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Final Hour #3

Until the End

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Dangerous lies, dark deception, and deadly obsessions. Castle Kinkade is strong. Fierce. Relentless. And he might be her only chance of surviving the night...

Gray Box operative Castle Kinkade always gets the job done, no matter how tough the assignment. But when he agrees to protect white-hat hacker Kit Westcott, Castle's loyalty is tested like never before. Trapped in the closest of quarters, protective instincts flaring, he can feel the ice surrounding his heart melt...and he knows he'd do anything to keep Kit safe.

Even defy the rules that shaped his life.

Castle is the last person Kit should confide in, let alone be attracted to, but he's the only ally she has left. Under threat of imminent attack―and a chilling conspiracy that hits too close to home―Castle and Kit are forced to put their hearts and lives on the line...and stop at nothing to face the greatest danger the world has ever known.

448 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published May 26, 2020

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About the author

Juno Rushdan

86 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 88 reviews
Profile Image for PamG.
821 reviews489 followers
May 11, 2020
UNTIL THE END by Juno Rushdan is the first book that I have read by this author and the third book in the Final Hour romantic suspense and thriller series. It worked well as a standalone novel, but would probably work even better if the series were read in order. Castle Kinkade is an operative for Gray Box, a black ops government agency. When he agrees to protect Kit Westcott, the leader of a white-hat hacker group, his loyalty is tested. Themes explored include spies, terrorists, murder, computer hacking, clandestine government agencies, romance, family and much more.

The characters were compelling and someone you could root for. They had distinct voices, flaws and virtues and their goals were clear. The secondary characters were not as fully developed, but this did not detract from the story. The internal and external conflicts were well defined and the stakes and tension were high throughout this novel.

The plot was engrossing, moving, powerful, thought-provoking, intense and suspenseful. The pace was brisk which made the book a true page-turner. There are a few steamy scenes that start after about 60% of the book. While the romance was important, it was the action-thriller part that truly drove the story line. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. Who can be trusted? Exactly how many subplots are there?

Overall, this was an action-packed romantic thriller that was a tense and gripping page-turner. I recommend it to those that enjoy action-packed romantic thrillers. I look forward to reading more of the books in this series.

Many thanks to SOURCEBOOKS Casablanca and Juno Rushdan for a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley and the opportunity to provide an honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way.
Profile Image for Crystal.
Author 79 books423 followers
December 30, 2019
Wow. I mean, seriously, WOW. This book brought everything together and blew it all apart too! Not going to spoil anything, so that's all I can say. Just wow.
Profile Image for Anita.
2,106 reviews148 followers
June 11, 2020
Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an fair and honest review.

Sweet Young Thing (Not) and the Secret Agent Man. Usually, I love this trope, but not this Sweet Young Thing. She grates rather than inspiring sympathy. She is all blow and big talk without anything to back it all up. She has a pathological mistrust of the Government and, even when it is in her best interest, choses to lie to the people trying to help her.

A Trust Fund Baby, Katherine Westcott is all alone in the world. Her family have all died and she has surrounded herself with a group of White Hat Hackers called the Outliers. They are on a mission to thwart Big Government and protect civil liberties, but in order to pay the bills they have accepted a job from a group who have used them to steal deadly bioweapons. Then this group killed everyone except Kit. On the run and desperate, Kit is scooped up by Castle Kinkade from the Gray Box agency. For some unknown reason, Castle is drawn to her and feels the need to protect her, no matter that she abhors everything he stands for.

The action is fantastic, right from the beginning of the book, and the plot is full of twists and turns. I just didn't feel the love between Kit and Castle beyond two sets of hormones calling out to each other, but each of them came to love, respect, trust and is willing to die for the other even though they began as polar opposites. The why of the plot wasn't clear till near the end and kept you guessing as to who was pulling everyone's strings.
2,670 reviews
March 12, 2020
Kit Westcott is rich and is the head of a hacker group, Outliers. She watches as her friends are executed after getting involved with some shady people. She grabs the computer drives and escapes to keep from being killed too. Castle is a former SEAL and now works for a very secret government agency known as Gray Box. Castle is sent to bring Kit in and find out where the drives are. Kit doesn’t trust Castle because he’s with the government. There are so many people after Kit, that Castle promises her that he will protect her until she is safe. When Kit breaks down the walls around his heart, will he choose her or his job?

