It s another well written novel from Terri Blackstock that is reminiscent of her Moonlighters series It has intrigue regarding what may be considered cold cases from the past but the emphasis is on the family drama and relationships as Brenna struggles through an ugly divorce and its aftermath and her old high school sweetheart returns to their hometown There is a lot of backstory involved in Brenna and Nate s tumultuous high school relationship and the outcome of that past relationship collides with the present day happenings to bring some twists and turns to the plot The heart wrenching realities of divorce, alcoholism, wild fires, and desire for revenge are starkly real and the author digs deep into the emotion well to bring us close to the characters hearts and motivations These darker realities are balanced out by the growing affection between Brenna and Nate and lessons of faith and trust It s definitely not like the author s previous If I Run series in the intensity of suspense, but leans toward her last book Catching Christmas in the intensity of emotion and shared human experience If you enjoy contemporary fiction with a strong theme of overcoming adversity, you will enjoy this book I received a copy of the book from Thomas Nelson via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review All comments and opinions are solely my own. God is powerful He could be my dread champion, my rear guard, the one who fihts for me But I feel like I m fighting all alone Terri Blackstock returns with a captivating new novel told in two different POVs Nate Beckett s father spent fourteen years in prison for killing Brenna Strickland s preacher father Now, Nate s father has been released and Nate has returned to town to recover from a burn injury he s gotten on his job as a smokejumper Brenna has also returned to town, divorced and fighting for her children from a vengeful ex husband who left her for a younger woman Brenna is coping with alcohol from this devastating turn of events In the meantime, a wildfire is threatening their town This is a many faceted novel that will draw the reader in over and over and interest is held captive until the very end It moved me greatly I thoroughly enjoyed this book Terri Blackstock has not lost her ability to keep a reader enthralled with the depth of emotions and suspense she is known for Recommended I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through Net Galley Opinions stated in this review are completely my own. A Gripping New Novel From New York Times Bestselling Suspense Author Terri Blackstock One Father Was Murdered Another Was Convicted Of His Death All Because Their Children Fell In LoveNate Beckett Has Spent His Life Fighting Wildfires Instead Of The Lies And Rumors That Drove Him From His Colorado Hometown His Mother Begs Him To Come Back Now That His Father Has Been Released From Prison, But It Isn T Until He S Sidelined By An Injury That He S Forced To Return And Face His Past But That Means Facing Brenna TooFourteen Years Ago, Nate Was In Love With The Preacher S Daughter When Pastor Strickland Discovered Brenna Defied Him To Sneak Out With Nate, The Fight Between Strickland And Nate S Drunken Dad Was Loud And Very Public Strickland Was Found Murdered Later That Night, And Everyone Accused Roy Beckett When The Church Burned Down Not Long After, People Assumed Nate Set The Fire To Get Even For His Father S Conviction He Let The Rumors Fly And Left Town Without Looking BackBrenna Is Stunned To Learn That The Man Convicted Of Murdering Her Father Has Been Pardoned The Events Of That Night Set Her Life On A Bad Course, And Now She S Fighting A Brutal Custody Battle With Her Ex And His New Wife Where He S Using Lies And His Family S Money To Sway The Judge Brenna Is Barely Hanging On, And She S Turned To Alcohol To Cope Shame And Fear Consume HerAs Nate And Brenna Deal With The Present Including New Information About That Fateful Night And A Wildfire That S Threatening Their Town The Past Keeps Igniting Nate Is The Steady Force Brenna Has So Desperately Needed But She Ll Have To Learn To Trust Him Again FirstPraise For Smoke Screen Full Of Secrets, Lies, And With A Visceral Impact That Grabs From The First Sentence, Smoke Screen Is Terri Blackstock At Her Finest Colleen Coble, USA TODAY Bestselling Author Terri Never Fails To Deliver A Plot That Moves, Well Developed Characters Who Are Real, Flawed, And Relatable Just A Word Of Warning If You Decide To Pick Up This Book Don T Plan To Do Anything Else Until You Finish It Lynette Eason, Bestselling, Award Winning Author Smoke Screen is a story about family, love, wrongs dealt unjustly, reputations and the havoc of a messy divorce and custody battle.Brenna is a mess after her husband left her for a much younger woman and is now fighting for custody of their two young children Brenna has turned to alcohol to cope and the news that the man responsible for murdering her father has been pardoned only heightens her stress levels When smoke jumper, Nate Beckett hears of his father s pardon, he has no intention of returning to the small town that so quickly turned their backs on his family and accused Nate of burning down the church in revenge But an injury while fighting large wild fires, means he must return, coming face to face with the woman who still holds his heart I was intrigued by the story in Smoke Screen It is a contemporary novel about romance, broken relationships and heartbreak, than suspense novel There are two investigations in this story, both of which concluded, incorrectly, many years ago But while these investigations are being re evaluated now due to current events, they tick along in the background It is Brenna s story of alcohol abuse and battle for custody that drives the plot and brings tension to the book I thought it was very obvious who the murderer would be and I was not surprised to be proven correct The story just had too many easy fixes and neat endings not to go with that clean tie up As Brenna and Nate rekindle their romance from their teenage years, both have a lot of baggage, past and present, with which to deal Nate s support of Brenna was admirable, especially when she didn t always reciprocate Nate also encourages her to turn to God rather than relying on herself or him as the rescuer she claims he is And, despite all the stress and turmoil, there is a nice, neat happy ending Brenna, while she certainly had my sympathy for the terribly unfair situation she found herself in, however, was not an easy character to like.While I am not a huge fan of Terri Blackstock s writing style, which is heavy on words that tell the story rather than showing