When I read the email for this tour, I immediately clicked the link to sign up for this book. I’d been introduced to Terri Blackstock by a friend when she lent me the If I Run series, and I have officially been a fan ever since! She does suspense so well. Plus, the hero is a firefighter, and I kind of have a soft spot for them since my hubby volunteers for a local fire department.
Keep reading to learn about the book, find my full review and read an excerpt!
About the Book
Book: Smoke Screen
Author: Terri Blackstock
Genre: Christian Suspense
Release Date: November 5, 2019
One father was murdered, and another convicted of his death. All because their children fell in love.
Nate Beckett has spent his life fighting wildfires instead of the lies and rumors that drove him from his Colorado home town. His mother begs him to come to Carlisle 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 too.
Fourteen years ago, Nate was in love with the preacher’s daughter. When Pastor Strickland discovered Brenna had 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, people assumed it was Nate getting even for his father’s conviction. He let the rumors fly and left Carlisle without looking back.
Now, Brenna 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 she’s dealing with 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. She’s barely hanging on, and she’s turned to alcohol to cope. Shame and fear consume her.
As they deal with the present—including new information about that fateful night and a wildfire that’s threatening their town—their past keeps igniting. Nate is the steady force Brenna has so desperately needed. But she’ll have to learn to trust him again first.
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After reading If I Run, I’ve been looking forward to reading this book for a couple of months! I’ve only recently begun reading Christian suspense, and it didn’t take long for Terri Blackstock to make it onto my list of favorite suspense authors.
Nate and Brenna’s story is definitely full of page-turning suspense. Issues from the past are brought to the forefront as Nate and Brenna fight through new and emergent crises together. Choosing to stay together despite disapproval from their families, Nate tries to help Brenna remember who she is and how she used to trust God. While Nate tries to prove himself in the face of rumors surrounding him and his family.
I loved the innocent and pure way Nate could see Brenna for who she was despite all the pain she carried and the destruction she brought to her own life, and how determined he was to help her find herself. He is a true hero in so many ways, one of which is helping Brenna discover her true worth.
I will admit to getting frustrated with Brenna. Being a mother, I can understand how distraught and desperate she had to be, but turning to alcohol seemed counter-intuitive in the middle of a custody battle. However, I know that it is easy in moments of weakness to seek worldly comfort instead of seeking the comfort and wisdom of God.
I enjoyed the discussions Brenna had with Nate about her faith and her attitude toward God. Brenna’s story brings to light how it can feel when we’ve strayed from our faith, and how welcoming God is when we return to Him. Her fight for her faith was quite encouraging!
There’s plenty of suspense in Smoke Screen to keep you turning the pages, whether it is Brenna’s custody battle, Nate’s fire fighting, past crimes being revisited or the rekindling of Brenna and Nate’s relationship, you will not want to put this book down. If you are a fan of Christian suspense, authors like Colleen Coble and Dani Pettrey, then you will enjoy this book.
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
About the Author
Terri Blackstock has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of Intervention, Vicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series. Visit her website ifat www.terriblackstock.com; Facebook: tblackstock; Twitter: @terriblackstock
Excerpt from Smoke Screen
I woke up in a blinding bright room, my clothes off and something clamped to my face. I tried to reach it, but I couldn’t bend my right arm, and my hand stung. An IV was taped to my other hand, but I moved carefully and touched the thing over my face.
An oxygen mask. I tried to sit up. “What happened?”
T-bird came to my bedside, a sheen of smoky sweat still soiling his face. “Nate, lie back, man.”
“The fire,” I said. “Need to get back. My men.”
“They’re still there. Making progress. But you’re not going anywhere near a fire for a month or so.”
I took the mask off and coughed a little, but managed to catch my breath. “A month?”
“Yep. Second degree burns on 20 percent of your body. Some of the burns are deep.”
It came back to me, the event that had gotten me here.
“The family. Were they injured?”
“Not a scratch or burn. Turns out it was a U.S. Senator from Kansas. He says you’re a hero.”
“You know I had no choice. They were in the path—”
“Take the praise where you can get it, man. We don’t get that much.”
I looked at my right side. My right arm was bandaged, and so was my side and down my right leg to the point where my boots had stopped the flames. Second degree wasn’t so bad, I told myself. Third degree would have been brutal. I’d be able to leave the hospital soon. I’d heal.
“I won’t need a month,” I said.
“Yes, you will. They can’t let you go back. Doctor’s orders. You’re grounded until he releases you.”
I managed to sit up, but it was a bad idea. The burns pulling on my skin reminded me why I shouldn’t. “I can’t be grounded during fire season. Are you crazy? I need to be there. You don’t have enough men as it is.”
“Sorry, Nate. It is what it is. Why don’t you go home to Carlisle for a while? Take it easy.”
Go home? Pop had just been pardoned, and he and my mom were trying to navigate the reunion. Though she would love to have me home, I didn’t know if I was up to it. My father could be challenging, and fourteen years of prison hadn’t done him any favors.
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I hope you take a chance on Smoke Screen and take the opportunity to connect with Terri Blackstock through her website. Thanks for stopping by and happy reading!