Today I am so pleased to welcome Layla Reyne to Joyfully Jay. Layla has come to talk to us about her latest release, Barrel Proof (I loved this series and you can see all my reviews here). She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Layla a big welcome!


With the release of Barrel Proof, the Agents Irish and Whiskey trilogy is complete and our heroes, Aidan and Jamie, finally get their happily ever after. AIW Readers, I can’t thank you enough for taking a chance on a debut author and a romantic suspense series featuring the same main characters for three books. You all embraced me and Irish and Whiskey, and it makes my continuation-series-loving-heart so very happy.

Typically, romance series are structured so that each book exists in the same universe but features a new couple. While I enjoy and write in this format too, I will shout my undying LOVE for continuation series from the hilltops. I relish spending more time with main characters I love. I appreciate a complicated, immersive plot that twists and turns and unfurls piece by piece. And I want to roll around in a romance that builds slowly to a burn, stretching out and developing, as the characters navigate around each other. I want to linger awhile in a couple’s budding friendship, or in their hatred, before they transition to lovers. Not that this can’t be accomplished in one book (Anyta Sunday is a master), but why only one when you can have three? Or more?! As a television addict, the continuation structure, like episodic dramas is natural for me, and I don’t mind a cliffhanger here and there. I like wanting more!

If you enjoyed Agents Irish and Whiskey and want to dive into more continuation series, these are at the top of my list:

The Captive Prince Trilogy by C.S. Pacat – A masterful literary fiction/adventure story set in an alt realm (Ancient Greece + 1400s Versailles) where two rival princes have been banished from their respective kingdoms and are forced to work together if they have any hope of reclaiming them. As an enemies-to-lovers tale, where there is enormous baggage between the main characters, you need three books to make their eventual romance believable. And you definitely need all of that space for the political jostling that occurs in the fight for the realm.

Cut & Run Series by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux – Nine books of swoon-worthy Ty & Zane. No complaints here. Reluctant partners who sizzle with instant chemistry, their physical relationship takes off quickly, but the emotional one builds over the course of the series. We get ups and downs, betrayals and near-deaths, and an overarching mystery as to why they were paired to begin with, that makes their happily ever after at the end so well-earned.

The Executive Office Series by Tal Bauer – A recent read for me that I can’t recommend enough. A widowed President falls for the head of his Secret Security team. Just imagine the complications. You could work through all those in one book, or you could live with Jack and Ethan a little while longer, watch them grow from protectee-protector, to friends, to lovers, and then cheer for them to survive the fall-out. The thrill ride is EPIC!

Writing a continuation series is tricky—you have to make sure the plot and romance are progressing in tandem in each book—and the above authors do it so well. For me, and Agents Irish and Whiskey, I went in with a solid plan for both—a plot chart and a romance chart for each book, plus two more, plot and romance, for the series as a while—and I’m happy to say I followed them pretty closely through to the end. I wonder how closely I’ll stick to the plot and romance charts I made today for the next Whiskey ’Verse trilogy. Can you guess who?

[note from Jay: We loved these series too and you can check out our reviews for Captive Prince, Cut & Run, and Executive Office here]


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


Layla-Reyne-PhotoAuthor 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.


Photo of giveaway prize!Layla has brought (2) HUGE Agents Irish & Whiskey Gift Packs including: 1 Kindle Fire Tablet, 1 Agents Irish & Whiskey mug, and surprise swag! (Ships to US/Canada only; international winners will receive Amazon Gift Card: $35) to give away on her tour. Just follow the Rafflecopter below to enter. 

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FILED UNDER: Giveaway, Guest Post
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