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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it is still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Breaking Point (An I-Team Novel) Mass Market Paperback – May 3, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 170 customer reviews
Book 5 of 6 in the I-Team Series

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Editorial Reviews


"Complex characterizations and a fast-paced plot filled with sensual romance and mystery make this a highly enjoyable [listen] for newcomers and series fans alike." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Review --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

From the Author

Breaking Point is a story about two very wounded souls played out on some of the most dangerous real estate on earth--the U.S./Mexico border.

The seed of the story was planted several years ago when I researched and wrote an opinion column on the femicides in Ciudad Juárez, where more than 400 women and teenage girls have been murdered, their sexually mutilated bodies found dumped on the outskirts of town or in the desert. Most of the murders remain unsolved, and more than 1,000 women and girls are still missing.

Try to imagine an American city--your own city, perhaps--having 400 unsolved sexual homicides and 1,000 missing women. It defies comprehension.

In the years since I covered that issue, the region has become even more dangerous as cartels fight with one another for control over the trade in drugs, guns and human beings. As is often the case in parts of the world where the truth interferes with people's ability to get away with crime and corruption, journalists have become targets. At this moment in time, Mexico is the most dangerous place on earth to be a journalist outside an active war zone.

I'm not sure exactly what prompted me to bring Natalie into this environment. My travel experiences in Mexico have been wonderful, involving long, lazy days on the beach drinking rum, riding horses, snorkeling and dining beside the ocean. Perhaps the story of las muertas de Juárez--the murdered women of Juárez--had a bigger impact on me than I realized. Regardless, this is where Natalie's story brought me.

As strange as it felt to write an I-Team story set far beyond Denver, the research for this book was fascinating. I focused heavily on the details of illicit border crossings and found that planning aspects of this novel was much like playing a desert version of that old computer game Oregon Trail. What would Zach have to bring with him if he and Natalie were to survive? What route would he take? What environmental and human hazards would they encounter?

I also focused on the work and experiences of U.S. Marshals. I interviewed a former U.S. Marshal for Colorado, Tina Lewis Rowe, and Larry Homenick, a retired deputy U.S. Marshal who once worked "the line," i.e., the border, crossing back and forth between his office at EPIC in El Paso, Texas, and Cd. Juárez. Not only did their stories fascinate me, but watching the two of them interact was highly entertaining as they joked and traded friendly insults. I've tried to honor Rowe with a walk-on part in the story. She shouldn't be hard to spot.

The result of all this research is my most action-packed love story to date. Zach and Natalie are strangers, both about to die at the hands of ruthless men who think nothing of human life. But the violence of this world only gives us a chance to see how truly courageous, strong and determined both Natalie and Zach are. As concern for one another blossoms into attraction and love, the two find the strength to triumph, not only over the bad guys, but also over their own personal tragedies.

As I wrote the book, largely planned in 2009, the wire headlines that came across my desk at the paper began to echo aspects of my plot--public shootings, macabre murders, the slaying of journalists and border agents. At times it was positively eerie. About an hour after I started writing these notes, news broke about a U.S. Border Patrol agent who was shot and killed by bajadores, the bandits who lurk on both sides of the border and which play a role in this story.

It has been a goal of mine for some time to write an I-Team story in which the past heroes all play a pivotal role in the action, in which the stakes are so high that all of the I-Team heroes have to come together to keep the heroine alive. I was finally able to write that kind of story in this book. Fans of Julian, Marc, and Gabe will find their favorite heroes on center stage, together with Zach and Natalie. Reece, admittedly, is relegated to a minor role. (Sorry, Team Reece! Trust me. You'll like it anyway.)

Breaking Point is my tenth novel. Finishing it felt like a milestone to me, even though I know authors who've written more than a hundred novels. Thanks for sharing yet another journey with me. I hope you enjoy the story.

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Product Details

  • Series: An I-Team Novel (Book 5)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (May 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425240517
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425240519
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #788,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Now this is one time when you CAN judge a book by its cover! Breaking Point was HOT, sexy and even a little bit dirty. {{wink, wink!}}

The I-Team is hands down my favorite romance suspense series for many reasons, but one is how uniquely different the stories are from each the other. If you haven't found this series yet, the common thread is that each heroine works as an investigative reporter for the Denver Independent newspaper, and each story takes one lady on a high octane adventure fighting believable bad guys and falling for a heart-pounding hero. Moreover, the criminal elements and bad guys are unrelated to other books, so each book takes you on a brand new adventure with vastly different settings. I also love that the heroines in these books are always `normal', meaning they are smart and tough, but not cartoonish. They are not fearless nor believe themselves invincible, in fact quite the opposite, but they will rise to the challenge when provoked. In other words, they are real women I can relate to.

