Smoke and Mirrors (Outbreak Task Force, #2)
Someone scratched a death threat in the paint of CDC nurse Kini Kerek’s rental car. She’s in Utah researching Hantavirus, but damaging rumors about the CDC have left residents suspicious and uncooperative. Thank goodness for hot, sexy, former soldier Smoke, a man of few words, who’s assigned to protect and help her navigate the isolated desert town as she races to identify a deadly virus before more people die. Memories from the combat zone leave ex-Special Forces soldier Lyle Smoke in a constant state of battle readiness, and he finds no solace, even after returning home to Small Blind. When he meets Kini Kerek, he discovers his heart isn’t entirely dead. But, that might not last long, because this outbreak is no mistake, and he’ll need to use all his survival skills gleaned from the military and his Native American upbringing to keep him and the beautiful, but secretive, Kini alive.

Smoke and Mirrors (Outbreak Task Force, #2) Details

TitleSmoke and Mirrors (Outbreak Task Force, #2)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 26th, 2018
PublisherEntangled Publishing, LLC (Amara)
ISBN-139781640633490
Rating
GenreRomance, Romantic Suspense, Action, Contemporary, War, Military

Smoke and Mirrors (Outbreak Task Force, #2) Review

  • ♥ WishfulMiss ♥
    January 1, 1970
    Quick Summary: Kini is in town trying to gather information for the CDC for the early stages of a possible vaccine for the highly contagious and often deadly hantavirus. When people start arriving in droves to the local hospital with hantavirus-like symptoms, the locals begin to panic and rumors fly that the CDC is somehow behind this sudden outbreak. When threats to her start to escalate, she’s charged with gathering as much information as possible and reporting back to headquarters ASAP to d Quick Summary: Kini is in town trying to gather information for the CDC for the early stages of a possible vaccine for the highly contagious and often deadly hantavirus. When people start arriving in droves to the local hospital with hantavirus-like symptoms, the locals begin to panic and rumors fly that the CDC is somehow behind this sudden outbreak. When threats to her start to escalate, she’s charged with gathering as much information as possible and reporting back to headquarters ASAP to determine their next course of action.Easier said than done when the body count starts rising. Pretty soon Kini is in a race against time and some deadly outside forces that are terrorizing the town and desperate to keep her out of their shady business. It soon becomes obvious someone is trying to use Kini and the CDC as a scapegoat. And the job becomes more than one person can handle.Enter highly skilled and deadly ex-military Sgt. Smoke. After several tours in the army and starting to feel his age, Smoke is back home but with mixed feelings. Having avoided his hometown for the last eight years and still haunted by the ghost of the son he lost, Smoke’s plan is to stock up on supplies and head out into the desert and heal, both in mind and body. But the instant his eyes land on Kini, the feelings that had been numbed for so long get a live wire jolt back into the land of the living. Something about her calls to Smoke and knowing that she is in danger kick starts his protectiveness. No way will he let her tackle a panicked town alone. The hantavirus isn’t the only thing to worry about either, not when something else is stirring up the fear in people. When the threats to Kini keep mounting in speed and aggression, Smoke is all too willing to be Kini’s shield. Finding out what’s really going on and wiping the threat at it’s source becomes Smoke’s top priority. What I loved about it: This was such a great read, it was intense, action packed, full of suspense and mystery and I loved the setting and the secondary characters. Kini and Smoke were amazing together. The fact that Smoke is a man of such few words and still Kini was able to read him and understand him on an emotional level was the highlight of the book. These two spoke their own language and that instant connection was awesome. They had their own style of banter and flirting that was sweet and lent the story some humor in otherwise highly intense life and death situations.I loved the last book by this author and I loved her style and her well written and adrenaline filled plots. The MCs are always memorable characters and I’m always blown away by the time the last page is read. Smoke and Mirrors was no different. Easily a four star book for me. Favorite Line: ”When the hell did you have time to fall in love with her? You only met her three days ago.”“About thirty seconds after I met her.” ~ Smoke Would I recommend?Highly recommend! It’s been a while since I’ve had so much fun reading a book that delivers in the suspense, action and romance department. * * * ARC provided for an honest review * * *“I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. SAFETY INFO: (view spoiler)[Ages: No ages are disclosed but both MCs are in their late twenties to early thirties.Cheating: None.OM/OW drama: None.Separation: A small one of a few days to a week. Push/Pull Smoke thinks he is too damaged for Kini and tries to break things off, Kini goes after him though and things get settled pretty quickly after that. Main Pursuer of relationship: I think they were both mutually pursuing the other, so I’d say it was 50/50 between them.Triggers: Death of a child (off page, H’s son was killed in a car accident), PTSD (off and on page, H), some descriptive violence, murder/death (on and off page) and descriptive violence.HEA/HFN: Ends on a HEA and an epilogue a few months later. (hide spoiler)]
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    Talk about your smoldering, scarred, uber alpha, military leading man! Rowe writes a nail biting novel that is sure to pull the reader in hook, line and sinker.I received this ARC copy of Smoke and Mirrors from Entangled Publishing, LLC. This is my honest and voluntary review. Smoke and Mirrors is set for publication Feb. 26, 2018.My Rating: 5 starsWritten by; Julie RowePrint Length: 304 pagesPublisher: Entangled: Amara Publication Date: February 26, 2018Sold by: MacmillanGenre: Contemporary Rom Talk about your smoldering, scarred, uber alpha, military leading man! Rowe writes a nail biting novel that is sure to pull the reader in hook, line and sinker.I received this ARC copy of Smoke and Mirrors from Entangled Publishing, LLC. This is my honest and voluntary review. Smoke and Mirrors is set for publication Feb. 26, 2018.My Rating: 5 starsWritten by; Julie RowePrint Length: 304 pagesPublisher: Entangled: Amara Publication Date: February 26, 2018Sold by: MacmillanGenre: Contemporary RomanceAmazon: https://www.amazon.com/Smoke-Mirrors-...Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/smok...For more reviews check out Tome Tender's Book Blog or find us on Facebook.