OMG!!!! Secrets, sex, and nonstop action that will leave you breathless. I could not stop read it. I still can’t believe what happened so be prepared to be blown away. I honestly don’t know what to write without giving anything away. Just be sure to read this heart pounding book.

* Voluntarily read and reviewed this for NetGalley *
Profile Image for Claire Scott.
274 reviews4 followers
March 10, 2020
Oh my gosh....what a ride, I’m exhausted after reading this, I devoured the first 2 books in this series, but this one tops it all. There is so much going on that I can’t mention as it will ruin it for you, the main relationship between Kit and Castle was well developed, and I loved the feisty banter between them. I really loved Castle and you really get to see him develop throughout the book...the choices he has to make could break him and he’ll need kit’s love more by the end. Honestly this was brilliant. I so hope we will get to see the rest of the operatives get their HEA, especially Doc
Profile Image for Anne - Books of My Heart.
3,000 reviews192 followers
May 29, 2020
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.  In Until the End , the team works to track down stolen bio-weapons and some hackers who were involved somehow.  I'm not quite sure how the hackers were involved, maybe in locating information for the theft.

Kit is the female in our couple to be. She's a wealthy heiress, supporting a hacker team.  Her personal skills are only fair, but she is providing them a place to belong. Apparently, she also has a heart condition which seemed very strange for someone her age and one of the medications she used seemed wrong.  I didn't understand her unwillingness to work with GrayBox because on her own she was going to die for sure. The situation was extremely dangerous and volatile, similar to the rest of this series.

Castle is a great operative and I love his smart and well-trained actions.  I appreciate how he is protective of Kit and his skill at working with her, even when she is difficult.  I'm not sure I found the romance quite believable but stranger things have happened in dire circumstances.

I enjoyed seeing more of the whole team, and a bit of people from previous books. I would read these in order to understand some of the more intricate plotting. The plot here was very twisty and in fact, a total detonation with a new story arc if the series continues.  I'd like to see more in this thrilling series with competent operatives and a new romance in each book.

Profile Image for Dísir.
1,665 reviews171 followers
March 4, 2020
‘Until the End’ is one that’s cut from the same cloth as the other books in Juno Rushdan’s series: intricately plotted and very well-written even if I’m a bit more distantly connected to her protagonists than I normally am. It’s a story that slips into action almost immediately—Rushdan’s writing pushes the pace along relentlessly—and there’s nary a moment of letting up unless you’re intentionally meant to take that bit of a breather before something else sinister pops up and the action barrels on again.

In short, I was full of admiration for the way Rushdan juggled the impressive plot and sub-plots, the action, the secondary characters and the puzzling layers that were found in every scene, giving such a visual experience to her writing that this could have well been a Bond/Bourne/Mission Impossible movie with an infinite number of sequels waiting to hatch in the background.

I was squinty-eyed however, about some of her characters (some were downright insecure, annoying, simpering and/or plainly unlikeable) as multiple POVs shaped a huge conspiracy surrounding national security, as ‘Until the End’ felt more like a mainstream thriller than something that was purely romantic suspense. Rushdan drew Castle as a veritable hero who’d run from his demons, and emerged a near-super soldier type guy with his absolutely loyalty and moral compass tested at the very end, while Kit Westcott both struck and frustrated me with her eye-rolling TSTL stubbornness and her scrappiness as they both struggled to keep their heads above water.

There was a villain so machiavellian that it took my breath away, even more so because Rushdan excelled at writing within grey and blurred boundaries of good and wrong, then leaving room for so much more as the world as we knew it shook and trembled in the aftermath of the climax.

As much as this could be considered a gushing review nonetheless, the ending didn’t leave me with much confidence that her series of books are stories that would profusely profess a HEA. For Castle/Kit, maybe this was their be-all and end-all. Yet there were other secondary characters who needed their acts cleaned up, yet we were left in the embers of promised change that hadn’t yet come to pass, merely the idea that broken bones or hearts still needed to heal.

*ARC by the publisher via Netgalley
Profile Image for Mags.
2,562 reviews23 followers
May 12, 2020

Until the End, is the third book in the Final Hour Series, and I'll be honest I've come into this series late, starting with book two, and continuing on, and I couldn't really remember much about that story when I started reading this one. Which I do think impacted my enjoyment of it, and lessened the OMG factor when certain aspects of this story came to light. (Sorry, if that sounds vague, but I don't want to spoil it.)

