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review 2017-06-17 03:49
Dim Sum Asylum by Rhys Ford - My Thoughts
Dim Sum Asylum - Rhys Ford

Rhys Ford is one of my go-to authors.  She never disappoints, not really, not even with a book that's not that stellar, such as this one.  And I say not that stellar, but I'm still giving it 3.5 stars.

There's a lot of good stuff here.  A couple of great main characters, the POV character being Senior Inspector Roku MacCormick of the Chinatown Arcane Crimes Division of San Francisco.  He's telling the story.  He's part faerie, part human and has suffered some tremendous losses in his life.   He's cranky and cynical a lot of the time and of course, I took to him immediately.

His partner, his new partner, Trent Leonard, is a big handsome hunk of a man, but I felt like we hardly got to know him.  Yeah, his backstory was there and all, but I really never got the feeling I knew him the way I've gotten to know so many of Rhys' characters.

The setting is great and the plot works well.  There's a lot of magic in this version of San Francisco and Rhys makes it all work quite nicely.  We are immersed in Chinese culture, but there was just so much of it that was just there... never explained to one like me who is not familiar with a lot of it.  I would have liked either a little more explanation of what was either food, drink, holy relic, a piece of clothing - there were times I was never sure and that tended to take me out of the story.

I also found that there was a lot... a whole helluva lot of description of things.  Places, especially.  Too much of it for my taste.  Now, I have a theory.... this book was originally a short story in an anthology that was expanded into a novel and I wonder if what I was finding too much was due to the expanding of something already written?  Maybe.  But the thing is, the story didn't really need it!  I wanted more character, maybe more interaction with the secondary characters who I really enjoyed and maybe just more discussion between Roku and Trent that wasn't all about the hot sex.  But OMG, the sex was hot!  There wasn't a ton of it - a lot of tension though.  A LOT!

Anyway, should this turn into a series, I won't complain.  I want to know more about Roku and Trent and Roku's family and friends and the world.

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review 2017-06-09 22:16
Rhys Ford does Unban Fantasy and there be...
Dim Sum Asylum - Rhys Ford

DRAGONS!!!! I lurve dragons...but I'm sure you already knew that or at least you should I mention it often enough. Granted the dragons are more background dressing than an actual part of the story...well except in the very beginning they do play a rather important role in the books opening scene. But I admit just having dragons in the story in some capacity never fails to make me happy.


Roku MacCormick is a senior inspector for Chinatowns Arcane Crimes Division otherwise known as Dim Sum Asylum...admit it you love the nickname. I do it makes me smile. Roku's more than a bit cynical and he works really hard to keep the world at arms length...he doesn't do attachment or relationships, not any more not since he lost his mother and his family...the man he loved and their two little girls. There's only so much pain that a heart can take add to it the fact that every time a someone dies on one of his cases whether it's a victim or an innocent bystander he feels responsible for their death as well and the fact that his family gives dysfunctional a whole new meaning...one that could get your killed and truthfully I can't say I blame him for keeping the world at arms length which is easier said than done once Roku gets a look at his new partner, Trent Leonard.


Trent Leonard is Roku's new partner and it's a good thing that he doesn't scare easily because partnering with Roku is like being on the world's craziest roller coaster without a seat belt or safety bars and if that's not enough Trent's got more than a little of his own batsh*t crazy baggage to deal with.  He's worked hard for the chance to join Chinatown's Arcane Crimes Division and specifically for the chance to be Roku's partner, so he'll be damned if he's going to let a little thing like the rumors and the fact that Roku's family is one of the most powerful Yakuza's in the city. He's Roku's partner and he's got his back end of story as far as Trent's concerned...well, except for the tiny fact that he also wants Roku on his back or anyway way he can get him.


'Dim Sum Asylum' does not take place in the San Francisco of our world. This San Francisco is filled with humans, fae, dragons and a whole plethora of otherkin or mystical creatures, there are dragons guarding the gates to the city, magic is everywhere and for those who know how to use it...it can be a dangerous weapon.


This one's a fast paced story filled with twist, turns and surprises. The relationship development between Roku and Trent is slow but given everything that's going on if it had been any other way I'm not sure it would have worked as well. These two not only have a personal relationship to build but a professional one to establish as well and while neither man really seems to be big on talking, both men realize that talking is exactly what needs to happen if they're going to learn to trust each other both on and off the clock. 


