Welcome to our second week of celebrating the amazing
In today's post, we're taking a look at the Cole McGinnis series, as well as five little-known facts about Rhys. And all the way at the bottom will be another chance to win as well!
First up, Dirty Kiss
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. The death of Jae-Min's cousin 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.
I was going to have to splash a bucket of bleach into my eyes to get rid of the sight of Mrs. Brinkerhoff and her lover frolicking around a red-velvet-curtained bed. I didn’t find women sexually attractive, so unlike most men, two women getting it on means that there’s twice as much stuff going on that I’m not interested in, but there was just something wrong about seeing mounds of infirm, pillowy flesh undulating over crimson sheets, or the sight of Mrs. Brinkerhoff’s mouth on another woman’s privates. The leather getups were an added bonus, and after taking pictures of what happened on that bed, I wasn’t going to switch to women anytime soon.
The woman moved carefully around the topiary corpse, silent on her bare feet. If I hadn’t been the one she was stalking, I’d have to give it to the old lady. She was definitely not someone to mess with. The shotgun barrel was kept pointed down, her hands gripped expertly on the stock and at the ready to pull it up if she spotted me. Any other time, I’d have applauded her hunting skills, but right now, I just wanted out of there before she filled me full of holes.
“Great,” I mumbled, watching Mrs. Brinkerhoff’s head bob up and down among the sculpted trees. “She’s on fricking safari and I’m the goddamned antelope.”
The ground seemed to be a lot farther away on the other side, built on a gentle slope that would take excess runoff and channel it toward grates set in the middle of the tight alley. Calculating the distance down, I wondered if I would break my leg when I dropped on the mold-slick cement below.
Mrs. Brinkerhoff’s head jerked up when I slid to get a better angle to fall from, and I couldn’t stop a small moan escaping between my clenched teeth as the fence dug deeper into the crux of my thighs. Her hair gleamed, a white poof of silvery cotton that made my spine tingle when I saw it. In the dim light from the floods along the side of the house, I saw her eyes squint and the pinprick of a murderous gleam form when she spotted me straddling the fence. Shadows winked away when the shotgun turned to fix on me, the watery orange of the streetlights catching on its dull metal surface.
I did what any sane man would do when a pixie-faced grandmother lined him up in her sights: I jumped.
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Second in this series, Dirty Secret
Loving Kim Jae-Min isn’t always easy: Jae is gun-shy about being openly homosexual. Ex-cop turned private investigator Cole McGinnis doesn’t know any other way to be. Still, he understands where Jae is coming from. Traditional Korean men aren’t gay—at least not usually where people can see them.
But Cole can’t spend too much time unraveling his boyfriend’s issues. He has a job to do. When a singer named Scarlet asks him to help find Park Dae-Hoon, a gay Korean man who disappeared nearly two decades ago, Cole finds himself submerged in the tangled world of rich Korean families, where obligation and politics mean sacrificing happiness to preserve corporate empires. Soon the bodies start piling up without rhyme or reason. With every step Cole takes toward locating Park Dae-Hoon, another person meets their demise—and someone Cole loves could be next on the murderer’s list.
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In the third spot, Dirty Laundry
For ex-cop turned private investigator Cole McGinnis, each day brings a new challenge. Too bad most of them involve pain and death. Claudia, his office manager and surrogate mother, is still recovering from a gunshot, and Cole’s closeted boyfriend, Kim Jae-Min, suddenly finds his teenaged sister dumped in his lap. Meanwhile, Cole has his own sibling problems—most notably, a mysterious half brother from Japan whom his older brother, Mike, is determined they welcome with open arms.
As if his own personal dramas weren’t enough, Cole is approached by Madame Sun, a fortune-teller whose clients have been dying at an alarming rate. Convinced someone is after her customers, she wants the matter investigated, but the police think she’s imagining things. Hoping to put Sun’s mind at ease, Cole takes the case and finds himself plunged into a Gordian knot of lies and betrayal where no one is who they are supposed to be and Death seems to be the only card in Madame Sun’s deck.
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Number four, Dirty Deeds
Sheila Pinelli needed to be taken out.
Former cop turned private investigator Cole McGinnis never considered committing murder. But six months ago, when Jae-Min’s blood filled his hands and death came knocking at his lover’s door, killing Sheila Pinelli became a definite possibility.
While Sheila lurks in some hidden corner of Los Angeles, Jae and Cole share a bed, a home, and most of all, happiness. They’d survived Jae’s traditional Korean family disowning him and plan on building a new life—preferably one without the threat of Sheila’s return hanging over them.
Thanks to the Santa Monica police mistakenly releasing Sheila following a loitering arrest, Cole finally gets a lead on Sheila’s whereabouts. That is, until the trail goes crazy and he’s thrown into a tangle of drugs, exotic women, and more death. Regardless of the case going sideways, Cole is determined to find the woman he once loved as a sister and get her out of their lives once and for all.