But there's no denying this was a well written, intricately plotted story, full of thrills, action, drama, suspense, and even some edge of your seat moments; and I did enjoy it a lot. However, it did take me a chapter or three to really get engaged, but nevertheless it was entertaining, and it had a decent amount of romance blended with the thrills and spills, which to be fair was just what I was looking for.

**I was kindly provided with an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**
Profile Image for A. H.  Joy.
42 reviews4 followers
May 31, 2020
A fantastic third book to Juno Rushdan's Final Hour series. I have been waiting on pins and needles to hear Castle's story, and I am so completely satisfied! This Trekkie-loving badass might just be one of my favorite Gray Box team members. And his romantic entanglement with the fierce and sassy Kit is such a delicious trope for opposites attracting. I loved both the main characters, and their chemistry together was amazing.

There were some twists I did NOT see coming. And, as always, Juno Rushdan's snarky, talented writing blew me away. I've been a huge fan since book one, and I can't wait to keep reading pretty much anything she writes.

This novel could be read as a standalone, but I definitely think everyone should read all three books. It's one of my favorite romantic suspense series.

Thank you to NetGalley and to Sourcebooks Casablanca for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Denise H.
917 reviews50 followers
May 5, 2020
Nail biting, edge of your seat awesomeness!

Until the End, the third book in Rushdan’s Final Hour series is just as explosive as the first two books in the series. There is nonstop action, intrigue, danger, and suspense that will keep you glued to the pages.

The clock is ticking in this installment and time is running out. Twists and turns abound as well as a shocking betrayal that hits the team hard and has you wondering the outcome of the team and the future of Graybox. I really did not see the “reveal” of the mole coming; it was a shocker, for sure. The action explodes from the beginning of this story and is carried all the way through until the surprising end. There are subplots to unravel while following the main storyline as well as multiple points of view and several smaller threads that branch off with characters that have you wondering what is next. The details, descriptions, character development, and romantic aspects are well-written and engaging. It was just as easy to get swept away with these characters as the previous in the series. Though this book can technically stand alone, I would suggest reading it in series order to follow the Graybox operatives and their missions, as well as their personal involvements and connections throughout the series. Until the End is definitely an exciting read and a great addition to the series.

*I received an arc from NetGalley, via the publisher, and I am voluntarily providing my honest review.
Profile Image for Jenica.
1,141 reviews44 followers
May 26, 2020
I literally do not know how to review this book without spoiling you for anything. This book picks up a few months after the events of Nothing to Fear and it starts off with quite a bang. Literally. There are a few people killed right at the beginning of the book, which sets up the high stakes. I think this book is masterfully crafted in a way that I didn't fully appreciate until the end. What I don't know is if I enjoyed the ride.

Anyway, we follow Kit, a rich heiress and founder of a group of hackers called the Outliers, and Castle, a field officer for a government agency not meant to exist. You definitely cannot read this book as a standalone, in my opinion, because there is too much plot. I think with romantic suspense sometimes it seems like the couple comes together too quickly and I will admit that I feel that way about this one a little bit. But mostly, it is that this one feels like it leaned more suspense than romance.

And... I'm just upset about the plot, if we're being honest. But I do think that says a lot. I was attached to a lot of these characters and so the way things go down just has me stunned and also incapable of stringing together thoughts appropriately. So I'm glad I read this series, but I really need to know that we're getting a season two since this one does wrap up the loose ends of the first two books.

Thanks to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Casablanca for the opportunity to read this book early!
354 reviews6 followers
April 25, 2020
One of my favorite suspense books that I have read in a long time.
Kit, a computer hacker, and Castle, a Black Ops like agent, meet while Castle is on surveillance in the park looking into a missing biochemical. He saves her life and kidnaps her all in one fast moment. With no one else to trust, Kit opens up to Castle about what she has found and what has happened as a result of her hacking. But Kit and Castle have bigger enemies than they thought, and together they must uncover the depths of the deception going on around them, or people, including them, will die.
This book had it all and captivated me from the first page. Filled with action, suspense, twists and turns, and of course some romance sprinkled in.
I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
556 reviews5 followers
March 26, 2020
4-1/4 sars! This was possibly the worst time to read such a book since we are going through the Coronavirus pandemic. That being said, I really enjoyed this novel. The author kept you in suspense from the first page till the last. There were a couple surprise twists and turns that I did not expect! I liked the author’s style of writing and humor. I will look forward to reading more from this author.

