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Heartbreaker [Paperback]

Julie Garwood
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (205 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 2003
#1 New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood proves she is a master storyteller in this classic romantic suspense novel featuring FBI agent Nick Buchanan.

In the still shadows of the confessional, the penitent kneels and makes a bone-chilling disclosure: Bless me father, for I will sin.... Slowly, tauntingly, the man describes his murderous past—how he stalked his victim, worked his way into her life, and then took that life in a violent rage—and his plan to kill again. Only this time, he has raised the stakes in his twisted game, daring authorities to catch him if they can. And this time, he has revealed the name of his next intended victim.

Agent Nick Buchanan has come face-to-face with society's worst monsters and depraved minds in his work for one of the FBI's most elite units, but The Heartbreaker threatens to hit close to home. The intended victim, Laurant Madden, is his best friend's sister.

Soon he is caught up in an intricate chase with one of the most devious psychopaths of his career. But as the danger grows, so does an electrifying attraction between Nick and Laurant.

One false move will cost both of them everything that matters.
--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Product Description

From Amazon

Setting: Holy Oaks, Iowa, present day
Sensuality rating: 4

New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood breaks new ground in her first contemporary suspense novel. Long-time fans of Garwood will be amazed at the way the queen of historical romance weaves this tale of love as it blossoms in the face of extreme danger. FBI agent Nick Buchanan is about to take his first vacation in three years when he receives a phone call from his best friend and former college roommate, Father Tom Madden. Tom relates the horrifying tale of a confession that he heard from a killer seeking absolution for a gruesome crime he has yet to commit. Worse yet, the madman, who calls himself the Heartbreaker, confesses that his intended victim is Laurant Madden, Tom's gorgeous younger sister. The Heartbreaker is crazy about Laurant--really, really crazy.

When Tom and Nick break the news to Laurant, she is furious at the disruption the psycho is causing in her very busy life. With her best friend's wedding rapidly approaching and Laurant's own business set to open in two weeks, there couldn't be a worse time to be stalked. But when she learns that the Heartbreaker has already broken into her home and watched her sleep, she reluctantly agrees to Nick's protection, even if it means that she's thrown together with her brother's all-too-sexy friend all day--and all night. Nick, posing as Laurant's fiancé, heads back with her to Holy Oaks. There he encounters a strange cast of characters, the likes of which are grown only in small towns where everybody knows everybody's business--except whether one of them might be a serial killer. Along the way, Nick and Laurant also discover their own hunger for each other. Readers will love the change of pace for perennial favorite Garwood. She creates a sensational story with a truly explosive conclusion. --Alison Trinkle --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

"Bless me Father, for I will sin." In her first contemporary suspense thriller, Garwood, better known for best-selling romantic fiction (Ransom; the Clayborne Brides trilogy; etc.), explodes out the narrative gate, but delivers more romance than suspense. While waiting for test results to determine if he needs another round of chemotherapy, Father Thomas Madden is the guest of Monsignor McKindry at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Kansas City. He offers to sit in for McKindry in the confessional. When a mocking voice seeks the good father's prayers to prevent him from murdering the priest's own sister, Laurant Madden, panic quickly sets in. The faceless voice behind the screen admits to a previous murder and also knows about Father Tommy's cancer. Tommy quickly calls FBI agent Nicholas Buchanan (Tommy's best friend since childhood) and asks him to track down the madman and protect his sister. Laurant has never met Nick before, but is instantly attracted to him. The two fake falling in love to flush out the murderer, but the pretense is short-lived. Some members of the chorus provide amusing turnsAmost notably outspoken elderly sisters Bessie Jean and Viola Vanderman, who serve up casseroles and counsel safe sex. Garwood's writing is strongest where affairs of the heart are concerned. If the thriller aspect of the novel fails to ignite, the sexual pas de deux between Nick and Laurant delivers sufficient smolder for Garwood's fans. Major ad/promo; 16-city author tour. (July)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
By GinRobi
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In the sweltering heat, Father Tom is in the confessional, doing his duty. But today will be a different sort of day, for a murderer will enter the confessional and ask for absolution for a sin he is going to commit. But what scares him the most: this murderer plans on killing his sister, Laurant.

When Laurant doesn't hear from her brother, she becomes concerned, scared even, and heads to Kansas to see him, fearing that his latest test results confirmed that the cancer was back and he was having chemotherapy treatments. When she gets there, she's happy that the cancer has not returned, but her world is still torn upside down, for a murderer wants her, and for the kindhearted woman she is, she doesn't understand how she can be the target of a madman.

Nick Buchanan, an FBI agent and Father Tom's best friend since they were kids, is supposed to be on vacation, but the second he hears from Tom, he heads straight to Kansas and vows to protect Tom's sister. When Laurant suggests using herself as bait, Nick argues: he doesn't want here anywhere near Holy Oaks. But the rest of the team, including Laurant, disagrees with him, for if Laurant was to run and hide, how long would she be constantly looking over her shoulder. She won't allow it, and takes the decision out of his hands when the killer calls, taunting them all.

