Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Four Seconds to Lose by K.A. Tucker

For Seconds to Lose
by K.A. Tucker
Read: November 12 - 13, 2013
November 4, 2013 by Atria Books
Source: Kindle purchase
Category: Contemporary, Romance, Issues, 

New Adult crossover (I say it's more Adult)
Series: Ten Tiny Breaths book 3
Find: Goodreads | Amazon

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.

They say the third time is the charm, and that certainly is the case for K.A. Tucker's Ten Tiny Breaths series. While I enjoyed Ten Tiny Breaths, I thought it followed the standard New Adult Trauma Victim Plot pretty closely, and One Tiny Lie was mostly about Livie learning to party like a college girl. It also had that pesky cheating triangle (Take that with a grain of salt, as many people didn't see that book as negatively as I did). Four Seconds to Lose is book three in the companion series, and the story follows club owner Cain and his new hire Charlie. For me, it is by far the best of the three.

Four Seconds to Lose is much more mature and serious than Kacey and Livie's books, and it felt like the story crossed the line into being an "Adult Contemporary" as opposed to a "New Adult". Even though Charlie is the same age as Livie, she and Cain are dealing with much bigger issues than themselves, and the story is less focused on self discovery. And, as much as people love him, I think the absence of wacky Dr. Strayner, made this book better. He started to become too much of a powerful fix all character, and his unconventional methods never sat well with me. 

I was already intrigued by Cain after glimpsing him in the previous two novels, and boy did I fall hard for him in this book. But it didn't take me long to sympathize with Charlie as well. It's interesting because she is keeping some big secrets from him throughout most of the story, and that frustrated me at times. However, she was deep in a dangerous situation that had no good out, and I could understand her fear over it. I also liked how the romance was paced. Although Cain and Charlie are instantly attracted to each other, it takes time for anything to happen between them. All that building tension was pretty delicious.

When I read the description of this book, I was a little worried. Cain owns a strip club through which he tries to help women escape the sex business. WHAT? In Cain's mind, a strip club attracts women who are already using their bodies to make money, and he uses that avenue to help the women who work with him. He keeps his business clean, legal and drug free, and works hard to encourage the girls to get out of the industry and away from bad relationships by encouraging therapy and education. Cain has a very strict policy of no relationships with his staff, which he's been able to keep easily, until Charlie shows up at his door. Despite all of his explanations, Cain's reasoning for running a strip club still sounded pretty flimsy to me. Before I started this book, I was convinced that I'd never buy his excuses. But the thing is, I did, especially because Cain also struggles with these same questions, and wonders if he's actually helping or enabling these women. It is clear that owning the club is wearing on him. I was really surprised that despite somewhat flawed logic, I bought his perspective, and could see good in what he was doing. 

Four Seconds To Lose can be read as a standalone, but I did appreciate having a background on Cain from reading Kacey's story in Ten Tiny Breaths. The time frame for the plot of One Tiny Lie overlaps with this one and is not relevant to this story. Despite my hesitation about the previous books, this series has continued to hold my interest, and I finally truly get what everyone's talking about with these books. I can't wait for the next installment, Five Ways to Fall, which is about Ben (though it is starting to bother me that Four Seconds to Lose is book three and Five Ways to Fall is book four. We need to add another before them for them to add up correctly!). 

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Low/none. Third in companion series. 


  1. I'm still not convinced I should give this series a try. The first two books seem like the type of New Adult I avoid and as this book is more of Adult Contemporary, I'm not sure if I'd enjoy it nearly as much (not to mention the strip club concept is one I'm not buying yet). I do want to try one of this author's books, so this seems like a much better starting point than her previous novels. I'm certainly glad you're enjoying this series much better than you were before!(:

  2. I haven't read the first one or second but I think I might try this one out. Besides yours, I've read a couple of good reviews that convinced me that it's worth a go.

  3. I know quite a few readers who have been fans of these book, but with the NA funk that I've been through I've never been sure whether these books would be for me, but I'm love your description of how Cain won you over. When you first explained what he did, I was like huh how does that work, but I think he would easily have me wrapped around his finger too. Lovely review Lauren!

  4. I enjoyed the first two books, but for some reason, when I read the synopsis of this one, I wasn't that interested in it. Partly because it focused on Cain. But, after reading your review, I think I'll give it a try. And the New Adult Trauma Victim true. I've been reading a few NA lately just to see what all the fuss is about, and I felt like I was reading the same book, in slightly altered form, over and over again. Some of them I quite liked, but come on, that's not a category, that's a particular type of story. Great review! ~Pam

  5. It's quite odd how the titles of books 4 & 5 are out of "numerical order," if I can call it that. Someone should really fix that.

    I remember your review of "One Tiny Lie," and the ideas behind the book weren't for me. While "Four Seconds to Lose" sounds more promising than its predecessor, I still don't think this series would be for me. Admittedly, Cain's flawed logic might work on me, if I gave his story a shot, but I'm not particularly interested in reading about a strip club with ulterior motives, no matter how positive the intention may be. This is one of those cases where I'm the problem and not the book. Still, I'm happy this series is working out better for you, Lauren! It's definitely rewarding when you start a series with mixed feelings only to get a better payoff with later sequels. :)

  6. Haha, the numerical thing bugs me, too. But it started with *ten* so I guess I shouldn't have expected order. I also didn't buy the title of this felt forced into the story just so there was another number in the title. This isn't my favorite of the series, but I did like Cain's perspective. If only it hadn't had a dual POV, I might have liked it that much more.


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