Agents Irish and Whiskey: Blended Whiskey – Layla Reyne
Aidan “Irish” Talley
Jameson “Whiskey” Walker
together with their family and friends
request the honor of your presence
at their wedding
Saturday, the Seventeenth of March
Two Thousand and Eighteen
at High Noon
Half Moon Bay, California
3 Stars – not exactly setting my world on fire but I liked it
Soundtrack: This is the Life
Artist: Two Door Cinema Club
Album: Tourist History
Agents Irish and Whiskey: Barrel Proof – 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.
After meh ratings on Single Malt and Cask Strength, Barrel Proof, managed to rack up three stars. This is mostly thanks to the narrator Tristan James, who did a superb job wringing out the emotions in that dramatic scene after Cuba. He’s also awesome with accents, doing everything from Bostonian, Irish, Southern and Czech.
Barrel Proof is all about the end game. Here, we finally meet the notorious and mysterious Renaud who was out for revenge against Silicon Valley execs and financial bigwigs. This is also where we get the most action, starting with that explosive Cuban confrontation and ending with a suspenseful kidnapping situation where everybody had to pray for Mel. Because the book was case-focused, there were less annoying moments where Aidan and Jamie acted ridiculously emotional and more of them doing their jobs.
Mel, Danny and Jamie’s bestfriend, Cam were all in on the action. Lauren, with her hacking skills and quirks, was a great addition to the team. Nick the prosecutor also had major pagetime/airtime here and he was not the asshole they made him out to be in the second book. In fact, he turned out to be a really good ally and an interesting character too so maybe a Nick book please? We could all do with more of Nick’s sartorial polish.
Overall, this series garnered high reviews from fans but for me, there were a lot of unnecessary angst and drama, mediocre storytelling and long drawn out cases that could have been solve faster had everybody been as smart as they purport to be.
3 Stars – not exactly setting my world on fire but I liked it
Soundtrack: Bonfire Heart
Artist: James Blunt
Album: Moon Landing
Agents Irish and Whiskey: Cask Strength – 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.
This was marginally better than the first. For one, this airport scene is the best:
Mouth dry, heart racing, cheeks burning, Jamie’s fingers twitched with the urge to weave through the long red strands. Reaching down instead, he grabbed his phone, held it between his palms, and wedged his clasped hands between his knees, forestalling his impulse. He tried to force out a “hello,” but his brain refused to cooperate, all the blood in his body having raced south where his jeans became painfully tight.
He was gone. So far gone. Past casual, past a crush, past simple attraction.
I am now also mildly interested in the mystery of Aidan’s late husband’s connection with the terrorist and what Mel’s doing. I think this Renaud mystery could have been solved in book one already but book two had to end with a cliffhanger so we have to read the third book just to see things through. What a hassle! The basketball story was nothing spectacular and there were elements of predictability. It was pretty easy to guess the mastermind behind the identity theft ring once the character was introduced.
As I listened to the audio book, I love Aidan laying his Irish accent on thick as part of his disguise as sports agent. Jamie as Whiskey Walker, assistant coach was a good hiding-in-plain-sight twist with the added complication of his ex showing up on campus. I am still not a fan of the partners-to-lovers trope as shown here because there were too many emotional entanglements and unnecessary drama. It made the two agents who were otherwise competent, seem unprofessional and too emotionally compromised to do their jobs properly. Thank god for Cam, the voice of reason and sense, who didn’t even bat an eyelash at the scandalous photos nor made any snide comments at how the two agents are carrying on.
So, I’m still not getting why it has such high ratings in GR. Granted, there has been some improvements but I wouldn’t really go out of my way to recommend this series.
2.5 Stars – far from hate but not quite a like
Soundtrack: Why Oh Why
Artist: Spearhear & Michael Franti
Album: Chocolate Supa Highway
Agents Irish and Whiskey: Single Malt – Layla Reyne
The 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.
God, I was bored. I found myself tuning out majority of the time because it was so dull. If this was an ebook, I wouldn’t be able to finish this. But I had the audiobook and I enjoyed Aidan’s Irish brogue and Jamie’s southern drawl enough to go through the whole thing but it mostly felt like a chore. Both agents were likeable but I couldn’t care less about the the mystery, the romance and the characters. A lot of people seem to love this. I’m beginning to think contemporary books and me just don’t click. I should stick with the historical, paranormal or magical.
2 Stars – it’s a struggle to finish the damn book
Soundtrack: 300 M.P.H. Torrential Outpour Blues
Artist: The White Stripes
Album: Icky Thump