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  • N.N. Light
    January 1, 1970
    Julie Rowe is back in another smokin’ hot romantic suspense dealing with a biological warfare e-market where innocent men, women and children are the victims and Homeland Security is caught unaware.Smoke returns home to Small Blind after years in the combat zone but there’s no escaping his guilt. He tries to bury his demons and act normal, but he can’t outrun his own traitorous heart. Fate throws CDC nurse Kini in his arms but when someone blows up her car, he steps in as bodyguard. He calls his Julie Rowe is back in another smokin’ hot romantic suspense dealing with a biological warfare e-market where innocent men, women and children are the victims and Homeland Security is caught unaware.Smoke returns home to Small Blind after years in the combat zone but there’s no escaping his guilt. He tries to bury his demons and act normal, but he can’t outrun his own traitorous heart. Fate throws CDC nurse Kini in his arms but when someone blows up her car, he steps in as bodyguard. He calls his friend River and demands to be on the CDC payroll. Using all his instincts as a soldier and warrior, he investigates the outbreak and vows to bring vengeance to those responsible. What he underestimates is Kini and her healing touch. Will he push her away or is she the medicine he needs most of all?Sweltering-hot romance with a serious medical thriller, Smoke and Mirrors is a pulse-pounding must read! The meat of the story deals with very bad men using lethal diseases as weapons and selling them to the highest bidder online. Smoke and Kini are pawns in a very dangerous game and with each plot twist, I gasped aloud. I loved how broken Smoke and Kini were yet in the end, they have the chance to heal and love again. Rowe also sheds light on the societal issue of the mistreatment of Natives in America (and elsewhere). Very well done.If you love romantic suspense with depth in a very serious threatening situation which could happen (if it isn’t already), pick up Smoke and Mirrors! I can’t wait to read the next book.Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the author in the hopes I’d review it.Favorite Character/Quote: “He glanced down. There was a woman in bed with him. Christmas? Months away. Birthday? Months away. Hallucination? Months too soon.”My Rating: 5+ starsThis review first appeared on N. N. Light's Book Heaven: https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/si... Come and see all the books we're talking about!
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  • Dísir
    January 1, 1970
    Romantic fiction that brings biological warfare to the forefront is rare and Julie Rowe’s suspense series about soldiers, invisible but scary threats and doctors/nurses fighting to stop an outbreak always stood out because of their unique subject matter. Well, that and how the first few chapters of her recent books actually have the ability to tip the reader straight into a mystery waiting to be solved and a thrilling ride that pulls together conspiracy theory, medical science and law enforcemen Romantic fiction that brings biological warfare to the forefront is rare and Julie Rowe’s suspense series about soldiers, invisible but scary threats and doctors/nurses fighting to stop an outbreak always stood out because of their unique subject matter. Well, that and how the first few chapters of her recent books actually have the ability to tip the reader straight into a mystery waiting to be solved and a thrilling ride that pulls together conspiracy theory, medical science and law enforcement. From the very start when Smoke first glided into the series as a mysterious, near-silent soldier, I knew I wanted his story. Yet Smoke barely lost his enigmatic cover and with a tragic past that was only briefly mentioned, ’Smoke and Mirrors’ started out as a straight up terse, tension-filled ride as Smoke and Kini rushed to uncover how widespread an infection had become in a claustrophobic and hostile small town. Still, a potent, deadly mix of hysteria and confusion that eventually turned into bloodlust made for engrossing reading, and like Kini and Smoke, the confusion and apparent connections between the seemingly unrelated incidents in town didn’t come together for me until the very end when the true monsters emerge. While I liked the action however, it seemed inconceivable that the crazy, superstitious town people leaped to any kind of conclusion (inexplicably ending up with fingers pointed at Smoke) like medieval folk to the point where it almost didn’t make logical sense. There’s no doubt that Rowe handled the suspense superbly and the twists and turns in the narrative were sufficient hooks to keep the pages turning. The connection between Kini and Smoke however, was harder to get into (with some instalove going on as everything took place within a few days), despite the huge zing of attraction that Rowe wrote into the very bizarre first scene of them waking up together in bed. How believable is it for someone to climb into bed not noticing another person already in it? In any case, with a romance built on this weird foundation and growing too quickly in a short time—Kini and Smoke literally spent the whole time changing vehicles, zipping from place to place—the pairing looked like an incidental feature of the suspense, and the sex that happened down in the bare, hard dirt when Kini was badly injured and fatigued to the point of passing out felt more far-fetched than bedsheet-scorching (there weren’t even any). That said, I did like both protagonists however; Kini was, quite literally, a ball-buster and Smoke was so cool and deadly—who catnaps in jail after being falsely convicted of murder?—that they could have been a solid pair if they’d been given more time for the burn between them to sizzle apart from the constant flurry of action that gave no one any time to literally breathe. ‘Smoke and Mirrors’, like the rest of Rowe’s books, is only loosely connected to the rest of the series, and functions perfectly as a standalone. I did miss seeing the other couples who’d found their HEA in previous books though, despite some familiar characters turning up, but there really little for me to stand on here, especially when Rowe always leaves me dazzled but chilled by the end of her story. *ARC by the publisher via Netgalley
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  • Marta Cox
    January 1, 1970
