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Four Seconds to Lose (Ten Tiny Breaths Series #3) [NOOK Book]

Overview

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.

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 ...
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Four Seconds to Lose (Ten Tiny Breaths Series #3)

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Overview

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.

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 his 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.
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Editorial Reviews

New York Times bestselling author - Colleen Hoover
"Intense, hot, emotional...K.A. Tucker left no feeling untouched. A gripping read."
New York Times bestselling author of Losing It - Cora Carmack
"A touching, gorgeous read. I laughed, cried, swooned, and took ten tiny breaths of my own!"
Maryse's Book Blog - Maryse Black
“Loved it!! A MUST READ! I won't say any more. The shock value from the very start to the very end must be experienced blindly for full impact. Just know I think you should read it.”
Hypable.com - Jen Lamoureux
“This is one the best contemporary novels to hit shelves this year, and a must-read for those who love realistic stories about strong females.”
New York Times bestselling author of If You Stay - Courtney Cole
"Fiercely truthful, this book twisted my heart around and handed it to me. This is one you definitely don't want to miss."
Romantic Times (4.5 out of 5 stars)
"Tucker delivers another emotional and unforgettable read. Livie and Ashton's electrically charged connection will have readers frantically turning pages. Add in the witty and sexually suggestive banter and you've got a recipe for one hot and angsty romance. One Tiny Lie tackles heavy topics, but the balance between the romance, coming-of-age storyline and darker issues is extremely well-done. An absolute must read!"
New York Times bestselling author - Cora Cormack
"I devoured this book! Characters, romance, suspense — I loved every single moment. Don't lose another second waiting to give this one a read."
USA Today bestselling author - Karina Halle
"Original, compelling, and wickedly sexy."
Kirkus Reviews
2014-03-19
Tucker returns to Miami in her loosely tied romantic series (One Tiny Lie, 2014, etc.), this time focusing on the saintly owner of Penny's Place—the city's most exclusive strip club. After Cain Ford's troubled youth (his family was murdered; his life as an underground fighter led to deaths), at 29 he operates a swanky strip club as a way of saving desperate women from the sex trade. Or at least a version of the sex trade in which you're asked to perform more than a lap dance. He also owns an apartment building where many of his dancers live, so he can look after them. But don't call him a pimp—he uses his street-fighting skills on anyone who does. Into his club walks Charlie Rourke, a 22-year-old blonde beauty. She's hired as a stripper, but everything Cain sees—and guiltily lusts after—is a deception. The young woman known as Charlie is really an 18-year-old New Yorker sent to Miami by her mob-boss stepfather, Sam, to help him smuggle heroin. When her mother died, Sam showered little Charlie with everything—trips, toys, loving affection; each birthday was special, and he never missed a gymnastics meet. Which is why it's so hard for Charlie to say no to Sam, but she can't figure out why a loving father would jeopardize his daughter's safety (neither can the reader), and she knows she has to escape. That means a new identity, which is expensive, and enough money to hold her over; thus the stripping. Cain is mesmerized by Charlie (there are many references to him adjusting his pants), and soon the two give in to their lust. But Charlie's cover is slipping, Cain's buddy is with the DEA, and Sam has hired a new partner who's threatening Charlie, so it hardly seems the time for romance. Charlie runs away, and the only way she's coming back is if Sam is gone. Though Tucker's prose and pacing have a vibrant energy, the plot is simply preposterous.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781476740508
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • Publication date: 11/4/2013
  • Series: Ten Tiny Breaths Series , #3
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 10,879
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

K.A. Tucker published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. Today, she is also the author of Ten Tiny Breaths, One Tiny Lie, Four Seconds to Lose, Five Ways to Fall, In Her Wake, Burying Water, and Becoming Rain. She currently resides outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.
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Read an Excerpt

Four Seconds to Lose

chapter two

■ ■ ■

CHARLIE

Plan A—Turn myself in and beg for immunity in exchange for information.

I don't have enough concrete information to nail him. I'll probably end up in jail for the next twenty-five years. If I even make it there, alive.

Plan A — Turn myself in and beg for immunity in exchange for information.

Plan B—Lose all my identification and fake amnesia so the government will be forced to create new documentation for me . . . eventually.

What if they put my picture up on the news? He'll find me. Plus, I could end up locked in a psych ward for an indefinite length of time. And I don't know that my acting abilities are quite that convincing.

Plan B—Lose all my identification and fake amnesia so the government will be forced to create new documentation for me . . . eventually.

Plan C—Buy a new identity and make Charlie Rourke disappear.

He's just standing there, boring holes into my face.

Given that I've never laid eyes on him before, I don't know what his normal complexion looks like, but I'll bet it's not the sickly white pallor that I see now.

As if he's seen a ghost.

I try to catch Ginger's eye, to see if she thinks his reaction is strange, but I can't.

