New Release Review and Giveaway! CASK STRENGTH by Layla Reyne (Irish & Whiskey #2)

Title: CASK STRENGTH
Author: Layla Reyne
Release Date: May 1, 2017
Publisher: Carina Press
Series: Agents Irish & Whiskey
Genres: M/M Romantic Suspense
Word Count: 61,000
Format: Digital
ISBN: 9781488024399

 

Synopsis:

The heart’s a resilient beast…

Professionally, the FBI team of Aidan “Irish” Talley and Jameson “Whiskey” Walker is as good as it gets, closing cases faster than any team at the Bureau. Personally, it’s a different story. Aidan’s feelings for Jamie scare the hell out of him: he won’t risk losing another love no matter how heart-tripping the intimacy between them. And loss is a grim reality with the terrorist Renaud still on their trail, leaving a pile of bodies in his wake.

Going undercover on a new case gets them out of town and off the killer’s radar. They’re assigned to investigate an identity theft ring involving a college basketball team in Jamie’s home state, where Jamie’s past makes him perfect for the role of coach. But returning to the court brings more than old memories.

As secrets and shocking betrayals abound, none may be more dangerous than the one Jamie’s been keeping: a secret about the death of Aidan’s husband that could blow his partner’s world apart and destroy forever the fragile bonds of trust and love building between them.

Find out more at: Carina Press | Amazon | Google Play | Kobo | iTunes | B&N | Goodreads

Excerpt:

“I know our schedule’s fucked, but that face of yours is awfully grim.”

Startling at the full-blast Irish accent, Jamie’s head shot up and the phone slipped from his fingers, clattering to the ground. Pick it up, some instinct ordered, but he was too busy losing the rest of his fucking mind. The veneer of calm shattered and any hope of patience took a flying leap out the window.

Because standing in front of him was his stylishly dressed partner, a messenger bag over one shoulder, a coat tossed over the other, and silver-rimmed aviators nestled in waves of auburn hair. More times than he could count, Jamie had imagined Aidan with his natural hair color, and damn if the reality didn’t surpass each and every one of his fantasies.

Mouth dry, heart racing, cheeks burning, Jamie’s fingers twitched with the urge to weave through the long red strands. Reaching down instead, he grabbed his phone, held it between his palms, and wedged his clasped hands between his knees, forestalling his impulse. He tried to force out a “hello,” but his brain refused to cooperate, all the blood in his body having raced south where his jeans became painfully tight.

Fuck.

He was gone. So far gone. Past casual, past a crush, past simple attraction.

This was Aidan, sans disguises, and Jamie wanted him more than he’d ever wanted anything.

“Is it that bad a dye job?” Aidan asked, interrupting his mental breakdown.

“Ai—” he started, only to be corrected with a brogue-laced, “Ian.”

Jamie blinked, reminded that this was a disguise. It sure as hell didn’t feel like one. “I wasn’t expecting this.” His eyes raked over Aidan again, taking it all in. Dressed in jeans and a navy V-neck sweater, the dark blues set off his pale skin, the freckles, his autumn eyes, that hair…

“Fuck,” he muttered out loud.

Aidan shifted on his feet in front of him. “I said I was making a few more changes.”

“Yeah, but this—” he spread his arms wide, the motion totally inadequate “—is more than a fucking few.”

Their gazes locked, heat sparking. “Problem, Jamie?” Aidan’s eyes flickered down to the very obvious problem.

“You gotta stop that.”

He dropped his messenger bag and shrugged the coat off his shoulder. “Stop what?”

“Saying my name in that accent.”

“Mr. Walker, then,” he said with a smirk.

Way too smooth.

Jamie propped his elbows on this knees and covered his face with his hands. “God no,” he groaned. “Not that either.”

Aidan laughed as the buzzer went off on the conveyor behind them.

Leather smacked the backs of Jamie’s hands, and he snagged Aidan’s coat before it hit the ground.

Leather?

“Cover that up,” Aidan said, eyeing his crotch. “And get yourself together. Debrief in the car.” Turning, he headed for the spinning luggage carousel, giving Jamie a prime view of his sinfully fitted jeans.

