Ramen Assassin: assassinations, romance and ramen

What is this about?: Someone is trying to kill Trey Bishop, but they did not reckon on former spy and now ramen chef, Kuro Jenkins, to come to the rescue.

What else is this about?: Falling in love, and coming to terms with yourself and your family.

Blurb

When life gives Kuro Jenkins lemons, he wants to make ponzu to serve at his Los Angeles ramen shop.

Instead he’s dodging bullets and wondering how the hell he ended up back in the black ops lifestyle he left behind. After rescuing former child star Trey Bishop from a pair of murderous thugs, he reluctantly picks his guns up again. It seems trouble isn’t done with Trey, and Kuro can’t quite let go… of either danger or Trey.

Trey never denied his life’s downward spiral was his own fault. After stints in rehab, he’s finally shaken off his Hollywood bad-boy lifestyle, but not his reputation. The destruction of his career and relationships was epic, and no one trusts anything he says, including the LAPD. When two men dragging a dead body spot him on a late-night run, then try to murder him, Trey is thankful for the tall, dark, and deadly ramen shop owner not just for rescuing him, but also for believing him.

Now caught in a web of murders and lies, Trey knows someone wants him dead, and the only one on his side is a man with dark secrets. Trey hopes Kuro will stick around to see what the future holds for them once the dust settles, but from the looks of things, neither of them may survive to find out.

Ramen Assassin is the kind of ride that keeps you hooked and doesn’t let go until the last page.

I mean, the premise is kind of out there, but Rhys Ford makes it work. Kuro is outed as a spy, his face plastered everywhere when he rescues some kidnapped kids and his getaway isn’t as clean as he would like it to be. So he moves to LA, opens a ramen shop, and one of his customers happens to be Trey.

Considering they’re both pining after each other from afar, when Trey sees two men trying to load a dead body into a van – and he recognises said dead body – before being shot at, it makes sense for Kuro to come to the rescue. Also, it’s happening behind his shop. Or close to it. So it does actually make sense.

Kuro and Trey

From there, Ramen Assassin introduces us properly to Trey’s family, and the discord he left in his wake thanks to his numerous addictions and failed rehabs. He has just returned from another stint and is ready to move on with his life, when he sees the dead body, but no one believes him – not his cop-sister, Kimber or his mogul father.

But Kuro does, and that takes us a little into Kuro’s world has he tries to find out more information to save Trey’s butt, reconnecting to people in a world he thought he’d left behind. It highlights two sides to Kuro – the methodical spy and the man who is learning to reconnect to the normal world.

Trey  is doing much the same – he is trying to reconnect to his life post-rehab, earning back the trust he’s abused and lost over the years. He kind of believes he hasn’t earned Kimber’s trust, there’s no reason for him to lie about a dead body – and no matter how much he insists he isn’t high, she doesn’t believe him – until the dead body turns up in the dumpster behind Kuro’s shop.

Things get turned up again as the pieces slowly come together in what may look like an improbable plot, but in Ford’s hands, it genuinely all works. There is banter, and action packed goodness and some wonderful characterisation as Kuro and Trey try to figure themselves out.

In short, I loved it so go read it.

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