    Well I wasn't expecting a romance with biological weapons to keep me so interested. Yes I saw the cover ( fanning myself !) and thought it would be a typical contemporary story with alpha former military guy who jumps in to save the heroine and ironically I think she kind of saves him . Ok I'm getting ahead of myself here but I really liked this story with its Native American hero who isn't afraid to tap into his heritage. Smoke isn't exactly chatty but Kini doesn't seem to have much trouble und Well I wasn't expecting a romance with biological weapons to keep me so interested. Yes I saw the cover ( fanning myself !) and thought it would be a typical contemporary story with alpha former military guy who jumps in to save the heroine and ironically I think she kind of saves him . Ok I'm getting ahead of myself here but I really liked this story with its Native American hero who isn't afraid to tap into his heritage. Smoke isn't exactly chatty but Kini doesn't seem to have much trouble understanding him although trouble is most definitely following her around ! People are getting sick and its Kini who is getting blamed for it and in a small town rumours spread pretty fast. The real danger is played down though as the author unravels her story with absolutely jaw dropping revelations!As much as this is a romance it's the mystery and suspense that elevates this book . Honestly there's a plethora of books with brooding heroes and heroines who stand up and kick ass or in Kinis case more sensitive places ! Plus as much as I liked them both their passionate encounters always felt weird as in I'm not sure it was always believable when injured or just in peculiar situations. I suppose Smoke does sizzle ( couldn't resist that pun ) and this taciturn guy really goes the extra mile with his awesome family backing him up. Kini is independent and brave and the chemistry she shares with Smoke is instant and incendiary . I just felt something was missing, maybe I wanted more of an emotional connection but of one thing I'm sure and that's the fact that I've found a new author to look for and if you enjoy romantic suspense then this series is well worth checking out.This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair
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  • Book Lover
    January 1, 1970
    Lyle Smoke served 8 years in the Army and is returning to his hometown of Small Blind, Utah. Two years ago his son, Liam and Liam’s mother, Lacey were killed when she drove home drunk from a party with him in the car. This is his first time back since the funeral. He’s going home to figure out how to be a civilian again. Kini Kerek is a Public Health nurse with the CDC, assigned to collect patient histories and blood samples from rural areas of Utah, especially Native American descendants to tr Lyle Smoke served 8 years in the Army and is returning to his hometown of Small Blind, Utah. Two years ago his son, Liam and Liam’s mother, Lacey were killed when she drove home drunk from a party with him in the car. This is his first time back since the funeral. He’s going home to figure out how to be a civilian again. Kini Kerek is a Public Health nurse with the CDC, assigned to collect patient histories and blood samples from rural areas of Utah, especially Native American descendants to track the incidence of diabetes, heart disease and the incidence of hantavirus. She is well versed in self-defense moves. She is totally kickass. She refuses to take a back seat to her life, speaks her mind and stands up for herself.Smoke arrives at his parent’s home after one in the morning. He quietly strips to his boxers and slips into his bed. He awakens with a mostly naked Kini draped over him. Some ninja warrior/spec ops he is not to have noticed she was already in the bed. Smoke is a man of few words but seems to be able to communicate so much with so little. He is definitely alpha - dominant, over protective, stoic, take charge. Conveniently, Smoke’s Army buddy, River, just happened to have offered him a job with the CDC on his way home. He accepts the job so he can be Kini’s constant companion to protect her (from the angry townspeople who think she brought the disease to town with her) as well as to be involved in the investigation. Smoke and Kini spend most of their time in the car (several different ones actually because they keep getting destroyed) trying to track down the rapidly spreading disease taking over the small town.The story takes place over a few days. The insta-love needed more time to develop believably. The fast paced, action packed story draws you in quickly and holds your attention to the end. I easily read this as a standalone and look forward to more from this author.I voluntarily reviewed an ARC provided by NetGalley and the publisher.
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  • Cindy ~ SnS Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    This author knows how perfectly blend suspense, deadly infectious diseases, sizzlin romance. This series like its predecessor blends Military and CDC personnel. Kini Kerek is a CDC health care nurse who was sent to Utah to gather blood samples and research for a cure for the Hantavirus. She is running into resistance and getting death threats when she finds out there are current cases of people dying at the hospital from the Hantavirus. Lyle Smoke recently discharged from Special Forces after 8 This author knows how perfectly blend suspense, deadly infectious diseases, sizzlin romance. This series like its predecessor blends Military and CDC personnel. Kini Kerek is a CDC health care nurse who was sent to Utah to gather blood samples and research for a cure for the Hantavirus. She is running into resistance and getting death threats when she finds out there are current cases of people dying at the hospital from the Hantavirus. Lyle Smoke recently discharged from Special Forces after 8 years is returning home with memories of pain and blood. He is hoping for some alone time to go out hunting on his own to release the anger that lives inside him. What he wasn't expecting was a sexy woman to be sleeping in his childhood bed. When he realizes how much danger she is in he accepts a job offer from the CDC Outbreak Task Force so he can keep Kini safe while also trying to figure out what is going on in his town with the sudden outbreak which is killing residents at a fast rate. Not as edge of your seat as some of the previous books but still a page turner.
