Wednesday, August 9, 2017

BARREL PROOF -- Deleted Scene, Excerpt, and Giveaway!

Barrel Proof, the final book in Reyne's M/M romantic suspense series, came out Monday. To celebrate, I've got not only an excerpt from it but also a deleted scene from book 1, Single Malt!

Oh! And there's a blog tour giveaway at the end as well. :)

Not every scene from an early draft makes it into the final book. It’s hard to “kill our darlings,” but sometimes we have to for pacing and other considerations. But luckily for readers that means extra content. I hope you’ll enjoy this deleted scene from SINGLE MALT (Agents Irish and Whiskey #1) between Jamie and Aidan’s mother, Ellen, that takes place just before Jamie picks up Aidan at the Tavern. Happy Reading!
~ Layla Reyne

Deleted Scene: Single Malt

Jamie parked his Jeep at the curb in front of Aidan’s house and wondered if his partner had given him the right address. The black Aston Martin in the driveway and pink party decorations on the porch indicated yes, but this modest Silicon Valley rancher was not where one expected to find the heir to an Irish shipping fortune and his football player turned investment banker husband. Jamie would have guessed Aidan and Gabe had settled in nearby Woodside, close to Aidan’s parents. They’d had the means to afford it. Then again, with their jobs keeping Aidan and Gabe on the go, a big house would have been a waste.

The porch light switched on and the front door swung open, an older woman stepping outside. She peered into the dark and gave Jamie a friendly wave. “You must be Whiskey,” she said in a lilting Irish accent, as Jamie made his way up the drive. In the glow of the porch light, her auburn hair, streaked with white, and autumn eyes were unmistakable.

He stepped onto the porch and extended his hand. “Jamie Walker,” he greeted. “And you must be Aidan’s mother, Mrs. Talley.”

“Please, call me Ellen.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Ellen. Aidan asked me to give him a lift to the airport.”

“I’m afraid he’s not here.” Steps heavy, shoulders slumped, she shuffled around the patio, pulling down the streamers and balloons. Her posture, taken together with Aidan’s absence, told Jamie everything he needed to know.

“The party didn’t go well,” he surmised.

Ellen shook her head. “Little Katie… She seemed okay for a bit but she had a tough go of it in the end.” She lowered herself into a wooden rocker and gestured for Jamie to take the other.

“I’m sorry to hear that,” he said. “I hate to be bearer of bad news, but there’ll probably be more tough birthdays in her future.”

“Oh, I know,” the other woman said. “You speak from experience too?”

“I lost my father when I was about her age.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. Was it sudden?”

Jamie almost laughed. It wasn’t often he ran into someone who didn’t know his sad story. “It was a work accident,” he said, not getting into the details of the headline-making factory fire that had killed his father.

“Does Aidan know?” Ellen asked.

His gaze drifted out over the blooming roses, their long stems reaching for the sky. “It hasn’t come up,” he answered, though he suspected Aidan did know. It was another reason the media had latched on to Jamie and never let go. A real rags to riches tale. The scrawny kid whose daddy died in the chicken plant fire and whose widowed mama struggled to raise him and his sister. The kid who grew up to be a two-time NCAA basketball champion, Tourney MVP, and NBA wash-out.

“I’m sorry for your loss,” Ellen said softly. “But if you have it in you to talk about it, maybe my son could better understand what Katie’s going through, other than what her doctors say.”

“The shrinks can only do so much.” He recalled the woefully inept grief counselor his father’s employer had been forced to hire. Aidan’s niece probably had the best doctors money could buy, but for Jamie, it had been his classmates and teachers who’d kept him afloat. “Is she back in preschool? That’s what got me through.”

Ellen nodded. “It was touch and go the first day. She’s been glued to Aidan since the accident, but her teachers got her settled. She’s a social little thing.”

“But not today?”

“She thought…” Ellen swallowed hard, blinking back tears. “We got to the presents, and Aidan saved his for last. It was a bracelet with a pony charm on it.”

Jamie’s breath caught, reminded of his suggestion, but he didn’t speak, as Ellen continued on.

“He’d called the jeweler on the way home last night, paid God-only-knows-what to get it delivered in time. He’d do anything for that little girl. She didn’t even unwrap it. Just said it’s not what she wanted, because it wasn’t her Uncle Gabe.”

Leaning forward, Jamie propped his elbows on his knees and covered his gaping mouth with a hand. He knew too well the crushing disappointment Katie had felt today. That first Christmas after his dad died, he’d been sure Santa would bring him back. He recalled the pain on his mother’s face when he’d said as much.

“I’m sure that was hard on Aidan,” he said.

“The last thing he ever wanted to do was break her heart more.”

“And now he has to leave.”

Ellen wiped her eyes and straightened her spine. “It’s his job. He promised to call Friday for story time. You’ll make sure he keeps that promise?”

“Yes, ma’am.” Jamie stood, brushing his hands off on his jeans. “Where can I find him? I’ll take care of him.” Maybe he was overstepping his bounds, but Jamie didn’t care. Aidan was his partner, and Jamie wanted to be his friend too, even if the rules said they couldn’t be more.

Standing, Ellen wrung her long-fingered hands, so much like her son’s. “He took a car to the Tavern, back in Woodside. You know it?”

He nodded and turned to go, then remembered his manners. “It was nice to meet you, Ellen,” he said, holding out his hand once more.

“You too, Jamie.” She firmly gripped his hands in both of hers. “I’m glad Aidan has you. After losing Gabe. . .”

“Truth be told, I’m not sure your son likes me all that much.”

She smiled, small but true. “I raised a smart boy. He’ll come around.”

“I sure hope so.”

(c) 2017. Layla Reyne. 

Single Malt by Layla Reyne
Publisher: Carina Press (February 1, 2017)
Series: Agents Irish and Whiskey Series, 1
Genre: Romantic Suspense -- M/M Romance

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.

Where to Buy*:
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And now for a sexy excerpt from book 3, Barrel Proof!

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.

~Layla Reyne

Barrel Proof by Layla Reyne
Publisher: Carina Press (August 7, 2017)
Series: Agents Irish and Whiskey Series, 3
Genre: Romantic Suspense -- M/M Romance

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.

Where to Buy*:
More Info:

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.

Where to Find Layla:

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I so need to start this series -- I have all 3 on my Kindle. I sense a binge coming soon . . . 

Have you read any of this series yet?


Until Next Time,

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