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.
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.
Outbreak 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.