FOUR SECONDS TO LOSE (Ten Tiny Breaths 3)
by author K.A. Tucker
NA Contemporary Romance
ARC provided for honest review
ABOUT FOUR SECONDS TO LOSE:
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 doesn’t need to complicate her life with romance.
Unfortunately, Charlie soon discovers that developing feelings for Cain is inevitable, 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.
Prepare to fall in love. I knew Cain was book boyfriend material from the first two books in the series but seriously, I would wife him so hard. The story begins with a look at where Cain's life was ten years ago. He had two worthless parents that were involved in illegal activity. His father beat him and called it training then threw him into the illegal fighting scene of L.A. at the age of seventeen. The saddest part is when his parents and younger sister are killed while he's out fighting and he blames himself for not being there to protect his sister.
Present day, Cain is a self-made man with a successful business. The business happens to be a strip club in Miami but he's made it more of a refuge for the girls he employs. He follows very strict rules about no fratenizing with employees and helps the girls stay clean while also helping them make good money. He keeps his secrets and his past to himself and his one long time friend and confidant Nate. Now his bartender Ginger brings in a new girl that needs a new start. Cain has no idea that her new start could be his new start as well.
Charlie Rourke looks ready to play the part of a pole dancer/stripper and she puts on a good game face but she's far from comfortable with the new start she's decided to try. I love how similar Charlie and Cain's lives have been with both of them being raised by fathers that used them for selfish gains in illegal activities. It's like Charlie is trying to survive the same shitty hand Cain was given just ten years later. And both of them feel unworthy of a happy and loving relationship because of the baggage they carry. They both have every reason to not trust the other but they can't help the chemistry and pull they fell towards each other either. Charlie's final thought in the story describes their relationship perfectly, "We are simply two good people with equally flawed pasts, looking for perfect futures."
I love that the author gives us glimpses of what's happening with the characters from the first two books. You will also love the expanded view of the characters that surround Cain's story. Some of my favorite quotes are from the supporting characters Ginger and Ben.
Ginger in regards to her birthday being on Christmas--"Didn't you know? I'm the second coming. Commence bowing now."
Ben in regards to Nate-- "Oh no," he says, shaking his head fervently. "I only play for one team, and King Kong and that fucking third leg of his are not allowed to join in my game."
Ben--"Beating guys off you is my job." Ginger--"And beating off is your hobby. Hey! Ho!...."
This was a great story about two people trying to survive and overcome their pasts to live a future they deserve. Cain and Charlie find their way through and hold tight to their new start together. This makes three 5 star reviews in a row for Author K.A. Tucker's Ten Tiny Breaths series. She's a must read author and this is a must read series.
ABOUT K.A. TUCKER:
Born 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.