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  • Ayekah
    January 1, 1970
    Holy hell what a book. Wow Wow Wow! This book was crazy, in the very best way. It's a must read.Romantic suspense can be a tough one but this book packed a serious punch and kept me flipping those pages like a loon! Lyle Smoke comes home to Utah after his stint in the Army in over. He's been gone a long time, he's different now, he knows that yet some things don't change. In the small town he calls home, obvious home to other Native Americans as well the story pulls a little of that it, it's inh Holy hell what a book. Wow Wow Wow! This book was crazy, in the very best way. It's a must read.Romantic suspense can be a tough one but this book packed a serious punch and kept me flipping those pages like a loon! Lyle Smoke comes home to Utah after his stint in the Army in over. He's been gone a long time, he's different now, he knows that yet some things don't change. In the small town he calls home, obvious home to other Native Americans as well the story pulls a little of that it, it's inherent in Lyle along with his Special Forces training. Smoke is hella hot and when he meets Kini the sparks fly. Kini Kerek is on assignment for the CDC in a small town in Utah, sent to take blood samples, ask a few simple medical questions and a swab, she's been t-boned in her car, had her car keyed, beaten, had her car blown up and it's endless. There's an outbreak on Hanta virus in the town and people are dropping like flies. The people of the town are convinced that Kini is to blame when she's simply there to ask questions. Smoke has a friend at CDC and he calls him, River we met in book one. Smoke signs on with the CDC and swears to protect Kini. Kini has been staying at Smokes parents home since she came to town, they're good to her and protective as is Smoke. Getting Grandad involved too now we have the three Smoke men, an overcrowded, taxed hospital with no relief in sight, people are dying and when the chief of staff refuses to call in the CDC their hands are tied. Fortunately he dies and the next day the town's retired Dr says yes and even though help is on it's way there is something much more sinister going on here. That's all you get from me. This book is a must read. The twists and turns how many times I said, Didn't see that coming " I lost count. You think you know the bad guys, some are pretty obvious, some are not so much and there's a whole nut load of crazy going on here too. I loved when Smoke fell back on his childhood upbringing relying on his senses and knowing the canyons and where to hide. Smoke was a great character, Kini I adored. Julie Rowe you knocked me out with this one and I loved it!! It's an absolutely fantastic read. I look forward to the next book! *advanced reader copy from NetGalley and Entangled in exchange for an honest review. My review contains my own opinions and thoughts.**
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  • Kristy K
    January 1, 1970
    I feel like I’ve read this story a hundred times before. Brooding, ex-military alpha male who say one to two word sentences. And an intelligent, independent woman who all of the sudden needs a savior. And of course some really weird times for romance (when I'm running from my life and hiding, I am not thinking of getting hot and heavy with my fellow runner; I am thinking of survival).I didn’t feel like these characters were fleshed out at all. They were very cookie cutter to the genre and tropes I feel like I’ve read this story a hundred times before. Brooding, ex-military alpha male who say one to two word sentences. And an intelligent, independent woman who all of the sudden needs a savior. And of course some really weird times for romance (when I'm running from my life and hiding, I am not thinking of getting hot and heavy with my fellow runner; I am thinking of survival).I didn’t feel like these characters were fleshed out at all. They were very cookie cutter to the genre and tropes which they came from. And they suffer from a heavy case of insta-love. Three days before declarations of love. I think the same story could have been told over a few weeks or months and would have worked just as well and had the love be more believable. I did enjoy the subplot of a virus outbreak and how it was intertwine with so much throughout the plot. Rowe seems to have done her research on the virus itself and that was nice to see.
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  • ShinyObject
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of Smoke & Mirrors by Julie Rowe from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I was intrigued by the summary and really wanted to like this novel, but the storyline could have been pulled together better and the characters developed more (less flat). It was a struggle to continue reading several times.Unfortunately, this book just missed the mark for me.
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  • Dolly Sickles
    January 1, 1970
    The second installment of Julie Rowe’s Outbreak Task Force series, SMOKE & MIRRORS, reinforces my opinion that science is sexy. Intelligence reigns in this thrilling race to find the source of a hantavirus outbreak in a rural corner of Utah. Only, the source of this outbreak isn’t of the typical rodent variety.A week after Lyle Smoke is discharged from the Army, he heads home for a little R&R and family time. Arriving late and not wanting to wake up his parents, he stumbles into his chil The second installment of Julie Rowe’s Outbreak Task Force series, SMOKE & MIRRORS, reinforces my opinion that science is sexy. Intelligence reigns in this thrilling race to find the source of a hantavirus outbreak in a rural corner of Utah. Only, the source of this outbreak isn’t of the typical rodent variety.A week after Lyle Smoke is discharged from the Army, he heads home for a little R&R and family time. Arriving late and not wanting to wake up his parents, he stumbles into his childhood bedroom and crawls in the bed. He wakes up the next morning with a beautiful, naked woman plastered against him … with terrible black eyes and bruises on her face. Kini Kerek is a nurse with the CDC’s Outbreak Task Force and is in town, publicly, doing a health study of the local population. Privately, she’s “attempting to track the incidence of infection and the development of antibodies in the same population for the hantavirus.” She is an unwelcome entity in a part of the country where folks “didn’t like the government sticking its nose into their business.” Over the course of the story, her car is keyed and T-boned, death threats are issued, she’s beaten, kidnapped and shot. Someone is clearly trying to sabotage her.Given all this, however, Kini is no shrinking violet. She’s a badass nurse with a spine of steel, a brilliantly sharp mind and courage out the wazoo. She’s also a dirty fighter. All things that call to Smoke, who hasn’t returned home since he buried his son, Liam, and Liam’s mother two years ago. The ghosts of his loved ones collude with the ghosts of his time in the service, creating a constant battle with Smoke and his yearning to move forward — both for himself and with this incredible woman.Shortly after his discharge, an old Army buddy of Storm offered him a position with the Outbreak Task Force, which is made up of people with different backgrounds. As a soldier, his strength is in keeping the scientist he’s partnered with safe and able to do the job at hand. He mostly had a passing interest in it, until he realized Kini was part of the Task Force and needed the safety and protection only he could provide.One phone call later, he’s on the team and officially watching her back. As Smoke and Kini race toward the unexpected source of the outbreak, fighting a cadre of forces with a seemingly endless supply of replacements and intricate consortium of bad guys, learning (and believing) they’re worthy of love is one of the hardest challenges they face. Because both have known love and loss.I spent several years working in HIV prevention and education, and my team worked with the CDC. These people are not playing around when tracking down deadly pathogens and communicable diseases. I think the aspect that most draws me in with Smoke & Mirrors isn’t the exciting suspense or the believable, romantic romance, but the insider glimpse of following Rowe’s breadcrumbs that track the biology of the spread of disease. There are so many scary things out there in the world, and one of the scariest might be mice.*Originally published with USA Today's Happy Ever After: https://happyeverafter.usatoday.com/2....
