Dead Draw by Layla Reyne _ Blog Tour & Double Book Review

When a marriage of convenience is the only play left…

Special Agent Emmitt Marshall knows how to:
Wear a cowboy hat.
Hack anything.
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…
I do.

Download today on Amazon, Apple Books, Audible, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Kobo!


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Layla Reyne is the author of What We May Be and the Fog City, Agents Irish and Whiskey, and Trouble Brewing series. A Carolina Tar Heel who now calls California home, Layla enjoys weaving her bicoastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline-fueled suspense and heart pounding romance.

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[I received a digital arc for an honest review]

Dead Draw
 is the first book in the Perfect Play series by Layla Reyne. This is my first time reading this author and I quite enjoyed the writing style. However, I could tell that it was a spin-off series at times, especially when it came to one of the main character’s close friends. I could tell that I probably would have been excited about their appearances if I had read her previous series.

Marsh didn’t know how to do casual. He knew how to fall, hard and fast. The end. And a love-sick cowboy was the last thing Levi needed.

Cyber Special Agent Emmitt Marshall accidentally screws up a raid for the FBI involving human traffickers. His solution to continue being involved in the case is to offer a marriage of convenience to Special Agent Levi Bishop, whose in charge of said case. Levi is a widowed, single parent and drowning in debt, Marsh has the means to solve his money problem if they tie the knot. They both have the same end goal, preventing more women from being trafficked and cutting the operation down all together. When they make it official, it turns out to be harder than expected to keep things between them professional. Marsh has the unfortunate habit of falling fast for emotionally unavailable men, while Levi is still grieving the loss of his wife. When their lives end up on the line, will they be able to hold on to what they’ve built under false pretenses.

“You’re more than I bargained for, Levi Bishop.” Levi thrust into his hand and brushed his lips against Marsh’s. “But a good bargain, yeah?” “The best.”

I really loved both Marsh and Levi. Marsh is confident with his drool worthy looks, southern drawl and cowboy Stetson. He’s flirty and charming, and underneath that bravado is a marshmallow. When he falls in love, he falls hard. He just wants someone and somewhere that feels like home. Then we have our pansexual Levi, who is trying his best to do his job and still be a present father to his son. He was grieving and fought his feelings toward Marsh. I love that Marsh never pushed Levi to move past his grief, he just offered to help lighten the pressure weighing him down. Also let’s be real, I would have grieved his wife Kristin too. She sounded bomb as f*ck, and was accepting of all aspects of Levi..

“All you have to do is ask, Levi. Ask for what you need, and I’ll give it to you.”

Romance wise, Marsh and Levi have a quality slow burn. I lived for all the little moments of connection between them, the heated glances, lingering touches, and tangible sexual tension. Every time Marsh gives in to how he feels about Levi and calls him “baby” It honestly made me weak in the knees. Then few times they do give in to their sexual attraction, the filthy words that come out of Marsha’s mouth are ‘fan yourself’ hot 🥵 And the slow burn wait definitely delivers in the end.

Marsh idly wondered how many seconds, how many minutes, how many days it would take to kiss every inch of his rosy skin , every sculpted muscle, every freckle exposed by the moonlight shining in through the giant windows.

I know that our leading men took all my focus, but I should probably comment on the story line too lol The story itself is absolutely an engaging one with our FBI agents following leads and trying to stop human traffickers. There are leaks in the FBI, suspect chases, and a few close calls for our agents along the way.

Dead Draw
 by Layla Reyne is a romantic suspense between two special agents, one a grieving widow and the other a smooth talking cowboy. Filled with instant attraction, a slow burn, chess matches, family , domestic moments, high stakes situations , and a marriage of convenience. This book ends on a happy for now cliffhanger, and I will without a doubt be back for book two to get more Marsh and Levi goodness.

—Written by Amanda—

[I received a digital arc for an honest review]

Dead Draw by Layla Reyne is the first book in the Perfect Play series. Emmitt ‘Marsh’ Marshall is a highly decorated hacker with a penchant for falling for the wrong man. He finds himself trying to fix a mistake made on a FBI op by proposing marriage to one of the agents, Levi Bishop. Levi has been trying to pick up the pieces of his life after the death of his wife. He is drowning in debt and guilt so when Marsh offers up marriage as a way to alleviate some of his troubles he finds himself unable to say no. Marsh and Levi know that their relationship is a means to an end but both men find it harder than they realized to keep to their rules of being professional.

Marsh is always finding himself falling for unavailable men. His white knight syndrome comes rushing in when he finds out that messing with Levi’s op is the least of the man’s surmounting issues. He doesn’t plan on finding a home with Levi and his son David but the domesticity and stability that the family provides him is overwhelming as it is comforting. Marsh can’t help but fall for Levi and when they finally allow themselves to just feel what has been building together it is as hot as it is sweet.

Levi’s hand atop his was warm and so casually intimate that more moments like it – fantasies – began to unspool in Marsh’s head. Fingers brushing over morning coffee and tea. A lingering hand on his cowboy hat. Their hands tangling on the console between car seats.

Levi has been barely keeping his head above water since the death of his wife two years prior. He is trying to balance everything and juggling is finally catching up to him. With the financial stress gone, Levi finds himself relying more on Marsh just being there when the weight of the world just becomes too much. Their little moments of comfort and intimacy cemented just how meant for each other these two lonely men are. Levi proves he can be a partner that Marsh can rely on just as much as Marsh is his white knight.

“Here, Marsh.” He spread his arms wide, indicating the house around them.
“I need a partner here.” Then folded both hands over his heart. “And here.”

We previously met Marsh in the Fog City series as well as Sean’s standalone book. The little glimpses of him left me intrigued and this fleshed out story of him falling for Levi was everything I wanted and more. As with other books by Reyne, she manages to balance the building of the MCs relationship with the action and suspense of the underlying FBI investigation. Reyne always manages to get you with her side characters and this book is no different with you loving David in his surly teenage glory and the supporting FBI crew, especially Farmer. I cannot wait to see where the author takes this series.

5 stars for Marsh and Levi’s marriage of convenience turns into so much more.

—Written by Katie—

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