I would like to thank the author, the publisher and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book in return for an honest and unbiased review
Profile Image for Bookthief.
197 reviews11 followers
March 25, 2020
Be prepared this book starts off running and doesn’t stop! From the beginning, even with Castle saving Kit, they bother don’t trust each other. Kit for understandable reasons; hackers and police really don’t mix. They make a truce and Kit aligns herself with Castle. Except, now it’s not just one group coming after Kit, it’s multiple ones. Will they find out who in time to save Kit and the info she has to the right people in time?
Profile Image for Margaret Yelton.
1,839 reviews31 followers
April 26, 2020
Until the End is another winner from Juno Rushdan. An action packed thriller that keeps you reading and reading not wanting to put down the book. That is how I have felt with all of her books so far. You hardly have time to catch your breath before, before something else is happening. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone.

I received and Advanced Readers Copy from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Profile Image for Regina Kiddy.
240 reviews1 follower
June 2, 2020
Castle and Kit! How perfect do those names sound for a couple! Castle works for Grey Box! An elite black ops group. Kit is a hacker! A rich Hacker! When her group hacks into the wrong thing it leads to her being on a hit list! Is Castle the man to save her or in prison her? Lots of twists and turns and a surprising ending!

I read and reviewed this advanced complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley
Profile Image for Kara.
62 reviews6 followers
May 3, 2020
Juno Rushdan just keeps getting better and better! I wasn’t really looking forward to Castle’s story because he seemed like a bit of a hardass but it’s been the best one yet. I didn’t see the big reveal coming in this book and I was shocked!

I love this series and I can’t wait to see where she takes it next!

Thanks netgalley :)
Profile Image for David Morgan.
748 reviews15 followers
May 26, 2020
Fasten your seat belt...
This is one helluva heart racing, pulse pounding romantic thriller.
Although part of a series, each book does well as a stand-alone as each book concentrates on a different character within an organization known as the Gray Box, a secret, black ops paramilitary group.
This book follows Castle Kinkade and his attempt at keeping his Person Of Interest alive. Kit Westcott is a wealthy hacker who finds herself in over her head. When the two meet, distrust soon melts away into a sweltering, sexy, hot mess that might get them both killed.
Well written with a breakneck pace this one starts out of the gates running and doesn't slow down until after the jaw-dropping reveal and conclusion. Although I really enjoyed this book I was a little put off by the sheer amount of sex included in getting the point across that the two main protagonists fall head over heels for each other. But what's a romantic thriller without sex? Hmm... Where the writing and plot excel for me are in the cinematic scenes that propel the story forward and put you in the middle of the action and there is plenty of that as well.
So if you are someone who likes to get a little hot under the collar while reading action packed thrillers then I suggest you add this one to your TBR pile like NOW!

Thank you Juno Rushdan for the ebook ARC to read, review, and enjoy.
Profile Image for gabreadsbooks.
623 reviews34 followers
May 26, 2020
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
What a ride this series has been. Everything truly comes together in this series conclusion.
Once again Rushdan keeps the story packed with action and suspense. Rushdan has a way of writing action and fight scenes where I can actually keep track of what's happening instead of feeling like I'm looking at a blurry action scene in a movie. Everything in the story has a purpose in the plot and I appreciate the attention to details. Plus her writing flows naturally. I get sucked into the story by the first chapter everytime. Her characters are feel real and so does the danger they find themselves in.
Castle and Kit were a delight. Their relationship felt different than the previous two couples. They had more of a battle of wills and a bridge of trust to establish before any kind of romance develops. The relationship, despite the chaos surrounding them, never felt forced or rushed. Castle and Kit certainly earn their happily ever after by the story's end. (Also Castle gives Kit the cutest pet name ever that made me laugh out loud at 2 AM!)
I am so happy that I read this series and wished this wasn't the end. I hope Rushdan either continues the series in some way (a spinoff maybe). Either way I'm eager to get my hands on whatever Rushdan writes next.
Until the End (Final Hour #3) Until the End by Juno Rushdan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a ride this series has been. Everything truly comes together in this series conclusion.
Once again Rushdan keeps the story packed with action and suspense. Rushdan has a way of writing action and fight scenes where I can actually keep track of what's happening instead of feeling like I'm looking at a blurry action scene in a movie. Everything in the story has a purpose in the plot and I appreciate the attention to details. Plus her writing flows naturally. I get sucked into the story by the first chapter everytime. Her characters are feel real and so does the danger they find themselves in.
Castle and Kit were a delight. Their relationship felt different than the previous two couples. They had more of a battle of wills and a bridge of trust to establish before any kind of romance develops. The relationship, despite the chaos surrounding them, never felt forced or rushed. Castle and Kit certainly earn their happily ever after by the story's end. (Also Castle gives Kit the cutest pet name ever that made me laugh out loud at 2 AM!)
I am so happy that I read this series and wished this wasn't the end. I hope Rushdan either continues the series in some way (a spinoff maybe). Either way I'm eager to get my hands on whatever Rushdan writes next.
Profile Image for  Reading In Pajamas .
1,042 reviews89 followers
November 3, 2020
Review: UNTIL THE END (Final Hour Book 3) by Juno Rushdan https://wp.me/p3d0RZ-buK
Publication Date: May 26, 2020
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Reviewed by: Reading in Pajamas/ Donna
Rated 4.5 Stars

