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Final Hour #2

Nothing to Fear

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The countdown has begun and time is running out―the final hour is upon them...

Fearsome Gray Box operative Gideon Stone is devoted to his work and his team. He's never given anyone reason to doubt his loyalty...until he's tasked with investigating Willow Harper, a beguiling cryptologist suspected of selling deadly bio-agents on the black market.

Willow claims she's innocent―that she has nothing to prove―and despite himself, Gideon believes her. He also knows that without him, Willow will be dead before sunrise.

Thrust into the crossfire of an insidious international conspiracy, Gideon will do anything to keep Willow safe...even if that means waging war against his own. With time running out, an unlikely bond pushes limits―and forges loyalties. Every move they make counts. And the real traitor is always watching...

443 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published August 27, 2019

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About the author

Juno Rushdan

83 books1,565 followers
Juno Rushdan is a veteran US Air Force intelligence officer and the award-winning author of romantic thrillers. Her books are action-packed, nail-biting page-turners with twists you won’t see coming. Critics from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, BookPage and Library Journal have called her work “heart-pounding James Bond-ian adventure”, “fast-paced”, “gripping”, “a thrill ride” that “will captivate lovers of romantic thrillers.” She is married to her own military hero and is privileged to have two rambunctious kids and a spoiled rescue dog. For a FREE book from Juno: http://bit.ly/JunoFREE. Be sure to follow her on BookBub for the latest on sales: bit.ly/BookBubJuno.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 127 reviews
Profile Image for Madison Warner Fairbanks.
2,174 reviews285 followers
August 18, 2019
Nothing to Fear by Juno Rushdan

2nd in the Final Hour series. Can be read as a standalone but takes off immediately after the first. Romantic suspense thriller.
Intense, enthralling, and entertaining.

Gideon is a real life James Bond (ok, in book form!) and he has set his eyes on Willow. She has intrigued him since she started at Gary’s Box. His assignment to get to know her makes his heart trip in anticipation.
Willow doesn’t know what to do when Gideon starts chatting with her. What are the rules? Willow is an analyst and a dweeb according to her sisters.

I loved how open and honest Willow was in dealing with her feelings. She’s on the higher functioning spectrum of autism and the author described this with habits of touching the pearls at her neck, drumming her fingers or pinching the back of her hand. These habits and Willow’s acknowledgement of them make her extremely likable and sympathetic.

I am thoroughly loving this series and will be on of the first in line for the next book.

Excerpt of Gideon trying to chat with Willow:
“I-I’m going to be late.” She scrambled into the aisle avoiding him. “I have to go.”
He strolled alongside her for some unfathomable reason. His strong physique and weightless stride—propelled by athletic grace—projected his lethal ability to handle anything.
“I’ll walk you out to your car.” A declaration, not a question.
Her stomach somersaulted. “What? Why?”
It took nine minutes to get from her desk to the parking lot, depending on the wait for the elevator. An extra two to her car since she parked on the far end. That meant for eleven minutes, she’d have to talk. With him. Concentrate on the rules to seem nice. She wasn’t unfriendly, but things got lost in translation.
Her rib cage tightened, making it hard to breathe. “There’s no need to walk me out.”
“I’m leaving anyway. It’s no trouble.” Gideon peered down at her and the intense look in his piercing blue eyes sent butterflies dancing in her belly.
She stared at him, trying to recall why it was a bad idea, and tripped over her feet. Gah! Tearing her gaze away, she focused on what was going on around her, determined to pull it together and not fall flat on her face.”
Excerpt from Nothing to Fear by Juno Rushdan

I received a copy of this from NetGalley. I also purchased a copy to keep.
Profile Image for Lady Heather .
1,290 reviews700 followers
August 27, 2019

Publication Date: August 27, 2019

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"5-Gimme, Gimme More -Stars!"

I'm giddy with anticipation for the next book in this series and also for discovering this author.
Juno Rushdan has found a new fan.
I have to check out her backlist to see what else I can read!

This story was intense, action-pact and so well executed that it was when I was at the 80% mark of the book, and that all the loose ends were starting to be tied up that I realized the story would soon end.

I want more:
- Of this Author's writing and storytelling.
- More of this series.
- More of these characters and the amazing missions they go on.
Gideon and Willow were perfect for each other. Even though they spent most of the story in extreme danger, the author did a beautiful job of incorporating a well developed and amazing romance between the two.

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Loved this book!
Love this series!

"I voluntarily read an ARC of this book which was provided by SocialButterflyPR in exchange for an honest review."
1,514 reviews20 followers
July 2, 2019
Gideon is an operative for Gray Box, a super secret agency. There is a mole embedded in Gray Box and evidence point to Willow. Gideon has a protective streak when it comes to Willow and they go on the run to save her life and clear her name.

This is the second book I have read by this author and she has become a must read for me. This book is full of heart stopping action, betrayal and a romance. I can’t wait for her next book. Thank you to net galley for an advanced readers copy.
Profile Image for Dri ✰.
693 reviews213 followers
August 29, 2019
4 strong STARS


“The point of loving someone isn’t to be made happy by it. The point is to be better because of it. It’s not your job to make me happy—that’s mine.”

Profile Image for Lindsey Gandhi.
508 reviews141 followers
August 24, 2019
Holy Hot Sizzling Bacon Batman!!! This book is on fire!!!
5 RED HOT STARS!!!!!! If Goodreads would allow me to award more stars, this would be the book to get them.

