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Saturday, April 9, 2011

REVIEW: Breaking Point (#5, I-Team) by Pamela Clare

5+ Stars!

28 February 2011,


An avid reader of Pamela Clare’s books and self-confessed “I-Team-oholic”, Lady Jayne, is one of the luckiest people to have received an Advanced Readers/Reviewers Copy of Ms. Clare’s latest thrilling instalment, through the Mission of Mercy ARC Program for the Bed-Ridden. Reports of the sounds of excited squeals from the reader’s home in Adelaide, Australia, is said to have been heard as far as neighbouring New Zealand. However, no correlation to the recent earthquakes sadly suffered by the devastated Kiwis has been found. Let us keep the people of Christchurch, the cyclone and flood victims of Queensland and Victoria, and all affected by natural disasters, in our thoughts and prayers. 

Though, it is not only the traumas caused by natural disasters that break our hearts. The horrors that humans inflict upon each other ravage our spirits. Pamela Clare’s dedication in her latest book reminds us of one of these horrors. “It is so touching that it will make readers’ hearts ache and may even cause their eyes to glisten…well, at least it did, for me...and it was just the dedication!”, said Lady Jayne.
“This book is dedicated to the memory of the hundreds of murdered and missing women of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. You were brutalized and discarded like you didn’t matter. But the earth received your tears, your blood, your bones, and, like a bereaved mother, the earth itself cries out for justice. May the violence end and those who stole your bodies and your lives be held to account.” 
Breaking Point will grip readers from the start and is probably Ms. Clare’s most action packed I-Team book. Yet, like all the books in the series, it deals with meaningful subject matter, born from the author’s experiences as a newspaper editor and journalist.

At an interview at her home this week, Lady Jayne stated: “My 2011 started off badly with bronchitis, then discovering I had Glandular Fever (“Mono” in USA)… but receiving an ARC of Breaking Point has totally …MADE. MY. YEAR!!! I’m usually always behind on new releases in my favourite series, being Down Under. This is the first ARC I have ever received. For it to be one of Pamela Clare’s books? I am without words. Thank you again, Pamela, for another AWESOME read!”

Natalie Benoit, Investigative Crime Reporter
“I LOVE this series! Pamela Clare’s I-Team books just work, for me,” said Lady Jayne. “They are not just candy, though they do inspire visions of yummy eye candy…” she said smiling, sighing, and getting a glazed look over her face for a few moments, before continuing. “But the backdrop against which they are set is never something trivial. They are important current issues that add depth to a sexy, romantic, suspenseful  intense and movingly satisfying read. Her characters aren’t just sexy-as-all-hell, but they have their own pain they are dealing with, and have a lot of heart. Just the kind I love to read about! And Breaking Point is a worthy edition to my personal favourite Romantic Suspense series.”
Natalie has beautiful aquamarine eyes
 Breaking Point will give readers “heart attacks” of the “WHAT?!?! Noooooooo!!!...” and “WHOA! Really??? Just…WHOA...” variety, heart pounding and breathless moments (suspenseful and other kind). And even if the dedication didn’t make you cry, other aspects of this book more than likely will.

Natalie Benoit, former resident of New Orleans is a survivor of Hurricane Katrina. Her story is just heart wrenching. Following the devastation wrought by Katrina, Natalie joined the investigative team (I-Team) of the Denver Independent as its crime reporter.

While on a 3 day convention on American-Mexican border issues of immigration, the drug trade and human trafficking, in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, along with her colleague, photojournalist Joaquin Ramirez, Natalie is taken captive by a ruthless drug cartel. 

Joaquin Ramirez, Photojournalist
Natalie ends up in a dirty cell next to deputy U.S. Marshall, and former Navy SEAL, Zach McBride, who is also being held prisoner. The man is a true warrior. Together, they must find a way to escape. It will take all their strength and cunning to do so, and they must trust each other with their lives. There is nothing like being thrown together in such life threatening and challenging situations to brew a romance, eh?

“This book was scorching HOT! And not just because they were in the prickly Sonoran Desert!” said reader Lady Jayne. “In fact, it contained one of my fantasies…” she said, blushing. 

The landscape of the Sonoran Desert is filled with… 
prickly things, bushes, bumpy terrain and peaks.
A desert waterfall after a storm
The Saguaro a.k.a. “F**k You” cacti are a warning of how 
treacherous the desert is once the sun sets.

Recreation of U.S. Marshall, Zach McBride, while in captivity
 “I loved Natalie and Zach! They are both such strong characters and have been through a lot in their lives, both with tragic pasts that still haunt them. I loved when they began to open up to each other, and move on from their pasts. My heart ached for them. I really loved how they watched out for one another. The ending of this was just...WOW! Soo ... intense and ... emotional ... but I'm not giving anything away. You just have to read it for yourself! I also loved seeing the development of characters from earlier books - with their kids, pregnancies, the depths of their friendships... just “Awwww!”

Though Post Viral Fatigue prevented Lady Jayne from devouring this book as fast as she would have liked, it aided in her recovery, uplifting her spirits. Sources close to Lady Jayne confirmed how “beyond thrilled” and thankful she is.

It is no secret that I-Team fans are twitchy with anticipation for this one. In Lady Jayne’s humble opinion, “Breaking Point will be worth the wait.”

Hunky Jed Hill is the cover model for the book. It is expected that there will be worldwide reports of women suffering ‘heat stroke’, once they get their hands on it.

Shirtlessness and unbuttoned fatigues are a 
necessity for survival in the desert.
Zach McBride - A True Hero, and so HOT.

