Two M/M Book Reviews: Cask Strength and Back Piece

Posted May 12, 2017 by shooting in Book Review / 16 Comments

Cask Strength by Layla Reyne

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: 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.

Review: This is actually the second book in the Agents Irish and Whiskey series. I feel like I’ve been saying this a lot, but I requested it not realizing there was a book before this one – with the same  characters. While it’s something I’d like to read at some point, I didn’t feel lost starting with the second book. There is an overarching mystery that the author does a good job filling you in on, and then there is a more prominent mystery that is unique to this particular book. As for Irish and Whiskey, this is the book where the two finally start to admit to more than physical attraction for each other. Well, Whiskey has long fallen for Irish, but after losing his husband, Irish isn’t so sure he can handle getting too close to anyone else.

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I thought the partnership between these two men was great. Yes, they had the romance element, but in general, they fit well together. They always had each other’s back and genuinely cared about the other’s safety and well being. The mysteries in the book were well done and I never really knew what was happening throughout. It kept me in suspense and happy to read. The overarching mystery has new layers added to it in this book, which will be focused on in the third book. As for the mystery for this particular book, everything is revealed and wrapped up, so all in all, there isn’t much of a cliffhanger. Granted, I still can’t wait for the next book!

Back Piece by L.A. Witt

Review by Lauren
source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: Colin Spencer is a tattoo artist with a past he’d prefer to keep a secret. Actually, he has a few secrets that he’d rather people didn’t know about, which is why Colin doesn’t do commitment. But when a shy sailor approaches him at the gym, Colin finds this guy pushing all his buttons.
Growing up in a conservative family, then escaping with the Navy, Daniel Moore is an unsure virgin who feels like he can’t share his true self with anyone. Seeing Colin—and his tattoos—at the gym are the sign Daniel needs to finally get those tattoos he’s always wanted, and maybe try his hand at flirting.
As Colin and Daniel spend more time together, their awkward hesitations turn into a deep passion neither expected. But with both men harboring secrets, will their relationship be able to survive their insecurities and become something beautiful?
Review: I’ve read other books by Witt in the past, and they are definitely an author I love. Back Piece was just another book full of great characters and if you like men in uniform, Daniel is in the Navy! 
In simple terms, this book is about Colin Spencer who is a tattoo artist with a lot of difficulties in his past that will always affect him. As for Daniel, he joined the Navy to get away from his family – who he loves, but they don’t know he’s gay. Because of his upbringing, Colin has never really been with a guy, so when he meets Colin, he’s definitely nervous to know that Colin has a lot more experience than he does.
What I loved about these two guys is that neither of them made each other feel bad about their past or shortcomings. Colin was patient with Daniel when it came to the physical nature of their relationship and he didn’t want Daniel to come out to his parents until he was truly ready. At the same time, Daniel listens to Colin’s confessions and revelations about his past without judging him or making him feel bad. They definitely work together well.
Back Piece is an enjoyable read. I felt like you really got to know Colin and Daniel -and the secondary characters in their lives – and it was a nice balance between the overall story line and the romance between the two.

16 responses to “Two M/M Book Reviews: Cask Strength and Back Piece

  1. This is a well-written constructed review. I really love your professional approach to this article. I am glad to see how easily you were able to include all necessary points.

  2. I’m not a big mystery reader, but the first book sounds really good! The tattoo one sounds like a nice romance novel and that the two characters really help each other build up from their pasts.

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

  3. Great reviews! I’ve never read either author, but the second one sounds really good. I do like series books, so maybe I’ll look for the first one too.

  4. I hate to judge a book by its cover but uhm back peace… 😮 meow!!

    Oh, where was I? Yes. This looks good. And you know I do love me a good mystery, thanks for sharing such great and insightful reviews with us!! Xoxo

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