THE NIGHTMARES hit that night.
Not mine. I would have welcomed my own nightmares. No, these were Jae’s, and they hit him hard. Something in Ichiro’s words triggered a darkness lurking inside of Jae, and it sprang forward as he slept, sinking its fangs into his mind and draining his reason.
He woke up wild-eyed and screaming, a wordless high-pitched keen that shook the sleep from my body. I reached for him, letting his hands slam into my chest and face, not caring if he left bruises on me as he fought off his monsters.
After all, I was there to do battle as well.
“Saranghaeyo, Jae-ah,” I whispered soothingly as I folded him into my arms. He fought me a little, too caught up in the horrors of where his down some. “I’m here, baby. I’ve got you.”
His hands were cold on my bare chest, and even with the dim light coming from the full moon outside, I could see how bloodless his fingers were, a pale, bony white on my tanned skin. Holding him closer, I felt the pound of his heart beating in his chest, a frantic trapped-bird sound fighting to be free from its unyielding prison.
“Cole-ah.” His husky voice shattered on my name, and the sound of his grief broke me.
I couldn’t embrace him hard enough, close enough to chase away the demons feeding on Jae, but I tried. Every time he was hounded into another dark corner of his mind, I went in after him, ready to battle off anything… anyone who brought him to tears.
“I’m okay.” He surfaced. Finally. Blinking at the sparse light coming in through the open window, Jae took a breath, its long draw shaking him. His forehead remained on my chest, and his arms slid down my shoulders, tightening our hug. “God, I hate… this.”
I didn’t have to ask him what he meant. The dreams were variations on a common theme. He couldn’t find me. Couldn’t find his sisters. Hell, lately he searched endlessly for Scarlet or Ichiro and once even Maddy. And all the time, he was running from an unseen force bent on undoing him.
“This is so stupid.” Another round of self-incrimination, and then Jae bit my collarbone. “Fucker. You were hiding from me.”
“Right here, sunshine.” I yelped and rubbed the spot he’d marked with his teeth. “If you’re hungry, I can go downstairs and get you something to chew on.”
Jae laughed—a husky, rolling promise I’d grown used to hearing.
“You, agi, have a filthy mind,” I chastised.
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Coming in at number five, Down And Dirty
From the moment former LAPD detective Bobby Dawson spots Ichiro Tokugawa, he knows the man is trouble. And not just because the much younger Japanese inker is hot, complicated, and pushes every one of Bobby’s buttons. No, Ichi is trouble because he’s Cole McGinnis’s younger brother and off-limits in every possible way. And Bobby knows that even before Cole threatens to kill him for looking Ichi’s way. But despite his gut telling him Ichi is bad news, Bobby can’t stop looking… or wanting.
Ichi was never one to play by the rules. Growing up in Japan as his father’s heir, he’d been bound by every rule imaginable until he had enough and walked away from everything to become his own man. Los Angeles was supposed to be a brief pitstop before he moved on, but after connecting with his American half-brothers, it looks like a good city to call home for a while—if it weren’t for Bobby Dawson.
Bobby is definitely a love-them-and-leave-them type, a philosophy Ichi whole-heartedly agrees with. Family was as much of a relationship as Ichi was looking for, but something about the gruff and handsome Bobby Dawson that makes Ichi want more.
Much, much more.
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And the final book in the series, Dirty Heart
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.
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Five little-known facts about Rhys Ford
- Apparently, according to my friends, I am unbelievably jammy. I have no idea what that means. But there you go.
- I have a squillion goddogs in various places around the world. I’m horrible about people’s face and names but the dog? I’ll know its name, breed, and recall its favourite toy.
- I really would love to have a capybara as a pet.
- I once owned Kai’s car but owning two muscle cars was a drain on my bank account. The Mustang now lives in Phoenix with his new daddy who is a firefighter.
- I have a mild form of Asperger’s which sometimes manifests in the oddest ways. Case in point, I have to remove any tags on my shirts and I obsessively overpack underwear on a trip. Okay the underwear thing just might be prudence on my part.
More about Rhys:
Rhys Ford is an award-winning author with several long-running LGBT+ mystery, thriller, paranormal, and urban fantasy series and was a 2016 LAMBDA finalist with her novel, Murder and Mayhem. 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 Yoshi, a grumpy tuxedo cat and Tam, a diabetic black pygmy panther, 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.
Rhys Ford’s books can found at Dreamspinner Press, DSP Publications, and all major online book stores.
Thanks for celebrating with us. Come back next week for more of Rhys' books, a personal story she's chosen to share, and another chance to win.
Until then, happy reading!