A Lucy Review: Dine With Me by Layla Reyne

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Miller Sykes’s meteoric rise to award-winning chef is the stuff of culinary dreams, but it’s all crashing down around him. He’s been given a diagnosis that could cost him something even more precious than his life: his sense of taste. Rather than risk the very thing that defines him, Miller embarks on a last tour of his favorite meals while he still can.

But there’s a catch: he needs a financial backer to make it happen, and he doesn’t want anyone to know he’s sick.

Dr. Clancy Rhodes has two weeks to come to terms with putting aside oncology to work at his father’s thriving plastic surgery practice. When the opportunity to travel with a Michelin-starred chef presents itself, the foodie in him can’t believe it. It doesn’t hurt that Miller’s rugged good looks are exactly Clancy’s cup of joe.

As Clancy and Miller travel from coast to coast and indulge in everything from dive bars to the most decadent of culinary experiences, they’re suddenly sharing a lot more than delicious meals. Sparks fly as they bond over their love of flavors and the pressures of great expectations. But when Miller’s health takes a turn for the worse, Clancy must convince him he’s more—so much more—than just his taste buds. And that together, they can win a battle that once seemed hopeless.

I have to get it out there right away that the foodie parts of this book were outstanding to read.  As an aficionado of Food Network, Cooking Channel, Check Please, and so on, I love to hear about amazing food.  The fact that I have absolutely no palate makes the reading and watching all the more for me.  We definitely get that here but that isn’t the whole of the story.

This was a rough read for me because I’ve lived through the cancer hell with my husband (who is nearly five years cancer-free, thankfully).  I can’t imagine what I would do if he had decided he would have no treatment, which is what Miller does.  His year has been horrific.  He and his best friend wife, Sloan,  are divorcing – a good thing but a painful change nonetheless; his first solo restaurant has just closed due to lack of customers and he has been diagnosed with throat cancer, the treatment of which has only a 50% chance of success and could very well rob him of his sense of taste.  Since Miller lives and breathes food art, this is unacceptable for him. “He swept his hand over their plate, then gestured at the table.  “I can’t imagine a life where I can’t taste any of it, which is a very real possibility if I get the treatment.”   He wants to go out as is and he also doesn’t want his friends or family to have to go through that with him with no guarantee of a positive outcome.  It is heartbreaking.

The book begins with the ad  – “Dine with me – the culinary experience of a lifetime.”  For the bankroll of the tour, someone will get to go along with Miller (who remains unnamed) for a two week, eight meal foodie heaven of Miller’s favorite places, the ones he wants to say goodbye too. Of course Clancy, who is gifted this trip by his parents as a gift before beginning practice with his dad as a plastic surgeon, doesn’t know why Miller is doing this, just that he gets to do it. 

Clancy has his own issues – he wants to work oncology and not plastic surgery but he loves his dad and doesn’t want to disappoint him.  “He didn’t want to disappoint his father; he looked forward to working with him too.  Who wouldn’t want to work with their best friend? Even if the work wasn’t exactly what he wanted to do, Clancy was good at it.”

The tour destinations are not disclosed, although Sloane knows and Clancy’s mother knows (as she is a travel expert, she books the hotels and travel to the destinations) but Miller won’t tell Clancy until they arrive at each place. Clancy is unaware of the health issues of Miller, but of course he studied oncology, so he does eventually figure it out.

I did think it was unfair of him to make Sloan promise not to tell anyone, including their other best friend, Greg.  Greg and Sloan are having a double wedding in the summer, a wedding that Miller won’t be alive for without treatment.  The moment when Greg asks Miller to be his best person and Miller says no, I wanted to just hug Greg.  Miller won’t tell him why and what kind of best friend does that?  He’s so worried about people knowing, but as Sloan says, “If you don’t get treatment, you’re going to be dead in six months.  Everyone’s going to know anyway.”

The whole Sloan aspect shows what a loyal, caring person Miller is and it makes it even harder to watch as he gets sicker.  It adds such an air of sorrow to the story as Miller faces his death, gracefully but so stubborn you want to shake him.  The more he and Clancy fall for each other, the harder it gets. “You’ll be an amazing oncologist.  You made the end of my life more beautiful than I could ever have imagined.  Thank you.”  Yep, cue the crying.

Both men have soul-searching to do, though only one has a time bomb ticking in his body.  The connection between Clancy and Miller was absolutely believable and I loved that Dr. Clancy Rhodes usually wore t-shirts and hoodies and was a crabby when hungover.  Adorable.  And that Miller, the award-winning, Michelin rated chef, loves simple, comfort food most of all.

I would recommend this for the characters, the writing and the food!

Cover art, showing an elegant table, fits perfectly.

Sales Links: Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: September 16th 2019 by Carina Press
ISBN 148805391X (ISBN13: 9781488053917)
Edition Language English

Don’t Miss Out on a Great Story! Check Out the Blog Tour for Dine With Me by Layla Reyne (excerpt and giveaway)

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Layla Reyne’s DINE WITH ME is a contemporary m/m romance following a dying chef on a last tour of his favorite meals, and the travel companion who must convince him he’s more than his taste buds and that the cost of love is worth living for.

Title: Dine With Me

Release Date (e-book and audio): September 16, 2019

Blurb:

Life never tasted so good.