This book is a wild ride of excitement from page one. I read it as a stand-alone, but it seemed too convoluted at times to keep all the players straight, and I realize I should have read the two before. I will now go back and read them.

Even though I could not relate to Kit and her life experiences, I soon connected with her and became quite invested in her future. Castle was a bit slower to get under my skin. From the outside he seemed closed off, but his personality began to show through as the story progressed. It almost seemed like a fated romance than one that would naturally progress. Of course, all the danger and action swirling around them didn’t leave time for wooing.

I am a sucker for group dynamics when it comes to special ops stories and this one was fairly good in showing how they get along and work together. I wish I had read the first two before tackling this one, but I love Juno Rushdan’s writing style and wild action, so I plan to read more. It is an adrenaline pumping, sexy romance from an author I plan to follow.

*Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Felice Foster.
837 reviews1 follower
April 17, 2020
** 4 1/2 stars**

Someone on the inside of Gray Box is a traitor and that person is revealed in this story.

Kit and Castle are thrown together after Kit’s family is murdered in front of her. She is in possession of the only evidence of what happened and can bring some really influential people down. Castle is initially sent in to retrieve her, but finds himself not only attracted to her, but also wanting to protect her. He has to protect her from forces outside of Gray Box, but soon he finds out, forces inside as well are out to get her. Even though he feels torn between his duty to his country and those who have had his back in some tough times, this little slip of a girl has really gotten to him.

Kit has lost everyone that she has gotten close to. She doesn’t want to depend on Castle, but he has shown time and time again that he is there for her.

Who knew? Who knew this book would take me through so many emotions?

I wasn’t sure what twists this series was going to take, but I must admit I didn’t see this plot twist coming.

ARC received from NetGalley for an honest review.
Profile Image for Margaret.
817 reviews18 followers
March 30, 2020
Well that certainly did not go how I was expecting it to! It will be interesting to see where the series goes from there, assuming there are more books planned. I hope there are. I’ve just read all three books in three days and I’m invested in these characters now. I want to see the rest of them get their HEAs. However, I didn’t like this one as much as the previous books. I felt like there were too many POVs, too many moving parts that made it feel messy. Maybe because of that, the wrap up also dragged a bit.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley
Profile Image for Flower.
118 reviews5 followers
May 14, 2020
Until the End is a thrill ride, from its cold open the final twists of the plot in the dramatic ending. Juno Rushdan knows how to deliver a thriller, and this one is no exception. It’s everything a spy thriller should be, with cat and mouse spy vs spy games, gray morality, betrayals, and fast-paced action.

The scope of this novel is large, with ever-widening circles of involvement as the story blossoms from one seemingly minor operation to a large conspiracy. I greatly appreciated the peeling back of layers and the reveals that let all the different parts of this story fall into place. It’s a complicated narrative, but the ultimate climax is highly satisfying and deeply emotional.

However, as excellent as the writing and plotting is, there were some missteps, especially with the romance plot, that left me scratching my head and squarely put this book into a B rating for me.

I had a hard time with Kit as a character I am supposed to root for. Unlike the heroines in the other two novels in this series, Kit has no real skill set. I had to do a lot of soul searching for why I failed to connect to her character because I usually adore “unlikeable” heroines. Perhaps I am biased, writing this review in the spring of 2020, but feeling a connection to a white woman whose only real talent is having money is not easy to do. She also came across as clueless more than once, when I think she was simply supposed to be an outsider perspective, and her arguments with Castle were supposed to show her backbone, but mostly made her look obstructive for no real reason.

