Title: Absinthe of Malice (Sinners Series: Book Five)
Author: Rhys Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 220 Pages
At a Glance: I was expecting a great book. I was wrong. What I got was to be a part of a spectacular journey.
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: We’re getting the band back together.
Those five words send a chill down Miki St. John’s spine, especially when they’re spoken with a nearly religious fervor by his brother-in-all-but-blood, Damien Mitchell. However, those words were nothing compared to what Damien says next.
And we’re going on tour.
When Crossroads Gin hits the road, Damien hopes it will draw them closer together. There’s something magical about being on tour, especially when traveling in a van with no roadies, managers, or lovers to act as a buffer. The band is already close, but Damien knows they can be more—brothers of sorts, bound not only by familial ties but by their intense love for music.
As they travel from gig to gig, the band is haunted by past mistakes and personal demons, but they forge on. For Miki, Damie, Forest, and Rafe, the stage is where they all truly come alive, and the music they play is as important to them as the air they breathe.
But those demons and troubles won’t leave them alone, and with every mile under their belts, the band faces its greatest challenge—overcoming their deepest flaws and not killing one another along the way.
Review: How do I put into words to describe a book that took all my expectations and blew them out of the water, and do it in a way that doesn’t give too much about the story away?
This is the fifth book in the Sinners series. Before I continue, I recommend reading the previous books before jumping in at this stage to truly understand the characters and what this tour means to Crossroads Gin. If you have read the previous books, I can say this was a great addition to the series.
From the get-go I was absolutely enthralled. Knowing that the band is together, after all each of the guys has been through, hitting the road to make music AND getting more Miki had me giddy with anticipation, and I was not disappointed in the slightest.
I always find Ms. Ford’s writing style and descriptions to be phenomenal, and this book it was no different. I felt like I was right there in the back alley of New York, or a rundown venue in a podunk town. I could picture being there, walking with the boys as they were strolling down the Las Vegas strip and seeing (and smelling) the City of Sin. Not just the locations but the feelings of each of the characters were so intense. When Rafe is playing his guitar I could feel his euphoria. I am not a musician—I don’t have a musical bone in my body, other than playing the radio or my iPod—but I felt the guys’ love for the music and how much of a part of them the music is, and how the music bonds these guys in ways it is hard to fathom.
The main story is about the band members: Miki, Damien, Rafe & Forest. We still get our Morgans and their Murphy-Finnegan cousin fix, so don’t worry. And, as always with Rhys Ford’s writing, she has brought them each to life. No two are alike. They are all flawed and have their own quirks, which make them who they are. The characters aren’t perfect, but each couple is perfect for each other, and we get to see more of the relationship dynamics through the story now that the couples are no longer new and they are all more settled.
As the story progresses, we get one-on-one time with each member of the band as they are going through this tour. Experiencing what struggles they have personally, and with each other, but also moments of happiness. The characters are the same as previous books, yet not. Their experiences in the previous books (as well as their pasts) have changed them and made them grow in realistic ways, but as it often happens when a person grows, there is the emotional pain to face the fears, insecurities and memories.
Now, let me wax poetic about Miki for a moment. Miki is by far my favorite character. Miki, for all his aggression and prickliness, struggling to allow people in, to let them into his heart and accept their love but not knowing how and not sure if he really likes it. What I find fascinating is the introverted feral individual seems to be the glue that holds it all together; without him seeing it, wanting it, or even trying for it. His pain hurts me as much as his strength amazes me. He is such a remarkably unique character that captivates me. And this book only strengthened my love for him.
Kane, Connor, Quinn, and Sionn are not always there in person as Crossroads Gin takes their journey, but they are always in our guys’ minds and when they do show up throughout the tour we get insight on each relationship and how they have matured. And, of course, you can’t have a Sinners book without Donal and Brigid making an appearance. And Brigid…. AHHHH. I want to type more, but I can’t. You just have to read it.
There is so much more than just the story of the band and the members dealing with what life on the road means and dealing their individual struggles and stories. I don’t want to give too much away, so I will settle in saying, in true Rhys Ford fashion there is violence and mystery (of course) thrown in through their journey.
And this is what the book was, a journey. It answers questions but raises more. It made me laugh, it made me angry, it made me irritated and at times, I was gutted. But in the end… it made me smile and be grateful I got to go on this journey with the guys.
You can buy Absinthe of Malice here:
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