Ok, Juno Rushdan, you have made me a believer!! I wasn't quite sure how I would like the romantic thriller genre. But after seeing many rave reviews on your first book in this series, Every Last Breathe, I decided to give it a chance. And you did not let me down. I loved it. I was so hungry for more when the book ended. It literally left me breathless and I couldn't wait to get my hands on Nothing to Fear. And again, you have knocked it so far out of the park we need NASA to locate this ball. You've opened me up to a whole new genre I didn't know existed or that I would like, but you also made me a believer in your writing chops. You can seriously write a book I want to read.

Both of the books in this series can be read as stand alone books, but I highly recommend you read this as a series. Each book is building on the previous storyline and I am so excited to see where she takes us next.

Just like in the first book, you become so invested and attached to the characters and their individual stories. You will fall in love with them, cheer them on, and hide behind your hands scared to see if they make it out alive. This author truly knows how to develop characters. Yes there is steamy hot romance in this book, but there is also a crazy hold on to the edge of your seat thrill ride you will take. In this book, we are trying to find the mole in the Gray Box special ops unit. It's insane! And it's wicked good! It's fresh, it's different, it's intense, it will get your heart racing in more ways than one. This book is a fast read. You will not want to put it down. And just like the first book, I am hungry for more!!

Trust me, you have Nothing to Fear, you will love this book!! Pick it up!!! And keep your eyes on Juno Rushdan. This is an author going places. I can't wait to get my hands on her next book!!

My thanks to Juno Rushdan, Sourcebooks Casablanca Publishing and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 
Profile Image for WhiskeyintheJar.
1,273 reviews516 followers
November 6, 2019
4.5 stars

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

Someone in his unit, someone they trusted with their lives, had murdered a suspect in custody— here in the ultrasecure facility right under their noses.

The Gray Box is a so deep undercover organization in the US government that even people in the know don't know about it, and they have a mole. The first in the series, Every Last Breath, introduced us to the Gray Box and the men and women working to keep America safe. The idea of a possibility of a mole is talked about there and by the end confirmed, Nothing to Fear is the story of Gideon, known as Reaper, going rogue to protect one of their programmers and hackers, Willow, from being set-up by the mole. You could start the series here but you'd miss out on the foundation of character relationships and the author does such a great job of constructing the plot that I think it is worth it to read the series in order.

When he looked at her, he didn’t see a target or a mission. Only an exquisite woman, tender and sweet, ready to open herself. She was giving him the precious gift of her trust— a miracle and a mistake inextricably tangled.

Nothing to Fear was just about a non-stop action ride that I highly enjoyed. As this is romantic suspense, I do think the romance could have been a bit stronger but if you enjoy action and a strong plot, this is a must read. For me, not completely feeling Gideon's character contributed to the romance not feeling as strong. He's infused with more emotional bearing than the typical alpha males in this sub-genre but the slower reveal of his background kept me from knowing him. At the end there was also a bit too much, “I'm not good enough for her/I'm too damaged” that starts to feel angst for angst sake after reading the majority of the story where the couple has already fallen in love. Our heroine Willow felt more like a complete character and her always feeling like an outcast because of being on the spectrum will tug at some hearts.

The power she had, to have him unraveling with a look.

This is the second book I've read by this author and while I've enjoyed the lead romances, I think where this author really shines is her ability to construct these twisty turn-y, high action plots carried out by main characters you want to fall in love and secondary characters you become wildly impatient to read their books. The concept of a super secret government group isn't new to the romantic suspense world but I do feel this author is top notch at pulling it off. The ending conclusion and wrap-up on some of the mole plot was a little rushed (the main baddie had a background that I would have actually liked explored more) but for the vast majority I was locked into the action and flew through this book.

If you like romantic suspense, I highly recommend this series. The romance does take a backseat at times but you'll find yourself invested in all the characters and the engaging plots. I can't wait for the next in the series.
Profile Image for Anne - Books of My Heart.
2,943 reviews191 followers
August 23, 2019
This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart

Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I found Juno Rushdan by reading the Sourcebooks sampler of romantic suspense novellas, Turn the Tide and went quickly on to request Every Last Breath. The Final Hour series  is about a covert black ops team with both analysts / computer hackers and tactical fighters / assassins. Nothing to Fear is about finding a mole within the group which is not only threatening national security, but also the lives of the team.

I enjoyed reading this sexy, action-packed story. Overall, the plot and romance were predictable.  The technical details of the work and the battles was fascinating, though. I loved the characters of Gideon and Willow. Gideon was the usual amazing fighter / killer who thinks he isn't good enough for any woman. He is sure Willow is better off without him.

Willow is a fun piece of diversity.  She has some quirks, and is likely on the spectrum.  She is beautiful and brilliant. Her computer skills are first rate.  Her social skills have some limits and she is fairly uncomfortable in most relationships of any type.

A couple on the run, in a life-and-death situation, has the high emotional situation which allows an honesty usually not considered.  Gideon was very capable in a threatening situation. Willow did make it harder by acting TSTL in a few instances.  �� The identity of the mole was a shock.  I definitely want to read more about this team!  Until the End, book 3, is projected to release in May 2020.
Profile Image for Anita.
2,061 reviews140 followers
August 27, 2019
description no diva

Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an fair and honest review.

