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

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A Conversation with Suzanne van Rooyen, Author of SCARDUST (and a Giveaway!)

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

  1. I’m originally from South Africa and grew up in Johannesburg.
  2. In the past 8 years I’ve lived in 4 countries on 3 continents.
  3. I’ve never been on a roller-coaster.
  4. I have a black and tan shiba inu named Lego and he is awesome!
  5. I became a published author after my first attempt at NaNoWriMo

Lego is an awesome name! (And yay! for NaNoWriMo—awesome!)

 

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

A lot of different sources, but mostly from my own childhood desire to be an astronaut, my continuous interest in space travel and fascination with the Mars One program, and then there was this boy I used to know… 😉

Nice!

 

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

I’ve always enjoyed making up stories but attempted my first ‘novel’ when I was about 11. It pretty awful Philip Pullman fan-fiction but it started what would become a teenage hobby. I only started taking writing more seriously in my twenties when I realized some of my stories might be worth publishing. A love of reading definitely inspired me to start trying to write my own stories, and I have my mom to thank for always making books such a special and important part of my life.

Moms are the best 🙂

 

What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?

I’m currently working on a new genre for me: high fantasy. I’m hoping I’ll have more news about that soon! Later this year, my YA science fiction novel, Obscura Burning, will be republished by Harmony Ink Press and should be on shelves again sometime in November so readers should keep an eye out for that.

Wow—high fantasy—sounds great! Good luck with the re-release!

 

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

When a meteor crashes in the Texas desert, aspiring astronaut, Raleigh, finds himself inextricably entaentangledentangled with a beautiful amnesiac who could shatter both his heart and his dream of Mars.

Fantastic! Thanks so much, Suzanne 🙂

Keep reading to find out more about Suzanne and her newest book, SCARDUST.

ABOUT SUZANNE VAN ROOYEN

Suzanne van Rooyen

Suzanne is a tattooed storyteller from South Africa. She currently lives in Sweden and is busy making friends with the ghosts of her Viking ancestors. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When she grows up, she wants to be an elf – until then, she spends her time (when not writing) wall climbing, buying far too many books, and entertaining her shiba inu, Lego.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

 

Scardust Cover

SCARDUST
by Suzanne van Rooyen
Publication Date: February 8, 2016
Genres: New Adult, Gay, LGBT, Science Fiction, Romance

SYNOPSIS: Dead Rock, Texas, 2037

Raleigh Williams made a promise to his brother before he died, that he’d scatter his ashes on Mars. Desperate to leave a life of bad memories behind and start over in the Martian colony, Raleigh fully intends to keep that promise. But his plans are thwarted when a meteor near-misses him in the desert, and Raleigh finds in its crater not debris or even a spacecraft, but a man covered in swirling scars and with no memory of who he is. At least he looks like a man—a man Raleigh can’t seem to keep his eyes off of—but whenever they touch it ignites a memory swap between them.

Raleigh agrees to help Meteor Man piece together his life through their cosmic connection. But the memory share goes both ways, and Raleigh becomes inexplicably entangled with a guy who is everything he needs—everything good that Raleigh is not—but might not even be human. As their minds and worlds collide, reality unravels and Raleigh must face a painful truth, one that could shatter his dreams of finding love, reaching Mars, and fulfilling his brother’s last wish.

 

PURCHASE: Amazon | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | PRINT | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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Book Blitz and Giveaway! DERANGED by Niko McQueen (Ivy Hollow Chronicles)

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Deranged
by Niko McQueen
(Ivy Hollow Chronicles, #1)
Publication date: February 11th 2014
Genres: Adult, Romance

Synopsis:
Adam Rossmore is a rich party boy who doesn’t answer to anyone. He’s played the orphan card for too long and it’s gotten him out of every DUI, arrest, and fine.

Until now.

When a judge slaps him with community service at the insane asylum, Ivy Hollow, Adam thinks it’s all a joke. Until the doors lock and he starts meeting the residents.

Christian Hale has lived at Ivy Hollow his entire life. He seeks solace in his music—and whatever orderly happens to be nearby.

When Adam hears Christian play the piano for the first time, the music draws him deep into Christian’s web and he must fight an arousal that is both confusing and exciting.

 

Excerpt:

Zach chuckled like he’d just found a secret hallway that led to the Glee backlot. “Oh, you’d be surprised.” He wagged his eyebrows and bit his lower lip in an awkward impression of a seductive hooker.

“Dude. We have got to work on your moves. If not, you’re seriously going to die a virgin.”

Zachary’s face fell and Adam felt bad. “Sorry, but it’s true. Not even gay men are going to fall for that . . . Christ, they’re probably harder to please than women.”

He shuddered and slid his chair beneath the desk. “Not possible. Chicks are a no win.”

Adam laughed and they wandered down the hall toward the cafeteria. A sudden chill raced over his arms and yanked him to a stop. He grabbed Zach’s forearm and pulled him to a stop, then glanced over his shoulder.

Sure enough, Christian stood halfway down the darkened hall on the far side of the station. Adam forced his attention to stay on the upper half of Christian’s body. He’d pulled that dark sheet of hair back into a ponytail and wore a button-down white shirt, untucked, cuffs unbuttoned. He may or may not have had the same dark jeans on, but Adam wasn’t about to look any closer. Even without dropping his gaze, he could tell that Christian was in his bare feet. The urge to look was nearly more than he could bear. A deep need to see if they were as slender and perfect as his fingers coiled tightly in Adam’s belly until it filled the space and extended lower. Adam felt like a sixth-grader peering into the girls’ locker room. He had to get out of here.

Zachary pulled out of his grip and marched down the hall toward Christian, shooing him away like a stray puppy. “You know you’re not supposed to be wandering around.”

Adam flinched. He didn’t feel good about Zachary’s unprovoked attack on Christian. Yelling at a psycho didn’t seem like the best policy. But he didn’t want to chase after Zach and get any closer to Christian, either. Christian’s gaze never left Adam’s, not even when Zach got within feet of him. He melted into the shadow and Zach stopped, hands on his hips.

“I’m serious, Christian. When we get back from dinner, you’d better be back in your room.”

Adam wasn’t about to fidget under the scrutiny, but he could feel the intense heat like Christian’s hands were doing the inventory instead of his eyes from fifty feet away. Tingles erupted across every inch of his skin and his balls tightened like he was about to come. Adam forced his arms not to move even though he wanted to cover himself.

Two days ago, he’d have whipped around and marched into the cafeteria, but today he couldn’t seem to make his feet obey. And as bad as he wanted to believe it was because he didn’t want to leave Zach alone, an unsettling feeling told him there was another reason.

One he was going to have to explore in the darkness of his room later tonight.

Zach huffed and strolled back to Adam, a bizarre swing in his hips. Adam could have slapped him. No one walks like that. Not even hookers. Good shit he had his work cut out for him.

Zach brushed past Adam and through the double doors at the end of the hallway. Adam still stood in the echoing expanse of hallway. Somewhere in the darkness to his left, Christian watched.

He turned slowly and forced his hips not to swing even one inch.

Deranged

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AUTHOR BIO:Niko

Niko currently lives in Charlotte NC with her four crazy roommates. She spends her days watching korean dramas and daydreaming of hunky guys falling in love with each other. She dreams of traveling the world gypsy style with her laptop and spinning awesome love stories.

Author links:
www.facebook.com/niko.mcqueen.54
https://twitter.com/niko_mcqueen
https://filthylittlewords.wordpress.com/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7847507.Niko_McQueen

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