Published November 4, 2013
Publisher: Atria Books
Format: e-galley, obtained from NetGalley
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
Rating: 5 STARS
(From Goodreads) 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.
Four Seconds to Lose is an absolutely incredible addition to the Ten Tiny Breaths series. I've been curious about Cain ever since he was introduced in the first book. I just knew his story would be captivating and explosive, and was it ever.
Cain hasn't made a real connection with a woman since the one who got away and then died. Until the day Charlie walks into his office asking for a job in his strip club. Charlie needs a good job to help get herself out of a very bad and very dangerous situation. Because of their own personal rules, each tries to deny the attraction they both feel toward one another. Resisting each other might be the safest thing to do, but it's definitely not going to make either of them happy.
Cain is the best kind of hero - the one who doesn't see himself as such. He's made it his life's mission to try and save girls from his sister's tragic fate, and has given up his own life in return. Cain has always seemed untouchable and unflappable in the other books. It was incredibly satisfying to get inside his head and see that he's not as unaffected by what's going on around him as he lets on.
Charlie is exactly what I want to see in a heroine. She's someone who's found herself in a bad situation and is trying to make her own way out of it. She makes hard choices and tries to protect the people she's come to care about. Is she perfect? Hell no. Does she always do the right thing? Most definitely not. But, she doesn't sit around waiting for someone else to save her.
Four Seconds to Lose is told in dual POV so we get to hear both Charlie's and Cain's internal monologues. Their back stories slowly unravel to the reader, with the final surprising twists not being revealed until the very end. I love that K.A. Tucker saves these little bits for us so that, even when we think we know everything, we see that we really don't.
We get to see Kacey and Trent and Livie, although it appears that the events of Four Seconds to Lose overlap a bit with One Tiny Lie, because we do not see Ashton. I don't think Livie has met him yet. The overlap was a good thing, though - it helped me set the timeline. The pacing is perfect. The character and world development wonderful.There's just so much to love here.