Erryn reviews ‘Dead Draw (Perfect Play Book 1)’ by Layla Reyne. The book was published June 2, 2022 and is 241 pages. The audiobook was narrated by Christian Leatherman. It was released June 2, 2022 and is 7hrs and 8mins. This book was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read: I’m always game for a new series.
When a marriage of convenience is the only play left…
Special Agent Emmitt Marshall knows how to:
Wear a cowboy hat.
Win at chess.
Fall in love with emotionally unavailable men.
He even knows the perfect play to catch the terrorists who killed his mentor.
Special Agent Levi Bishop doesn’t know how to:
Move on after his wife’s death.
Help his grieving son.
Pay off his mountain of debt.
Fix the mess some cowboy cyber agent made of his case.
The same cowboy who proposes a marriage of convenience to stop a common enemy.
Marsh is either the answer to Levi’s prayers—or a handsome nightmare in a Stetson.
Levi doesn’t know.
But both men do know their cases and lives are at a dead draw.
There’s only one play left…
Layla Reyne returns with an all-new M/M romantic suspense series featuring a cocky hacker with a heart of gold, a widowed father who needs so much help, and a plan only a cowboy could cook up. Grab your hat, hold tight to the reins, beware of the cliffs, and enjoy the ride!
Let me first start my review by saying this book might not have been possible if not for the messed up American health system. Canada’s not perfect, by any means, but universal healthcare means most people don’t lose everything because of catastrophic illness. If Levi’s wife’s illness hadn’t cost him almost everything, he wouldn’t be in the position of having to accept Marsh’s insane proposal. Because it’s nuts, right? Marry me and I’ll wipe out your debts. Oh, and maybe we can catch some bad guys. The second part never truly came into focus for me – how they could only succeed if they were married? Didn’t really matter – the book was good enough to stand as it was.
I was loving both these men. Marsh has swagger, but is also still reeling from the death of his mentor years ago. He’s been after the people who killed her and he’ll stop at nothing to catch them. Levi’s also on a mission. Women his wife helped have gone missing – along with plenty of other marginalized ones. He wants to shut down the traffickers before more people get hurt. Before more people die. Add in that he’s a grieving husband with a teenage son with attitude and it’s not a good situation.
Marsh brings some life back into Levi’s life. He engages Levi’s son by teaching him chess. He brings Levi and his son through some of the worst of the grief. But he also puts them in peril and the book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger with nothing resolved. Reyne’s deft hand at creating series means there’s more to come and I can’t wait.
Have to mention Christian Leatherman. He narrated Reyne’s Fog City books and he’s a perfect choice to pair up with her. A talented duo and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
Layla Reyne is the author of the Fog City, 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.