Review: Bound (Chinatown Demons #1) by Rhys Ford

Chinatown, San Francisco.

A different place — another time— and where the city’s streets keep secrets, shadowy mysteries SFPD Inspector Spencer Ricci needs to dig through after he finds himself on a case involving a dismembered, mummified man in a restaurant’s locked storage room.

Spencer drags around a lot of baggage, including an ongoing battle with the bottle and a long career as an LAPD detective he’d set fire to in a blaze of booze-soaked mistakes. San Francisco is supposed to be a new start but his old ghosts haunt him, beckoning him back into his self-destructive bad habits. Bad habits that include contemplating doing dirty things with the wrong kind of guy and this time, it’s a sleek, cold-tempered medical examiner named Xian Carter with a complicated reputation.

For a century-old demon, Xian Carter is content with his secretive life. Hiding his nature from the mundane world, he blends in with the city’s inhabitants as best he can but even the best of predators make mistakes. Delving into the mysteries of the dead provide a welcome distraction from endless nights and hiding in plain sight amuses him, until something supernaturally wicked comes knocking on his door with an extremely hot, broody Inspector close behind.

Murder makes for strange bedfellows and this one is no exception. The twists and turns of the case leaves Xian and Spencer on a wild goose chase after clues but Xian can only hope there’s a human at the end of the trail—because the last thing San Francisco needs is another predator.

Blood, gore, corpses, monsters, and two enthralling men. Rhys Ford is back with another urban fantasy series!

SFPD inspector Spencer Ricci gets thrown on a creepy case involving an out-of-the-ordinary corpse. The case puts Spencer in touch with Xian Carter, a medical examiner with a cold reputation.

However, cold is the exact opposite of what Spencer and Xian feel for each other.

The initial connection between the two is classic Rhys Ford - it’s immediate and only grows from there. I was all on-board for the hot and heavy looks, and the saucy inner thoughts!

But things aren’t that easy. Spencer has his demons, namely his alcoholism, and Xian is quite literally a demon.

Yes, an actual demon. Albeit a sexy and aloof demon whose pulse surprisingly only races for a grumpy cop.

However, it does complicate matters. Especially in the midst of a crime that gets increasingly weirder.

I enjoyed every squeamish detail of the case. It wouldn’t be a Rhys Ford thriller/mystery without the ick factor. And it was just starting to get really good when it ended.

I forgot that this was a serial, so I was slightly thrown by how quickly book 1 ended, and how unresolved things were left.

That applies to the romance just as much as the mystery - Xian and Spencer don’t really move beyond the initial flirtation in book 1.

Also, the character backstories can probably use more fleshing-out. Readers will get the gist of where the men come from and what drives them, but there’s definitely a lot more to know and more character development to see.

Overall, I quite enjoyed this first part of Spencer and Xian’s story. If you’re okay with a cliffhanger and no resolution to either the mystery or the romance, you’ll want to give ‘Bound’ a read. Otherwise, it might be good to wait until the entire series is released.

In any case, I’m looking forward to reading what happens next!

A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

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