A MelanieM Review: Dirty Heart (Cole McGinnis #6) by Rhys Ford

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5   ★★★★★

Dirty HeartFinal book in the Dirty Series arc.

Former LAPD detective Cole McGinnis’s life nearly ended the day his police partner and best friend Ben Pirelli emptied his service weapon into Cole and his then-lover, Rick. Since Ben turned his gun on himself, Cole thought he’d never find out why Ben tried to destroy him.

Years later, Cole has stitched himself back together. Now a private investigator and in love with Jae-Min Kim, a Korean-American photographer he met on a previous case, Cole’s life is back on track—until he discovers Jeff Rollins, a disgraced cop and his first partner, has resurfaced and appears to be working on the wrong side of the law.

As much as Cole’s fought to put the past behind him, he’s soon tangled up in a web of lies, violence, and death. Jeff Rollins is not only trying to kill Cole’s loved ones, he is also scraping open old wounds and long-forgotten memories of the two men Cole loved and lost. Cole is sure Rollins knows why Ben ruined all their lives, but he isn’t looking for answers. Now Cole is caught in a cat-and-mouse game with a cold-blooded killer with the key to not only his past but his future.

What a magnificent story!  Even with all the intricacies, cultural layering and mysteries that have flowed through all the stories of the Cole McGinnis series, really none can prepare you for this book.  Its just that powerful and emotionally wrenching.

The big mystery and heartache at the center of this series has been why  Cole McGinnis’s  cop partner on the force and close friend/brother shot Cole and killed his lover.  It was an act of betrayal that Cole never quite recovered from, even with his strong and passionate love for Jae-Min Kim.  Like that saying that all roads eventually lead home, Rhys Ford has been leading Cole and the readers back to the beginning where Cole will find out the answers to the violent action that shattered his life.  This is that book.

Little by little, more things from Cole’s past find him again.  Some are indescribably wonderful and moving, some heartbreaking, and raw.  You never know from page to page which element Rhys Ford is going to serve up, what you can be certain is that it will piece your heart, make you weep with either joy or pain with the believable anguish that Cole is going through, along with his family and loved ones.  There are some devastating events here, sometimes one after another.  After a while I thought I had become inured.

I was so wrong.

Its because Rhys Ford writes so beautifully that her characters resonate so with the reader, as does the pain and emotional turmoil they are going through.  Here emotions, thoughts, even rage that Cole had imagined he had buried rise up, overwhelming him, and the reader in the process.  At parts, the story is so moving, I had to stop reading, because I couldn’t see the Kindle any more through the tears.  I don’t think anything  can prepare you for parts of this book.

The  relationships here are deepened, even more realistic than ever as certain elements are revealed about peoples lives, the comedy that is a hallmark of this author ‘s writing and this series is ever present, a necessary levity when the angst threatens to swamp us and the lives involved.  Clowns and llamas are a perfect pairing and I can only imagine how Rhys Ford saw that.

Rhys Ford is not one to give up the mystery easily.  Its been years in the making so its a heart-racing, white knuckle, fast paced scary race at towards the end. What a shocker!  I did not see that coming, even after all those books, so well done, Rhys Ford.  That was  really a great twist. Then you went on and delivered further. How worthwhile an ending.  Its superb.  Ford really pulls it all together.  First a shocker, then a summation, and then a epilogue that will leaving you giddy with joy.

Dirty Heart (Cole McGinnis #6) by Rhys Ford is one spectacular book. Never has her characters been more nuanced, more moving and real.  The story includes stunning narrative explosions, a conclusion to a convoluted mystery spun over 6 stories and characters that will never leave me.  This jumps to into Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Word’s Top Ten Rec list.  Its February so for you readers still new to the series, you have plenty of time to read through the series before the book comes out in March.  Pay no attention to anyone trying to spoil this book for you.  No no NO!  Its too good a tale for that.  Make sure you pick it up fresh!  But pick it up you must!  Highly Recommended as is the series.

Cover artist Reese Notley does a wonderful job with the cover and branding the series.

