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Peek Inside Smoke & Mirrors

Someone scratched a death threat in the paint of CDC nurse Kini Kerek’s car because rumors about the CDC have left residents uncooperative. She’s relieved when sexy Smoke is assigned to help her as she speeds to identify a deadly virus.

Broken Ex-Special Forces soldier Lyle Smoke meets beautiful, but secretive Kini and discovers his heart isn’t entirely dead. He’ll need to use his survival skills gleaned from the military and his Native American upbringing to keep them alive in their race against time.

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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.

Each book in the Outbreak Task Force series is STANDALONE:
* Viable Threat
* Smoke & Mirrors
* Sleight of Hand
* Search & Destroy
* Hell & Back


“Julie Rowe blends the perfect cocktail of action & romance.” — Brenda Novak, NYT bestselling author on Icebound

“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.” –Belinda, Saved By Suspense

“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!” –Wishful Miss, Goodreads

“This is a fast-paced read with loads of suspense and drama.  The story holds your interest throughout and the characters are great.” –Tammy, Goodreads

“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.” –Diane, Goodreads

Additional Details

ISBN: 9781640633490
Series: Outbreak Task Force, Book 2
Release Date: Feb 26, 2018
Page Count: 402
Imprint: amara next
Genre: military/men in uniform, multi-cultural, mystery romance, romantic suspense
Tropes: bodyguard/protector, opposites attract

Select Featured Reviews

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By ♥ WishfulMiss ♥ July 15, 2018

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 ...more

By N.N. March 02, 2018

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. H ...more

By Beth February 25, 2018

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 s ...more

By Dísir February 08, 2018

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 ...more

By Elaine March 09, 2018

WOW! I recommend you grab yourself a copy of this book to read if you enjoy well written, hot, romantic suspense. There is a touch of humour, too - I mean, fancy waking up in your own bed only to discover a beautiful stranger is sharing it with you! This is an enthralling story dealing with many dif ...more

By Robyn January 22, 2019

Kini Kerek is in Small Blind, Utah to collect patient histories and blood samples for local residents, most especially those of Native American Descent. Kini is a CDC nurse and member of the Outbreak Task Force and she has been tasked to track the incidence of infection and the development of antibo ...more

By Marta February 13, 2018

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 getti ...more

By Kim Reads May 15, 2019

Smoke & Mirrors is the second book in Julie Rowe’s Outbreak Task Force series. There are some characters that carry over from the first book, Viable Threat, but this can be read as a standalone. Just as with the first book, Smoke & Mirrors is about a viral outbreak that happens somewhere unexpected ...more

By Book Lover February 26, 2018

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 ...more

By Hannah January 28, 2019


Outbreak Task Force #2, Another great book. In this one the romance plays a more prodomainte part. The outbreak isn't in full force yet and the characters have sometime to build up their relationship before all hell breaks loose. Sergeant Lyle Smoke was just discharged from the Army, his ...more

By Cindy February 26, 2018

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 runni ...more

By Ayekah February 17, 2018

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 ...more

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 w ...more

By Heather May 01, 2018

GREAT book! Full of suspense but also romance.

This is the first book in this series I've read and I believe it can be read as a stand alone.

First off Lyle's story is absolutely heart breaking. What he went through and continues to struggle with will just break your heart. He tries to protect his o ...more

By Marija December 13, 2018

Great romantic suspense that kept me awake and almost late at work in the morning. The story and characters are well built with a nice depth. I just enjoyed reading it and had me sitting on the edge, no I lie I was laying in my bed but kept me interested all the way to the end. Beautifully written w ...more


By Dolly February 22, 2018

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 rod ...more

By Bec March 03, 2018

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 ma ...more

By Teresa February 15, 2018

**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 fant ...more

By Book Reading Gals March 03, 2018

Title: Smoke and Mirrors

Series: Outbreak Task Force Book #2
Stand Alone Title: yes
Author: Julie Rowe

Genre: Romance, Romantic Suspense

Blurb: 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 ...more

By Sarah February 06, 2019

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review

Thought and Plot

Kini is trying to gather information for the CDC to help with a possible vaccine for the deadly Hantavirus when threats against her start to rise. Kini is thrown into a race against time as more and more people start ...more

By Elizabeth March 05, 2018

Kini, a CDC nurse, is used to working with things involving life or death because of her job, but that's in a controlled environment. However, when a death threat is left on her car, she's understandably scared. She's currently researching a virus in Utah, and rumors are being spread that damage not ...more

By Niken February 26, 2018

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) ...more

By Nikki January 19, 2019

Kini is having a hard time. She only wants to take blood samples to help develop a theory for the CDC vaccine. But the locals are against her from the start, she has been associated with a number of deaths that occurred after she arrived. Her car has been vandalised and she has had some other "bad l ...more

By Jayne February 26, 2018

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 Spe ...more

Showing 1 to 25 of 25
4.16 avg rating
Julie Rowe

About the author

Julie Rowe

Julie Rowe's first career as a medical lab technologist in Canada took her to the North West Territories and northern Alberta, where she still resides. She loves to include medical details in her romance novels, but admits she'll never be able to write about all her medical experiences because, "No one would believe them!". In addition to writing contemporary and historical medical romance, and fun romantic suspense for Entangled Publishing and Carina Press, Julie has short stories in Fool's Gold, the Mammoth Book of ER Romance, Timeless Keepsakes and Timeless Escapes anthologies. Her book SAVING THE RIFLEMAN (book #1 WAR GIRLS) won the Novella category of the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Her writing has also appeared in several magazines such as Romantic Times Magazine, Today's Parent, and Canadian Living. You can reach her at , on Twitter @julieroweauthor or at her Facebook page:

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