When a suspect is eventually caught, Nick can't believe it. Are his instincts out of whack? Could it be that he really is tired and due for a vacation, to recharge, to get himself back in the game? For his instincts are screaming that it's not right: that the whole thing was just too easy. And even while everyone is assuring him that the evidence is building against this suspect, that they have their man, Nick believes they're wrong.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Stark Raving Mad June 2 2004
By Kris
Format:Mass Market Paperback
You're a romance writer, but you want to do a "genre shift," kind of like going from baseball to football. What do you do? You write a romance and then plop down right on top of the romance "a crazy person," a control freak who is strong and intelligent but more than a little sick: his name is Stark, but he's masquerading as Justin Brady, a simpleton. No matter, he can't fool Mr. Hero, that is, Nick the FBI Guy. Nick is all-around alpha-male what-every-woman wants, so how can he lose? You see the problem here? We all know what's going to happen: Down goes Stark, up goes Nick, he gets the girl (whoops, woman) in the end. Ever heard that one before?
On the good side, the book will keep you occupied and the paperback copy has a nice type font with space between the lines, making it easy to read. Lots of conversation. But way too much "kitchen and bedroom" talk, for me, but for romance lovers, of course not.
Jules Wesson is the only character who doesn't follow a formula: Jules, the unliked FBI Guy in Charge ("jerk"), does a good deed at the end and never gets his comeuppance, at least not in this book.
Which brings to mind another problem: Where did Stark come from? Obviously, he has a past history, but it's only alluded to in this book and never really explained. Something about Nick shooting Stark's wife, who was trying to kidnap a child? Wow! There must be a prequel, but the book cover never mentioned it.
Well, you don't absolutely need the prequel, but I still say Stark was a little too crazy to be believable. But, as a good writer should, Garwood offers something for everybody: Noah's cool. Diximus.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Don't Waste Your Time Sept. 10 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The novel is mildly entertaining, the plot is so easy to figure out that you have no motivation to finish the book. Hints are dropped as to who the killer is, and its really easy to figure it all out then you keep reading to find out how it all plays out, only to be disappointed. Parts of the action described are totally unrealistic, like where Nick disarms an attacker on an airplane who has a gun pointed right at the pilot and again at the end when the protaganist is finally taken care of. It just doesn't seem much like real life at all to me. Now on to the love story, it has some good moments, but all in all, its no different than your typical hollywood movie where you are waiting practically the entire movie for the damzel in distress to fall in love with her savior. There's nothing exciting or new about this novel, it just gets lumped in with all the other FBI thrillers. So if you like predictable stories that don't require much thought at all, you might enjoy this. Otherwise, don't waste your time.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great Romatic Suspense Aug. 23 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Julie Garwood makes her first foray into the contemporary world. Only a few days ago did I stumble across "Mercy" her second contemp. book. I loved Mercy so much that I ran right out and bought "Heartbreaker". I am a prolific reader (7-8 romances/fiction a week) and I thought I would share what I got out of this book.
Short Synop:
Nick Buchanan is a member of an elite FBI division who specialize in finding children. After a particularly challenging case, where Nick kills the perp, he is ordered to take a vacation to try and avoid burning out. Right before he leaves he gets a call from his best friend, Father Tom Madden. "Heartbreaker," who tells him he is going to kill his sister Laurent, visited Father Tom in the confessional booth. He instructs Father Tom to call in Nick.
Nick of course rides to the rescue and the story progresses on with Nick and Laurent falling in love, trying to outsmart the killer and still save the town square from development.
Having read this book second, I did notice a couple of things that put me off. Between this book and Mercy, she used quite a few phrases exactly the same in both books, which took me out of the story since they jumped out at me.
Other than that, this was a very good first book. Nick and Laurent's characters were well done and believable, as was the story line. I love novels about the FBI, CIA, policeman etc and this was pretty well written. I wasn't even sure who the killer was until Ms. Garwood revealed it. I'm usually hard to stump.
I think some of the secondary stories made this book a little more full, than it should have been. I would like to have seen more interaction between Laurent and Nick so that the "falling in love" part didn't seem so rushed, but other than that this was a well-done book. I gave it 3 stars since I think there is room for improvement (which I saw in Mercy which I gave 4 stars).
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars CHANGE CAN BE GOOD
I have just discovered this author and have found this FBI series to be quite entertaining
I know she is more popular for her historical romances and some fans may be... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Absolutely loved this book and Mercy, just finished Murder List, cant wait to buy the next one...I love Julie Garwood's writing and am thrilled that she can write all types of... Read more
Published on March 21 2005 by Sherri
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book I have ever read!!
Julie Garwood is now one of my favorite Authors. The first time I read Heartbreaker i was astounded and speechless. This book was extremely good. Read more
Published on July 11 2004 by Jamaica
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Thriller
Now everyone has their favorite author, one of mine is Julie Garwood. I have enjoyed her historical romances immensely and now she has switched to more contemporary fare. Read more
Published on March 8 2004 by Elizabeth
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
I really loved this book!! This book is all about suspense, thriller with a touch of romance. I am a fan of Julie Garwood and I have read all of her books with no exception. Read more
Published on Feb. 16 2004 by Houretta
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Julie Garwood
i'm sorry...what were we reading again!? A romance, suspense, murder mystery thriller...what?!? because i couldnt tell from the book!
I love julie garwood. Read more
Published on Jan. 23 2004 by Reja
2.0 out of 5 stars Just okay
I had heard good things about Julie Garwood, so I looked forward to this book. What a disappointment! The story is obvious, and Laurant and Nick are cardboard characters. Read more
Published on Dec 21 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Deliciously Different!
I have been a long time fan of historical romances. I put off reading this book for over a year, even though it is written by one of my favorite authors. Read more
Published on July 29 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars An easy read with a nice plot twist.
This was my first Julie Garwood book after exploring, and devouring, the contemporary romantic suspenses of Linda Howard, Heather Graham and Karen Robards. While Ms. Read more
Published on May 15 2003 by Mandy D.
5.0 out of 5 stars HeartBreaker
This is the first book I have read by Julie Garwood and I could not put it down. Great read..
Published on April 17 2003 by Nor Nor
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