Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Dark Side Book Club: February Discussion of Sinner's Gin by: Rhys Ford

Hey everyone and welcome to our first book club discussion! I'm really excited to give you my review of February's pick, Sinner's Gin by Rhys Ford, because I'll be honest, it was one of the best books I've read all year.  :D      But before we begin I wanted to give you all a few details on how this will work.


Please leave your review in the comments section.  You may do this anonymously or provide your name/online handle.

Please refrain from bashing the author, even if you didn't like the book.  There are tactful ways to deliver your review without trashing someone.  It's okay if you weren't fond of the story.  I'm just asking that you have a point to why you didn't like it without swiping the authors face on the floor. You know what I mean?  Keep it clean boys and girls. ;)

We'll be rating the book on a five star scale, five being you loved it, one being you did not.  You can include your rating with your review.

If you have not read this book, please try not to skip down to the comments section.  This is your warning that there will most likely be spoilers.

If you have read this book and intend to leave a spoiler, please write SPOILER at the beginning of your review for the naughty ones who have not read this book.  ;)  I'm just kidding.  But no, seriously, label your review SPOILER.

When you're done with the discussion, please take the time to post your review on Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, or even at the main publishing site should they allow reviews.  This helps the author out by giving new readers a glimpse of what they're in for and boost sales, not to mention leaves warm fuzzies for the author to see.  It will only take a minute to copy paste your comment from here to there.

The last thing I ask is that you guys suggest a book for next month along with your review.  I'm looking for books that have been published this year or will be out by the first week of March 2013.  All suggestions must be M/M. When I have enough suggestions, I'll post them in a poll next week.

Thanks so much you guys!  Now on with the show...

Set in San Francisco, the story centers around wounded rockstar Miki St. John, and SFPD inspector, Kane Morgan.  After a tragedy leaves Sinner's Gin front man, Miki, without a band, and without the only family he ever knew, he holes up in a converted warehouse to lick his wounds in solitude.  Kane rents an art studio next door, oblivious to his neighbor Miki until one day Miki's dog, Dude, comes by for a visit, stealing a piece of wood from Kane before running back to the safety of his home.

The two main characters finally meet, Kane pissed off about the dog and Miki who could care less, sparking a sexy attraction between them.  But Kane has no idea what he's in for with Miki.  The young rockstar has a broken past in need of healing and is blindsided by the way he feels for Kane.  In turn, Kane is dumbstruck over the sexy rock star with a limp.  He suddenly feels protective over Miki, but he has no idea how much protecting Miki actually needs until a dead body, a ghost from the past, ends up in Miki's GTO.

A full blown investigation ensues, pinning Miki as the number one suspect.  But the SFPD soon learns that Miki is in fact the next victim if they don't act quickly.

This story pulled me in all different directions, each of them wonderful and poignant.  Miki is mourning the loss of his best friend, Damien.  He feels like he'll never be the same without his brothers, his band, until Kane ignites his soul again.  Miki is one of those wounded boys that you feel for so deeply, that your heart hurts.  He's also one of those boys that never had a choice over his past and is terrified when offered a fresh start, and even more terrified by the prospect of love because he's never had it before.

His past is shaky, and that's putting it lightly.  The victim of sexual abuse at an early age, he's haunted with the memories of another's mans hands on him, and is scared that Kane won't be enough to shake his ghosts, no matter how much Miki wants him.  Kane on the other hand, was raised in a large Irish family.  He has an abundance of love and support around him, and wants nothing more than for Miki to experience the same kind of love.  He's determined throughout the entire book to make Miki feel something other than pain and it's a truly beautiful story.

I love, love, love crime dramas and I think the author did an amazing job of blending a realistic crime tale with some heart thumping romance.  Sometimes I read books where the investigation overshadows the romance plot, but not in Sinner's Gin.  The crime sleuthing aspect was well written.  All the little details of the investigation put me right there with Kane, from the little neighborhoods and eateries, the different cultures, to the actual technical what have yous of an ongoing case.  The mystery surrounding the murders blended with Miki's background perfectly.  I appreciated the creativity and the spot on timeline the author was able to portray.

