Monday, May 6, 2019

Every Last Breath (Final Hour, #1) by Juno Rushdan

Synopsis (via Goodreads): 48 hours
2 covert operatives
1 chance to get it right

Maddox Kinkade is an expert at managing the impossible. Tasked with neutralizing a lethal bioweapon, she turns to the one person capable of helping her stop the threat of pandemic in time: the love of her life, back from the dead and mad as hell at her supposed betrayal. Recruiting Cole to save millions of lives may be harder than resisting the attraction still burning between them, but Maddox will do whatever it takes...even if it destroys her.

When Maddox crashes back into Cole Matthews' life, he wants to fight back. He wants to hate her. But the crisis is too strong to ignore, and soon the two former lovers find themselves working side-by-side in a breakneck race to stop a world-class killer with a secret that could end everything.

"Somehow, sunshine didn’t fit her anymore. He needed to look up the name for a monster star that burned ten million times brighter than the sun. That’s what she was now."
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

Every Last Breath was an enjoyable read that exceeded my expectations. I felt like a kid chasing an ice cream truck, only it was my mind that wasn't moving fast enough. I wanted to know more about Maddox and her history with Cole, what he's been doing for the last nine years, her work at the Gray Box, the threat they faced and why, and additional details about Maddox's team and Cole's family. It took a few hours, but I finally got my ice cream.

I did have some small issues while reading this one, so we'll get those out of the way first. There's a pretty big cliffhanger. Yes, I understand it's there to set up the next book. No, I don't care. We spend a good portion of the book trying to determine something, but it's left unresolved. It's a big something, too. I kept waiting for the answers to click into place, but the book ends and we're left with a clue that makes zero sense. The story itself wrapped up the main conflict, but I don't like feeling like a baited fish when I finish a book.

My second issue: inconsistencies. I read a review copy, so it's likely some of the details were ironed out before publication, but they still stuck with me. Maddox's boss told her she shouldn't tell Cole the truth under any circumstances. It was an order, and they all pride themselves on following orders. However, she caves and tells Cole the truth the second he asks, and no one ever says anything to her about it. If it really was a big deal, her boss would have reprimanded her in some way for compromising her cover and the mission. There were other small details that didn't mesh with the rest of the story, but they were easy to look past.

Moving on to better and brighter things! The relationship between Cole and Maddox was sizzling. They have a complicated past, have both dealt with horrible losses, and neither of them was willing to completely forgive the other. It takes a lot of time for them to reconnect and talk about the things that really matter. It was realistic, heartbreaking, and honest. They've been through so much, yet they're still willing to put their lives on the line for one another.

Even though it took them awhile to sort out their feelings, there was no denying their chemistry! Car sex has never sounded so appealing! They've had sex before, nearly a decade ago, so things were both familiar and new. If your like you romances hot and steamy, Rushdan knows what she's doing. There was some macho-manning, but Maddox doesn't let the guys fight her battles. She's savvy, smart, and can take care of herself (but also knows when she needs help).

The romance was great, the friendships were interesting (but not elaborated on), and the story was a doozy. I can understand why the author left a lot unsaid about the secondary characters, because she wants you to question everyone's motives, which I did. Even the people Maddox trusted with her life became suspects in my mind. On top of all that, she still has to work with her team to stop a maniac with a biological weapon. It was crazy with a slice of insane. There was so much going on in this story, but everything flowed together and never felt crowded.

Every Last Breath was full of action and intrigue, and I enjoyed all of it! Rushdan leaves a very big question mark at the end of this one, which was disappointing, but forgivable. I definitely plan on continuing this series!


  1. I very rarely pick up romance/thrillers or romance/suspense. I'm a full-on romance girl and don't want/need anything else muddying up the waters. LOL That being said, I'm actually reading one right now that could probably be classified as romantic suspense (Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye). So obviously there are exceptions to every rule. Ha! Inconsistencies like like sometimes bug me but maybe some were ironed out in the final product. Sometimes it's easy to brush them off and move on and but sometimes they just niggle at me and I can't get past them. Glad this one was good enough to have you wanting to continue the series! :)

    1. I thought the romance and action were well-balanced! I liked that Maddox and Cole were equals that fought side by side. He always wanted to shield and protect her with his body, but she didn't hide behind him. She tried to keep him away from danger, but he stuck by her side regardless. Even in the middle of a dangerous situation, the two are being romantic, haha. Maybe you'll try it one day! The sex was good. ;)

  2. Yay for it exceeding your expectations! I love it when that happens!

    1. It's always a happy surprise! I'm not against action and adventure, but sometimes the military angle doesn't work for me. Special agents, secret agencies, ex-military, CIA, etc. It's not always my thing! However, it really worked for this one, and I enjoyed it. :)

  3. Oooh a bioweapon. That sounds intriguing. Glad to hear it was good.

    1. It was! Based on the books you read, you might like this one. There's not a paranormal aspect, but it's fast-paced and a little dirty. ;)


Click the "Notify me" box if you want to be notified when someone responds!

“Stuff and nonsense. Nonsense and stuff and much of a muchness and nonsense all over again. We are all mad here, don't you know?”
― Marissa Meyer, Heartless