I loved the first book in this series and expected this one to be great too, and it was. The characters that are not what you expect facing situations totally out of their experiences, "Nothing to Fear" is my kind of Romantic-Suspense and much, much more. Juno Rushdan is one of my new favorite authors. She writes hot romance and exciting action filed with tension and suspense that make it impossible to put the book down.

The Gray Box is a top secret, off the books, black ops outfit that reports only to the Director of National Intelligence and the President. Their operatives are all top tier and deadly, but none of them as dedicated and focused as Gideon Stone and right now he is laser focused on finding the mole in their midst.

Willow Harper is his focus, but he really doesn't believe she is the mole, even though she has the access necessary as an analyst and cryptologist. When the evidence starts pointing directly at her, Gideon does the only thing he can to protect her, he takes her and flees.

Willow is crazy smart, but has problems with social interactions. When Gideon starts paying attention and flirting with her she is at a loss as to what to do. She has had a thing for him for months, but is so out of his league as to not even be on the same planet with him. When they flee and are forced into tight quarters all the barriers come crashing down for both of them, but the only thing more dangerous than their emotions is the mole and the army who are after them.
Profile Image for Crystal.
Author 69 books422 followers
April 21, 2019
The first book in this series was one of the best Romantic Thrillers-and thrillers, period-I've read. This book blew that one out of the water. Gideon is just...yeah, SWOON. And Willow is so beautifully different and amazing. I loved the continuation of all we'd learned, and finding out answers, but I cannot wait for more from the Gray Box. A simply spectacular series!
Profile Image for Margaret Yelton.
1,820 reviews30 followers
August 19, 2019
Nothing to Fear is the second book in the series, I was lucky enough to be able to read the first book and now to follow up with this one. The book is very well written, action packed romactic suspense. The chemistry between Gideon and Willow was awesome, and I found this book even more enjoyable than the first book in the series. I would definitely recommend this book to others.
Profile Image for Sophia.
Author 5 books330 followers
August 22, 2019
After the adrenaline rush that was Every Last Breath, I had to press forward with this riveting and on the edge series with its compelling plot and charismatic characters. There is a mole in the Gray Box organization and they are setting up one of their own to take a hard fall. Another page-turner!

Nothing to Fear is book two in the Final Hour romantic suspense series set against the world of covert, off the books operations and lethal people who struggle hard to find love. Each book presents a new couple and a heightened threat to deal with while working best when read in order.

Gideon and the rest of the Gray Box team are left reeling to know that one of them is a mole and selling out the team that is like a family. Some glaring facts point to it being Willow Harper, the quiet, organized and very gifted crytologist, but Gideon is convinced she's being set up. She has caught his eye for some time and he is intrigued by her cool, put together demeanor who doesn't seem to want friends and only wants to do her job. It's his task to get close and discover if she's the traitor, but he learns that lines are going to get crossed when this woman pushes him to put something besides the mission first.

Willow knows Gideon has a dark history as an assassin and interrogator- she's read his file, but she is drawn to him anyway. She can't believe that a guy like him would even notice a socially inept person like her. Then someone tries to kill her and she finds herself suspected to be a traitor to the job she has loyally worked at. Gideon was always lethal, but she didn't realize her heart would be the biggest casualty.

I loved joining Gideon in learning what a delightful surprise Willow turned out to be. She is amazing in so many ways and doesn't let Asperger's or caring for an ailing parent hold her back. She is socially awkward and yet her giving and generous nature shines through into Gideon's dark, shadowy world. He doesn't stand a chance against the force of her blunt charm and I loved that Willow saw the real man and not just the operative even when he tried to push her away for her own good. They were sizzling together when they had the chance to catch a break while out trying to prove Willow's innocence.

As to the mole plot that started in the previous book, the author tantalizes with glimpses behind enemy lines of the power behind the mole and the mole themselves. It didn't diminish the suspense one iota and actually upped it. There were some harrowing scenes that had me on the edge of my seat. These people pulled no punches.

In the end, there was one series plot thread still left open, but it ended with a fabulous denouement and epilogue. I didn't even sense the pages going by and reluctantly tapped the last page a few times nosing for more. Those who like black ops thrills with their romance need look no further than this smart and sizzling series.

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

COYER Summer Scavenger Hunt clue- thriller-mystery genre 1 pt.
Profile Image for The Romance Book Disciple (Samantha).
1,836 reviews305 followers
October 29, 2019

Nothing to Fear is a superb romantic suspense read! There is non stop action and a realistic portrayal of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).

Gideon is the badass black ops operative and Willow the quiet, introverted computer girl. There is a mole at their super secret facility, Grey Box, and people are desperate to find out who. Willow ends up in the cross hairs but Gideon knows she is being framed. The story of Nothing to Fear centers on the insane measures these two have to take in order to avoid an early and violent death.

I always appreciate stories that feature people with ASD and I thought Rushdan did a good job expressing how ASD affects adults. Willow is aware of her limitations and has managed to carve a good life for herself despite the fact her sisters think she is broken. Gideon feels attraction to Willow, but he has more baggage than Delta. His estranged wife died in a car accident and he spends his time on secret, dangerous, and deadly missions. He doesn't feel that he is good enough for someone like Willow.

Gideon and Willow's push/pull attraction wasn't my favorite part of Nothing to Fear because I tend to prefer decisive characters (Willow admitted early on she was attracted to Gideon). However, the real winner of this story is the action. While you know who the villain is, what you don't know is how Gideon and Willow will pull this off and survive. Rushdan's writing is brilliant and I was engrossed in the story nearly instantly. Nothing to Fear will keep you reading well past your bedtime because there is no break in the action!