Miller Sykes’s meteoric rise to award-winning chef is the stuff of culinary dreams, but it’s all crashing down around him. He’s been given a diagnosis that could cost him something even more precious than his life: his sense of taste. Rather than risk the very thing that defines him, Miller embarks on a last tour of his favorite meals while he still can.

But there’s a catch: he needs a financial backer to make it happen, and he doesn’t want anyone to know he’s sick.

Dr. Clancy Rhodes has two weeks to come to terms with putting aside oncology to work at his father’s thriving plastic surgery practice. When the opportunity to travel with a Michelin-starred chef presents itself, the foodie in him can’t believe it. It doesn’t hurt that Miller’s rugged good looks are exactly Clancy’s cuppa joe.

As Clancy and Miller travel from coast to coast and indulge in everything from dive bars to the most decadent of culinary experiences, they’re suddenly sharing a lot more than delicious meals. Sparks fly as they bond over their love of flavors and the pressures of great expectations. But when Miller’s health takes a turn for the worse, Clancy must convince him he’s more—so much more—than just his taste buds. And that together, they can win a battle that once seemed hopeless.

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!

Links:

AMZ: https://amzn.to/2CNDzbA

Universal: https://books2read.com/DineWithMe

 

About Layla Reyne:

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 2019 RWA® RITA® Finalist in Contemporary Romance (Mid-Length) and 2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist in Romantic Suspense.

Connect with Layla:

FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/laylaslushes/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/laylareyne

IG: https://www.instagram.com/laylareyne/

Newsletter: https://www.laylareyne.com/signup

AMZ: https://www.amazon.com/author/LaylaReyne

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/layla-reyne

Giveaway: Signed limited edition paperback + swag (equivalent value for international)

Code: Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/88d45f03103/

 

Exclusive Q&A with Layla Reyne, Blog Tour:

  • Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?

LR: It’s not just Miller and Clancy in this story. There’s a supporting cast of characters—family, of the blood and found sort—that I absolutely adored writing. And they support, first and foremost. No one here is trying to foil or divert our main characters, and I love that about this story. They are there to support Miller and Clancy, as best and as full-of-heart as they can.

  • Are there any secrets from the book (that aren’t in the blurb), you can share with your readers?

LR: Every place Miller and Clancy visited is a place I’ve dined or based on a place I dined. (Sadly, a few of my favorites had closed!) Each place in this book is as special to me, for my own reasons, as it is for Miller and Clancy. For instance, one of the stops is The French Laundry, which is where my husband and I got married, so it holds a special place in my heart too.

  • Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?

LR: Ohmigod, they both do. This story has been rattling around in my head since 2015. It was on the initial list of project ideas I gave my agent. There’s a lot of me in both Clancy and Miller (more so Clancy, my husband more so Miller), but it’s really a love letter to all the amazing dining experiences I’ve been so lucky to have in my life.

  • What is the significance of the title?

LR: It starts as the opening line of the advertisement Miller posts for the tour. It also ends the book in a way that still makes me happy sigh.

  • What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel?

LR: This is a standalone, so there won’t be a sequel. Though keep your eyes peeled for a special project involving one of the secondary characters.

  • If you had to describe character Miller Sykes in three words, what would those three words be?

LR: Loyal, Self-Sacrificing, Stubborn

  • If you had to describe character Miller Sykes in three words, what would those three words be?

LR: Earnest, Honest, Risk-taker

  • If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?

LR: Oh, this is easy (since the book has been in my head for YEARS). I’ve always had Clive Standen as my fancast for Miller and Grant Gustin as my fancast for Clancy.

  • Was the writing process different and what challenges did you face writing contemporary romance versus romantic suspense?

LR: I couldn’t just throw a car chase or explosion in when I needed to pick up the pace! But seriously, I really did have to dig deep to center this one more on emotions, more on the journey of these two men, individually and potentially together in the future. That’s what’s driving the story, versus my usual twisty plot.

Exclusive Excerpt 1:

By the time they were on the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard, all of Clancy’s thoughts and words were fighting to get out. He watched through the windshield as Miller stood by the ferry’s rail, a lone figure seemingly oblivious to the blowing snow flurries as he stared straight ahead.

To the island where they would be stuck together for the weekend.

Fuck. Clancy had to say something or else this was going to be the most awkward Christmas Eve weekend ever.

He tossed his empty coffee cup aside, grabbed his scarf from the back seat, wrapped it around his neck, zipped up his hoodie, and buttoned his coat over everything. Bundled, as well as an LA boy could be, he shoved open the car door, took one step out, and had to cling to the door to avoid wiping out. Steadying himself, he carefully made his way to the rail where Miller stood. And just as carefully, he approached the conversation, starting with something easy. “Thank you for the coffee and beignets this morning.”

“I promised you,” Miller answered flatly, not giving him a glance.

Careful and easy took a flying leap off the side of the boat. “Do you still want to be here?” The next second, Clancy registered how that question could be taken, beyond just this trip, and he wanted to jump over the rail himself. “On this trip,” he clarified. “Because if you’re just here because you promised, we can call it off. You can keep the money—”

“It’s not about the money.”