'Sorry. I knocked but you didn't answer,' she offers in apology. It's true, she did knock, and we waited for close to a minute before entering. I don't know what he was doing in his office—behind the closed door with a sign that reads 'boss man' and pair of lacy underwear pinned to it—but, by the stunned expression on his face, we've interrupted something. A glance down confirms that his belt is at least buckled.

'This is my friend, Charlie, who I told you about.' Ginger's long, slender fingers point to me and I force a bright smile. 'Friend' sounds a bit misleading, seeing as everything I've ever told Ginger about me is a deliberate lie.

I met her only three weeks ago. Her beginner pole-dancing class was just finishing up and she stayed on to watch the advanced class. I guess I impressed her, because she sat through the entire hour and then talked my ear off in the change room afterward about how good I am. I took her proffered number with no intentions to call. The next week, Ginger cornered me after class and wouldn't leave until I went out to lunch with her. Last week, she coerced me into shopping. There's nothing wrong with her. She's twenty-six, but she doesn't act like it most of the time. She has an easy, genuine laugh and a sarcastic sense of humor. She's persistent, too. I just didn't plan on getting to know people, seeing as I won't be in Miami long. But I guess you could say that we've become friends—lies and all.

It's ironic that we met when we did, actually. By my pole-dancing skills and looks, Ginger automatically assumed I was a stripper. There was no judgment in those bright green eyes when she asked which club I worked at. That's why I admitted to the few unappealing adult clubs I had applied to and the appalling 'interview' at one called Sin City. The one I had run out of. Her pixie-like face lit up, which was not the reaction I was expecting. Then she explained that she bartended at the best club in Miami and offered to get me a job. She asked about my experience and I, of course, lied. I told her that I had worked in Vegas.

I left Vegas when I was six. I have certainly never stripped there.

After my experience with Sin City, I wasn't sure if I could go through with it. But when I saw the unusually elegant sign out front—void of any big-breasted caricatures or flashing lights, just the name, Penny's Palace—I knew instantly that this was the place for me. And Ginger promised me that the owner, Cain, is like none other. The way she talks about him, I'd think he holds some sort of 'boss of the millennium' award.

But he's still staring me down.

He hasn't blinked once.

I catch the almost indiscernible shake of his head before he offers in a clipped tone, 'Charlie. Right. Hi.'

'Hi.' I was cool and confident coming in here, leveraging countless hours of acting classes to ready my wide, friendly smile. Now, though, under this man's steely gaze, I hear the wobble with that one tiny word. I step forward and hold my hand out.

His coffee-colored eyes finally pry themselves from my face to glare down at my hand—without moving—and I fight the urge to retract it. Ginger swore that this guy was first class, but he still makes his money off the sex trade. A lot of things get shaken under this roof and hands are probably not one of them. I never did shake the hand of that slimeball at Sin City—Rick—before he instructed me to climb onto his lap two minutes into my interview. I shouldn't be surprised by this guy's reaction.

These owners are all the same.

I take a deep breath, reminding myself that I've handled my fair share of degenerates and can do this.

Hell, I'm a degenerate.

As if snapping out of a daze, Cain finally accepts my hand in his, his eyes locked on mine. 'Hi, Charlie. I'm sorry. You just . . . startled me. You look a lot like someone I know.' There's a pause. 'Like someone I knew,' he corrects himself softly. His voice carries with it a smooth, educated sound, which surprises me, given our surroundings.

'Okay, well, I'll just be at the bar, getting things set up.' Ginger scoots out of the office, closing the door behind her, leaving me alone with this man. I take a few calming breaths. I'm going to throttle her.

I don't know what to expect now. Ginger didn't tell me much about Cain, other than that he's really nice and honest, he treats his employees very well, and if I'm going to dance in Miami, then Penny's is the place to work. She did say that he sometimes comes off as intimidating but he's just reserved. And he's got a lot on his plate, running this club.

She certainly left out details about his physical appearance, I realize, as my gaze skates over his frame to see the well-defined curves beneath a fitted button-down black dress shirt and black dress pants. As if that body isn't enough, his face is flawless—angular cheekbones and a sharp jaw combine to give him a masculine yet almost pretty look. He's like a sculpture—and about as opposite to Sin City Rick as you can get.

Basically, Cain is panty-dropping hot.

That your boss is panty-dropping hot is an odd thing to leave out of the equation. Cain's the type of guy that makes women lose their words and their train of thought when he walks by. Except Ginger, it would seem.

But attractive or not, I'm feeling all kinds of uncomfortable right now, as Cain's hard, intelligent gaze slowly rolls over my body, appraising me. Taking a deep breath, I pull my shoulders back. I hold my chin up. I look him straight in the eye. I do all the things I know to do to appear confident. I will not cower under the intense scrutiny. If I'm going to be up on his stage, taking my clothes off for his customers, I can't be unnerved by this.

