Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “One Breath One Bullet (The Borders War, #1)” as Want to Read:
One Breath One Bullet (The Borders War, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

One Breath One Bullet (The Borders War #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  351 Ratings  ·  117 Reviews
Note: This book has been expanded (from 30,000 words to 50,000 words) and will be reissued January 5, 2016 through Pride Publishing. It is FREE for the month of January 2016 at Pride Publishing. Even if you've read or currently own the original version, it is highly recommended you get the new version in order to maintain story continuity for the series.

Face to face, and r
ebook, 88 pages
Published June 3rd 2013 by Total-E-Bound (first published May 30th 2013)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about One Breath One Bullet, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about One Breath One Bullet

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Feb 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: m-m, dystopian
3.5 stars.***Review posted February 27, 2014

 photo 51047b2f-3604-44b0-9449-a21aa85f87cf_zpsd55b18e8.png

Year 2546…The Borders War had waged for three hundred years and had wiped four hundred million people from the planet.
At the end of One Breath One Bullet you’ll find an index that contains a timeline of the Borders War, a detailed list of the characters and most importantly a glossary. I honestly wish I had known about it and read that first because it would have facilitated my understanding of the plot and setting. While I’ve read and enjoyed dystopia
May 30, 2013 rated it really liked it

2nd Edition (additional 100 pgs of content)
4.5 stars

When I originally read this book, I felt lost among the world building for most of the pages. HOWEVER, I fell in love instantly with the two main characters Merq & Armise. And as I waited for the author to write the books that would continue, and ultimately finish, the series, she went and did something AMAZING. S.A. McAuley rewrote book 1! And the added content, and the reformulating of the story IS EPIC! It's so good
Monique ~ Sinfully
May 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-author
4.5 ~ STARS ~ This is a powerful story, a raw and gritty tale that will have you captivated from beginning to end, it’s a novella at only 88 pages, but let me tell you, every single one of those pages counts. It’s an intelligent read, very cleverly composed by Sam McAuley, her writing is just excellent and had me totally absorbed in this war torn world 545 years into our future. I always judge a book on my reaction at the end, and if its one of those where I clutch my Kindle to my chest with a s ...more
Oct 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*Reread 1/24/2016.*
Just as good the second time around!

Original Review: 3/5/2014
Original rating: 4 stars

Merq Grayson, 35 years old, is the product of a fragmented world fueled by three centuries of war. He’s been trained to become the type of soldier/peacemaker needed to tip the scale in favor of the States. He not only meets these requirements – he lives by them. And if war was the sun that drives Merq’s existence, then his shadow is Armise Darcan. Four years his senior, Armise is a black op
Awesome start to this series of 5 books. 4.5 stars, a huge and I can't wait for the next one!!

Short review time again folks as Monique did such a bang-up job with hers. My expectations for this book and the series were high after reading 'An Immovable Solitude' also written by Sam...and I certainly wasn't disappointed. Sam's writing is superb, concise, crisp, and plot-driven with hardly any sex...which quite frankly when the story is as good as this is, you definitely don't miss!! This gripping
3.5 stars rounded up because this reminded me of a post-apocalyptic Special Forces.

This story is executed in a bit of an unconventional way. Non-linear timeline, bare bones characterisation of everyone but the narrator, major plot elements delivered in a dense, factual way ... It's the kind of story where you are thrown into the proverbial deep end and asked to swim or drown. It's up to you to take the challenge.

Just a side note: I've only read this and An Immovable Solitude by this author but
Jun 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Four years later … still five stars and I enjoyed it even more.

"Are we going to fuck, Merq, or are you going to kill me?"
I hated the heat of the desert, but not as much as I hated Armise.

Love isn't the driving emotion in the very complicated dynamic between enemies. Love is much too simple. This is Special Forces meets Hunger Games meets Bourne Identity – homoerotic edition, of course. Told from the first person biased narrative of Merq Grayson, he recounts a series of intermittent enc
Jan 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Read the Index first. Or be lost.

Alright. Fun story of soldiers, allegiances, betrayals and chess. Problem is that the chess board is left infuriatingly undefined. I appreciate the lesson that the sides are irrelevant as soldiers do one thing--Serve.
"Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it." - Mark Twain

I like the slide between Merq and Armise. I like sociopaths, so of course I LOVED Merq and Armise. Hello, wave completely emotionally dysfunctional alpha
S.A. McAuley
Jan 18, 2013 marked it as written-by-me  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
So here's the deal with the new version of One Breath, One Bullet. It is now over 50,000 words (instead of the original 30,000) and will be FREE on Pride Publishing's site until January 31st!

If you've already read the first three books in The Borders War series, you're definitely going to want to pick up this version (hint: it has many new scenes and those pesky flashbacks have been eliminated in favor of a continuous timeline). I don't want to give away any spoilers, so this is my *subtle* way
No spoilers.