“Fine, but Miller…” He leaned a hip and hand against the rail, trying to get Miller to look his way, to no avail. “If this trip is making you miserable, if you don’t want to be around me, if you—”

Miller’s hand over his silenced the rest of Clancy’s words. “I want to continue, and I don’t want to do it alone.”

“But do you want to do it with me?”

Miller finally gave Clancy his eyes, and they were red-rimmed and bloodshot. Clancy sucked in a sharp breath, fearing the worst.

“Yes,” Miller said softly.

Clancy didn’t hide his huge exhale, and Miller’s answering smile was worth it. The world steadied below Clancy’s feet even as the boat rocked over the waves. He drew his hand back and shoved both of them into his coat pockets. “Where are we going, then? On Martha’s Vineyard?”

Miller glanced back out over the water, toward the island that was growing nearer. “The first place I chef’ed.”

“I thought that was in New York, with Greg.”

He shook his head, a strange mix of pain and longing streaking across his face. “When Sloan and I left home, we came here first. A friend of Ma’s ran a B and B in Edgartown. It was the summer season and she needed the extra help. She rented us a dingy little basement apartment for cheap, Sloan cleaned and helped manage the inn, and I was the on-site handyman and landscaper. But I still needed to get out and make some extra cash.”

“So you found a restaurant to work in?”

“The kitchens in New York and San Francisco might have refined my skills, but Oscar M’Raihi gave them to me.”

“I can’t wait to meet him.”

Don’t Miss Out on the Release Blitz for Dine With Me by Layla Reyne (excerpt and giveaway)

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Dine with Me by Layla Reyne

Release Date (e-book and audio):

September 16, 2019

Blurb:

Life never tasted so good.

Miller Sykes’s meteoric rise to award-winning chef is the stuff of culinary dreams, but it’s all crashing down around him. He’s been given a diagnosis that could cost him something even more precious than his life: his sense of taste. Rather than risk the very thing that defines him, Miller embarks on a last tour of his favorite meals while he still can.

But there’s a catch: he needs a financial backer to make it happen, and he doesn’t want anyone to know he’s sick.

Dr. Clancy Rhodes has two weeks to come to terms with putting aside oncology to work at his father’s thriving plastic surgery practice. When the opportunity to travel with a Michelin-starred chef presents itself, the foodie in him can’t believe it. It doesn’t hurt that Miller’s rugged good looks are exactly Clancy’s cuppa joe.

As Clancy and Miller travel from coast to coast and indulge in everything from dive bars to the most decadent of culinary experiences, they’re suddenly sharing a lot more than delicious meals. Sparks fly as they bond over their love of flavors and the pressures of great expectations. But when Miller’s health takes a turn for the worse, Clancy must convince him he’s more—so much more—than just his taste buds. And that together, they can win a battle that once seemed hopeless.

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!

Links:

AMZ: https://amzn.to/2CNDzbA

Universal: https://books2read.com/DineWithMe

Excerpt:

By the time they were on the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard, all of Clancy’s thoughts and words were fighting to get out. He watched through the windshield as Miller stood by the ferry’s rail, a lone figure seemingly oblivious to the blowing snow flurries as he stared straight ahead.

To the island where they would be stuck together for the weekend.

Fuck. Clancy had to say something or else this was going to be the most awkward Christmas Eve weekend ever.

He tossed his empty coffee cup aside, grabbed his scarf from the back seat, wrapped it around his neck, zipped up his hoodie, and buttoned his coat over everything. Bundled, as well as an LA boy could be, he shoved open the car door, took one step out, and had to cling to the door to avoid wiping out. Steadying himself, he carefully made his way to the rail where Miller stood. And just as carefully, he approached the conversation, starting with something easy. “Thank you for the coffee and beignets this morning.”

“I promised you,” Miller answered flatly, not giving him a glance.

Careful and easy took a flying leap off the side of the boat. “Do you still want to be here?” The next second, Clancy registered how that question could be taken, beyond just this trip, and he wanted to jump over the rail himself. “On this trip,” he clarified. “Because if you’re just here because you promised, we can call it off. You can keep the money—”

“It’s not about the money.”

“Fine, but Miller…” He leaned a hip and hand against the rail, trying to get Miller to look his way, to no avail. “If this trip is making you miserable, if you don’t want to be around me, if you—”

Miller’s hand over his silenced the rest of Clancy’s words. “I want to continue, and I don’t want to do it alone.”

“But do you want to do it with me?”

Miller finally gave Clancy his eyes, and they were red-rimmed and bloodshot. Clancy sucked in a sharp breath, fearing the worst.

“Yes,” Miller said softly.

Clancy didn’t hide his huge exhale, and Miller’s answering smile was worth it. The world steadied below Clancy’s feet even as the boat rocked over the waves. He drew his hand back and shoved both of them into his coat pockets. “Where are we going, then? On Martha’s Vineyard?”

Miller glanced back out over the water, toward the island that was growing nearer. “The first place I chef’ed.”

“I thought that was in New York, with Greg.”

He shook his head, a strange mix of pain and longing streaking across his face. “When Sloan and I left home, we came here first. A friend of Ma’s ran a B and B in Edgartown. It was the summer season and she needed the extra help. She rented us a dingy little basement apartment for cheap, Sloan cleaned and helped manage the inn, and I was the on-site handyman and landscaper. But I still needed to get out and make some extra cash.”