The Final Hours series has previously done a good job providing twists on common tropes, such as second chance romance, but the enemies to lovers take here didn’t work for me, because Kit is not the opposite of Castle that she needed to be. What the author was trying to do didn’t gel how it was intended to. Castle is meant to be the company man, strait-laced, hardnosed, and Kit is the free spirit, anti-authority rule breaker. However, we’re told this without really seeing it. We mostly see Castle break rules for Kit almost immediately, and Kit being rich and white squarely puts her into a privilege category that benefits from current government systems. Their arguments aren’t so much the clash of two idealists as it is Castle trying to do his job and Kit being, well, whiney that she’s not getting her way.

There was only a single sex scene between the main characters, which had some body mechanics issues and devolved into cliché (I can imaging a different novel where the character’s different personalities were on full display in the sex scene), but this wasn’t nearly so off-putting as there being explicit sex between secondary characters. One of who we first see their POV nearly three-quarters of the way through the story. I adore character-driven sex scenes, neither of these felt like that and left me mostly confused as to why there were included that feeling I knew more about the characters and their relationship after reading them.

Until the End is a solid novel, which really hits its stride once the clock starts ticking and the big plot reveals start occurring. I enjoyed the hero, action scenes, and secondary plots a great deal, however I can only rate the story 4/5 stars because of a heroine that had no real purpose in the story besides existing, and a love story that becomes little more than a plot device by the end when the drama and real emotional heart of the story become evident.

While I did have some issues with this story, I am eagerly looking forward to the next three books in this series!

**ARC provided through NetGalley, all opinions are my own**
Profile Image for Sophia.
Author 5 books334 followers
June 6, 2020
Hacker finds herself in way over her head and a black ops specialist sent to bring her in might be her only hope. This adrenaline rush of a series has been sizzling and intense - just popping off the pages for me.

Until the End is the third in the Final Hour romantic suspense series that must be read in order.

Kit had a bad feeling about a certain job and the new guy she let on her team of super hackers, but seeing them all get executed and learning they might have been working for terrorists puts her on the run with the evidence in her hands. She feels the net grow tighter as someone is hunting up their loose end- her. She has to find out what these terrorists are up to and fast, but now she's in the crosshairs of a uber secret government organization and one killer-sexy operative emphasis on the killer though, yeah, if he wasn't working for the government which pings her trust issues, she'd go for that because he sure is forcing her to see that he is honorable and understands survivor's guilt just like her.

Castle Kincade is Sanborn's golden child and the future of Gray Box. He is a professional and knows better than to go soft over a Person of Interest, but he is convinced that Kit is not a terrorist and she's telling the truth about not knowing who or what the team was working for and getting into. He also believes her that she wants to get justice and revenge. She's lying about something, but not that and not about the connection he feels between them. He has to keep her alive until they can get the hard drives and stop a bio-terrorism act from happening. But, it is coming down to his job or Kit.

Until the End is as exciting and intense as the books that came before it. The situation this time is a bio-terrorist threat and the clock is ticking. Kit is an unknown who has her own moral compass that doesn't involve blind trust- or much trust at all- in secret government agencies while the hero, Castle, is true blue and upholds his work as making America safe. It was an interesting clash of ideals until they get to know each other. Their chemistry and connection were strong. I appreciated that the romance came along steadily, but didn't get intimate until late in the game. Running for their lives and working a huge mission while figuring out who is lying to who does make for the need to table that for a bit. Still, I did enjoy this pair together.

Meanwhile, the twist inside of twist of events and characters was clever and excitingly complicated.
But then, shazam! The very last third of the book sent a twister of all twisters that turns the whole series on its head. If there are more books, we are looking at a very different series landscape. In truth, I'm still processing what I think about this monster change up. Well, probably better not elaborate on that.

Anyway, Until the End was right up there in full throttle ops team excitement with all the regulars getting their moments and this new couple developed well, the plot jogging along at a fast though still steady pace, and a riveting grand finale. Those who enjoy thrilling romantic suspense with secret government agents finding love at the heart should definitely pick this one up and the rest of the series up.

