Monday, May 1, 2017

Cask Strength by Layla Reyne

Title: Cask Strength
Author: Layla Reyne
My Rating: A

Genre: Romantic Suspense (m/m)
Series: Agents Irish and Whiskey #2
Main Characters: Jamie and Aidan
Release Date: May 2017
Publisher:  Carina Press
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity:  hot


Story Overview:
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.

My Review:
OMG, I am loving this series so, so hard. Whiskey and Irish (Jamie and Aidan) are such incredible characters and lovers, but in this book they're in a bit of a painful place.

Aidan's husband who he had and loved for 10 years died and that loss broke him. As a result, he doesn't want to give his heart completely again. No matter how much he loves Jamie, he wouldn't survive another loss like that...so he's dating several men...and slowly breaking Jamie's heart. Gah...I thought the beginning of this book was going to kill me.

The thing is, Jamie understands and is allowing it. He's afraid if he gives Aidan an ultimatum than he will lose access to any part of Aidan. He's not willing to take that risk. Seriously, it's heartbreaking.

But then the case they're called out on puts Jamie in a position that he's really uncomfortable with. Eight years ago, he walked away from basketball because he refused to be the gay player. But now he has to go back into that closet...and there's company there...his ex-boyfriend. Despite that bit of uncomfortableness is the other side of the coin...basketball...the game he loved, and the discovery that he's really, really good at coaching. Maybe this thing with Aidan is a sign. Maybe it's time to give up the FBI and go back to his first love...the game he was so good at.

The thing that I'm coming to love about Layla Reyne's writing is her mastery of emotional conflict. I'm a girl who loves some angst in her reading. Ms. Reyne delivers in spades for emotional hits. These books are romantic suspense so there are moments of high-adrenaline-filled action and drama and she infuses those scenes with heart-stopping emotion. Seriously, brilliant use of emotional hits in her writing and I LOVE THAT!!

This is book #2 of 3 in this series. Note...you NEED to read all these books. They don't work as stand-alones as the background story and relationship is building upon itself. And OMG, that ending...where is book #3?!? I need it now...or yesterday, in truth. I love this series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

1 comment:

Layla Reyne said...

Thanks so much, Christi, for the lovely review <3 I'm glad you continue to enjoy Agents Irish & Whiskey!