“So you found a restaurant to work in?”

“The kitchens in New York and San Francisco might have refined my skills, but Oscar M’Raihi gave them to me.”

“I can’t wait to meet him.”

About Layla Reyne:

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 2019 RWA® RITA® Finalist in Contemporary Romance (Mid-Length) and 2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist in Romantic Suspense.

Connect with Layla:

FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/laylaslushes/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/laylareyne

IG: https://www.instagram.com/laylareyne/

Newsletter: https://www.laylareyne.com/signup

AMZ: https://www.amazon.com/author/LaylaReyne

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/layla-reyne

Giveaway:

Signed limited edition paperback + swag ($10 Amazon Gift Card if international)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Need a New Contemporary Romance? Check Out Dine with Me by Layla Reyne!

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Layla Reyne’s DINE WITH ME is a contemporary m/m romance following a dying chef on a last tour of his favorite meals, and the travel companion who must convince him he’s more than his taste buds and that the cost of love is worth living for.

Title: Dine With Me

Release Date (e-book and audio): September 16, 2019

Blurb:

Life never tasted so good.

Miller Sykes’s meteoric rise to award-winning chef is the stuff of culinary dreams, but it’s all crashing down around him. He’s been given a diagnosis that could cost him something even more precious than his life: his sense of taste. Rather than risk the very thing that defines him, Miller embarks on a last tour of his favorite meals while he still can.

But there’s a catch: he needs a financial backer to make it happen, and he doesn’t want anyone to know he’s sick.

Dr. Clancy Rhodes has two weeks to come to terms with putting aside oncology to work at his father’s thriving plastic surgery practice. When the opportunity to travel with a Michelin-starred chef presents itself, the foodie in him can’t believe it. It doesn’t hurt that Miller’s rugged good looks are exactly Clancy’s cuppa joe.

As Clancy and Miller travel from coast to coast and indulge in everything from dive bars to the most decadent of culinary experiences, they’re suddenly sharing a lot more than delicious meals. Sparks fly as they bond over their love of flavors and the pressures of great expectations. But when Miller’s health takes a turn for the worse, Clancy must convince him he’s more—so much more—than just his taste buds. And that together, they can win a battle that once seemed hopeless.

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!

Links:

AMZ: https://amzn.to/2CNDzbA

Universal: https://books2read.com/DineWithMe

September  Teaser:

“Any other rules?” he asked.

There was one other, though not a rule so much as dispelling a myth that Miller, as a chef, fucking loathed. “If someone has ever told you to leave a tiny bit of food on your plate as a gesture of respect to the kitchen, don’t listen to them. And don’t do it. It’s a load of horse shit. If you’re full, then fine, don’t force yourself. But if you want to eat it all, by all means, eat it all. Nothing I liked better than seeing empty plates come back to the kitchen.”

“If someone ever told me that, I didn’t listen. It’s fucking idiotic.”

“Good,” Miller said with a sharp, satisfied nod. “I’m glad we have an understanding there.”

“I understand that every bit of food I can get in my belly is going in there.”

Miller had no idea where it was all going to go in that trim body, but he looked forward to seeing Clancy try. “Then we’re all set.” He shrugged into his overcoat and opened the door for Clancy. “Shall we get the belly stuffing underway?”

“Two and a half hours of it.” Clancy patted said belly as he stepped into the hallway. “I can’t wait.”

“Revise that.” Miller pulled the door closed behind them. “Four hours.”

“Four? All the reviews I read said to plan for two and a half.”

“Those people received menus. We won’t. Think you can handle it?”

“I’m game.” The eagerness in Clancy’s eyes was a good sign. Miller’s experience with people who said they “eat it all” was that their no-no list was in fact a mile long. He didn’t sense that was the case with his companion, which boded well for tonight. And the trip as a whole. If it was true.

He gave Clancy a wink. “You’re in for a treat.”

About Layla Reyne:

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 2019 RWA® RITA® Finalist in Contemporary Romance (Mid-Length) and 2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist in Romantic Suspense.

Connect with Layla:

FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/laylaslushes/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/laylareyne

IG: https://www.instagram.com/laylareyne/

Newsletter: https://www.laylareyne.com/signup

AMZ: https://www.amazon.com/author/LaylaReyne

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/layla-reyne

A MelanieM Review: Dine with Me by Layla Reyne

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Life never tasted so good.

Miller Sykes’s meteoric rise to award-winning chef is the stuff of culinary dreams, but it’s all crashing down around him. He’s been given a diagnosis that could cost him something even more precious than his life: his sense of taste. Rather than risk the very thing that defines him, Miller embarks on a last tour of his favorite meals while he still can.

But there’s a catch: he needs a financial backer to make it happen, and he doesn’t want anyone to know he’s sick.

Dr. Clancy Rhodes has two weeks to come to terms with putting aside oncology to work at his father’s thriving plastic surgery practice. When the opportunity to travel with a Michelin-starred chef presents itself, the foodie in him can’t believe it. It doesn’t hurt that Miller’s rugged good looks are exactly Clancy’s cup of joe.

