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.
Early reviews about Barrel Proof
Aidan snatched his hands away. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“She ordered me not to.”
“Wrong answer.” He rocketed out of the chair, snatched a tumbler off the table by the door and hurled it at the opposite wall, glass shattering.
“Aidan, please, stop.” Jamie used a bedpost to haul himself to standing, swaying. He moved toward his partner, putting as little weight as possible on the braced leg, the pain excruciating but not as unbearable as the thought of losing Aidan. “You’re going to hurt yourself.”
Aidan grabbed another glass and heaved again, keeping him back. “Why the fuck didn’t you tell me?”
“I didn’t want to break your heart until I knew the whole story.”
“Too late, baby.” He spat the cherished endearment, full of spite and hatred.
The verbal punch landed right where he intended, robbing Jamie of breath. “Irish, please,” he whispered hoarsely. “I’m sorry.”
Aidan shot forward, forcing Jamie back to seated. “I trusted you, with my back and my heart, and you lied to me for months.”
“I’m sorry, I thought I was protecting you.” Jamie reached for him, and Aidan batted his hand away.
“Wrong! We protect each other. Keeping critical information from me about our case, about Gabe and Tom, about my family, is not protection. It’s lying. And me not knowing the full story means I can’t protect them or you.” His shrill voice pained Jamie’s ears.
“Renaud came after my husband, he came after my partner, he came after me. Fuck, Jamie, he keeps coming after me, and now he’s coming after you too. And my brother and my best friend. Maybe even my goddaughter. You didn’t think I needed to know that? I could lose them. I could lose you! I told you what would happen if I loved and lost you.”
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” Jamie stood and reached for Aidan’s arm again.
Aidan wrestled him off, shoving his chest two-handed and sending him splaying back on the bed. “I can’t, Whiskey.” Chest heaving, his harsh breaths and harsher words came out a strangled blow. “I can’t do this.”
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.