*disclaimer: All books reviewed on this site were purchased by myself unless otherwise noted in the review*
The Queen B
Love books, wine, snark and World Domination. I'm truly a kind ruler though. It'll only hurt a little.....but I promise you'll like it ;)
I also review on Barnes and Noble as feygirl, on Amazon as The Queen B and on Goodreads as QueenB.
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.
Note: I received a copy for review from the author
Dirty Kiss is a well written mystery/romance featuring two very different men that have to face familial and cultural obstacles along with a fanatical killer just to be together.
The story is told through the eyes of Cole, a Japanese/Irish former cop who is now a private investigator. Cole has faced hate and loss in his life and although he hides behind a great sense of humor and a few close friendships, he's basically cut himself off from any hopes at romantic feelings again. I really liked Cole. He's a guy that I can see having a drink with down at the bar and he's also the guy you call when your back's against the wall and you need a loyal friend to turn to. For all the betrayal and lack of understanding he's faced in his life, he's not a bitter or hateful person. He lives his life as he pleases and he knows that not everyone is going to like it, so he accepts if they choose not to be in his life. He's damaged, haunted and wounded but he's so worth fighting for.
The man that finally reaches through the protective shell that Cole has encased his heart and even his sex drive behind is the enigmatic and beautiful, Jae. Jae has also faced hatred, betrayal and very hard times, but unlike Cole, Jae is a captive to his cultural and familial obligations and knows that he will never have the luxury of saying "eff you" to the world and living as he pleases. This is frustrating to Cole, but over time he begins to understand what it means to have such a strong sense of family and culture, all the beauty and ugliness of such ties and how they make their members both stronger and weaker.
The romance is sweet with two wary and wounded men that come from two different worlds trying to learn to trust and discovering if what they have is worth fighting for. The supporting cast is vivid and full of dynamic and varied characters. My personal favorite being the incomparable Scarlet. The mystery is intriguing and the threat of violence hanging over Cole and Jae give an urgency to the relationship. The ending is satisfying and leaves the door open for more growth and adventures while giving the reader, and I believe the characters, hope for the future.
The book is thought provoking, sexy and at times graphic.
I recommend this book to fans of mystery, suspense and gay romance.
Final Grade: B+
Now, thanks to the lovely author, I have one copy of Dirty Kiss for a lucky commenter to win. Just comment on this post and leave your email address. The contest will run from now until Friday, July 8, 2011 at 11:59 pm PST. Contest is open internationally. (Much thanks to Rhys!)