Author: K.A. Tucker
Series: Ten Tiny Breaths #3
Published by Atria Books
Release Date November 4, 2013
Genres: Abuse, New Adult Romance
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase From: Amazon US
Purchase From: Barnes & Noble
Purchase From: Amazon Print
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 am extremely excited about the Release Day Launch for the paperback of Four Second to Lose by K.A. Tucker! Four Seconds to Lose is the third novel in K.A. Tucker’s Ten Tiny Breaths Series, published by Atria Books (an imprint of Simon & Schuster). There is a fabulous international giveaway of a Ten Tiny Breaths scarf and an Amazon Gift Card for one winner!
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.
While you’re waiting, it’s a perfect time to catch up on the other phenomenal books in this series!
Kacey Cleary’s whole life imploded four years ago in a drunk-driving accident. Now she’s working hard to bury the pieces left behind—all but one. Her little sister, Livie. Kacey can swallow the constant disapproval from her born-again aunt Darla over her self-destructive lifestyle; she can stop herself from going kick-boxer crazy on Uncle Raymond when he loses the girls’ college funds at a blackjack table. She just needs to keep it together until Livie is no longer a minor, and then they can get the hell out of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
But when Uncle Raymond slides into bed next to Livie one night, Kacey decides it’s time to run. Armed with two bus tickets and dreams of living near the coast, Kacey and Livie start their new lives in a Miami apartment complex, complete with a grumpy landlord, a pervert upstairs, and a neighbor with a stage name perfectly matched to her chosen “profession.” But Kacey’s not worried. She can handle all of them. What she can’t handle is Trent Emerson in apartment 1D.
Kacey doesn’t want to feel. She doesn’t. It’s safer that way. For everyone. But sexy Trent finds a way into her numb heart, reigniting her ability to love again. She starts to believe that maybe she can leave the past where it belongs and start over. Maybe she’s not beyond repair.
But Kacey isn’t the only one who’s broken. Seemingly perfect Trent has an unforgiveable past of his own; one that, when discovered, will shatter Kacey’s newly constructed life and send her back into suffocating darkness.
Livie has always been the stable one of the two Cleary sisters, handling her parents’ tragic death and Kacey’s self-destructive phase with strength and maturity. But underneath that exterior is a little girl hanging onto the last words her father ever spoke to her. “Make me proud,” he had said. She promised she would…and she’s done her best over the past seven years with every choice, with every word, with every action.
Livie walks into Princeton with a solid plan, and she’s dead set on delivering on it: Rock her classes, set herself up for medical school, and meet a good, respectable guy that she’s going to someday marry. What isn’t part of her plan are Jell-O shots, a lovable, party animal roommate she can’t say ‘no’ to, and Ashton, the gorgeous captain of the men’s rowing team. Definitely him. He’s an arrogant ass who makes Livie’s usually non-existent temper flare and everything she doesn’t want in a guy. Worse, he’s best friends and roommates with Connor, who happens to fits Livie’s criteria perfectly. So why does she keep thinking about Ashton?
As Livie finds herself facing mediocre grades, career aspirations she no longer thinks she can handle, and feelings for Ashton that she shouldn’t have, she’s forced to let go of her last promise to her father and, with it, the only identity that she knows.
Five Ways to Fall (Ten Tiny Breaths, #4) (Coming 6.24.14)
Purple-haired, sharp-tongued Reese MacKay knows all about making the wrong choice; she’s made plenty of them in her twenty-odd-years. So when her impulsive, short-lived marriage ends in heartbreak, she decides it’s time for a change. She moves to Miami with the intention of hitting reset on her irresponsible life, and she does quite well…aside from an epically humiliating one-night stand in Cancun with a hot blond bouncer named Ben. Thank God she can get on a plane and leave that mistake behind her.
Football scholarship and frat parties with hot chicks? Part of charmer Ben Morris’s plan. Blown knee that kills any hope of a professional football career? So not part of the plan. Luckily Ben has brains to go with his knockout looks and magnetism. After three long years of balancing law school with his job as a bouncer at Penny’s Palace, he’s ready to lead a more mature life—until his first day of work, when he finds himself in the office of that crazy, hot chick he met in Cancun. The one he hasn’t stopped thinking about.
If Ben truly were a smart guy, he’d stay clear of Reese. She’s the boss’s stepdaughter and it’s been made very clear that office romances are grounds for dismissal. Plus, rumor has it she’s trouble. The only problem is, he likes trouble, especially when it’s so good-looking…
In Her Wake (Ten Tiny Breaths, #0.5) (Coming 9.1.14)
Before you knew him as Trent in Ten Tiny Breaths, he was Cole Reynolds—and he had it all. Until one night when he makes a fatal, wrong decision…and loses everything.
When a drunken night out at a Michigan State college party results in the death of six people, Cole must come to terms with his part in the tragedy. Normally, he’d be able to lean on his best friends—the ones who have been in his life since he could barely walk. Only, they’re gone. Worse, there’s the shattered body of a sixteen-year-old girl lying somewhere in a hospital bed, her entire life ripped from her because of a case of beer and a set of keys.
Everyone assures him that they know it wasn’t intentional, and yet he can’t ignore the weight of their gazes, the whispers behind his back. Nor can he shake the all-consuming guilt he feels every time he thinks of that girl who won’t so much as allow him near her hospital room to apologize. As the months go by and the shame and loneliness festers, Cole begins to lose his grip on what once was important—college, his girlfriend, his future. His life. It’s not until Cole hits rock-bottom that he can begin to see another way out of his personal hell: forgiveness.
And there’s only one person who can give that to him…