Every Last Breath

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 03 May 2019

Member Reviews

The clock is ticking and Maddox Kincaid thinks she can manage the impossible. It might not be so easy this time. She is tasked with finding a way to stop a possible pandemic as a result of a bio weapon. Enter Cole Matthews long thought dead my Maddox. Cole believes Maddox betrayed him, but he knows he has to help to stop the deadly weapon. The clock is ticking on not just the weapon but on Maddox and Cole too.
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CW: past late-term miscarriage, grief

Every Last Breath is an impressive romantic suspense debut. Filled with twists and turns, the fast pace still allowed for plenty of character development and the romance balanced with the action. The latter is important to me as a reader. I don’t want to be worried about characters who are making out when they should be focused on safety but I also don’t want the plot to neglect their love story. In this case, I’m sure Rushdan’s real life experience as a former military intelligence officer came in handy and it helped me trust her characters would come out fine in the end.

This is also a second chance romance. Maddox believed her almost-fiancé died nine years ago, only to find he’s very much alive while out on a mission. A mission in which she needs his cooperation in order to prevent a pandemic from happening. Cole, on the other hand, is pissed. He thought Maddox betrayed him all those years ago and he’s not going to make working together easier on her.

Complicating all this is that Maddox is a covert operative for Gray Box, a secret government outfit and she was wrapping up college back when she and Cole dated. He has no idea how capable she is in the field or what a kickass woman she’s become. And it should stay that way: secret government organizations are supposed to stay a secret. I loved how Maddox navigated this issue. I loved both of these characters. They are both tremendously strong and have overcome so much to get to where they are. If you love books about people who are excellent at their jobs, this is the book for you.

Cole and Maddox have so much history to overcome but they were very much in love before everything went awry and their chemistry is still intact. It's so clear to the reader that they're good together, both in and out of the bedroom, and it's just a matter of whether they'll take a chance on each other. Cole can be harsh with her at times but it makes sense given what he believes. And Maddox tries to protect her heart because of what she experienced after his presumed death. The story deals very frankly with her late-term miscarriage and grief, which is good to see on page but may be triggering to some. It was refreshing to see how Cole’s grief was handled once he learned what had happened, as men’s grief over miscarriage can be minimized and often isn’t acknowledged at all.

I don’t want to spoil the plot because there are so many great twists and turns to experience. But I do want to mention a couple of things about the villain I found interesting. This made me think about the evolution of Bad Guys in books/TV/movies. We're back to the Russians/Eastern Europeans and that feels true to life. But the story delves into our complicity with what has happened in those countries. There’s a reason so many countries hate the US and we need to deal with that. Despite what the villain plans to do, which is heinous, he has a strong code of honor. It really humanizes him. I prefer not to have any POV from villains in my books but I will admit the brief insights we get from him added to the tension and pacing.

While the main mystery of this book is wrapped up, there’s a larger arc for the series that ends on a cliffhanger. There’s a double agent at Gray Box and I cannot wait to find out who it is. Bring on book 2!

CW: assassinations, attempted murder, violence, kidnapping, hostages, threat of pandemic, past death of loved ones, past late-term miscarriage (cervical incompetence), reference to past panic attacks, grief, psychiatric hospitalization due to depression and grief, prejudice/racism, brief reference to past diagnosis of child leukemia (appears to be in remission), reference to 9/11
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Great debut by Juno Rushdan !  Who can resist a "second chance" romance?  Maddox and Cole are great characters.  I enjoyed Maddox being a strong woman and Cole respecting that.  The storyline was well flushed out and keeps you wanting to turn the next page.  I look forward to Juno Rushdan's next book.  
Thank you to Net Galley for an advanced copy of this book.  My review is voluntary and honest.
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Special thanks to Juno Rushdan, Sourcebooks & NetGalley for providing our free copy in exchange for an honest & fair review.

Every Last Breath by Juno Rushdan is very intriguing. While reading, I’m always trying to figure out who is telling the truth and what’s real and what’s not. It’s action-packed for sure.

If you’re a fan of Jason Bourne movies, you’ll like this book. The romantic theme is great. Throughout the novel, the romance is simmering under the surface as a secondary narrative storyline. She’s trying to trust her instincts and her heart is fighting her on it. Especially when it comes to her old flame. Too bad her next mission relies on him.

