My rating: 5/5 stars
There are no words to describe how much I loved this book. I am a big fan of Kathleen’s work and every story is pure joy for me. Her talent is amazing and out of this world, bringing the reader a genuine and raw life lesson for him to cherish a long loooong time and pass it to others.
Although I loved Kacey and Olivia, I cannot prevent from falling deeper in love with Charlie and Cain’s story, because it was something else, something that kept me up all night and made me read the book in only 24 hours:) There was something addicting to it and I just dived right into the amazing plot and shared so many moments with this wonderful characters.
Our hero, Cain, lost his family at a very young age due to drugs. After that, he swore he will never be part of that world and that he will protect the victims of drug abuse no matter the cost. With the money earned from illegal fighting, he started a strip club, which became a very profitable business. When mixing feelings with business leads to tragic outcomes, Cain is strongly affected and changes his perspective upon love. Suffering from that lost, he continued to focus on helping broken souls, and founds a new strip club “Penny”, which became a home for girls who need a job, but also someone to take care of them. It might sound a little strange, but his intentions are most than honorable:)
From the moment Charlie walked into his office searching for a job, Cain is lead back in time, to his lost love. The resemblance is outstanding and this is what keeps his attention on the beautiful blonde, who is keen on working at Penny’s. After hiring her, Cain is even more attracted to her and he knows Charlie is hiding something, but he can’t help falling for her, even if he fought strong against it. What initially began as a deja-vu, something that remember him of the past, became something stronger than he even imagined.
Did I mention I loved the book? I can go on forever talking about the plot, but because I have a “no spoiler policy”, let us focus a little on the characters. As we are accustomed to, Kathleen brought together 2 very different personalities and gave them unity. Cain, even if suffered a lot in his life, managed to find a purpose and a mission in this business and considers he doesn’t need anything else. He never had a real relationship and this thing with Charlie scares him dearly. The way he opened up to her, confessing stuff from his past, his fears and insecurities, made me admire him so much and even if he did some mistakes, he is a true hero, inside and outside. Even if he was so afraid of letting go, he took that step with her and by the half of the book, we could explore a new Cain, more gentle, tender and opened to possibilities.
Charlie, as like Cain, is a very complex characters, with a normal past, but a very tormented present, that is haunting her and forcing her to do things she doesn’t want. She thinks that her only leaning point is her stepdad, but soon, her believes will change and Charlie will become someone else, someone with free will and capable of taking decisions by and for herself. For her age, she is extremely strong, but there were times were I wanted to just enter the book and talk some reason into her. She also fought Cain a lot, but eventually she left her emotions rule, which was a must in this relationship, from both sides. I wanted her to step up earlier, to break this vicious chain, but in the same time I could connect with her fears and only hope for the best to come in the end.
I loved this couple, their chemistry, their vulnerability together and apart, the way their romance progressed, the way Cain fought for Charlie, the way they made mistakes but found each other in the process. I tell you, this book is addictive, with a very intelligent plot, but with a strong message, more mature and darker that the first books from the series. I liked that we got to see the old squad reunited, happy and helping our couple figuring things out. This family element is very important to me and in this series I think it was the primal bonding piece that held the characters together. What I love about Kathleen is that every book has a different focus, never repeating or boring. Every story is a new experience and this book left me speechless, heartbroken, emotionally wreaked and extremely happy to have chosen it as my next read.
Top 5 books of 2017? “4 Seconds to Lose” made the list:)