Title: Breaking Point (Turning Point #2)
Author: N.R. Walker
Cover Artist: Posh Gosh
Edition: First Edition
Publisher: Totally Bound
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Rating: 5+ stars
A Guest Review by Sammy
Review Summary: An explosive and deeply satisfying sequel that leaves you breathless!
Blurb: A fight for what’s right becomes a fight for his life.
As guilt plagues him, Matthew Elliott’s world begins to spiral out of control. The harder he holds on, the more it slips through his fingers, and he’s helpless to stop it.
Entering into the underground cage-fighting scene, he starts out fighting for what’s right. The deeper he gets, the more guilt consumes him—the more pain he takes for his penance—and he’s soon fighting for more than justice.
He’s fighting for love.
He’s fighting for his life.
Review: Lies…guilt, they can eat you alive if they are left to fester, tear at your insides until there is nothing left but the need for a greater pain to wipe away the one that is gutting you at every turn. This in itself is hard enough to bear but when you love another person and you must live each day seeing what your lies are doing to your relationship, to the trust you had built with them, then the need to wipe away the guilt becomes so strong it consumes you.
Matthew Elliot is undercover in a fight club that is a suspected distribution point for massive amounts of cocaine. His job is to infiltrate as a fighter and find out how the man in charge is smuggling the dope into the country and then distributing it. In order to do his job effectively it must seem as though he has resigned from the police force and so an elaborate ruse is put into effect. No one must know, particularly not Kira, his partner. In many ways, Matt feel this is a way of apologizing to Kira, who had been kidnapped, brutally beaten, and tortured all because of Matt’s job as a member of the “Fab Four” drug enforcement team. It was a former convicted drug dealer that had taken Kira and threatened his life. In Matt’s mind, this job was a way to redeem himself–to pay for failing to keep Kira safe.
And so the lies begin…and with each one Matt places another brick in the wall that threatens to destroy his relationship with Kira. Matt will discover that there are good guys at the fight club. The more immersed he becomes in the life there, the less he is able to handle his life with Kira. The guilt begins to overwhelm him and Kira senses that he is losing Matt. As the distance between them widens into what appears to be a gulf too big to bridge, Matt finds himself spiraling down into an anger so deep that it threatens to tear him apart. But the anger allows him to fight and to keep at bay more and more of the crippling guilt and despair that threatens to swallow him whole.
As Matt delves deeper and deeper into the illegal cage fights that are the means for the drug distribution drop off, his life becomes more and more forfeit. As an ex-cop and gay to boot, there are men in the cage who want nothing more than to see him dead, so when Kira has finally had enough and insists that Matt stop, it is with the realization that if Matt refuses their is nothing more for them to say to each other. Matt is trapped. Unable to confide n Kira about the real reasons he must fight, he swallows down the pain in his heart and forces himself to turn his back on Kira and head into the fight that may be the end of everything, his relationship, his job on the force, his very life.
I have no idea where to begin. I am in awe of this author. Breaking Point is perhaps one of the most emotionally raw stories I have ever read. The way in which author N. R. Walker reaches inside the head of her character and makes us feel his guilt, his pain and most importantly the love he has for Kira is just simply stunning. There were moments in this novel that I felt as though I could barely breathe for the intensity of raw emotion that was pouring off the page.
Matt is fighting for everything here–not just to assuage his guilt over what he feels is his failure in keeping Kira safe. but for so much more. He looks at Yumi and Sal, Kira’s parents, who treat him as their own son and he sees only that he is not worthy of their love. He watches his fellow partners on the force as they work independently of him and grapples with the idea that he is really no longer a cop, despite being just undercover. The distance between him and everyone else, including Kira, is so very effectively written–you feel his isolation, and the ever deepening despair that comes with it.
The way in which N.R. Walker weaves a story pulls the reader in fast and deep, hooking you in and carrying you along the roller coaster ride to the very end. It is a heady experience being immersed so completely in a story. You weep and rail at the characters, shouting at them to just see–see what they are doing, understand how much they are hurting each other and themselves. I must tell you this is some extraordinary writing. Simply outstanding!
A final word before I recommend this novel to you and tell you that it is one of the finest works of the year. The cage fighting is described in very real and stark terms. You are placed right there in the cage with Matt. The descriptive passages are such that you feel the bone jarring punches and read the descriptions of the blood, cuts and bruises—BUT, it is done in a way that is necessary and important to the story. I never felt the fight scenes pandered to the gory or sensational. Rather, just like the incredibly intimate bedroom scenes between Matt and Kira, the cage matches were part of the story and drove the plot further along.
I leave you with this. Breaking Point by N.R. Walker is, in my opinion, one of the top novels of the year. It is intelligent, breathlessly real, and exquisitely written. I highly recommend this novel to you.