Cask Strength (Audio Review)

Title: Cask Strength (Agents Irish and Whiskey #2)
Author: Layla Reyne and Tristan James
Publisher: Harlequin Audio
Release Date: August 7th 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Mystery / Romance
Length: 6 hrs and 58 mins
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 2 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.

** Cliffhanger Alert!! **

Only the fact that I love Tristan James’s narration, and that I already bought the third book, kept me listening to this story.

Honestly? I was absolutely not the right audience for this. Between the callous treatment of Jamie by Aidan, Aidan’s behavior in total, Jamie’s spinelessness in their cough cough relationship, the continued withholding of extremely sensitive information from Aidan by Mel, Danny, and Jamie…it was just all so wrong – and almost specifically designed to make me lose my mind.

Plus there’s a continuous overwhelming feeling of dread underlying the story waiting for that bombshell to explode, all the unnecessary manufactured angst, and the bombshell cliffhanger? I spent most of my time writhing in fury with a red haze in front of my eyes.

Obviously I’m in the minority with my opinion and I firmly believe other’s experiences will vary quite wildly.

Kudos to Tristan James though, it was his narration that really kept me going, because man, this story drove me absolutely crazy, and then it ends with another cliffhanger, which means that I have to listen to book three to (hopefully) get some closure.

4 stars for the narration – 1 star for the story.

Agents Irish and Whiskey

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I am an unapologetic book addict/lover. I’m happiest when reading and I spend most of my time with my Kindle, which is never far from my hand.
I love to be told a good story! I mostly read fiction: Romance, Erotica, Young Adult, New Adult, Paranormal (shifters? Yes, please!), a little BDSM when I’m in the mood, and I love a good ménage story. I DEFINITELY PREFER A HFN/HEA!

My biggest no-no’s are cheating, miscommunication / misunderstanding plots, unnecessary angst, and cliffhangers.

A sampling of my “Favorite M/M” stories:

Carry the Ocean The Half of Us Red Dirt Heart Adulting 101 Tied Up In Knots
Shelter the Sea Manties in a Twist David, Renewed Ethan who Loved Carter Perfect Imperfections
Wolfsong Fight the Tide How to Walk Like A Man The Lightning-Struck Heart Forging the Future


  • wow. harsh. but thanks for telling it straight.
    Tristan James is a fantastic narrator.
    I will listen to this just to hear his take on the story.
    Find your reviews entertaining and accurate.

    • Thank you! But, just remember, there’s a hat for every head, and I was definitely in the super minority with how much this bugged me. Everyone else I know – literally almost everyone – loved this series.


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