Sales Links coming in March

Book Details:

Expected publication: March 2016 by Dreamspinner Press LLC
Original TitleDIrty Heart
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesCole McGinnis #6

Cole McGinnis Series:

A MelanieM Review: Down and Dirty (Cole McGinnis #5) by Rhys Ford

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5   ★★★★★

Down and DirtyFrom the moment former LAPD detective Bobby Dawson spots Ichiro Tokugawa, he knows the man is trouble. And not just because the much younger Japanese inker is hot, complicated, and pushes every one of Bobby’s buttons. No, Ichi is trouble because he’s Cole McGinnis’s younger brother and off-limits in every possible way. And Bobby knows that even before Cole threatens to kill him for looking Ichi’s way. But despite his gut telling him Ichi is bad news, Bobby can’t stop looking… or wanting.

Ichi was never one to play by the rules. Growing up in Japan as his father’s heir, he’d been bound by every rule imaginable until he had enough and walked away from everything to become his own man. Los Angeles was supposed to be a brief pitstop before he moved on, but after connecting with his American half-brothers, it looks like a good city to call home for a while—if it weren’t for Bobby Dawson.

Bobby is definitely a love-them-and-leave-them type, a philosophy Ichi whole-heartedly agrees with. Family was as much of a relationship as Ichi was looking for, but something about the gruff and handsome Bobby Dawson that makes Ichi want more.

Much, much more.

Ever read a book and fall completely in love with a secondary couple?  Then start wishing the author would write a book just for them?  All those wishes must have hit Rhys Ford pretty darn hard or filled up her email box because Down and Dirty is a reader’s wish come true.  I know its certainly mine.

Bobby Dawson was already a character that I loved to read about.  He’s complicated, intelligent, been bruised by his past and poor choices.  He’s flawed, he bleeds and I understand him.  Then Ichiro Tokugawa appears in the series, a new brother but bringing his own familiar heavy emotional baggage into the already seriously weighed down McGinnis family.  But there was something fresh about Ichi, something shiny (Rhys Ford’s descriptions have a way of making you feel and see the characters, not just read them). So I understood immediately why Bobby was pulled towards Ichi like a magpie towards a newly found sparkle.  The connection flows bothways and its powerful enough that others notice as well.

And start to interfere.  For the best of course.

I  loved this book for so many reasons.  One that might not first jump to mind is that I get a second look at many scenes from the other stories from a different perspective.  This time I see it from Bobby and Ichi’s point of view.  The scenes from the waiting room, the phone calls…the impact is heightened even though I know what has happened and what the outcome will be.  Why?  Because this  time I see the shock waves spreading out from the initial event (still no spoilers) , from person to person, something missing in the original story.  It magnifies the event and the emotional trauma not really looked at closely before. And given its due as it was here.

Bobby’s background, his family and his current actions were all finally explored.  Rhys Ford made Bobby a man at a juncture at his life.  His realistic look at where he stood, his past, how people thought about him, how he thought about himself, did he deserve a future…so well done and equally so moving.  If I hadn’t cared about Bobby before, I certainly would have now.

And the revelations continued with Ichi.  A phone call from his father in Japan sets off a tumbling set of disclosures about his family life in Japan, his  father, the reason Ichi left for his brothers and the States.  If we thought Jae’s family and culture were complicated, this glimpse into Ichi’s life gives us enough of a comparison to realize that our culture might be very simple by perspective.

So what happens when two bruised, complex men are drawn towards each other, no matter what their families want?  The hot, sexy and so satisfactory findings are spread out here in Down and Dirty.  I hope its not the only Bobby and Ichi book to come out of this series but if it is, I’m  content.  With just one more.

I love this book and adore this series.  Now you can also listen to it in audiobook, something I have just ventured into.  Now you have three  different ways to dive into this book and series.

Love a multicultural romance?  Love layered men with a raw authenticity about them?  Hot, sexy and real?  Look no further than Down and Dirty by Rhys Ford as well as the  entire Cole McGinnis series.  I can’t recommend them highly enough.

Cover art by Reece Notley.  The artist continues the series branding with the color tone and style but does a great job changing it up with the models and backdrop.  Love it.

