Sunday, March 27, 2016

Book of the Week: Dirty Heart by Rhys Ford #Review

Author: Rhys Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date: March 21, 2016
Series: Cole McGinnis: book 6
Length: 204 pages

Buy on Amazon
Buy on DSP

Final 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.


Provided by Erin for Diverse Reader

I remember when I first read Dirty Kiss, book 1 of the Cole McGinnis series. It was back in 2013 when I was still relatively new to reading LGBTQ fiction. Book 3—Dirty Laundry—had just been released, and I’d had the first two books saved on my computer for awhile so I figured it was about time I gave the books a go. I grabbed two very good friends and said, “Hey, buy these books and read with me. They look great, I think we’re gonna love them.” So they did. And we read. And read. And read. We flailed. There were more messages than I could count going “OMG can you believe that happened?” and then “Holy shit, how does someone DO that?” and of course there were lots of “oh Cole’s and poor Jae’s.” By the end, I fell in love. Completely in love with Cole and his sarcasm and humor that tried to hide his broken heart. With Kim Jae-Min and his quiet demeanor but fierce and complicated struggle to remain true to his heritage while wishing to follow his heart. With Bobby and his staunch protectiveness of his princess and best friend, Cole. With Claudia and her complete devotion and acceptance of Cole and all his faults. With Scarlet, this beautiful creature who loves Jae with absolute abandon.

Like the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Dirty Heart is the final book in the Cole McGinnis series, and it is the perfect culmination of an incredible journey. Not just for the characters, but for us, the readers, as well. We’ve all laughed at each and every improbable but somehow totally believable situation Cole has found himself in, no matter how outlandish. We’ve gasped and cringed as Cole has been knifed and shot and chased by llamas and gun-wielding granny’s wearing leather. We’ve cried as Cole and Jae have navigated their sometimes rocky but always real and true relationship. We’ve swooned and sighed at the heart-achingly beautiful words these two very flawed men have whispered to each other, speaking from soul-deep love and commitment. We’ve raged at the cruelty Cole and Jae have suffered from the people who were supposed to love them unconditionally, and then felt our hearts soar as they found that love and acceptance from Claudia and Scarlet and the rest of their make-shift family. These aren’t just characters on a page, but friends and family we’ve watched grow and learn and fall in love on their journey toward their happily-ever-after.

One of my favorite moments from the book:

“Promise me one more thing?”
“Anything.” I was tired. Probably more tired than I’d been in my entire life, and sleep tugged at my brain.
“Promise you’ll love me. Forever, if I need it.” He slurred a bit, dipping down into a cadence more Korean than English, but he was clear enough for me to understand him.
“Forever. Even if you don’t need it,” I whispered, nestling up into him. “Because I will.”

Dirty Heart is written in Rhys Ford’s incomparable style: poetic prose interspersed with evocative and often biting, sharp realism. She has a way of writing that is unparalleled (anyone who can write the gruesomeness of death in a way that seems almost artistic is a true master at her craft). Whether it’s humor or mystery or violence or sex, Rhys is beyond compare. Dirty Heart is the perfect and fitting end to the series. The answers to the questions we’ve been waiting years and 5 books to get to is done so well, and it’s worth all the pain and heartbreak it’s taken to get here (not just for Cole, but for us, too, who have desperately ached—and dreaded—for the moment). As with every book in the series, you will laugh and cry and gasp and cringe and get angry more than a few times. But at the end, your heart will be full, you’ll be left very satisfied, if a tad bittersweet, knowing that Cole and Jae and all their family, will be moving on. The joy though, is knowing that they’re happy and at peace.

Saranghae-yo Cole and Jae.

No comments:

Post a Comment