My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Lauren loves llamas.
816 reviews63 followers
May 20, 2020
Content warnings:

I’ve enjoyed every one of Juno Rushdan’s books I’ve read, but none of them have been as much of an edge-of-your-seat roller coaster ride as this one! This is the third in a series, and while you could probably read it as a stand-alone as everything is recapped well, it won’t be quite the same experience.

Castle is a complicated character. We’ve seen a lot of him from the outside, especially from his sister Maddox’s perspective in the first book, where she worried that something that happened during his time as a SEAL broke him. Castle’s rebuilt himself around his identity at the Gray Box as Director Sanborn’s second-in-command and heir apparent, committed to the mission and the security of his country. Nothing else is important to him, as the Gray Box is his family and Sanborn, known colloquially to the team as “Dad,” is basically a surrogate dad to him. The last thing he wants is to be responsible for a mouthy POI that may hold the information they need to track down stolen biological weapons…

“Careful what you wish for. You just might get me completely unfiltered and unfettered.”
She didn’t bat an eyelash. “Is that a promise or a threat?”

It took me a while to warm up to Kit. Part of the problem is that the previous main characters in the story have all had some level of experience with field operations – Maddox and Gideon were both field operatives, Cole had experience on the civilian side, and Willow, while not a field operative, worked directly with them and had extensive knowledge of what they do. In Willow’s case, it helped that she already trusted Gideon would keep her safe, and that while he might have to do monstrous things to do that, he was not himself a monster. Kit? None of that. She’s a trust fund heiress whose life work was putting together the Outliers, a group of white hat hackers. She’s not much of a hacker herself, more of the head honcho-type, or, as Willow puts it, a Bill Gates. She’s got plenty of reason to be suspicious of the government and too many examples of hackers like her being “disappeared.” Combined with the trauma of watching her team being murdered, she’s not always in the best headspace for making rational decisions. Everyone she loves – her twin brother, her parents, her team – dies, and she’s lonely and hurting. Watching her mouth off and push back at Castle was hilarious, but there were also times when she seemed to forget the seriousness of the situation and put them both in danger.

“I’ve never believed in chemistry, besides the kind to breach a site with explosive charges. Not until you.”
“You say the most romantic things.”

This is definitely an enemies-to-lovers situation, though even at the beginning both recognize the chemistry between them. Castle loves her fiery spirit and how she pushes back against him, and Kit appreciates how honorable and trustworthy he is, even when she has every reason not to trust him. They’re more alike that they want to admit, both people who have worked hard to put together their teams and protect them, who have experienced loss and understand how it changes you.

“When I strike, it is with precision and it is with justified cause.”

Where this series has really excelled is in the plotting and pacing. This book, even more than the previous books, is absolutely non-stop. All of the action scenes are well-written and make you feel like you’re right there in the middle of them. Some of the plot lines that have run through the first two books are finally resolved. I’ve had suspicions since the first book about where some things were going, and while some panned out – to devastating effect – others haven’t, but I’m not quite willing to let go of them yet.

Overall, this is another thrilling entry in the series, and I cannot wait to see what happens next!

I received this book from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Profile Image for Leigh Kramer.
Author 1 book1,182 followers
October 29, 2020
I really enjoyed the first two books in this series but this one did not click for me. The romance between Castle and Kit was way too insta-love, especially given what’s on the line for Castle’s career. I didn't have a good sense of who Castle was, beyond a badass secret agent dude. And Kit veered on being TSTL quite a few times, in ways that were contrary to the feisty hacker she's supposed to be.

I also hated the villain POVs and thought Castle’s shock over the reveal was unlikely, given that this person was heavily suspected in the first two books. Maybe his teammates didn’t share their suspicions with him? I find that unlikely as well, given how closely they work together. Finally, the reveal of who was behind it all:

This one might not have worked but I do hope this series will continue as I’m anxious to see what’s next for the Gray Box folks and Emily/Doc sorely needs an HEA of her own after we were let in on her past trauma.

Character notes: Castle is described as resembling Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Kit is a white vegetarian hacker. No ages given. This is set in DC.

CW: murder, attempted murder, bioweapon, heroine has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (heart condition), PTSD, child trafficking, hero is former Navy SEAL, war references, heroine’s brother was depressed and died by suicide in college, past sexual harassment, past domestic violence for secondary character, ableist language
Profile Image for Talie.
557 reviews10 followers
May 26, 2020
Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Casa for the complementary copy of this book. It publishes May 26, 2020.

