Barrel Proof (Agents Irish and Whiskey #3) by Layla Reyne

 

FBI agents Aidan “Irish” Talley and Jameson “Whiskey” Walker can’t get a moment’s peace. Their hunt for the terrorist Renaud seems to be nearing an end, until a fire allows him to slip through their fingers—and puts Jamie’s life in danger. When Jamie is nearly killed, Aidan learns how many forms loss can take.

 

Aidan says I love you just moments before learning that Jamie’s been keeping a devastating secret about Aidan’s late husband. How quickly trust and love can go up in flames. When Aidan requests a solo undercover assignment, Jamie hopes Aidan will find a way to forgive him.

 

But the explosions are far from over. Aidan’s cover lands him in the heart of the terrorist’s conspiracy, and Jamie will have to put his life, his career and his freedom on the line to save the man who has become his entire world. Partners, always is a promise he intends to keep.

 

A heart-pounding, romantic conclusion to the Agents Irish and Whiskey series.”

 

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EXCERPT

Aidan put one knee to the bed, swung the other over Jamie’s lap, and cupped his cheeks in his hands, drawing him in. It wasn’t the lip smashing, teeth clashing kiss Jamie was used to from Aidan. It was slow, devouring, and tinged with the unmistakable taste of goodbye.

Afraid ratcheted up to terrified.

“Baby,” he murmured against Aidan’s lips, the one word trembling.

“Shh, Whiskey.” Aidan pulled back enough to yank off his shirt, then started back in for another kiss. Jamie stopped him, holding his face slightly away and forcing his gaze.

Goodbye was in his eyes too.

Jamie shot past terrified to devastated. “No,” he breathed, barely a whisper.

Aidan shook off the hold and drove a hand into his hair, pulling Jamie in for another melancholy-laced kiss. So little light, so much darkness, and as Jamie ran his tongue along Aidan’s, the tang of tequila and whiskey.

Slow, like the kiss, Aidan’s hands began to rove, as if he were memorizing the texture of his hair, the scruff covering his jaw, the breadth and width of his shoulders. A cool palm flattened over his tattoo, over his heart. The touch was gentle, not the usual digging pressure of Aidan’s fingers.

Bidding farewell.

A whimper escaped Jamie’s lips. His heart was at war with itself. He needed to retreat, to beg and plead with Aidan to stay and give him another chance, but if his partner’s mind was made up, there’d be no changing it now. And if he tried, if he argued, he might not get this last kiss, this last chance to make love to the man who would forever carry his heart, wherever his life went.

Without him.

Conceding the inevitable and accepting the disaster of his own creation, Jamie admitted defeat and surrendered.

 


Barrel Proof by Layla Reyne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

Barrel Proof is the final book in the Irish & Whiskey series (this is definitely one that must be read in order). The main focus of the story is the wrap-up of the ongoing investigation that we’ve been following since book 1. There’s a lot of (A LOT OF) explanations and tying up loose ends. I thought it was a little extra and over-the-top at times, to be honest. It was, however, very well plotted and obvious the author put a lot of work into creating this crime/mystery that spans three books.

The romance between Aidan and Jamie was like driving a fast car that keeps stalling out. It went super fast, then slow, then super fast, then slow… It’s been an ongoing frustration I’ve had in this series, Aidan’s reluctance in his relationship with Jamie. And we have it still at the beginning of this book. But then, from one second to the next, everything changes and Aidan jumps all in. At first, I was ecstatic about that because, hey, it’s what I’ve been waiting three books for. However, by the time I got to the epilogue, their relationship felt super rushed. I was actually wanting to yell out to Aidan to slow down and hold his horses. But ultimately I’m glad the guys got their HEA in the end because they definitely earned it.

My best piece of advice? Binge this series. Each book is a cliffhanger for the next, and there is a lot of continuation from book one to book three. There isn’t a lot of summarization as I’ve become used to in other book series. I read Cask Strength three months and about 80 books ago, so a lot of the details were a little fuzzy. Don’t be like me. Binge these so you can fully appreciate them.

If you’re a fan of detective/suspense novels, especially ones with some romance and steam, pick this series up.

A copy of this book was received through NetGalley for review on OMGReads.

View all my reviews

 

Author 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.

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