Reviewed by JustJen
Title: Imperial Stout
Author: Layla Reyne
Series: Trouble Brewing #1
Heroes: Dominic Price/Cameron Byrne
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 272 Pages
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: July 23, 2018
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: 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.
Review: I loved the Irish & Whiskey series, which is where we first meet Nic and Cameron. Unfortunately, this didn’t grab me quite the way that series did. I was a bit confused when this began mostly because I kept feeling like I had missed something. I was looking for more backstory on these two and more buildup to explain their connection. Even without that, it doesn’t take long for the story to take on legs of its own as things pick up.
Much of this story is focused on the case. While Cameron and Nic are both working it from different angles, their paths are intertwined, and though they try to look the other way, their attraction becomes too much and they cross that line. It doesn’t happen until about halfway through the story though, and even longer than that for them to take things further. As I said, a lot of this story is take up by the case, which was a bit confusing on its own. Then there is the other side plot involving Nic’s father. That is something I suspect will be more fully explored in later installments? Anyway, I didn’t fall in love with these guys together as I did with Agents Irish and Whiskey, but it was nice to see them again. Cameron is now partnered with Jamie, but he originally slept with Aidan. It’s all a bit soap opera-ish, but if you’ve read the other series, I think it will make a bit more sense than it sounds.
This story, as the book title suggests, is somewhat centered around the brewery of which Nic is part owner. The references were fun, and it made for an interesting piece of the puzzle. Perhaps we will get to see more of Nic’s partner and friend in future installments.
All in all, while this didn’t have the polish of the other series, it has a lot of potential and room to grow. I’m interested in seeing how things turn out and will definitely be checking out book 2.
Overall Impression: I liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*