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. The death of Jae-Min’s cousin 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.
Cole was a police officer who lost his lover and his job to a murder. (It’s way more complicated than that, but you’ll have to read/listen to the entire series to get the full extent of the story. You don’t find out here, but you get dribbles and drabbles along the way, piquing your interest.) He’s now a private investigator, on a job. He meets Jae-Min at the house of one of the people he’s investigating and is instantly attracted.
Jae is Korean, he can’t be gay. But he is. That is a huge deal for him. He’s attracted to Cole but he knows for the sake of his family he has to push him away. Cole won’t let that happen.
The mystery in this book is: Jae’s cousin committed suicide – or did he? There is a lot hidden in Korean society and it’s up to Cole to dig through all the secrets to find the truth. Of course, in the meantime he gets hurt too, but he seems to have 9 lives – like Jae’s cat!
We get to meet most of the characters we will grow to love throughout the series including Cole’s brother Mike, his assistant Claudia, his BFF Bobby and Jae’s bestie Scarlet. The mystery gets solved and the beginning of the romance between Jae and Cole begins.
Though the mystery takes up the bulk of the story, to me, the romance is the main thrust of this book and the entire series. Watching Jae-Min and Cole learn to be a couple is the best part of this series. The funny side characters (some of whom get their own stories later on) are an added bonus.
I loved this book and the entire series and also gave it a 5 of 5 stars.
This is a case where the audio version is so amazing as to sometimes surpasses the written word. Greg Tremblay totally gets what Rhys is writing and he “performs” the story, not just reading it.
There are times, and I have said this before, where you feel like you are listening at the door, or listening to a movie soundtrack, instead of a simple narration.
It is supremely excellent.
Each character has a distinct and unique voice, and Greg even has a great singing voice.
I give the audio version a 6 out of 5 stars because it is Rhys’ words performed so excellently by Greg that together, the combination surpasses the book as an experience.