I really enjoyed Until the End by Juno Rushdan. This is a romantic thriller with a fast pace that had my interest from the start.

I loved the two main characters, Kit, a white-hat hacker who finds herself way over her head in a bad situation, and Castle, an operative for a secret government agency, Gray Box. I loved that Kit was someone overwhelmed by her situation but throughout the whole story she had gumption and wasn't a wilting violet. I feel like in a lot of these types of romances the women sort of just collapse. Throughout the whole story Kit stands for her convictions. I also loved Castle. He was definitely an alpha male, but not in a toxic way.

The story is fast paced with a variety of characters and scene changes that keep things interesting. This book is the third in a series. I have not read any of the previous books and didn't feel it hindered my ability to understand what was going on.

I'd highly recommend this to people who enjoy their romance with a touch of action adventure. I would not recommend it for people looking for a thriller with no romance or for people who are not fans of Instalove. Now these two aren't completely an instalove connection, but it certainly doesn't take long. Also if you like fade to black romances, this novel might be a bit much. There are definitely some sexy times but it doesn't overtake or become a huge component of the overall story.
Profile Image for Nerdy Dirty & Flirty.
3,985 reviews320 followers
May 25, 2020
An edge of your seat romance…

From the adrenaline-pumping opening lines, this story never let up on action or tension. Kit and Castle came together in the last place you would look for romance, a terrorist plot, but somehow that made the emotions sharper and stronger…

Kit was alone again, struggling with grief, her conscience and the threat of prison. Not really a good time to find love. Castle was going to be her salvation or the last nail on that prison cell door. All she needed was to trust him. Yeah, that wasn’t going to be easy…. Castle, on the other hand, wasn’t sure about her either and those doubts colored every scene, each interaction and decision they had to make. Their back and forth was full of sexual chemistry but any hint of love was tested over and over again…

I loved this edge-of-your seat read with love and country at the very heart of it. Castle and Kit were a dynamic couple and somehow managed to be each other’s port in the storm when needed, despite all they went through. Surprises around every corner, and loyalty would be pushed to the breaking point. Nothing was as it seemed and that contributed to another breathtaking, one sitting read in this series!
3,191 reviews11 followers
May 26, 2020
Until the End is Juno Rushdan’s third book in the Final Hour Series. I have read all of this series. To say it is addictive only begins to say how much I have loved all of the books. Gray Box operative Castle Kinkade now has his story. While each of the stories have twists that you don’t see coming, none have more or any as surprising as Until the End. The romance is hot and strong but never overshadows the main story.

The story starts out with a bang setting up the plot as to why Castle with his special skills are needed. Then there is so much more to Kit Westcott then first seen. I am always amazed at the pairing of characters in this series. The characters of this series have strong distinctiveness and originality so that they are unforgettable. I read a lot and many times the characters from the books can run together but not the Gray Box operatives with their loves to what happens to them. The romance is part of the story but not the main story line with the reason for the danger to the characters and to national security.

Then there are characters and events that you think you understand how they all fit together in this story but for one missing identity. It is the revelation of that one person ¾ or so of the way through the book that had me saying, “Wow, I never saw that coming!”. Yet looking back I can see how Ms. Rushdan gave breadcrumbs along the way, small breadcrumbs but there none the less. The plot is just that solid so that all the intricate pieces fall clearly together in the conclusion. Thrilling, action-packed and romantic. Scary, too but only because it is so believable.

Juno Rushdan is a newer author for me with this series being the only one I have read written by her. Now she is a go-to author for me. Perhaps Until the End could be read as a stand-alone but I can’t imagine why anyone would read just one. Like the potato chip commercial of old, you just can’t stop at one with this series. Top notch all the way.

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.
1,046 reviews9 followers
May 11, 2020
Another winner from Juno Rushdan! This is Castle’s story and he falls for Kit while helping her run from the special ops group that killed the rest of her hacker team. They work to chase down a potential terrorist attack while outrunning the enemy.

I love this series - It’s hard to find a well written romantic suspense novel that balances the two well. Rushdan does a fabulous job. With this book though, I did figure out pretty early on who the real bad guy was, but it didn’t take away from the thrill of the chase in this book.

I can’t wait for future installments of this series which I hope there will be. Too many great potential stories left!

Thanks to the publisher for a review copy via NetGalley.
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