Review: King Hunt – Layla Reyne

Review: King Hunt – Layla ReyneKing Hunt
by Layla Reyne
Series: Perfect Play #3
Also in this series: Dead Draw, Bad Bishop
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Publication Date: June 6, 2023
Genres: Romance
Pages: 223
Source: Valentine PR

I received this book for free from Valentine PR in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

When love is the only play that matters…

Agents Bishop and Marshall know:
The clock is ticking.
They control the most dangerous pieces on the board.
Sacrifices will be required to win the game.

Levi and Marsh need to:
Get home to each other and their son.
Fall asleep in each other’s arms again.
Start living the happily-ever-after the rings on their fingers promise.

What began as a marriage of convenience is now the rock Marsh and Levi cling to as they enter the endgame.
But defeating two kings is no easy feat.
They’ll have to make all the right moves and lure their enemies to their side of the board where they have the advantage.
But winning may cost them everything—their careers, their lives, and the love that’s become the center of their world.

King Hunt is the final book of the Perfect Play trilogy and should be read after Dead Draw and Bad Bishop. This swoony, single dad, marriage of convenience romance matches two mature, competent men and delivers the happily-ever-after they both so deeply deserve.

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4 stars icon categories_m_m romance icon suspense

Wow, has this series been a journey! And this book is most suspenseful of them all, a high stakes, twisty ride that leads the series to a satisfying and unexpected conclusion. As a note, this is the third book in a series and can’t be read as a standalone. There are spoilers for the previous two books in the series in this review.

“He’d been setting up this king hunt for three plus years, had critical pieces on the board he hadn’t even moved yet, not to mention the pieces already in the middle. Pieces he was still assessing.”

The last book ended on a cliffhanger with Marsh and Levi separated, one man trying to turn Catherine against her family and the other continuing to investigate the events of the party and trying to pin down more info they can use against Charles and Stewart, the real brains of the trafficking operation they’ve been trying to take down. Playing Catherine against her uncle is a dangerous game – if they’re even able to to trust her – but with the help of some old friends, can Marsh and Levi finally clear the board?

It’s hard to say much about the plot without going into too many spoilers or rehashing too much of the previous books. Suffice it to say that it’s chockfull of suspense – and some very surprising plot twists – and it’s exactly what you’d expect to wrap up this series. The pacing is excellent, with a good balance between the action and the more tender moments.

“Trust your partner. Your husband. I can handle this.”

Because of course there’s that whole crooked politician suspense plot, but there’s also the way Marsh ha been folded into Levi and David’s family, and the same in reverse. It may be unrealistic to judge a relationship based on five weeks (the amount of time it’s been since the events of the first book), but they’ve built a bedrock of trust and respect that shines through all of their interactions. The way both men work hard to keep David safe while respecting his feelings, the ease with which each of them can imagine fitting into each other’s lives… it’s so very heartwarming and a nice counterpoint to all the *waves hands* grittiness of the rest of the plot.

And there there’s the friends. Like most of the author’s Whiskeyverse books, there’s a lot of cameos, including some major parts with characters from the Fog City novels. It’s one of the few of her Whiskeyverse series that I haven’t read, and it did leave me feeling like I was missing nuances. I like the interconnectedness, but this isn’t the first time I’ve wished for some sort of spoilery guide of which book each character is from and why they’re important (this is probably an indication I should just do it myself…). I do wonder how much of a barrier this is to new readers trying to pick up one of these series.

“The board can’t have two kings.”

Overall, though, an excellent resolution to this trilogy. There’s some tantalizing hints as to where the Whiskeyverse may go next, and as always, I’ll be eagerly awaiting that next story!

Content notes: View Spoiler »

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