*Review Note: We started the year with this book and we’ll end with it in December! A Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Double Dip Review:  A Sammy Review: Down and Dirty by Rhys Ford January 2015

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press |  All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published January 2nd 2015 by Dreamspinner Press LLC
Original TitleDown and Dirty
ISBN 1632166151 (ISBN13: 9781632166159)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesCole McGinnis #5
CharactersIchiro Tokugawa, Robert (Bobby) James Dawso

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A MelanieM Review: Dirty Kiss (Cole McGinnis #1) by Rhys Ford

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Dirty Kiss CoverCole Kenjiro McGinnis, ex-cop and PI, is trying to get over the shooting death of his lover when a supposedly routine investigation lands in his lap. Investigating the apparent suicide of a prominent Korean businessman’s son proves to be anything but ordinary, especially when it introduces Cole to the dead man’s handsome cousin, Kim Jae-Min.

Jae-Min’s cousin had a dirty little secret, the kind that Cole has been familiar with all his life and that Jae-Min is still hiding from his family. The investigation leads Cole from tasteful mansions to seedy lover s trysts to Dirty Kiss, the place where the rich and discreet go to indulge in desires their traditional-minded families would rather know nothing about.

It also leads Cole McGinnis into Jae-Min’s arms, and that could be a problem. The death of Jae-Min’s cousin is looking less and less like a suicide, and Jae-Min is looking more and more like a target. Cole has already lost one lover to violence he’s not about to lose Jae-Min too.

One book, one series and I’m addicted to Rhys Ford.  I admit it.  And now here is another series to die for. Starting with Dirty Kiss, I’m going to give you all another couple to fall in love with (if you haven’t already), complete with layers of Korean culture and complications that will grow on you. Along with Jae-Min and Cole, Rhys Ford enriches the story and series with a beautiful drag queen in love with a powerful Korean politician, a office secretary to end all office secretaries, a brother and his wife who Valhalla would welcome…well, not only is this a fast-paced page turner but the depth of the narrative is surprising as well.

I live in an area full of Korean influence, from churches to stores yet I learned more aspects of the culture here then I had when my daughter was friends with a girl in school years ago.  Her family disliked the idea of a non-Korean friend and stopped it after a year or so. But what I gleaned within that time at least set the framework for the facts that Ford sets down here. The rigidity, the formality, and the male favoritism, its all here but in details that enhance and add nuance to every character and scene.  From an American standpoint, its frustrating, almost alien, and we can understand it from Cole’s perspective as he strains to see it from Jae-Min’s point of view.  And others as well, considering his own mixed background that he has rejected.

With a book so full of Korean characters, characters who may not be as emotionally accessible as readers are used to, Ford does an exceptional job leaving those characters intact in their cultural isolation at times yet leaving their vulnerability just as visible as the barriers their culture raises.  Its quite a balancing act and Ford manages it every time.

There are murders, and yes, Cole’s reactions often makes me want to whap him on the back of the head ala Gibbs.  But that seems to be more in line with his character and the pain of his past history, one he still hasn’t dealt with.  So much pain floating around in this story, like hazy clouds above the characters.  As this is the first story, there is no easy anything in sight.  No relationships, no ease in pain to the past problems but maybe baby steps forward.  This is the book where the cast is being introduced, the setting is being established and the laws of the land are laid out.  What tough laws they are.  Ones to suck out your soul if you let them and they belong to a culture in another country.  Just amazing.

Did you miss this series the first time around like I did?  Catch up with it now along with me.  I am loving it, starting with book one,  Dirty Kiss (Cole McGinnis #1) by Rhys Ford.   I highly recommend it and its author, Rhys Ford.

Cover artist Anne Cain does a wonderful job with the characters and tone.  I love it.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 218 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by Dreamspinner Press (first published June 30th 2011)
original titleDirty Kiss
ISBN 1615819592 (ISBN13: 9781615819591)
edition languageEnglish
seriesCole McGinnis:

Dirty Kiss (Cole McGinnis, #1)
Dirty Secret (Cole McGinnis, #2)
Dirty Laundry (Cole McGinnis, #3)
Dirty Sweets (Cole McGinnis, #3.5)
Dirty Day (Cole McGinnis, #3.6)
Dirty Deeds (Cole McGinnis, #4)
Down and Dirty (Cole McGinnis, #5)
Dirty Minds
Dirty Heart (Cole McGinnis, #6