And so I stand and let him pass silent judgment while I survey his office, taking in all the shelves, crammed with boxes. Aside from the large desk on one end and a black leather couch tucked into a corner, it seems like a storage room. By his appearance, I'd expect something sleek and tidy.

'Ginger said you have experience?' His tone is gentler than it was when we first stepped in.

I answer without hesitation. 'Yes, one year in Vegas. At The Playhouse.' I fight the urge to start twirling one of my loose blond curls. I know my tells, and that's one that says I'm lying. Ginger warned me, under no circumstances, to lie to Cain Ford, because he always finds out anyway and it pisses him off when he does. It's kind of impossible to heed that warning, though, given my situation.

Plus, I am a very proficient liar.

And I'm banking on him not doing an in-depth reference check. Short of divine intervention, he won't find a Charlie Rourke that worked at The Playhouse in Vegas.

Because Charlie Rourke doesn't exist.

Cain leans back against his desk and folds his arms over his chest, only accentuating the defined muscles in his shoulders and biceps. 'Do you have a preference?'

I keep my face composed—I'm an expert at stone cold—while I struggle to decipher his question. Preference with what exactly? The desk? The floor? That couch? Is he seconds away from undoing his zipper?

Either Cain interprets my long pause as confusion or he replayed the question in his head and realized how it could be taken because he adds very clearly, 'On the stage. When you're dancing.'

I exhale and silently admonish myself. 'I'm pretty good on a pole.' That isn't a lie. That's actually a discredit to my talent. I've been in gymnastics since I was five, so my body is strong and limber. Then, two years ago, I needed an excuse to visit a specific dance studio in Queens once a week so I enrolled in a pole-dancing class. Not under my real name, of course.

It turns out I took to pole-dancing naturally. I just haven't worked up to the move where I drop my clothes.

'Okay,' Cain says slowly, his jaw shifting, appearing as if in thought. He hesitates for a second. 'Full nude or topless?'

'Topless.' I shouldn't be so eager. I've heard what these girls wear as bottoms and they may as well be completely naked.

Cain's eyes automatically drop to my chest when I say that, and they seem to settle there. His entire form is frozen in place.

As if he's waiting.

Of course he is. He wants to know what he's putting up on his stage.

A quiver runs through my stomach. I can do this. This will be way less mortifying than the last time. Trying to pace my breathing before my heart explodes out of my chest, I quickly slip my thumbs beneath the spaghetti straps of my lemon-yellow sundress and pull on them until they pass the balls of my shoulders. With a sharp inhale, I let my arms drop and the dress goes with it. I intentionally didn't wear a bra today. I figured that would make this uncomfortable process quick and a tiny bit less embarrassing. The last thing I wanted to do was fumble with bra hooks . . .

Because that would make standing in this man's storage-room office in my white thong that much more awkward than it is already.

Cain's lips part but not a sound comes out of him as his eyes widen for one, two, three, four seconds. And then it's as if he wakes up, because he's suddenly moving. Standing, unfolding his arms, and taking steps forward to reach me quickly, I watch with my lungs constricting as he crouches down in front of me and grasps the straps of the dress pooled around my ankles. He pulls my dress back up, his fingertips leaving hot trails against my skin as he affixes the straps. If my body weren't already as stiff as a corpse, his touch probably would have made me shudder.

Locking eyes that look wise beyond his years on me, he says in a strained voice, as if he's holding his breath, 'You don't have to do that for me. In fact, I ask that you please don't do that for me again. Ever.'

I swallow and nod, my cheeks flaming, somehow more humiliated by his reaction than had he groped my breasts like that other pig. Spinning on his heels, he marches over behind his desk, a grimace on his handsome features. I don't know if I've done something wrong or if I have the job.

I need this job.

Cain speaks up again. 'Just stage dancing? What about private dances?' I see his gaze on me from beneath a fringe of thick lashes. 'I don't charge any stage fees, so what you earn up there, you take home.'

The small exhale escapes my lips before I can stop it. When I came up with this plan two weeks ago, I wasn't fully aware of the inner workings at these clubs. But you can find anything on the internet. I found out that many owners charge a high stage fee, so the girls actually earn their money working hard on the floor and in the private rooms. Rumor has it that, though illegal, many of them do 'extras,' on top of the lap dances. The idea of stripping on a stage in front of people is a giant pill to swallow for me. But lap dances . . .

I'll do it.

I have to do it, I remind myself.

When I ran out of Sin City that day, I was sure that my plan was dead in the water. I mean, how was I going to perform daily lap dances when I couldn't even get through my interview!

But Ginger told me that Penny's is different. That Cain is different. That no one in the private rooms will be taking their pants off, and that doing 'extras' is one of the only ways that you get fired at Penny's.

Cain sounded too good to be true.

Setting my chin with steely determination, I say, 'Both, please.' Swallowing the revulsion bubbling up in my throat, I clarify with a struggle, 'I want to work the private rooms as well as the stage.'

