Happy Monday and release day to Hell and Back by Julie Rowe! And thank you so much to Entangled Amara and Netgalley for letting me read and review this book early! Hell and Back is the fifth book in the Outbreak Task Force series (and I really don’t know how/why I keep doing this, but I’ve been reading so many books lately that are in a series but aren’t like the first one, and normally it’s not that big of a deal, but y’all, with this one, I think it’s definitely a good idea to read the other 4 books of the Outbreak Task Force before reading Hell and Back, because while this was so good, there were some parts that built upon prior knowledge you should have- like everything with the terrorists and who they were).
Hell and Back 4/5 Stars
Summary from Goodreads: Racing to lock down the CDC’s deadly virus samples from terrorists, ex-Special Forces medic Henry Lee partners with Ruby Toth on the Outbreak Task Force. But the terrorists always seem one step ahead. As they work side by side, Henry’s taken with how Ruby accepts and respects him, instead of pitying him for all he lost overseas, including his leg. Ruby’s hiding something, though, and Henry fears she’s been leaking sensitive information.
Terrorists have kidnapped her brother, and now microbiologist Ruby Toth faces a horrible choice. If she doesn’t give them a vial of Small Pox as ransom, her brother will die. She knows her prickly—yet very hot—boss, Henry, could provide the help she needs. But she joined the CDC to root out insiders plotting to unleash a bio-engineered pandemic, and she can’t trust anyone. Not even Henry.
I love pathology and diseases and the CDC and if you add any aspect of like military romance into that, man you’re talking about something amazing for me, so I was automatically super excited to read Hell and Back! It starts out talking about Ruby’s parents working for the NSA and it hints at her brother being a spy (even though she’s not supposed to know that) and she works at the CDC, all of which sounds incredibly interesting! I started out slightly confused because it felt like I was dropped into the middle of a really well developed world or the middle of a season of a TV show and I was slightly struggling to catch up, but that was 100% my fault for not doing my research and reading the other books first (or at least reading a synopsis of each of the other books to see what they were about). I liked Ruby and Henry as main characters and all of the secondary characters were so cool/interesting too! In parts of the book, the plot moved faster than I wanted it to and some parts were super over dramatic (like a Grey’s Anatomy season where anything that can happen to Meredith will happen), but overall, it was a fun and enjoyable read. The balance of romance to action was great and I highly recommend it!