Title ~ Down & Dirty (Cole McGinnis #5)
Author ~ Rhys Ford
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 2nd January 2014
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
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.
I have read so many of Rhys Ford's books that picking this one up was a no brainer for me. I already knew that I loved her writing. This book is about Bobby and Ichiro, Cole’s brother. Bobby Dawson knew the friendship rules, the one in particular about not screwing around with a best friend’s brother, but he wasn’t sure if he had the strength to fight the attraction the two men had for each other.
"You know you want a bite, Dawson. One big fucking bite, and if you do it, your world's going to go to shit. And no guy is worth that kind of trouble." But dammed if Ichiro didn't look like he'd give it his best shot.
I absolutely love Rhys' writing style - her way of describing things has me in stitches half the time. I was thinking hot thoughts as the author described Ichiro taking his leathers off, and then bam, I am laughing like a loon with...
It wasn't until Bobby spotted the flaming-red car screaming through the intersection and as the speakers' fuzziness cleared up it dawned on him that he was hearing the Canadian national anthem. In Southern California. Without a damned Mountie in sight.
Ichiro is such a sweetie, but he has a lot of problems of his own - not least of all, being warned off Bobby as though the man was a drug. Brought up to believe that he had a place in his father's dynasty, Ichiro rebelled and paid the price, losing everything including his fiancé to his father of all people. If that doesn't give you an indication of the dynamics in that family nothing will.
It is absolutely awesome that Rhys has created characters that are real men. The two men both had reasons not to be together in any way - Bobby didn't do commitment and Ichiro wasn't looking for a one night stand. Both of them knew that Ichiro's brother Cole would be really angry if they got together, even if it was just for the once. But...
If there was a hell, Bobby expected his eternal torment would be the sweet taste of a demon's mouth, then a forever spent longing for more. Ichiro tasted of that hell - a hot blast of sex, sweet and trouble with a side of forbidden to spice things up - of fire and ink, and Bobby knew with the touch of that mouth on his, he'd be jonesing for that taste for the rest of his life.
But of course things were never meant to be that easy and boy does Rhys Ford take us, and her MCs on a merry dance. Not least of the problems would be telling Cole. There’s also shootings, Ichiro trying to get his business up and running and Bobby’s son to contend with. Cole and Bobby's relationship as best friends is intense - partially because of the type of life they lead and partially because for both of them, the friendship is really important on so many levels. I love how Rhys played this out, showed how honest it can be especially when that relationship is threatened by change.
The ending was suitably beautiful in the way it was done, and I found myself immediately hoping that another book comes out soon. Although this book is perfect as a standalone some of the elements in the story make more sense if you have read the previous books. But it was lovely to see Cole and Jae again, happy although still struggling with outside elements.
Overall this would have to be one of my favorite books for 2014. Rhys Ford mixes poetic descriptions, with ball breaking honesty - her men are solid and they fight for what they want. You need to read this book even if it's just to remember what love between two strong men actually feels like. I loved that.