As Clancy and Miller travel from coast to coast and indulge in everything from dive bars to the most decadent of culinary experiences, they’re suddenly sharing a lot more than delicious meals. Sparks fly as they bond over their love of flavors and the pressures of great expectations. But when Miller’s health takes a turn for the worse, Clancy must convince him he’s more—so much more—than just his taste buds. And that together, they can win a battle that once seemed hopeless.

I love stories that mix food with romance.  The two just naturally go together, a exploration of the sensual, the ability to explore new cultures through new  tastes and dishes, just the spices alone can be so heady.  Just like falling in love itself.  They are, as they say, a perfect blend.

When the chef or in this case, the author, gets it right.

And here in Dine With Me by Layla Reyne, the author gets it word for word, recipe by recipe, and scene by scene splendidly right.

I am not familiar enough with this author’s stories to know if this is the exception or the rule, but I mean to find out.  From the layered characterizations that spoke to me to the  many restaurants and dishes served up throughout the novel that speaks of the author’s love and appreciation of food and the chef’s in the kitchens, everything about Dine With Me was a journey to delight in and remember.

The author can go to making your mouth water for truffles to having your heart wrench over the pain being felt by the characters,Miller Sykes especially.   Clancy and Mike, as well as sall the other people here are so well crafted they become alive, and you fall into their lives from the moment you meet them and begin their journey.

And oh what a trip that will be… no spoilers here…but trust that it’s one you would wish to take yourself.  It sounds as though the author was intimately familiar with each and every place and for that Im envious and happy for her.  Those descriptions of the dishes and food are rich, you can almost smell the aromas, taste the umami, and let the savory and salt undertones  melt in your mouth.  OK, bring a drool cloth.

That ending?  It was everything I wanted and more.  It made my heart overflow.  Just what I need in my contemporary love stories and maybe even more.

So yes, run , don’t walk and get Dine with Me by Layla Reyne.  I love this story and only wish I could have lingered a bit longer is only to savor in this couple’s happiness and taste more of that incredible food by proxy.

Cover art by Carina Press does everything but make that table twinkle.  Pull out a chair for me.

Sales Links: Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: September 16th 2019 by Carina Press
ISBN 148805391X (ISBN13: 9781488053917)
Edition Language English

A MelanieM Review: Prince of Killers (Fog City #1) by Layla Reyne

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

No indiscriminate killing. No collateral damage. No unvetted targets.

These are the rules Hawes Madigan lives by. Rules that make being Fog City’s Prince of Killers bearable. Soon, he’ll be king—of an organization of assassins—and the crown has never felt heavier. Until the mysterious Dante Perry swaggers into his life.

Dante looks like a rock god and carries himself like one too, all loose-limbed and casually confident. He also carries a concealed weapon, a private investigator’s license, and a message for the prince. Someone inside Hawes’s organization is out to kill the future king.

In the chaos that follows the timely warning, Hawes comes to depend on Dante. On his skills as an investigator, on the steadiness he offers, and on their moments alone when Hawes lets Dante take control. As alliances are tested and traitors exposed, Hawes needs Dante at his back and in his bed. But if the PI ever learns Hawes’s darkest secret, Hawes is sure to get a knife to the heart—and a bullet to the brain—instead.

There’s no shortage of twists and turns in this new romantic suspense trilogy from Layla Reyne. Prince of Killers is book one of three. Fair warning: buckle up, cliffhangers ahead!

 

Layla Reyne is still an author that I haven’t explored a lot, so when her new release popped up about the king of assassins  and a new series, I grabbed it.  I’m very glad I did because Prince of Killers (Fog City #1) by Layla Reyne is a fast-paced, highly suspenseful, terrific piece of  contemporary romance.  She gives us high action, crime, revenge, mystery, explosions, hot sex, and even a certain amount of angst, all mixed together.

There is an intriguing family at the heart of Fog City.  The Madigan crime family now in the midst of significant changes.  Their patriarch is dying, their organization is changing direction under the hands of Hawes Madigan, the Prince of Killers and the one taking over the operation from his grandfather.  The members, all distinct and imminently curious personalities, are entwined with Hawes, either because he’s their sibling or in law,  Its ibe tight knit group and you get to know them all well, and want to know them more.  As I said , an intriguing bunch.

There are so many layers of deceit and a main mystery at hand involving a death of an innocent woman years prior that all the events start forming around.

The entrance of Dante Perry sets off more internal reverberations within the family and within Hawes himself.  Can he trust Dante?  Who exactly is Dante?

More mysteries keep unfolding all the way to the way last sentence of the book which is of course a cliffhanger.  One I will say I totally expected which is why I dropped the rating a bit.  The reveal you expect.  How it will end  will have to wait until the next story.  I’m hoping for more twists, turns, and complications there.

What I did love what that the reveal prior to this one was absolutely unexpected.  So the author hits us with several reveals in a row.  Great job.

I even get the feeling there might be even more twists and turns to come in the books ahead.  This series seems to be about hidden secrets, layers and layers of identities, and things are never as them seem.  Oh the joy of uncovering them and the investigations!  Really, this was a popcorn munching, quick page turning blast of a book!

Yes, I can’t wait for the next one to roll out to see how that last scene ends.

If you like crime mysteries and contemporary romance mixed together, pick up Prince of Killers (Fog City #1) by Layla Reyne.  It’s looking to be just the first in a great series.

