Title: Words
Author: John Inman
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 12, 2018
Genre(s): Murder / Mystery
Page Count: 210 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Read book blurb here

Boy, it's got to be the daydream of many a writer to imagine their most toxic 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. 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 after a prolonged final scene, the murderer is revealed (I was surprised) and the HEA commences.

I liked the romance between Milo and Logan, although the pacing feels slow as they fall into love at first sight with little tension or surprise in their relationship throughout. Also, each man is described as being in their late twenties (Milo is 28 and Logan is close in age) but they read older to me based on their conversations and interests.

IMHO, the murder/mystery is overwrought and the hapless reviewers read like caricatures, 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 than melding into one cohesive story. I would give the romance 4 stars, and the murder/mystery 2-3 stars. 3.5 stars for Words.

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