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Whiskey and Wry (Sinners, #2)
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Book Series Discussions > Whiskey & Wry, by Rhys Ford

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Ulysses Dietz | 1608 comments Book two of the "Sinner's Gin" series...and there will be more. Are these romance or mysteries? Well, not so much mystery as thriller - and the romance is central to the whole story...the first book is under the Romance discussions...

Don't worry. Miki and Kane are not gone. Actually, they're important; but they're not the central characters this time around. Now we have Damien, who's supposed to be dead, playing a guitar for quick cash in front of an Irish pub in San Francisco; and Sionn, who's supposed to be shooing the scruffy busker with the black leather cowboy hat off his gran's property. Sionn has no idea who the mysterious dark-haired guy is, but something definitely merits more attention.

What Rhys Ford does so well is telling us about these broken men, and letting us be witnesses to the long, slow ritual that leads to their discovering each other's hearts and minds. We learn about Damien's not-too-distant past and puzzle over the freakish hijacking of his life. We get to know Sionn's own emotional burdens, and we watch these two men circle each other, wary, but somehow understanding that this is going somewhere.

The fly in this romantic ointment is the shooter. From the very first moment in the book we and Damien know the's there; but only gradually is this particularly nasty killer's purpose revealed, and only to us. Woven into the evolving romance is this sinister black thread of ugliness. The shadow of this lurking assassin is well drawn, in a Patricia Cornwell-like way that is sure to edge you closer to nightmares if you're so inclined. It forced me to put down the book a few times, just to shake off the chill.

The counterpoint to this darkness is the Morgan/Finnegan family, into which Damien and Sionn are drawn. Ford's wonderful portrayal of this great loving stew of Irish humanity provides a welcome contrast to the killer's presence.

In the world of M/M romance there are a few particularly bright stars, and Rhys Ford is among them. Can't wait for book 3 (because, oh yes, the bonus cliffhanger chapter we saw in book 1 appears here, too).


message 2: by Jax (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jax | 981 comments And now, for something completely different.......

Here's my less complimentary take on this book:

I have to admit upfront that I went into this book a bit leery because I didn't like the first in the series, Sinner's Gin, as well as her Cole McGinnis books. Everything about it was over-the-top and I never really felt the love between Miki and Kane. Unfortunately, this book was more of the same and then some.

My problems, in brief:

I never came to care for either MC. In spite of knowing a lot about them, they still felt two-dimensional and even though they know each other for some time before the sex happens, I couldn't say what else they saw in each other.

Damien's problems were just too, too much: abusive parents, car accident that badly injures him and kills his bandmates, a psycho killer after him. After a while, they failed to pull at my heartstrings, as they were surely meant to, and just became eye-roll worthy.

The sex scenes go on for so long and are so explicitly described that they lose all hotness or romance.

There was too much going backward to explain things that had happened off-page.

Lots of awkward, adjective-laden wording that required rereading.

Although the big, strong man/small, vulnerable man trope is one I sometimes enjoy, Kane and Sionn's observations about Miki and Damien were somewhat off-putting. They seemed to infantalize them a bit. I think they were even described as puppies at one point.

I had zero interest in the bits from the killer's perspective and the killings were overly gruesome.

And finally, one thing I just didn't understand. Why did that bit character (no spoilers) make an appearance during the final showdown with the killer? Did their presence affect things at all? Didn't seem like it to me, so why include them in that scene?

From the ratings and reviews, this seems to be a much-loved book, so obviously this is a matter of personal taste, but my advice to Ms Ford is....simplify. The convoluted language and over-the-top tragedies are not serving you well. Less would really be more. Because if this had been the first book I'd read by her, I wouldn't read more. And I quite enjoy the 'Dirty' books and I'm looking forward to trying Black Dog Blues.

Now....all that said? I will probably get book 3 because that ending that revealed an up-to-this-point straight character in love with a man sounds interesting and I'm an easy mark for a tease like that. I just hope she can tone down the melodrama.


message 3: by Mercedes (new)

Mercedes | 373 comments umm, I am on the fence on this series. I read the first book on the Cole McGinnis and didn't 100% like the author's writing style. But this and Sinner's Gin seem interesting. Maybe I will read the first one to give the author a second chance and take it from there.


KindleRomance Reviews Jax hit on many of the same issues that I had with the book - and he stated them very concisely and eloquently. I wish Rhys would take your advice and simplify her writing style. It gets a little exhausting to read. I don't like violence so I am definitely done with this series.

The only reason I could see for the minor character to show up was to add a more tension to the scene. You knew how the scene would end with the killer and Sionn, but it was unknown if the 3rd party would survive.


message 5: by PaperMoon (last edited Jun 01, 2014 04:50PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

PaperMoon | 665 comments Update for those who lurve (and also who less than love) Ms Ford's writing style and the tendency towards OTT scenarios and graphic violence amidst the (hot M-M love scenes) ... book 3 will be out soon. And yes ... those models on the cover seem strangely familiar ...and nothing at all like what I expected Connor to look like. Aren't these Morgan men (with Quinn as exception) meant to be all big-boned and burly?:




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