An extremely good (sci-fi/fantasy/futuristic) storyline of a time 500+ years into our future, where you can kill people with sonic-rifles, which have the bonus of killing you on the inside, without all the mess of blood and gore and intestines that usually mark the nitty-gritty facts of war. You just fall dead to the ground. Clinical. And also unemotional. Yes, it would certainly be easier to kill someone, when you don't actually see the damage you are doing.

Main characters Merq and
3.5 Further review to come.

I wanted soooooo much to give this a 4 or higher because the writing was on-point. However, the timeline was ridiculously confusing and there was so much told to us without explanation that I realized had this been fleshed out more; it would have been a solid 4 or 5. World-bulding was great, characters great, and I'm definitely intrigued. I really want to know the whole back-history and present day history of these characters. I know this is to be a series, but I still
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
Limited time 82% discount at Amazon and at the publisher for only $0.99 :D
LiveYourLife BuyTheBook
May 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kapow, verra-good, barb
5 Stars - KAPOW!!

You could say S.A. McAuley has a way with words ... And my God but you’d be right! She has a way of weaving a story that just sucks me in, and holds me tight – right til the end! Leaving me begging for more! I loved her book “Immovable Solitude” and this new book, part of a brand new series, maintains her high standard of storytelling. If I tell you that there were parts that had me thinking about Special Forces and Rifter – then you know just how good it must be!

“Five countrie
R * A Reader Obsessed *
3.5 Stars

As I look back on what I just read, I'm a bit unsure of the details - the plot somewhat nebulous...

What I can tell you is that this reminded me a little of Special Forces - Soldiers, where the two MC's are seasoned, hardened military alpha men on opposite sides. They are sworn enemies in a war that has been going on for over 300 years. Despite the fact that they should hate each other, should have probably killed each other many times over - they keep coming back, keep hanging on to a
Jun 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read-2013
“You’re an idiot, you know that? I don’t have a side in this war because the only ass I care about saving is yours. Fuck my country and yours. They will continue fighting whether we live or die. But I can’t and won’t go on without you. Not anymore. How can I make that any fucking clearer?”

Holy shit! This book is incredible—it has everything I look for in a story—-hot Alpha warriors and a great original plot—cannot wait for next book

Re-read and even better second time--great characters
Although it seemed to be just the beginning of the story, it was captivating and promising enough. The world building is good but it’s still a little hard to grasp the political conflicts I think that requires reading the whole series. As for the characters, they are so nice and likable with much much much chemistry. Generally I liked it so much I only found the flashbacks a little distracting, I really wished I could read it sequentially. But I still enjoyed the characters and the writing and w ...more
4.5 Stars

So the first thing you need to know about 'The Border War' series is that according to the author, add some scars and tattoos and this is what Armise looks like:

*For those of you who care that is model Franco Noriega.

So there is that.

But there is also a pretty great dystopian happening here as well. I love new worlds and one of the things that I actually enjoy most of all is that feeling of being dropped into the middle of a world I know nothing about and figuring it out as I go. This
Val Kovalin
Super intense. First-person narrator Merq is a sniper and spy in a devastating global war that is now experiencing a cease-fire. To celebrate peace time, the five superpowers of the world have come together to hold the first Olympic Games in centuries. Merq will be competing in the rifle competition against his arch-nemesis Armise.

Armise was his counterpart on the enemy's side in the war: sniper, spy, special-ops. Though they cannot trust each other, they experience an intense mutual attraction.

Meh, it was ok. As I mentioned in my update, I liked the world-building but the characters didn't do much for me. I thought they were one dimensional and had little depth. I did feel a slight spark in Armise and he does have me curious, but other than that I didn't feel any emotional tie to them.

What bothered me the most was that this book was repetitive and Merq's inner dialogue didn't fit the character's actions. The author kept telling us that these two men were mortal enemies and that Armis

Apart from feeling like I'd been dropped into the middle of a series that's been playing as long as Dallas, Dynasty, Coronation Street and the Soprano's all whacked together - this was alright!

I eventually found my feet in this strange and futuristic world of war but I still haven't got much of a clue about the political structure and true leadership but hey-ho; I'm reading it for the intriguing enemies to fucky buddy (at best) trope. These guys are not lovers and probably never will be. And tha
Optimist ♰King's Wench♰ & MANTIES Champion
Reviewed for

I picked this series because I like angry sex/enemies to lovers/warriors/gladiators/military men. One Breath One Bullet has ALL that and it’s dystopian with a little cyberpunk! Win/win/win!

