Author: Rhys Ford
Genre: Contemporary, GLBT Mystery/Suspense
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (July 1, 2011)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥
♥4.5 out of 5Hearts
From the Publisher: 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.
My Review: Rhys Ford had me hooked from the first chapter of this book and I picked it up every chance I had for the 2 days it took me to finish reading it. I am a big fan of M/M romances as long as there is plenty of plot, action and character development to go along with the romance! Dirty Kiss was a perfect balance of all the things I love of this genre. There is a solid storyline, likeable characters, AND steamy sex scenes!
Cole takes on the case of Kim Hyun-Shik’s apparent suicide as a favor to his police officer brother, Mike. While he goes into the investigation thinking there won’t be much to learn, he is in for quite a surprise. Still trying to recover from the shooting death of his lover 3 years before, Cole is quite unprepared for the feelings that pop up for Jae-Min, the victim’s cousin. As the investigation progresses and Jae-Min finds himself in danger, Cole falls hard and has to work quickly to uncover the truth about Kim Hyun-Shik’s death and the role that the prominent Asian gay club Dirty Kiss has to play in the case.
The author’s writing style is smooth and witty. I found myself smiling over the character’s interactions and quickly turning each page to find out where the plot would head next. Ms. Ford does a great job of teasing the reader with bits and pieces of the character’s back stories…giving you just enough to make you want to keep reading to find out more. She provided a wonderful look at homosexuality in Asian culture and gave the reader a real understanding of what it means to be gay in a Korean family. While Cole is part Japanese he has been raised 100% American and doesn’t always understand the family obligations and need for secrecy that Jae-Min feels so deeply. The secondary characters are all unique and given individual personalities of their own.
The sex in the story is definitely hot but fits into the story quite nicely. The plot and characters are well developed before the sex enters in and each encounter actually contributes something to the character development. This is not sex just for the sake of sticking in some hot and heavy scene.
Without giving away any important bits of the story, I will say I wanted MORE out of the ending. While it definitely fits my personal requirement of ‘happily ever after’ I found myself turning the page and asking “What? That’s it?” Maybe Ms. Ford has a sequel planned so we can take the characters and their relationship a little bit further?