Monday, February 26, 2018

Review: Smoke and Mirrors (Outbreak Task Force #2) by Julie Rowe

Smoke and Mirrors by Julie Rowe

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Smoke and Mirrors by Julie Rowe blurb

Smoke and Mirrors is non-stop adrenalin action from the very beginning and will keep you at the edge of your seat as you join Kini and Smoke while they try to figure out the cause of a hantavirus outbreak in Utah.

Ms Rowe is one of my favorite romantic suspense authors. Her stories are always action-packed and I've been a fan from the very first book I read. Now, I wait impatiently for new books to take me back into the world of strong, protective military men; smart, competent heroines, and deadly viruses and pathogens. Smoke and Mirrors is the second in the Outbreak Task Force series but can be read as a standalone.

Smoke has been a favorite of mine since I met him in the Biological Response Team series. He's skilled, competent and a man of very few words. I was wondering how Ms Rowe was going to have him communicate given that he's prone to one word answers but she did a great job with him. Of course, he said a lot more than one word but his responses were still utterly Smoke. Brief, precise and nuanced. His combination of expression, body language and a minimum of words conveyed a wealth of meaning and emotion. Communication aside, Smoke is a very damaged man. Years served in the Army has taken it's toll on his soul and psyche. It's made him a very accomplished soldier but it's also made him very aware of how dangerous he can be to those around him. And yet, he maintains a core of honor and integrity. A part of him wants to drag him down and sink into a mass of anger and depravity but another part of him, the part that is connected to the land, and the love and stability of his family, keeps him grounded in the present and makes him a man who is noble and keeps his promises. Even as he struggles with himself and fears what he can become, there are those around him who keep him anchored and who will bring him back from the abyss. And not once did he ever let Kini down.

Ms Rowe writes great heroines. Even the ones who are slightly damaged and afraid to trust like Kini. When faced with adversity and hostility, Kini pushes forward. She perseveres and continues to do her job, and do what's right. And she cares. For the people, for the sick, for the dying. It takes a lot for Kini to trust a man after someone near and dear to her betrayed that trust in the most awful way imaginable but she trusts Smoke. In fact, she's instantly attracted to Smoke when she meets him. It's not quite insta-love but they do fall for each other rather quickly in the midst of car bombs and ducking bullets. Love borne of danger can either be enduring or dissipate after the adrenalin wears off. I'm glad this is a romance and the love between Smoke and Kini endures to give me a happy ending.

I'm always sad when I come to the end of one of Ms Rowe's books. I'm going to miss the endless excitement until the next book comes out. So glad there will be more in the series.

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About the author

Julie Rowe

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  1. I haven't read this author before but the book sounds good. Not a fan of the headless book cover though.

    1. Don't worry about the cover. The book itself is very good. She's a favorite of mine, the author.

  2. Yay for an unannoying heroine! Makes me wanna try it just for that. lol

    1. I love when they are great. I recently DNF'ed a book because of the heroine.

  3. Great review Deanna I think I should try some of MS Rowe's Books :)

    have Fun


    1. I really like her stories. She's a must-read author for me.