Criminal Intentions by Cole McCade (S1) Series Review

Baltimore homicide detective Malcolm Khalaji has his own way of doing things: quiet, methodical, logical, effective, not always particularly legal. He’s used to working alone—and the last thing he needs is a new partner ten years his junior.

Especially one like Seong-Jae Yoon , who also ranks higher than him. Icy , detached & beautiful Seong-Jae is all that and more, impossible to work with and headstrong enough to get them both killed…if they don’t kill each other first.

Recently someone asked on IG, what book has helped you survive the year so far. And even though this year and the last has been usual with its ups and down, if I have to pick one fictional couple that has been a comfort space for me is the slow burn, angst filled, yet most subtly romantic love between the bisexual detective Malcom & his asexual partner Seong-Jae. Over the last six months, I finished Season One, that has 13 books, some even novella length ones, that read like 13 episodes of a usual tv drama. And with every book, every conversation between Mal & Seong Jae, I grow fond of them and this series. As of now, Cole McCade literally holds a place in my top three favorite authors of 2021 & 2022 [I have read a few other books by him and I liked them all] and probably the next year and I pick his other works.

My love for them is evident in the fact that they made me create an IG reel for them, because they deserve all the love & obsession that fans of this series shower on these two-

“Life is funny like that …

Sometimes you end up with a new partner who makes up excuses to kiss you.

Sometimes you end up at sparring practice with the drug lord you’ve been trying to take down for years.”

A few months back , I did a review of books 1 & 2 of this series and it had almost everything you need to know about this series. So what this post is going to be, is me as a fan just using this chance to once more tell you, please read Criminal Intentions if you like.

☆ Amazing LGBTQ+ representation of characters who are real , relatable , unique and yet as messy as we all are in love

☆ Consent , consent and more consent. Not even kisses are surprise or forced if the other party just says No. Every single time. And it is sexy as hell.

☆ Character growth & relationship progression that takes almost 6 books from strangers to boyfriends, three more to be comfortable lovers, two of angst and a finale that was so worthy of the build up.

Reading a series can be a tricky business. Sometimes the book loose the shine once in a while, or it just becomes formulaic, but not Criminal Intentions. It just keeps getting better ,the cases more intriguing , the leads spending more sexy times together and all this just because the writing is so damn addicitive that every dialogue feels like a treasure trove. The life lessons , the kindness, the way this world breaks every one, but most of us find strength in our own ways to keep going, the banter, the pain and the love – its all there and it hits you differently with every random re read.

One has to though remember that the books & the cases are written in an interconnected way. The characters and the event will turn up sometime later. So even though some cases feel lacklustre, overall arc of the season is very satisfying and keeps one hooked to the story.

“This is a nice thing to wake up to.”

“I cannot say I particularly mind it, either.”

Malcolm chuckled, voice sleep-husky “You can’t just say you like it?”

“That would be feeding your ego.”

Seong-Jae murmured, “…but I like it.”

I like this series.

I like Mal & Seong Jae.

Series Rating- 4.5

Favorite Book – S1 , Episode 6

Link for previous review-


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