Monday, June 20, 2016

ARC Review: Absinthe of Malice (Sinners, #5) by Rhys Ford

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.

Jewel's rating:

I do adore this series, I do. And I love Rhys Ford's writing. But I do have to say that I was actually kind of bored reading Absinthe of Malice. The writing, itself, is fantastic, just like I would expect of this author, and the characters are those I've come to know and love, but I had some trouble getting into the story.

It was overall very much focused on the band, and them getting their rhythm, which was ok, but that meant that romance took a bit of a back seat, because our guys are away from their lovers for a lot of the book. So that also meant pretty much no steam. In fact, I only recall one fully drawn sex scene in the whole book. I had hoped that when each couple got together we'd get some sexytimes, but there was too much else going on, so it never really worked out, or it happened off page. Also, I suppose since four couples were sharing this book, that meant that no one couple gets too much focus. There was one bit of romance between Forrest and Connor, though, that made me grin like a fool.

Every member of Crossroads Gin has shadows in their pasts. And all through this book, we see them dealing with their shadows - both past and some maybe kind of new to them. Not everything on this tour goes to plan (in fact, very little does) and Rhys Ford kind of sends them through the gauntlet. When their lovers were able to join them, on their tour, I loved their interactions and their protectiveness. You can clearly see the love these men have for each other and that, I simply loved. I read this series because I love these guys.

There is also a thread of suspense, that spans from their first tour stop, through the end of the book and it isn't resolved at all, so I do look forward to seeing where Ms. Ford is taking us with Miki and the rest of our guys. It should prove interesting, for sure.

I do think that fans of this series should read Absinthe of Malice. I think most everyone that has read it so far has enjoyed it more than I did, so my lack of connection might be a case of "it's me, not you". So give it a read and get lost in the stories of Crossroads Gin.

ARC of Absinthe of Malice was generously provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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