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review 2019-01-28 15:40
ARC REVIEW Outbreak Task Force series by Julie Rowe
Viable Threat - Julie Rowe
Smoke and Mirrors - Julie Rowe Smoke and Mirrors - Julie Rowe

Viable Threat (Outbreak Task Force, #1)Outbreak Task Force #1, I was offered the opportunity to read the second book and the ARC for the third book so I took it upon myself to buy and read the first book. I really enjoyed this one not only did it take place in Texas but my home town, El Paso. This one leans more to the suspense side but the romance was really good the attraction and the chemistry between them was palpable. I was new to Julie Rowe before this point and didn't know what to expect, after this one I was excited to read the next two. It was kind of like reading Outbreak (you know the 1995 movie) but with more explosions and a little more heavier on the romance. It was very fast-paced, very intense with great characters.

Sergeant Walter River, Special Forces combat medic, gets called in to help the CDC in medical emergency, when he arrives at one of the hospitals in El Paso he discovers chaos. A microorganism has been released and is spreading, River's job is to assist microbiologist Dr. Ava Lloyd in tracking down the source and help contain the spread of the outbreak before it spread outside the busy border town.

Overall, I loved this book. The only thing that kind of disappointed me was the lack of description when it came to the setting. It had very generic descriptions and it could have taken place anywhere nothing really stood out and said, "This is El Paso". But it's my hometown I'm gonna be picky.


Smoke and Mirrors (Outbreak Task Force, #2)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 buddy and fellow former Special Forces soldier offer him a job with the joint task force between Homeland Security and the CDC, the Outbreak Task Force, but before Smoke makes any decisions he needs to go home first. When he gets home he doesn't find a peaceful rest he finds a CDC nurse in need of help.

Kini Kerek was just supposed to do some field research for the CDC before they decide what to do, if the natural antibodies of the Hantavirus are capable of containing itself or if the CDC needs to step in a create a cure. But Kini is met with open hostility and rumors spreading that she's conducting experiments, death threats keyed into her car and physical attacks have her bosses send someone to help luckily he already calls the place home and with Smoke's knowledge of the area and the people it should make things easier. Until the Hantavirus starts affecting more and more people the next thing they know it's a full blown outbreak and the rest of the Task force is called in. But it's a little too convenient that this outbreak happened right when Kini showed up and now Kini and Smoke need to find out why before it's too late.

Overall, a great read. Fantastic writing and and ending I wasn't expecting. A little more descriptive setting than the last book and it really helped paint a nice picture when they were in the desert. The romance between Smoke and Kini was really nice, I loved that it was practically instantaneous Smoke had some emotional baggage but Kini was able to help him work through it and it was a real nice HEA.

Sleight of HandOutbreak Task Force #3, The newest of the series and it is outstanding! Going from CDC home base in Atlanta and to New Orleans and back again this action packed romance is a great read. Former Doctor Without Borders doctor Gunner Anderson does not suffer fools gladly, and because of that he's already gone through 3 partners. This is his last chance to prove he can work with someone so his boss partners him up with the woman he's had a crush on since they met CDC nurse, former combat medic, Joy Oshiro.

For Joy it was hard not to notice Gunner, just around the office she noticed his surly attitude got slightly better after coffee and something to eat, usually anything pumpkin flavored so going into this partnership she used this knowledge to her advantage; her take no shit straightforward attitude helped too. Their first case together ends up quite a doozy, a frat house full of sick kids and one dead. Soon another house full of sick kids and more dead and another that only connection the keg. With the CDC stretched thin with a number of other outbreaks around the globe Joy and Gunner are left to track down and stop this outbreak before it gets any further but just when they think they have it figured out it gets much worse.

Overall, a great read. Joy and Gunner have to deal with not just the outbreak but for their feelings for each other and working together. They each have emotional baggage to deal with and they are both very aware what hurting the other will do and Joy especially has to realize it's worth the risk of loving each other. There is a continuing story arc in the series but each book can be read as a stand alone.     


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review 2018-12-10 14:38
not one for me
Becoming Magic (Sleight of Hand #5) - Michelle Garren Flye
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book. I'm jumping straight in here, because this is one of those reviews that is going to be difficult to write! Overall, I liked this book. Mostly. It's reasonably well written, from both Carole and Connor's points of view, so that was good. I didn't see any spelling or editing errors to spoil my reading. It just didn't grab me! I found myself wanting more, from Connor, about that break up with his ex-co-star. From Carole about what happened all those years ago in Hollywood. From them both, about each other, their feelings. . . . I. . . . just . . . . Wanted MORE!!!! And I can't word just WHAT I wanted, and that's why this is a hard review to write, cos I cannot, for the life of me, find the right words, and you know how much that PAINS me! It does deal with some difficult topics: being drugged and a sexual assault. It deals with these in a sensitive manner, but needs to be mentioned. I also found the assault story arc a little bit too much like what's going in the the REAL Hollywood right now, with the growing list of high powered Hollywood men being accused of various assaults. Maybe that's where the author got the inspiration from, I dunno, but I found it a little too much like it, you know?? This is book 5 in the Sleight of Hand series, and I have not read the others. I did not feel I was missing anything, by not reading them And although Sabrina and Walter (book4) play a huge part here, I didn't feel I HAD to have read their story before this one. So, I'm sorry, but not one for me. 3 stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**


