Dirty Deeds (Cole McGinnis #4), Rhys Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Gay Romance
Tags: Humor, Interracial, Murder/Mystery, Series
Length: 228 Pages
This review contains spoilers, but only from the first three books in the Cole McGinnis series. I’ve tried to keep them out for Dirty Deeds, and I hope other readers keep them out of theirs as well.
There are series where I feel they go on much too long (I’m not naming names) and I get bored to the point where I’m wishing the author will end it already. Harsh, yes, but a good thing can quickly turn into “Oh my God! Give them their HEA already!” Then there are the Rhys Ford series. You fall in love with the guys and you know that you won’t be getting bored anytime soon. This is definitely the case with Cole and Jae. I have adored them both since the first in the Cole McGinnis series, and unless the author takes these characters in a weird direction, I will so be around for the long-haul. I’m not going to rehash the first three books in detail in this review. You can find my thoughts on those here. This review will mostly be my thoughts on this particular book, with only a few details from the others thrown in.
Cole McGinnis is a former cop turned private investigator. The sudden career change came to be when his lover, Rick, was gunned down and murdered by Cole’s partner, Ben, years earlier. A lot is said about the night Ben went on a shooting rampage in previous books. The same rampage that injured Cole and ultimately caused Ben to take his own life. I stated at the end of my review for Dirty Laundry that there was something that I wish the author had elaborated on. She did so in Dirty Deeds and she did it in a big way. While there is still a lot left unknown about what caused Ben to do what he did, it now suddenly makes more sense to the reader. It’s actually something that I suspected from the very beginning, so I can’t say I was surprised by this particular turn of events. There is also something else about the Ben thing that has me wondering in regards to a couple of other things from that particular time as well. The door has been left open and I’m curious to see if it will come to be. I could, of course, be wrong. I may be reading something into something that’s not there. It’s happened before. I can’t elaborate without telling a major part of the story so I’ll leave it at that.
Jae has recovered from the gunshot wounds he suffered six months prior. The shooter, the reader knows, is Sheila Pinelli, Ben’s widow. When she shot Jae, Cole had a choice to stay with the man he loved or take off after Sheila. It was a no-brainer. Cole only cared about Jae. He had already lost Rick as a result of Ben, he would not sit back and allow his second chance to be taken from him as a result of Ben’s wife. Sheila was gone in the wind (as the book states) but she’s still out there somewhere. Sheila, who Cole loved as a sister once upon a time. The same Sheila who, after Ben’s suicide, went on a downhill spiral and got involved in drugs. The drugs that caused her to have her children taken away later.
When Cole gets a call saying that Sheila had been arrested – and subsequently released as a result of a clerical error – his now almost routine is shattered. He and Jae are living together as a real couple now, something that almost didn’t happen as a result of Jae’s traditional family. They’ve gone to hell and back to get where they are. To know that Sheila was that close and let go forces Cole to relive the pain of almost watching his new lover die and that of losing Rick. Emotionally, he’s the last person who should be searching for Sheila, but this is Cole, so of course he goes on a mission to find the woman and either bring her to justice or put a bullet through her brain. It’s that last thought that concerns those around him. Promising to Jae to be careful he takes off in search of those who may know Sheila’s whereabouts. This is Cole McGinnis. Does he ever just do things and not walk into disaster or somehow end up in the middle of it? No.
One lead turns into a mini-riot, another where a homeless man almost takes him out with rotten eggs and his balls are bruised by a woman with a Chihuahua. Then there are the classic Cole situations where he’s being shot at at every turn. Jae sits at home patiently, hoping that the man he loves will come home in one piece, preferably without a new scar to go with all his others.
Then there are the other characters the readers have grown to love. Claudia, Cole’s office manager and surrogate mother. I want a Claudia in my life. I think everyone who has read this series feels the same.
“I’ve been praying hard on you. More than usual, because really, boy, you could make a saint swear,” Claudia said, taking my hands in hers. “You’re like a dog that’s been beat, and now you don’t want anyone near your food bowl while you’re eating. I’ve watched you jump at every shadow that’s crossed your path for more than a week now, and I’m getting dizzy with how many times you’ve been turned around….”
