Five Ways to Fall
by K.A. Tucker
Series: Ten Tiny Breaths #4
Publication: June 24th 2014
by Atria Books
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
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…
You may recall that I didn’t do as much fangirling over Four Seconds to Lose as I did with the first two books in the series, but this one… MAJOR BOOK HANGOVER. And now I’m left with more sadness than I can handle because the series is over. I’m selfish. I want more and more and… heck, I’m not even sure who Tucker would write about next, but I know that I don’t want the series to end.
In Five Ways to Fall we learn a lot about Ben, the completely obnoxious womanizer who worked at Penny’s and tried to get Kacey to fall for him in Ten Tiny Breaths. We’ve seen glimpses of him in the previous books, but this is his story, so we get to slice him down the middle and check out all the parts that make up Benjamin Morris. And boy, is he ever worth the trouble.
We learned in Four Seconds to Lose that Ben had finished law school and was leaving his bouncer position at Penny’s. Five Ways to Fall begins with an introduction to Reese MacKay, a twenty-year-old girl with a completely screwed up past who ends up working at her stepfather’s law firm; the same law firm where Ben has landed a job. Only, this isn’t the first time the two have met. They first found each other during a romp in Cancun, one that didn’t shine the most flattering light on Reese. When she sees him standing in her office a few months later, she wants nothing more than to make him find another job. As time goes on, they become pretty good friends, and can’t help but wonder if adding benefits to the relationship would be a good choice or bad. Neither has any desire to be tied down and we learn the reasoning behind their fear of commitment as we flash back to their deep, dark secrets. It brings us to the age old question… Can a man and woman who are attracted to each other be just friends?
The pacing of this book is nothing short of perfection. There is a slow, persistent development between Reese and Ben, which kept me on the very edge of my seat. The characters have major depth. Just when you think you understand all there is to know about them, there is more to be learned. I wasn’t a huge fan of Ben’s in the previous books. He was a good character, but simply a secondary player (literally, a player) so he didn’t interest me all that much. Tucker adds layer upon layer to his character in this installment and I wound up adoring him. Possibly more than any of other men in the series.
Reese is someone I could totally relate to; someone who has been broken, but really wants a better life. It’s not an unrealistic process because she doesn’t just become someone to look up to. She has quite the evil side, and sets her sights on revenge for those who have wronged her. She’s snarky, funny, and strong with a softer side that wants to be coaxed out. I really liked her a lot. I adore the interaction between Reese and Ben. Their sarcastic banter made me giggle quite a bit.
Another thing I really enjoyed was how well fleshed-out even the secondary characters are in this book. I fell in love with Wilma, Ben’s mom, and really felt like I understood the pain she and the rest of Ben’s siblings had been dealing with — even though some of them weren’t present for most of the story. And Jack… what an awesome guy. He reminds me of my own stepdad. The character arcs are brilliant. I fell in love with almost every character by the end — other than Jared. What a total d-bag!
Did I mention how much I don’t want this series to end? Waahh!
I highly recommend Five Ways to Fall, and the entire Ten Tiny Breaths series, to all fans of well-rounded, passionate, intelligent, exciting contemporary romance with an edge. Well done, K.A. Tucker! Please don’t make me grovel for more. I’ll do it, but it won’t be nearly as adorable as Pinkie Pie.
About the Author
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.
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