Story Rating: 4.5 stars
Audio Rating: 4.5 stars
Narrator: Tristan James
Length: 9 hours, 11 minutes
Lieutenant Connor Morgan is good at his job with the SFPD SWAT division. He has a vision for his life that involves emulating his father and his plan is to find a good woman, get married, and have a family. Falling in love with a man doesn’t fit into that plan.
When the aftermath of an on-the-job explosion brings Forest Ackerman into his life, Connor’s world visibly shifts. The sexy, blonde haired man brings something out in Connor that he never let himself explore since it wasn’t part of his life plan. Yet, he can’t stop thinking about Forest and finds himself visiting the coffee shop Forest owns and finding reasons to check up on him.
Forest has had an incredibly rough life with a mother that prostituted him and alternately lived on the streets. Then a chance meeting with a generous man got Forest off the streets for good. While his adopted father offered food and shelter, Forest has never had the kind of love that he so intimately craves. When Forest sees Connor, he knows that being attracted to a straight guy will eventually crush him, but Connor keeps showing up. And it’s a good thing as someone is targeting Forest and who better to save Forest than a strong cop. As the danger mounts, so do the feelings between the men and Connor’s main priority is protecting Forest and their future together.
Tequila Mockingbird picks up after Whiskey and Wry and is the third book in the Sinner’s series. The books work best if read in order for the full and complete storyline. The previous book ended with Connor confessing to his father that he was in love with a man and, in true Donal fashion, he makes his children feel safe, secure, and loved. Here we see that Connor is not so concerned about being in love with a man as he worries how it changes his vision for his life.
When Forest is first introduced, we see him as a young boy struggling to survive on the streets. His mother is shown as having no redeeming qualities, yet the boy in Forest still tries to please her throughout the entire book. When Forest met Frank, who later adopted him, it got him off the streets but Forest is emotionally starved for both love and caring physical touch.
I liked both characters of Connor and Forest and especially liked them together as they both offer each other exactly what they need. Although, I would have liked to have seen them spend a little more time together, or really any one-on-one time together before they declared they were in love with each other.
The mystery and drama element here is strong again as well as someone is trying to kill not only Forest, but everyone around him. I was hesitant on the actual police work with their lack of surveillance when the same location is hit more than once and the perpetrator is still on the loose. The ending and the reveal and reason behind the crimes was the weak link here for me as it was not presented with the same impact that the crimes themselves held.
The draw for me with this series is the world that Ford created starting with the vivid details that set the location that the men inhabit. The characters are consistently well drawn and I was fully invested in all of their lives. The Morgan family is again featured prominently and a lot of their interactions carry the story and they all make up a great family to spend time with. Miki and Damien are back and their musical lives entwine with Forest who is a drummer, which brings cohesiveness to the entire series.
I have continued to listen to this series on audio and Tristan James continues with the narration as well. He continues to excel with the Irish accents for all of the Morgans and manages to not only keep the accent the same for each character throughout the series, but also to have each character sound different from one another. The production as a whole is polished and the entire reading is well paced. There were several lines that would all of sudden have an echoing effect that was noticeable, but it did not detract from the presentation overall. James offers a well rounded presentation and really offers a lot of nuances that bring the story to life. If I had my choice, I would continue with this series on audio and would definitely recommend both the narration and the Sinner’s series.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.