“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” — Ambrose Redmoon
Whiskey and Wry came with a heavy weight on its shoulders (or binding since it doesn’t have shoulders!). It is the second of four books planned in the Sinner’s Gin series. The first book in the series, Sinner’s Gin was very well-received, having a 4.17 average rating on Goodreads. Those are some pretty high numbers to live up to. Not only does Whiskey and Wry live up to its predecessor, I believe it surpasses it. The new characters are dynamic and explosive together. Catching up with the established characters was so satisfying. I like nothing better than when a sequel makes characters from the previous book and integral part of that sequel.
In Whiskey and Wry we meet Damien Mitchell and Sionn (pronounced “Shoon”) Murphy. Damien is being held in an asylum in Montana. He is told that his name is Stephen Thompson and that the few memories he has left of his life as Damien Mitchell, rock star, are delusions. A strange couple comes to the institution and pretend to be his parents, but he knows they aren’t. He can’t remember his parents, but he know these aren’t them.
Damien and two other members of Sinner’s Gin supposedly died in a car crash. The only survivor was Miki St. John, the main character of Sinner‘s Gin. Miki has mourned Damien’s death bitterly. They were brothers in their souls and neither feels whole without the other.
When a fire burns the asylum to the ground, Damien sees his chance for escape. He doesn’t expect the blonde man who is shooting at him trying to prevent Damien’s getaway. Some of Damien’s memories center around San Francisco. He knows that he and Miki bought neighboring warehouses so they could be close always. He just can’t remember where the warehouses are. He figures if he goes to San Francisco, his memories will begin to surface and he will find Miki.
Damien makes a low profile trip to San Francisco with the blonde killer on his tail. With no other skills and no way to make a living, Damien falls back on the one thing that has never left him; music. He sets up to play his guitar and sing outside Finnegan’s, an Irish pub on the pier. He and Miki used to busk there and were frequently kicked out by the owner, an old Irishwoman.
The current owner, however, is her grandson Sionn. Sionn is gay, too and really hot with his big wide shoulders and his gruff Irish accent telling Damien that not only isn’t he kicking him out, he’s inviting him in to have coffee and stay warm and dry. Sionn joins Damien for coffee and they talk and talk and talk. This happens for days on end. Damien and Sionn get to know each other well and really like and respect one another.
Even with all of Damien’s healed and healing injuries and Sionn’s injury to his leg suffered while he was a body guard (This is the only negative thing about this book. I don’t think Ms. Ford addressed his past and explained his injury. This could have been used as a way to prove Sionn’s trust in Damien and allow them to grow closer.) the sex is hot. Ms. Ford’s sex scenes are always hot, but there is a connection between Damien and Sionn that is palpable, which makes it exponentially hotter. You just feel from the beginning that there is more to it than just sex for both men.
The blonde with the gun hasn’t gone away and mayhem ensues. In a way that only Rhys Ford can, she brings Damien and Miki back together. More murder and mayhem. Would you expect anything else?
There are two more books coming in this series. I hope one of them features Sionn’s poor, lonely best friend. I can’t wait for the next one, but I guess I will be forced to! Whiskey and Wry is Rhys Ford at her snarky, funny, murderous best. The characters are funny and loving and honest. The sex is hot. The dialogue is smart-assed and makes you feel like you are an insider sharing the joke with the characters.
This is a book not to be missed. You don’t have to read Sinner’s Gin first, but they read best in order. Highly recommended.
**Be sure to stay tuned right here on Monday, August 19th. Rhys will be here with some Sinner’s Gin goodies to give away to one lucky reader!**
Reviewed by: Tina