Get himself together…

Yeah, right.

Copyright © 2017 Layla Reyne

Review:

I enjoyed the suspense of Cask Strength–definitely had me on the edge of my seat, especially for the last 20% or so–couldn’t put it down! Though Irish and Whiskey are mainly dealing with their new undercover case here, a major plot thread from book one ( Single Malt ) is also still a pretty big deal (and continues to be into the next book) so if you haven’t read the first book, you’re definitely going to be behind. I liked both Jamie (Whiskey) and Aidan (Irish) a lot and loved them together, though Aidan’s behavior for much of the book was pretty frustrating. It was more understandable when we saw things from his POV, but still…hopefully they’ll manage to stay in the place they are at the end of this book and not make a backward slide relationship-wise like they did between 1 and 2.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / C+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Other books in the Agents Irish & Whiskey series:

 

SINGLE MALT

Available Now: Carina Press | Amazon | Google Play | Kobo | iTunes | B&N| Goodreads

“Sexy, smart and suspenseful – this book has it all.”—HelenKay Dimon, author of MR. & MR. SMITH

 

“SINGLE MALT is full of explosive chemistry, captivating characters, and edge-of-your-seat suspense. A must read for any romantic suspense fan!”—Megan Erickson, USA Today Bestselling Author

 

BARREL PROOF

On Sale August 7, 2017: Carina Press | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes | Google Play | Goodreads

 

About Layla Reyne:

2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist, Layla Reyne, was raised in North Carolina and now calls San Francisco home. She enjoys weaving her bi-coastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline fueled suspense and heart pounding romance. When she’s not writing stories to excite her readers, she downloads too many books, watches too much television, and cooks too much food with her scientist husband, much to the delight of their smushed-face, leftover-loving dogs.

Connect with Layla: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

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A Conversation with Layla Reyne, Author of SINGLE MALT (Agents Irish & Whiskey #1)

Welcome, Layla! What 5 things should readers know about you?

  1. I’m a North Carolina native currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area. My bi-coastal experience, with travel in-between, is reflected in my stories. In Single Malt, you’ve got Aidan, whose Irish family resettled in the Bay Area, and Jamie, who was was born and raised in North Carolina before moving to San Francisco. Moreover, series settings hop between San Francisco, Texas and North Carolina.
  2. As a mechanic’s granddaughter, I’m fond of fast cars, and forever regretting the 1964½ cherry red Mustang convertible I passed up as a teen when I didn’t know any better. Vintage American muscle cars are my weakness!
  3. I’m a foodie. Food will always be featured in my books and on my social media feeds. #SorryNotSorry for making you hungry.
  4. Ditto whiskey and coffee, if that wasn’t obvious from the book titles and my characters’ fondness for both.
  5. My grandmother sat me in front of All My Children at age three, my parents in front of Hill Street Blues shortly thereafter, so guess what I write… Romantic Suspense. I love suspense with a heavy dose of unresolved sexual tension that leads to romance. Translation: Readers are going to get plot-heavy stories from me, with action and things that go boom, kissing and sexy times, and some cliffhangers too. That’s the structure I learned, the one I love, so fair warning!

LOL! We have been warned!

 

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

I was introduced to romance and suspense at an early age, which later matured into my own tastes for action and suspense with a romantic twist (e.g., The X-Files, Castle, etc.). When I started writing, first in fanfiction then in original fiction, romantic suspense was a natural fit. Before Single Malt, I wrote a male/female romantic suspense that was an RWA Golden Heart Finalist. While that manuscript ran the contest circuit and through the query trenches, I wrote Single Malt. Already a fan of male/male romance, Irish and Whiskey came to me from the start as two male leads, and after enjoying the male point of view more in my previous manuscript and in fanfiction, I followed where inspiration led—to a continuation series with these two complicated men who deserve their shot at happily ever after. As for the plot itself, I live in Silicon Valley—cyber-everything is a way of life—and after test driving a certain electric car, I couldn’t get the cyberterror angle out of my head.

Awesome! Thanks for sharing 🙂

 

How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?

