Story Rating: 4.25 stars
Audio Rating: 4.5 stars
Narrator: Tristan James
Length: 8 hours, 41 minutes
Whiskey and Wry opens with the dramatic twist that ended the first book in the series, Sinner’s Gin. The books should be read in order and the main plot point here is closely tied into the first book. I would advise you to proceed with caution as this review will spoil a major plot point revealed at the end of the first story.
Damien Mitchell is being told that is not his name and he’s being locked away in a psychiatric hospital. The parents that come to visit do not seem at all familiar and he has no way to piece his life together. When Damien finally has a chance to make a break for it, he is faced with a gunman firing at him and so many obstacles in his way.
Damien makes it back to San Francisco, which is the only place that ever felt like home. There is a hit man following him and he tries to stay under the radar while searching for his best friend, Miki St. John. Damien bides his time playing his guitar outside of a local Irish pub earning a few dollars, desperately hoping that Miki will walk on by one day. Sionn Murphy is the owner of the pub and he feels a pull towards the gorgeous and talented musician, but neither man is in the right place for a relationship. With complications mounting, Sionn makes it his mission to protect Damien from a hired assassin that won’t stop until Damien and those around him are forever out of the way.
This book was a great follow up to Sinner’s Gin. The characters here were my favorite aspect of the story line and the developing relationship between Damien and Sionn was well paced with great romantic tension. The action picks up right in the beginning with Damien being so confused and just trying to escape from the hospital. He makes his escape only to find someone trying to kill him for reasons he cannot understand and he doesn’t know where to turn. Sionn is the only one that has shown him any kindness recently, but Damien fears he is just a danger to anyone who may get near him.
The bad guys here are well drawn and when they can’t quite seem to get to Damien they go after anyone close to him to draw him out into the open. There is a great balance to both the mystery side and the romantic relationship between Damien and Sionn. The guys work really well together and complement each other with Sionn wanting to protect Damien and them forming a bond where they had both been alone for so long. Kane and Miki return, as well as the Morgan clan, and it was great to revisit with all of them and see the lead into the next book.
The romantic and personal relationship scenes as well as the scenes involving the hit man were some of the highlights of the book for me. But here’s where the story veered off for me. It was never explained how Damien was abducted and put into the psychiatric hospital. He was presumed dead and there was a funeral for him and clearly there was no body. This was too important of a plot point for me to be able to overlook. Also, Damien is struggling to find Miki, yet all of the paparazzi, at various times, have been camped outside of Miki’s house and it seemed like Damien was the only one that couldn’t find him. And, last thing. Miki and Damien have an amazing symbiotic relationship. Their reunion seemed entirely downplayed to me. Since I listened to this book on audio I cannot be sure how much of it was the delivery of the narration and how much was the way that scene was written.
The audio is once again narrated by Tristan James as was Sinner’s Gin. He does an incredible job with all of the Irish accents and the accents are slightly different and individualized. Occasionally, in a conversation, the characters swapped voices, but it righted itself quickly. The production is well paced and polished, and with the balance of action scenes versus personal scenes, the narration held me in the story. The characters that return from the first book remained true with the same dialect and the performance was a great way to enjoy this story. I would certainly recommend this book and the world that Ford creates with this series.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.