Title: Ramen Assassin (Ramen Assassin #1)
Author: Rhys Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 25, 2019
Page Count: 216
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Ramen Assassin: Book One
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.
I greatly enjoyed this book. It was quirky and humorous. The mystery aspect was engaging. The characters were varied enough to keep the plot interesting. And the plot pulled me right along; I had a hard time putting this one down.
Our main character, Trey, has some significant flaws: former child star now a drug and alcohol addict, can’t live up to the exceedingly high expectations of his wealthy and powerful father or step-sisters, has been working hard to stay sober. He’s in the wrong place at the wrong time and the confluence of events that spiral outward from there is just interesting.
Our other main character, Kuro, was forcibly retired from black ops and now runs a raman shop. When Trey literally falls at his feet, he can’t help but save the underdog. Kuro has his own baggage and has been attracted to Trey for a while but hasn’t dared hope for anything beyond feeding him good noodles.
The supporting characters ranged from likeable to massively annoying, which worked in this story. A few were cookie-cutter characters, probably my only complaint with the overall plot, but, again, I was so tickled with the rest of the book that I didn’t mind.
If you’ve enjoyed earlier Rhys Ford books, you’ll probably enjoy this one. If you’re newer to this author, and you enjoy mysteries/suspense books, I recommend giving this a whirl. It’s fast paced, emotionally engaging, a sweet romance, and just fun to read.
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Rhys Ford is an award-winning author with several long-running LGBT+ mystery, thriller, paranormal, and urban fantasy series and is a two-time LAMBDA finalist with her Murder and Mayhem novels. She is published by Dreamspinner Press and DSP Publications.
She’s also quite skeptical about bios without a dash of something personal and really, who doesn’t mention their cats, dog and cars in a bio? She shares the house with Harley, an insane grey tuxedo cat as well as a ginger cairn terrorist named Gus. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird and enjoys murdering make-believe people.