Cover Design works to capture your eye.

Sales Links:  Amazon |  buy links : http://getbook.at/PrinceOfKillers

Book Details:

ebook
Published June 10th 2019 by Layla Reyne
ISBN139781732088368
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesFog City #1

BLOG AND REVIEW TOUR Prince of Killers (Fog City #1) by Layla Reyne (teaser, and giveaway)

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Prince of Killers by Layla Reyne

Series (name + # in series): Fog City #1

Publisher: Layla Reyne (Self-Published)

Release Date (Print & Ebook): June 10, 2019

Length (Print & Ebook): 216 pages (52K words)

Subgenre: M/M Romantic Suspense

Warnings: Explicit sex including mild kink; explicit language; violence;

instances and/or discussion of homophobia; off-page instances and/or discussion

of PTSD, drug use, and abuse of minor characters.

All buy links or pre-order links: http://getbook.at/PrinceOfKillers

Book synopsis:

No indiscriminate killing. No collateral damage. No unvetted targets.

These are the rules Hawes Madigan lives by. Rules that make being Fog City’s Prince of Killers bearable. Soon, he’ll be king—of an organization of assassins—and the crown has never felt heavier. Until the mysterious Dante Perry swaggers into his life.

Dante looks like a rock god and carries himself like one too, all loose-limbed and casually confident. He also carries a concealed weapon, a private investigator’s license, and a message for the prince. Someone inside Hawes’s organization is out to kill the future king.

In the chaos that follows the timely warning, Hawes comes to depend on Dante. On his skills as an investigator, on the steadiness he offers, and on their moments alone when Hawes lets Dante take control. As alliances are tested and traitors exposed, Hawes needs Dante at his back and in his bed. But if the PI ever learns Hawes’s darkest secret, Hawes is sure to get a knife to the heart—and a bullet to the brain—instead.

There’s no shortage of twists and turns in this new romantic suspense trilogy from Layla Reyne. Prince of Killers is book one of three. Fair warning: buckle up, cliffhangers ahead!

Praise for Prince of Killers:

“Layla Reyne is an auto-buy author for me. She writes it; I devour it. Prince of Killers is an amazing start to a new series. It’s fast-paced and intriguing with the perfect balance of action, passion, and plot twists I’ve come to expect from her books. Layla never disappoints, and I can’t wait to see what happens next in her Fog City series.”  – Aimee Nicole Walker, Bestselling author of the Curl Up and Dye Mysteries

“Prince of Killers gives us everything we adore about Layla’s writing: bullets, boys, and betrayal. From the very first page, Hawes and Dante have sexual tension that sparks off the page. They don’t trust each other, but they have to work together to uncover a traitor in their midst. The result is a steamy dance of push and pull that left me itching for more. I’m excited to recommend Layla Reyne’s Prince of Killers and see what’s next in her new Fog City series!” – Lucy Lennox, Bestselling author of the Made Marian and Forever Wilde series.

“This book made me reach for the ‘Oh Sh*t’ handle every time I picked it up.” –Erin McLellan, author of the Farm College series.

Hair and double denim. My favourite things! –Allison Temple, author of The Pick-Up and Top Shelf

“I bloody loved it!” –Lily Morton, Bestselling author of the Mixed Messages series

“Layla Reyne redefined what a family of assassins looks like with “Prince of Killers.” The “Fog City” series kicks off with some mind-blowing twists and I can’t wait to see what happens next.” – Jeff Adams, Big Gay Fiction Podcast

“PRINCE OF KILLERS is a suspenseful ride through the streets of San Francisco, and the ins and out of a tight-knit crime family. I couldn’t stop reading, and when I hit the end, I wanted the next book immediately!” – Hailey Turner, author of the bestselling Soulbound series and the Metahuman Files series.

Teaser 1:

“I don’t want to be in control.” No decisions to make, no kingdom to rule, no bad guys to sort from the good. Tonight, freedom was the most settling thought there was, especially if it involved the man whose body was pressed alongside his.

“Do you trust me?” Dante said.

Hawes half nodded, half nuzzled Dante’s palm.

“Give it to me, then.”

Hawes’s eyes popped open, and an unexpected laugh bubbled out of him. “I’m not giving you control of my family’s empire.”

One corner of Dante’s mouth turned up in a sexy smirk. “I don’t want that either.” With his arm around Hawes’s waist, he shifted them so they were in front of the ladder, Hawes’s back against the rungs, Dante’s body blanketing his. The pressure, front and back, massaged away any lingering soreness from Ray’s hit last night. Not that Hawes would care when Dante’s long, strong fingers were skirting up the side of his face and into his hair, threading through the strands and cradling his scalp.

Hawes couldn’t look away, couldn’t stop his hands from curling into Dante’s gray tank and hauling him closer. “Please.”

“I want control of you.” Dante’s soft lips brushed the sharp right hinge of Hawes’s jaw. “Let me help you.” He moved to the other side. “Let me make you forget for a while.” Then to the crease at the bottom of Hawes’s chin. “Let go for me.”

Yes.