THE VERDICT
I am Really Into This book! I’m happy this is a series. I will definitely read the next one.
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This is fast-paced romantic suspense with intense situations and characters. My Rating 4.5.

Maddox is a specialized CIA agent whose Gray Box team has been tasked with tracking, capturing the terrorists and recovering a stolen bioweapon. Maddox and her team have just returned from a mission and aren’t at 100% but they are ready to roll. Her superiors know that she could use extra help so they send the team to retrieve a non-CIA ‘asset’, Cole Matthews. The team shows up just in time to rescue Cole from a kidnapping by Russians. That is a bit of surprise but even more shocking to Maddox is the moment she sees Cole’s face.

Maddox knows this man as her almost fiancé who supposedly died nine years ago. She knows she made a mistake in betraying his family, but she went through extreme pain when she thought he was dead and has never moved on to another love. To cope with her losses, Maddox immersed herself in CIA training ending up in a covert organization. Maddox can’t understand how her first love could have allowed her to go through that pain of loss and she is livid. The only reason she would be willing to work with ‘Cole’ is the threat to innocent lives.

Cole created a new persona after Maddox’s betrayal devastated his family. He became a security specialist with the added background of assassin training. He never expected to see Maddox again and isn’t thrilled with the idea the agency he has always hated wants to use him. But once they pull him into the mission, there is no way he is going to let Maddox fight the danger without his protection.

The team knows the extreme risk of the bioweapon but they don’t realize the depth of the focused revenge intended by the enemy. Added to the dangerous mission is the discovery by the team that there is a mole in the base and they don’t know who they can trust.

This book in one word is “Intense”. The characters, Maddox and Cole, are intense ‘warriors’ aka operatives, who have personal history. The plot is suspenseful, tension-filled and intense. The same is true of the relationship between Maddox and Cole, plus there is a good dose of passion – both in anger and in chemistry. Their time together sizzles and sometimes they have to step back and remember the mission they have to complete before they can address all of their own issues. The story resolves the mission but leaves open the identity of the mole. I will be glad to read the next book in the series.

This has an excellent blend of tension, action and romance; Romantic Suspense just the way I like it. I highly recommend this to readers who like intense romantic suspense.

Source: NetGalley 2019.
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Fast-paced nd fun thrill ride that will most certainly be a crowd pleaser and hopefully will expand into a successful series.
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The plot was really interesting, but the book was long and didn't wrap up everything.  When I spend so much time on a single book, personally, I expect for it to come to a satisfying conclusion.
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Readers of Dan Brown will enjoy EVERY LAST BREATH, a fast-paced, part spy, part romance, action story.  Maddox Kinkade, a member of an off-book special-activities outfit—is commissioned to recruit Cole Matthews, her former lover whom she believed had been dead for ten years, to stop weaponized smallpox from being sold to an arms dealer who is looking to exact revenge by unleashing it upon the United States.  

This is a suspenseful, fast read that will keep the pages a turning.
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This is a great intelecual thriller from start to finish. Couldn't put it down finished it in two evenings!
I truly hope this becomes a series it's an amazing read..

"
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Being a new author to me and not a book I would normally read, it wasn't half bad! I loved the fast pace of the story. I would have loved to learn more at the end. I would recommend to someone who like a good suspense novel!
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What a fantastic debut! The sense of bewilderment as truths come to light, the churning of emotions and calm yet frantic feeling of the clock ticking down a la "24" was phenomenal. Can't wait for more books!
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I didn't know what to expect from this book as it was a new author for me and not really the type of book I read but I liked it ...The only thing I didn't like was the ending I wish she would have told who the mole was.
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Wow.  What a ride this book was! This was a fascinating, thrilling, second chance romance.  I look forward to the next installment.  
Many thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Steamy, Sexy and Suspenseful!!!! All wrapped up together. Holy Electricity Batman! This book is red hot! I wasn't quite sure how I would like a romantic suspense novel, but this totally worked for me. The electricity and heat between Maddox and Cole just sparks off the page. I was completely drawn into their story and invested in what was going to happen with them and their relationship. At the same time you have this crazy madman running around the city with a bioterrorism weapon trying to annihilate America. It's like The Notebook and The Avenger's Infinity Wars got together and had a baby, and that baby was this book. I loved it. Super hot romance on one page and total butt kicking, not getting away with it in my house on the next. I could not put this book down. And this brings a whole new light to a genre I didn't even know existed. You have twist and turns and intrigue and too hot to touch passion that leaves you ready for more. It's explosive! Did I mention that I could not put this book down??? This book was such a rush and it checked all the boxes for me! Oh, and the cliffhanger at the end..... Oh boy!! How fast can Juno Rushdan write the next book in this series?? I will be first in line to read it.

