Cask Strength (Crabbypatty’s Review)

Title: Cask Strength (Agents Irish and Whiskey #2)
Author: Layla Reyne
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: May 1, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Mystery/Suspense
Page Count: 205
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

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.

“Cask Strength is the second book in the Agents Irish and Whiskey series and is NOT a stand-alone. It’s been 5 months since Jamie and Aidan became partners and professionally they are at the top of the Bureau’s case clearance board. Personally, their relationship remains hot and very very steamy, but Aidan keeps throwing up boundaries, determined to keep things casual.

Aidan was afraid to commit, afraid to lose someone else he loved. While Jamie understood, it hadn’t stopped him from falling.

Jamie isn’t willing to push Aidan into a commitment until he can discover how the terrorist Renaud and Aidan’s dead husband Gabe are linked. And when more bloodshed touches the partners they are sent undercover, with Jamie becoming a Division II assistant basketball coach in order to solve a case of online sports betting used as a means of identity theft. Once again Layla Reyne does a great job of immersing us into the action while continuing to explore the relationship between Jamie and Aidan. And like the first book in the series, this one ends in a cliffhanger of sorts where the identify theft case is solved, but new information is revealed that brings everyone involved closer to the deadly resolution of the Renaud case.

I love how this installment of the series continues to explore Jamie and Aidan’s relationship –
which seemed to have already achieved its happy ending in “Single Malt” – as it deepens and changes. The plot held my interest every step of the way and I’m looking forward to the final book in the Agents Irish and Whiskey series, Barrel Proof, coming August 7, 2017.

Agents Irish and Whiskey

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Single Malt (Agents Irish and Whiskey #1) provided by Carina Press in exchange of an honest review.


Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend. My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh ... not in my wheelhouse, but I'm a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre. Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more. A few "badges" from NetGalley: 100 Book Reviews Reviews Published Professional Reader