Also, this book was chock full of musical references. We all know I'm a huge music geek, and I sat there smiling at Miki's dialogue half the time because of his love for music.  At the beginning of every chapter, there was a few lyrics of a Sinner's Gin song or a memory from the band writing music.  It just added that perfect touch to Miki's background and if you read them all, they offered insight into his mind.  *Sigh* I love those little things in a book that further your love for a character.  

Probably my favorite scene, though, besides the sexy, sexy stuff, (UNF) was when Miki was kidnapped by Kane's mom and brought to the Morgan's house.  I almost died laughing at Miki's attitude towards the entire ordeal.  I won't post any lines from the book, but I was seriously cracking up.  Miki, despite his depression, was one hella funny character. And I like how Kane never batted at an eye at Miki's out-of-the-box way of thinking.  These two were meant for each other from page one and I scarfed this book down like a piece of chocolate cake.  It was sexy, romantic, feel good, and a thriller that left me wanting more.

But one last thing... can we talk about the ending!!!!  Holy crap!  Rhys Ford just set a whole new bar for an ending twist.  I can't actually tell you what the twist was, in case some of you haven't read it yet, but holy shit! Let's just say there's a sequel ahead and I'll be first in line to buy it when it comes out.

Five stars for me folks. This book was awesome and then some.

Now it's your turn.  What did you guys think??? :D

~xX Night


  1. Possible Spoiler
    I actually have no idea if I'm going to spoil anything since I'm just typing away before I think. I did not expect to like this book as much as I did but boy am I glad I read it. Loved iiiitttttt!!!!!!!!

    Talk about can't catch a break. Miki's life was a hot mess from start to finish. You'd expect him to rock back and forth in a corner somewhere but his attitude and wit even in his depression just makes him such a great character. Maybe I'm crazy but I feel like Dude's personality is what Miki would have been like if he had been a happy child. Even though everything in Miki's life is pretty much a shit show, the saddest part for me was him missing Damien. His best friend was his anchor to life and without him Miki just seems to float by. I think that what now feeling after losing a loved one is something most people can relate to.

    Kane's family is the kind of family that drives you crazy in the best kind of way. His mother cracks me up. Who kidnaps her son's boyfriend? Good old Brigid Morgan that's who. These characters make such an interesting pair. You're engrossed in Kane's investigation while trying to find the missing pieces in Miki's saga to make the puzzle fit. Meanwhile you're watching them fall in love. Did I mention I love this book. I'm dying for the second one. You can't tease a girl like this.

    It's late I need to sleep but I'm sure I'll sneak back here during work.

  2. Spoilers

    Definitely 5 FIVE fricking STARS!

    Very real and great build up of the characters, be they the protagonist or just one of the smaller characters. The author really impressed me with this ability of hers. Even though the smaller characters only appears for a short while, the use of dialogue and description provided readers with a brief but very clear insight of who they are. Its like telling you, hey! We are protagonists in another story too! You don't find that alot even in very experienced writers. I second Night in that the opening paragraphs of each chapter pulls me in too! I find it so funny and realistic when Miki argues with Damien at some godforsaken hour-which is exactly what always happens to my team when we are rushing a project at 4AM.

    The humour that is so widely found within the book is simply a masterpiece. I forgot myself and burst out laughing in a public bus when the Morgans are compared to Oompa Loompas. Wahahahahahas. Thats completely the epic statement of the year for me.

    I also found a new idol in the book. If I ever were to get married and have kids, I hope my future man can be half the man that Kane's da is. His love for his children is humbling.

    And finally...I jammed my Reader looking for the NEXT page at the end but its NOT THERE!! Damn cliffhangers :) :)

    I love the book, couldn't put it down and hereby promise to haunt the author's page for new updates on Book 2.

    Thank you for making me laugh!


    This was amazing. Not sure I can give it 5 Stars, but at least 4.75 Stars,lol,its high up there

    The characters were amazing, the Morgan clan seems like such a funny bunch.Miki's reaction and thoughts to them were hilarious. I like that the attraction between Miki and Kane was not insta-love, they were pissed at each other first and it developed slowly over time.

    Not to be nit picky but there were two things that threw me off, the first was the killer guy Andrew setting Kel's mom's house on fire... I did not see the need for that.. and second was Kane's dad letting Miki leave on his own to go say goodbye to his past. I know he needed to be alone for the story to move forward but I felt as a cop,Kane's dad should have known better. This didn't make the story any less better, I still LOVED IT, just saying.....

