Title: Single Malt
Author: Layla Reyne
Series: Agents Irish and Whiskey #1
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: 2/27/2017
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance, M/M Bisexual, M/M Military / Law Enforcement
Page Count: 194
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
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.
Great dialogue, chemistry, and an interesting investigation
Single Malt is a fast paced story that never stops moving. It follows a new FBI partnership tasked with investigating the hacking of a contagious disease laboratory. As expected with a plot involving new partners, there’s tension as Jamie and Aiden learn more about one another and adjust to working together. There’s also the romance element. Despite Aiden being widowed eight months prior, a healthy dose of attraction flows between the main characters. The recent loss of Aiden’s spouse and his and Jamie’s working relationship leads to a lot of back and forth as the men try to tamp down their attraction.
The writing style is a bit different. Before I began reading romance, I almost exclusively read mysteries and forensic crime novels. Single Malt reminds me more of those genres with the amount of detailed information lobbed at the reader rather quickly. The romance is certainly central to the story, but it isn’t the star of the plot for me and really doesn’t develop much until the latter part of the book. When it does catch fire, the chemistry and tension that simmers throughout the story combusts, so there’s certainly no disappointment there. However, readers anticipating the law enforcement angle to take a back seat to the love story may be surprised.
The dialogue is fantastic. It is fast, witty, and done in a fun back and forth style between Aiden and Jamie that brings out their personalities while quickly advancing the plot and investigation. The first part of the book is a bit of a disjointed whirlwind, setting the stage for the partnership and rushing through the characters’ backgrounds and first case. However, that breakneck pace evens out to a focused energy and I really enjoyed the twists and turns the investigation took. The relationship between Aiden and Jamie feels very natural owing to their palpable chemistry, and left me looking forward to how it progresses in the next book. More than that, I am eager to see what happens with their partnership, their next case, and the advancement of a side plotline that just began heating up in Single Malt.