About Layla Reyne: RITA Finalist Layla Reyne is the author of the Agents Irish and Whiskey, Trouble Brewing, 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 2019 RWA® RITA® Finalist in Contemporary Romance (Mid-Length) and 2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist in Romantic Suspense.

Connect with Layla:

FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/laylaslushes/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/laylareyne

IG: https://www.instagram.com/laylareyne/

Newsletter: https://www.laylareyne.com/signup

AMZ: https://www.amazon.com/author/LaylaReyne

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/layla-reyne

Get to know more about Layla Reyne in this fun Review Tour Q&A!

  • Do you listen to audiobooks? If so, are there any you’d recommend?

Yes! One of my day jobs is as a legal resource editor, and I always have an audiobook playing when I’m doing that work. The Tales of Verania series by TJ Klune, narrated by Michael Lesley, is an absolute treasure.

  • What are your five favorite words?

I just need one: Fuck, especially the way Tristan James says it narrating audiobooks 😉

  • Do you have a favorite cover from one of your books?

This one! Cate Ashwood who did all the Fog City covers sent me the cover concept for Prince of Killers first, and I screamed “Holy Shit!” so loudly that my dogs startled. And I kept repeating “Holy Shit” for like the next week. She deserves so much credit, as does Wander Aguiar for the gorgeous photos, and Patrick Sean (the model) for just being that damn gorgeous.

 

Giveaway: Enter to win 2 sets of signed backlist paperbacks (Trouble Brewing or Changing Lanes, winner’s choice); if international, signed book plates.

Rafflecopter code:

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Direct link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/88d45f0397/

***Get Phenomenal Romantic Suspense by Layla Reyne on Sale!***

Carina Press has CRAFT BREW on sale for the month of June at only $1.99!

New Release Blitz for Noble Hops (Trouble Brewing #3) by Layla Reyne (excerpt and giveaway)

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Noble Hops (Trouble Brewing #3) by Layla Reyne

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date (Print & Ebook):

Ebook/Audio: February 11, 2019

Print: February 26, 2019

Length (Print & Ebook): 320 pages

Subgenre: M/M Romantic Suspense

All buy links or pre-order links:

AMZ: https://amzn.to/2P9mSvc

UBL: books2read.com/NobleHops

 

Book blurb:

Everything Dominic Price has worked hard to uphold is about to come crashing down on everything he holds dear.

So much for the quiet life. Just as assistant US attorney and brewery owner Dominic Price is settling into a comfy new chapter with his partner, FBI agent Cameron Byrne, the sudden death of Nic’s father puts their happily-ever-after in jeopardy. Nic immediately suspects foul play, his prime suspect a notorious gangster his father was indebted to—only now the loan shark is out for blood.

Cam has been longing for Nic to finally let him in on this very personal case. But when Nic’s belief that he’s the sole Price heir is upended, the line between personal and professional starts to blur, leaving Cam unsure of where he stands.

Nic is depending on Cam’s kidnap and rescue expertise to save his recently discovered family member before it’s too late. But with a dangerous threat closing in, the ghosts from Nic’s past cast long shadows. Any relationship could crack under the pressure, but for Nic, finding his family might mean losing the love of his life.

Layla Reyne says: Nic and Cam have to fight for their lives and their happily ever after in this exciting, action-packed conclusion to the Trouble Brewing series.

Excerpt :

“Welcome home, to what’s left of it.”

“You’re here. That’s all that matters.” Cam teased the corner of Nic’s mouth, just short of a kiss, before he sat back and took another swig of his beer. He talked over Nic’s throaty rumble of frustration. “It feels like we’ve been gone forever.”

“Bird thinks so. Left us a surprise in your shoes.”

“In mine?”

“’Cause he likes me better.”

Traitor indeed, the both of them. “You stole my cat.”

“I showed your cat a better way.”

“No, you bribed him with extra food and treats. But I don’t want to argue about that right now. Got something else in mind.” He finished his beer, set the empty on the table next to Eddie’s, and stood. Nic moved to stand too, but Cam kept him seated, a hand on his shoulder and a leg thrown over his lap. “This okay?”

Nic rolled his hips, bringing their groins in grinding contact. “More than,” he said, voice rumbly for a different reason now. “This part of my body doesn’t hurt, at least not in the bad way. But I do wonder about the chair. This is how we broke the other one, if you recall.”

Cam waggled his brows. “How about we try to break all the chairs?”

“How about I get a kiss first?” Nic lifted his legs and bumped Cam forward.

Hands splayed on Nic’s chest, Cam kept himself from careening into him, but Nic, despite his injuries, seemed to want it rough, seemed to crave it as much as Cam did. Driving one hand down his back and the other into his hair, Nic dragged him close, smashing their lips together. Drinking with each long, slow swipe of his tongue, he drew a moan from deep within Cam, from that spot where his love for this man grew more and more each day.

“Still my favorite taste,” Nic mumbled, as they broke apart for air.

“You know…” Cam trailed a path of kisses along his jaw, softly pecking over the bruises. “Bird wasn’t the only one you taught a better way.”

“Even if I argue you to an early grave?”

Cam righted his head and gently took Nic’s face in his hands. “No talking of graves. And no arguing tonight.” He closed the distance again, wanting more closeness, more tastes of their future. “Just kissing. And celebrating this victory.”

“And fucking,” Nic growled. “Definitely part of this celebration.”