Cain blows air out of his mouth, one hand on his hip while the other pushes through perfectly styled, slightly wavy dark hair as he stares hard at me. There's an inexplicable look in his eyes, but I know he's trying to read me. I wonder if he's deciding whether to ask me for a demonstration. My gaze drifts to the couch again and my stomach tightens. Somehow I think giving this guy an interview lap dance might be harder than doing one for a sleazeball.

Because if I could get past the embarrassment and nerves, I might enjoy it.

But he doesn't ask me to demonstrate. Instead, he asks me, 'Have you ever bartended before?'

I shake my head, frowning.

'I have too many girls working the private rooms right now. But working behind the bar would bring your earnings up significantly. It's what another stage dancer of mine used to do.' He continues, more to himself, 'Maybe we see how that works out first.'

I came in here expecting the worst—that I'd be grinding on guys' laps by the weekend because I have to. And yet, now, the relief is pouring out of me.

'Why are you in this profession?' he suddenly asks, lifting his eyes to bore into me once again.

One question I did expect. I meet his stare and hold it as I explain, 'Because I'm good at it, I've got a decent body, and have no interest in serving French fries for minimum wage while I figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life.' I deliver that as I practiced it—calmly, clearly, convincingly. It's a good answer. One that creates no doubt. And so far from the truth. I know exactly what I want to do with my life.

End it and begin a new one.

He nods slowly, his lip pressed together in a grimace. I don't know if that means I'm hired or not, so I bite my tongue and wait for a concrete verdict. I'm still waiting for Cain's decision when his cell phone rings. I watch with fingers laced together in front of me while he answers with a gruff, 'Yup.' He listens, his free hand absently rubbing a small tattoo behind his ear. A second later he barks, 'No! I'm on my way.' Hanging up, he digs into a drawer and comes out with a handful of papers. 'Fill these out, please. Bring a copy of your driver's license tomorrow night with you.' Whatever gentleness crept into his voice before has vanished. It's all business now, as he slides the sheets across his desk with hands that look strong and muscular but incapable to soothe. 'If the crowd likes you, you've got a job.' Turning those eyes my way once more and pausing for a moment, he adds, 'Fair?'

'Absolutely. Thank you,' I say with a nod and what I hope is a courteous smile as I collect the forms.

With that, he turns and crouches down behind his desk. I hear something metal slam that reminds me of my stepdad's safe door. When Cain stands again, it's to fit a holster and gun on him, startling me. It's not the first time I've seen a gun. I have a gun. I've used a gun. But seeing Cain with one right here, right now, was unexpected. Why does he even need one?

Throwing a light jacket over himself to conceal it—he'll die wearing that in the summer heat, but concealing your weapon is a law in Florida and I guess Cain is a law-abiding citizen—he walks over and, with one hand on the small of my back, ushers me toward the door. It's not exactly rude, but it's also far from polite. With me in the hall, he pulls his office door shut and marches out the back exit, not turning once.

I'm left standing alone, inhaling the faint scent of beer, my ears catching someone testing the sound system. The one that will play music that I strip to tomorrow night.

I take a deep breath as a rash of butterflies swirl through my stomach, the sudden urge to let loose my bladder overwhelming.

It's not a big deal.

Mom did this.

I can do this.

After everything I've done, that I've been accomplice to, taking my top off in front of a bunch of drunks is nothing. I deserve to suffer a bit.

I glance down at the paperwork in my hand. He said he wants a copy of my license. That's fine. The only accurate thing on it is my picture.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 31 )
Rating Distribution

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(21)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 14, 2014

    I honestly don¿t even feel like writing a review for this. I fee

    I honestly don’t even feel like writing a review for this. I feel like this series has gone so down for me that I’m not even sure I want to read Ben’s book. If this is any indication then I’m going to DNF his book which I do not want to happen. Ehhhh.. Okokok, I’ll try not to rant too much and say everything I have to say nicely.

    “For all that I hate about what I’ve done, there’s one thing I can’t regret. It led me to him.”

    Cade was a pretty decent character in previous books even if he was there just as a very minor character. I appreciate his attitude towards women. He respects them and as weird as it is to think about a strip club owner being nice, polite and for him to mean strictly business—that is all Cade. He has had a rough time in his youth and that was the catalyst to why he is the way he is now. 

    Charlie on the other hand… Oh boy. I liked her at first, but then grew to dislike her, because girl..?? You know, you KNOW Cade has the means to save your pretty self from this web of lies and deception yet you still don’t use it *pulls her hair* Plus, after all that talk about how malicious Sam (her stepdad) can be and how hard it is to play your move against him, the final scenes in the showdown sure did feel like anything but hard since the climax to the whole drug-maffia thing was so mild and non-eventful that it actually made me laugh out loud of its silliness. It literally felt like all that huge build up was for nothing other than just to throw a few anti-climatic pages in my face and be done with it *eyeroll* 

    Also, the love drama? Ehhhh… I liked the build-up very much. When they got together though, it lost the edge a little, and honestly? Some months after reading it I don’t even remember much of the romance. I guess it didn’t leave a huge impression on me. Also, I remember that this book had the good ole “girls steps into the room when another girl is on the guy’s lap and it’s actually very innocent” um. No. Please don’t. I found the explanation the most ridiculous ever and it just made me make a weird face and tap to the next page that more quickly. 

