Author: Rhys Ford
Series: Murder and Mayhem
Released: June 5th 2015
Length: 236 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Dreamspinner Press
Dead women tell no tales.Former cat burglar Rook Stevens stole many a priceless thing in the past, but he’s never been accused of taking a life—until now. It was one thing to find a former associate inside Potter’s Field, his pop culture memorabilia shop, but quite another to stumble across her dead body.Detective Dante Montoya thought he’d never see Rook Stevens again—not after his former partner’d falsified evidence to entrap the jewelry thief and Stevens walked off scot-free. So when he tackled a fleeing murder suspect, Dante was shocked to discover the blood-covered man was none other than the thief he’d fought to put in prison and who still made his blood sing.Rook is determined to shake loose the murder charge against him, even if it means putting distance between him and the rugged Cuban-Mexican detective who brought him down. If one dead con artist wasn’t bad enough, others soon follow, and as the bodies pile up around Rook’s feet, he’s forced to reach out to the last man he’d expect to believe in his innocence—and the only man who’s ever gotten under Rook’s skin.
There’s a strange comfort in starting a book and knowing full well you’re going to love it, but not many authors can provide it. For me, Rhys Ford is one of those authors, proven by the fact that I just finished her 9th book, and enjoyed every single one of them. My favorite thing about Rhys is that she always brings cultural diversity in her books, allowing me to learn about different languages, customs and even food. It was Korea and Japan in her Cole McGinnis series, and now she brings us a touch of Mexico and just a dash of Cuba, all mixed together in one Dante Montoya.
Murder and Mayhem is perhaps a bit darker that her other books, but not by much. There’s a real mystery here, not just something superficial to enable and support the romance. If anything, the murders come first and Dante and Rook come second, which doesn’t mean that their romance is any less important or strong. But the focus is all on Rook’s past and the changes his character has to go through in order to truly change his life and accept Dante's affection.
Rhys dazzles with her ability to create characters filled with life, with every single detail about them clear and thought through. Rook, with his horrible abandonment issues, acted exactly as I would expect from someone with his background. And Dante, the juxtaposition of tenderness and strength, never afraid to take risks and be so refreshingly honest about them.
It was hard at first, as it usually is with such fleshed out characters, until we truly get to know them and get comfortable around them. There were times when Rook reminded me of a stray cat, with sharp claws ready to go straight for the eyes if someone gets too close. I loved how slowly his shields went down, how hard it was for him to trust. This relationship, like all of Rhys’ relationships, jumped right off the page and turned into something that was almost tangible and incredibly real. Luckily, this is going to be a series, because these characters have so much potential, enough to give us many more stories, possibly as many as Cole and Jae-Min. This is one I'll definitely reread.
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.