Review: Five Ways to Fall by K.A. Tucker

Title: Five Ways to Fall by K.A. Tucker

Series: Ten Tiny Breaths #4

Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Release Date: June 24, 2014 by Atria Books

Format: Trade Paperback

Source: Purchased

Find it here: GoodReads | Amazon


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…

My Thoughts

I have loved K.A. Tucker's Ten Tiny Breaths companion series and am sorry to see it come to an end. These five books (4 books + 1 novella) introduced me to characters that I loved getting to know. I hurt for them, laughed with them, cheered for them, and loved following their journeys. And I credit that all to Tucker's incredible story telling.

Five Ways to Fall follows Ben and Reese. Readers familiar with the series will know Ben as the (former) bouncer at Penny's. Now out of law school, Ben has been hired by a reputable law firm in Miami and is determined to turn over a new leaf - one that involves him not hitting on every female he finds attractive and trying to act like a responsible adult. 
"I just helped you make your ex-husband jealous, so you're welcome. I don't do pretend boyfriend shit. I'm normally Switzerland. I went rogue for you, so be grateful." - Ben
Reese is also starting over. With an absentee father, a social climbing mother, and a brief marriage that ended in heartache, Reese is hurting but hides it with her tough-girl exterior. With help from her former stepfather, Reese moves to Miami and works at his law firm in an attempt to turn her life around.
I think Ben has a strange power over me - the ability to balance my chaos. - Reese

Five Ways to Fall had a lighter feel than the previous books in the series. Yes, Reese had been through a lot, and Ben had his own family issues, but there was more humor and less high drama here. I've always enjoyed Ben's character - the charming, good-time guy - and getting a whole book of him was a total treat. I loved getting his backstory and seeing the love and respect he had for his mother. I didn't warm to Reese as much as I have the other female protagonists is the series. Reese was sharp-tongued and prickly, and while I tried to understand her motivation, she made (many) decisions that made me want to shake some sense into her. She was so fixated on her past that she was oblivious to what was in front of her. I found myself frustrated with her a lot.

Ben and Reese truly met their match in each other. They each gave as good as they got and their banter was hilarious. Neither of them was looking for anything serious and I loved watching as they both fought the fact that they might actually have feelings for one another. Reese slowly revealed a vulnerable side and Ben proved that he had a heart of gold.
She’s everything I never knew I wanted. She’s everything I never knew I could have. - Ben
As always, Tucker created an amazing cast of secondary characters that made for a richer story. Stepfather Jack, Mason, Ben's mother Wilma, Reese's friends... they all played important roles in Ben and Reese's story and not one of them fell flat or seemed cookie-cutter. Thank you, Kathleen, for always providing side characters that feel as real and fleshed out as the protagonists. Such a rarity! And getting small cameos from some of the characters in the previous books was such a treat. 

If you haven't read anything by K.A. Tucker, you're missing out. The only thing that keeps me from being heartbroken by the end of this series is knowing that the Burying Water series is ready and waiting for me to dive on in. There's much more of Kathleen's phenomenal story telling in my future. 

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