Today I am so pleased to welcome Layla Reyne to Joyfully Jay. Layla has come to talk to us about her latest release, Variable Onset (and be sure to check out my review later today). Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
In Variable Onset, a standalone m/m romantic mystery, a prickly FBI instructor meets his match—and undercover husband—in the brash, flirtatious former student who made his early professor days hell… and who always had the hots for teacher. With their cold case suddenly heating up, will things get too hot to handle, in their fake relationship and in their investigation? Ready on for an excerpt!
They were both laughing as they emerged onto the ground floor, and Carter would have missed the imminent danger if not for Lincoln’s cufflink reflecting off the sun streaming through the window at the far end of the hallway. The same window bearing the reflection of a security guard about to round the corner. They were going to be seen.
Better to be seen for the wrong-wrong reason than the right-wrong reason. And he needed to buy a few seconds to compute a cover. He grasped Lincoln by the biceps and spun him, so his back hit the wall, Carter barely catching the falling computer bag.
“What are you—”
Carter covered Lincoln’s mouth with his fingertips, lowered his bag to the floor with the other hand, and crowded close, nuzzling his cheek and whispering in his ear, “Bogey, coming around the far corner.”
“Hey!” the guard called. “What are you two doing in here?”
Lincoln’s heart raced, pounding hard enough for Carter to feel against his chest. Other parts of Lincoln’s body reacted too, his cock hardening against Carter’s thigh, which was thrust between Lincoln’s legs. And oh how Carter wished that guard would somehow miraculously disappear. Wished they were alone so he could reach a hand down and palm Lincoln through his slacks. Or better yet, drop to his knees, unzip his pants, and get a—
“Hey!” the guard called again, voice louder, closer.
Carter rotated his face toward the guard, hiding Lincoln from view, just in case. “Work,” he said, his own voice strangled, much like his erection, hardening more every second he remained pressed against Lincoln. “Doing some consulting work for the chancellor on the labs upstairs.”
“This don’t look like consulting work,” the guard said, only a few feet from them.
Lincoln’s chin landed on his shoulder. “We’re newlyweds. Thought we were the only ones in here.”
Jesus Christ. Lincoln really was going to kill him.
The guard had a few choice curses for them too, including “Because students fucking like rabbits isn’t bad enough.”
Carter reached into his coat pocket and withdrew a paper bag. “How about some biscuits for your trouble?”
“Barry’s, from Flour Power.” He tossed the greasy bag to the guard, wished him “Good eatin’,” then, snatching up Lincoln’s messenger bag with one hand, grabbed Lincoln’s hand with the other and hauled them out the exit door before the guard could question them further.
Outside, the lingering pink on Lincoln’s cheeks made Carter want to crowd him up against another wall. But Lincoln wrenched his hand loose and snatched away his bag before Carter got the chance. “You better run back by the café on your way home from the station.”
Did he even realize what he was saying? Or how domestic that sounded? How much it made Carter’s chest warm and ache at the same time? He covered the burning desire with a smirk, and returned a, “Yes, dear.”
That got him a middle finger, then Lincoln’s backside as the professor strutted off toward the library. The laughter, and warmth, stayed with Carter all the way back to the car.
To catch a killer, a special agent and his former student will need to get close—to their target, and each other. Layla Reyne returns with a stand-alone romantic mystery.
When the serial killer known as Dr. Fear seemingly reemerges after a cooling-off period, Special Agent Lincoln Monroe wants on the case. He knows his research on the calculating criminal, who targets couples and uses their worst fears to kill them, could prove invaluable. But nothing can prepare Lincoln for the agent waiting for him in Apex, Virginia: a brash and cocky former student. Carter Warren is everything Lincoln is not, and somehow everything he wants. And they’ll be going undercover. As newlyweds.
For Carter, seeing Lincoln again—and flustered to boot—pokes his raging bear of a crush something fierce. He thinks posing as lovers will provide the perfect bait for Dr. Fear. But pretending to be married forces them to confront fears of their own…like giving in to the very real chemistry between them.
With evidence pointing to the possibility of a copycat killer, Lincoln and Carter will have to race to separate truth from fiction. But when another couple goes missing, finding the killer will test every ounce of their training, skills and the strength of their bond like never before.
One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!
And don’t miss any of these books from Layla Reyne and Carina Press:
- Dine with Me
- Single Malt (Agents Irish & Whiskey #1)
- Cask Strength (Agents Irish & Whiskey #2)
- Barrel Proof (Agents Irish & Whiskey #3)
- Tequila Sunrise (An Agents Irish & Whiskey novella)
- Imperial Stout (Trouble Brewing #1)
- Craft Brew (Trouble Brewing #2)
- Noble Hops (Trouble Brewing #3)
RITA Finalist Layla Reyne is the author of the Agents Irish and Whiskey, Fog City, and Changing Lanes series. A Carolina Tar Heel who now calls the San Francisco Bay Area home, Layla enjoys weaving her bi-coastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline-fueled suspense and heart-pounding romance. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and its Kiss of Death and Rainbow Romance Writers chapters. Layla is a RWA® RITA® Finalist in Contemporary Romance (Mid-Length) and Golden Heart® Finalist in Romantic Suspense.
Connect with Layla Reyne
- Website: https://www.laylareyne.com/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/LaylaReyne
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laylareyne/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/laylareyne/
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16173105.Layla_Reyne
Welcome, Layla, and thanks for sharing the excerpt. Best wishes for the success of Variable Onset!