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.
(Previously posted for the book.)
Bobby’s story! Woot!
Or should I say Ichi’s story? No, it was definitely Bobby’s story!
An important first point: let me say that you must have read the other books for this to really mean anything to you. There are snatches of moments taken from the previous books to give you a time line so that the view as seen from a different angle makes more sense, but Ford does not “backfill” too much. She assumes you are an informed reader. (Thank you!)
This is pretty straightforwardly Bobby and Ichi’s love story. There is no mystery (those were Cole’s to solve and we see them through Bobby and Ichi’s lenses only.) We learn what makes Bobby and Ichi tick (mostly Bobby) and then we learn how they can fit together.
It. Was. Wonderful!
I absolutely loved digging deep into Bobby’s psyche. He’s a unique character, with years of experience that Jae and Cole don’t have. His history (being a closeted gay cop) must mirror what so many men of his generation experienced and it serves as a reminder for how far we (as a culture) have come along (hopefully) in our acceptance of “other” in our society. There was even a story thrown in as told by an older man who had similar experiences with his mixed marriage, that is, he was subjected to questions and cruelty as well.
Without reading this book, you may be worried that Bobby couldn’t possibly be seen as someone to trust in a long-term relationship. What Ford did was show us, by slowly peeling back the layers, just why Bobby is EXACTLY the type of guy you should trust in a long-term relationship. It was very elegantly done and felt completely organic.
Ichi’s history surprised me a bit too. There are things we find out that explain some of his personality; information about his mother (Cole’s too) and father and step-mother… fascinating. He’s an old soul and perfectly matched for Bobby.
I found the lack of mystery refreshing, not that the mysteries in Cole’s books aren’t great, but we got a chance to really focus on the characters in this book. Ford spends a lot of time developing these complex, rich characters (main and secondary) and this book show-cases that effort.
The ending was absolutely THE BEST. First, the way Jamie finds out Bobby is gay and then, the last scene at the tattoo shop… (le sigh) grab some tissues, it’s just wonderful. It feels so complete, but is just open enough that it hints at more excitement that we could see in upcoming book(s). I hope that both Bobby and Ichi (and maybe even Jamie?) will continue to play big roles in any future book(s).
Well done Rhys Ford, well done!
I highly recommend this and give it 6 of 5 hearts!
Greg Tremblay has done this entire series, so we are familiar with his deliciously growly Bobby and the exquisite way he handles all the variety of Asian accents.
I think he does another outstanding job with Down and Dirty. The emotion Bobby shows and the tenderness from Ichi are breathtaking.
I absolutely loved this audiobook and highly recommend it along with the entire series.
6 out of 5 hearts