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Monday, August 24, 2015

SMOKE SCREEN by Jodie Bailey

Sybil Bates McCormack reviews. 
Author Jodie Bailey’s Smokescreen opens with military intelligence officer Ethan Kincaid rushing to IT expert Ashley Colson’s assistance at the Syracuse airport in upstate New York. Ashley has become an unwitting target of a person or entity with a secret to protect, and Ethan is one of the few individuals in a position to save her. The reader quickly discovers that Ethan and Ashley share a complicated history and that the fallout from their thorny past promises to unfold and resolve over the course of the novel. 

Frantic to reach the airport prior to Ashley’s arrival, Ethan ruminates regretfully upon the life-altering mistakes in judgment that drove a ruinous wedge between them. Though he struggles to forgive himself for his errors, Ethan’s certain that Ashley never will. He’s also concerned that she’ll reject his assistance on principle—that Ashley remains so traumatized by the consequences of their last encounter that she’ll never trust him to protect her again.

Ashley Olson departs a disagreeable flight to find that a close male friend and work partner has been desperately attempting to reach her by text and voicemail. Ashley retrieves the messages and learns that her life is in jeopardy. Unfortunately, she soon discovers it’s too late to do anything about it. An unknown assailant accosts her in the terminal at gunpoint and forces her outside. Ashley is actively pondering a viable means of escape when the unthinkable happens. 

Someone kidnaps her from the kidnapper. 

Ethan? 

Ashley’s former partner isn’t exactly one of her favorite people—with good reason, the reader soon discovers. The pair once worked side-by-side as military officers, and Ashley learned to trust Ethan completely—with her life, at first, and eventually with her heart. He let her down on both scores in one major circumstance, and she’s determined to protect herself from further disappointment. There’s only one problem: Ashley now suffers from a debilitating anxiety disorder. It will take every ounce of physical, mental and spiritual strength she can muster to meet the external challenges (i.e., bad guy maneuvers) and internal challenges (i.e., trusting vs. distrusting Ethan again) that lie ahead.

“Smokescreen” author Jodie Bailey does a splendid job of throwing Ethan and Ashley into the fire. She wastes no time at sending them on the run and forces them to work together to decode a set of top secret files—tasks which may or may not lead to the rescue of Ashley’s friend and her own ultimate liberation. The couple endures an escalating series of tests and trials that force them to re-evaluate their past decisions and their future life goals. 

Throughout the book, Ms. Bailey demonstrates a keen ability to convey her main characters’ mental baggage and emotional turmoil. Neither Ethan nor Ashley is immune to fits of grief, regret or anger, and the reader experiences every nuance of those emotions through their thoughts, their physical sensations and their responses to external stimuli. A consummate characterization expert, Ms. Bailey is equally adept at weaving a plot that sizzles, that surprises and that gains increasing momentum toward a gratifying, explosive climax.    

A fan of inspirational romantic suspense? Then you definitely won’t want to miss author Jodie Bailey’s high-octane, heart-pounding “Smokescreen.” Whether you’ve already ready the book or are planning to read it soon, I hope you’ll share your thoughts in the comments section below.  We’d love to hear from you. Blessings until next time …

About the Reviwer:
A licensed Georgia attorney since 1998, Sybil Bates McCormack now writes state and Federal contract proposals during the day while lurching haltingly toward becoming an inspirational romantic suspense author at night. She's also the crazed wife of a bi-vocational pastor and mom to two bright, talented kids. They don't call her BizzySyb for nothing!

You can visit Sybil at her blog, Christian Romance/Pulsating Suspense, follow her on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, friend her on Goodreads, connect with her on LinkedIn, and add her to your circles on Google+.

4 comments:

  1. Tempting review, Sybil! Thanks for your insight!

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  2. Appreciate your comment, Marji. Thanks!

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  3. Just saw this, Sybil. Wow! Thanks so much for an awesome review!

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