Book Reviews

Dirty Kiss (Cole McGinnis Mysteries 1) by Rhys Ford at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Private Investigator / Interracial / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Alex on 12-June-2013

Book Blurb

Cole 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. Jae-Min’s cousin’s death 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.


Book Review

I love a good ex-cop story and I have a soft spot for smart alecks, so to say I was like a cat in catnip when reading this gem of a story would be, well, honest. I also like my gems a little rough around the edges, it adds to their beauty in my opinion, and Dirty Kiss does not prove me wrong.

The writing is smart and polished to a glistening shine; the first person POV works beautifully, so much so that the lead Cole and the author Rhys became one and the same in my mind and I crushed madly; on Cole, on Rhys, on Jae-Min the second lead, on the entire brilliant story. The rough cuts of this gem were equally as vivid, comprising riveting passages that provided an education on, and a glimpse into, the secret lives within Korean families, who tend to shun their homosexual males. The story opens with Cole being chased by a shotgun-wielding woman, and the action never lets up.

Japanese-Irish Cole McGinnis, once a policeman, is now a private investigator. He lives and works in a large old house that he renovated himself, using the activity to keep his mind off his dead lover, Rick. In an unforeseen tragedy both he and his lover were pretty much gunned down by Cole’s partner when he was on the force. Three years later, Cole is still dealing with memories and grief, managing to get up each day by focusing on his practice which generally holds assorted versions of “is my husband/wife cheating on me” assignments. When he’s asked to investigate a suicide, he kind of shrugs it off, but when his brother Mike pesters him repeatedly, he decides to take a look. He’s not expecting much, and he certainly isn’t expecting Jae-Min, the beautiful Korean man who opens the door and rocks his world.

Dirty Kiss is a smart, intense, wisecracking, and sexy novel. It is almost epic in the way it slammed all of my senses at every turn of a page. I can’t really say much about the storyline, because I don’t want to spoil a moment of the pleasure that is this book. Expect to laugh, to have your eyes well up, to get hot and bothered, especially if you have a thing for smoking hot, turmoil-ridden men.

The supporting characters are as exceptional as the leads and contribute greatly to a storyline that is rich in depth, spice, and grit. Claudia, Bobby, Mike and Scarlet, the beautiful, enigmatic Filipino ladyboy, all add to the sprawling, multi-dimensional LA-based world the author has created. Honestly, I should have written this review some time ago, but I couldn’t let it go, selfishly clinging to the stylish sizzle of its pages like one clutches a lucky charm. I’m happy to say I’ve got the next two books in the series, and there’s more than enough smarts, grit, sizzle, and luck to go around.

Thank you, Rhys Ford, for enriching my life with this “snap, crackle and pop” of a novel. I have no words…





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been purchased by the reviewer.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 230 pages/84327 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 01-July-2011
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle, $19.95 audiobook
Buy Link