'Dim Sum Asylum' was originally a story in the anthology 'Charmed and Dangerous' so if you enjoyed the original story I can't imagine that this expanded to book version won't be as good or better. Basically I loved everything about this story I loved that it was fast paced and the last time that I enjoyed urban fantasy this much it was Jim Butcher's Dresden Files, not to say that there's a similarity between the two because there isn't other than how much I enjoyed them, I loved the characters in this story both the MCs and a number of the secondary characters, Ms Ford did an amazing job of showing me San Francisco, but not the one that is...no this was the San Francisco of Roku's world and we were shown a San Francisco that while comfortable and familiar, it was also very different from the one that exist today. 


I'm sure I could go on and on about this book much I loved it but then I'd probably start telling you the story and really the best way for that to happen is if you read the book...so, read the book...come on there are dragons and a there's a cat. Her names Bob...it's short for Kate...don't ask that's what Roku said and I'm not sure that his logic isn't flawed...but you'll like Bob, she's really special...ok, let's just say Bob's a little surprising and leave it at that ;)



An ARC of 'Dim Sum Asylum was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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text 2017-06-09 13:57
REVIEW BY DEBBIE - Dim Sum Asylum by @Rhys_Ford
Dim Sum Asylum - Rhys Ford
Welcome to Dim Sum Asylum: a San Francisco where it’s a ho-hum kind of case when a cop has to chase down an enchanted two-foot-tall shrine god statue with an impressive Fu Manchu mustache that's running around Chinatown, trolling sex magic and chaos in its wake.

Senior Inspector Roku MacCormick of the Chinatown Arcane Crimes Division faces a pile of challenges far beyond his human-faerie heritage, snarling dragons guarding C-Town’s multiple gates, and exploding noodle factories. After a case goes sideways, Roku is saddled with Trent Leonard, a new partner he can’t trust, to add to the crime syndicate family he doesn’t want and a spell-casting serial killer he desperately needs to find.

While Roku would rather stay home with Bob the Cat and whiskey himself to sleep, he puts on his badge and gun every day, determined to serve and protect the city he loves. When Chinatown’s dark mystical underworld makes his life hell and the case turns deadly, Trent guards Roku’s back and, if Trent can be believed, his heart... even if from what Roku can see, Trent is as dangerous as the monsters and criminals they’re sworn to bring down.


@debbiereadsbook, #M_M, #Fantasy, #Mystery, 4 out of 5 (very good)


Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/debbie/dimsumasylumbyrhysford
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review 2017-05-30 17:24
E-book or audio, I love this book...
There's This Guy - Rhys Ford

I had the good fortune to review this back in March of this year when the e-book was released and when the opportunity to review the audiobook narrated by Greg Tremblay became available I was all over that baby. I love this book...the story simply melts my heart. 


Whether it's a song or a favorite sweater, the car we drive, or the person we snuggle up to in bed a night we love who and what we love and there just doesn't have to be a rhyme or reason for it and I love this book.


And as is the case more often than not with a book that I loved my review was long and as far as I'm concerned my feelings about this one haven't changed so, if it's not broke let's not fix it...

Original Review: There's This Guy by Rhys Ford


Now about the audio portion of this review...as I said it's narrated by Greg Tremblay and quite honestly he's awesome and while I've listened to a few books narrated by Mr. Tremblay, I think this one might very well be my favorite. I love the voices that he gave to the characters especially Dallas and Jake. Dallas had a bit of a slow southern drawl in his tone with a an underlying silky smoothness to it that at times just had me sighing in contentment, I loved Dallas's voice. 


Let's see if I can explain Jake's voice. Interestingly enough Jake's voice was my favorite and for a big convoluted reason that I'm not going to bore you with...we're going to suffice it to say I am Canadian I've spent time in most of our provinces and while I found Jake's accent to be more reminiscent of someone from the Maritmes than Quebec...I care not. I loved the sound of Jake's voice and I love how expressive it was because that far more indicative of the french Canadian language no matter what part of Canada it's found in. So did I feel like Jake's accent was reflective of someone who spent time growing up in Montreal...maybe not so much, did I like it...hell yeah! because it still felt Canadian but most of all it felt right for the character. 'There's This Guy' started with 5 stars and for me the audiobook finished with 5 'I love it even more' stars.


and for my buddy read besties who haven't read this one yet and you know who you are. I found a song for this one, I guess I'd have to say it's Dallas's song for Jake...

