Review: Four Seconds To Lose (#3, Ten Tiny Breaths) by K.A. Tucker

My Thoughts

Edgy, intense, sexy, romantic and instantly absorbing
with well-developed and intriguing characters. This is a story about
rising above your circumstances, no matter what they are,
and seizing your true chance at happiness before you lose it all.

5stars

Synopsis

four seconds to lose coverWhen 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.

My Review

“I believe some people are inherently evil.
I believe guilt is a powerful motivator.
I believe redemption is something you can strive for but never fully achieve.
I believe second chances exist only in dreams, never in reality.
I believe you don’t have years, or months, or weeks to impact a person’s life.
You have seconds.
Seconds to win them over, and seconds to lose them.”

From the very beginning, this book was instantly addicting. The opening scene is dark and gritty and begins to lay the foundation of Cain’s tragic and tormented story. Although we knew Cain from the previous installments in the series, it isn’t until this book that we truly understand his psyche, his thoughts and the turmoil of his incessant inner conflict. We meet 22-year-old Charlie Rourke, who is deeply entrenched in a life she didn’t choose, a deceptive, dangerous and illicit one she hopes to leave behind. K.A. Tucker does an amazing job of taking us to a place of conflicted immorality… a world shadowed in grays where the right thing and the wrong thing is not always so delineated when it comes to fault, guilt and motivation. Perhaps the point to be made is that in the end,  the only thing that matters is the choice you make and courage you must engender to seize the life you’ve always wanted.

“I know exactly what I want to do with my life. End it and begin a new one.”

When beautiful, blond-haired Charlie walks in to Cain’s office to interview for a job at Penny’s, Cain is completely disarmed. Charlie looks like someone from his past… the only person he’s ever been close to… the person he feels he let down. He’s drawn in, an instant chemistry set ablaze as he struggles to keep with his strict rule of not sleeping with any of the dancers. It’s clear that Cain’s past still haunts him. He feels unworthy of his own chance at happiness, afraid that past mistakes will be repeated and people will get hurt.

Similarly, Charlie has a past… a present of which she’s ashamed. She lives a duplicitous life that requires her to be forgettable. She can never lay roots, she can’t keep a friend, and she can certainly not fall in love. A single mistake in her precarious situation can cost someone their life, or even endanger her own. As the chemistry between her and Cain intensifies, she begins to play a game she shouldn’t, tempting fate and more deeply solidifying the tie that has begun to bind them.

“It’s quite the game you’re playing, Charlie.” I shouldn’t ask. I shouldn’t. Don’t ask. Don’t… “And do you like playing it?” … I hold the air in my lungs as he leans in toward my ear, his warm breath skating along my neck. “Yes, I do. Too much.”

I really fell for them as a couple. First off, I loved Cain. Loved how intrinsically good a person he was. Loved how he was so focused on helping everyone else, sometimes to his own detriment. His intensity, his moral code, his kindness just won me over completely. Cain is the good guy every girl wants, but no one gets to have.

“I’m beginning to believe that the depths to which a woman could fall for Cain are endless. To a deep, dark, infinite pit with no ladders to get away, no cushions to soften the impact. No safety net. No escape.”

I also really felt for Charlie. Her story was believable, it didn’t feel forced in anyway and her internal struggle was palpable. I desperately wanted them to get their happy ending, but after they finally succumbed to the relentless pull between them and their relationship evolved, the stakes were raised in this dangerous game, bringing with it a whole new level of suspense to the last portion of the book. Despite all their efforts to convince themselves to stay away from each other, they simply can’t. It’s become more than desire, something much more profound and permanent taking root. But as realizations hit and danger looms, it may be too late.

“I shouldn’t have waiting this long. I should have swept her off her feet when she walked through my door. Every second since then, I’ve been losing precious time and possibilities, repeating the mistakes of my past.”

All in all, this book was the complete package. Intensity, credibility, character depth and development all ingeniously channeled through K.A. Tucker’s elegant and powerful writing style, make this book one of my favorites this year.

“I’ll take one night with him, with whatever he’s willing to give me, to earn myself memories that I can hold on to.”

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In Her Wake Ten-Tiny-Breaths Tucker_One-Tiny-Lie-cover four seconds to lose cover five ways to fall

About K.A. Tucker

KathleenTuckerBorn in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit. Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.

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Comments

  1. I loved this series and the book is such an amazing continuity to it

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