(Ten Tiny Breaths series, book 3)
When a gorgeous young dancer walks through his door, a strip club owner must decide whether to follow his rules or his heart in the third novel by the author of One Tiny Lie and Ten Tiny Breaths.
Owning a strip club isn't the fantasy most guys expect it to be. With long hours, a staff with enough issues to keep a psych ward in business, and the police regularly on his case, twenty-nine-year-old Cain is starting to second guess his unspoken mission to save the women he employs. And then blond, brown-eyed Charlie Rourke walks through his door, and things get really complicated. Cain abides by a strict "no sleeping with the staff" rule. But being around Charlie challenges Cain's self-control...and it's been a long time since any woman has done that.
Twenty-two-year-old Charlie Rourke needs a lot of money, really fast, in order to vanish before it's too late. Taking her clothes off for men makes her stomach curl but Charlie tells herself that at least she's putting her acting and dancing skills to good use. And though her fellow dancers seem eager to nab their sexy, sophisticated, and genuinely caring boss, she's not interested. After all, Charlie Rourke doesn't really exist -- and the girl pretending to be her can't get distracted by romance.
Unfortunately, Charlie soon discovers that developing feelings for Cain is inevitable, and that those feelings may not be unrequited -- but losing him when he finds out what she's involved with will be more painful than any other sentence awaiting her.
OH. MY. STARS.
This book rocked my world HARD!
Y'all remember how much I loved Ten Tiny Breaths? Sure you do. I gushed over that book for months, and harassed (nicely, of course) quite a few of my friends to read it. It was fan-freaking-tastic. I kept putting off One Tiny Lie and I honestly don't know why, but I finally got around to it last week and it was great…
But Four Seconds to Lose?? This one might take the cake. It's THAT good! If it doesn't edge out Ten Tiny Breaths, it's damn near close. I was completely enraptured by this story – it's gritty, it's provocative, it's sexy as all hell – it has everything to comprise a novel that I can easily dive head first into and never want to come up for air.
(Just a side note: This could be read as standalone novel, but I highly discourage that. Reading the two previous books in the series will give you so much more depth to not only Cain, but the other characters and the relationships they've all formed that make this series so great. Okay, that's it…carry on!)
Cain Ford is the mysterious, drop dead gorgeous owner of Penny's, a strip club in Miami. With a past full of violence and guilt, he decides to open Penny's to help women find their way out of this lifestyle – and to gain some semblance of redemption in his own mind. He figures if these women are going to take off their clothes for money, he might as well give them a safe place to make their living. He also has a rule – never sleep with a dancer. But when Charlie Rourke walks into his office, everything changes. Because for a second, he's not looking at Charlie…he's looking at Penny.
Charlie Rourke needs to disappear. Well, technically she already did…but she needs to find a way to vanish from the man who forced her to disappear to Miami in the first place; the man holding her under his fatherly thumb. Walking into dangerous situations on a regular basis, communicating through burner phones and composed (but never sent) emails isn't a life she wants any part of. But she knows Sam will never allow her to bow out, so she has one option – make money without him knowing, and when she has enough saved up for a new identity, become a ghost to the man who raised her. She has no intention of making friends in Miami, and she certainly has no intention of getting into a relationship; those lead to questions, and she needs to keep her stripping life separate from her…*ahem* other life. Unfortunately, that's not as easy as she thought it would be…
When Charlie's two separate worlds collide, she is forced to make a decision: stay and risk putting Cain in danger, or disappear off the grid and tell no one where she is…including the man who has effectively stolen her heart. But when Cain finds out all of Charlie's secrets, will he even want her heart anymore?
The story line, the characters, the writing were all just utterly phenomenal! There was not one flaw within this novel. While this type of story line has the potential to get repetitive – man with damaged past meets damsel in distress, they fall in love, sh*t hits the fan, they live happily ever after – K.A. Tucker has found a brilliant way to put her own unique spin on it. Four Seconds to Lose was the perfect blend of romance, angst, and humor all coupled within an air of suspense. It sucked me in right away, and never let up. While the story line was wonderful, this novel couldn't have been perfection without the flawless way Tucker writes her characters. They all have so much depth! I absolutely love both Cain and Charlie, and the secondary characters are just as freaking amazing. We get glimpses of Trent, Kacey, Livie, Storm, Ben, Dan, Nate, Ginger, Tanner…holy hell, the list goes on and on but they are all such fantastic characters that I get all sorts of giddy when they make their appearances throughout this series. I think the only other series where I have genuinely loved the entire ensemble as much as I do these characters, is the Addicted series by Krista and Becca Ritchie. (If you don't know how obsessed I am with those books, you have been living under 10,000 rocks because I rarely shut up about them.) I would gladly read a book that focuses on each and every one of these characters, and I absolutely can not wait for Ben's book!!!!! But right now, we're focusing on Cain and Charlie…and all I can really say is that they are absolutely perfect, and without a doubt one of my favorite couples EVER. (Go ahead, let the weight of that comment sink in. I'll wait.)
(Has it sunk in? Yes? Fantastic.)
To be honest, I could talk about this story for days and still not properly convey just how much I loved everything about it. K.A. Tucker's caliber of writing is on a whole other level. She creates characters and story lines that stay with you for days, weeks, months, years (I still can't let go of Ten Tiny Breaths and I read it over a year ago!) and I just know that this latest installment will be no different. A year from now, I'll be thinking about how much I loved Cain and Charlie's story…and naturally, I'll push all the other books on my never-ending TBR to the side just so I can reread Four Seconds to Lose and fall in love with them all over again.
This is absolutely one of my favorite series, and if you haven't read these novels yet, READ THEM RIGHT NOW! Sorry for yelling, I just get a little passionate when I fall in love with a series. But seriously…read them right now. See, I can be demanding in a nice way! ;)