Does the book I wrote in grade school about the family dog count? That was probably the first thing, LOL. But writing really took off for me in high school, mostly as a rebellion against math and science (and yet, I married a scientist, joke’s on me). Two things spurred the then-hobby on: a twelfth grade writing portfolio, for which I wrote an Epilogue to Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse, and discovering The X-Files and the glorious world of fanfiction. I read and wrote extensively throughout college, including a student television stint, then was diverted a bit by my other career, before fandom and fanfiction pulled me back in, only this time it wasn’t a hobby for long. Original ideas took hold and now my debut novel is published. Hooray!

Ah, fanfiction! Good times…

 

What are you working on right now?

Editing AIW3, developing ideas for AIW spin-offs, and writing a male/male contemporary sports romance. It’s a juggling act, especially with my day-job, but I wouldn’t trade living my dream for anything!

Wow! Can’t wait!

 

What can readers look for from you in the next year?

All three books in the Agents Irish and Whiskey series – Single Malt, Cask Strength, and Barrel Proof – will be released in 2017. Yes, I left readers with a wee bit of a cliffhanger (Okay, a big one), but it’ll be short wait times between books to find out what happens!

Good to know! Nothing worse than having to wait a year+ to find out how the cliffhanger ending will be resolved…

 

What are you currently reading, and what are your thoughts about it so far?

Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh. My e-shelf, while 99% romance, crosses subgenres and pairings. I’ve loved the Psy-Changeling series since I inhaled it the summer before last, and I’m loving my dive back into it. The pairings are compelling, the mythology well-built, and living in the Bay Area, I especially enjoy the reimagined San Francisco her world is set in.

I STILL need to read Nalini Singh…but I keep hearing good things; I think I’m going to have to bump her up the TBR list!

 

If you had to “sell” your book in a single Tweet, what would you say?

Widowed FBI agent falls hard for his new, handsome cyber agent partner while investigating cybercrimes and his late husband’s murder.

Perfect! Thanks so much, Layla!

 

About the Author:

2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist, Layla Reyne, was raised in North Carolina but now calls San Francisco home. She enjoys weaving her bi-coastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline fueled suspense and heart pounding romance. When she’s not writing stories to excite her readers, she downloads too many books, watches too much television, and cooks too much food with her scientist husband, much to the delight of their smushed-face, leftover-loving dogs. You can find her online at http://www.laylareyne.com/.

Connect with Layla: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

 

Title: Single Malt
Author: Layla Reyne
Series: Agents Irish & Whiskey
Genre: M/M Romantic Suspense
Release Date: February 27, 2017
Publisher: Carina Press

 

Synopsis:

Eight months after the car crash that changed everything, FBI agent Aidan Talley is back at work. New department, new case and a new partner. Smart, athletic and handsome, Jameson Walker is twelve years his junior. Even if Aidan was ready to move on—and he’s not—Jamie is off-limits.

Jamie’s lusted after Aidan for three years, and the chance to work with San Francisco’s top agent directly is too good to pass up. Aidan is prickly—to put it mildly—but a growing cyber threat soon proves Jamie’s skills invaluable.

Jamie’s talents paint a target on his back, and Aidan is determined to protect him. But with hack after hack threatening a high-security bio-containment facility, time is running out to thwart a deadly terrorist attack. They’ll have to filter out distractions, on the case and in their partnership, to identify the real enemy, solve the case and save thousands of lives, including their own.

Available now: Carina Press | Amazon | Google Play | Kobo | iTunes| B&N| Goodreads

Take a chance on the GIVEAWAY here.

First Look and Giveaway! SINGLE MALT by Layla Reynew (Agents Irish & Whiskey)

Title: Single Malt
Author: Layla Reyne
Series: Agents Irish & Whiskey
Genre: M/M Romantic Suspense
Release Date: February 27, 2017
Publisher: Carina Press

 

Synopsis:

Eight months after the car crash that changed everything, FBI agent Aidan Talley is back at work. New department, new case and a new partner. Smart, athletic and handsome, Jameson Walker is twelve years his junior. Even if Aidan was ready to move on—and he’s not—Jamie is off-limits.