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  • Bec - Book Magic: Under a spell with every page
    January 1, 1970
    CDC Nurse Kini Kerek has her work cut out for her, especially when she finds herself being targeted and rumors are flying around town about what she's really there for. Luckily though, she has former Special Forces soldier Lyle Smoke to help her out and protect her from any other threats that she may face while continuing her research into Hantavirus. However, as the danger closes in, will Lyle be able to keep Kini safe, or will they lose their chance at happy ever after?This is the first book I CDC Nurse Kini Kerek has her work cut out for her, especially when she finds herself being targeted and rumors are flying around town about what she's really there for. Luckily though, she has former Special Forces soldier Lyle Smoke to help her out and protect her from any other threats that she may face while continuing her research into Hantavirus. However, as the danger closes in, will Lyle be able to keep Kini safe, or will they lose their chance at happy ever after?This is the first book I've read by this author and I've got to say that I've been missing out on some fantastic and compelling reading if the rest of Ms. Rowe's books are as good as this one. Really, this book had everything I love in a romantic suspense including a perfect combination of suspense and romance; highly entertaining dialogue that drew me in from the very beginning and just kept getting better the further Kini and Smoke got into their investigation; and the fast-paced storyline had me intrigued and determined to discover how far the bad guys were willing to go to stop Kini from continuing her research. However, it was from the moment the hero and heroine came face-to-face for the first time that had me smiling because Kini definitely knows how to make a good first impression, especially when it puts her in the hero's personal space. Both the main characters are relatable, likeable and I loved their back stories because the hero has been through so much as a special forces soldier and the harshness of people that believe he's the bad guy because of things that happened in his past that he feels such guilt about. Will he ever realize that what happened in this past wasn't his fault? Moreover, the hero is confident in his skills in protecting the heroine; doesn't speak more words than he has to, which is quite amusing; and I loved how the hero won the heroine over. While the heroine, she's resilient, courageous and I liked that she didn't scare easily, even though the incidents become more and more harrowing. I also liked how good the heroine was at her job and that she would do anything to try and help people in need, even though all hope seems lost.Overall, Ms. Rowe has delivered a thrilling and well-written read in this book where the chemistry between this couple was intense; the romance delightful; and the ending had me worried for the main characters, but had me liking how far the hero is willing to go to protect the heroine, even if it means breaking a promise that he made to Kini. Yet, in saying that, I liked how things worked out for this couple, as they're really good together and shouldn't let anything keep them apart. I would recommend Smoke and Mirrors by Julie Rowe, if you enjoy romantic suspense or books by authors Christina Elle, ST Young, Kaylea Cross and Katie Reus.
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  • Teresa
    January 1, 1970
    **I received a copy of Smoke and Mirrors from Entangled Publishing and Net Galley in exchange for a voluntary and honest review**I've read all but one of Ms. Rowe's Biological Response Task Force and now two of the Outbreak series and I have only 3 words for this addition: Oh.My.God. this was a fantastic book!! Plus with the epilogue the author brings back one of my favorite characters DS is back (Plus Rivers and Henry Lee) and hopefully he'll eventually get his own story. Lyle Smoke is home in **I received a copy of Smoke and Mirrors from Entangled Publishing and Net Galley in exchange for a voluntary and honest review**I've read all but one of Ms. Rowe's Biological Response Task Force and now two of the Outbreak series and I have only 3 words for this addition: Oh.My.God. this was a fantastic book!! Plus with the epilogue the author brings back one of my favorite characters DS is back (Plus Rivers and Henry Lee) and hopefully he'll eventually get his own story. Lyle Smoke is home in Small Blind, Utah for the first time since the death of his girlfriend and son and has the nightmares that comes from being in the Special Forces. But there is something going on in small town people are falling ill with a mysterious kind of pneumonia that kills within 24-30 hours. Since its early morning he crawls into bed but wakes up a few hours later with a naked woman draped over him. Little doesn't he know that his parents have given his room to Kini Kenek who's in town a visiting nurse for the CDC. Since Smoke is well know for saying everything that needs to be said in two words a sassy nurse from the CDC shouldn't be a probably especially one who's being harassed and goes through rental cars like candy. When River offers him a job with the newly created Outbreak Task Force he accepts to make sure that Kini stays safe and out of trouble. Kini Kenek is a snarky nurse who has been sent by the CDC to talk to the residents of Small Blind to track incidents of Diabetes and heart disease but since the residents don't trust anyone from the government she's been run off by dogs, shot at, her car keyed, t-boned and blown up perhaps she does need Smoke to guard her. But Kini has her own demons to fight because of her late father who tried to fight his own but ended up taking his rage out on his wife and daughter. Somehow both Smoke and Kini manage to take on the gossip mongers of the Post Office, the surly doctor in the local hospital ER (who doesn't want to admit there's a Hantavirus outbreak), and crooked lawmen who are cooking up something awful outside of town. Whether they win or lose will come down to Smoke, Kini, his father Jim and grandfather who both use two word sentences. Can they and the CDC save the town from something that could make a terrorist a very happy person?