it through the character s actions, I do enjoy her way of bringing together important topics, like alcohol abuse and the effects of custody battles, lots of tension and sweet romance.The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes All opinions are my own.Find reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison s Library This book was not what I was expecting at all It was like a depressing fictional drama than a suspense book I could not find myself rooting for any of the characters and I really wanted in the way of mystery, suspense, and plot in general 90% of the book focused on Brenna s alcoholism and custody battle She was hard to empathize with and hard to like I have a hard time thinking that the alcoholic needs custody of her children I m not sure what Nate saw in her and that made me question his judgement as well Add in a 14 year old mystery that took a back burner to the drama and you have a really oddly plotted novel I think Nate would have had an easier time jumping out of planes into fires than trying to figure out Brenna and her mood swings This one wasn t for me. I received a complimentary copy of this book Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own Smoke Screen is one of the best Christian Fiction books I have read recently Nate Beckett who is a smoke jumper fire fighter who finds his life turned sideways which leads him back to home town of Carlisle, Colorado to heal his wounds Back home he crosses paths with a past love in Brenna who is struggling in her own life situation Will the pains of the past continue to haunt both of them or do they have what it takes to overcome The author takes on some storylines that demonstrate for the reader the risks that come with false assumptions, false accusations, and living with the demons of the past How does someone remain strong in their faith when the difficulties continue to pile on top of each other Terri Blackstock finds a way to create the picture for the reader that life is sometimes messy and Christians stumble and struggle This book is a refreshing look at the role of heroism and standing up for what is right I can t wait to read by this author. The title the author gives this book is perfect, and shows up in than one way, and it becomes crystal clear as you go further into this story.There appears to be a lot going on here in this small Colorado town, but the action begins in another part of the state with smoke jumpers, and a horrible wild fire, lives are at stake here.Things do not get comfortable here, and there is a lot at risk, especially in the lives of young children.You will be quickly immersed here, and you won t want to put this one down until you know the answersI received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Thomas Nelson, and was not required to give a positive review. Smoke Screen is different for the usual suspense novel that Terri Blackston usually write There was still some suspense toward the end but not the heart pounding danger that the heroine is usually in This story is told from the viewpoint of two characters Brenna Strickland Hertzog has been through a lot in her 30 yeas of life When she was 16 her minister father was supposedly murdered by her boyfriend s father Years go by and she marries Jack Hertzog Jack is a jerk and dumps her to marry a much younger wife He doesn t really want to spend time with his kids but under the pressure from his father, William Hertzog who takes every opportunity to make Brenna s life a living hell The children don t really want to spend time with their father but she really has no choice She didn t handle it too well when she was separated from her children and took to drinking too much when they were away from them The other viewpoint is Nate Beckett He was the one who was involved with Brenna when she was a teen and her father died They broke up when this happened He moved to another town and became a smoke jumper He has injuries on the job and returns to his home town to recuperate His father is paroled from prison and maintains that he is innocent Meanwhile Nate reconnects with the divorced Brenna much to the chagrin of his father Most of the book dealt with Breena spiral into alcoholism with Nate trying to help her The the mystery was not really addressed until the last 10 percent of the book I had a good suspicion on who the real murderer and it was confirmed toward the end but I had no idea of the motive.I received a complimentary copy of this book Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Terri Blackstock should have the title Queen of Romantic Suspense I downloaded this book after church on Sunday and thought I would just peruse a few pages to see what it was about I didn t stop until after midnight when I read The End Seriously, I could not put this book down I loved the hero He was definitely that A hero The heroine was one I had to warm up to, but could empathize with She was in a very bad place in her life As far as the bad guy, I had an idea who it was, but it didn t matter because it was great seeing how it all played out Great writing and sweet romance and as such with Blackstock, a great message of hope I was given a copy of this book by the publisher and this is my honest opinion. Smoke Screen was an enjoyable book filled with twists and turns to keep the readers guessing Author Terri Blackstock has a way of dipping deep into the readers emotions and creating an authentic story that is both relatable and compelling Her portrayal of the contentious custody battle between Jack and Brenna was unfortunately very realistic and common with parents who have gone through a divorce My heart broke for Brenna as she had to deal with all the ugliness and hatred from her ex husband and his family The murder mystery was an intriguing part of the novel Smoke Screen was written in first person from both the heroine and hero s points of view, so that was confusing as I had to stop and reread several portions of the book to remember who was speaking at different points in the story I received a complimentary copy of the book from Thomas Nelson and was not required to write a positive review All opinions expressed are mine.
Terri Blackstock is a New York Times best seller, with over six million copies sold worldwide She is the winner of two Carol Awards, a Christian Retailers Choice Award, and a Romantic Times Book Reviews Career Achievement Award, among others She has had over twenty five years of success as a novelist Terri spent the first twelve years of her life traveling in a U.S Air Force family She lived
- 352 pages
- Smoke Screen
- Terri Blackstock
- 15 September 2019 Terri Blackstock