Author: Layla Reyne
Book: Imperial Stout
Series: Trouble Brewing, Book #1
Page/Word Count: 272 pages, 62K words
Categories: Gay Romance, Mystery & Suspense, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 23, 2018
Publisher: Carina Press
Layla Reyne spins off from her pulse-pounding Agents Irish and Whiskey books with Imperial Stout , the first installment in the Trouble Brewing series
It’s a good thing assistant US attorney Dominic Price co-owns a brewery. He could use a cold one. Nic’s star witness has just been kidnapped, his joint operation with the FBI is in jeopardy, his father’s shady past is catching up with him and the hot new special agent in San Francisco is the kind of distraction best handled with a stiff drink.
Kidnap and rescue expert Cameron Byrne has his own ideas about how to handle Nic, but his skills are currently needed elsewhere. The by-the-book FBI agent goes deep undercover as a member of an infamous heist crew in order to save Nic’s witness, break up the crew and close the case before anyone else gets hurt. Nic in particular.
Things heat up when Cam falls for Nic, and the witness falls for Cam. As the crew’s suspicions grow, Cam must decide how far he’s willing to go—and how far into his own dark past he’s willing to dive—to get everyone out alive.
Nic was silent a long minute, the building tension heavy in the small space. “This is why you’re not supposed to get involved with colleagues.”
Finally, an opening. Cam closed the distance between them, winding his arms around Nic and hugging him from behind. Body warm, despite the cool night, Cam wanted to get even closer to it. They might both get burned, but he was done watching the fire from a distance, holding himself back from the heat.
“Technically, we’re not,” he said.
“You have an answer for everything, don’t you?”
“If it wins the argument with you, yes.”
Nic chuckled, hanging his head, and Cam skirted his nose and lips along the nape of his neck. Nic’s quiet laughter died on a breathy gasp.
5✨s – I fell in love with Layla Reyne and her Agents Irish and Whiskey series. When I found out we were getting another trilogy from her, this time for Cam and Nic I was so happy.
On the surface the two men don’t look like they’d work. Both men have their own rules and ways to doing things, but maybe that’s what makes them work. Cam doesn’t let Nic hide from him, despite his best efforts. Nic challenges Cam and the push/pull arguments between them are some of the best moments of their relationship.
Imperial Stout starts off with Nic and Cam in the thick of the action. They’re working together to take down a heist crew, but it seems that everything they try ends end disaster, putting their joint operation in jeopardy.
I love the range that Layla Reyne can write in. This series has a very different feel than the first one. Cam and Nic are very different people compared to Jamie and Aidan and I loved getting to know them more.
Nic is a surprise, as he is perceived as one person but underneath his perfect suits he’s someone else entirely. His past is something he wants to keep locked up tight and I can’t even begin to imagine how everything is going to play out, especially since Cam isn’t going to let him hide for long.
Cam, I was intrigued by Jamie’s best friend. He seemed both stiff, yet fun and easy going at the same time. He takes his job very seriously, loves hard and will do whatever it takes for those he cares about. He’s perfect for Nic as he can take everything thrown at him with the patience and determination needed to get past Nic’s tightly wound control.
All the punches are pulled in this book. Nic and Cam fall together again and again despite the initial resistance. Their jobs become life and death when nothing seems to go the way they want them to. And both their pasts seem to come back to haunt them in very different ways.
When they’re together, when they let everything go and just be together they realize that they might have something. The question I have is, what will Layla Reyne do to them before they’re able to fully explore what they’re brewing?
5✨s – This was an incredible start to this new spinoff series featuring Cam and Nic. Both men are trying to ignore their attraction after a kiss exchanged at Aiden and Jamie’s wedding. Their protective instincts towards each other get tested though, as the action starts immediately and excitement levels remain high all the way through the book. Nic and Cam were introduced in the last series and the UST they generate is off the charts! Be prepared for delayed gratification but I loved that build up and when it peaks, it’s smokin’ hot. My favorite thing about them as a couple is that they’re older, mature men, not young hotshots but guys who use brains more often than brawn.
I didn’t totally grasp the hierarchy of the FBI/US Attorneys working together but It was easy to roll with since it didn’t take anything away from the action or marvelous characters. I’m certainly suspicious of Bowers, Nic’s boss and I hope he gets what he deserves. Nic and Cam have very opposite backgrounds and we find out a lot about Cam through the direction the story takes. Nic’s history is partly revealed but much was left undisclosed for now. I loved that Nic’s mysterious history is inked on his skin. *drools* A tightly written, suspenseful plot is riveting and underpinned by an equally intense story arc carrying over to the next installment.
Characters from the first series are present, which might be a bit confusing if you haven’t read those books. Dynamics previously established aren’t always so easy to pick up from this newest addition but it can be read as a stand-alone. I highly recommend reading this; it’s going to be as good or better a series than Agents Irish and Whiskey. #NetGalley #ImperialStout
5✨s – I am a huge fan of Layla’s Agents Irish and Whiskey series, so I was really excited about getting this spin-off series. Dominic and Cameron are awesome characters and this was a highly entertaining series. There was lots of action and adventure, and the story grabbed me from the very beginning. Dominic has a lot going on in his life. He is a very complex character and is so well written. Cameron was the perfect counterpart to Dominic. I loved the way these two interacted. There was great tension between the two. I could feel their chemistry coming off the page. I was really looking forward to this series and I was not disappointed.
About Layla Reyne:
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. Layla is a member of Romance Writers of America and its Kiss of Death and Rainbow Romance Writers chapters. She was a 2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist in Romantic Suspense.
Where to find Layla Reyne:
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