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Dirty Kiss, Book 1 | [Rhys Ford]

Dirty Kiss, Book 1

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.
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Publisher's Summary

A Cole McGinnis Mystery

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. Jae-Min's cousin's death 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.

©2011 Rhys Ford (P)2014 Dreamspinner Press

What Members Say

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4.4 (265 )
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  •  
    Bethany 02-20-15
    Bethany 02-20-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fell for the narrator"

    Narrating is a subtle thing. Many books I have loved to read have made horrible audiobooks. Bad accents, speaking too quickly or making women have high-pitched squeaky voices will ruin a book fast. But nothing makes me hit the off button faster than overacting by the narrator. At first it seemed like Greg Tremblay had fallen into the trap of overly dramatic reading but by the second chapter I was hooked. Part of his skill is in making each character have a distinct voice. You never have to wonder who is speaking. He does a great job with accents, both regional and Asian. And by giving each character a clear voice, he is able to layer in emotions in a natural, unforced way. And here is where Rhys Ford's writing shines through. There is sadness and the aftermath of violence balanced against humor and finding a family of choice. Mr Tremblay plays through all those emotions with a deft hand. At heart it is a love story that feels like you are listening to two men fall in love. He even pulls off the sex scenes which so often become laughable by bad narration. One criticism I have read is that each book in the series ends on a cliffhanger which is true and would usually irritate me. In this case the special chemistry of Tremblay's voice and Ford's writing meant I just jumped right in on the next book. I feel like I found something unexpected and special in this series and look forward to more from both the author and the narrator

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Raina 01-12-15
    Raina 01-12-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Excellent"

    I kept hearing good things about this series and I was skeptical at first. I ended up loving this. The blend of cultures and mystery along with two heart breaking men made for a fantastic read. The depth of the characters and the richness of the plot was refreshing and kept me on edge. I would highly recommend this to everyone.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ren CA 09-26-14
    Ren CA 09-26-14 Member Since 2014

    There are 69 books in my library right now. I can never buy another book. :(

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Despite the weird cover, this book is awesome!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes! Greg Tremblay is probably one of my favorite narrators and I'm sad that he hasn't really done much. He did a FANTASTIC job narrating this book and I've already listened to it multiple times. For me this book is really enhanced by the audio version.


    What does Greg Tremblay bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Jae-min. It literally sounds like another person is voicing him, and he does a perfect job with all the Korean, not that I'm an expert or anything but it sounded amazing to me. Jae is just the start though, because Greg makes pretty much all of the characters sound unique, and he even made me laugh out loud at some points because he voices the dark humor perfectly.


    Who was the most memorable character of Dirty Kiss, Book 1 and why?

    Jae-min. He is my answer to everything because I love him so, so much. He is so perfectly damaged and beautiful and badass that I just want to hug him and feed him cookies. I love the way he loves Cole and yet takes ZERO shit from him, it's perfect. He's the best. *sigh


    Any additional comments?

    Such a good book, and an amazing audiobook. Thanks to this book I was forced to buy all the other books in the series and now painfully await the last to be written. :(

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Orlando Murrieta, CA, United States 08-04-14
    Orlando Murrieta, CA, United States 08-04-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Expect a cliffhanger"

    The only reason I'm giving the story 3 stars, is because it feels unfinished. Don't expect the narrative to wrap up all the loose ends in this book, I fear that's what book two and three are going to do.
    That said, it's well written and I enjoyed the story quite a bit. If I hadn't liked the story, I would be a little unhappy about having to buy the next two books.
    Excellent narration. Tremblay has a relaxed style that I enjoyed immensely.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meredith 08-06-15
    Meredith 08-06-15
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    "Wonderful! Fun, sweet, and hot!"

    I love this audiobook!!! Rhys Ford is an amazing author. She is a master at crafting stories that balance beautifully wrought characters who are playful and serious, action packed plots, and vivid descriptions. This series is full of characters that I cared about immediately. I love the dynamics between Cole and Jae and the supporting character's interactions are just as fantastic. This is the kind of book I walk away from wishing I could befriend the characters in real life (without the risk of getting shot as collateral damage in Cole's drama packed life).

    I also adore Greg Tremblay's narration. I specifically look for books that he narrates at this point because he does such a good job so consistently. His skills at voiceover shine brightly enough for this series particularly that I practically had to squint to keep from being blinded by them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    i_kday 06-29-15
    i_kday 06-29-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Aaahhmazing!!'"

    Greg Tremblay, what can I say about you & the happiness you bring me when I hear your voice narrating books, other than you are amazing!!! You bought the characters to life , specially Jin & made my enjoyment of rereading this awesome favorite series of mine by the talented Rhys Ford to a whole new level. Mr. Tremblay is one seriously amazing talented narrator, I always look forward to listening to his works. Onward to book 2, I'm so excited!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheila Denver, CO, US 06-22-15
    Sheila Denver, CO, US 06-22-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Great team work"

    Oh Cole is one of my new favorites, and Rhys and Greg are going to be a great pairing. Our PI Cole does indeed lead an interesting life and he has been knocked down but not out a number of times. He has such pain in his past but good people who watch his back. When he meets Jae Min he is indeed brought back to the present and makes tomorrow look a little sweeter. Cole's cases can be very violent and involved, and take us through other cultures we are not familiar with, but we will be as this serious continues.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carlisle 06-09-15
    Carlisle 06-09-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Great Story and Reader"
    Have you listened to any of Greg Tremblay’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but he did a really good job at differentiating between characters. There is one thing, the way he narrates Cole is gets kind of old after a while. He has a vocal tic of pausing in a certain rhythm. I was fine for the first half, but once I noticed it it started to irritate me. I'm still planning on listening to the rest of the series because I love Rhys' work, but the vocal tic is something that some readers might want to know going in. Aside from that he did a wonderful job and I applaud him for his brilliant performance.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Smitten with Reading Texas 10-15-14
    Smitten with Reading Texas 10-15-14 Member Since 2011
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    "B rating overall..."