If Jed Hill as Zach McBride entices you to read this book and you haven’t read the I-Team series yet, while each book does stand-alone (for plot and main characters), Lady Jayne recommends reading the books in order, as your reading experience will be better enhanced by doing so.

“Plus, Reece and Kara, Julian and Tessa, Marc and Sophie, and Gabe and Kat (and now Zach and Natalie join the ranks) are all amazing, individually, and combined! I love the moments in the later books where we see the interactions between the characters from earlier books. I really enjoyed the “Bromance" between Julian and Marc in Naked Edge, and we get more of that in Breaking Point, and now with the addition of Gabe,” Lady Jayne said, smiling, with a shimmer of tears in her eyes.

Or …if you just must fondle lick read the Jed Hill covered one, first, then Breaking Point is due to be released on 3rd MAY 2011!

“Though, that leaves enough time for you to experience Extreme Exposure. But you’ll want to have Hard Evidence (coughs)…in hand. And you’ll be desiring Unlawful Contact, quite badly, after that. Which will make you want to rush to Naked Edge… and in agony for Breaking Point, waiting for...release,” said Lady Jayne, blushing and giggling.

Pamela Clare’s 4th book in the I-Team series, Naked Edge, recently won the All About Romance Best Romantic Suspense for 2010, as voted by the readers. Though, Ms. Clare seems to be her harshest critic, as in her response posted on ARR she stated:
 “Thanks to AAR and all the readers who voted for Naked Edge. When I got the news, I was utterly stunned. Naked Edge was a tough book to write and took a lot of risks, in part because I wanted Kat, the heroine, to be authentically Navajo. When I turned it in, I told my agent, in tears, that it was the worst thing I'd ever written. She told me I was crazy. For the book to be voted Best Romantic Suspense by AAR readers - I can't tell you how gratifying that is. Ahèhee! Thank you.”
Well, if Ms. Clare felt that way about Naked Edge, wonder what she felt about finishing Breaking Point? Let’s hope she'll be in tears again - of happiness and satisfaction, that is! - because as reader Lady Jayne says, “This one is absolutely another winner! And I can't wait to hold my pre-ordered copy in my hands!”

In fact, Breaking Point received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, who had this to say about it:
"Clare’s fifth I-Team novel (after Naked Edge) sizzles with constant adventure and romance. U.S. Marshal Zach McBride is the unwilling guest of Mexican drug lords when he meets another prisoner, American journalist Natalie Benoit. The two join forces to escape and make their way across the treacherous Mexican desert toward the U.S. border. Their romance and mutual attraction develop as they share their unhappy life stories and dodge their enemies in one harrowing encounter after another. Natalie's initial fragility is juxtaposed against Zach’s stalwart nature as he helps unearth her hidden strengths and she encourages him to listen to his heart. Complex characterizations and a fast-paced plot filled with sensual romance and mystery make this a highly enjoyable read for newcomers and series fans alike."

1. Natalie Benoit (Lauren Cohan), Zach McBride (Jed Hill), Joaquin Ramirez (Christian de la Fuente).

2. Special thanks to the author’s unnamed co-worker for igniting the fun double entendre discussion on the I-Team book titles, on Pamela Clare’s Facebook page on Weds, 23 Feb 2011, which was the inspiration for those used in this “News Article”. 

DISCLAIMER: I have not received any payment for this review, nor been coerced in any way to write it. All my thoughts are genuine, though are just my subjective opinion.

The I-Team books seem to inspire some "creative reviewing" from me. My playful review style is intended to entertain (make people smile and laugh), while sharing what I love about these books, hoping that I can do the book justice, and that others will enjoy the books as much as I do. Apologies for any unintended offense. Thank you for taking the time to read it! ~ Jayne

(Read February 2011)


  1. Yay, I'm the first commenter! :D

    Just thinking, why change the cover, from couple to man-titty? :P

    Not that I' complained for Jed's abs, but I love the 4 previous cover :)

  2. Oh, YAY!! My first ever comment here! I'm so excited! LOL Thanks, Ren, for being my first! ^_^

    I think Pamela Clare really wanted to have Jed Hill on the cover as Zach. As to why it doesn't have him with Natalie, I'm not sure. It's a very sexy cover though, and yes, I love all the I-Team covers. All very hot! ^_^ I only had an issue with the Extreme Exposure cover as Reece is blonde and the guy on the cover had dark hair. I don't like it when the cover doesn't match the character descriptions.

    I love how all the other I-Team covers actually show scenes from each book.

  3. Aah, yes, Extreme Exposure may be the last favorite cover in I-Team :(.
    My favorite one is Unlawful Contact (and since this book is my favorite too :D), the cover so romantic ^_^

    Do you think it's some marketing strategy Jayne? To gain more reader to read Pamela's book?
    It's kinda odd, I-Team series is sooo good, but just a fewer people that read it :(

  4. Yes, I think my favourite cover is the Unlawful Contact cover, too. It's very romantic and that scene was YOWZA! Though Jed's body is yummy in the Breaking Point cover.

    I don't know if it's a marketing strategy. I know that Pamela really wanted to have Jed on the cover.

    Yes, Ren, this is such an AMAZING series, and Pamela is such a great writer. And person. She did/does so much through her work as a journalist and editor - for the Native American people; for women in prisons and all her efforts in getting that Bill passed through Parliament so they cannot be shackled during labour, etc. And she uses her I-Team series to raise awareness of different issues. She's such a good person, funny and talented person, and I really admire her. And I want to do my bit to spread the word! I know. I sound like such a "fan", right? ^_^

    I think I remember Pamela saying that with some publishers, a lot of promotion is actually up to the authors themselves.