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Summary

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.

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!

©2022 Layla Reyne (P)2022 Layla Reyne

What listeners say about Dead Draw

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Terrific Story & Listen🎧 Gripping & Heartfelt!

Layla Reyne pens another fabulous multi-genre novel, the story grabbed my attention right from the start and captivated it the entire time. I enjoyed her writing style and the wonderful characters and storylines she created, they are interesting and original, easy to relate to and connect with, the characters are easy to care about too. The world building and character development is fantastic, as are the layers and complexity of the story. Special Agent Levi Bishop is struggling not only with the loss of his wife, but with his grieving son and making it so much worse he is struggling to stay afloat and is close to losing his house and his car. He is busy working on a case that is close to his heart, but a lead in the investigation falls flat and they think they know why, or rather, who was behind it. Special Agent Emmitt Marshall, hacker extraordinaire, wants to catch the terrorists who killed his mentor, and he comes up with a plan that would bring him closer to them and that plan includes asking another agent to pose as his husband. The same agent whose investigation he just screwed up, though his intention was to help and not hinder that operationI adored both lead characters, my heart went out to Levi and what he was going thru and Marsh just came in and stole my heart, a smooth talker with a big heart and personality. He gave Levi an out of his predicament, of course he takes it, but what happens after was not what he was expecting. I loved the chemistry between them and how well they worked together, also loved how Marsh was with David, Levi’s son. Besides the romance storyline, there is the case he is working on, a criminal investigation, and Marsh is involved with that, too. I loved how everything played out in this cleverly plotted story, there is plenty of drama, relationship and crime drama, mystery, action, thrilling suspense, heartfelt emotions and a slow burn romance. The author is not finished with these characters yet, so there is more to come for Levi and Marsh this fall, which I am looking forward to. Layla Reyne, thank you for another fantastic story and emotional rollercoaster ride.

🎧📚🎧 And for the terrific narration, Christian Leatherman is a talented narrator and a versatile voice artist, he gave each character their own voice and personality, making it easy to follow along and tell who is who. His portrayal of the characters was spot on, he took each role, ran with it and made it his own. You could hear how much heart he puts into his work as he captures the character’s emotions and projects them into his performance. Leatherman is an entertaining storyteller and a pleasure to listen to. Thank you for another great listen.

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A New Series by Layla Reyne

Dead Draw is the first book in Layla Reyne's new Perfect Play series. Clearly setting up the rest of the series, Ms. Reyne establishes both of the main characters, and gets them started in their relationship. I like their chemistry, and am looking forward to seeing where they go.

Layla Reyne always writes a clever, creative mystery.

Audio version performed by Christian Leatherman.

an audiobook copy of Dead Draw was provided for the purpose of my honest review, all opinions are my own

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The Stetson and the Suit

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.

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Excellent Rendition by Christian Leatherman

This is a great romance, full of slow burn simmering 'want' between our two guys. However, it's also an excellent thriller/ mystery, I have to say that Ms Reyne is expert at combining the two. She uses very descriptive language and her characters are way easy to relate to. In this story she cleverly weaves the storyline into Marsh and Levi's everyday lives, the way in which she involved their families and friends just makes it more believable. I also love how she Intertwines her characters from past books together in new stories. It was great to see Marsh and Brax together again. The emphasis in this story is more on the mystery aspect, but the sexual tension between Marsh and Levi sizzles all the way through the story. Just their hands brushing against one anothers is enough to set your imagination ablaze. I always feel if you are able to lose yourself in a story, sharing the emotions the characters go through, then it is a story that is well written. Christian Leatherman narrates the story beautifully. He has the perfect voice for both Marsh and Levi. I'm already looking forward to listening to the audible of the next book in the series.

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Love Marsh and Levi

I love this book. Dead Draw is a seriously strong start to the Perfect Play series. My experience, though, is I preferred reading the story than listening to it.

We've met Marsh, the larger than life cowboy/FBI agent, before when he showed up in Brad and Sean's books, but this time he's the star of the show alongside Levi Bishop - another FBI agent - as their cases collide and they need to find a way to work together to bring down bad guys that have caused both of them considerable pain and trouble.

I love a 'fake relationship to real feelings' story and Marsh and Levi fits the bill perfectly. We've got two very strong, well-rounded characters who are smart, loyal and absolutely committed to doing their job as well as to protecting the people they love. The intensity of their attraction but the slow burn of their relationship developing into something more physical is hot. Marsh's approach to getting to know David, Levi's son, is super sweet too in its way, as he has to overcome the teenager's surly (but equally sweet) protective streak for his small family. Yeah, I'm totally Team Marsh here!

The investigations that bring Levi and Marsh together are as gritty as you'd expect from this author. It's another poke into the seedy underbelly of a city's crime and corruption...well, it's the start of one at least. Dead Draw gives us a satisfying HFN, but I'm definitely ready for more to come from these guys...time to cowboy up!

