Smoke and Mirrors by Julie Rowe #RomanticSuspense

Posted March 14, 2018 in review Tags:

Smoke and Mirrors by Julie Rowe #RomanticSuspenseSmoke and Mirrors by Julie Rowe
Pages: 402

Series: Outbreak Task Force #2
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Source: ARC, NetGalley
Also in this series: Viable Threat, Search and Destroy
Also by this author: Viable Threat, Search and Destroy
Amazon iBooks

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 is book 2 of the outbreak task force; however, its not related at all to the events in book 1, so you can read them in any order. An ex special forces soldier is home but he is far from okay. Chased by the demons of what he had to do in the military and the death of his son while he was deployed have turned him into a shell of a man. When he finds a nurse from the CDC sleeping in his bed, he realizes he isn’t quite as dead as he thought.

Kini is interviewing local Native Americans in the small town Lyle Smoke grew up in to research and collect information for the CDC. However, the townspeople are NOT happy to see her and she begins to experience vandalism and violence at their hands. Smoke, being ex special forces, steps up and takes a job with the Outbreak Task Force and effectively becomes Kini’s bodyguard.

The story is full of action! Initially, people are getting sick and they blame Kini. She realizes pretty quickly that it sounds like they have a hantavirus outbreak, but the local doctor won’t call in the CDC. But, there is more unsettling behavior happening. Kini and Smoke have to figure out what the hell is going on before more people die. Where did the virus come from? What is going on at the old, abandoned farm? Why are people targeting Kini? The conflict occurs throughout the story and you are left wondering who is good, who is bad, and who is just caught in the small town gossip mill. While Smoke wasn’t my favorite hero (he does the ‘I’m not a good man so I am gonna push you away’ bit that makes me crazy), the suspense of the book makes for a very compelling read that you won’t want to put down!


  • POV: 3rd
  • Tears: no
  • Trope: ex-military, terrorism
  • Triggers: View Spoiler »
  • Series/Standalone: stand alone
  • Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
  • HEA: View Spoiler »

books by authors like Pamela Clare, Cristin Harber, Kaylea Cross, Katie Ruggle…then you will probably like Smoke and Mirrors!


Smoke and Mirrors

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About Julie Rowe

Full-time author, freelance writer and workshop facilitator, Julie Rowe ’s debut novel, Icebound, was released by Carina Press on Nov 14, 2011. Ten novels and eight anthologies have followed. Her most recent titles are the MEN OF ACTION boxed set and VIRAL JUSTICE book #3 of the Biological Response Team series. Julie’s articles and short stories have appeared in numerous magazines, such as Romantic Times Magazine, Today's Parent magazine and Canadian Living. Julie facilitates business writing and communication workshops at Keyano College in her home city, and has presented writing workshops at conferences in the United States and Canada. She’s also a strong supporter of life long learning and moderates a free announcement loop for the promotion of online classes, workshops and webinars.


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