~ RHYS FORD ~
A silent character in the Cole McGinnis series is Jae-Min’s cat, Neko. She’s been a presence in the books—much like she is a presence in my life. She came into the household as a sickly little thing who’d gotten pregnant at too young of an age which stunted her growth. She remains the size of a half-grown cat and has thick chinchilla fur.
She’s also very bossy. She does not like the dogs to be outside in the back yard for more than fifteen minutes and will gladly tell anyone with thumbs when it is time for them to come in. She’s mostly quiet until she is screaming and will come and tell you when it is time for her to receive affection.
In short, she is a typical cat.
She’s also kind of who I modeled Jae after.
So much of the series is about Cole —well he is the main character—but Jae’s a major part of the equation.
When I first started writing the series, I knew Jae would be in it but for how long? I had some doubts on whether or not he could survive the transition from where he was in Dirty Kiss to who he had to be in Dirty Deeds. And what about the damned cat?
Because Cole is allergic to cats.
What does Cole do? He sucks it up. I didn’t make it a big thing in the books. Because it’s in Cole’s voice—he wouldn’t see it as a major thing. An allergy pill a day and life is… what it is.
Because Jae is worth it.
Even if Cole doesn’t think he himself is worth anything.
A lot of this series is about finding self-worth. And really what better depiction of self-worth is there but a cat?
So there is that moment when you bring a cat into the house and it hasn’t yet warmed up to anyone. It’s aloof but moderately friendly. Rubs up against you then dances away. Then one day, it crawls into your lap, settles in and begins to purr.
THAT is what happened in this book. Jae crawls into Cole’s lap and begins to purr.
And like most rational human beings do when this happens, he freezes and doesn’t want to move because Dude! Do You See The Cat? It Is In My Lap! This is one of the most glorious moments of bringing a cat in to occupy your space and here it is for Cole as well. With Jae.
Occupying space. His space. In his lap.
And it was a glorious thing to write too.
That was the most significant change to get around in my head while writing Dirty Deeds. Jae was there. In the house. Cooking. Making his life. Feeding his cat. Taking half of the closet. It was probably as much of a shift in thinking for me as it would be for Cole if he actually existed.
Because it is their HEA. And I have no intention of breaking it.
Some people questioned why I brought them together like this mid-series. Why? What purpose will it serve now? Was I going to kill Jae off? Was I going to break them apart?
God, I hope not. Living with Jae isn’t a piece of cake for Cole. There will be adjustments. On both sides. But this part of the story isn’t really about Jae. It’s about Cole. And the demons he wrestles with. The question isn’t will Jae leave Cole but rather will Cole shove him away?
To that I’m going to say I hope not as well.
But it doesn’t mean I won’t hurt them along the way. Because you know, it’s like stuff you have on the table and the cat’s sitting there. It’s going to knock it off just for shits and giggles.
And ‘cause it’s a cat.
Dirty Deeds by Rhys Ford
(Book 4 in the Cole McGinnis Series)
Sheila Pinelli needed to be taken out.
Former cop turned private investigator Cole McGinnis never considered committing murder. But six months ago, when Jae-Min’s blood filled his hands and death came knocking at his lover’s door, killing Sheila Pinelli became a definite possibility.
While Sheila lurks in some hidden corner of Los Angeles, Jae and Cole share a bed, a home, and most of all, happiness. They’d survived Jae’s traditional Korean family disowning him and plan on building a new life—preferably one without the threat of Sheila’s return hanging over them.
Thanks to the Santa Monica police mistakenly releasing Sheila following a loitering arrest, Cole finally gets a lead on Sheila’s whereabouts. That is, until the trail goes crazy and he’s thrown into a tangle of drugs, exotic women, and more death. Regardless of the case going sideways, Cole is determined to find the woman he once loved as a sister and get her out of their lives once and for all.
Rhys Ford’s Dirty Deeds may be purchased at Dreamspinner.
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