Author: Rhys Ford
Narrator: Tristan James
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reece Notley
Story Rating: 4.0 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 4.75 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Release Date: 10/29/2014
Length: 9 hours 11 minutes
Genre: Crime Fiction, M/M Romance, Thriller
Sequel to Whiskey and Wry
Sinners Series: Book Three
Lieutenant Connor Morgan of SFPD’s SWAT division wasn’t looking for love. Especially not in a man. His life plan didn’t include one Forest Ackerman, a brown-eyed, blond drummer who’s as sexy as he is trouble. His family depends on him to be like his father, a solid pillar of strength who’ll one day lead the Morgan clan.
No, Connor has everything worked out—a career in law enforcement, a nice house, and a family. Instead, he finds a murdered man while on a drug raid and loses his heart comforting the man’s adopted son. It wasn’t like he’d never thought about men — it’s just loving one doesn’t fit into his plans.
Forest Ackerman certainly doesn’t need to be lusting after a straight cop, even if Connor Morgan is everywhere he looks, especially after Frank’s death. He’s just talked himself out of lusting for the brawny cop when his coffee shop becomes a war zone and Connor Morgan steps in to save him.
Whoever killed his father seems intent on Forest joining him in the afterlife. As the killer moves closer to achieving his goal, Forest tangles with Connor Morgan and is left wondering what he’ll lose first—his life or his heart.
I strongly recommend that prior titles in the series be read first in order to understand established relationships, previous events, and family dynamics of the characters.
Tequila Mockingbird revolves around the eldest of the Morgan family, Connor, and his attraction to the young musician and coffee shop owner, Forest Ackerman. Forest’s world is falling apart, literally, and Connor can’t seem to shake the feelings he’s developing for the hot blond. Forest struggles with the magnetic pull he experiences whenever the gorgeous straight cop comes around, and he knows his heart is in danger. As violence begins erupting all around them, these two men must overcome external threats while attempting to make sense of what might be happening between them. The question is, will they live long enough?
Readers got a bit of a teaser for this story at the end of Whiskey & Wry, the second book of the Sinners Gin series, which focused on Damien and Sionn. That preview was almost my undoing, as Connor’s character faces his “Da,” big and tough police captain Donal Morgan, to discuss his new love interest. This particular scene is an example of the heart of the series: the familial connection and unconditional love found within the folds of the Morgan clan. This is where the strength of these stories lie, and the teaser scene and the expanded version in Tequila Mockingbird tug mightily at the heartstrings. Rhys Ford appeals brilliantly to the reader’s emotions through the bonding of these two men, and it is the most beautiful scene of the book. As revealing as it is touching, it gives excellent insight into Connor’s character and the high expectations he holds for himself. The confusion and wariness he feels about his new discovery is well done, as is the response of the family patriarch.
Connor’s character is strongly drawn, and his attraction and tenderness for Forest are palpable. Forest has his own demons, and though he is obviously in danger, there isn’t ever an overwhelming feeling of helplessness about him. His past is heartbreaking, and there are moments of vulnerability that are particularly affecting and poignant. The attraction between these two is clearly evident, but the scenes between them are a slow build as outside forces and their own reticence get in the way. Their intimate scenes are well written, although at times Connor seems a bit too confident at the helm for a man who has never pursued a same-sex relationship, particularly in light of the earlier conversation he shares with his father.
There is a lot of action and “character in peril” within the pages of Tequila Mockingbird, as in the two previous installments of the series. The crime and violence scenes in this story are not quite as grisly as those in Whiskey and Wry, much to my relief; however, there were times when they detract from the development of the romance between Connor and Forest. The characters are definitely attracted to one another, but the actual emotional connection they should establish doesn’t feel as though it comes to full fruition amidst all the explosions and flying bullets. That being said, the events of the story are fast-paced and well balanced with the quieter scenes. Those centering around family and the emotional connection its members have with one another ground the story and add depth and dimension to the world built upon the pages.
I highly recommend Tequila Mockingbird as an action-packed crime drama and m/m romance. It is a wonderful addition to the Sinners series and sets an excellent stage for further members of this endearing family to share their own stories.
Tristan James does a fabulous job with the narration of Tequila Mockingbird, particularly when providing the Irish accents for the various Morgan family members. His interpretation of Connor’s voice is especially delicious, and when Connor speaks to Forest during their intimate scenes, it’s “like “buttuh.” Overall, Mr. James provides a sexy, well-balanced performance that engages and entertains the listener.
I would like to thank the author for providing me with the audiobook of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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