Monday, May 4, 2020

Feature Spotlight ~ VARIABLE ONSET by Layla Reyne


Variable Onset
by: Layla Reyne
Genre: Gay Romantic Suspense
Release Date: May 4, 2020
Publisher: Carina Press
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Goodreads

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.


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 professor life hell… and who has 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? Read on for an excerpt!

“Why do they think we’re married?”

Carter resisted the urge to angle in his face and lower his chin, just enough for their lips to brush. That would surely instigate a brawl. “Our cover,” he said.

“Beverley didn’t say anything about that.”

“Because he trusted me to handle it. This—” he gestured at the townsfolk milling around the living room “—is what I’m good at.”

Lincoln arched a brow. “Thought you were a forensics expert?”

“No, that’s you,” he replied with a smile.

Lincoln wasn’t charmed. “Why do they think we’re married?” he asked again.

Carter nudged him to the side, just shy of the living room, and spoke quietly and quickly. “I’d barely gotten the keys from the Realtor when the neighbors came snooping around. I couldn’t exactly tell them we’re feds.”

“So you thought telling them we’re married was a good idea?”

“Just married.” He shifted so his back was to the living room and reached into his jeans pocket. He withdrew a braided silver band, a match to the one on his own ring finger, and held it out to Lincoln. “Newlyweds.”

Lincoln glared at the band like he wanted to toss it into the fires of Mordor. “Because that’s so much better.”

Carter stepped closer and affected one of the many accents he’d cultivated, drawling in Georgia molasses, “Aww, come on, honey—”

Fiery eyes darted to his, and Carter stopped before taking another step, before saying another word. He lifted his other hand, palm out. “Whoa, okay, I’m sorry. My bad. Just go with it, please, and I promise I’ll lay it all out once everyone’s gone.”

Lincoln hesitated a few horrible seconds during which Carter feared he’d gone too far and cratered this opportunity, one he’d likely never get again, but then Lincoln snatched the ring from him and shoved it onto his finger. It caught on his knuckle, and Lincoln scrunched up his nose adorably as he fought to push it down. When sheer force didn’t work, he put his mouth on the knuckle and licked over and under it with his tongue. Carter bit back a groan. Fucking hell, why had he thought this was a good idea?

The ring slipped past Lincoln’s knuckle and notched into place at the base of his finger. Successful, he lifted his gaze, the angry heat in his eyes replaced with thinly veiled challenge. “You have thirty minutes to wrap this shindig up.”

Smiling to cover the hungry growl that threatened to escape, Carter returned to Lincoln’s side and settled his hand on the professor’s lower back, just above his perfect, perky ass. “They’ll be gone in twenty-nine, promise.”

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Layla Reyne is the author of Dine With Me, and 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.

Places to find Layla Reyne:

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