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  • Book Reading Gals
    January 1, 1970
    Title: Smoke and MirrorsSeries: Outbreak Task Force Book #2Stand Alone Title: yesAuthor: Julie RoweGenre: Romance, Romantic SuspenseBlurb: Someone scratched a death threat in the paint of CDC nurse Kini Kerek’s rental car. She’s in Utah researching Hantavirus, but damaging rumors about the CDC have left residents suspicious and uncooperative. Thank goodness for hot, sexy, former soldier Smoke, a man of few words, who’s assigned to protect and help her navigate the isolated desert town as she rac Title: Smoke and MirrorsSeries: Outbreak Task Force Book #2Stand Alone Title: yesAuthor: Julie RoweGenre: Romance, Romantic SuspenseBlurb: Someone scratched a death threat in the paint of CDC nurse Kini Kerek’s rental car. She’s in Utah researching Hantavirus, but damaging rumors about the CDC have left residents suspicious and uncooperative. Thank goodness for hot, sexy, former soldier Smoke, a man of few words, who’s assigned to protect and help her navigate the isolated desert town as she races to identify a deadly virus before more people die.Memories from the combat zone leave ex-Special Forces soldier Lyle Smoke in a constant state of battle readiness, and he finds no solace, even after returning home to Small Blind. When he meets Kini Kerek, he discovers his heart isn’t entirely dead. But, that might not last long, because this outbreak is no mistake, and he’ll need to use all his survival skills gleaned from the military and his Native American upbringing to keep him and the beautiful, but secretive, Kini alive.Thoughts: Those who take a quick glance and the cover and offer up a few moments to read the blurb are likely to write Rowe’s books off as standard ‘military romance’ fare, and be quick to write it off as one of the many books out there in this genre. I urge you to take a second look, particularly if you’re looking for something with a little more meat to the story. Julie Rowe really differentiates herself from all the other authors in this genre, focusing on biological and chemical weapons/warfare as the main theme in her books. The books are heavy on the suspense, light on the romance, and it is vastly different than your other romantic suspense novels. I can still remember reading the first book in this series, Viable Threat, and how pleasantly surprised I was to find something so different from everything else out there.With that being said, while I enjoyed Smoke and Mirrors, I enjoyed Viable Threat so much more. The story was still there, but for me it came down to the characters. I just didn’t enjoy Kini and Lyle’s characters as much, and they fell kind of flat to me. Still a good addition to the series though, and I look forward to more from Julie Rowe!Rating: BReview by: Sarahhttp://www.thebookreadinggals.com
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Title: Smoke and MirrorsSeries: Outbreak Task Force Book #2Stand Alone Title: yesAuthor: Julie RoweGenre: Romance, Romantic SuspenseBlurb: Someone scratched a death threat in the paint of CDC nurse Kini Kerek’s rental car. She’s in Utah researching Hantavirus, but damaging rumors about the CDC have left residents suspicious and uncooperative. Thank goodness for hot, sexy, former soldier Smoke, a man of few words, who’s assigned to protect and help her navigate the isolated desert town as she rac Title: Smoke and MirrorsSeries: Outbreak Task Force Book #2Stand Alone Title: yesAuthor: Julie RoweGenre: Romance, Romantic SuspenseBlurb: Someone scratched a death threat in the paint of CDC nurse Kini Kerek’s rental car. She’s in Utah researching Hantavirus, but damaging rumors about the CDC have left residents suspicious and uncooperative. Thank goodness for hot, sexy, former soldier Smoke, a man of few words, who’s assigned to protect and help her navigate the isolated desert town as she races to identify a deadly virus before more people die. Memories from the combat zone leave ex-Special Forces soldier Lyle Smoke in a constant state of battle readiness, and he finds no solace, even after returning home to Small Blind. When he meets Kini Kerek, he discovers his heart isn’t entirely dead. But, that might not last long, because this outbreak is no mistake, and he’ll need to use all his survival skills gleaned from the military and his Native American upbringing to keep him and the beautiful, but secretive, Kini alive.Thoughts: Those who take a quick glance and the cover and offer up a few moments to read the blurb are likely to write Rowe’s books off as standard ‘military romance’ fare, and be quick to write it off as one of the many books out there in this genre. I urge you to take a second look, particularly if you’re looking for something with a little more meat to the story. Julie Rowe really differentiates herself from all the other authors in this genre, focusing on biological and chemical weapons/warfare as the main theme in her books. The books are heavy on the suspense, light on the romance, and it is vastly different than your other romantic suspense novels. I can still remember reading the first book in this series, Viable Threat, and how pleasantly surprised I was to find something so different from everything else out there.With that being said, while I enjoyed Smoke and Mirrors, I enjoyed Viable Threat so much more. The story was still there, but for me it came down to the characters. I just didn’t enjoy Kini and Lyle’s characters as much, and they fell kind of flat to me. Still a good addition to the series though, and I look forward to more from Julie Rowe!Rating: BOther books in this series: Viable Threat (Book one)Other reviews: Viable Threat https://wp.me/p2LShB-55S
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  • Niken Widyastuti
    January 1, 1970
    I always love Julie Rowe’s romance suspense books, and I always wait for the next one, which not often. As a romance-suspense genre big fan, I’ve read countless romance-suspense novels. However, Julie Rowe’s books always stand out for me (well, with few other RS authors as well to be bluntly honest). This one is no different.As a health personnel myself, infection or disease outbreak is a close-to-home topic for me. Although not always this thrilling, outbreaks always require fast and on point a I always love Julie Rowe’s romance suspense books, and I always wait for the next one, which not often. As a romance-suspense genre big fan, I’ve read countless romance-suspense novels. However, Julie Rowe’s books always stand out for me (well, with few other RS authors as well to be bluntly honest). This one is no different.As a health personnel myself, infection or disease outbreak is a close-to-home topic for me. Although not always this thrilling, outbreaks always require fast and on point actions. The outbreak source needs to be found to cut the main problem. So I truly understand the emergency feeling throughout the book. And yes, in real world, those unbelievable perceived reasons for an outbreak were rampant. Frustratingly true.All in all, I loved the story, I loved the characters. The suspense, and mystery, start right from the beginning, sucked me up inside the book. Too bad I need to be an adult so I had to put the book down here and there. Kini and Smoke were intriguing characters. Likeable with many secrets and baggage on their own. They’re good together though, and I rooted for them both.I was provided a complementary copy by the author / publisher through NetGalley, but this in no way influenced my thoughts or opinions.