  POV: 3rd
  Tears: no
  Trope: black ops, on the run
  Triggers: none (unless you are triggered by being chased and shot at frequently)
  Series/Standalone: stand alone

Securing Piper by Susan Stoker, Shadow by Janie Crouch, Deadlock by Cherrie Lynn...then you will probably like Nothing to Fear!


Nothing to Fear
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Profile Image for Reads & Reviews.
650 reviews15 followers
August 27, 2019
4.5 Stars

Nothing to Fear, from Juno Rushdan, is beautifully balanced romantic suspense filled with well-written action scenes and a sweet romance. I loved Gideon and Willow and could have read about them for days.

Book 2 in Rushdan’s Final Hour series, Nothing to Fear picks up shortly after Every Last Breath (book 1) ends. While this can technically be a standalone with a new romantic couple, there are plot points that begin in ELB that are part of an overall story arc for the series.

Gideon is called the Reaper and for good reason. Physically he is ghost-like with pale blond hair and pale blue eyes. He’s been an assassin for the CIA and now for Gray Box, the fictional black ops group that is the setting for the series. The presence of a mole is revealed in ELB and as Nothing to Fear opens clues are pointing to Willow Harper, Gray Box’s computer expert, as the traitor. Gideon has always been soft on Willow and takes it upon himself to watch over her and prove she’s innocent.

I loved Willow from the beginning. Willow is a great character that just happens to have Asperger’s. I loved how Rushdan wrote her, weaving Willow’s Asperger’s characteristics flawlessly into the narrative, giving readers a heroine who isn’t defined by her condition. She’s always been attracted to Gideon, but never felt like she was his type.

Together, Willow and Gideon make perfect sense. There’s a mutual respect between them that’s a perfect foundation for their romance. They have fantastic chemistry and Willow’s softness helps break through the tough exterior that Gideon puts up.

I think there’s a real talent to intertwining romance and suspense into a novel and managing to hold onto readers. Getting the action scenes right is tricky; writing them into a romance with multiple secondary characters and all sorts of things going on requires a certain balance and Rushdan executes it perfectly. Nothing to Fear played out in my mind like a movie with easy to see settings, the romance building at the right pace with a burn that left me quickly turning pages, and suspense that literally had me gasping out loud. More so, Rushdan left just enough clues to have me working out the mystery but not enough to make it obvious.

I definitely recommend this book and series!

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for honest feedback.
Profile Image for Lindsi (Do You Dog-ear?).
704 reviews174 followers
November 28, 2021
"She had a lovely way of robbing him of his defenses."

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.

I am loving this series! I had high expectations after the first book, Every Last Breath, and Nothing to Fear didn't disappoint. I was glued to the pages as soon as I started! Gideon and Willow were amazing characters, and I really liked their interactions and seeing their relationship develop. This book starts off with a bang, and just keeps on going!

Gideon has quietly watched Willow from the sidelines, observing her mannerisms and preferences without actually approaching her, because he doesn't think he's worthy of someone so innocent and kind. He believes his soul is tainted due to the nature of his job, and that Willow deserves to live a life with someone better. My one quibble would be how often Gideon says something about not being good enough. I'm okay with some self-deprecation, an even enjoy it when it's sarcastic, but he really struggled with who he was. He was confident in his abilities -- and rightly so -- but I wish he had hated himself less, or at least thought he was deserving of love.

Willow may not have snuck glances at Gideon when they were in the same room, but she cyber-stalked the hell out of him. She read every file she could find, and even hacked her way into redacted versions of reports. She wanted to know everything about him, even if she didn't fully understand why. In any other circumstance, their stalking would have been super weird, but it really worked for these two. Neither saw it as a breach of trust (or thought it was super creepy), but accepted that both were observant control freaks that liked information.

Rushdan knows how to write adventure and suspense, and I was kept on my toes for the entirety of the book. I desperately wanted to know who Cobalt was, especially after how the author left things at the end of Every Last Breath. I had so many questions! Cobalt is skilled at masking their identity, so I questioned everyone's actions and words. Everyone was a suspect in my mind until I could confirm -- without a doubt -- that they weren't responsible. The author leaves a small trail of who it's not, but that only narrowed my list down to a handful of others. It was stressful! I couldn't figure it out. I kept thinking, "No, that's too obvious. Wait! Maybe it's supposed to feel obvious so I'll dismiss them?" I loved it!

The romance was remarkably well-written as well. I really enjoyed reading from Willow's perspective, since she has a unique way of viewing the world. I believe she has Asperger's... I think I'm remembering correctly, and she's very blunt and honest. She says what she wants when she wants it, and she offers personal details about her life without prompting. I think she was really good for Gideon, because he needed someone he could be completely honest with. Willow knows everything about him, the good and the bad, and she still thought he was worth loving. It also meant he didn't have to keep secrets from her, which had caused a strain on his previous marriage. He thought he was a monster, but Willow saw a hero willing to sacrifice parts of himself for the greater good. They were passionate lovers, but they also connected on a soul-deep level that was just as intimate.

I cannot wait to see where this story goes next! There's a lot of fighting, some descriptive violence, and even some torture in this one. It's not overly explained, but the picture and intentions are clear. It's part of working at the Grey Box and saving the country from the shadows, but it can also be a little graphic. Weak stomachs beware!