    I don’t even feel much towards this book other than disappointment mostly thanks to the ending since the beginning was so promising and then it suddenly all fell apart. I didn’t hate it per se, but it’s one of those books that I will never re-read. It would have gotten a tad higher rating than One Tiny Lie, but due to the mild climax of the whole storyarc in this book? Naahhhh, not gonna happen. Only one thing will save Tucker in my eyes and that’s Ben’s book. If that doesn’t work either then I’m done for good. 

    Overall rating: 2.4 out of 5.0

    Originally published on my blog @ Little Pieces of Imagination

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 4, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A fantastic read!!

    First of all, let me start by saying that Kacey has nothing on baggage when it comes to Charlie. Then add Cain into the mix? Yeah, so much baggage they need their own conveyor belt at an airport baggage claim. Both Charlie and Cain are so tormented by their past it is crazy they are still walking around and living life. I had major feels for these two people. But I didn’t feel that way about Charlie at the start. Oh no. Let me explain…

    When the book first started I was all against her. I didn’t like her lifestyle. I didn’t like her lies. I didn’t like her. At all. She worried constantly that Cain was going to be her ‘pimp’. When the whole time her stepdad is doing just that, but in a different way. So here I am just reading along thinking I don’t much care for her and then BAM! All of a sudden I am 80% into the story and it hits me. I do like this girl. I don’t want to see her get hurt. I don’t want to see her gone and away from Cain. I need these two together and happy. This girl needs to be with Cain. She is the first person in years that has been able to wake him up and breathe life into his broken soul. She needs Cain to make her feel some sense of worth in her fractured life. He is the only one who can. They need each other.

    Tucker pulled another winner out of her butt with this one. (And I mean that in the best way possible.Truly I do.) I wasn’t sure I was going to like it with my dislike of Charlie in the beginning, but I truly did. It was fantastic, it was edgy, it was hot! It was an absolute winner in my opinion. Throwing in all my favorite parts of a great book (lots of romance, snarky humor, life and death suspense) I found it hard to put this book down. And when I did, I found myself wanting to pick it right back up again. It pulled at me and sought my attention. I am absolutely blown away by this series. Each one is uniquely different and so very endearing.

    Old characters make some appearances, new characters prove they are worthy of their own story, and a kick ass storyline shows us that this book is most assuredly a must read. Now bring on Ben's story. I.Am.Ready!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 26, 2014

    I absolutely loved this story! It was such a great addition to t

    I absolutely loved this story! It was such a great addition to the series and I am so happy I finally got around to reading it. I honestly didn't think I was going to like the story since I never really cared about Cain's personal life, but boy was I wrong. K.A. Tucker had me hooked with her beautiful, calligraphy type, writing style. The only thing I didn't like was what we find out about Penny in the end. It felt cheap and like it was thrown in to make the reader say, "What!" There should have been hints or signs leading to our ending discovery, but other than that I absolutely loved the story. If you haven't read this book read make sure you do as soon as possible. You won't regret it.

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  • Posted August 1, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I've been wondering what Cain's story was from the first time I

    I've been wondering what Cain's story was from the first time I met him in the pages of Ten Tiny Breaths.  I thought I got to know him a little then but it turns out what I'd guessed was just the tip of the iceberg.  I mean you don't often hear of strip club owners who value their "girls" so much.  I was hoping K.A. Tucker would be able to do him justice, and boy did she.




    Charlie is to be admired.  She's managed to find a way to get herself (mostly) out of a bad situation.  She's doing whatever it takes to make a clean break.  The circumstances will amaze you.  I swear, when the truth was revealed, my eyes widened and my jaw dropped open in disbelief.  I guess growing up the way she did taught her how to keep herself together and in control.  I was so afraid for her and Cain.  I totally understood why she didn't, no COULDN'T afford to fall in love.




    This book was REALLY intense.  I was literally walking around in circles and reading at the same time.  Every time I sat down, I'd get antsy and would have to get up again.  I'd even put the book down and try to do something else so I could calm down, but that wasn't happening.  My mind and heart were firmly entrenched in the story.  My heart was in my throat for a lot of the book, but it was just that good.  