    My Review:
    Overall.... 3.75
    Performance... 4.75
    Story.... 3.0
    Hmm, something about this story just didn't quite do it for me. The book goes heavily into Korean culture and since it was that culture that played so heavily into the negative aspects of the story line, I had a hard time appreciating it.

    Cole is a private eye investing the suicide death of Jae's cousin, who was a closeted gay man. The suicide and suspense line has a whole somewhat fascinating side to this story that leads Cole to Jae. Jae is also a closeted gay man...closeted because of his family and the Korean ideals that they hold up. It's a bizarre attitude. No one is happy about the gay men, but as long as they don't flaunt it, it can be ignored. Jae is fairly ostracized by his family, but his loyalty to them is first and foremost in his life. I had an issue with that. They are fine throwing him away. As someone not from that culture, it's hard to accept that kind of blind, non-yielding loyalty. To me, he owed something to himself and his true feelings for Cole so that made this whole story difficult for me.

    This is the start of a huge series and I honestly don't plan on continuing with it, although fans of this series rave about how good it is over and over again. I just don't think it's for me.

    But with that being said, I am dying to know why Cole's partner when he was a policeman went off the deep end and killed Cole's lover, himself, and seriously wounded Cole. I'm tempted to read the whole series just to find out that fact. I loved Cole and his pragmatic attitude toward life, Jae Min, and his career. He has a snarky wit that I loved and could empathize with. I love his attitude even when he is doing something stupid to endanger himself...again.

    And it should be noted that the narrator for this audiobook was phenomenal. There were Korean accents, Korean cross-dressers, and Cole's own flat snark that he delivered with absolute brilliance and perfection. I don't think there is a more perfect narrator for this series than Greg Tremblay.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tams (TTC Books and more) JUSTIN, TX, United States 09-28-14
    Tams (TTC Books and more) JUSTIN, TX, United States 09-28-14 Member Since 2012

    Avid reader, reviewer, blogger and budding author.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dirty and Sexy!"
    What made the experience of listening to Dirty Kiss, Book 1 the most enjoyable?

    That dry, witty sense of humor Cole is sporting.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Dirty Kiss, Book 1?

    When Cole and Jai finally stop fighting their attraction and come together, literally.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Cole calls Jai baby after saving his life, and Jai tells him he likes that.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, most definitely, it's hard to stop listening to one of Rhys Ford's books once you start. They are always so good you just want to devour them in one setting.


    Any additional comments?

    Cole McGinnis is a half Irish, half Asian gay man. The former cop has little to no contact with his mother and father since he came out. His older brother, an attorney, has never turned his back on his brother though regardless. It's Cole's brother Mike that brings him his latest job, digging into the death of Mike's boss's son. It's at the family home that Cole meets the elusive, beautiful and troubled cousin of the victim. The last thing Mike wants is to be attracted to anyone, still in mourning after his long time lover was killed by his former partner on the force. But there is something about Jae that pulls Cole closer and makes the PI want to get to know the closed off Asian a little more intimately.

    Kim Jae-Min hides his sexuality, sort of. It's no secret to his late cousin's family, who actually blame him for "turning" their son gay. And that couldn't be further from the truth. Jae is attracted to the large and in charge PI as well, and it confuses him. Cole really aggravates him and pisses him off, pushing his buttons, but he turns him on like no one else ever has as well. Jae is a conundrum, fighting Cole one minute, then rocking his world the next, sometimes the two happen simultaneiously, which is both confusing and entertaining.

    As Cole grows closer to uncovering the truth about Yung's death, he and Jae grow closer as well. But the person responsible for Yung's death wants to keep their identity a secret, even if that means one half breed PI and a gay go-go dancer have to be the next casualities in this twisted game of murder and secrecy. Cole struggles to balance his attraction to Jae with his almost utter certainty that he is violating some type of promise to his dead lover to be miserable and alone for all eternity. Jae has his struggles as well. As much as he wants to be with Cole, it confuses him, the wanting the man so much. And he will not tell his family the truth, that he prefers men to woman, and risk being cut off from them. Can the two of them find a happy medium where they can stay true to themselves and manage to be with each other? And if they can, will they be alive to do so?

    Ford delves deep into the trenches of Asian society and beliefs with this series, where as in the Sinner's series, she explored the Irish. But this series is no less intense, Ford has definitely found her niche' with murder, mayhem and snarky, sexy, half naked men that can't seem to keep their hands off of each other. Narrated by Greg Trembley, this is my first audio from Trembley but I'm quite taken with his skills. Trembley conveys the accents with precision and grace and manages to differientiate between characters with the slightest change of nuance and tone. The action is pulse pounding and almost non stop, everytime you think that Cole is close to figuring things out there is another curve ball. I loved the phrases and the wording that Ford used while telling this story, describing these characters and Trembley really brought it all to life with his narration.

    If you like a story with a mesh up of mystery and suspense with a couple of hard headed fresh new lovers and a pretty accurate detialing of the asian culture in the aspect of this story... this is the perfect book for you!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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