I was happy to see Cole and Maddox get cameos in this one! It makes me want to re-read their story!

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Profile Image for Jypsy .
1,523 reviews76 followers
August 24, 2019
Nothing To Fear is another excellent read by Juno Rushdan. Willow, the female lead, is being framed by someone within her own ranks. Gideon, the male lead, is investigating, but he knows she is innocent. The interesting thing about Willow is her diagnosis as a high functioning autistic person. I always like to see something that society labels as a disability being shown as the opposite of that. No one fits in a box with a label, and people are equal. Willow is intelligent and intuitive with just enough sass. Gideon doesn't feel worthy of her, and it's sad. It's not a romantic story, though. This is a suspenseful thrilling story that I enjoyed. I look forward to more by this author. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Wendy F.
890 reviews183 followers
May 14, 2020
Nothing to Fear was a fast paced, exciting romantic suspense. I have no big complaints about the story.

It was satisfying.

I’m going to review it best I can, but I am at a disadvantage. I read the first book, and I remember that I loved it. I emailed Sourcebooks Casablanca to ask when this would be released, because I was eager to move on with the story.

Then I went into my slump.

Now I can’t remember anything about the first book. So, for starters, my first critique would be that Nothing to Fear throws you right into the story, right where Every Last Breath left us. The reason Willow is on the run has to do with the events of the first book. I’m positive my excitement level would have been greater if there was more backstory to remind me of what happened. Instead, I felt like I spent most of my time trying to remember why these villains were important.

I guess we’ll find out if timing is an advantage,
since I have book 3 in May.

However, it’s not to say I didn’t enjoy this book. Like I said, I was satisfied. Gideon and Willow were hot, which really boiled down to how much Gideon was in love with her. In a way it reminded me a little of Rhage and Mary, my favorite BDB couple, in that the hunger Gideon felt for Willow was palpable. Tantalizing. I could feel his ache.

I also enjoy reading romance novels when one of the love interests is on the spectrum, so that made Gideon’s tenderness even sweeter. We need more autistic representation.

Overall, it was a fun and fast read. I’m still not unhappy with the Final Hour series, and I’ll be looking forward to Castle’s story next.

Thank you to Sourcebooks Casablanca and NetGalley, for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jaclyn.
780 reviews168 followers
July 19, 2019
Nothing to Fear was a very good romantic suspense, especially if you like your romantic suspense packed with action. This one is very much tied to the first book in the series since Gideon and Willow's hitting the road from the bad guys hinges on the events of the first book.

For my own personal tastes, I found this to be too focused on the action and not enough on the romance. This is a really tough balance (I think Elle Kennedy does this really well in her Killer Instincts series), and the balance I was looking for wasn't really struck in Nothing to Fear. Gideon and Willow were interesting characters, but I ultimately thought the romance was lacking because they were constantly in danger and I struggled to really buy their relationship, which was my reaction to the romance in the first book. At this point, I'm chalking this up to personal taste and would recommend this one to readers who are looking for high suspense.

*Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Profile Image for A. H.  Joy.
42 reviews4 followers
August 19, 2019
That fresh, new-book smell coming from the shelf wafts of diversity, and there hasn't been a debuting (or established) contemporary romance author I've read yet this year that delivers books with this sweet aroma as well as Juno Rushdan.

Today I'm reviewing Nothing to Fear, the second book in the Final Hour series, following Every Last Breath, which I had the privilege of reading and reviewing a few months ago. Thank you to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Casa for again allowing me to read this advanced copy of what had promised to be and has now solidified itself as my favorite contemporary romantic suspense series of the year.

This is, in my opinion, character development at its finest. No glass ceiling is left intact, no demographic left behind, and the emotional firestorm that rages from both protagonist and antagonist leaves nothing to be desired. Juno Rushdan delivers likable, relatable characters who are forces to be reckoned with—no small feat when you consider how unrelatable these characters might be considered to those of us who are not employed by covert branches of the CIA. Steel-toed boots, I wear not.

In this second book of the series, which could be read as a stand-alone (but is enhanced by the first book), the Gray Box stands as a black-site covert subsection of the CIA, where the killer elite work to fight against threats foreign and domestic. Led by Director Bruce Sanborn, the Gray Box is threatened by a mole inside their ranks. All the evidence points to cryptologist, programmer, hacker, and analyst Willow Harper.

Gideon "Reaper" Stone is a member of one of the Gray Box's elite teams, and he's not buying the evidence stacked against Willow. When push comes to shove and it becomes clear that Director Sanborn is being pressured to catch the mole sooner rather than later, Gideon decides to do whatever it takes to pull Willow out of the fire, prove her innocence, and find the real traitor. Only he could never imagine the political nightmare he's stepping into that could end all of their careers.

The fight for Willow's reputation becomes a fight for both of their lives as they are tracked down by not only the entity framing Willow, but by their own team. Gideon's soft spot for Willow only increases, but he can't allow the man he is—a killer, an assassin—to ruin Willow's chances for a happy future for herself, no matter how badly he wants her.

Willow is highly intelligent, awkward, straightforward, and honest, and as she uncovers who Gideon really is, she learns more about her own strength and place in this world of espionage and digital ones and zeros, and she's in no mood to be told who is and who isn't good enough for her—even by the man she's come to realize is her everything. They both just need to stay alive long enough for her to convince him of the truth.

