Sometimes you can’t change—and sometimes you just don’t want to. Read Ben’s side of the Ten Tiny Breaths story in this romantic coming of age novel by the beloved, top-selling indie author praised for her “likeable characters, steamy liaisons, and surprising plot twists” (Kirkus Reviews).
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…
AudioBook Review: Stars: Overall: 4 Narration: 4 Story: 3
Stars: Overall: 4 Narration: 4 Story: 3
I’ve jumped about a bit with this series, but to Tucker’s credit, the story does stand without needing to have the information from the earlier books in the series. This is a solidly new adult series, with characters that are still finding themselves, at times frustrating but always engaging.
This is predominantly Ben’s story – we are focused on his versions of events – with a solid input from Reese, and the total train-wreck that is her life. For me, Reese was about as emotionally mature as a turnip, or perhaps a 12 year old: spiteful, vengeful, angry and wholly insecure: completely unwilling to look forward to ‘consequences’ until long after she leaps. Her attempts to regain control of her life is a step in the right direction, but she still needs to deal with many more issues.
Ben was the playboy in college, and he hasn’t changed his stripes at all. Even passing the bar and starting as a new associate in a law firm hasn’t matured his own views on relationships. That whole commitment-phobe storyline is well crafted, Tucker manages to give him enough personal insight to have an awareness of the immaturity, even as he is unwilling to change.
Now, these two meet as a one night stand in Cancun – never believing they will meet again. Of course, this wouldn’t be much of a story if one night was all it was, and they meet again and Reese enlists Ben’s help in enacting her vengeance against her ex-husband. Oh, and she’s the stepdaughter of the boss, a relationship that Reese has studiously avoided and is acting out against, even though more backstory on that interaction would have served the story well.
Tucker creates wonderfully compelling characters: easy to engage with, and wholly consuming your emotions for good and bad. Where this story lacked was in the actual storytelling: giving enough background to explain WHY Reese was such a train-wreck and so very vengeful: the attraction between she and Ben was well done and easily explained. And Ben? Most of his behavior was pretty self-explanatory and easy to understand, even when he didn’t quite see the writing on the wall.
Narration in this story is provided by Elizabeth Louise and Deacon Lee. Both of these narrators did a wonderful job incorporating subtle nuance into Reese and Ben to bring their characters to light. Additional characterizations were also easy to delineate, pitch and pacing changes to indicate each secondary character’s appearance all were distinct and easy to pick out. Both narrators worked in concert to present a story that wasn’t overacted or overly presented, and never once distracting.
Tucker’s conclusion to the series is a light and fun story, perhaps not what everyone that is a fan of her story to date will have expected, but a decent escapist read.
I received an AudioBook copy of the title from Simon & Schuster Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.