Title: Dilly and Boz
Author: John Inman
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: November 19, 2019
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
Page Count: 222 Pages
Reviewed by: ColinJ
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
It’s funny how love nails you when you least expect it.
Dilly Jones has pretty much given up on romance ever finding him. Boz Jenkins, his neighbor, is recently out of a bad relationship but has definitely noticed the cutie across the street. When Dilly drops a bag of donuts on the sidewalk, it sets a chain of events into motion. And suddenly both men’s hearts are lost.
But Boz’s ex is still hanging around, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get Boz back.With a brand-new romance gearing up to knock their socks off, the last thing Dilly and Boz expect is to get tangled up in a stranger’s murder. Or to find themselves fighting for their lives.
Just as they finally find happiness, their love for each other becomes the thing that threatens them the most.
This is a story seen from multiple perspectives, including those of the baddie. As such, it is not surprising that it is told in the third person. Characterisation is, as ever, very strong and it is easy to like and empathise with the major characters, although I had difficulty visualising Dilly’s boss as he just didn’t seem to be a scarecrow-type character. That had no effect on the effectiveness of the story and even in a story of this type, it is good to see the author’s sense of humour coming through. Secondary characters are interesting and provide a balance to the central storyline.
The plot is one of a budding sweet love affair marred by a character who just can’t let go. As his behaviour becomes more violent, the reader is left in no doubt as to where this is going, due to the baddie perspective. As such, the story is in a semi-constant state of tension.
Locations are lightly drawn to provide context, the story does not rely heavily on these and this does not weaken the story.
The relationship between the two main characters is at first sweet, due to their personalities, as this provides scenes of shy acts of selfless affection. Once they get together, this is sadly reduced and they are then described more in terms of a traditional loving couple. It would have been interesting to see the dorkiness shine throughout. The sex does not dominate but is well-described.
The secondary budding romance is kept on the sidelines but does provide an alternative perspective and an opportunity for some badinage. Here also there was a missed opportunity to play one type of relationship off the other.
With the relatively high level of tension throughout, the pace is quite brisk. With this being a largely linear plot it is possible to put the book down and get back into it quite readily. In fact, doing so can provide respite from the impending resolution. The ‘where, when and how’ remain a constant presence. By having a physical reminder of how much is left in the book, the reader does have a good idea of when this is likely to happen and as such there can be a tendency to rush in reading to get there.
The story presents violent acts and does so both from the point of view of the actor and the victim. By the denouement, it is clear that only an act of violence will resolve the tension. The description of this feels a little rushed and certainly is resolved quite quickly. The various threads of the story are tied up quite neatly, but the focus relating to the baddie is dropped as soon as the situation is resolved. Consequently, there are loose ends and the book feels quite hurried at the end, even with its parting quips.