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  • Jayne
    January 1, 1970
    I love this series (which is a spin off of the previous series). STEM Heroine (CDC Nurse), Ex-Military Hero. On a routine project in rural Utah, Kini finds herself under attack for unknown reasons, getting t-boned, scratched messages on her care etc. Lyle Smoke is returning home after 8 years in Special Forces. He's naturally an Alpha man and seeing Kini under attack, provokes him to accept the CDC Outbreak Task Force offer from his friend River (hero of book 1) to work alongside Kini. Smoke is I love this series (which is a spin off of the previous series). STEM Heroine (CDC Nurse), Ex-Military Hero. On a routine project in rural Utah, Kini finds herself under attack for unknown reasons, getting t-boned, scratched messages on her care etc. Lyle Smoke is returning home after 8 years in Special Forces. He's naturally an Alpha man and seeing Kini under attack, provokes him to accept the CDC Outbreak Task Force offer from his friend River (hero of book 1) to work alongside Kini. Smoke is struggling with returning home & his guilt over his son and baby mama's death, plus fearing losing control over the inbuilt rage 8 years service has left him with. Kini is a solitary woman whose past means relying on other people is impossible.. As these flawed people are forced to work together to get to the source of the recent Hantavirus outbreak, mayhem, death and intrigue break out. Can they solve the mystery and their personal issues too?ARC received from Netgalley in return for an honest review
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  • Diane
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of the best books I’ve read this year because of the complex and dramatic life and death storyline and the sizzling sexual chemistry that burns between tall, dark and deadly alpha male Smoke and competent, stubborn and fiercely independent Kini. While Smoke fears he’s a killing machine after his time in the special forces, his protective instincts toward the tough-as-nails CDC nurse quickly proves he’s one of the good guys. And how could you not be drawn to the feisty, kick-ass heroi This is one of the best books I’ve read this year because of the complex and dramatic life and death storyline and the sizzling sexual chemistry that burns between tall, dark and deadly alpha male Smoke and competent, stubborn and fiercely independent Kini. While Smoke fears he’s a killing machine after his time in the special forces, his protective instincts toward the tough-as-nails CDC nurse quickly proves he’s one of the good guys. And how could you not be drawn to the feisty, kick-ass heroine who refuses to give up and admit defeat, no matter what obstacles stand in her way? As these two characters take on a rapidly spreading deadly disease and a town full of menacing madmen all they can rely on is their wits and each other. This story is a roller coaster ride that I devoured in one sitting and I can’t wait to read more books by this impressively skilled storyteller. I read an early copy of this book through NetGalley and all opinions in my voluntary review are completely my own.
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  • Becky Wise
    January 1, 1970
    It seems that trouble follows the CDC. Smoke and Mirrors is an amazing read. I love the roller coaster ride that this one takes you on. Kini and Smoke are another amazing team formed in the Outbreak Task Force series. Kini is just trying to do her research when trouble seems to find her. As a new member of the Task Force Smoke is an amazing addition with his military back ground. I love this series so far and we are only two books in. The chemistry between Kini and Smoke is smoking hot. I can't It seems that trouble follows the CDC. Smoke and Mirrors is an amazing read. I love the roller coaster ride that this one takes you on. Kini and Smoke are another amazing team formed in the Outbreak Task Force series. Kini is just trying to do her research when trouble seems to find her. As a new member of the Task Force Smoke is an amazing addition with his military back ground. I love this series so far and we are only two books in. The chemistry between Kini and Smoke is smoking hot. I can't wait for more.
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  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    Kini is a CDC health care nurse and in Utah to gather blood samples for research in finding a vaccine for the Hantavirus. The people aren’t happy she is there and she starts receiving threats. Smoke is an ex- soldier who is in a lot of emotional pain. He is hired to keep Kini safe and he is surprised about his feelings for her. This is a fast-paced read with loads of suspense and drama. The story holds your interest throughout and the characters are great. A good read.
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  • Denise Van plew
    January 1, 1970
    Having read the first one thought I would give this one a shot. Can not get enough of special ops and the like. In this one it is Smoke and Kini with her being the one who is in the CDC part of this. He is the different ex military who has his issues. He is also very closed until he meets her. When danger begins to trickle in you then start to settle down to hunker into a thriller. Some heat will fan their flames also with the combo being a recipe that keeps you into this from start to finish.
