"We're getting the band back together."
Those six 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.
©2016 Rhys Ford (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press
I enjoyed that this book was about the band. Each of them had a POV moment, but there was no over all plot as such. It kind of sounded like a series of short stories rather than a flowing narrative. The audio book itself was around 3 hours shorter than the rest of the Sinner's series, and I felt that just as we were getting going, it ended abruptly, nonsensically and we had an epilogue with a cliffhanger. I'm happy this is not the last book, but damn... Rhys Ford is such a tease.
I still have issues with the narrator. His voices are wonderful, as is his pacing, but he doesn't do the research when there are words he doesn't know how to pronounce. The word "Buoy" which we all know is BOY, was read as 'Boo-hee'. Not to mention my BIGGEST BUGBEAR of this series, the character Sionn is Gaelic for Shaun, but the narrator pronounces his name as SHOON. I cringe every time i hear him say that.
There were also long pauses between chapters and a change in the recording levels in the middle of this audio book. I know the narrator uses a home studio, but these little niggly things are newbie errors and Tristan James has been doing this for a while. The errors really affect the overall quality of the recording and in turn, the listeners enjoyment of the book. With this being the most recent recording, he should be getting better rather than worse!
"Tristan James perfectly captures this series"
I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating, Tristan James has made this series exponentially better through his narration.
He captures Miki and Kane’s frustration and fear for what’s happening around Miki and what’s ahead. He perfectly dramatizes Damien’s worry for Miki and Sionn’s stalwart shoulder to lean on through thick and thin. He brilliantly presents how much Forest and Connor love and cherish each other. He emotes all the feelings Rafe has about possibly screwing up the best things he’s ever had and Quinn’s calming way.
He performs this all so well – it’s just plain brilliant.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is not a standalone – but the silver lining there is if you haven’t grabbed up this series on audio or in print you’re about to go for an awesome ride.
"Finally! and Yes. *happy sigh*"
I have loved this series, and anxiously awaited this installment - then I read the blurb and got a little afraid. I was not at all sure about a Crossroads Gin book - but then - it was just perfection. This book allows us to revisit all of the things (and people) that made the foundation of the series so amazing - brought me to tears yet again ... and just pulled the heart strings of the family ties all the tighter.
Nothing disappointing about this one at all ... well worth the wait, the time, the credit (or cash) ...
"Tristan James is perfection as a narrator."
Rhys Ford never fails to draw in a listener and Tristan James is one of my favorite narrators!!!
As always, Greg and Rhys are an incredible team, not to be missed, listen now
love this series! great writing, great characters. funny, heart warming, tearful , loving relationship! Won't be disappointed!
"awesome catch up with these boys!"
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book.
Damien decides to take Crossroads Gin on tour. Miki, Forest and Rafe all have their own demons to chase, as does Damien but he hopes this tour will bring them closer to each other, to get back what they had with Sinners Gin. The further along the tour they go, the more those demons push and torment. Will it bring them closer, or push them further apart?
Oh I LOVED catching up with these boys! And I do mean everyone. We get some of each couple, Miki and Kane; Damien and Sionn; Forest and Connor; Rafe and Quinn and even Ma and Da pop up along the way.
Each member of the band struggles in their own way being separated from the other halves of their souls. Miki really goes through the wringer here and Rafe is pushed to his very limits.
Its full of soul searching, deep and painful, spaced with a reunion of each pair at various points. ( I found it to be not as explicit as some of the other books, but thats not a bad thing, not at all!) It has each band member's feeling about being on tour and on stage. It has each band member's reaction to everything that happens.
It also has a CORKER of a cliff hanger! I mean a freaking corker that was like SAY WHAT NOW?!?!?!?!?
I need to listen to this too. I could hear Tristan James in my head while reading but I'll say the same as I did in my read review for Sloe Ride. I'm not hearing the VOICES correctly, and it was doing my head in. So much so, I went back and listened to some of Sloe Ride, just to get everyone right. Still need to listen to it though!
I'll not say anymore, because I don't wanna give spoilers. BUT! If you are a follower of the Sinners Gin series, you'll need to know this: One more time. Just one more time we'll get to catch up with these guys. Just the one. And I'm sad about that but equally, I know the series end is gonna be awesome!
I was also given the opportunity to LISTEN to this book, via Divine Magazine. I was gifted the audio file.
Tristan James narrates, as he does the whole series. And I cannot, absolutely CANNOT fault his work. The man is a genius at the voices of everyone. I have some hearing issues which means I struggle with speech tones, especially when there are multiple people talking. I have NO issues with James' voices. I can define each and every one, clearly, with no bother at all, even when they all wanna take part in the conversation! He portrays all their emotions, their feelings, their fears about this tour, in such a way, that you wanna hug each and every one of the boys in the band, and their mates just like Ma would do.
His reading voice is clear and deep and even and lulls you, you know? You sort of get pulled in a false sense of security, because while you are lulling along, listening to an excellent book with excellent narration, Ford will then spit at you, throw something at you that makes you gasp out loud, shout WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT and make you (or it did me, even though I had READ this previously so kinda knew what to expect!) rewind, and listen to the bit again, because you might have misheard James. But no, you didn't.