Every Last Breath took my breath away!

My thanks to Juno Rushdan, Sourcebooks Casablanca Publishing and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Publisher's description: 
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.

The clock is ticking.

*********
I really enjoyed “Every Last Breath” by Juno Rushdan. The interaction between the primary characters, Maddox and Cole, and the way the story built up, was exciting and kept the pages turning. The fact that the characters were under a time crunch to find and neutralize a lethal bioweapon really necessitated a fast-paced narrative, so I was pleased that the author was able to create that feeling of urgency.

Maddox was completely believable as an elite operative for a covert government agency - i.e., she's a badass. We can appreciate how hard she worked (and still works) to prove herself and that she wasn’t willing to let anyone compromise her reputation, even the man she loved 10 years ago who she assumed was dead until this threat started to unfold. All in all, this was a solid stand-alone story, but what brings it to 4 stars is that it is NOT a stand-alone story.

I have read a number of books that are pitched as part of a series. Expected when reading the first of a series is a lot of secondary characters who are introduced and referenced a couple of times throughout a story but otherwise don't have any relevant impact. We expect to get more of their stories in the rest of the series, but we know going in that we'll meet a lot of people who aren't necessarily critical to the resolution of this story. This isn't problematic for me. What I didn't like in this case was that there was a KEY plot element in this book that was not resolved at the end of the book and I assume will be resolved by the end of the series. More often than not, I do not read a series in its entirety without a break between books. Book 2 of this series is due out this summer, but the final book in the series is not due out until next year, As an avid reader, I will read a LOT of books between now and next year, and all of the hints about this plot element from the first book will be long-distant memories by the time I read the third book. I don’t want to have to spend time trying to remember what I read in the first book (or leafing through the first two books – who has time for that?) by the time I read the last book. I read books like this for enjoyment. I don’t want to have to work to remember what I read a dozen or more books ago. This isn’t like a TV series where you get a review of what happened in the previous episode. 

The only other thing that struck me as a little off was that Maddox and Cole sound a little too sappy sometimes. They were both strong, tough characters, and I’m not saying that tough characters can’t have a softer side, but in this case, it just didn’t sound authentic. This was a minor detail that does not take away from the overall enjoyment of the book. It’s just something that gave me pause.

All in all, this is definitely worth picking up and available now. Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Casablanca for providing a digital copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Loved the book. Couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Great thriller, suspense and romance.  Definitely worth the read. Looking forwarding to the next one to find out what happens next. Maddox is trying to stop a bio weapon from causing harm and has to go to the one person who she has a not so good past with is Cole.  Excellent read!
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The action is so crazy good!! From the start you know this is going to be a push and pull between the good guys and the bad ones!! A pandemic is the worry and it must be stopped. The romance is amazing and I loved the way it played into the story. I can’t wait for more. This is a summer beach read for sure!! Really enjoyed the edge of my seat action this book delivers.
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The beginning of Every Last Breath by Juno Rushdan got bogged down with the introduction of all the characters, but started to become fast paced about the middle of the second chapter. Rushdan puts a lot of detail into the character development. There is a lot going on in this book. And even though the main story is wrapped up at the end of this book, there is still a thread that leads into the second book in the series, NOTHING TO FEAR.  I will definitely be back for book two.

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this novel.
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The author wrote a thriller that started with a bang and just kept going!  The twists kept coming, so I couldn't put it down.  I cannot wait to read more from this author!
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I tried to love it, but when I was several chapters in with no idea who the hero/heroine are yet and not a single sign this is actually a romance and not a dry Russian spy novel I had to tap out.

I’ve heard amazing things about the author and truly WANTED to love it but I needed something in the first four chapters to give me hope and incentive to keep reading. Ultimately I DNF’d it by chapter 4 when I had no emotional connection to anyone in the story, didn’t know who the hero/heroine were going to be and wasn’t even emotionally invested to find out.
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