Whiskey and Wry
Absinthe of Malice
Sin and Tonic
In the very first installment we meet Miki St. John, the lone survivor of the car crash that claimed the lives of his Sinner's Gin band mates. He's living a half-life, barely existing, and is only holding on for the scrappy terrier (and furry little scene-stealer) who's decided Miki is home.
It's the terrier, later dubbed "Dude", who starts Miki on the path to redemption. Miki's backstory will break you heart and make you want to hurt characters that are, thankfully, fictitious, but still. You really want this guy to get his happy ever after from page one. (Or, in the first ten minutes in my case, as I enjoyed this series in audio book.)
Throughout the series we get to know more people, hear more POVs, but the entire series arc encompasses both Miki's band(s), it's members, and a large boisterous family of Irish descent. The Morgan's provide the comfort and security missing from his own past, and like any too-good thing, he's suspicious, waiting for the other shoe to fall, feeling he's not good enough for love.
My heart broke time and time again for this haunted, world-weary-yet-young man. He wears his pain as a shield from the world, was never taught how to love, to be loved, or even to be touched without ill intent.
Slowly, slowly his story unravels, and we don't get all of our questions answered until Sin and Tonic, but it's a riveting journey.
One thing that make this series really shine is the interactions between the characters, the good-natured bickering amount siblings, whether the siblings one was given or collected along the way. Such awesome dialog that I found myself hitting the back button just to hear a marvel of impressing phrasing again.
Each character is so distinct, so real, which is quite an accomplishment with a cast of this size.
You make judgments one minute, only to have them turned on their heads the next. But what a ride. My three-hour daily work commute suddenly wasn't long enough as I wished to remain in the car and listen to JUST ONE MORE CHAPTER!!!
This isn't a light, fluffy story by any means. There is mention of severe child abuse in some of the characters' pasts. There is also violence, and some of that violence is gruesome as many of the Morgan family are cops in San Francisco and privy to some of the terrible horrors life has to offer.
I won't go into the plot of each installment as that might give spoilers, but what I can say is this series was time well spent, gave me a whole lot of new characters to love, and left me with a major case of book hangover.
This is an unsolicited review, merely me gushing about a series I love, but I'll still include links to the Audible page and encourage you to enter the world of Miki St. John and Kane Morgan.