Medley (Changing Lanes #2) by Layla Reine

Sebastian Stewart was never Mr. Dependable; he was more the good-time guy who only wanted to swim, party, and ink tattoos. Until he cost his team the Olympic gold four years ago. Bas is determined to do right this time around—by his medley relay team and his rookie mentee.
Jacob Burrows is in over his head. The Olympic experience—from the hazing, to the endless practices, to the unrelenting media—makes the shy nineteen-year-old’s head spin. He’s trying to be everything to everyone while trying not to fall for his gorgeous tattooed teammate who just gets him—gets his need to fix things, his dorky pirate quips, and his bisexuality.
When Jacob falters under the stress, threatening his individual races and the medley relay gold, he needs Bas’s help to escape from drowning. Bas, however, fearing a repeat of his mistakes four years ago, pushes Jacob away, sure he’ll only let Jacob down. But the only path to salvaging gold is for Jacob to finally ask for what he needs—the heart of the man he loves—and for Bas to become the dependable one.

I’ve really liked this series as well as both Jacob and Bas when they were introduced in Relay, the first book in Layla Reyne’s Changing Lanes. I fell in love with this author’s writing when I picked up Single Malt, the first book in her Agents Irish and Whiskey series. From that moment on, she landed on my “must read” list and I haven’t been disappointed yet.

Oh Bas and Jacob… they were so perfect together… and such a royal mess apart. *sigh* Sebastian had his reasons for keeping his distance. There was a lot riding on their performance and Bas couldn’t risk screwing up as badly as he did the first times team had made it this far.

Jacob was hard to resist though. He was fun, quirky and even though he was the youngest and least experienced, he quickly proved himself as the “heart” of their team. He was loyal, fun and wasn’t afraid to stand behind his team mates regardless of what they faced. Sebastian didn’t really give himself enough credit and didn’t realize how much he had grown in four years. He also didn’t realize that he wasn’t the same person as he was then – and Jacob wasn’t the same person he walked away from then either.

There was still some left over drama from Relay and I loved how tight this group of men proved themselves to be. There were moments when I wanted to knock some sense into both Bas and Jacob, but they got their act together by the end. 😉

I can’t wait to see what Layla Reyne has in store for readers next 😉

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Relay (Changing Lanes #1) by Layla Reine

Captain is not a title Alejandro “Alex” Cantu takes lightly. Elected by his teammates to helm the US Men’s Swim Team, he proudly accepts the role, despite juggling endless training, team administrative work, and helping out on the family farm. And despite his ex-lover, Dane Ellis—swimming’s biggest star—also making the Olympic Team.
Dane has been a pawn in his celebrity parents’ empire from crib to pool, flashing his camera-ready smile on demand and staying deeply in the closet. Only once did he drop the act—the summer he fell in love with Alex. Ten years later, Dane longs to cut his parents’ strings, drop his too-bright smile, and beg Alex for another chance.
Alex, though, isn’t ready to forgive and forget, and Dane is a distraction he doesn’t need on his team, until an injury forces Alex to accept Dane as his medley relay anchor. Working together, their passion reignites. When Dane’s parents threaten reprisal and Alex is accused of doping, the two must risk everything to prove Alex’s innocence, to love one another, and to win back their spots on the team, together.

I love finding new authors. When that author’s grabs you from the very first book, it’s even better. That’s exactly the category that Layla Reyne has fallen into for me. From the very first book (Single Malt) in her Agents Irish and Whiskey series I was hooked and couldn’t wait until the next book was released. The fact that this was her very first book continues to amaze me. Yep, the series was just that good. Now she’s got another series that I can’t wait to continue. 🙂

Relay is one of those books that I was grateful for POVs from both characters. Otherwise, I may not have liked Dane nearly as much as I did. For as together and privileged as he seemed on the outside, he was more than a little broken on the inside. Alex didn’t have that luxury though. All he saw was the man who had hurt him years ago. He had no idea the internal battle that Dane was going through or how much he regretted his past actions. He didn’t have the time or patience to deal with Dane while he was going through personal battles of his own.

There was so much to love about this book. I loved the turning point where Alex saw just enough to make him want to reach out to Dane. I loved the supporting characters, especially Alex’s larger than life family. I loved the connection and attraction between Dane and Alex that became too much for either of them to ignore. I also loved the lengths Dane was willing to go to protect and clear Alex. There were also more than enough characters to loath in Relay and a couple to strongly dislike – if only for a little while.

So yeah, this series is off to a great start and I can’t wait to see what Layla Reyne has in store for the team in Medley, the next book in Changing Lanes.