The narration didn't really do the book justice on this occasion for me. It didn't really feel like an all-round performance. There were a few moments that brought me out of the story where I thought the narrator didn't quite hit the cues (pauses in the middle of sentences or phrases where they didn't fit) or it didn't work for me (I didn't notice any difference when Marsh was ‘dialling up’ his accent and, I appreciate it's really difficult for grown men to perform voices of girl children, but Lily's voice didn't work for me either). That said, it's not a really bad performance, these are just a few things that would affect my personal listening experience… others might not notice them at all.

It's 4.5* for the story, 3* for the performance.

A copy of the audiobook was provided by GRR. This is my honest review.

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loved

this was so amazing that I played games on my phone so that I didn't stop. can't wait for book 2!!!!

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New to me, author and narrator

This slow-burn relationship starts with a fake marriage between two FBI agents working on similar cases.

The story is well put together, keeps you intrigued throughout the book, the characters have good backstories, and you could picture the two of them and feel for them both. I like how the author writes. At no point did I lose interest in the book.

A well-written book about men, love and second chances in life, what more could we ask for.

Good narration from Christian Leatherman. I would certainly listen to more books narrated by him. I speed up the narration to 1.40. but this is usual for me, as I find most people read too slowly.

Dead Draw
A Perfect Play Novel
By: Layla Reyne
Narrated by: Christian Leatherman
Series: Perfect Play, Book 1
Length: 7 hrs and 8 mins

❤❤❤❤ Overall
🎧🎧🎧🎧 Narration
📚📚📚📚 Story
Read at 1.40 speed on Audible

I received this audiobook for free from GRR at my request. My review is my opinion and an honest review - neither the author nor GRR influenced my opinion.

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Great new series with strong MC's

Dead Draw is a great novel with action, drama, mystery and a slow burn marriage of convenience.
We jump straight into the action as well with the op that goes wrong and brings Marsh to Levi's attention. Marsh then, in his need to fix what broke and move forward with his case, proposes a marriage of convenience that will give Marsh access to the case that's adjacent to his own and gives Levi the security to save him and his son.
This story starts at full speed and doesn't really slow down as they go from op to investigating to family drama and back again. Things, of course, do not always go well but everything brings Levi and Marsh closer together, giving their strong chemistry time to simmer whilst they work the case but hearts always have a way of becoming involved, especially for Marsh anyway. There's also David, Levi's son, to consider who may have the teenage attitude down but they've been through a help of a lot as a family and he can't lose anyone else. I found time that Levi was with his family highly entertaining and the investigation that both agents are working did get complicated in places with so many links and loop backs but is really interesting building up to a tense outcome that can only get darker in book two.
A well developed story in both relationship and plot that I really enjoyed. Definitely a recommended read/listen.
This is my first listen from Christian and he provides a great voice for these characters. It's an entertaining listen and he really draws you into the plot and the blossoming relationship between Levi and Marsh.

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  • Nicole J.
  • 23-06-22

Different yet interesting

I went into this one blind and had no idea what to expect and this wasn’t what I was thinking it would be but it was pretty good! I read tons on m/m but didn’t realize this was going to be one going in. At first I wasn’t sure about it since it threw me off with a fake relationship beginning since it took me a bit to realize Levi didn’t identify as straight like he was portrayed in the beginning. I loved Marsh, he had me cracking up with his personality. There was some angst too. I think I at first struggled seeing the connection with these two but now I felt it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Bette
  • 23-06-22

Terrific Story & Listen🎧 Gripping & Heartfelt!

Layla Reyne pens another fabulous multi-genre novel, the story grabbed my attention right from the start and captivated it the entire time. I enjoyed her writing style and the wonderful characters and storylines she created, they are interesting and original, easy to relate to and connect with, the characters are easy to care about too. The world building and character development is fantastic, as are the layers and complexity of the story. Special Agent Levi Bishop is struggling not only with the loss of his wife, but with his grieving son and making it so much worse he is struggling to stay afloat and is close to losing his house and his car. He is busy working on a case that is close to his heart, but a lead in the investigation falls flat and they think they know why, or rather, who was behind it. Special Agent Emmitt Marshall, hacker extraordinaire, wants to catch the terrorists who killed his mentor, and he comes up with a plan that would bring him closer to them and that plan includes asking another agent to pose as his husband. The same agent whose investigation he just screwed up, though his intention was to help and not hinder that operationI adored both lead characters, my heart went out to Levi and what he was going thru and Marsh just came in and stole my heart, a smooth talker with a big heart and personality. He gave Levi an out of his predicament, of course he takes it, but what happens after was not what he was expecting. I loved the chemistry between them and how well they worked together, also loved how Marsh was with David, Levi’s son. Besides the romance storyline, there is the case he is working on, a criminal investigation, and Marsh is involved with that, too. I loved how everything played out in this cleverly plotted story, there is plenty of drama, relationship and crime drama, mystery, action, thrilling suspense, heartfelt emotions and a slow burn romance. The author is not finished with these characters yet, so there is more to come for Levi and Marsh this fall, which I am looking forward to. Layla Reyne, thank you for another fantastic story and emotional rollercoaster ride.