    This book has some grey areas, but so do all the other books in this series.  The grey areas are what make the characters so easy to relate to.  It's easy to say you wouldn't do something, but when it comes down to survival or keeping a loved one safe, there are no limits to what people can or will do.  As you can tell somethings went down in this book and I'm totally a-okay with them.  Basically you have to pick up this book.  It can be read as stand alone but there are some awesome books that precede it.  Check them out!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2014

    K. A. Tucker never fails! Cain and Charlie are so great together

    K. A. Tucker never fails! Cain and Charlie are so great together and their story is a powerful one. One Tiny Lie is still my favorite, but the way Cain loves Charlie...its irresistible! 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2014

    Fantastic

    I read a ton but rarely write a review. This author deserves a review...amazing writer and amazing story. Loved all 3 books in this series.

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  • Posted April 9, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I have enjoyed this series so much.  I really liked Ten Tiny Bre

    I have enjoyed this series so much.  I really liked Ten Tiny Breaths and One Tiny Lie, and couldn't wait to read Four Seconds to Lose, because I was so curious about Cain's story and I couldn't wait to meet Charlie.  True to form, K.A. Tucker writes a book that sucks you in from the get go and keeps you there until the very last page.  This has been one of my favorite books so far this year, and one of the best books I've read in a long time.    




    I loved Cain from the get go and have been so curious to know more about him.  We originally were introduced to him in Ten Tiny Breaths.  He owns a strip club, but is nothing like you would expect a strip club owner to be.  He truly cares about the girls and wants to help them, a desire that was born from past tragic events that have scarred him and left him with many regrets, something he is trying to make amends for.  Cain is very hot, mysterious, and only lets people get so close to him.  There are very few that really know him on a deep level, which is how he likes it.  He prefers to keep business and his personal life separate.  He really is a good guy at heart though and I just loved him.  He is calm, cool, and collected, that is until he meets Charlie, who causes his world to turn upside down then totally rocks it.  




    I loved Charlie's character also.  I felt sorry for her, wanted to shake her, slap her, and then hug her.  Charlie also has deep dark secrets and is running from a life and family that are not only dangerous, but also deadly.  She wasn't looking for friends or a relationship, but she falls hard for Cain, just as hard as he falls for her.  




    The story itself had the feel of a romantic suspense to me.  There was the great romance that K.A. Tucker writes so well, and there are things that transpire that will have your biting your nails, delving into a world of violence and darkness, where sometimes getting things right involves doing something wrong in order to save those you love.  While each of the books in this series (and they can be read as stand alones), have the romance we all are looking for, they each have their own individual story that makes them stand apart from one another.  Four Seconds to Lose is definitely the most dark of the three novels, but also the most captivating, at least to me.  I enjoyed where K.A. Tucker took me as a reader and I experienced the events and emotions in the book right along with the characters.  I also really liked the fact that we get to see the characters from the previous books make an appearance in this novel.




    Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Four Seconds to Lose and found it to be captivating.  If you are a fan of contemporary romance, mystery, suspense, and just a downright great story, then Four Seconds to Lose is definitely a must read. 

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  • Posted March 26, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Brilliant Writing! This is why I read!

    It took ONE PAGE to draw me in and set the hook with K. A. Tucker’s Four Seconds to Lose. Charlie is living in Miami per the instructions of her father, a powerful and dangerous mob boss with a lucrative drug business he is expanding. Desperate to get away from the man she always looked up to as a child, finally able to see him for whom and what he is; Charlie takes a job as a stripper to earn enough money to disappear. Little did she know the club owner, Cain is like a walking sensual fantasy who has the potential to steal her heart. For Cain, Charlie is like a flame and he is the moth being drawn to it, totally against his policy. They each hide their own dark pasts and dance around the feelings they have for each other. Will they be able to hide their pasts from each other or will they risk exposing their wounds to each other, finally trusting another person not to stomp on their hearts? Will Charlie’s past catch up with her as she plays the puppet to her step-father’s wishes? Will Cain accept her, even though he despises both liars and drug pushers?

    Once again, K. A. Tucker has taken two brutally shattered characters and pairs them up in such an angst-filled and intriguing way that I actually felt their pain and their turmoil. Cain has worked hard to pay for his past sins, strong, silent and caring, always willing to help those around him. Charlie wants more from life than to be a puppet for her step-father, she wants love, she wants romance and she longs to retract the lies she has told. For an author to so fully develop characters that, no matter what, you root for them is one of K. A. Tucker’s strong points. As she builds her story and fills her world with wonderful satellite characters, Ms. Tucker’s brilliance shines through without a hitch! While creating strong male alpha types, she never fails to create female characters that are able to stand toe to toe with the “boys.”

    Looking for romance, tension, intrigue and a walk on the dark side of the street that flows smoothly from scene to sizzling scene? It’s all here in Four Seconds to Lose!

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  • Posted March 25, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    You always hear about books that keep people up at night and thi

    You always hear about books that keep people up at night and this is one of them. I only got three hours of sleep due to this book. Man ... yesterday morning was rough due to this book. But it was totally worth it. Tucker just has a way of creating unforgettable characters. She is so talented and I'm super excited to see what comes out next from her.

