Whiskey and Wry
Title : Whiskey and Wry
Series : Sinners Series, Book #2
Author : Rhys Ford
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 254 pages (e-book)
Published : August 19, 2013
Rating : ★★★★★
Sequel to Sinner’s Gin
Sinners Series: Book Two
He was dead. And it was murder most foul. If erasing a man’s existence could even be called murder.
When Damien Mitchell wakes, he finds himself without a life or a name. The Montana asylum’s doctors tell him he’s delusional and his memories are all lies: he’s really Stephen Thompson, and he’d gone over the edge, obsessing about a rock star who died in a fiery crash. His chance to escape back to his own life comes when his prison burns, but a gunman is waiting for him, determined that neither Stephen Thompson nor Damien Mitchell will escape.
With the assassin on his tail, Damien flees to the City by the Bay, but keeping a low profile is the only way he’ll survive as he searches San Francisco for his best friend, Miki St. John. Falling back on what kept him fed before he made it big, Damien sings for his supper outside Finnegan’s, an Irish pub on the pier, and he soon falls in with the owner, Sionn Murphy. Damien doesn’t need a complication like Sionn, and to make matters worse, the gunman—who doesn’t mind going through Sionn or anyone else if that’s what it takes kill Damien—shows up to finish what he started.
The long-awaited “Whiskey and Wry” is the second novel in the four-part series by Rhys Ford, author of The Cole McGinnis Mysteries and again, this new book calls to me: It’s got chilling suspense, mystery, another hot rocker guy and a hot Irishman. Good gosh, what’s not to like? If you like fast and furious plots, with main characters you will love, along with a mystery that keeps readers guessing to the last pages, this book is for you. Ford has written a fantastic sequel to “Sinner’s Gin.”
I must tell you I love this author. I have read most of what she has written and I have enjoyed each one of them, reveling in the complex world-building, fresh writing and strong characterizations. I reviewed “Sinner’s Gin,” which I adored, and could not wait for the next in the series.
Well, I can tell you, I was not disappointed. It was a pleasure to return to the surprising, colorful world of subcultures in San Francisco that Rhys Ford has plaited for this series. We have two complex main characters to get to know, an intriguing mystery to enjoy and the boisterous San Francisco Morgans are back with patriarch, Donal, still grounding them and loving his boys. (It turns out that the hot Irishman Sionn Murphy is family and, yes, Donal made me cry again.)
I fell for Damien Mitchell first. He is the super sexy Sinner’s Gin guitarist the world believes is dead. Damien and Miki St. John (“Sinner’s Gin”) are brothers of the heart and a huge chunk of themselves as men and musicians has been lost without the other as an anchor. Hidden away in an asylum since the band’s accident and given a new identity, Damien has struggled to hold on to glimpses of his past life, but the one thing he does remember is Miki. When the asylum where he has been held a prisoner burns down and an assassin tries to kill him, Damien heads to San Francisco like a homing pigeon in search of his friend.
Sionn Murphy is the owner of Finnegan’s the Irish pub next to the pier where Damien plays for his supper to tourists. Sionn fully intends to send the musician away, but one look into those sheltered, sultry eyes and that plan is ditched for coffee and conversation each morning before Miki plays the day away for tips. Feisty Sionn is dealing with his own demons from the fallout of a past job gone wrong. He is somewhat vulnerable, but he knows what he likes and he likes Damien at first sight. Sionn and Damien begin their relationship as tentative friends.
They are attracted to one another, but move forward carefully as they forge friendship, acceptance and trust. As the men get to know and rely on each other, Sionn realizes Damien is in life-threatening danger. Although the men’s feelings for each other are confused and not fully formed, Sionn knows he wants to protect Damien. Damien, who is distraught that he has brought his troubles to Sionn’s doorstep, fights to protect him as well.
Complex character development is one of Ford’s most powerful writing strengths and she knocks it out of the park with these guys. I love Damien as much as I loved Miki. Both men are broken, but they are survivors and they are Ying to the other’s Yang. I also love Sionn, as I did Kane. These compelling men artlessly become confessors, protectors and more to the once high-profile, enigmatic band members.
These main characters in the first two books are comparable, but not. They are, in fact, distinctly different. The men need similar things, but for different reasons and there are fascinating nuances in each of their personalities. They are passionate, caring and seriously steamy hot! You can’t help falling for them and cheering them on.
And, that’s not all. Wow, can Ford write an anti-hero. This villain is one of the most formidable and chilling characters I have read on a page. I felt a lot like I did the first time I saw the movies “Jaws.” The shark was out there and it just kept coming.
I am totally sucked in by Rhys Ford’s writing style — including her sharp, quirky dialogue, her rich, evocative description as well as her fresh take on mystery and suspense. As I read this one, I laughed, I was terrified and I cried — pretty good reasons to call this one a keeper. I have to say that I was hoping for more of the Morgans and Kane and Miki in this one, but something occurred to me as I read “Whiskey and Wry.” This is a four-part series, so it means the character arcs and plot lines are evolving. Each book is part of the journey. So far, it’s been a roller-coaster ride with riveting characters and plots and as a reader and fan, I’m on board for the full ride wherever she chooses to take us.
Oh, there is another cliffhanger in the last chapter and I have this to say about that: Bring it on Rhys Ford, I’m counting down the days waiting for the next gem.
Rated 5 stars by Carli