I absolutely loved this book. While I hold a special place in my heart for Maddox and Cole in Book One, this sequel did not disappoint. The characters deal with very real issues, both internal and external, and follow Rushdan's arc of badass characters. There were times I thought the similes and puns were a bit overdone, but it's a style and flare I admire from an author I know has extensive military history. As a military wife, I know for a fact that, yes, they do talk and think like this, and, yes, it is sometimes a bit much.

Overall, this ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ novel was thrilling, sexy, and beguiling. I've already added Until the End, Book Three of the series, to my TBR pile, and it doesn't even have a published cover yet!

Catch Nothing to Fear on the shelves on August 27th, 2019!
Profile Image for Kim.
493 reviews2 followers
August 27, 2019
Willow Harper is an analyst for “The Gray Box”. Gideon Stone is one of its top operatives. They're attracted to each other from a distance. When she's accused of being the company's mole. He volunteers to be the one to find out if she is. What happens when distant attraction and going on the run to prove her innocence collide? They realize that they have Nothing to Fear!

Willow is a genius computer analyst and has been working on finding the Gray Box mole. Gideon has been keeping his distance because he's not the man everyone assumes him to be. Willow has a set pattern to her behavior that she's trying to overcome because of being on the autistic scale. Living with her father and helping to take care of him and his illness. Gideon volunteers to be the person to check out Willow because he knows that she's most likely innocent. When evidence points to Willow being the mole an attempt is made on her life. Gideon comes to her rescue. He puts his own career on the line to keep her from being the scapegoat by the powers that be. Gideon takes Willow and they go on the run while trying to clear her name. Willow's family members are put in danger and her house is a total loss. With an information broker, the mole and their own group coming after them they take to traveling the ocean to find the information on the tropical island bank that she's supposedly set up an account with. They can't deny the attraction and passion between them and make a pact that what happens on the boat while headed to the island stays there. They're forever changed by their passionate connection and he reveals about his past and the couple who were like his parents. After arriving Willow sets up a way to get into the account so that they can follow the money trail. The bad guy sends some of his men to the island to kill them. Gideon sends Willow back to the room when they shown up at the bank. Before she can reach their hotel, she must find a way to get away from the men in black. Going to the near by resort she takes refuge in a shop's changing room. Just as she's about the be found Gideon comes to the rescue. As he's fighting in the store she must take a life. Gideon didn't want Willow to see this side of him but she knows all about it from hacking into his classified mission reports. Willow and Gideon work together and must also face down their own friends. Their boss believes that she's innocent so they were sent as back up. One of the bad guys gets away. Both Gideon and Willow wonder if they will be able to continue their relationship with each other. On the plane ride home Willow is able to reveal who the mole is. Everyone is surprised and heartbroken to find out who it is. Gideon feels guilty for having her see what his real specialty is at work. A talk about their relationship results in him pushing her away even though she tells him that she doesn't see the monster in him. Gideon heads the team going to make the rescue and all hell breaks loose. Willow wants to go be with her father but until the danger is over she helps with the mission. Gideon realizes he can't go without having Willow in his life. Hurt she takes refuge with her friends Maddox and Cole. Gideon shows up with a peace offering. Willow makes it clear her father needs to be included. Life gets back to a new normal.

Juno Rushdan's second book in the Final Hour series Nothing to Fear is just as riveting and full edge of your seat excitement and suspense as her first. A couple on the run who try to ignore the passionate pull between them but can't and how those feelings change them forever. A woman who doesn't see the monster the man thinks he's become but the true one underneath. She's the only one who can bring out the man she sees in him. He's never had anyone one love him or has loved anyone until this woman who he can't keep thinking about and will protect with his life. I'm anxiously awaiting the next book in this new author's Final Hour series and learning more about of these great characters.
Profile Image for Denise H.
891 reviews48 followers
August 29, 2019
Nothing to Fear is the second book in the Final Hour series by Juno Rushdan. It continues right after the first book, Every Last Breath, and immediately immerses you into the aftermath and chaos of finding the mole deeply imbedded within their tight-knit team. All these operatives are like family and no one wants to believe someone considered as such has betrayed them but with the harsh truth staring them in the face, those vetted and trusted dive deeper into everyone’s lives to ferret out the traitor in their midst. When Willow Harper, a quiet, shy, brilliant cryptologist is at the top of the list of suspects Gideon Stone steps in, tasked with investigating her, and is determined to prove her innocence, whatever the cost. He has watched her from the shadows and been intrigued by the silent beauty and takes the opportunity of the mole hunt to reach out. He knows she is being framed and after an attempt on her life he realizes her only chance at survival is with him, on the run, to find answers and clear her name. With no choice but to trust Gideon, an operative she barely knows but whom she is drawn to and has watched from a distance, she is pulled out of her comfort zone, away from her stability, family, and everything that matters to her and thrust into a dangerous, deadly international conspiracy that runs deep and hits home. On a tight deadline, with time running out they race to find the truth and clear Willow’s name before it is too late. The more they dig, the deeper the conspiracy and threat to Willow grows. With an urgency and determination Gideon feels deep in his soul, he will fight to his last breath, even against his own team, to keep her safe and get her back to her life and Willow will fight just as hard to keep Gideon by her side.

I am loving this series and these characters, along with the well-written storyline. Rushdan has done a wonderful job with an intricately woven plot that is suspenseful and engaging and will pull you in and hold on tight. The scenes are descriptive, the action explosive, the danger pressing, the tight functioning unit impressive, the emotions strong, and the romance hot. A truly great read from start to finish.