Ordinarily it annoys the bejesus out of me to have an author repeat things, but I actually appreciated it here. There are frequent time jumps and many acronyms which could easily have become overwhelming. Ms. McAuley did a great job of not always using the acronym, repeating the important things a
I've been in this book funk lately and nothing has been working for me. A friend (thx Lala) recommended this series and I'm SO glad she did. This was just what I was looking for. Different. Engaging. Sexy. This is a dystopian, enemies to lovers story (imagine if Special Forces and In the Company of Shadows had a love child). It follows Merq from the time he's 16 till he's 34 as the government molds him into a heartless, killing machine. The only crack in his armor is repeated run ins with enemy ...more
Serena Yates
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay, science-fiction
As a start to a new series, I have to say this is an intriguing beginning. With two tough alpha characters who are sworn enemies yet feel an indisputable attraction to each other, the stage is set for personal as well as story drama. How to describe this book and the emotions it made me feel? This is tough because they were all over the place. From shock about the future world S.A. McAuley created here (300 years of war!!!), to unease about the violent nature of the relationship between the main ...more
Serena Yates
May 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gay, science-fiction
As a start to a new series, I have to say this is an intriguing beginning. With two tough alpha characters who are sworn enemies yet feel an indisputable attraction to each other, the stage is set for personal as well as story drama. How to describe this book and the emotions it made me feel? This is tough because they were all over the place. From shock about the future world S.A. created here (300 years of war!!!), to unease about the violent nature of the relationship between the main charact ...more
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-read
This book keep popping up on my feed thanks to my friend, Xing! :D And I decided to give this a shot. Man! Where the hell this book been hiding from me?!

This is straight out addicting. 5% through and I knew I won't be able to put this book down. The main characters are really engaging, the writing style and the prose is excellent, and the sci-fi approach is really really good, something I don't see or feel often on m/m sci-fi books.

Merq's and Armise's chemistry is off the charts! Seriously. I
Kathy Huynh
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: quality-mm-gems
Edit 24/01/17
I revisited this series over the last two days. I reread all five books because the Merq & Armise addiction hasn't subsided. This is one damn solid series. It is an effort sifting through the abundance of MM B graded books but worth it when there are these hidden gems to discover. This is more than just your typical alpha on alpha romance. The world building was tanglible and political manoeuvrings unpredictable. The plot was ace. It provided a perfect balance of political depth
Mar 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm-read, z-2013
This book grabs you and sucks you in right from the first page. Merq and Armise are enemy soldiers in a dark and brutal world and this is reflected in their relationship. They do terrible things to each other but they take it in their stride. The story is full of double-crossing, triple-crossing and quadruple-crossing but rather than being confusing this just makes the book exciting and filled with twists and turns. When I reached the end I was captivated and I need the next book right now!
Fani *loves angst*
2.5 stars
Excellent premise but the execution wasn't up to par. Too many details and info dumped into the reader at an excrutiating pace and not in a straight line, make the plot hard to follow almost until the middle. And then, I couldn't like Merq; for a highly trained agent, he didn't seem very bright to me :( Plus, the writing is more pompous and melodramatic than I'd like for such a powerful storyline; I think a more clean, stark writing style would have suited it much better. Not sure I car
The Novel Approach Reviews
Wowwwwww. This review is impossible to write. How can I possibly get across to you the utter brilliance of the world that S.A. McAuley has built here? Or the amazement and sometimes utter speechlessness I felt while reading? How can I possibly describe the complexity of the characters of Merq and Armise? And, by the end of the series, will I even truly understand what they have gone through in the name of political causes and country, and ultimately, for each other? I guess that last one will ha ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Dark Edge of Honor
  • Bone Rider
  • Turbulence (Turbulence #1)
  • Sarge (F.I.S.T.S. #1)
  • Dark Space (Dark Space, #1)
  • Break and Enter (Red Cell #1)
  • Fearless Leader (Juxtapose City #1)
  • In Heaven and Earth
  • Release (Davlova, #1)
  • In His Sights (Don't Tell, #4)
  • Prisoner 374215
  • Quis Custodiet (The Administration, #5)
  • Love is a Stranger (More Heat Than the Sun, #1)
  • Line and Orbit (Root Code, #1)
  • El Presidio Rides North
  • The Starving Years
  • The Sentinel
Sam sleeps little, reads a lot. Happiest in a foreign country. Twitchy when not mentally in motion.
More about S.A. McAuley...

Other Books in the Series

The Borders War (5 books)
  • Dominant Predator (The Borders War, #2)
  • Powerless (The Borders War, #3)
  • Falling, One by One (The Borders War, #4)
  • Strength of the Rising Sun (The Borders War, #5)
“Fuck my country and yours, they will continue fighting whether we live or die. But I can't, and won't, go on without you. Not anymore.” 1 likes
“He was the one thing in my life that was still my choice. And I chose him above the Revolution.” 1 likes
More quotes…