I Knew I Loved You by Savage Garden

If you want to know why this song you'll need to read the book, lol!!!



An audiobook of 'There's This Guy' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-03-31 00:36
Damn I wish I knew where to begin with this one...
There's This Guy - Rhys Ford

I'm probably going to ramble a bit here because I really don't know where to start with this. I can say with all honesty I had no idea what I was getting into I didn't even read the blurb I saw the title, I saw the authors name and I made grabby hands. That was it done deal. I didn't need to know anything more.


About 2 pages into the story I was hooked, you couldn't make me stop reading this if you tried and believe me real life did it's damnedest and I just kept reading.  Everything that I could possibly put on hold so that I could read I did...including sleeping.


Jake Moore's just an ordinary guy...he works as a welder and uses every penny he can to take care of his dying father...the man who has gone out of his way to do nothing more than make life a living nightmare for both Jake and his mother. The woman who made Jake promise that he'd take care of him if anything were to happen to her. Sadly, Jake really loved his mother so he's doing his best to keep his promise even if it kills him and honestly it just might.


Dallas Yates is a pretty ordinary guy too, but his life's been very different from Jake's. His family may be quirky but it's filled with love, lots and lots of unconditional love. When Dallas finds himself looking at an art deco building on the fringes of WeHo it's not the nearly impossible to see potential that the building holds that convinces him this is the place to open up his club...nope, it's shy smile of the metal worker across the street that seals the deal for him.

"Who fucked you up, Jake?" Dallas wondered softly. "Who reached into that pretty soul of yours and tore it apart?"

Jake sees everything he's ever wanted in Dallas, but he's been told his entire life that what he wants is perverted and wrong...but if that's true then he can't help but wonder why does being with Dallas feel like something's finally gone right for him for the first time in his life.


Dallas sees Jake. Not the drawn in tightly held person that Jake presents to the rest of the world. The Jake that he sees is so much more...he's smart, funny, he's so damned beautiful it makes Dallas's heart ache and he's talented the things he can do wit some scraps of metal and a welding torch can leave a person speechless and while Dallas is pretty sure from the start that Jake's it for him. He also sees that Jake may never be ready for the relationship that Dallas wants...so what's a guy to do? Be a friend because it's painfully obvious that Jake needs one of those so with the encouragement and support of his friend Celeste, who I'm convinced is her own force of nature...

"He hurts you, punches you, or even farts in your general direction, I will kick his ass," Celeste declared fiercely,... "Well, as soon as I buy a new pair of shoes to do it with. Ass kicking requires some serious shoes."

There's probably a lot about this relationship that shouldn't work for example Jake and Dallas don't exactly have balance in their relationship, but realistically relationships often aren't balanced all the time...life's not always fair, that's just how it works sometimes. Relationships are give and take but unfortunately it's often more give and less take for one partner or the other and these things frequently shift but in the case of Dallas and Jake we didn't really see this happen and yet it still worked.


For Dallas this wasn't about what was in it for him. It was about Jake. He saw a man that deserved to  be loved and yet no one ever had and even if it only ever meant being his friend, Dallas wanted to change that. He wanted to help Jake see himself as someone deserving of love, he wanted to world to see the Jake that he saw. This more than

anything spoke so strongly to how different Jake and Dallas's lives had been.


Jake spent his whole life being used and abused. He'd never known what it was like to have someone love him...just because he was. Dallas gave him this and that kind of love neither wants nor needs reciprocity. 


Dallas grew up surrounded by love. Never wanting for it and always knowing that the more he gave to the world the more that came back to him. Life may not have always been perfect for him but he always had the love and support of his family...he never had to question it or his self worth.


While it was Jake who needed to make the journey and find himself, in the end it was Dallas's willingness to be there from start to finish that helped Jake find the inner-strength that he needed to go from the darkness that he'd spent his whole life in to a life that held the promise and hope of a world filled with more. 


'There's This Guy' worked for me. I felt it and I got the connections and while it may not have been for everyone, I'm betting we all have at least one story like this. A story that in spite of it's seemingly dark tones speaks to us of love, hope and promise for a better tomorrow...one that let's us stand in the sunshine and hope for more.



An ARC of 'There's This Guy' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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