How do I put into words the whole of this journey? This series was the start for me. These characters—Cole and Jae—have taken me to places I never thought I’d go, met people I am so very thankful to have known and most importantly, enriched my life beyond measure.
So how do I say goodbye to the beginning?
I can’t. And honestly, I won’t. As this story arc ends, I am grateful for so many readers joining me along the way. I can promise that as we close out this series, Cole and Jae will be back some time in the far future. But for now, this is goodbye.
And yet a hello of sorts… to a happiness and a life these characters deserve to have.
Because God knows, I’ve run them through the ringer.
So please enjoy this final Dirty tour as I present short scenes from Jae’s POV. Many are from instances in the books and a couple are in-betweens but I tried to find places where Jae really needed to speak. I hope you enjoy them.
And a tour cannot be a tour without a giveaway! So…. Here goes.
Leave a comment and be entered to win a $20 gift certificate from an e-tailer of your choice BUT that is not all. From these winners, I will randomly select ONE person to be a character in my other Los Angeles series, Murder and Mayhem. So hit up every blog, enter to win! ONE winner per blog!
Don’t I sound like I’m trying to sell you a used Buick? *grins*
Most of all, and please know this comes from the bottom of my heart where I keep my love for coffee and music, thank you. Thank you for reading the books and thank you for supporting me along the way. I cannot come up with the words strong and deep enough to express my gratitude.
Dirty Bits 5
“Jae honey, pass me that pepper sauce over there.” Claudia nudged around me, unpinning the alarmingly elaborate red hat perched on her head. “It looks like something I’d use to make my pork loin. Might be nice to change things up a bit.”
I snagged the rooster sauce from the kitchen counter and slid it over to the island where Marcus’d put down the grocery bags they’d brought with them. With her son dispatched to wherever six-foot-tall, shy sons to go when dropping their mothers off to help someone cook, Claudia took one of the aprons I’d hung on the pantry door, looped it over her head then tied it around her waist, all the while surveying the kitchen.
We’d done this dance a few hundred times before but this time was… different. I was alone in Cole’s house—alone with my cat—and waiting for Bobby or Mike to bring him home from the hospital. I was trying to feel normal about the whole thing, as if packing the fridge and freezer full of food was something I did every week because the idiot I’d fallen for couldn’t cook to save his life and he’d just spent two days lying on his back because he fell off a building after being blasted in the butt by a crazy man with a shotgun.
It was a lot to take in. Heck, it was a lot to live through and not for the first time since I’d laid eyes on Cole McGinnis, I wondered if being with him… having him in my life was worth it.
Neko’s tiny complaining mewl from somewhere in the house was enough of a sign to keep me from slipping out of the house before anyone else showed up. She’d been all I had, the only thing I knew loved me—as much as a cat can love—and Cole risked his life for her…for me.
“You have the look of a man who is torn between digging in or flying away,” Claudia said softly, tugging at my sleeve to get my attention. “Talk to me, Jae. You having doubts about being here or is it just too much with everyone descending down on this place like locusts?”
I smiled at the maternal scold in her eyes. If there was one thing I knew about Claudia, it was she considered Cole her much paler and possibly stupidest son. Shaking my head, I lied, “No, I’m fine.”
My own mother is not the woman Claudia is. Not by any means. Claudia cared. Like Scarlet cared. It was odd receiving that kind of maternal love after so many years of thinking I knew what a mother was like. The force of her emotions washing over me was nearly as overwhelming as thinking about Cole. I got another look—one that stripped me bare and left my aching raw soul open to the searing wind—and then she shook her head, mumbling something under her breath while she reached for a bunch of chard I’d left on the island.
“He’s good for you, you know,” Claudia finally said, shattering the tense quiet between us. “And you’re good for him. I had my doubts. Not going to lie about that but once I saw him with you, I knew you two were going to be all right.”
It never felt right to reach out. To talk about how life affected me. It wasn’t how I was raised. It wasn’t the world I’d ever lived in but stumbling into Cole’s arms meant falling into his world and it was a place where people talked…where people hugged… and there were so many times when I couldn’t be held one moment longer because it hurt to feel so much inside of me.
Like it hurt now. Waiting for him to come home and knowing I would have to wait until everyone left before I could simply sit with him and watch him breathe. I didn’t know how to tell him I loved him. I was scared to say it out loud. He would grab my words and hold on to them tightly, so tightly I knew I would feel his hands around my untouched heart.
He terrified me.
So I took the first step I could, tentatively reaching out to whisper a secret I’d held in since he’d told me everything was going to be okay.
“I think I love him, nuna,” I whispered to Claudia. “I just don’t know how to say it”
“You’ll find a way, honey.” She patted my hand, her fingers slick with the water from the cut greens. “You take your time and tell him when you’re ready. He’ll wait. That boy will wait forever and a day for you. You mark my words.”
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.
Purchase Dirty Heart at:
And other fine ebook retailers.
Follow the Dirty Bits Tour at these fantastic blog sites:
Mar 16 — Boy Meets Boy
Mar 17 — Love Bytes
Mar 18 — MM Good Book Reviews
Mar 20 — The Blogger Girls
Mar 21 — It’s About The Book
Mar 22 — Sinfully Gay Romance
Mar 23 — Joyfully Jay
Mar 24 — Prism Book Alliance
Mar 25— The Novel Approach
About the Author
Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.
Rhys admits to sharing the house with three cats of varying degrees of black fur, and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and a red Hamilton Beach coffee maker.
My books can be purchased, folded and first chapters read at Dreamspinner Press. http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com