When life gives Kuro Jenkins lemons, he wants to make ponzu to serve at his Los Angeles ramen shop.
Instead he’s dodging bullets and wondering how the hell he ended up back in the Black Ops lifestyle he left behind him. After rescuing former child star Trey Bishop from a pair of thugs in the middle of the night, he knows it’s time to pick up his gun again. But it seems trouble isn’t done with Trey, and Kuro can’t quite let go… of either the gun or Trey Bishop.
Trey Bishop never denied his life’s downward spiral was his own fault. After a few stints in rehab, he’s finally shaken off his Hollywood bad-boy lifestyle but not his reputation. The destruction of his acting career and his relationships goes deep, and no one trusts anything he says, including the LAPD. When two men dragging a dead body spot him on a late-night run and try to murder him, Trey is grateful for the tall, dark, and deadly ramen shop owner he lusts over—not just for rescuing him, but also for believing him.
Now caught in a web of murders and lies, Trey knows someone wants him dead, and the only one on his side is a man with deep, dark secrets. Trey hopes Kuro Jenkins will stick around to see what the future holds for them once the dust settles, but from the looks of things, neither of them may survive to find out.
Review: I really enjoy the way Ms. Ford weaves the character of a city, a piece of furniture or other everyday things like birds, smells, tastes into the story. This latest story is no exception. The city of LA, even the seagulls were featured characters ☺
Trey is a washed up child actor. He’s gone through rehab a few times and this time aims to keep on the straight and narrow. However, fate has other plans for him.
Kuro is ex-covert ops (not assassin). Forced to ‘retire’, he’s opened a ramen shop. When he rescues Trey from a violent situation, Kuro finds himself falling back into his old way of life.
Overall, I enjoyed the story but it didn’t feel as tight or as well put together as some of Ms. Ford’s other stories (rushed maybe?). A few things didn’t work for me – the continued hostility of Trey’s family, esp. Kimber; the arc of Kuro’s former mentor coming out of retirement, (possibly continued in the next book?). I felt that the feelings between Kuro and Trey developed a little too quickly – yes they had been eyeing each other prior to them actually meeting – but I really didn’t buy their chemistry. Since this is the first of the series, I hope to see their relationship get more attention and really feel their connection. And I’d like to see Trey’s family situation improve, at least a little.
Story: 4 stars