Jamie’s lusted after Aidan for three years, and the chance to work with San Francisco’s top agent directly is too good to pass up. Aidan is prickly—to put it mildly—but a growing cyber threat soon proves Jamie’s skills invaluable.

Jamie’s talents paint a target on his back, and Aidan is determined to protect him. But with hack after hack threatening a high-security bio-containment facility, time is running out to thwart a deadly terrorist attack. They’ll have to filter out distractions, on the case and in their partnership, to identify the real enemy, solve the case and save thousands of lives, including their own.

Find out more at: Carina Press | Amazon | Google Play | Kobo | iTunes| B&N| Goodreads

Excerpt from SINGLE MALT:

There was a scraping sound and when next Walker spoke, he was closer, his hot breath coasting across Aidan’s neck. “Why don’t you show me some of these dance moves?”

Aidan whipped his head around, bringing them nose-to-nose. “Don’t be ridiculous.”

“I’m serious.” Walker grinned, the temptation and levity in his bright blue eyes chasing away the sorrow of the day, of the past eight months. “Impress me,” he said, using Aidan’s own words against him.

“Whiskey,” he warned, low and tight, fighting his instincts.

“Come on, it’s just us here.”

Glancing over his shoulder, Aidan confirmed the other couple was gone, Roy was nowhere to be seen, and the only two waiters left sat folding napkins in the private room.

Walker, standing between their stools, inched closer and laid his hand over Aidan’s again. “Dance with me, Talley.”

Hooked, the offered comfort reeled Aidan in. Tugging his hand, Walker pulled him off the stool and into his arms. As they swayed gently to the music, it wasn’t dancing with Isabella Aidan remembered but dancing with Gabe after their wedding. Held in Walker’s arms, knowing what he did now about his partner’s orientation, Aidan allowed himself to notice the physical similarities between Walker and his husband. Both accomplished athletes, they were bigger and stronger than him, larger in height and mass. He liked being surrounded in a bigger man’s warmth. He also liked dominating that when he had a mind to. And Walker was one hell of a specimen.

Relaxing into the embrace, Aidan coasted the hand not in Walker’s up his cut biceps, over his broad shoulder, and around to his back where rock-hard delts stood out beneath the rough chambray. Closing the inches between them, he pressed his chest to Walker’s and bit back a moan at finding the front of him as warm and firm as the back.

Walker dipped his chin, his stubbled jaw nuzzling Aidan’s temple. “Something tells me this isn’t how you danced with Isabella.”

“No, it’s not.” He breathed deep, fighting not to melt into his partner’s embrace. Everything about the moment enticed him to bury his face in Walker’s neck and let go—that deep molasses voice, the tempting cologne, a warm embrace after months of cold loneliness.

Coming May 1, 2017 – CASK STRENGTH (Agents Irish & Whiskey):

Professionally, the FBI team of Aidan “Irish” Talley and Jameson “Whiskey” Walker is as good as it gets, closing cases faster than any team at the Bureau. Personally, it’s a different story. Aidan’s feelings for Jamie scare the hell out of him: he won’t risk losing another love no matter how heart-tripping the intimacy between them. And loss is a grim reality with the terrorist Renaud still on their trail, leaving a pile of bodies in his wake.

Going undercover on a new case gets them out of town and off the killer’s radar. They’re assigned to investigate an identity theft ring involving a college basketball team in Jamie’s home state, where Jamie’s past makes him perfect for the role of coach. But returning to the court brings more than old memories.

As secrets and shocking betrayals abound, none may be more dangerous than the one Jamie’s been keeping: a secret about the death of Aidan’s husband that could blow his partner’s world apart and destroy forever the fragile bonds of trust and love building between them.

Preorder now: Amazon | iTunes | Kobo | Google Play

 

About Layla Reyne:

2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist, Layla Reyne, was raised in North Carolina but now calls San Francisco home. She enjoys weaving her bi-coastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline fueled suspense and heart pounding romance. When she’s not writing stories to excite her readers, she downloads too many books, watches too much television, and cooks too much food with her scientist husband, much to the delight of their smushed-face, leftover-loving dogs. You can find her online at http://www.laylareyne.com/.

Connect with Layla: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

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