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


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


Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

“You are my brother’s best friend. And from what Cole’s told me about you, not someone I’d wake up to the next morning,” Ichiro murmured, scrubbing at his tired face. Peering out between his fingers, he barked a short laugh. “Fucking you would be a huge mistake, Bobby.”

Bobby’s laughter was nearly as bitter as the coffee he’d brought over for Ichiro to drink. “Well, if there’s one thing I’m good at, Sunshine, it’s making huge fucking mistakes.”

Down and Dirty coverBobby Dawson is an ex-cop with a bitter past and a slew of one-night-stands. Sure, he’s handsome, fit, and pretty damn hilarious, but if there’s one thing he’s not, it’s boyfriend material.

Jae, Cole, and most everyone who knows him all agree on that. But there’s something about Ichi, and Ichi with Bobby that make all the past screw ups seem surmountable.

It’s true. They’re the kind of couple that shouldn’t be together. Bobby has a son Ichi’s age, he sleeps around, Ichi’s too innocent… the excuses go on, but even excuses run out when love is involved

Bobby didn’t want this. He’d never wanted to feel that connection to another man. Men were… disposable. Holes and mouths who laughed and maybe kept him company but eventually wandered off like strays finding a new home.

He wasn’t supposed to want to keep them. To soothe them or wipe their tears when their worlds were shattered by violence. The world was a tough place. He’d seen enough blood and death to stare it down until it whimpered away, but he’d never wanted to keep someone else safe from its looming, dark presence.

Until now.

And it scared the shit out of him.

Down and Dirty runs concurrently with a lot of the events in Dirty Deeds, which I really appreciated, as it allows us to really see the growth of Bobby and Ichi’s relationship from the very start.

Like all other Rhys Ford books I’ve read, she has a definitive voice that is immediately recognizable and completely enjoyable. There’s a balance of humor along with a seriousness that one would think may be hard to maintain, but she does it with near flawless precision. The way she gives her characters life allows the reader to feel close to them, like they know them on a personal level, and this book was no different.

For readers of the series, we’ve gotten to know Bobby a bit along the way, and Ichi more recently. We had bits and pieces of their lives, but what I loved about this book is that it revealed a whole other layer to both characters, but particularly Bobby. I knew on a basic level that he was more than an aging man whore with a need to box and sharp wit, but that was more just my personal thought process. Rhys really gave us the window into his past in Down and Dirty, and it wasn’t at all what I expected.

On top of that, we also get to see pretty much all of our favorites, with a few exceptions. But if you’re worried that Jae and Cole are going to be forgotten in this, don’t be. They are in here plenty without taking over the story and making it their own. We even get a brief but kick-ass appearance from Claudia, some sweet words from Scarlet, and a dash of Mike that will make you want to hit your head on the desk. The story did a great job of making it Bobby and Ichi’s, but still giving us everyone we’ve come to know and love in the previous four books.

I do have a few small bones to pick. For one, that ending. WHAT WAS HIS ANSWER?! I mean, I’m hoping I know what it is. But… I need to know!. Secondly, I really wish we got to see more of Bobby with his family. We see him debating about telling his Uncle, but never really find out if he does. And I’d love to have seen more of him and his son. But can you blame me for being greedy? Of course I want more.

All around a great addition to a wonderful series.

The cover art by Reece Notley does a very nice job of connecting to the other books and making them all appear cohesive. I can definitely picture Bobby as the cover model, but I’m not so sure about Ichi. The model who is meant to depict him just seems a bit too buttoned up for me. Still, it’s a nice cover that connects to the story through small details.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press eBook & Paperback      All Romance (ARe)    Amazon     Buy it here

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Expected publication: January 2nd 2015 by Dreamspinner Press LLC
original titleDown and Dirty
edition languageEnglish
seriesCole McGinnis #5

  • Cole McGinnis Series includes:
  • 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)