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Peek Inside Hell & Back

Henry Lee and Ruby Toth battle terrorists—and their attraction to each other—while racing to lock down the CDC's deadly virus samples from those plotting to unleash a bio-engineered pandemic.

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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.

Each book in the Outbreak Task Force series is STANDALONE:
* Viable Threat
* Smoke & Mirrors
* Sleight of Hand
* Search & Destroy
* Hell & Back


“This is a contemporary action-packed, fast paced story with medical science, mercenaries, danger and daring. If you enjoy hot, romantic suspense where the characters keeping facing further hazards, look no further, this book is for you. It is an enthralling read which I didn't put down until I'd finished it and now I can't wait to read more stories in this fantastic series.” --Splashes Into Books

“Has a fast paced suspenseful plot that takes the reader on a whirlwind of espionage, blackmail, bioterrorism and the war around it. While so much is going on, romance takes place between two very unlikely character in the middle of trying to protect the world against a bio-engineered pandemic.” --Suzy B., NetGalley

“Ready for a book full of suspense and edge of your seat adventure? Hell and Back is one of those books.” --Kathy D., Goodreads

“This is the stunning conclusion to this series that is oh so relevant at the moment even if it was started before these crazy times we live in. You have to wonder at the timing is Julie a Seer in another life.” --Debbie C., Goodreads

“I highly recommend this series to any other fellow romantic suspense lovers! Every book has been so exciting, fast-paced, and enjoyable!” --Megan B., Goodreads

“I Loved this book! It was packed with action right from the start.” --Stormy D., NetGalley

A high-octane, medical-science thriller that, well, probably sits all too uncomfortable in this virus-ridden world at the moment. Hell & Back is a well-written and researched story with secondary characters that fill their roles more and more as the series goes on.” --P.L., Goodreads

Additional Details

ISBN: 9781649370532
Series: Outbreak Task Force, Book 5
Release Date: Sep 21, 2020
Page Count: 339
Imprint: amara
Genre: military/men in uniform, mystery & suspense
Tropes: blackmail

Select Featured Reviews

See All Reviews on

I can absolutely say that I liked this but didn’t love it as much as I had anticipated and I would honestly generalize this as a decent followup to the ‘Outbreak Task Force’ series.

This time around, we follow ex-Special Forces medic Henry Lee and his partner Ruby Toth who are racing ...more

By Maria September 01, 2020

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
A quote (from ARC):
“I’ve got scars on my scars…” (Henry)

3.5 stars.
“Hell & Back”, by Julie Rowe (Entangled Publishing), has an exciting beginning with a fast-paced suspense plot about bioterrorism and ...more

By Dísir September 03, 2020

3.5 stars rounding up

'Hell & Back' is Julie Rowe's high-octane, medical-science thriller that, well, probably sits all too uncomfortable in this virus-ridden world at the moment. Still, it provides some mighty fine hours of escapism, non-stop action and rides the all-engulfing wave of bioterrorism w ...more

By Lauriane (L.M. Durand) September 07, 2020

Get ready because this book is going to give you one heck of a ride. This action-packed novel will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.

Ruby just started working at the CDC when threats from a group of terrorists escalate. Her brother is kidnapped and the only way for her to have ...more

By Rinou October 01, 2020

J’ai aimé le héros grognon, renfermé, sûr de lui avec juste ce qu’il faut d’incertitude, un peu moins l’héroïne qui passe de sûre d’elle à petite chose fragile selon les situations. Encore beaucoup d’action dans ce tome qui clôt de belle façon l’enquête.

Avis complet VO ...more

By Les Romantiques October 01, 2020

Posted on Les Romantiques - Le forum du site
Reviewed by Rinou
Review Copy from the Publisher
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Outbreak Task Force series follows several CDC teams facing a terrorist organization with an unknown goal ...more

By Kim Reads September 22, 2020

Hell & Back is the fifth and final book in Julie Rowe’s Outbreak Task Force series. There is so much that happens in the previous books that feed into this one, I don’t see how you can really enjoy this one without having read the others. All of the previous characters are mentioned in Hell & Back w ...more

By Elaine September 22, 2020

Rating 4.5/5*

With the current COVID-19 pandemic, the idea of bioterrorism seems even more possible at the moment and this is an edge of your seat read about the threat of just such an event.

Ruby Toth is working in the CDC with her mentor, ex-Special Forces medic Henry Lee on the Outbreak Task Force. ...more

By Mari September 04, 2020

This series hits close to home, recent events but I was super excited to get Henry's story. So glad was able to read this early. We know his grumpy former Army guy, with tons of credentials, no time for idiots temper. Many said he was tough to work with but he's a one of the good guys, he cares that ...more

By Cindy August 25, 2020

Boy Henry Lee turned out to be whole lotta man... And to get the full meaning of that you need to read the book... I have always loved this series with its edge of your seat suspense, deadly infectious diseases, and sizzlin romance.  Henry has been a staple in the series since the beginning always g ...more

By Megan September 17, 2020

This series has meant so much to me, and I have loved it so much, that I was so excited to read this final installment. Even in these crazy pandemic times, nothing could stop me from reading about this awesome task force, hot on the trail of a terrorist group trying to get their hands on a biologica ...more

By Becky September 24, 2020

Reviewed on my blog, Becky on Books, on 9/24/2020.

