I have a lot of love for Rhys Ford and pretty much everything she writes. Her Sinner’s Gin series is a particular favorite of mine. As soon as I opened the first page of the first book and met the Morgan clan I totally and completely fell in love. I might have mentioned it before in my other reviews of this series, but I just adore a family who loves unconditionally, is fiercely loyal and protective of each other and is led by wonderful, inspiring parents. I didn’t think they could get any better or that I could love them any more, but I was wrong. Tequila Mockingbird is the third book and tells the story of the eldest Morgan son, Connor and the man he falls in love with, Forest. Their love story was so lovely.
Connor has shaped his entire life after the man he looks up to the most, his Da. He has a career he loves with the SFPD SWAT team, is the proud owner of a rundown Victorian house that’s currently in the slow process of being renovated and would eventually like to have a wife and kids. Connor has his entire life planned out; he knows exactly what he wants. Until he meets a beautiful man on a drug raid and offers him comfort, now he can’t seem get him out of his head and he’s not sure what to do about it.
Forest Ackerman has lived one of the shittiest lives imaginable. Beaten, starved and occasionally whored out by his own mother, he doesn’t have a lot of reasons to trust anyone. Which is why it took him so long to accept that the old hippie who found him in a dumpster at the age of 12 wasn’t out to hurt him, but just wanted to help. Now after being relatively safe for the last decade Forest is stuck in another nightmare when his foster-father is found dead during a drug raid. He has to get Frank’s estate in order, which includes a coffee shop and studio for musicians, all left to him. If that’s not enough of a headache, he’s got a straight cop constantly checking up on him and he doesn’t quite know what to make of it. If there’s one thing he knows as a gay man, it’s never to fall for the straight guy. Yet when his coffee shop gets shot up and it starts to look like someone is out to kill him, it’s Con who insists on being the one to protect him.
The Sinner’s Gin series revolves around the Morgan family and the remaining members of the band Sinner’s Gin. Connor is the oldest of the Morgan children and up until now has always believed himself to be heterosexual. When he finds himself falling for Forest, despite his family’s belief that love is love no matter who a person might fall for, he is troubled by his feelings. His entire identity and how he sees his future playing out is challenged. Even as he finds himself seeking out Forest over and over just so that he can be near him, he’s worried that he is going to let his family, especially his father, down. While Connor might be a big, strapping Irish cop, he’s also gentle, protective and kind. He never treats Forest with any thing but respect and protectiveness. Once he talks it over with his father and makes peace with his feelings he grabs on to Forest with both hands and doesn’t let go. His family’s unconditional support helped me believe his throwing himself wholeheartedly into his first gay love affair.
As the body count rises and every day seems to bring a new disaster into Forest’s life, he is very slowly being sucked into Connor’s world. After a life time of bad, he is very unsure about his worth and whether he even belongs with such good people. But he is willing to open up little by little and until he finds himself part of a couple, a family and a band. Connor and Forest have a sweet romance that is allowed to slowly build before they hit the sheets. Yes, the sex scenes are very sensual, but I liked that Ms. Ford dealt with Connor’s worries and fears and Forest’s insecurities and allowed this couple to form a close friendship before their first sex scene. By the time they became physically intimate I was already all in with them as a couple.
Tequila Mockingbird is my favorite of this series so far. If you haven’t read this series and are a fan of contemporary m/m stories I would urge you to give it a try. Final Grade- B+
“And here you told me I couldn’t have you.” He laughed it off– that feeling of dreadful hope he’d buried every time it stuck its head out of his soul. Forest couldn’t risk it spreading, not if he wanted his heart to survive Connor walking away.
“Yeah, I was wrong about that,” Con whispered, shattering Forest’s mind as he leaned forward and kissed the corner of Forest’s mouth before murmuring, “You’ll have me, a ghra, for as long as you need me and maybe even long beyond that.”