cover image Every Last Breath (Final Hour #1)

Every Last Breath (Final Hour #1)

Juno Rushdan. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $7.99 (448p) ISBN 978-1-4926-8608-8

Rushdan’s fast-paced, gripping debut will hold readers’ attention from start to finish. When Gray Box, a top-secret offshoot of the CIA, learns that weaponized smallpox will be sold at an upcoming auction for high-profile criminal buyers, officer Maddox Kinkad is assigned to recruit Cole Matthews as an asset to infiltrate the auction and acquire the lethal weapon. Cole turns out to be Nikolai Resnikov, the man Maddox loved and lost nine years earlier. Her CIA father learned that Nikolai’s family was Russian mafia, and Nikolai faked his own death in order to protect his family and her. Shocked to find Nikolai alive and well, Maddox hides her broken heart and prioritizes her mission. Meanwhile, this unexpected reunion makes Nikolai realize he has never stopped loving Maddox. The two highly skilled protagonists race against the clock to avert mass destruction, while sexual tension flares and their love rekindles. Rushdan portrays her mastermind criminal with welcome nuances—he longs to destroy the U.S. government to avenge his loved ones’ deaths—and leaves the identity of an agency mole unresolved, which will have readers eagerly waiting for the sequel to this arresting romantic thriller. Agent: Sara Megibow, KT Literary. (May)