Review: Tramps and Thieves by Rhys Ford

About the Book

Cover Tramps and Thieves by Rhys FordWhoever 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.

The Finer Details

Narrative Arc: Series

Series Detail: Murder and Mayhem, book 2

Series Arc:  continuation of a relationship

Publication Date: September 18, 2017
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: Novel, 220 e-book pages
POV: 3rd person
Tense: Past
Pairings: Male/Male
Identities: Gay
Genre(s): Contemporary, Mystery, Crime/Detective

Tropes and Tags: opposites attract
Settings & Locales: Los Angeles, CA
Ending: — select —

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Advance Review Copy generously provided by the author.


Back Porch Thoughts

Rating

Rating 4.5 Stars

4.5 Stars

Rating Info

Ratings stick closely to the GoodReads standards. Occasionally I’ll make note of half-star ratings and will typically round up on GoodReads reviews and other sites where I may cross-post.

Stars Goodreads  What this means to me
5 AMAZING This totally knocked my socks off, and I might end up a crazed fan (from a respectable distance).
4 Really Liked This was truly enjoyable, and I’d recommend it.
3 Liked It was good, and I’m glad I read it, but I may have had some issues.
2 It was okay I finished it & kept hoping for improvement. I definitely had issues.
1 Didn't like I read the whole thing but....
1 DNF Didn't like I read past 50% (at least) before giving up.
0 DNF No Rating I couldn't even make it to 50%, but I still feel the need to share my thoughts.

 

Review

This book has gotta be the best I Didn’t Know How Badly I Needed It sequel to ever cross my path.

I knew there’d be a book two.

I knew we’d have to wait.

I knew I’d climb all over it when it happened.

I just didn’t anticipate the magnitude of OH MY GOD GIMME.

Y’all.

Y’ALL, THIS BOOK.

Is it weird that I’m absolutely fascinated by people who know how to pick locks? And that I find that an incredibly sexy skill to have?

Not that I want some rando to pick a lock to get at me or mine or you and yours….but just having the know-how is all kinds of hot in my book.

So Rook. I ADORED him in Murder and Mayhem. Now, I kinda want to keep him for myself.

Though, Dante is all kinds of amazing….and probably better suited to keeping Rook on the straight and narrow path of not being a burglar. I’d likely just enable his B&E habits just to watch him pick locks then scarper him off to a hidey-hole far from the long-arm of the law.

Tramps and Thieves is just another glowing example of Rhys Ford at her finest. She’s got this murder mystery thing down with all kinds of questions begging to be answered, suspects with plenty of motive to keep us guessing, main and secondary characters with all kinds of nuanced depth, and plenty of light and quick humor to keep the darkness at bay.

This story is twisted in all kinds of dastardly ways because of the dead bodies and murders and whatnots with just the right amount of ick factor. Rhys can go to some extreme places with the ick that leave me with weeks of nightmares. Not so much this time…and that was appreciated.

Even with a murderer on the loose, the romance of Rook and Dante was at a delightful simmer throughout. I mean…a COP and a CROOK? (Reformed crook, I should say.) Learning to trust is a huge thing here. Massive. It sets the tone for the whole tale for both of them. They both want to trust, need it from each other. But it’s a tentative thing from the first book and throughout this one. And it’s not so much that Dante questions Rook’s innocence, but he’s got to be careful dancing the line between his job and an ongoing investigation with Rook at the center and getting in even deeper with the man whose guilty of stealing his heart.

And Rook, he hasn’t had a life filled with shining examples of the best of humanity. He’s kinda had to learn it all on the fly — that give and take of letting someone in and trusting they won’t hurt him.

I just…I love Rhys’ stories. Even if sometimes they’re a bit heavier on the mystery than the romance, I’m okay with it. I am a sponge for her crafty style with words wherever they take me.

Can this be read as a stand-alone? Maybe. The mystery thread is all new, but the relationship is a continuation and still in the stages of building a firm forever. I’d be more comfortable recommending readers new to this series start at the beginning. Also, because the first book was (equally) all kinds of fantastic.

Go and get it!


About the Author

Author Rhys FordRhys 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 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 an overworked red coffee maker.

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