Dirty Heart (Belen’s Review)

dirty heartTitle: Dirty Heart (Cole McGinnis #6)
Author: Rhys Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: March 21st 2016
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Mystery
Page Count: 204 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5
A Gay Book Reviews 5+ star read!
A Cole McGinnis Mystery
The final book in the Cole McGinnis Mysteries “Dirty” Series arc.

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.


When I got the ARC for the final book in the Cole McGinnis Mysteries “Dirty” Series I was really excited. Sure, maybe not as excited as I’ll be when I get my hands on the audio, but excited nonetheless.

Then I started reading. Hands down, no other qualifications, this is the best thing I’ve ever read by Rhys Ford. The flow, the characters, the mystery, the love and romance – everything. was. perfect.

Cole is once again drawn into a mystery with a lot of interconnecting tendrils. This time the mystery includes his ex-partner Jeff Rollins, who had also been friends with Ben Pirelli, the partner who killed Cole’s lover, Rick, and emptied his service weapon into Cole before taking his own life. It’s all connected together, and Cole is determined to see it through to the end.

“LA’s kind of a small place, you know? You think it’s huge, but it’s not. Not really. We’re all connected, some closer than others, but pull on one string, and you’d be amazed at how many people dance.”


Staying close to Cole’s side, as always, is his best friend, Bobby, his brothers Mike and Ichi, his mother (in all but genetics) Claudia, his good friend Scarlett, and the love of his life Kim Jae-Min.

“Promise me one more thing?”
“Anything.” I was tired. Probably more tired than I’d been in my entire life, and sleep tugged at my brain.
“Promise you’ll love me. Forever, if I need it.” He slurred a bit, dipping down into a cadence more Korean than English, but he was clear enough for me to understand him.
“Forever. Even if you don’t need it,” I whispered, nestling up into him. “Because I will.”

I absolutely LOVED AND ADORED the romance in this story. It was pitch perfect for me every step of the way.

I was stupid in love with Jae-Min. He’d become my touchstone, a far cry from the suspicious and wary enigma I’d first met at his aunt’s house. He was subtle, not something I’d been used to. I’d lived my life as openly gay as I could, embracing a lifestyle loud enough to make someone’s ears bleed… no, my father’s ears bleed. It was funny how after I’d been kicked out of my family for loving men, I wanted nothing more than to have my own family. And I’d found it in a sloe-and-honey-eyed Korean man with a wicked, sardonic sense of humor and an even wickeder mouth.

I was especially happy with the way the mystery of Ben, which has been a constant throughout the series is tied up, and also so happy that I got to spend time with all the characters I’ve come to love over the last few years. But, for me, this series has always been, at its core, about Cole, the damaged ex-cop private eye and Jae-Min, the Korean ex dancer/photographer shouldering his own world of hurt. I’ve always loved how much Cole loves Jae, and how much Jae loves Cole in return.

There were a lot of things about Jae I liked. I enjoyed who he was as a person, and he put up with so much of my crap. We shared the same tastes in movies, and he expanded my world in so many ways. I loved the way he laughed in low, soft tones and how he was a grumpy, ruffled mess for the first half hour or so after waking up.
I also loved the way he felt against me.

Of all the things I loved about Jae, it was the taste of him I adored beyond measure.
I could live off of Jae’s kisses.

When I’d finished the book my initial reaction was and still is – I’M BLOWN AWAY. I am absolutely stunned at how good this is and how much I loved it. I mean, I knew it would be good, since I’ve enjoyed the series…but this is, by far, my absolute favorite. Wow.

The only thing left to say is I literally cannot imagine my fangirling reaction when Greg Tremblay does the narration for this. Oh, it’s going to be a happy, happy day in my house when that comes out!

my heart will always be with you


Cole McGunnis Series

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Galley copy of provided by in exchange of an honest review.

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1 Comment on "Dirty Heart (Belen’s Review)"

12 days 15 hours ago

What a wonderful (spoiler free) review! I love this series and can’t wait to get my hands on this one. :)

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