Whiskey and Wry (Sinners, #2) by Rhys Ford
M/M Contemporary Romance
August 19, 2012
NOTE: Spoilers from book one, Sinner’s Gin
In book one, Sinner’s Gin, Ms. Ford left us with a deliciously heartbreaking cliffhanger that had me hooked and hungry for this book. Because of that, it is impossible for me to write this without a bit of book one spoilers.
In Sinner’s Gin, we met Miki St. John, lead singer of the band, Sinner’s Gin. Miki was in a bad place as he grieved the loss of his band mates due to a horrific accident following an awards show. Alone and missing his best friend, Damien, Miki struggled until he met Kane Morgan. With Kane and his massive family by his side, Miki slowly left the darkness he’d lived in and walked into the light.
But at the end of Sinner’s Gin, we learned that Damien was not dead after all.
Damien Mitchell is a mess. Locked up in a mental asylum, he knows that something is wrong. No matter how many times he’s told that he is Stephen Thompson and the people who visit him are his parents, he knows it’s all a ruse. The memories that come to him in pieces are of him on stage with his band and of Miki, his best friend. He’s confused, but he knows that if he can just get to Miki, all will be well. When a fire at the asylum allows him to escape he heads toward San Francisco-the last place he remembers being with Miki.
Damien arrives in San Francisco and does the only thing he knows how to do, play his guitar and sing. He starts hanging out at Finnegan’s Bar because he has a vague memory of being there with Miki. The bar’s owner, Sionn Murphy, normally chases off street musicians but something about Damien calls to him and they begin a friendship of sorts which turns into so much more.
Unfortunately, someone is still after Damien and that danger follows him to San Francisco. Someone wants him dead and he has no idea why. When the bullets start flying, Sionn seeks the help of his cousins, the Morgan family. Unbeknownst to Damien, the Morgan family will be the answer to his prayers in more ways than one!
Whiskey and Wry had everything I’ve come to expect and enjoy in a book by Rhys Ford! Humor, emotion, and angst and to top it all off, she gives us one of the sickest villains I’ve read in a while. This guy was all kinds of gruesome and played his part perfectly to show just what lengths people will go to when greed and the promise of money are involved.
But let’s talk about the good stuff. In a way, we get a two-fer in this story. We get to know Damien and watch his friendship with Sionn grow and change into something more. Damien has a lot of healing to do-both emotionally and physically as he tries to regain memories that seem to skirt the edge of his brain. Some stronger than others, with Sionn’s support, he’s able to slowly break though and bring them forward. Sionn is dealing with a different kind of healing after a child he was guarding is killed. He hasn’t forgiven himself and it’s caused him to kind of keep to himself-until he meets Damien.
While Damien and Sionn’s relationship is in focus, I found the reunion of Damien and Miki to be the highlight of this book for me. As the reader, you know it is inevitable that they will reunite. You know the connection Sionn has to Kane and the Morgan family and the anticipation of the moment Damien and Miki would meet again was almost as good as the actual scene. In here, Ms. Ford does not disappoint. She does not make you wait long, and the scene itself is incredibly beautiful in its simplicity. You will cry, you will feel relieved, and you will feel so much love.
The mystery of who is after Damien and why is as old as time. Money and greed make people do stupid things and they do not care who gets hurt in the process as long as they come out the victor. In this, Ford uses a truly sick villain to bring forth this part of her story. The violence of it all was in complete contrast to the emotional quality of everything else in the story. Ultimately, the bad guy gets his.
Then there are the Morgans. We met this family in book one; Kane’s huge and very loud family that just oozes love and caring and most importantly-acceptance. Headed by Donal, he is always there, always says the right thing, and truly is the foundation of the family. They welcome all and are a safe haven for Miki and Damien as they heal.
In typical Rhys Ford fashion, she again ends her story with a surprise. Not a true cliffhanger, but a hint of what is to come with one of the characters. It was unexpected to me, but I very much look forward to where she plans to go with it. To truly enjoy this, I recommend you read in order.