There’s Mike, Cole’s hard-nosed brother, who shows more of a sensitive side in this story.
Our older brother, Mike, was about as demonstrative as a rock, and the few times he’d said something affectionate to me, I usually had a tube down my throat and a respirator going to help me breathe.
There’s Ichiro, Cole and Mike’s half-brother, who I fell head over heels in love with when he was first introduced in Dirty Laundry.
Ichiro’s display of love nearly unmanned me…..
A large box of Godiva’s dark chocolate raspberry truffles, and he’d be my bitch.
And then we have Bobby. Bobby is Cole’s best friend in the world and here in all his twink-loving ways. You can’t meet Bobby and not absolutely adore him. He’s Cole’s best friend, sparring partner, and the one who keeps him in line when Jae is not around. There’s so much I want to say about Bobby but I’ll refrain. I will say that I am so eager to see where the author goes with his character.
With the reluctant support of Jae, and that of all the others, Cole embarks on a journey to try to finally bring Sheila to justice. He’s able to do this (later) with the help of a police detective. Along the way, he meets a lot of interesting characters. There are transsexuals who have their own secrets, a former neighbor of Cole’s who isn’t quite the way he was back in the day, shooters (this is a Cole McGinnis story, after all), meth heads and various other interesting characters. Then there is Sheila herself. Cole was once close to Sheila and as much as he wants to kill her for what she did to Jae, he still remembers the woman she once was. Torn, he doesn’t know if once he catches up with her, if he’ll take her out or make sure she gets the help she desperately needs.
Cole and Jae are still the perfect couple. They have been to hell and back to finally get where they are. They are now living together and are making a nice life for themselves. They have their family and their surrogate families and friends. They are finally moving in the right direction. I have got to say that some of the emotional moments in this story were so sweet I found myself getting teary quite a bit. While Dirty Laundry was full of emotions, and not necessarily the good kind, Dirty Deeds is so full of aww! moments between Cole and Jae that you can’t help but be sucked in by them. Then there is a scene with Cole and Claudia that had me almost crying like a little girl. Rhys Ford writes emotions well.
Then there is the humor that one expects to find in every Rhys Ford book.
“… You don’t even speak Korean, and I don’t think you can say swallowing Jae’s cock makes you fluent. If that were the case, I’d speak all kinds of shit.” – Bobby
“If ever that possibility occurs, then I’m going to get too old to walk, and I’ll still be chasing you around on my hover-scooter, scaring the nurses and pinching your ass.” I kissed him again, a smacking silly buss with lots of noise and a raspberry chaser against his lips. “Even if said ass is hanging down around the back of your knees then, and I have to use one of those grabber things they sell on TV. Or salad tongs. Those are probably easier to get in the nursing home. I could just steal them off the buffet.” – Cole
“Then you and I can talk about how come you’re so late.”
“Trying to get you a grandbaby,” I shot over my shoulder. “For some reason, it doesn’t seem to be working, but Jae and I will keep trying. Because we love you that much.”
Throw in the action, some damn good sex between Cole and Jae and you have another hell of a story by this author.
The ending? Holy shit! No, I’m not giving it away and no, I was not surprised. I want to say more but I’m going to do what I hope others do and not say anything to spoil it! It just made me that much more eager to
stalk follow the author’s blog until the next book comes out.
Sheila is, of course, ultimately found but I’ll leave the details for other readers to discover the story behind that on their own. I was pleased by the outcome, if a bit surprised. I am very eager to see where Rhys Ford goes with the story. There are still so many questions that I will be eager to see answered in future books. Cole is forced to revisit the worst time in his life and he’s forced to do this in a big way. As sad as it was for this reader to watch, it was also comforting to know that he had Jae at home waiting for him.
If you haven’t read Rhys Ford, I can’t recommend her books (any of them) enough. She writes real emotions, real drama, real humor and damn good sex scenes. You can’t go wrong with any book she’s written.
An outstanding addition to the Cole McGinnis series.
This book was provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange for a fair and honest review.