Title: Sloe Ride (Sinners #4)
Author: Rhys Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 4th 2015
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Mystery/Suspense
Page Count: 246
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Sequel to Tequila Mockingbird
Sinners Series: Book Four
It isn’t easy being a Morgan. Especially when dead bodies start piling up and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it.
Quinn Morgan never quite fit into the family mold. He dreamed of a life with books instead of badges and knowledge instead of law—and a life with Rafe Andrade, his older brothers’ bad boy friend and the man who broke his very young heart.
Rafe Andrade returned home to lick his wounds following his ejection from the band he helped form. A recovering drug addict, Rafe spends his time wallowing in guilt, until he finds himself faced with his original addiction, Quinn Morgan—the reason he fled the city in the first place.
When Rafe hears the Sinners are looking for a bassist, it’s a chance to redeem himself, but as a crazed murderer draws closer to Quinn, Rafe’s willing to sacrifice everything—including himself—to keep his quixotic Morgan safe and sound.
The fourth installment of the murder-filled mystery/suspense Sinners series focuses on Quinn Morgan, younger brother to Connor and Kane, who has been the black sheep of the family going for academia instead of law enforcement, and Raphael Andrade, the bad boy of Rock who took his entire career and burned it to the ground, only to now hopefully rise from the ashes like a phoenix.
Quinn Morgan is used to being the odd Morgan out. Sheltered and sometimes smothered by his well-meaning family Quinn marches to the beat of a different kind of bass.
Rafe Andrade had the world at his feet and completely fucked it all up. Now out of rehab and determined not to let this new chance go, he’s determined to stop fighting the feelings he’s has for Quinn for years.
“Breathe, baby,” Rafe murmured softly, holding Quinn’s face.
They shared a kiss made only of their breath, and Quinn tasted himself on Rafe’s exhale, marveling in the surety in Rafe’s golden-brown eyes.
“This isn’t a one-time thing, Q. Not us. Not ever. I told you. I’m in this. If you want me. Don’t let that hay-and-needles brain of yours skew things sideways, and don’t go borrowing trouble. You and me… we work, don’t we? In our odd, weird way?”
Rafe is the only one who really gets Quinn, allows him to be himself, and doesn’t try to change him or box him into being “normal”.
“God, you make me feel normal,” Quinn whispered. “Like I’m just… like there’s nothing wrong with me.”
“There’s nothing wrong with you, babe,” Rafe replied, stroking Quinn’s cheek with his thumb. “You’re who you are. You’re Quinn.”
For me, this installment of the series was a lot different in the way it flowed. Honestly, I was very confused for the first half of the story, constantly feeling off-kilter; like I was missing something. It took a while to get into the swing of the pacing, and I’ll admit it took me a bit longer than normal to warm up to Rafe.
Definitely one of my favorite Morgan siblings, I have looked forward to Quinn’s story for ages. I have long suspected Quinn was somewhere on the autistic spectrum. His actions and thoughts too unusual otherwise…
*When Quinn is nearly run off the road he shrugs it off and goes to meet the family at the re-opening of Forest’s coffee shop, Marshall’s Amp. He doesn’t mention the incident to any of the family.
*When the tire of his loaner car is slashed, it’s only because Donal comes upon him that the family is made aware of the situation and Donal’s the one who recognizes the significance and puts it together with the car smashing incident, as it doesn’t compute for Quinn.
*When the loaner car is blown up, taking out much of the front of Quinn’s house, he’s resentful of being forced to move in with Kane and Miki and being coddled by the family.
*When his ex is brutally murdered, he feels badly, but still doesn’t seem to accept that everything is interconnected.
*When the next loaner car is used as an altar for a dead girl, it seems like Quinn finally begins to understand the gravity of his situation…but continues to behave more casually than the situation would warrant.
It’s finally a conversation Quinn has with Brigid at more than halfway through that confirmed my suspicions and made the rest of Quinn’s actions make a kind of sense to me.
“I’ve spent my whole life living in a world where I don’t speak the language everyone does.” It was difficult, digging into wounds he’d let heal over, hoping they wouldn’t fester into poison beneath the surface of his heart. “I understand what you’re saying, but everyone moves and acts so oddly. Like I’m living in a world made up out of broken mirrors, and every time I try to reach for one of you, I cut myself on the edge of the glass.
“And this world, Mum.” He sighed as she took his hand, squeezing back when Brigid laid her head on his shoulder. “This world… it’s all grayish. Monotones of muted hues where sometimes I can’t tell the difference between a door and a window, but everything’s sharp and everyone hurts. And there’s so much noise. Everything chattering and demanding, pushing into me.”
It was as the suspenseful, murderous situation unfolding around Quinn began to peak that I finally began to warm to Rafe, and how quick he is to always put himself in front of Quinn and stand steadfastly beside him. Ford doesn’t disappoint in the mystery/suspense side, or in the heat, when Quinn and Rafe finally get together. Once again, there’s plenty of biting humor, and time spent with Miki and Damie is never a dull moment.
Though I will say I personally had hoped for more “relationship” and less “mystery”…mystery lovers should definitely check out all of the action, feels, and suspense packed into the story and the definitely hard-won ending for Quinn and his rocker.
I’m pretty sure I’ve read this is the end of the Sinners series and while that makes me sad to find my time with the wonderful Morgan clan, Sionn, and the crazy rockers of the series come to a close, I’ve had a great time with them all.
Thanks for the wonderful series, Rhys Ford!