Title : Tequila Mockingbird
Series : Sinners Series, Book #3
Author : Rhys Ford
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 254 pages (e-book)
Published : June 27, 2014
Rating : ★★★★★
Sequel to Whiskey and Wry (and The Devil’s Brew)
Sinners Series: Book Three
Lieutenant Connor Morgan of SFPD’s SWAT division wasn’t looking for love. Especially not in a man. His life plan didn’t include one Forest Ackerman, a brown-eyed, blond drummer who’s as sexy as he is trouble. His family depends on him to be like his father, a solid pillar of strength who’ll one day lead the Morgan clan.
No, Connor has everything worked out—a career in law enforcement, a nice house, and a family. Instead, he finds a murdered man while on a drug raid and loses his heart comforting the man’s adopted son. It wasn’t like he’d never thought about men — it’s just loving one doesn’t fit into his plans.
Forest Ackerman certainly doesn’t need to be lusting after a straight cop, even if Connor Morgan is everywhere he looks, especially after Frank’s death. He’s just talked himself out of lusting for the brawny cop when his coffee shop becomes a war zone and Connor Morgan steps in to save him.
Whoever killed his father seems intent on Forest joining him in the afterlife. As the killer moves closer to achieving his goal, Forest tangles with Connor Morgan and is left wondering what he’ll lose first—his life or his heart.
And that’s good because Rhys Ford delivers big chills, romance and mystery in the latest of the Sinner’s saga, “Tequila Mockingbird.” We get more Morgans, more Kane and Sinjin, Sionn and Damie, more Donal and Brigid and now we get Conner and Forrest. Add to that, Rhys’s trademark mix of suspense and mystery and we have another winner.
I love this series, I love the characters, I love the twisty ride that Rhys invites us to travel with her as the remaining boys in the band reclaim their lives and I love the fact that she just doesn’t disappoint. (If you haven’t read this series, start with “Sinner’s Gin” to appreciate the second and third books to their fullest.) This time Conner Morgan comes face to face with his inner truth when he meets Forrest Ackerman on his job as a SWAT lieutenant. The rock steady cop is not ready, but as with everything in his life as Donal and Brigid’s oldest son, he does the right thing only this time it’s also the unexpected.
Forrest Ackerman is a young man with a broken, heartbreaking, abusive history and Lieutenant Conner is immediately attracted as he questions Forrest at the location where Forrest’s father, Frank, has been murdered. During the next several months of trying to keep Forrest safe — and just be near him — Conner realizes, he is falling in love with the sexy, resilient younger man. Bam! His carefully constructed life plan zigs when he thought it was zagging.
Forrest meets Conner under the worst circumstances when Frank, the man who saved him from the streets, is found dead by Conner during a police SWAT team operation. Frank is the only father Forrest has known and the overwhelming loss pulls Conner to his side. Forrest is more than a little attracted, but he maintains an emotional distance from Conner because he knows “his policeman” is straight. Who needs that kind of impossible problem, right?
As complications, revelations and death follow the pair, they get to know and trust each other. The most important thing becomes keeping Forrest safe from the person or persons who killed his father and are now stalking him at the coffee shop and recording studio that his father left to him. In this new tale, we revisit Dammie and Mickey, who invite Forrest to play drums with them in a house session at Brigid’s suggestion. Turns out, they click loud and clear.
We get to hang out with Donal, who is the best parent ever and with Brigid, who has a larger role in this one as she and Forrest bond more so than she has with the other two men her sons have brought home. (She fiercely loves them all, but hey, Forrest likes to be hugged.)
Rhys offers a characterization of Conner that is far more complicated and layered than those of the other brothers as he battles to be true to himself. Anyone who is the oldest child will get Conner’s view of himself and he believes he should be. I don’t think this is a typical gay-for-you theme. I think it’s more about choices, fear of disappointment, personal acceptance and some surprises as the Morgan’s oldest son, Conner, falls in love for the first time. It’s a thoughtful portrayal of birth order, parental expectations and personal expectation vs. reality. I like how Rhys’ subtle, skilled writing of Conner’s motivations elevated the story and gave it depth.
There is much to be said about this one, but it’s difficult to do without giving away serious plot points. So let me say, the gang’s back, better than ever (Conner’s sister, Kiki, and Quinn are in this one, too); the sex is hot and helps move the plot along; Rhys’ sprawling, pumping world of San Francisco shimmers; and that cliffhanger! Yup, I’ve said it before, but I can’t wait for the next one!
Rated 5 stars by Carli