    And the END, wow... This book needs to be added as a reference to meaning of Cliffhanger,lol
    I can't wait to read book 2. I checked the author's page and there is no exact date as yet, but she is aiming for June, so fingers crossed,lol

    I think the book club was a great idea, sorry,but I don't think I have any book suggestions right now. Will let you guys know if I see any that catches my eye.

    Have a great weekend everyone, :)


  4. So as soon as Feb's book was announced I got it right away. Unfortunately I read really fast so it's been a couple of weeks,however, it was amazing!!! I've never read any of Rhys Ford's books so I didn't know what to expect. I loved the plot. Usually I'm not a big crime buff but it had the great balance of romance and suspense in it. I too had a laugh with Miki's reaction to Kane's family.
    Totally shocked with the ending. Drove me crazy that book 2 wasn't out yet, waiting on batted breath for it!!! I definitely give it 5 stars!!!

    1. I totally agree with your review on the book I will definitely be looking for the sequel.

      I get a 5 star rating

  5. I totally forgot about book club – and I even voted for this book – until Night mentioned it in her post yesterday. So I bought the book and spent last night reading and played hooky from work this morning so I could finish. LOVED IT! I too am a huge fan of the mystery/crime genre and mixing that with a M/M romance, it doesn’t get any better. I loved the dynamic between Miki and Kane and the dialogue was lol funny. When the author made reference to Malcolm Reynolds, I just knew right then and there that I loved this author and will definitely go on to read the rest of her stories while waiting – impatiently – for the next book to come out. I still can’t get over the ending of the last chapter, I mean are you FREAKING KIDDING ME??? *sigh* so the wait begins...

    Definitely 5 stars from me.

  6. I actually already had this book before it was chosen as the February book, so I had the wonderful joy of re-reading this totally phenomenal work of literature. I consumed it with the gusto of a hound dog (as my daddy used to say) in a day because I just couldn't put it down. Dude was adorable. Miki made me want to cry and fix everything wrong in his life. And, Kane was the perfect knight in shining armor. I so loved this story.

    And, the total OMFG at the end. Way to freak me out. I literally squealed at the complete twist this story took and I'll be right there with you to grab the sequel when it comes out.

    Absolutely ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

  7. I loooved this book. When it was first voted as this months pick I didn't think I'd like it, but it sucked me in with its characters and humor. The sex scenes were yummy and there were lots of them. Thank goodness there was cuz some m/m stories I read only have a couple and by th time I'm 3/4 of the way done with them I feel like I've wasted my time. I am a sucker for the hot love scense and that is one of the biggest reason I love m/m stories. But this story had lots of lovin' in it, so I was super pleased.

    My favorite character by far though was Dude. He was the best. I loved how the author described his personality and mannerisms. He was funnier than shit. So I give this book 5 stars. It was awesome.


  8. I give this book 5 stars. I thought that the story was a great mystery and had well paced drama. I think my favorite part of it was watching Miki learn to trust Kane. I do agree that Kane's mother was priceless. My mom is somewhat the same way only scaled down. The character development was great and I actually cared about them. I was glad when the couple got together,

    This book had many quotes that made me say Ah Ha! My personal favorite is "Life might be a magic mushroom ride for some kids but most of us live in the cow shit it grows in. There were several choice lines like that.
    I was thinking about the ending and I don't want to talk about it too much. It was wonderful and suspenseful. I will be right there with Night when the sequel comes out. I can't wait for next month's book. This is really fun.

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  10. I'm late to this but I would definitely give this book 5 stars!

    I didn't buy it when it was published because I didn't fancy reading it that much. I'm so glad it was chosen for book club because I would have missed out. This is a fantastic read, I was gripped from page 1 and absolutely fell in love with the main characters over the course of the book.

    I felt like crying for Miki any number of times, life had treated him so horribly yet he remained strong enough to survive and eventually opened up enough to trust Kane, feel safe and fall in love with him. I could understand Kane's feelings of self-doubt that he could be what Miki needed and loved him and his family. His mum especially sweeps into the story like a tornado :D While the things that have happened in Miki's past are horrible there is also a lot of humour in the story and I laughed quite a few times :D

    The cliff-hanger at the end is WOW! I definitely want to read the 2nd book now, can't wait for it!

    Mo x