*ARC received thru NetGalley, via the publisher and I am voluntarily providing my honest review.
13 reviews
August 27, 2019
This is the second instalment of the Final Hour series and begins where the first book ends. Gray Box, the little known covert organization, has a mole. They are racing against time to find the traitor in their midst. Failure means the destruction of Gray Box, itself.

Gideon Stone takes on the task of evaluating beautiful and unassuming Willow Harper, his reluctant attraction to her making him unable to stomach anyone else in that role.

Willow doesn’t know what to make of her colleague’s interest. His golden boy looks belie a brutal efficiency that has earned him the call sign of Reaper and the pull she feels for him is dangerous to her peace of mind.

His gut says she is innocent but a slow uncovering of clues point damningly at the gifted cryptologist/computer whiz. They find themselves on the run in search of evidence on Willow’s innocence and anything to unveil the true mole.

Nothing to Fear can be read as a standalone, but is, of course, richer if you have read the first in the series, Every Last Breath. The background is set rather elegantly with no info dump. However, I am willing to bet that you will really, really want to nab the first book after you get a gander at this one.

Our heroine has autism spectrum disorder, is high functioning, smart and baldly honest. It was refreshing to watch her be so open in her feelings and amusing to see the badass hero get all tied in knots over it. The romance was steamy and heart melting. Loved how the hero worked through his issues and emotions to reach their happy ending.

The action begins shortly into the story and continues at a breakneck pace to the very satisfying conclusion. Even with all of the action, the attention given to writing fleshed-out characters, both good guys and villains, continues to impress.

You’re going to want to block off time for this one. Shut the door, put your phone on silent and tell everyone they are going to have to fend for themselves. I was so engrossed in the story that loved ones interrupting unnecessarily received serious stink-eye from me. This is apparently not advisable if the person interrupting you is your mother-in-law. Nothing to Fear is nothing short of a riveting read.

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Barbara.
495 reviews
August 23, 2019
To date, Juno Rushdan has written two books, both in her Final Hour series, and they are two of the best romantic suspense/thrillers I’ve read. After reading the first, Every Last Breath, I was so impressed and thrilled to get my hands on an ARC of the second - Nothing to Fear. It did not disappoint!! I’m pretty stingy with five stars but four just wouldn’t do.

What puts this series at the top in this genre is simply the writing- followed by the strong plot and complex, interesting characters. Rushdan hit the trifecta! Her style is superior – no boilerplate text or cut and paste repetition to be found here! The non-stop action, cutting edge technology, and sizzling romance kept up an intense pace which was both gripping and entertaining. The characters, members of a covert, black ops team known as Gray Box, have unique personalities and skill sets and are all smart, passionate, powerful, and loyal.

The team was left reeling in the first book when they discovered that someone on the inside of their organization was a mole - a betrayal which was hard to accept and even more challenging to pin point. Based on several pieces of glaring evidence in the second book, all eyes turn to one of their own – Willow Harper. Willow is a highly intelligent and gifted crytologist who is quiet and keeps to herself. Tasked with getting close to Willow and determining whether she is guilty is Gideon – a field operative with a dark past. Circumstances reveal more of Willow’s true nature -not only is she the sole caretaker of her ailing father but she works diligently to compensate for her autistic spectrum disorder (previously known as Asberger’s syndrome.) The complexity of Willow’s character is just another example of what sets this series apart.

At nearly 500 pages, Rushdan was able to explore a variety of twists and turns in detail but never lost speed. Read the series or read Nothing to Fear as a standalone - either way, it is irresistible entertainment!

FYI - I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
3,146 reviews11 followers
August 27, 2019
I had thought that the first book in this Final Hour Series was as fast paced and action packed as a story could get but Nothing to Fear is even more so. This second book in Juno Rushdan’s amazing series has an unusual heroine paired with a Rambo type agent. It I can say it is a riveting, unable-to-stop-reading book.

Operative Gideon Stone is part of the Gray Box team that is searching for a mole within the secret government agency. There is much at stake as the team looks at the different people who are suspects. Being set up, Willow, a program code writer cryptologist is his investigating target. Together they must survive, find the mole and stop the shudder-worthy villains. A case of where Gideon and Willow, along with the rest of Gideon’s team, will do whatever it takes..

Need I add that the heart racing and nail biting scenes along with some sexy romantic ones made this a perfect blend of romance and thriller. I Had some suspects of my own as to who the mole was but was completely surprised when it was revealed. One of the master writers of romance suspense today having written one of the best romance suspense books, Nothing to Fear.