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  • Tami
    January 1, 1970
    Contemporary, damaged ex military alpha male, romantic suspense. New to me author and I just jumped into the middle of the series. This author is one I will continue to watch for.This review is based on the ARC provided by the author and/or the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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  • Sparkymom
    January 1, 1970
    Julie Rowe is one of my favorites, so I was really excited to get an ARC of this book from Net Galley. I've got to say it is probably my favorite of hers so far. The action started from the very beginning and never let up. There was constant danger, and though Smoke was alpha protector from the get go, Kini wasn't one to let others fight her battles. She barged forward with a to heck with them all attitude and no fear leaving Smoke to catch up. I adored Smoke because of his extreme protectivenes Julie Rowe is one of my favorites, so I was really excited to get an ARC of this book from Net Galley. I've got to say it is probably my favorite of hers so far. The action started from the very beginning and never let up. There was constant danger, and though Smoke was alpha protector from the get go, Kini wasn't one to let others fight her battles. She barged forward with a to heck with them all attitude and no fear leaving Smoke to catch up. I adored Smoke because of his extreme protectiveness and his ability to say so much while actually saying so little. The dialog in this book was fantastic. So many of the conversations between Kini and Smoke had me completely amused. I liked them so much I'd read more books of just them. They've become one of my new favorite book couples.
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  • Mags
    January 1, 1970
    4.25⭐Smoke & Mirrors is the first book I've read not only by this author, but set around biological weapons and the CDC. And even though I found it hard to get into and to connect with, particularly during the first half. I did come to really enjoy it. As the second half really hooked me in, was full of action and a sweet romance between a scarred soldier and a CDC nurse.And it really was hard to put down and great to read. And so I'll definitely be checking out more from this series and aut 4.25⭐Smoke & Mirrors is the first book I've read not only by this author, but set around biological weapons and the CDC. And even though I found it hard to get into and to connect with, particularly during the first half. I did come to really enjoy it. As the second half really hooked me in, was full of action and a sweet romance between a scarred soldier and a CDC nurse.And it really was hard to put down and great to read. And so I'll definitely be checking out more from this series and author in the future.**I was kindly provided with an ARC by Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review**
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  • Maria
    January 1, 1970
    “I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”A solid, meticulously researched suspense plot. The romantic plot was insta-attraction and sex, understandable because of the extremely dangerous conditions the couple had to face. Having sex in said conditions and with the heroine’s weakened state seemed a bit unbelievable, though.In spite of that, I liked the brooding hero and the part his family played in the book.Now I’m waiting to read Henr “I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”A solid, meticulously researched suspense plot. The romantic plot was insta-attraction and sex, understandable because of the extremely dangerous conditions the couple had to face. Having sex in said conditions and with the heroine’s weakened state seemed a bit unbelievable, though.In spite of that, I liked the brooding hero and the part his family played in the book.Now I’m waiting to read Henry Lee’s story. The ex-Special Forces soldier who is now a lab tech at the CDC would make a great wounded hero, I hope…
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  • Sherry Draisen
    January 1, 1970
    I have to say this book did keep me up til then wee hours in the morning. The storyline was there most definitely there and I am such a sucker when there is that whole mystery, suspense going on. But if you are looking for them too steamy scenes that just leave you breathless, like I Do, you be left disappointed. Twists you never see coming it will keep you guessing. Returning home is hard. Ghosts from the past are always around lingering in your head especially when you just left the Special Fo I have to say this book did keep me up til then wee hours in the morning. The storyline was there most definitely there and I am such a sucker when there is that whole mystery, suspense going on. But if you are looking for them too steamy scenes that just leave you breathless, like I Do, you be left disappointed. Twists you never see coming it will keep you guessing. Returning home is hard. Ghosts from the past are always around lingering in your head especially when you just left the Special Forces. Smoke just wants some downtime at his parents home. Maybe hunting and fishing for a couple of weeks. The last thing he expects is to wake up with a naked woman with two black eyes ready to do battle, in his bed.Knowing she went to bed alone after someone T Boned her car and gave her a death threat, waking on her host's son, was not what Kini expected. No reason to be upset, she still had her work to do with CDC and other things to worry about. The people in that town didn't like government people nosing around. And to make things worse they are saying she spreading a deadly virus around that is starting to kill people.After more attacks on Kini, Smoke knows she is in trouble even if she doesn't see herself. With the threat of an outbreak and people thinking she is involved, Kini stops at nothing to find out where the virus is coming from with Smoke protecting her. With danger around every corner they race against time and the people coming after them with a rising body count.Given a copy for a honest review from Netgalley3 stars
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  • Reading
    January 1, 1970
    This story reads like a great disaster movie, lots of thrills, easy romance, kisses at the wrong times, and non-stop action. The characters, Kini and Smoke are wonderful to look at and have a tragic background that we never really dig into. Picture a disaster movie where there is a lull in the action and the characters share some character-revealing stories around the campfire, only to grab their weapons and take off to fight. That is similar to the character depth we have in this story. But - w This story reads like a great disaster movie, lots of thrills, easy romance, kisses at the wrong times, and non-stop action. The characters, Kini and Smoke are wonderful to look at and have a tragic background that we never really dig into. Picture a disaster movie where there is a lull in the action and the characters share some character-revealing stories around the campfire, only to grab their weapons and take off to fight. That is similar to the character depth we have in this story. But - who cares? This book is such fun to read! I loved it. The biological terrorism is believable, the action is constant, and the characters are likable. Spend your afternoon reading this and have fun! Full review available at www.ReadingObsession.com
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  • Kim Vanravenswaay
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my goodness, I love this series. This time it's a coincidence that most areas of the USA are fighting a flu breakout. In my city alone we've had a couple of deaths due to it. So this book kind of freaked me out.Kini is put through so much and still works hard to try and figure out what's going on. Everytime something bad happens Smoke seems to get blamed. It really slows them down. Smoke and Mirrors, is a page turner that is hard to put down.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I really got into this book in the beginning. There was lots of stuff going on, then I lost it for about a chapter or two, then I got my interest back. Overall it was a stimulating read, a little predictable in the villain department, but really good. I really loved Smoke and his way of communicating lol. He was endearing and so was his grandfather.
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