Title: Absinthe of Malice (Sinners #5)
Author: Rhys Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 22nd 2016
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance / Suspense
Page Count: 200 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
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.
I love the Sinners series. I love how each of the band members were broken in some way and have slowly begun to heal through the love of their men, family, and their own brotherhood.
But this is Rhys Ford, and there’s no easy lunch here. The boys are put through the ringer just like always.
Absinthe of Malice finds Crossroads Gin hitting the road (without their men) in order to cement their bond. Damien’s idea of a tour consists of traveling together in a beat up van, staying in no-tell Motels, and playing in small venues and dives.
In this story Miki deals with his issues and takes some hard hits, Damien is haunted by his childhood, Rafe battles his own personal demons, and Forest misses his heart and soul.
There’s a bit of suspense, action, mystery, and, of course, romance.
Filled with a good amount of page time for all of the guys, the story focuses just a bit more on Miki and his relationships with Kane and Damien. And poor Miki. That guy’s been through the ringer, but Ford isn’t done with him yet.
Miki, Damie, Forest, and Rafe all have their own battles to be waged as they make their way cross-country. I absolutely loved the interactions with Miki and Kane, Damien and Sionn, Forest and Connor, Rafe and Quinn. I loved how their men always come as soon as they’re needed. I loved that even when it would be easier, or safer, to try to lock them up, Kane, Sionn, Connor and Quinn let the guys be free to pursue their dream. I loved the moments when Donal or Brigid is called to come dispense advice and set everyone back on the right path. I loved getting to see the Morgan and Finnegan clans back together.
Now, I make no bones about the fact that Forest and Connor are my favorite couple from the series. I love them so much! So, I would just like to take a second here to give a big THANK YOU! shout-out to Rhys for their storyline here. It made my heart go gooey!
If I have one complaint about the story it’s that unfortunately, for me, the story ends with a lot of unanswered questions and a pretty “whoa!” cliffhanger.
Upshot? At least I know there will have to be at least one more Sinners book.
Rhys Ford knows how to blend romance, suspense, mystery, and action together to make a really engrossing story. The characters are all so realistic…I just wish I could gather up Miki, Damie, Rafe, and Forest and just give them all a big hug.