Tequila Sunrise (Agents Irish & Whiskey #4) by Layla Reyne

Former FBI agent Melissa “Mel” Cruz spent years skirting the line between life and death, knowing the next assignment might be her last. Back from overseas and eager to enjoy life outside the Bureau, she’s ready to give Danny Talley a Christmas Eve he’ll never forget.
A proven asset in high stakes missions, Danny’s known for having the skill and brains to get the job done. When the Talley Flag Ship is hijacked during the company holiday party, he’ll do anything to save his family, his love, and everything they’ve all worked so hard to build. But their enemies have a secondary protocol—leave no survivors—and that plan is already in play.
Navigating through a tangled web of lies and betrayal, Mel and Danny race against the clock to retake the ship before their future goes up in flames. As the seconds tick down, they’re forced to face their greatest fear—losing each other.

This may have been a short and sweet glimpse of Danny and Mel, but there was most definitely nothing lacking. I also made a point of tagging this one M/F Romance because the rest of the books in the series were all M/M and featured Mel’s brother-in-law and Danny’s brother. Although Aidan and Jamie played important roles in Tequila Sunrise, this book was all Danny and Mel’s and I loved every minute of it. 😉

Readers were not only treated to a new story in this series, but they were given tidbits of Danny and Mel’s history from the beginning of the series. It’s kinda fun to see things that you didn’t know were happening in the ‘shadows’ to other characters in the same time frame. The really great part about this holiday read was that it gave readers some extra time with characters that they may not have been quite ready to say goodbye to when the series ended.

Nothing’s easy when it comes to this family, but the one thing that they never have to worry about is doing it alone. They always have each other’s back and giving up isn’t part of their mindset – even when the odds seem to be totally against them.

Getting to know Mel and Danny a little better was a great way to put the finishing touch on this great series. I can’t wait to see what Layla Reyne has in store for readers next.

Cask Strength (Agents Irish and Whiskey #2) by Layla Reyne

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.

The plot thickens… Single Malt ended with quite a revelation – that Jamie promised not to share with Aidan. It also left Jamie in a very precarious position. He was getting closer to Aidan and secrets between lovers never ends well.

I gotta say, I’m loving this series and Cask Strength cemented that feeling. Even though these two characters broke my heart – more than once. Jamie was all in when it came to his feelings about Aidan. The only thing was that Aidan was only all in when he was physically with Jamie. Nothing’s ever exactly what it seems and things started getting really interesting when the agents went under cover.

I don’t want to give too much away, but both Jamie and Aidan thought they had reason to be jealous. Jamie seemed to be in his element when he got back on the court. Then lines started blurring when Aidan worked under cover way too well.

As things in the identity theft case started to wrap up, the case they left behind took another strange turn. The cliff hanger in Cask Strength wasn’t quite as crazy… well, not in the same way, anyway… as Single Malt. That doesn’t mean that I can’t wait to pick up Barrel Proof. Even though I’m pretty sure I’m not going to be ready to say goodbye to Jamie or Aidan, Cask Strength ended in a twist that I never saw coming and I’m kinda hoping that there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation, but…

Single Malt (Agents Irish & Whiskey #1) by Layla Reyne

singlemaltThe heart’s a resilient beast
Eight months after the car crash that changed everything, FBI agent Aidan Talley is back at work. New department, new case and a new partner. Smart, athletic and handsome, Jameson Walker is twelve years his junior. Even if Aidan was ready to move on—and he’s not—Jamie is off-limits.
Jamie’s lusted after Aidan for three years, and the chance to work with San Francisco’s top agent directly is too good to pass up. Aidan is prickly—to put it mildly—but a growing cyber threat soon proves Jamie’s skills invaluable.
Jamie’s talents paint a target on his back, and Aidan is determined to protect him. But with hack after hack threatening a high-security biocontainment facility, time is running out to thwart a deadly terrorist attack. They’ll have to filter out distractions, on the case and in their partnership, to identify the real enemy, solve the case and save thousands of lives, including their own.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I’ve got a few fellow readers/bloggers whose advice I take when they send me a book recommendation, no questions asked. That’s why that even though Layla Reyne was a new author, when I was told Single Malt was a book that I needed to read, I jumped on it. One book in and I can already tell that I’ll be pouncing on each book in the Agents Irish & Whiskey as soon as they’re available.

Aidan was broken, but he had a huge support system, which included his boss/sister-in-law. Jamie’s been attracted to Aiden for years, but out of respect for Jamie’s marriage he never acted on those feelings. Of course things get complicated when they become partners.

I loved the connection between Aidan and Jamie, but there were a lot of other things going on in Single Malt. There was danger, mystery, guilt and strong family/friend connections that introduce a lot of great characters that I can’t wait to get to know better. It basically looks like Agents Irish & Whiskey is going to have pretty much everything I love about romantic suspense.

Then there was the ending… let’s just say things are going to get really interesting and the second book in the series, Cask Strength can’t come soon enough.

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