Title: Dirty Kiss (Cole McGinnis Mystery #1)
Author: Rhys Ford
Length: 84,327 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Mystery Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Story to Sex
Keywords/Tags: Diverse, Korean, Cops/Crime, Private Investigator, Murder, Sex Industry
Rating: Really Like It
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.
I’ve wanted to read Dirty Kiss for a long time now, but I used to rarely read mysteries and only recently have I really started to appreciate them. When I saw that the sequel was to be released, I knew it was time to finally get to this book, and I’m really glad that I did.
I was really surprised at the level of craft from this relatively new author. Of course, I don’t know much about her, but she writes at the level of someone with a lot of experience. The development of the characters was stunningly multi-dimensional and I really felt like I understood Cole, and fell for the enigma that is Jae. Their relationship leapt off of the page for me. I am unfamiliar with Korean culture, but the detail in cultural saturation of the story was very well done.
What I appreciated the most was that the characters developed according to their natural pace, as did the mystery. The mystery is good, but didn’t grab me in the same way the relationship did, but I think that is because the two are so symbiotic and the relationship burned so bright for me that the mystery plot was always somewhat in shadow. I liked the slow development and the feeling that we’re only getting the beginning of the story. This makes me so excited to read the sequel this weekend!