Thursday, July 17, 2014

DEVIL’S BREW by Rhys Ford

Publisher:               Dreamspinner Press          
Published:               May 25, 2014
ISBN:                     978 1 62798 768 4
Genre:                   Contemporary Romance M/M
Book Format:          E-book
Obtained via:          Publisher
Reviewed by:          Helena Stone,

Rating:                  5

Mike St. John finds himself in a bit of a bind. It’s Valentine’s Day and he has no idea what to do about. In fact, he had himself convinced it was a holiday for heterosexuals and therefore no concern of his. His best friend Damian – recently back from the dead – soon puts him straight, leaving Miki worried about what to get Kane, his lover. He wants it to be perfect but has no idea where to begin or what a perfect Valentine’s Day would even look like.

It has been a long time since Miki has felt this happy and loved and he wants to share these feelings with the man who’s become his one and only. But his screwed-up childhood hasn’t left him equipped to deal with romantic holidays. Miki is going to need help to turn this day into the love-fest it’s supposed to be rather than a disaster.

This was, for me, the perfect novella. I knew nothing about the characters before I started reading yet found myself deeply in love with them within minutes.

Miki broke my heart and lifted my spirit at the same time. It is impossible not to be taken in by this man who has a very low opinion of himself yet never stops trying to be the best he can possibly be for those he loves.

 “If he looked hard enough – really not that hard, actually – he felt stupid. Worthless.”

His friendship with Damien is beautiful and heart-warming while the conversations between them move from heartbreakingly deep and sad to laugh-out-loud funny. The way Miki talks about his lover, Kane, and the depth of his feelings for the Irish cop took my breath away.

“I knew I loved him when I realized he was going to be inside me – no matter where he was, I’d always have him there.”

Miki’s unfamiliarity with Valentine’s Day was as funny as it was sad. His quest to find the perfect presents for the man he loves endeared him to me as few characters, especially in shorter books, have.

And Kane and Miki together, well that has to be poetry in motion. They are tender, loving, funny and smoking hot.

I think this is my second encounter with Rhys Ford’s words and I have to say I’m liking her more with each new encounter. Her writing is wonderful and paints vivid pictures while her dialogue sparkles. I could hear the Irish brogue (yes, I’m sure living in Ireland helps, but still) and fall for the lure of it along with Miki.

I’m convinced I would have gotten even more out of this story if I’d read the first two books in this series, ‘Sinner’s Gin’ and ‘Whiskey and Wry’, first. It speaks volumes about the author’s talent that I didn’t feel I was missing anything while at the same time realising that it is only a matter of weeks before I’ll have to read those earlier titles. I’m pretty sure those first two books are going to break my heart, regardless of the fact I now know where they’ll eventually take me. But this story, these characters...Yes, I need more.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.


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