Absinthe of Malice by Rhys Ford ~ Book Review by Caroline

30055795Title: Absinthe of Malice

Author: Rhys Ford

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Reese Notley

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 06/22/2016

Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)

Genre: Gay Romance


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.

My View:

We’re getting the band back together.
And we’re going on tour.

I am a huge fan of the Sinner’s series and those words right there are both frightening and exhilarating. We never really got to see the original boys in action, the series has been all about the aftermath, so now we get to follow them on the road trip as they stay and play in dives across the country. Miki, Damien, Rafe and Forest, aka Crossroads Gin, different from Sinner’s Gin yet the same, are putting their lives on hold, jumping into a van and spending time cementing their bonds as both friends and band mates, whilst seeing if they have what it takes to once again chase the high that comes with performing.

It starts in typical Rhys Ford fashion – the opening night turns into bloody chaos, literally, and Miki ends up in hospital. This is the first of many trips the Morgan family, especially the brothers, make out to join the band and take care of their errant lovers and this is where the story excels for me. Absinthe of Malice may see the boys back out on the road but the real story is the ghosts the boys have travelling with them especially the ones they are trying so hard not to deal with. The story delves into their relationships both with their lovers and each other, it drags up their pasts and for four boys stuck together in a small van there isn’t a lot of room to hide, either from themselves or each other. It’s hard, it’s painful and hopefully it’s also cathartic but you can bet your ass Miki will fight it all the way.

Every single one of them takes the spotlight at some point as they work through their problems. Each time something goes wrong, which is often, the Morgan clan descend to protect those they love. Whoever is trying to kill Miki has taken on a lot more than just one snarky and emotional lead singer as the boys pull together to protect each other.

I really, really didn’t want this book to finish. I loved every single word Rhys put on the pages of this one, I loved that she didn’t really fix any of them but more allowed them to cope, to even start looking at ways to fix things, but she didn’t give any of them an easy out. The song lyrics as always are often bleak but always meaningful and the ending was just a complete mind fuck and leaves you in no doubt that Miki isn’t going to get any peace in that crazy head of his anytime soon.

If this series is new to you don’t start with this one – it just won’t work for you! Go back to the start, read Sinner’s Gin and prepare to go on one hell of a roller coaster ride!! Enjoy 


Absinthe of Malice on Goodreads
Dreamspinner Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
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I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

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