Absinthe of Malice (Sinners #5) by Rhys Ford
Released on June 22, 2016
Published by Dreamspinner Press
Cover art by Reece Notley
Pages/Word count: 200 pages, 64,435 words
Book link: Dreamspinner Press
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.
Crossroads Gin is going on tour. Miki, Damien, Forest, and Rafe are hitting some of the dive bars and run down stages in towns across the US. Damien wants the newly formed band to really connect and this seems the best way to do so. Along the way we get to experience what is still haunting each man as he tries to make music, build friendships, and deal with being away from his lover.
I absolutely loved this book. I felt like it was a compilation of little shorts from each band member. We see Rafe fighting the demons of addiction and how much Quinn still keeps him centered. The irony of Quinn needing medication to stay focused and to feel like the world isn’t crushing him. On the flip side, Rafe craves meds for an entirely different reason–desire and addiction.
Forest and Connor are just so stinking cute together. Also, fierce and extremely hot. Molten hot. Forest and Connor have a big secret and it’s just perfection. They’re very secure in their relationship and seem to handle this road tour quite well.
Damien seems so strong and totally in his element. It isn’t until tragedy strikes the band again that we see him falter. As always, his Sionn is there to help Damien work things out and accept what he cannot change– his past. Damien’s meltdown helps us understand why he wanted this tour to go down the way it did, small tour van, roach motels, gas station hot dogs, and small venues.
The biggest troubles always seem to find Miki. The guy just can’t catch a break. He’s attacked twice and after a third freak accident we see him totally lose his grip. Kane, and even Donal, is there to show him he is loved, cherished, and cared for. Miki is so afraid he will lose what he has. The fear that everything good has always been pulled out from under him can’t be shaken. Kane and Damien realize that Miki has too much locked inside and it might be time to talk it out with someone who can help him. Of all the guys, Miki is the one who still grabs my heart and holds on with an iron fist. His life has been so hard and tragic. He’s endured so much pain and suffering, I just want to see him happy and settled. Maybe that will happen with Kane and the whole clan, but it seems something else just might shake the stable ground beneath Miki’s feet.
The Sinners series is by far one of the best! Rhys Ford is a talented author and I’m always enamored by her stories, happy to know the men she creates, and experience the love and pain they endure.