🎧📚🎧 And for the terrific narration, Christian Leatherman is a talented narrator and a versatile voice artist, he gave each character their own voice and personality, making it easy to follow along and tell who is who. His portrayal of the characters was spot on, he took each role, ran with it and made it his own. You could hear how much heart he puts into his work as he captures the character’s emotions and projects them into his performance. Leatherman is an entertaining storyteller and a pleasure to listen to. Thank you for another great listen.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Cheri
  • 21-06-22

I could listen to Christian Leatherman any day

This is the first book I've listened to narrated by Christian Leatherman, and I have decided he is a favorite. I really enjoyed his voice, and the voicing he gave to characters.

This story is really good, drew me in. I haven't read anything else by this author, not realizing that the Marsh was a side character in other books by this author. I don't know if it would have helped to have read the other books or not. I didn't feel like I was missing anything, so it wasn't obvious if there was something I would have known.

This story does kind of end in a cliffhanger. We don't have resolution of the main suspense plot. The characters do end in a HFN.

1 person found this helpful

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  • kp
  • 21-06-22

Great start to a new series!

Christian Leatherman does an outstanding job of brining this story to life.
Layla Reyne has knocked it out of the park with Dead Draw, the first in the Perfect Play series.
I defy anyone to not fall in love with Marsh and Levi. These two are just so irresistable.

I loved the chemistry and connection they shared. Each wary of getting to involved. Both trying to keep things just business. That is impossible when they are so perfectly suited for each other.
The action and intrigue will keep you on the edge of your seat. This story will keep you guessing as you turn page after page.

It is the perfect blend of romance, intrigue, family and so much more.
I was left counting the days until I get the next installment in this series.
I'm hooked!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Cheryl B
  • 28-06-22

Great FBI procedural story!!

Dead Draw, an Audiobook by Layla Reyne is the story of Levi and Marsh. When an FBI sting is foiled, there is only one chance for redemption. But, it’s a dangerous move…for many reasons….and danger is always there!!

This was a pretty good story. I’m not a huge fan of the genre, but enjoyed it nonetheless! My biggest issues was the constant use of pronouns he, his, etc. Very hard to follow when both main characters are male. The narrator helped quite a bit in this!!

This Audiobook was narrated by Christian Leatherman who did a wonderful job performing the story!!! Tough to keep two male characters as distinctive voices, but he pulled it off well!!! Good job!

I am volunteering to leave a review for an Advance Reader Copy of this Audiobook.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • BooksonStereo
  • 26-06-22

A Must Listen

Dead Draw is pure perfection. The steam, the chemistry, the romance, the representation is all there in spades. Reyne has hooked me with this couple, and I desperately need the next installment.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • TheSassyNerd
  • 23-06-22

Good listen

I really enjoyed this. The world-building and character development was on point and the new MC were fun to read. The chemistry between the two were off the charts. All in all, it was enjoyable to listen to and I am eager to listen to the rest of the series!


4 Stars

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  • Dixiecowgirl060
  • 21-06-22

Love Levi and Marsh!!!

Loved the story!  Lots of action, intrigue, complex plot and delightful romance!     Levi and Marsh are so awesome together, they are sweet, steamy and so powerful together.   

Loved the narration!!   I enjoyed how the narrator brought  Levi and Marsh to life for me!  

This is book one of the Perfect Play Series and it does end on a cliffhanger.  I am so looking forward to Bad Bishop, the second of this series.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Nicole Ortiz
  • 17-06-22

Great Listen!

This is the first book I read from this author. It was a good story. Two opposite FBI agents Marshall who seems to be a rebel hacker and likes to sometimes do things off the book and Levi who does things by the book. Marshall offers a struggling Levi a proposal, they get married so he could help Levi and also continue his investigation and Marshall will pay him so he could payoff some debts. It was a great, enjoyable story. I listened to the audio book and the narrator did a good job telling the story and giving the characters a voice.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Goldenchels
  • 16-06-22

THE STORY MARSH DESERVED

- can be read as a standalone
I have loved Marsh since we met him in a previous book and this is the love such a great guy deserves. The characters are adults. They speak and act like grown people making mostly responsible decisions are its so darn sexy. Levi is a wonderful addition to Layla's cast of characters. the book includes amazing queer rep and is hot as all heck.
Loved it.
Oh, narration was super good too!