Rating: 4.75 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
Ok ladies and gentleman, before to jump into this review, I need to give you all a heads up about the unusual set up for this story. Whiskey and Wry is the sequel to the totally amazing Sinner’s Gin by Rhys Ford. And that first book, while wrapping up the main story quite nicely, left us with a major teaser at the end, one that was jawdroppingly shocking and exciting. The fall out from that revelation plays out as the focus of this second story. Which means it is pretty much impossible to write a review of this book without giving away something that affects the first one. Honestly, I am not sure it is even possible as a reader to stay totally spoiler free; even reading the blurb for this book will give it away. So I would say if you haven’t read the first book and want to be totally unspoiled, don’t read this review (or any other review, or the book blurb). Instead, just go out and buy these totally amazing stories full of fabulous mysteries, great suspense, super hot relationships, and wonderful writing. For everyone else, read on…
Whiskey and Wry picks us up right where the tantalizing cliffhanger left us at the end of Sinner’s Gin. Damien Mitchell, who is believed dead from the horrific crash that killed two other members of the band Sinner’s Gin, turns out to instead be very much alive and suffering from partial amnesia in the Skywood treatment center. It appears someone wants to keep Damien quiet and out of the way and has been attempting to convince him he is not the world famous rock star, but instead an average guy named Stephen Thompson who was injured snowboarding. This mysterious person who put Damien in Skywood has even gone so far as to bring in fake parents to attempt to convince Damien he is someone else. But Damien’s memories are slowly coming back to him, especially of the man who is like a brother to him, Miki St. John.
As the story opens, someone has set fire to Skywood and Damien is fleeing the blaze with his attendant Jerome. When someone starts shooting at them, Damien realizes that whoever has faked is death is now trying to finish him off completely and manages to barely escape with his life. Mind still a jumble of memories and confusion, Damien heads to San Francisco in hopes of finding his best friend, Miki St. John, and trying to piece together his shaky memories.
Once there, Damien is at a loss for how to find Miki. He vaguely remembers buying a house next door to his friend’s but he can’t remember where it is. In between searching the city for something that looks familiar, Damien plays guitar as a street performer to earn some money to pay for the dive where he is living. While outside Finnegan’s Pub, he meets owner Sionn Murpy. The men find an instant connection, and Damien feels a sense of safety and security with Sionn that he never expected.
But the man who is out to harm Damien isn’t giving up easily, tracking him to San Francisco and continuing his attempts to kill him. Even as Damien begins to make progress finding Miki and putting his life back together, with Sionn becoming a major part of it, the dangers are increasing. Now that Damien is finally finding love and happiness, it may all be torn apart by a man determined to destroy him.
Wow, this story is such a rollercoaster ride and Ford just keeps the excitement coming from those first moments as Damien is shot at outside the Skywood center, right up through the breathtaking climax at the end. The suspense plot is fabulous here, twisty and exciting with a truly horrific bad guy who is merciless and relentless.
Ford manages to beautifully weaves the threads of this thriller element so nicely together with Sionn and Damien’s relationship development. The two men are so sweet together, so warm and sexy and you can just feel the connection between them, the way they need one another so deeply. Damien quickly becomes integrated into Sionn’s life and that of his family, being welcomed into that warmth and love he has been missing his whole life from anyone other than Miki. Sionn and Damien are such a great match, with Sionn as the strength and protector that nurtures the wounded Damien, and Damien full of an intensity and inner fire that just lights up Sionn. They are incredibly sexy together, but also so warm and loving.
I also enjoyed visiting again with Kane and Miki, along with Kane’s family, the fabulous Morgan clan. Miki and Damien are bonded so tightly, truly like brothers (I loved how someone described them like otters, boneless and lying all over one another). I also continue to love Kane’s father, family patriarch and a source of gentle strength, warmth, and guidance to all of these troubled men. And I was thrilled to see that it appears we will get more Morgans as the series continues, if the ending of this story points us in the right direction.
I loved this story so much, I just had a few tiny quibbles. First, I wondered how it was so hard for Damien to find Miki. He is a famous rock star living in the city, one who has been hounded by the press at his home. I would think some internet searching and some phone calls would have made it easy to track him down, so this felt like a bit of an artificial obstacle to stall Damien’s quest. Also, I found the a few tiny holes in the suspense element that bugged me a bit. I wished we learned just how it is that the bad guy managed to get Damien into that mental hospital in the first place. I also wondered [spoiler] why he didn’t just go right for Miki in the beginning, since he seemed to be the key to the inheritance. What good would killing Damien do if Miki was still alive and unwilling to sell the song rights?[/spoiler]
But truly, these are such small things and as you can see from my rating, did not inhibit my enjoyment of this one. This series is truly fabulous and if you haven’t read the first book I urge you to pick both of these up right away. Ford has such great beauty in her writing and such a wonderful way of drawing you into her stories. I just loved this one and highly recommend it.