Absolute crap,  Crappy smut,  M/M

Cold Hard Cash (Cold Hard Cash #1) by K.L. Hiers

So here’s an interesting book. It’s rated at 4.4 on Amazon, 4.15 on Goodreads and a whopping 4.8 on Bookbub.

And yet, this is terrible storytelling. Awful really.

It’s labelled as a dark, mafia romance. It’s about a young bisexual man who – not so wisely – borrows a quarter of a million dollars from the mob to pay for a lawyer to get his wrongfully sentenced father out of jail. Then, when not being able to pay his debt, he offers himself up as payment to the gay, mafia kingpin – Boss Cold.

Yes it’s an incredibly cheezy plot-line. But no matter the story, talented writers can pull that off without a problem. Unfortunately, this in not the case for Cold Hard Cash.

This story is like a massive compilation of my top no-nos. To name a few:

  1. The author writes about something she doesn’t know anything about (the mafia) and it shows. So instead of doing research on the subject and trying to construct a credible sub-plot about the rivaling Luchesi mafia family, only a few non-crucial scenes are actually included in the story. Most of the “mafia-events” are only re-told, glossed over and described after-the-fact. It’s obviously easier for the author but makes the writing way too much high school creative writing class.

  2. The characters are more or less stereotypes. There’s nothing interesting or surprising about them and they are all very superficially portrayed. Jimmy is the young, beautiful and trusting puppy-dog. Boss Cold is the hard, in-control older guy who’s unfeeling on the surface but shows his tender side to a selected few.

  3. The start of the read is embarrassingly stilted and uncomfortably rushed. It was poorly written in that obvious way where it’s only there because it’s necessary in order to get to the good stuff, i.e. the whoring out to the mob boss.

  4. The naïveté of Jimmy is astounding. And by naïveté I actually mean stupidity. He borrows insane amounts of money from a mafia loan-shark with no plan whatsoever as how to pay it back. It would have been so easy to invent a story, any story, where Jimmy originally had a plan for paying his debt but then something happened to thwart that. But no. Stupidity was the way to go apparently.

  5. Insta-love. Well, one-sided insta-love at least. Within a few days of Jimmy meeting Cold, he claims to love him. And not soon after that, he seems to be planning to grow old together with Cold. *shudders*

It’s not the writing per se that is the problem, it’s the story-telling that’s painfully lacking. The plot is crude, naïve and unlikely. There’s no character development at all. All of the characters are more or less one-dimensional. And the main character is nothing but a silly, silly boy.

I can’t understand how this book has gotten so good ratings, or even gotten published.

So to conclude, I strongly recommend you stay clear of this read.


I'm a Swedish book nerd reading mostly steamy English romance novels. And since there is so much good stuff out there, and so much shitty stuff too. I just want to give credit where it's due (and diss the rest).