Author: John Inman
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 12, 2018
Page Count: 210
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 2.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
The world of writers, readers, and reviewers is a close-knit family of friends, fans, and fiction fanatics. That’s the world Milo Cook and Logan Hunter reside in—thriving on the give and take of creativity, the sharing of stories and ideas, and forever glorying in their boundless love of books and the words that make them breathe.
But sometimes words can cut too deep. And when they do, there is inevitably a price to pay.
What begins for Milo and Logan as a time of new love and gentle romantic discoveries, becomes before it’s over a race for their lives and for the lives of everyone they know.
Who would ever suspect that an entity as beautiful as the written word could become a catalyst for revenge? And ultimately—murder?
Boy, it’s got to be the daydream of many a writer to imagine their most toxic noxious critics silenced in any number of horrible ways. In Words John Inman gives us a tender M/M romance coupled with a killer focused on blogger/reviewer/trolls who habitually give books one or two star ratings, while ripping the authors from limb to trembling limb.
Milo and Logan meet cute and sweet during a book signing where author Milo sits in a deserted bookstore as book reviewer Logan stops by, purchases a few books, and buys Milo a burger. Logan is mourning the death of his husband Jerry a year earlier, and Milo is recovering from a disastrous romance with philandering Bryce. The two men find themselves very much in strong “like” which develops into a rather tender romance with loads of steamy sex (much of it alluded to rather than extensively detailed on page) and oodles of chemistry, plus two cute dogs.
Interspersed with the romance is the POV of “the traveler” killing book reviewers in single-wide trailers and dilapidated farm houses filled with overflowing kitty litter boxes. Imagine mean-spirited reviews written with greasy fingers on ancient Dells and plenty of gaudy rings and muumuus and you’ll get the idea of the type of lonely blogger/reviewers the Traveler is targeting.
As the book progresses, Milo and Logan are pulled into the murder/mystery (and I thought I definitely knew who the killer was …. but was wrong) and after a prolonged final scene, the murderer is revealed and the HEA commences.
I liked the romance between Milo and Logan, although the pacing feels very slow as they fall into love at first sight and there is little tension or surprise in their relationship throughout the book. Also, each man is described as being in their late twenties (Milo is 28 and Logan is close in age) but seemed older to me – perhaps in their late 30’s? – based on their conversations and interests. Just a few small niggles.
However, the murder/mystery is overwrought and the hapless reviewers read like caricatures, IMHO, while the murderer is too lightly developed. The two subplots of the book – romance and murder – are an unlikely pairing and feel shoe-horned together rather naturally fitting together into one cohesive story. I would give the romance 4 stars, and the murder/mystery 2 stars, resulting in a 3 star rating for Words.
I’ve enjoyed several John Inman books in the past (most recently, The Hike and Laugh Cry Repeat) and definitely look forward to reading more, but Words was a miss for me.