In Breaking Point, U.S. Marshal Zach McBride gets tied up in Mexico - literally. Starved, tortured, blindfolded and chained to a brick wall, not to mention duped by a trusted agent who turned him in to the Los Zetas (a powerful organized Mexican crime ring), he has little hope of survival and bringing down Arturo César Cárdenas, the head of Los Zetas. Cárdenas, a man of many crimes, is wanted in the United States for the murder of Americans on U.S. soil.

Natalie Benoit, an attractive American journalist visiting Juarez Mexico for a three-day SPJ (Society of Professional Journalists) convention and tour, gets caught in the crossfire of what she believes is a local gang war.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I wish I could give this more than 5 stars. Exactly what a romantic suspense should be. Fast exciting action that never lets down. Romance that develops throughout the story in a logical way. Good balance of both elements. Both characters grew during the course of the book. He learned to forgive himself for something that happened in his military career and learned he was worth loving and she learned that she was stronger than she had known, she learned to let the past go and love again.

The action was realistic and made sense, utilizing an underused but very topical setting of the US/Mexican border and the drug trafficking etc., there. The hero was an ex SEAL and he was shown doing his stuff but he wasn't a superman. I'm glad that the military type action all made sense and I could buy it and didn't have to shake my head and suspend my disbelief. And thank goodness the plot did not depend on the hero having to save the heroine from TSTL mistakes. She was sensible throughout. The research the author did showed clearly. It was great to see the hero being a US Marshal. I even learned some stuff.

The romance was very well done. These two people were fully developed and were a perfect match for each other. The love scenes were some of the hottest I've read and the reason they were hot was because yes, we all know Tab A Slot B, but the feelings the two had for each other was a large part of the hotness. You never felt that the sex was gratuitous. They seemed to me to be written differently than any I've seen before. They used proper terminology for body parts and the descriptions and dialog were just different enough that it all felt fresh and new.

Plenty of appearances from the rest of the I-Team members.

The writing was tight. No unnecessary words.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very well written and researched story. Ms Clare's background lent a great authenticity to the plot. What stopped this being a five star read for me was that I felt there was too much repetition of the same points in the internal monologues of both characters which found me muttering, I get it already, at my screen. I also had a few eyebrow-raising moment at the disconnect between the physical condition of the hero and all that 'heavy lifting', but was able to suspend belief there for the sake of the story flow. I usually love this kind of story, but about half way through I found myself skimming, starting to predict what was coming next and losing interest. I think that was because, for me, although one of the better written versions of this plotline, it ended up being pretty standard for the sub-genre with the usual tropes and perhaps I was hoping for some new twist that never came. When I first picked it up it put me in mind of Midnight Rainbow by Linda Howard, (1986).

Despite it falling a bit flat for me, I do recommend downloading the sample and giving it a go - the opening chapters are very gripping. It does look as if Ms Clare has a hit on her hands and I wish her well with it. Three and a half stars.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I generally shy away from romantic suspense and roller coasters - just too much excitement for this mild mannered romance reader. Yet the buzz generated from Ms. Clare's previous books propelled me to read BREAKING POINT - the fifth book in the I-Team Series. Like a roller coaster, the plot unfolds in two parts - the first (shorter) loop of chilling suspense followed by the second (longer) loop of thrilling action that left me breathless and satisfied.

Zach is a decorated Navy Seal turned Deputy US Marshall (DUSM). While working undercover, he is betrayed by an ally, taken prisoner by a Mexican drug cartel, and waiting to die from torture. Enter Natalie, an investigative reporter who has also been taken prisoner during a bloody ambush. The two meet through the walls of their hellhole prison. Ms. Clare touches upon issues that will resonate with military veterans, law enforcement, and first responders - the Code of Conduct and Service before Self.

Zack provides Natalie with the emotional support to escape and she provides him with the physical assistance to join her. They take refuge in Alter to plan their trek across the Mexican desert to the US border. At this point, I am anxious for them. They just pulled off "the great escape" yet they are far from safe as they eat, sleep, and touch. Yes, touch.

In the short time that our hero and heroine have spent together, they realize that the other is a lifeline - not just out of their physical hellhole but the emotional turmoil that has plagued them far too long. The emotional connection leads to physical interaction that reenergizes their sense of survival. Although this plot could lapse into a cliché, Ms.
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