Though it's a teensy bit disconcerting reading an Outbreak Task Force book during a legitimate global pandemic (Wait...*that's* not the head of the CDC right now! Hang on, since when do I actually *know* the head of the CDC? What have I become???), t ...more

By Sarah August 31, 2020

Hell & Back…just wow. Guys, you don’t know how long I’ve been waiting for Henry’s story. I picked up my first book by Julie Rowe back in February – Viable Threat, the first in the Outbreak Task Force series and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Since diving into Viable Threat I’ve wanted Henry’s story. He ...more

By Shirley September 22, 2020

After reading the last book, i was eager to see what the members of the Outbreak Task Force were going to be dealing with in this installment. Also, Henry intrigued me with his loner, no nonsense attitude and multifaceted personality. He was a scientist, a military man and he just became a sort of m ...more

By Nikki September 03, 2020

Probably reading about a potential terror-driven pandemic during the COVID-19 pandemic wasn't the smartest move I ever made but I love this series. It calls to my nerdy, medical history loving, romance junkie self!

OMG Henry is a gorgeous, grumpy grouch of a man. He can't abide wasters and layabouts ...more

By Teresa August 29, 2020

**I received a copy of Hell & Back from Entangled and Net Galley in exchange for a voluntary and honest review. My opinions are my own and not solicited.**

Hell & Back by Julie Rowe is the fifth book in her Outbreak Task Force that's the series end, I'm hoping still for DS get his own story someday. ...more

By Michelle September 11, 2020

WOW!!!! The action was intense in this book. The author really did a great job with the reality of what a man made pandemic could do, and the steps out CDC has taken to keep the world safe.

Ruby is attempting to gather information from the CDC for her parents, whom are investigating the recent biolo ...more

By Debbie September 14, 2020

This is the stunning conclusion to this series that is oh so relevant at the moment even if it was started before these crazy times we live in You have to wonder at the timing is Julie a Seer in another life

In this final stunning conclusion the battle against FAFO (Free America From Oppression)is he ...more

By NICUnurse September 23, 2020

Hell & Back is book number five in this author’s Outbreak Task Force series. The books are marketed as standalone titles. I’m a romantic suspense junkie and always on the hunt for new-to-me authors that I can add to my list of authors I enjoy, so I thought I’d give Hell & Back a try.

What I Liked Mo ...more

By Rach September 21, 2020

Ruby works for the CDC and her parents for the NSA the reason she works there is to find out who the moles are that are releasing dangerous bioweapons to terrorists. Everyone is a suspect even Henry who she is in lust with and is her superior at work.

Henry is a virologist and was previously in the m ...more

By Lisa October 26, 2020

I received a complimentary copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

This is an amazing action-packed military thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.

Henry Lei is an ex-Special Forces medic who lost his leg in a tragic accident. He is a member ...more

By Romance and Riesling September 08, 2020

Fast-paced, action romance that leaves you on the edge of your seat!

Ruby Toth is used to stress, hell, her parents work for the NSA. However, her new role undercover at the CDC is testing her limits. Not only is the CDC under attack from international terrorists, but her brother is taken hostage and ...more

By Becky September 01, 2020

Hell and Back is a fantastic read. I would recommend reading the Outbreak Task Force in order so you get the full picture of what is going on and because it is a fantastic series. Hold onto your seats and enjoy the ride. This is Henry's book and you will just love him so much. If you've read these b ...more

By Mags September 14, 2020

Hell & Back started a little slow for me, but honestly, I don't think it helped that I couldn't remember the events of the previous stories, as even though this is a stand-alone story with new central characters there is an ongoing story arc with the FAFO terrorist organisation continuing to target ...more

By Dolly October 30, 2020

I'm so excited that Julie Rowe returned to her terrific Outbreak Task Force series with HELL & BACK. In many ways, this is a ripped-from-the-headlines story, with the CDC in the hot seat, international intrigue, and a bio-engineered pandemic. Rowe always writes the most riveting and plausible scient ...more

Showing 1 to 25 of 25
4.33 avg rating
Julie Rowe

About the author

Julie Rowe

Julie Rowe's first career as a medical lab technologist in Canada took her to the North West Territories and northern Alberta, where she still resides. She loves to include medical details in her romance novels, but admits she'll never be able to write about all her medical experiences because, "No one would believe them!". In addition to writing contemporary and historical medical romance, and fun romantic suspense for Entangled Publishing and Carina Press, Julie has short stories in Fool's Gold, the Mammoth Book of ER Romance, Timeless Keepsakes and Timeless Escapes anthologies. Her book SAVING THE RIFLEMAN (book #1 WAR GIRLS) won the Novella category of the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Her writing has also appeared in several magazines such as Romantic Times Magazine, Today's Parent, and Canadian Living. You can reach her at , on Twitter @julieroweauthor or at her Facebook page:

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