Cask Strength (Steph’s Review)

Title: Cask Strength (Agents Irish and Whiskey #2)
Authors: Layla Reyne
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: May 1, 2017
Genre(s): Mystery/Suspense
Page Count: 205
Reviewed by: Steph
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.63 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.

Warning: Serious angst here and of course another cliffhanger!

Okay, I might be the only one to say this but I was a bit confused with his one. So here we are, fast forward five months later where Jamie and Aiden are nothing more than FWB or even possibly CWB (colleagues with benefits). Of course we learn that Aiden is back to his dickhead ways while Jamie’s heart is set on said dickhead. We get to hear of Aiden’s ‘dates’ with other men, and this is where I get a bit confused. See it sounds like he is going back to his old ways; however, the way the author writes I cannot be certain if he truly has sex with them or if it’s just all for show.

Case in point(s):

With “Jamie” came warm, alluring, heartbeat-tripping memories of an intimacy he hadn’t shared with him since. Or with any of the other men he’d dated the past five months, despite what Jamie thought about his promiscuity.


He needed distance- he’d let Jamie continue to think he fucked other men, if that’s what pushed him away- but Aidan also needed him to understand not just any man would do.

Yet, one of Aiden’s side pieces sees the marks that Jamie leaves on his back.

You leave those marks on him last weekend?

Therefore I can only conclude that something happened between them in order for Nic to see the marks on Aiden’s back. I just want/need to know to what extent.

In book two, the boys are on the trail of the terrorist, Renaud. Unfortunately, he seems to know their every move and is quickly getting rid of any outstanding liability; leaving bodies in his wake. Their boss Mel ends up getting the two out-of-town on another case to hopefully stop Renaud’s pursuits, and get the boys out of harm’s way. However, Mel and Jamie continue to work the Renaud Case unbeknownst to Aiden.

What’s this new case you ask? Well, Jamie is sent undercover as an assistant coach at Charlotte University as his old self, Whiskey Walker while Aiden goes under as his Sports Agent, Ian Daley. Their mission is to find out who is behind an online sports gambling site that is actually a front for an Identity Theft ring. For the most part, I really enjoyed this part of the storyline. What I didn’t like was the jealousy that almost sabotaged their sting. They are professionals for goodness sakes! One would think with what is at stake with their mission (there is more than meets the eyes), that they wouldn’t want to jeopardize it nor one another. But hey, what do I know right?!? I just felt it was out of line for the two Professional FBI agents that the author created; IMO it just didn’t fit/feel right.

In the end, we are left with another cliffhanger, which I feel is not as gripping as the first book nor can I believe it given what we know up to this point. It’s not that it is ridiculous, but given all prior information IMO it just doesn’t seem likely. Now, the author might shock the heck out of me and bring new things to light and if that’s the case….HECK YES! Because I love it when I cannot see what’s coming. All in all, I’m excited to see what is next for these two. I am still waiting for the fallout/repercussions that will happen between Irish, Whiskey and Mel. Oh, and when that does happen…..that will definitely be some serious angst!

Agents Irish and Whiskey Series

Buy Link Amazon Global Author Link GoodReads More Author Reviews

Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Cask Strength (Agents Irish and Whiskey #2) provided by NetGalley via Carina Press in exchange of an honest review.


I love reading books about boys who love other boys <3. Sometimes there is a HEA or HFN, but sometimes it just is. Yes, I love all outcomes even it is not what I hoped for. We all need a good cry from time to time. As you can probably can tell, I love cliffhangers as well. Yeah, I am one of those people :) I read a variety of genres, whether it is dark/taboo, historical, shifters, GFY, SciFi, mysteries/thrillers; I love it all.

Please comment! We'd love to hear from you.