    I have been pretty intrigued by Cain since the first book in this series. That's the great thing about the Ten Tiny Breaths series, you get the opportunity to dive into the lives of characters that you met in the first book. I don't know if that was the intention when Tucker sat down to write Ten Tiny Breaths but I sure am glad that it happened. You become really invested in the lives of these characters ... you want to see what happens to them next AND she doesn't just stop writing about characters that she has previously featured in a book, oh, no. She brings them into future books so that you can see what has happened to them since their book was done. Which is fabulous.
    Okay, getting on with this review ... Four Seconds to Lose was captivating. Most of that is due to the characters. Each of the characters created in this series is so realistic that I've often wondered if Tucker is basing them off of real people in her life. She must be someone who goes to a park and just sits and watches people. I can't think of any other way she would be able to create characters that could just walk out of a book. Maybe this is what I find so endearing about this series. It's so realistic while not being stuffy or boring.
    I don't really have anything else to say without divulging any juicy secrets. The writing was impeccable, there aren't any errors with spelling or grammar, no boring parts that I had to skip, nothing that I found hinky or unbelievable ... everything was just great. This is number three in the series and I'm not tired of it in the least. Sometimes I get a horrible case of burnout but I don't see that happening with this series or this author. I think that it will be one of my favorites for years to come.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2014

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    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 29, 2014

    I was so excited to read Cain¿s story.  I knew Cain had to be wi

    I was so excited to read Cain’s story.  I knew Cain had to be with someone who somewhat reminded him of Penny, who he named the strip club after, but also had to be different.  I loved the beginning of this story, but somewhere at about 40%, the story lost me.
    I had to take a break and stop reading and then start back up again.  I can’t put my finger where the story lost me.
    This book has everything I love.  Romance with a bit of suspense.  A great heroine and hot and a hot, kind hero, but not even that kept my interest.  Nothing was wrong with the writing.  I loved the characters. I never felt that Charlie was weak and I loved how protective Cain was about Charlie. Maybe the story was just too predictable or that it dragged and all the secrets did not came out in the end.  I don’t like when authors do that.
    I will definitely read more by K.A. Tucker.  I just had high hopes for this one and feel a little disappointed.
     A copy was provided by Atria Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2014

    Loved it

    Great

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2014

    Fantastic book!

    Loved it!

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  • Posted January 17, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Cain's story....and what a story it was! If you loved the firs

    Cain's story....and what a story it was! If you loved the first two books in this series w
    You will love this one too. Although this book had a very different feel from the rest of the series, it will capture your attention. I loved the twist at the end...it was great!

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  • Posted December 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Be sure to check out the reviews for the first book and the seco

    Be sure to check out the reviews for the first book and the second book on my blog.

    Unlike the first and second book, this book is told from the perspective of two characters, Cain and Charlie. I did enjoy seeing the story from both perspectives and I think the author did a very good job here.

    Once I found out that this book was about Cain, I was very excited. I was intrigued by him in the first book and was delighted to find out more about him. However, I had a slightly harder time being drawn into this story. While I originally thought it had to do with the dual perspectives, I now doubt that. Considering I really enjoyed seeing the story from both Cain and Charlie's point of view, I'm not really sure why I wasn't as into the story as I thought I would be. Even though the story had a harder time drawing me in than the first two books, I still enjoyed it.

    The next book, Five Ways to Fall, is Ben's story. Without a doubt, I look forward to reading it.

    Be sure to check out all of my reviews on my blog, KDH Reviews.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2013

    Loved it

    Wow! Great book!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2013

    Loved

    I subtracted one star because while to book was amazing the wrap up was a bit rushed and unbelievable. I was disappointed in the last two or three chapters. Still though - the writing style is unbeatable, the story line was brilliant and Tucker produced another winner. Worth the $$$$

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2013

    I really enjoyed reading this book!!! Was hard to put down!! Love Cain ,Nate,and Ben!! Would love to read more about the characters!!!

    Truly a very good read!!! Love Cain!!! Poor Charlie!! Was very happy how everything turned out!!! Ready for more!!!

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  • Posted November 5, 2013

    Every single time I read a book from this series, I find myself

    Every single time I read a book from this series, I find myself bitter and depressed. Why, you may ask? BECAUSE THEY END. I could read a never-ending book by K.A. and be so blissfully happy because her writing and her stories are THAT good folks. I fell head over heels in love with Ten Tiny Breaths and One Tiny Lie earlier this year and now Four Seconds to Lose has also captured not just my attention but my heart too.

    I won't lie. When I first heard the third book in the series would be from Cain's point of view, I was a bit disappointed. I didn't connect with Cain in the other two books and I really wanted more Livie/Ashton, Trent/Kacey. We got a bit of Trent/Kacey and a minute of Livie, but you know what? Once I started reading about Cain and Charlie, I was no longer disappointed. Instead, I was hooked.

