Thursday, November 14, 2013

Blog tour: Four Seconds to Lose (Ten Tiny Breaths #3 by K.A. Tucker with excerpt, review & giveaway

Four Seconds to Lose (Ten Tiny Breaths #3) 
by K.A. Tucker

New Adult contemporary romance

ebook, 416 pages

Published November 4th 2013 by Atria Books

ABOUT FOUR SECONDS TO LOSE:
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 doesn’t need to complicate her life with romance.


Unfortunately, Charlie soon discovers that developing feelings for Cain is inevitable, 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.



Excerpt:
Charlie
“Little mouse, you’re perfect for this job,” he says with a large hand squeezing my shoulder. “No one will suspect you.”

“Are you sure?”

His warm smile speaks his promise. “Of course. We make the perfect team, you and I.”

“I miss you.”

“I miss you too.”


“Things are good? You’re enjoying Miami?”

I pick at a loose thread on my bedding. It’s early, it’s sunny, and I barely slept last night. I have yet to decide if I’m more worried about the act of pole-dancing topless on a stage in twelve hours or what will happen if I’m not any good at it.

I need this job. Sin City gave me a taste of what straight-out prostitution would be like and I can’t bring myself to do it. So, this is it. And working at Penny’s feels as right as it possibly could, under the circumstances.

“Yeah. Things are great.” I keep my voice airy. Non-suspicious. Right now, I have his trust. I need to keep that.

“Spending a lot of time on the beach?”

“Yup. That and the gym.”

“Good. I’m glad you’re enjoying life. Any theater groups down there for you to join?”

“Yeah, maybe.” Theater group . . . doesn’t quite live up to Tisch School of the Arts, where I was supposed to be enrolled this fall. After what happened, my stepdad made me defer for a year and shipped me off to Miami to “be safe.”

The reality is I’ll never get to go, and that burns me with disappointment. “Good, good.” There’s a long pause. “Obviously, you’ve received the package.”

“Yup.” Like clockwork. Every Monday morning at nine o’clock a small parcel arrives at the extended-stay hotel where I’m supposed to be living. Kyle—the cute twenty-six-year-old security guy who has a thing for me—holds onto it in exchange for a coffee and a fifteen-minute flirt session.

Each package has a new phone with a new number. A new phone each week means no legal wiretaps, which means no incriminating evidence.

And Sam is all about no incriminating evidence.

Of course, my explanation to Kyle doesn’t involve burner phones or why I might need them. Instead, I fabricated a lovely modern fairy tale—that my mom likes to send me care packages each week but they have to continue arriving at that address or my father, whom I’m now staying with, will go into a blind rage.

I had a hard time getting that lie out with ease. If Kyle’s attention were on my face and not my breasts, he might have caught on. Mom can’t send me care packages because she died ten years ago, due to rare complications during childbirth, along with my unborn half-brother. It’s a sad story, really. As a high school dropout and mother by fifteen, Vegas stripper by eighteen, Jamie Miller was sure her luck had turned when she caught the eye of the much older, wealthy New York businessman Sam Arnoni.

Or, as some know him, Big Sam.

I was six when they got married—after a whirlwind three-month affair. We moved out of our two-bedroom Vegas apartment and into his sprawling Long Island house. The day we moved, my mom sat me down and told me to listen to Sam. That if I was a good little girl for him, he’d give us a good life.

I was eight when she died, leaving me alone with my stepdad. He’s all I’ve had ever since. In truth, he didn’t have to keep me. No one would have faulted him for hunting down my real father—who didn’t want me—and dropping me off on his doorstep. I mean, why burden yourself? But he didn’t. As long as I was an obedient little mouse, Sam told me that we’d be together.

So I was. And, in return, he gave me everything I could possibly ever want.

Knowing what I know now, I would have preferred my estranged father’s doorstep.

“Good. I’m glad to hear that. I’ll top up your account tomorrow.”

“Great.” As much as I’ve begun to detest taking money from him, the more money he sends, the faster I can save.

The sooner my plan can come to fruition.

The sooner I can run from him.

