I never did manage to write the reviews for either the Irish and Whiskey trilogy or the first two books of this one, despite these couples being some of my favorites of this year. And I couldn’t contain my excitement when I got approved for this advance copy immediately after I requested, because I really have been waiting to know the conclusion for Nic and Cam’s story. All the intrigue that has been slowly building up for two books finally comes to a head here and I had such fun reading this in a single sitting.
It was difficult to see Nic struggle so much in this book, especially when he just starts feeling happy in his life with Cam and is excited for his future. With his father’s mysterious death and the existence of a sibling revealed along with some of his painful past coming back, he is drowning more in his guilt and wants to keep everyone in his new found family safe. Cam is confident that Nic will succeed in his case and everything will finally go back to normal, but seeing ghosts of Nic’s past leaves him feeling uncertain about their future. He also has to use all his K&R expertise to as well as his love for Nic to keep him from floundering.
It was great to see their relationship grow into such a strong one that even extreme circumstances can’t really separate them. And I finally got what I was waiting for – seeing Nic in his full AUSA mode, building his case, both in and out of the courtroom, outmaneuvering his opponents and never losing sight of his goal even in the direst of circumstances. He is expertly supported by Cam every step of the way – as a partner on the case, a sounding board keeping him tethered to reality and doing the one thing Nic needs most, keeping their family safe. Though the individual mysteries in this series have been interesting, I was quite sure that the mystery related to Vaughn would be predictable, but the author succeeds in pleasantly surprising us there too. Despite seeing the excellent support system this group of friends make in Barrel Proof, it is even more evident in this book where there is more danger and the professional lives of Nic and Cam are at stake. It was such fun to see Aidan, Jamie, Mel, Lauren and all other new additions like AD Moore, Eddie and Garrett play significant roles in finally bringing the truth out and get justice for Nic.
This is a great ending to the amazing love story of Nic and Cam, with a very adorable final chapter that had me grinning all the way through. This book had all the elements I have come to expect from this series – love, friendship, suspense and action – all in good doses, keeping us readers on our toes every step of the way. I’m also sad that the series is over but hope we’ll get a wedding novella, just like we got one for Irish and Whiskey. And do I detect a possible couple for a new series… let’s wait and watch.
PS: Thanks to Netgalley and Carina Press for providing me with this advance copy. All opinions expressed here are solely mine and unbiased.