Cam grinned. “No objection, Counselor.”

About Layla Reyne:

Author 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.

Connect with Layla:

FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/216903272072959/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/laylareyne

IG: https://www.instagram.com/laylareyne/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/laylareyne

Newsletter: https://www.laylareyne.com/signup

AMZ: https://www.amazon.com/author/LaylaReyne

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/layla-reyne

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/laylareyne/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/laylareyne

Giveaways

Join Layla Reyne for a giveaway featuring a paperback of any novel in the Trouble Brewing series + a fun swag pack! Open internationally.

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A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Craft Brew (Trouble Brewing #2) by Layla Reyne

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

I enjoyed this story much more than book one. First, because I knew the MCs, and second, because past characters came into this story slowly and their backstory was filled in. Building on the drama surrounding Nic’s father and the events of book one, this story added more, but it appears the resolution to that will not occur until book three.

The early section of the story surrounds Nic and his father’s debts and his budding relationship with Cam. On the heels of Cam asking Nic to move in, Nic takes a temporary 5-week assignment in San Diego, in other words he chooses to run from the commitment, making the moving in a moot point. On his return, someone sets fire to his apartment building—another disaster in a long line that seems to be following Nic wherever he goes. He worries that if he lets his relationship with Cam become common knowledge, whoever is causing the trouble for him might go after Cam.

With no choice after losing his apartment, though, he agrees to move in with Cam. Then just as they start to settle in, Cam’s past comes crashing down around him. His mother has had a heart attack and when he flies home to Boston to see her she asks that he solve the cold case of his sister’s disappearance twenty years before. A disappearance that Cam feels personally responsible for since he was supposed to pick her up the day she disappeared, but he blew her off, leaving her to head home alone.

What he finds when he starts to investigate is that his sister may have been the first of a long line of girls to disappear in that area, and he calls Nic to help. Cam also needs his love and support, but since he’s not out to his family, he has to hide those needs and simply introduce Nic as a friend and colleague. Of note, Nic was super mature in his support of Cam and didn’t throw a hissy fit or downgrade his love for Cam just because Cam couldn’t face coming out.

The action is fast-paced and interesting, involving both brainwork and footwork and involving Jamie from the previous series. Since I didn’t read that series, I appreciated the author’s handling of his insertion in this story and the background information we were given. It was much easier to assimilate and in fact I do believe I’m going to have to purchase Single Malt to see what all the fans are raving over.

I digress. Cam and Nic do solve the mystery, and Cam does come out to his family, unable and unwilling to hide his love for Nic from the world. That was a great scene as was the family support in putting Erin’s body and memory to rest. We had a lot of opportunity to get to know Cam’s family, and I’d sure be happy to see either Bobby or Keith or both show up in a future book.

This doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, but it’s quite evident that Nic’s story—involving his father’s finances and a gangster who doesn’t seem to take no for an answer—will continue into the next book. I’ll be in line for that one, for sure.

The cover for this book features a head shot of one character with another standing in the background. The artist used a yellow and purple color filter which throws the left side of the close-up in yellow, the right in purple. To be honest, I don’t like it at all. It makes the MC look angry and unappealing—not at all how I pictured him.

Sales Links:  Carina Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: October 8th 2018 by Carina Press
ISBN139781488097119
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Trouble Brewing #2

Blog Tour for Imperial Stout by Layla Reyne (teaser and giveaway)

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Imperial Stout by Layla Reyne

Series: Trouble Brewing #1

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date (Print & Ebook): Ebook/Audio – July 23, 2018; Print – July 31, 2019

Length (Print & Ebook): 272 pages

Subgenre: M/M Romantic Suspense

To order:

AMZ: https://amzn.to/2qBqID7

UBL: http://books2read.com/u/mBMWMZ

Carina: http://bit.ly/2JQWIOF

Book blurb:

Layla Reyne spins off from her pulse-pounding Agents Irish and Whiskey books with Imperial Stout, the first installment in the Trouble Brewing series

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.

Teaser Excerpt :

Nic was silent a long minute, the building tension heavy in the small space. “This is why you’re not supposed to get involved with colleagues.”

Finally, an opening. Cam closed the distance between them, winding his arms around Nic and hugging him from behind. Body warm, despite the cool night, Cam wanted to get even closer to it. They might both get burned, but he was done watching the fire from a distance, holding himself back from the heat.

“Technically, we’re not,” he said.

“You have an answer for everything, don’t you?”

“If it wins the argument with you, yes.”

Nic chuckled, hanging his head, and Cam skirted his nose and lips along the nape of his neck. Nic’s quiet laughter died on a breathy gasp.

About Layla Reyne:

Author 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. Layla is a member of Romance Writers of America and its Kiss of Death and Rainbow Romance Writers chapters. She was a 2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist in Romantic Suspense.

Connect with Layla:

Connect with Layla Reyne: Twitter | Instagram | FB Page | FB Group | Newsletter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Amazon | BookBub

Giveaway:

Win a signed set of paperbacks from Layla Reyne: Imperial Stout and Blended Whiskey!

Winners in the USA will receive paperback copies of the prizes; winners from outside the contiguous USA, will receive Amazon gift card of equivalent value. Enter here:

 

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