barrel proofRating: 4.25 stars
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Length: Novel

FBI Agents Aidan Talley and Jamie Walker seem to finally be closing in on the terrorist Renaud. They have tracked him to his latest hideout, but just as it seems like they finally have him cornered, a fire allows Renaud to escape and threatens their lives. Even as they make their escape however, time runs out for Jamie as Aidan finally learns the truth Jamie has been hiding about Gabe’s involvement with Renaud.

Jamie knew Aidan would be furious that he was keeping secrets, even though Jamie was ordered to do so by his boss (and Aiden’s sister-in-law) Mel. Jamie hopes that Aidan can eventually forgive him, but Aidan needs time to come to terms with the fact that the man he trusted has been lying to him for months.

Even as Aidan and Jamie begin to work through their relationship challenges, they still are continuing to follow Renaud and try to figure out his latest plan. It seems something big is in the works, the culmination of many of Renaud’s plans. Now Aidan and Jamie, along with Mel and the rest of their team, must once again risk their lives to try to track down the terrorist who always seems one step ahead of them.

Barrel Proof is the final book in Layla Reyne’s fabulous Agents Irish and Whiskey series. This has been a fantastic trilogy and Reyne does a wonderful job pulling all the pieces together in this last installment. We get a new aspect of the case to follow, and at the same time, this story wraps up various elements from the previous two books, bringing things all together here quite nicely.

I’ll admit I was a bit worried about this one as I knew we were facing the inevitable conflict between Aidan and Jamie. We knew the secret would be finally coming out, and I was concerned about how much would be destroyed between the men and if their relationship struggles would overshadow the larger suspense elements. But I have to say, I think Reyne handles this all quite well. We get a realistic and understandable response from Aidan, and some clear fall out. But the men are not separated for too long and it is clear that when it is over, their relationship is in a stronger place. I had no doubt that these guys were meant for each other, and they don’t doubt it either. So we get a really nice advancement of the relationship between Aidan and Jamie and the strength they draw from one another helps them as they work through the case.

As I said, the suspense end of the story takes us to a new investigation, but one that also pulls together from elements leading up to this book. It is engaging and exciting and the final resolution felt very satisfying to me. There were a few times where I felt a little lost in the intricacies of things, particularly when they got into some financial angles that were a bit over my head. And I do think the way Aidan’s undercover assignment ends up playing into the bigger picture seems a little too convenient. But overall I think Reyne does a great job wrapping things up here, giving us a twisty story, an exciting climax (or two), and a nice resolution for our heroes and their wider team.

So if you have been following this series, I think you will be really happy with this final book. And if you haven’t started this trilogy, I can highly recommend it. This is an exciting series with really likable characters and some great suspense.

P.S. While the trilogy is over, Reyne does have some spinoff stories coming and I am so excited!

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