name on it. Mark is used to death and danger. Stephen will never be okay with violence — or Mark’s attitude toward it.

Like the holidays weren’t tough enough on a romance.

The Review: Josh Lanyon is back with a bang from his well deserved sabbatical with a Christmas novelette featuring the boys from the I Spy series – Mark and Stephen. If you haven’t read the 2 books in that series (I Spy Something Bloody – reviewed here and I Spy Something Wicked – reviewed here), then you’ll miss out on some of the nuances of this story, but I think that you certainly can still enjoy it.

For those of you who haven’t read the other books or if you just need a refresher, briefly Mark is an ex British Intelligence agent who now lives with his doctor boyfriend Stephen. The story opens with Mark in the hospital recovering from having been shot. Being true to character, Mark takes being shot as just part of life and insists that Stephen take him home to recover. Interestingly, Mark claims to have no memory of the incident. These events are used as catalysts to bring the issues that have been silently undermining Mark and Stephen’s relationship into the light. It heightens Stephen’s struggle to believe that Mark has truly given up his Intelligence career, and for Mark, it stirs up his insecurities that their relationship is just too much work for Stephen.

Amazingly, the story felt like a fully fleshed out novel, the mystery about who shot Mark was well thought out and interesting as he moves his sights from one suspect to another. And all of the elements that we love about Josh Lanyon’s writing are present – the realistic characters, the wonderful dialog and a little mystery, distilled down to their very basic essence with nary a wasted word.

Speaking of dialog, as always Josh Lanyon achieves that perfect balance of having the characters struggle with what to say while trying to not reveal their doubts and insecurities. Like Stephen’s response to Mark saying that he has no memory of the accident – “I see. That’s the official explanation?” There’s volumes left unspoken there – about Stephen’s belief that Mark is lying, or at the very least withholding some information.

And later when they return home, Mark jokes to Stephen about getting out of the hospital, “Thanks for breaking me out of the nick” to which Stephen shakes his head and makes a huff – “Not quite a laugh, but softer than exasperation.” Now that’s a telling reaction speaking to Stephen’s knowing Mark so well – all done with no spoken words. That’s how real people talk and react. Obviously Mr. Lanyon has not lost his touch during his time off.

In summary, I Spy Something Christmas is a smartly written novelette with great dialog that moves the characters relationship onto a much stronger foundation. I highly recommend it.


NOTE: In addition to Kindle, I Spy Something Christmas in available in Nook format and can be purchased from Smashwords and ARe as well as Amazon.

9 comments

  • *Sigh* my book budget is at 0, but as soon as I get a bit of splurging money I’m gonna get this one 🙂

    Maybe a reread of the first two while I wait for that

    Thanks for the review, it’s good to know he didn’t lose his touch while taking his break 😉

    Reply
    • I feel your pain Majken. Josh Lanyon is my auto-buy author no matter what my finances look like. Hell I’d skip a meal or 2 for one of his books! I hope you can get this one soon – it’s only $3.99 and so worth it.

      Reply
  • Tj

    Wonderful review of Josh’s newest book, and I’m so happy you enjoyed it as much as I thought you would.

    As you said in the review, Josh never disappoints and didn’t miss a beat. I loved this book as much as the others in the series as it peels back the layers in Mark’s and Stephen’s relationship.

    Now if only he would write another adventure in the Dangerous Ground series, but I’m not hinting – of course not. 😀

    Reply
    • Thank you Wave. It’s always such a pleasure to read a Josh Lanyon story, so the reviews just flow from that experience. And this one really is Josh at his best and as you say, is as enjoyable as the first 2 books.
      As for the next DG novella, Josh has said that is one his projects for 2013, so you’ll get your wish my dear.

      Reply
    • Thank you, Wave. And thank you very much to TJ. I won’t deny that coming back from such a long break…there were a few nervous twinges about whether there was still room for me!

      And no worries, the DG boys will be back in the fall. 😀

      Reply
      • Josh

        And no worries, the DG boys will be back in the fall.

        The fall?? I have to wait until the fall??? *sigh* I’ll try not to put any more pressure on you because I don’t wasn’t the stress to trigger another damn sabbatical. 😮

        Reply
      • Believe me, it was my pleasure sir. And you must be joshing – there will always be room for and avid fans of your writing no matter how many books you publish each year.

        Reply

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