From the blurb:
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.
*TOTALLY SPOILER-FREE REVIEW*
4 stars for the story, 5 BIG stars for the audio narration, and 1,000,000 stars for how happy this series made me. 4.5 stars for my final rating.
I've been eagerly anticipating this book for over a YEAR. However, it was a total mixed emotions thing. See, this is the final book in a series that has become near and dear to my heart, and though I was excited to get another chapter in the story of Jae and Cole and FINALLY find out what motivated Ben to do what he did, I was heartbroken at seeing the last of some of my favorite characters.
When I got a review copy of the audiobook, I stopped EVERYTHING to pick this one up.
I'll start with a mention of the audiobook narrator, Greg Tremblay.
I LOOOOVE Greg Tremblay, and I've loved him every since I first listened to Dirty Kiss. I love him so much that I ATTACKED him when I met him for the first time at GRL (Not the most flattering picture of me but you get the idea). I think Greg is so special as a narrator for a number of reasons. There are at least a dozen separate and distinct voices in Dirty Heart, and Greg manage to give each voice the exact intonation and flair that it needed to fit the character. He is really a master at studying a character and his/her background, and making the voice fit like a glove. I've listened to almost 200 audiobooks, and I KNOW a good narrator when I hear one, and Greg is a GREAT narrator. But he not only does voices in a way that makes each unique, but he also reads the story like he is LIVING the story. I've listened to many a very dry reading, and I hate it when the narrators sound amateur-hour. Greg is a total professional, reading the sex scenes with heat and without making them cheesy, making the emotional scenes tender and heart-breaking, and making the action scenes exciting and intense. I just adore him. Also, the quality of his work is excellent. I've listened to a lot of stories where I can hear changes in volume where scenes have been re-edited, or there is a lot of background interference. There is none of that in Greg's recordings. It is honey-smooth and great to listen to.
And don't think that I missed that shout-out to you, Greg! You made it as a character in one of Rhys Ford's books! Go you!
Now, as for the story, it is really classic for a Cole and Jae plot. There is a lot of action, bullets, hitting, sex-ing, bleeding, and loving. We see more from Bobby and Ichi, though they take the far backseat in this story. This book is all about Cole and Jae being a STRONG couple with no couple drama (phew!), and Cole FINALLY finding out what happened with Ben. This book was funny, exciting, charming, and emotional. It was everything that I've come to expect and want from this series.
Ben. I found the final mystery to be a bit... anti-climactic and predictable, but everyone may view it differently. It fit the story well, and it made sense, but it wasn't super exciting for me. And I still don't really understand all of the drama in the story. It seemed a little over-the-top and unrealistic, but I won't really complain because I loved seeing these characters in action. All of these characters mean the world to me, and I give Rhys Ford all the credit in the universe for creating such wonderful, flawed, lovable characters. They are all special to me and I will miss them dearly.
I KNOW that all readers of this series will be pleased with this final story. Yes, we all want more, but I feel very happy with how it all came together. Goodbye, Dirty Heart characters, and may you keep living on with all new readers who discover your stories.
**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
Thanks for stopping by!