    I was immediately drawn in from the first chapter as we get a taste of what Cain's prior life was like before he came to own Penny's. Cain comes from a rough past and definitely knows the meaning of pain and heartbreak. However, ten years later, Cain is no longer that boy who makes a living by fighting or who gives up on his family only to have his chance of making things right blow up in his face. He lives a successful, stable life and while his job is one he can easily walk away from, he won't turn his back on the people and friends he's accumulated from it. Cain is determined to help people that are in need- most of them including his female staff. He wants them to have a better life besides dancing, bartending, and doing private shows. Cain never could save his sister, so he tries to make amends by helping others and hoping they will find their way to a better life.

    I am in love with Cain. There I've said it. Because it's true. Cain is such a good guy. Charlie describes him as aggressive and emotional, which couldn't be a more perfect description. He isn't afraid to protect his own and while he can seem menacing, he really is kind and caring and has a softer side. Meeting Charlie really throws Cain for a loop. She reminds him of a love that he had lost and the more time he watches her and spends time with her, the more he wishes he could have her. Yet, Cain does not cross that line with his employees and as Charlie is his newest, the battle rages within to give in to want and need or to keep things professional.

    Charlie, on the other hand, does a great job of being unreadable. In fact, she has that cool, smooth exterior down perfectly, which makes it difficult for people to truly get to know her. This is all for reason, however. Charlie is far from an ordinary girl just looking for a job to make a little cash. Charlie has secrets- dangerous ones- that if exposed could not only hurt her, but others around her. She never expected to walk into Penny's Palace and discover that she could fall in love or find true friendship within those walls. I felt so bad for Charlie because she has lived such a dangerous life, and has gotten so deeply involved in something that she never should have gotten involved in. She trusted her stepfather to take care of her and protect her, as he was always lavishing her with gifts, and yet he sent her out into a life of crime and lowlifes to do his dirty work. Yet, Charlie has a fierceness to her and she is determined to get out. She is slowly siphoning money into another account so that she can free herself from her stepfather's hold and start a new life- unburdened and free.

    I loved Charlie and Cain's teasing. It is so subtle in the beginning that you could feel the tension between them. So close and yet so very far! Their first kiss made me giddy and my inner cheerleader was shouting for joy at Cain for making his move. He never planned on Charlie or a relationship, but once he had both he was ready to jump in feet first. It was cute how he instantly wanted in with her- and kept thinking about the future. For a guy who had never done a relationship, he didn't know how to take things slow and I think that's what made him more endearing. Because when you want someone- all of them- all thought and reason just goes out the door. You would do anything to make them yours and Cain does that. *shiver*

    Nate, Ginger, and Ben were such great secondary characters. Ginger was a real friend to Charlie and didn't hesitate in helping her when she needed it or just spending time with her. Ben has always been that flirty guy who is willing to step in and make a situation lighter and yet he is also fiercely loyal to his friends. It was cool reading about Nate and Cain's history and seeing just how far back those two went. Cain is a great role model for Nate and I love that Nate stuck around with him after all those years. We do get to see some of our old crew as I mentioned earlier. Kacey, Trent, and Livie make abbreviated cameos, as well as Storm and Dan.

    Overall, I thought this was an excellent addition to the Ten Tiny Breaths series, and I really think we need either Ben or Nate's books next! K.A. never ceases to leave me breathless and satisfied by her books, and as much as I hate to see them end- I am always ready to pick up her next book.

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  • Posted November 4, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    4.5 Stars Let me start by saying Cain is going straight onto ou

    4.5 Stars

    Let me start by saying Cain is going straight onto our book boyfriend list! He's all sorts of strong, alpha male goodness with a heart of gold that just deserves to be shared! And Charlie, she's the perfect balance to Cain. She's determined, with a backbone and a strong sense of self and self-preservation. She may be young but that doesn't stop her from doing what she needs to do to take care of herself, even if her options make her want to turn and run the other direction.

    Four Seconds to Lose is my first book by K.A. Tucker. I haven't read the first two (Ten Tiny Breaths and One Tiny Lie) in the Ten Tiny Breaths series, however this one works very well as a standalone with enough of the characters from the first two to make me want to go back and read their stories.

    In Four Seconds, Cain is a strip club owner who is always looking out for his girls and working to help them find a way out of that life. Despite his crappy early family life and other relationships that have not ended well, Cain has found a family of sorts with those he has surrounded himself with at the club. He's not looking for a relationship with anyone or his dancers but then Charlie shows up looking for work. She has a past that unfolds and secrets to hide. The chemistry between these two is off the charts!

    The storyline is unique and has elements of danger and suspense that kept me turning the pages as fast as I could! K.A. Tucker did an outstanding job with the dual POVs. The transitions were smooth and I heard each character's voice clearly. There are also several secondary characters integral to the story that fit easily into the story without overwhelming the main characters.

    Overall, highly recommend Four Seconds to Lose and I'll be anxiously awaiting the next book in the series!

    Copy provided for honest review

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