I knew when I was reading this book, I wasn't hearing the voices right. I KNEW I had to listen to this book, even though I have read it already, but I'm finding I like doing that. Reading it, then listening at a later date. Not some much to listen first THEN read though. Sorry, going off topic. I KNEW i had to listen to this book. James does not disappoint, no ma'am, not at all.
5 stars for the book
5 stars for the narration
5 stars overall
** same worded review will appear on Goodreads, Booklikes, Audible.com,Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Dreamspinner Press**
I've enjoyed all the other books in the series. For some reason this one seemed quite disjointed.
"Absinthe of Malice"
*Audible code provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my listening pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*
Absinthe in Malice is Book 5 in Rhys Ford’s Sinners series and it absolutely must be read in the appropriate order with all the other books. This book is about the couples from the first four books, so you have eight POV’s. This is about four couples in established relationships.
Crossroads Gin is going on tour and this book follows their tour. Damien has pushed for the tour to allow the band to connect with each other. But, as typical of the previous books, nothing is ever as easy as it should be. Damien thinks the band must start at the beginning and play in dives, stay in cheap rooms and travel in a used van with the guys taking turns driving it. Each band member has their own struggle that they must work through, and lucky for them, their man is always available to pick them up when needed.
I probably would have enjoyed this more had I been reading it instead of listening to it. For me, all the points of view and characters were impossible to distinguish from the other. And, Ms. Ford, I just want to ask, what do you have against Miki? 😉 Can’t that guy catch a break? Sure, you gave him Kane but, come on, the rest of the guys got their man and don’t face constant attacks and threats to their life. I just want Miki to get a little break. 😊
The narrator of this story is Tristan James. I think the narrator did a good job with the story for the most part. As I mentioned previously, there were a lot of point of views so it made it hard for me to distinguish between couples without being told who was speaking. There were long pauses at the end of each chapter, sometimes long enough that I checked to make sure it hadn’t shut down. But, Tristan brought the characters to life. When I read the first four books, in my head, I didn’t realize that the accents would be so thick, so that was surprising when I first started listening.
There is a mystery running throughout this storyline and a cliffhanger to that mystery so you’re not going to find any easy answers in this book. And though there isn’t a lot, because this story is focused on the band and their touring, you get some sweet moments between the band members and their men. Don’t tell anyone, but Forest and Connor are my favorite and I loved them in this book. They are the decadent sauce that transforms a good dessert into an out of this world dessert!
Overall: 4 stars
Performance: 4 stars
Story: 4 stars
"Brilliant as always"
Rhys has a way with words that not only puts you there; you have every sense alert and begging for more!
"Tristan is amazing! Love the continuation"
This is the 5th in the series and must be read in order to appreciate it.
By now all four band members are in a serious relationship with a Morgan or affiliate cousin (Sionn). Damien has decided to take the band (Crossroads Gin) on the road to dive bars to give the guys a taste of touring again and to let them gel as a band.
Each guy has a mixed bag of emotions when it comes to this trip.
Damien NEEDS the band to work and NEEDS the road and all it’s emotions to feed his soul. He knows the band can do this and he loves being on stage. Yes, he misses Sionn, but with his brother Sinjun on board, he’s fulfilled.
Rafe is fighting the battle of addiction. Quinn helps him immensely, but being on the road forces him to confront demons in a much more threatening way. He knows if he fails this tour, his life as a band-member is over.
Forest is just happy as a pig in dirt to be part of the band. He’s found a home when he never thought to have one and the fact that they get to play music is icing on the cake. Connor’s support only helps and reminds him of the riches in his life.
Miki is another story all together. He loves singing and being on stage. He DESPISES the travel. He has unresolved issues that burble to the surface and nearly paralyze him with their intensity. It’s hard to be away from his cop and his cop isn’t exactly 100% behind the tour. When things go wrong along the way, Miki seems – as usual – to be the center of it. Will the band be able to stick together? Will the Morgans let their boyfriends do this? Is Miki ready for this?
As usual, Rhys has blown me away with her poetry and prose. She’s given us an intense look at the relationship between Miki and Damien and the music that drives them.
This isn’t at all what I was expecting. Yes, there’s a mystery here that continues from the first book and apparently to the last – but most of this is the band and what motivates them.
I don’t want to give anything away – but I was surprised at where this went and where it left us. (And a little frustrated! Rhys you better get the last book out fast!)
In any case, fans of the series won’t want to miss this intimate look at the band as an entity and the close-up on Miki and Damien.
4 of 5 stars
God I love Tristan James’ accents! He does all those wonderful accents we’ve come to love for the Morgans and Sionn. He knows all these guys and has become part of my appreciation for this series. In my head I now hear Tristan when I think of Miki or any of the boys. I think he does an amazing job and that this is absolutely the BEST way to enjoy this amazing series.
5 of 5 stars
overall 4.5 of 5 stars
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