Monday, September 18, 2017

LGBT Monday: Tramps and Thieves

Tramps and Thieves (Murder and Mayhem, #2)Author: Rhys Ford
Series: Murder and Mayhem, #2
Released: September 18th 2017
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 220 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon
         Dreamspinner Press

Whoever said blood was thicker than water never stood in a pool of it.
Retiring from stealing priceless treasures seemed like a surefire way for Rook Stevens to stay on the right side of the law. The only cop in his life should have been his probably-boyfriend, Los Angeles Detective Dante Montoya, but that’s not how life—his life—is turning out. Instead, Rook ends up not only standing in a puddle of his cousin Harold’s blood but also being accused of Harold’s murder…and sleeping with Harold’s wife.
For Dante, loving the former thief means his once-normal life is now a sea of chaos, especially since Rook seems incapable of staying out of trouble—or keeping trouble from following him home. When Rook is tagged as a murder suspect by a narrow-focused West L.A. detective, Dante steps in to pull his lover out of the quagmire Rook’s landed in. 
When the complicated investigation twists around on them, the dead begin to stack up, forcing the lovers to work together. Time isn’t on their side, and if they don’t find the killer before another murder, Dante will be visiting Rook in his prison cell—or at his grave. 

When it comes to writing M/M romances, no one does it quite like Rhys Ford. From her beloved (and sadly concluded) Cole McGinnis series to this new literary adventure, everything she does is a guaranteed success, and with good reason. Ford’s romances are never superficial and her mysteries are never just glue for multiple steamy scenes. She builds her stories on a solid foundation and treats steamy scenes precisely as what they are – desserts, rare nuggets meant to make the story sweeter.

It’s a tried and true recipe: one vulnerable partner, brittle and breakable, but with a spine of steel, and one steady, dependable rock that never falters, never waivers and never doubts. Rook Stevens has been abandoned and told he’s worthless far too many times, but he finally realizes he’s worth everything to Dante Montoya.

Rhys never creates unnecessary rifts between her protagonists. She respects the love and trust they’ve built. If anything, their bond becomes stronger in the face of dangers and challenges. All the problems, all their discussions seem natural and organic. Not a single emotion is forced or ingenuine.

Between the two, Rook sometimes seems as the more interesting character with his carnie past and his ridiculously rich and newly found family. He is certainly the one we enjoy uncovering, one vulnerability at a time. But Dante kind of sneaks up on a person, seemingly simple, unfailingly honest. There are depths to uncover in him as well, nothing flashy, but interesting nevertheless.

The plot in Tramps and Thieves is clever and firm, a mystery that follows the rules of its genre. Ford easily avoids predictability and masterfully weaves threads that lead to our moment of dangers and revelations. Having done it many times, both in her Cole McGinnis and in her Sinners series, she builds the mystery side of her plot with a very sure hand.

I enjoyed the two or three nods to characters from Cole McGinnis books. If we’re lucky, Ichi and Bobby might just show up in one of the future books. Be that as it may, I hope we won’t have to wait long for the next one – these two have burrowed their way under my skin and I can’t wait to see where their love will take them next.

If you haven’t read this wonderful series, start with Murder and Mayhem and catch up quickly. And make room in your heart for an ex-cat burglar with different colored eyes and the cop who chased him until he fell in love with him.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.

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