Author: Rhys Ford
Series: Cole McGinnis, #6
Released: March 18th 2016
Length: 204 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Former LAPD detective Cole McGinnis’s life nearly ended the day his police partner and best friend Ben Pirelli emptied his service weapon into Cole and his then-lover, Rick. Since Ben turned his gun on himself, Cole thought he’d never find out why Ben tried to destroy him.Years later, Cole has stitched himself back together. Now a private investigator and in love with Jae-Min Kim, a Korean-American photographer he met on a previous case, Cole’s life is back on track—until he discovers Jeff Rollins, a disgraced cop and his first partner, has resurfaced and appears to be working on the wrong side of the law.As much as Cole’s fought to put the past behind him, he’s soon tangled up in a web of lies, violence, and death. Jeff Rollins is not only trying to kill Cole’s loved ones, he is also scraping open old wounds and long-forgotten memories of the two men Cole loved and lost. Cole is sure Rollins knows why Ben ruined all their lives, but he isn’t looking for answers. Now Cole is caught in a cat-and-mouse game with a cold-blooded killer with the key to not only his past but his future.
Finishing a favorite series never really means saying goodbye, at least not for me. If I’m attached enough to the characters, I often revisit them and read my favorite parts just to feel close to them once again. I must have read every one of the first five Cole McGinnis books at least three or four times and I don’t see why Dirty Heart would be any different.
Rhys Ford has kept her secrets very well for a long time now. We’ve been dancing around the mystery of Cole’s past for years now and although everyone had a theory about it, I think all of them proved to be wrong. Finding out what really happened when Cole’s best friend and police partner Ben shot him and killed his boyfriend Rick was unbelievably painful, but necessary.
All things considered, Cole has been handling the traumas from his past extremely well through the first five books. In Dirty Heart, however, everything he’s buried for so long comes back out as the truth of what happened finally comes to light. It’s the most difficult and emotional journey Cole and Jae have had to endure from the beginning of their relationship, but I admire them even more for how they faced their hardships.
On the other side, the love and hope Cole shares with his Jae made the darkness of this book somewhat easier to stand. The two are still such an odd pair: Cole, always affectionate and demonstrative, and his quiet, reserved Korean man. Both of them have been rejected by their families for loving a man, and I’m glad that Rhys offered no easy fixes for either of them. Instead, she gave them a new family, made of blood relatives and friends they picked up along the way, and their new people (including the most brilliant surrogate mother for our Cole) are far better than anything either of them were born to.
The Cole McGinnis series is one of the best M/M fiction has the offer, if not THE best. Keep that in mind, especially if you’re new to the genre. Oh, and if you decide to read these, which you should, the audiobook narrator is simply amazing and his voice has long ago become Cole’s voice in my head. He is so awesome, in fact, that Rhys named a character after him. So thank you to Rhys Ford for giving us all these amazing characters, but also, thank you to Greg Tremblay for making them come truly alive.