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review 2017-01-14 00:00
Sleight of Hand
Sleight of Hand - Lauren Dane This was actually really cute and funny. Lissette doesn't take no shit and Xander is hilariously arrogant. There's a really great "come to Jesus" moment, too. Love those.

Quite an enjoyable quickie!
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review 2015-04-19 01:52
Sleight of Hand - Peter S. Beagle

I adore Peter Beagle's writing. It always evokes something in me, whether it be joy, or sadness, or nostalgia. A few of the stories in this turned out to be tales I loved to some degree, and it's weird that I read this right after Kabu Kabu, since it became my favorite short story collec.rtion that I'd read to that point, then this one blew it out of the water.


Part is probably just the deftness that comes with long practice and honing of a craft. The stories all flow smoothly, just as long as they need to be, sometimes haunting and beautiful, sometimes joyful, sometimes just really interesting. There's the sweet "Best Worst Monster," the mythological "Shark God's Children," the sometimes hilarious "Oakland Dragon Blues" (which will speak to anyone with a creative spirit), the poignant titular story "Sleight of Hand" and the lovely "The Rabbi's Hobby."


I don't want to say too much about it because really, this is a masterful collection of fantasy stories and if you like those, or if you like Beagle's writing, this is something you should definitely try. Seriously. It's fabulous.

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review 2015-02-24 14:26
Good new UF
Sleight of Hand - Mark Henwick

Opening Sentence:

'It had been a couple of years and i was neither dead, nor undead, which i ranked as an achievement.



What a satisfying ending to a great read.
I am ridiculously glad I got to read this book.
Its a great new edition to the Urban Fantasy genre.

Now we all know i love the UF, but it can suffer from arrogant, prideful characters, I'm speaking/writing about the mains here, who can on occasion talk themselves up about how badass and dangerous they can be... one of the best things about this book is that (for the most part) Amber didn't suffer from the 'I am to Awesome disease'. she was clearly a pro at kicking butt and taking names... but she almost never...over emphasized it. She punched, she kicked and they went down, then she was off to do something else. I truly appreciate this, badass characters are so much more .... when they are not always bragging about it. I know weird thing to appreciate but its something I've noticed quite abit. Amber also happened to have an awesome personality, some of her humor was pretty bad, but it made her quirky and fun, which admittedly hid her serious anger issues quite well. Truthfully I can't wait to learn more about her past, because of her anger, you just know its going to be filled with juicy secrets.
really the only problem i had for Amber is my concern for an upcoming love triangle, i hate love triangles, almost nobody does them well. just give up already.

The other characters for the most part were quite good, though some could of used more fleshing out. The whole Jen thing was well done, the chemistry was great, I could tell from early on that there was something between them, at times i even thought my mind was playing tricks on me as Amber clearly see's herself as straight, so the build up for their possible relationship was quite enjoyable to watch.
I must admit I am concerned Amber will turn all slutty-mcgee with her new body change - there have been a few incidents of this nature in other books that i have previously read - and one thing i highly dislike is the excuse 'oh i have this thing now so i can do whatever i want and take zero responsibility because of said thing. NO, if you do something, whether good or bad, you own it, its your shit you fix it or leave it, but its your doing. anyhow ignore my ranting, this series probably wont even go in that direction *fingers crossed* it doesnt.

The world was good, very main stream with secret paranormal's running around and the government attempting to get their greedy mits on them, which im highly looking forward to seeing the outcome of.

hmmm what else... there was a nice touch of shaman/native american lore/magic to mix it up from the usual, which was fun exploring.
for the most part the 'villain' was great, it was pretty much a mystery for a good portion of the book, unfortunately the wrap up was a little anti-climatic for me personally. Good news that was pretty much just a PI case Amber was solving, there's much more going on in the back ground (not enough to get confusing) that i can't wait to get my fingers into.

The editing was rather good, I suck into the story with almost zero issue's which is nice.

So i think that's everything. An easy four star read for me and I'll definitely be keeping my eye out for book two, oh and that prequel that i apparently missed as well - though that didnt have a massive impact on the book as a whole, so nothing to be to concerned about if you havent read it yet either.

all in all Good Stuff. I would highly recommend to Urban Fantasy and paranormal readers.

also i believe i have to do one of these's, will do anyways just in case:
Complimentary Copy generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
like I'm smooth enough with words to lie

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