An ARC of the book was given to me by the publisher through Net Galley which I voluntarily chose to read and reviewed. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Profile Image for JG.
1,493 reviews57 followers
August 27, 2019
Nothing to Fear is Juno Rushdan’s second book in her Final Hour series and follows events of that occurred in the first book, therefore its best to start reading Every Last Breath to catch up. This book has everything that makes a great romantic suspense, plot twists galore, bad guys that are really deadly, scarred hero in the form of Gideon and a fantastic heroine in Willow. I love how this series has fully fleshed out and diverse characters and while it may appear that the romance elements seemed to develop instantly, it still makes sense since they’ve all known each other for sometime and the imminent threat in their organization just served as an impetus for it to come out. Needless to say I will be looking forward to the next book in the series.
449 reviews6 followers
August 11, 2019
This book is a real thrill ride! I enjoyed the first book in this series by Juno Rushdan....Every Last Breath....but I LOVED this book. Nothing To Fear starts with a bang an doesn't let up! Its non stop from beginning to end!
The Grey Box operatives are looking for a traitor in their organization. Willow is a computer analyst and is being set up to take the fall. Gideon has been in black ops for many years and is attracted to her. He can't stand the idea that she may be in danger and sets out to protect her. He told himself to keep it professional, that because of what he does he wasn't good for her. But she gets past his shell and their attraction takes off.
I really liked Gideon....he's a classic hero but he understands Willow and loves and accepts her quirks.. Willow is on the Autism spectrum. She's brilliant but socially awkward. She doesn't have a filter and pretty much says whatever she thinks, her openness is just what Gideon needs. I love that Juno has written a heroine that's not perfect, who has to deal with all the various eccentricities and issues that can go along with autism/Asbergers....all the while being thrown into the fight of her life....for her life!!
In this book we are learn more about the dynamics of the Grey Box operatives and their personalities. They are all well thought out 3 dimensional characters. I'm looking forward to more in this series..
Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Hallie (Hallie Reads).
1,532 reviews106 followers
November 6, 2019
In the second Final Hour book, Juno Rushdan delivers another Gray Box story to enjoy. Following operative Gideon Stone and cryptologist Willow Harper, Nothing to Fear is a wild, romantic, dangerous ride from beginning to end, a perfect sequel to Every Last Breath.

“The point of loving someone isn’t to be made happy by it. The point is to be better because of it.”

The Gray Box has a traitor, and everyone is at risk. All the evidence points to Willow as the culprit, but Gideon cannot believe her guilt. To discover the truth—and stay alive—Willow and Gideon take their search on the run—but will they find the information they need in time to save the day?

Both characters from Every Last Breath, Willow and Gideon prove pleasures to get to know. Based on their pasts, as well as strengths and weaknesses, they seem an unlikely pairing, but as their story unfolds, they complement each other perfectly. The danger runs high, yet Willow and Gideon together make overcoming it seem possible.

Nothing to Fear is a lot of fun. The story builds from what Every Last Breath established, so I recommend reading the books in order—but still, if you loved romantic thrillers, definitely check out the Final Hour series.

This review is also posted on Hallie Reads.

I received a complimentary copy of this book and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Claire Scott.
272 reviews3 followers
July 18, 2019
This was such a good book, I feel exhausted after reading it. The drama never stops as it picks up from where book one finishes. This time the focus is on Gideon and Willow as they try and prove Willows innocence. I don’t want to give anything away as it will spoil the suspense the author creates, all I will say is that if you love fast paced thrillers with a dose of romance then this boom is for you
2,626 reviews
June 23, 2019
Gideon is an operative for the Gray Box. There is a mole among them and all the evidence is pointing to Willow. Willow is a cryptologist and takes care of her sick father. Gideon knows she’s innocent but proving it will be dangerous. They go on the run to find out who set her up but they have to dodge the mercenaries hired to kill her. If they don’t find the mole, Willow could go to jail. Gideon was married once and doesn’t plan on doing it again. He doesn’t think he’s good enough for Willow but can she convince him he is what she wants?
This is the second book in this series. It was just a little confusing at first but once I got into it, a couldn’t put it down. Plenty of action and suspense. With a little steamy sex thrown in.
* Voluntarily read and reviewed this for NetGalley *
Profile Image for Lana  (Bibliomedico).
300 reviews251 followers
September 3, 2019
Check Out the full review on Bibliomedico : https://bibliomedico.wordpress.com/20...
ARC provided by the publisher & Social Butterfly PR , Thanks for giving me the opportunity to read the book.
” The Point Of Loving Someone isn’t to be made happy by it . The point is to be better because of it . It’s not your job to make me happy … that’s mine ”

Book : Nothing to fear ( Final Hour #2)

Author : Juno Rushdan .

Genre : Fiction , Romance , Suspense , Contemporary .

Rate : 4/5.

Review In One Word : Astonishing .
What a great adventure and outstanding novel . This is my first time reading for Juno Rushdan and she has already became one of my favorite Romance Authors .

The story of Willow and Gideon was painful , heartbreaking , romantic , sweet , surprising and amazing .

The Sweet , Introverted , genius , innocent and sensitive Willow , One of my all time favorite Heroines. Her character was so realistic , I loved how open Rushdan was , while writing this character , her descriptions and talk about Asperger Syndrome were Brilliant . Her honesty while discussing Willow Feelings and reservations was amazing too .

“I may Be A bit Sensitive , But I’m still a woman who likes to be touched ”

“Fear Was A constant stalker , a cruel Companion ”

Gideon Character was Awesome too , Strong , handsome , caring and badass . Gideon past wasn’t easy at all , but still , his character development was admirable . I admit , In Some scenes I didn’t Like him that much , but I loved how he tried to be better and change himself .

The Novel was full of suspense , adventures and unexpected events. Every Time I thought and expected something , The author totally surprised me .

Juno Rushdan Writing style is really great , Different from the usual Romance Novels I read But Highly entertaining , I loved her descriptions , visual , lush and interesting .

Even though I didn’t read the First book of the Final Hour series , The story was amazing , everything was understandable and I had no confusion while reading about the events of the previous book .

Highly Recommended .
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