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  • In Other Words, Delightful!

    A disclaimer: I am a diehard Josh Lanyon fan, so my review will reflect a definite bias. Halleluiah! The wait is over! I absolutely love the characterization of Christopher Holmes and J.X. Moriarity and their relationship. Christopher “Kit” Holmes is one of my favorite main characters because of his wit, shortcomings, curiosity, intelligence and forgivable self-centeredness. There is something about him that I find endearing even with his faults. J.X. Moriarity is probably as near a perfect boyfriend, human being, and all around great guy that the romance world can imagine, although he does in fact have faults as few as they may be. The guy is the embodiment of patience. The fourth H&M story delivers humor, clever dialog, palpitations, although sometimes a bit of plausibility stretch, but aligns with “good grief, this could only happen to Kit” intrigues. The two main characters have continued to move their relationship forward and have a new level of maturity, commitment, and understanding as demonstrated by scenes where there is meaningfully discussion and vulnerability. Kit is especially open, less defensive, and more self-aware. He is moved by J.X.’s steadfast love, generous nature, and romantic proclivity. Their relationship has become stronger through acceptance of each other’s faults and willingness to communicate what is on their mind and heart. I love mysteries, but I think what has kept me firmly in Josh Lanyon’s writing audience is her skill and insight into the heart to heart connection her characters establish. I can’t count the numerous times that I have had the wow this is exactly it – this is how I feel or think insights throughout her body of work. The story takes place a few months where the third installment left off. Kit and J.X. have settled into their San Francisco home and established their day to day routines and interaction. Kit has overcome his reluctance in sharing J.X.’s time with the young nephew and the first scene opens with an overnight visit. A late-night phone call from Kit’s ex revealing a dead body has been found at his former property starts the subsequent chain of events that drive the story from cops showing up in the morning (love, love, love the nod to Adrien English) the reemergence of the scary stalker from the third story for complexity and the comedic whodunit roller coaster ride takes the reader up, down, and around. I enjoyed “In Other Words, Murder” very much; however, it didn’t replace my favorite “The Boy with the Painful Tattoo” which was third in the series. I initially felt a little let down by the ending, but on reflection, I feel that the maturity and confidence that Kit gained throughout the story reflected in the ending.

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  • In Other Words, The One Where Kit Grows Up

    This is the fourth book in the series and, much like a fine wine, the series has improved with age. And that’s the nice thing about a series: the author has the time and luxury to let the characters mature and learn and just be. The story takes place four months after the events of ‘The Boy With the Painful Tattoo’ and we find Christopher Holmes and J.X. Moriarity enjoying domestic bliss. Of course, that comes to a screeching halt when Christopher gets a call from his ex David informing him that a body has been discovered in the backyard of his former home in Los Angeles. To make matters worse, David suggests the body is Christopher’s former assistant (who David ran off with) and accuses him of killing him. The cops soon appear and Christopher, once again, finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation. The difference here, is this isn’t his first rodeo and he’s actually been paying attention. The book is well-plotted and well-paced and there are some surprising (and pleasing) twists and turns in the relationship between Kit and J.X. We’re treated to the hilarous insanity that is Rachel Ving and we also see the return of an old frenemy. Lanyon (as usual) is at the top of her game with punchy dialogue, most notably Kit’s withering self-assessments and witty asides. Of course, J.X. gets his licks and quips in, too. However, the real revelation is Kit’s newfound self-awareness and restraint. I found the book to be an eminently satisfying read.

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