Cole McGinnis has a wonderful life with his partner Jae-Min Kim, his good friends, and his job as a private investigator. It hasn’t been easy getting over the attack by his former police partner Ben that killed Cole’s lover Rick and almost left Cole dead as well. But with the support of Jae and his friends, Cole has managed to pull his life back together. Yet that doesn’t stop his past from coming back to haunt him in the form of his first police partner, Jeff Rollins.
Jeff was Cole’s partner when he was a rookie cop, but when Jeff quit the department, Cole didn’t give him much thought again. But now Jeff has resurfaced and is threatening people in Cole’s family. Not only that, but Cole learns that Ben and Jeff once were friends, and Jeff seems to know the secrets behind why Ben went on his murder/suicide attack years ago.
Cole wants to put the past behind him, and he certainly doesn’t want anything to do with Jeff. But as the man continues to threaten the people that Cole loves, he realizes he may never be able to move on until Jeff is stopped and the secrets from the past are finally revealed.
Dirty Heart is the final book in Rhys Ford’s amazing Cole McGinnis series, and I’ll admit, I started this one with a bit of a heavy heart. I truly love this series; Dirty Kiss was the first book by Ford I ever read, and I still remember vividly those thrilling moments from the opening scene as Cole is chased by a shot-gun toting, leather wearing granny. The idea that this is the last of the series kept me stalling, avoiding starting this book because I was just not ready for it to end. I even got that little quiver in my stomach when I picked up, a mixture of sadness and eager anticipation. So I am thrilled to say that this final installment is everything I wanted it to be and Ford leaves Cole and Jae in a perfect and satisfying place.
Those who have followed along since the series beginning will know how far these guys have come, particularly Jae. Jae had a lot of baggage to get past, and accepting Cole’s love and being open to being together wasn’t easy for him. So this story is so rewarding as the love these guys have for one another just leaps off the page. Cole, in particular, is so clearly besotted, we see it every time he interacts with Jae. We are in Cole’s POV, and there are moments where Jae walks into the room that Cole is just stunned with how much he loves him. It is so romantic and sweet, and super sexy. I loved seeing these men so happy together, so accepting of one another, and the story will give you all the feels as we see how wonderfully their relationship has developed.
The other piece of this story is the resolution to what prompted Ben’s murderous spree all those years ago. This story has been a running thread throughout the series, and we have gotten close to it, especially with regards to Ben’s wife Sheila. It has always been a sore spot for Cole, the not knowing, the not understanding why a man he loved like a brother would do something so horrible. But at the same time, Cole doesn’t want to dig into he past until he is forced to by Jeff’s actions. Because Cole will fight with everything he has to protect those he loves. So in Dirty Heart, we finally face it head on and learn what was really going on in Ben’s head all those years ago. Obviously I am not going to tell you what it was, but I will say that Ford has crafted an answer that is both appropriately substantial, as well as fitting perfectly with the existing story.
If you are a fan as I am of this wonderful series, you don’t need me to tell you to read this book. Trust me, the story is fabulous and you will be thrilled with how things come to a close. If you haven’t started the series, I urge you to pick up Dirty Kiss and get going on this wonderful ride. I have to say, I’m not quite sure why this has hit me so hard, but even typing this review is getting me a little misty. It is just a wonderful series and Ford has brought it to a close so perfectly. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. Go forth and read!
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.