I believe some people are inherently evil.
I believe guilt is a powerful motivator.
I believe redemption is something you can strive for but never fully achieve.
I believe second chances exist only in dreams, never in reality.
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.
Engaging, sexy and addictive, Four Seconds To Lose was a phenomenal addition to one of my favorite series!! It kept me guessing and was impossible to put down. I kept telling myself “one more chapter” and pretty soon it was 4AM and my book was finished.
From the very first page, this book started strong. It had a totally fresh concept and a very different vibe than the first two books despite fitting in well with the series. I really love it when an author is able to keep a series like this going and still deliver something completely unique each time.
This was Cain’s story. We’d been introduced to him as a side character in the first two books and I have to admit that I’d been curious to see his story every since meeting him and boy did this book ever deliver!
A walking contradiction, Cain ran a strip club as a way to help women. He didn’t do it for the money having already made his wealth in the underground fighting rings but his logic was that there were women out there who needed money desperately enough that they were driven to the point of taking their clothes off to get it and, while he couldn’t stop them, he could give them a safe place to do it and hopefully also help them get back on their feet and away from the sex trade in the long run. He was a fair boss who took good care of his staff, protected them, and maintained a long standing policy never to sleep with the women he employed. This had generally been an easy rule for him to follow until Charlie walked through his door.
Running from a dangerous life and in desperate need to quickly save enough money to escape it for good, Charlie was willing to do whatever it took to earn money fast – including taking her clothes off on a stage – and Cain’s club was well-known to be the safest in town. Her plan was to get in, make her money, and get out but her attraction to the alluring, charming club owner derailed her course…
Cain was such an awesome hero! I love complex characters who aren’t just easy to peg as either ‘good guys’ or ‘bad guys’. Cain was a survivor who had done all sorts of ‘bad’ things but he was a ‘good’ guy. Described as reclusive, charming, moody, intense and principled, he “marche[d] to a different beat” and was also the kind of guy who would stop at nothing to protect those he loved.
“I’m living a life where safety is a luxury… Yet it took this man – a stranger – mere seconds to decide he would protect me.”
And Charlie was just a wonderful heroine. Hardened by the dangers of her life, very little rattled her but she was at a vulnerable point in her life where she’d realized that the things she grew up considering ‘normal’ were in fact dangerous beyond belief and she wanted to get as far away from that life as she could. She was a strong character with a touch of badass who was willing to go to any lengths to take back control of her life.
“I finish my shift, pushing the reality of stripping into a tiny, neat box. I tuck it away in the recess of my mind, as just something I have to do, for now… It won’t be forever.”
I loved the way their relationship developed. While their attraction was clear from the start, the pace at which they fell for each other was slower and very believable. Cain wasn’t eager to break his rules about being romantically involved with his staff and, given her plan, Charlie knew better than to get emotionally tangled with someone when she was planning on leaving anyways. But their attraction was undeniable and not something either of them could brush away.
“Two weeks later, and my balls are ready to burst. I don’t know how the monks survive. Probably not by watching live strip shows daily.”
I also loved that this was more than just a romance, with all the complications going on in Charlie and Cain’s lives respectively, the actual plot had many layers and twists. But as the double lives and secrets began to stack up, things got more and more intense — especially towards the end. I couldn’t flip the pages fast enough!!
“I’m hanging from a pendulum as it swings back and forth between a nightmare and a dream. Only the nightmare is real!”
Oh, another cool thing is that this book was long! At 416 pages, it was by far the longest of the series.
While this book reads as a complete standalone, there are several scenes with the characters from the previous two books so fans of the first two books will get to see more of Kasey, Trent, Livie, Storm and the whole gang but a new reader just picking up the series won’t be lost either. However I do recommend reading all three books in order just because I love them all!
If you’re looking for sexy, heartfelt and well-written New Adult romances, this is a great series to try. I highly recommend all the books and will be eagerly waiting for the next one which will tell Ben’s story 🙂
4.5 stars (same rating as both previous books in the series)