Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: November 4th 2013
My rating: 3.5 stars
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.
I enjoyed the first books of this series, so I was looking forward to getting Cain, the controlled strip club owner’s story. Four Seconds to Lose was definitely darker than the first two, but just as addictive.
Cain is a noble type strip club owner. Sounds contradictory, right? I know but as I got to know him through this series and this story that’s exactly how I’d describe him. Motivated by the murder of his sister, Cain strives to make up for the past by running a club where girls could have a safe, protected environment to dance and make a lot of money. Where he can, he helps the girls shift into other forms of employment. Cain also has a strict, self-imposed hands off policy with his employees. Well, that’s until Charlie walks through his door.
Charlie has her own issues. Big, BIG, issues that made my stomach turn just thinking about them. After losing her mother when she was just six years old, she’s been in the care of her stepfather, Sam, who on the surface seems like a good guy. And yet, over the years, little details add up to showing that Sam is anything but good. Sam arranges for Charlie to make “deliveries” to some extremely scary people! When one of those deliveries turns very ugly, Charlie knows she must get permanently away from Sam and his shady operations, and to disappear right, she needs a lot of money quickly. This brings Charlie to Penny’s, Cain’s club, and even though a relationship is the last thing Charlie needs or wants, she slowly falls for Cain.
The trouble Charlie is surrounded by is deep and scary. In fact I was on the edge of my seat for the majority of this read because of it. I loathed Charlie’s stepfather, and it was clear he had no actual love for her. Charlie did take some small assistance from Cain but I seriously wished she would’ve confided in him or even her friend Ginger way sooner than she did, and get some help. Cain was so honest with her and laid out his past which was not squeaky clean either so I’m not sure why she held back. I’m not one who likes to be stressed out while I’m reading so this affected my rating. The story and writing were solid and captivating, but my enjoyment was hindered because of Charlie holding back.
I will say the romance was full of chemistry with lots of built up sexual tension. I do love a good slow burn, so that was satisfying. I’m happy with how everything turned out, and some of the last twists at the end surprised me. If you’re looking for a New Adult read that’s more than just a sexed up YA book, K.A. Tucker is a great choice.
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