Thursday, September 29, 2011
Breaking Point: I-Team 5 by Pamela Clare
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Natalie Benoit was a survivor with a core of steel. Having survived a murder attempt and then losing her parents and fiancé during hurricane Katrina, she was just starting to get her life back on track. Attending a journalist’s conference in Mexico, she is taken hostage by the drug cartel. Los Zetas. Bruised, and traumatized, yet again, she calls on her steel reserves and manages to free herself and fellow captive Zach Black from Los Zetas. Zach McBride is an undercover US Deputy Marshall was double crossed and handed on a silver platter to the Los Zetas, and after days of agonizing torture knows that his last breath is drawing near . The soft creole sound of Natalie’s voice brings Zach to consciousness long enough to prepare her for the torment ahead. Natalie isn’t about to give up without a fight and despite overwhelming odds, frees Zach and herself from their captors. Now all that’s left is to make it across miles of desert to the US border without being recaptured.
Only Pamela Clare can put an "I" in sexy. Zach is a quintessential broken hero. He has a hugely overdeveloped sense of responsibility coupled with a martyr complex. Natalie calls him out in spades. She lets him know that there is help for his PTSD. She knows what he's going through. They both have extremely tragic pasts, but Natalie wants to seize life, while Zach has doomed himself to wallow in his survivor's guilt. He does loosen up enough to lay some serious wood in the bedroom, but then has the typical morning after regrets. I just loved Natalie as the heroine in this book. She doesn't pander to Zach's complex, and busts his chops on several occasions. Yay!! I love the fact that although Zach has the tactical knowledge, Natalie has the chutzpah.
Even if you haven't been a devoted stalker of the I-Team, like myself, each book is completely stand alone. The past characters, while heavily involved in each new story, need no detailed introductions. Pamela Clare has well established her self as a star of the Romantic Suspense genre with this series and I give this my highest recommendation. The writing and character development are superb. The stories are fast paced, entertaining, and masterfully scripted. I challenge you to read this book and not covet the rest of the series. It can not be done. I am seriously anticipating the next book and will have it pre-ordered the day it's available.