Review: Every Last Breath by Juno Rushdan

Posted May 2, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 20 Comments

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Every Last Breath by Juno Rushdan
Every Last Breath

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: Final Hour #1
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Released on April 30, 2019
Pages: 448
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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The Delight

She betrayed him and now she needs him.  Together they need to stop a bio-terrorist within 48 hours.  There are adrenaline rush thrillers out there, but it takes a delft hand to write solid layers of background, setting, description, characterization, and complex plotting so that a villain has personality and depth and a spec ops team has camaraderie and heart while, best of all, a sizzling romance pair can nearly destroy each other and nine years later stand side by side and back to back.  Oh, and did I mention this was a debut novel?


Every Last Breath centers around a top secret agency getting the assignment to stop the sale and use of biological weapon.  Maddox heads the team and her first task is to recruit a man who has every reason to hate her and want nothing to do with the mission.  She was his fiance and she betrayed him.  Then, she thought he died because of what she did and she’s been an ice-cold operative who lives for her job ever since.  When her in to get to the private auction for the bio-weapon involves cozying up to the man she betrayed, she knows that only the truth will do even though a web of lies is her stock in trade.  Can she lead this mission and not let it get personal?

Cole finds himself agreeing to do his part to help Maddox’s team and he plans to stay angry and distant after what she did to him and his family, but she’s not that same girl who made the choice to betray him.  She’s a razor sharp, confident woman who has her own anger on for him letting her think he was dead all this time.  But, the personal stuff has to be stowed away because they have a job to do and he’s pretty sure that her precious agency has a mole the way the target knows more than he should.  He left her once, but he’s got her six this time around.

Spies, missions, webs of lies and secrets, save the world situations, spy gadgets, and counter-spying are some abso-fab story elements that I eat up.    Many times, I either like the suspense or the romance element in a story like this, but rarely are both of equal strength and integrated well.  This one did.  I was vested in both sides of the coin.  What’s more, I totally respected the main characters, their actions in the romance and their mission, and the overall cast.  I even enjoyed getting the villain’s perspective and it didn’t reduce the story’s tension one iota to have that present.  The villains were worthy opponents for a group of pros like this and there is even an unnamed villain or two that are part of the series arc.

Maddox and Cole were fabulous individually and sizzled when together.  Can I say just how much I appreciated having people who are written as pros at this sort of work act like it?  Not, that they were too perfect to be believed.  Emotions ran high and there was the need on Maddox’s part to be better than everyone else because she’s the woman and doesn’t want to be the team liability and Cole fought the urge to jump into protect mode when only back up was needed.  And, they were mature about their past while still needing to work through all that never got dealt with when what they had exploded them apart.

The Gray Box agency group is a sensational nucleus of players that are perfect as the core backdrop for the series.  I loved meeting all the players, getting hints at personalities and some attractions, and even that tetchy bit that one of these people is a betrayer.  Can’t wait for the next installment.

All in all, my breath was stolen with this fantastic first in series and I am craving more.  Romantic Suspense aficionados must grab this one in short order.

My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met

New Release #66
Books N Tunes #26 Bette Middler’s Every Road Leads Back to You 


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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Genesis @ Whispering Chapters

I’ve been wanting to read this one! It sounds so so good! I love when the suspense and the romance are equally great. And gotta love when the characters are basically pros at what they do. Great review!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

You said it, Genesis. Those are the best things when they are all cooking.

Debbie Haupt
Debbie Haupt
3 years ago

Ok my heart is racing just from the review, whew! this is going on my list Great review Sophia Rose

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

You won’t regret it, Debbie. 🙂

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

Wow it’s hard to believe that this is a debut novel! This sounds like a pulse pounding, high octane romantic suspense thriller! It sounds like the author did an amazing job building the setting, plot, and all of the characters, including the villain! Excellent Review Sophia!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

It sure was all that, Lindy. I could never seem to find a calm place to stop when I had to get back to real life. LOL

3 years ago

Great review and I really want to read this book, it’s been on my radar.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Cynthia

You really do, Cynthia. Worth it!

Mary Kirkland
3 years ago

I’ve always liked movies about viruses, biological weapons and stuff like that. I haven’t read too many books with that subject but the ones I have were good. This sounds good too.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

It makes for a hold your breath sort of excitement b/c it plays on fear. I love to read these, too.

Carole rae
3 years ago

Yayy! I’m glad you really liked this one! Hopefully the next in the series takes your breath away again!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Carole rae

I went back and read the prequel novella and now I am absolutely jazzed that the next book comes out this fall. 🙂

Anne - Books of My Heart

Yes, I thought it was pretty awesome too! Great review! Glad you enjoyed it.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

And, now we wait for the fall…

Angie Elle
3 years ago

This sounds like a real rush of a read, Sophia, and I’ve seen other amazing reviews for it as well. I’m glad you enjoyed it so much!

Great review.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Angie Elle

Oh yeah! It was indeed that, Angie. I had to go back and scarf up the prequel in the anthology and now I’m tapping my nails for book two’s release. 🙂

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

This is right in my wheelhouse! Adding it.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

Oh yeah, clear the time for this one. You won’t want to set it aside. 🙂

Romance Reader
3 years ago

Recently I had this email about this new book and I was wondering what it would be like. Thanks for your review!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Romance Reader

Sure thing! Glad we could satisfy your curiosity. 🙂