“Well, I’ve got to get back to work.” Conversations with Sam never last more than a few minutes anymore. He’s a busy guy. “Check your email, will you?”

Those are the magic words. “Okay.” I know that my voice sounds strained and so I clear my throat to shake it loose. There’s no sounding doubtful with Sam. He needs to think that I’m fully onboard with this.

“Love you, little mouse.”

I swallow a painful knot. Maybe he does . . . in his own way. “Love you too.” No real names. No reference to Dad or Sam. That’s another rule, even with burner phones. Sam’s a paranoid guy. With good reason.

Closing my eyes as I hang up, I heave a deep breath. I knew it was coming. It’s been three weeks since the last one of these calls. With icy dread creeping through my body, I reach over and flip open my laptop.

Logging in to the Gmail account—the one I share with Sam—I click on the drafts to find the unsent message. That’s how Sam gives me his directives. No transmitted emails means no intercepting them. I stare at the message, containing the name and address of a café off Ocean Drive, along with a meet-up time for me and Jimmy, a hotel name, and a picture of the buyers—“Bob” and “Eddie.”

My mouth instantly dries as the wave of nausea hits me.


ABOUT K.A. TUCKER:

Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit. Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.

LINKS:
Blog | Website | Author Facebook | Novel Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


One Tiny Lie & Four Seconds to Lose

I thought Cain, the quietly pensive strip club owner with a huge heart was fascinating when he was first introduced in Ten Tiny Breaths, the book which introduced me to one of my favorite New Adult authors, K.A. Tucker. I fell in love with Kacey and Trent's emotionally charged and smexy tale, Ten Tiny Breaths, (my review) and became emotionally attached to Livie and Ash's smoldering roller coaster ride of a relationship in One Tiny Lie

As much as I adored the first book, Livie's story didn't grab me as much in One Tiny Lie. She used to be such a nice, good girl but she figures she has to change for her freshman year at Princeton. Why? It's obvious her way of coping with her older sister's car accident is different than Kacey and at times it angered me. There were times I didn't like Livie much. She's supposed to be dating Connor but is still hung up on the brooding hunk and player Ashton. Just because she isn't sleeping with the guy doesn't make her actions any less faithful to her current guy. Ashton grew on me when I didn't want to kick him in the butt and tell him to wake up. They were both unfair to Connor who was such a good guy. Their indifference is what made me not love this second book. I did like Livie's roommate and enjoyed the rowing segments and setting. 

Four Seconds To Lose is Cain's story and how he met a girl named Charlie. Thank you, K.A. Tucker for giving us these wonderful characters. Such an amazing group of diverse people with unique love stories can be found in her books. The Ten Tiny Breaths series has kept me thoroughly hooked, totally immersed in, and a complete fan of the author. I can't say enough about these novels. Learning about Cain's past and how it molded him into the guarded, private person he is today floored me. He is intense, caring, fiercely supportive of his employees and a general all around great guy. His response when he first meets a prospective employee named Charlie was intriguing. Charlie appears to be his complete opposite: secretive, a liar, close-mouthed and guarded. There is definitely a story behind this woman and when Cain hires her, I knew he would find out what she's all about.

Four Seconds To Lose didn't let up on the drama, increasing mystery and tension nor the growing heat between this fated couple. I didn't instantly connect with Charlie as easily as I did with the other leading ladies in this series, Kacey and Livie (they are sisters). She was a bit standoffish which was understandable considering her childhood with Sam. Her scenes with Cain were rife with tension and I knew she would be found out sooner or later. Cain already knew something was off about her when he first interviewed her, but knowing Cain, he wouldn't standby and let her get hurt, especially when he had feelings for her.

Both characters lead complicated, often dark, lives. Watching them connect was satisfying and sexy. I can't believe this is the third book in this series. I really enjoyed Four Seconds To Lose and look forward to reading the next. 

Rating: 
One Tiny Lie: 3

Four Seconds to Lose: 4

Cover comment:
I really liked the first two covers in this series, this one not at all. Maybe it's their poses, they look like they're being sent off to some dystopian battlefield or something. This cover doesn't work for me.

Book source:
I received a promotional copy in exchange for my honest review during a blog tour.


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