Five Ways to Fall: A Novel by K.A. TuckerFive Ways to Fall: A Novel by K.A. Tucker

Five Ways to Fall: A Novel

byK.A. Tucker

Paperback | June 24, 2014

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about

Sometimes you can’t change—and sometimes you just don’t want to. Discover Ben’s side of the story in this fourth 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…
Title:Five Ways to Fall: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 8.25 × 5.31 × 1 inPublished:June 24, 2014Publisher:Atria BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1476740518

ISBN - 13:9781476740515

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved the Characters I really loved this book, especially the main characters. The banter back and forth really made for an enjoyable read. Not my favourite book in the series; HOWEVER, it's definitely up there! Definitely would recommend, you won't regret reading this one!
Date published: 2017-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from hilarious and yet poignant I just realized I never wrote a review of this read and now I've reread it. Let me just say the banter between Reese and Ben is priceless...seriously among the best I've read. I wish I was cool enough to think of this stuff to say or write because geez, amazing! A must read. Really quit reading this review and read this book. Wickedly hilarious and yet poignant.
Date published: 2015-09-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! This is book is am amazing. I definitely enjoyed this book and I will recommend it to people. This book has a lot of examples of life's ups and downs. It is a very well written book and it definitely deserves 5 stars
Date published: 2015-02-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Five Ways To Fall I love this whole series but think that Ben and Reese are my fave! Lots of fun, great storyline. Thanks K. A. Tucker. I loved every minute!
Date published: 2014-08-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from All that and more!!! I have read all of K.A.Tucker's books and have enjoyed them all. I appreciate the fact that the characters in each of them books are so different from each other and each main character is well developed. Each book could stand on its own, but each also links with the other books. I read this book quickly and then reread it, I enjoyed it that much. Ben appeared in the other books in a limited capacity and I tended to stereotype him as a result, but this book is focussed solely on him and develops his multi-layered character. Also, Ben and Reese and their interplay with each other and with the other characters in the book makes me smile.
Date published: 2014-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from PERFECT! The anticipation of FWTF and reading the book itself was worth it. It was a roller coaster of "for better or for worse" and without a doubt, the last installment of the Ten Tiny Breaths Series was definitely for better!! :D
Date published: 2014-07-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant!! Yet again loved it!!
Date published: 2014-06-25

Read from the Book

Five Ways to Fall Chapter 2 ■ ■ ■ BEN I love the angry ones. Of course, anyone who knows me would argue that I love any and all women, and I can’t exactly disagree. But I love the angry ones the most. They’re a challenge to be conquered, the reason for their fury usually fitting neatly into three buckets: insecure, scorned, hormonal. And this chick gazing up at me with fire in her caramel eyes? I’m betting on bucket number two. “My, what an awfully bright red shirt you have on,” she pushes out between gritted teeth, as if she’s trying to be polite but can’t hide her disdain. I didn’t know what I was walking into when the punk-rock chick with the crazy-ass muscular body waved us over, but her friend with the purple hair and her back to me had me intrigued. Now that I’m getting a good look at her face, I know who I’m spending my last night with in Cancún. She’s not what some would call traditionally “pretty.” Her eyes are slightly too big and far apart, her nose is slightly too long and slender, and her lips—though nice and wide—are on the thin side. Yet something about all of that put together makes her sexy as hell. Maybe it’s the little nose ring. Or maybe it’s the way her decent-sized tits are pressing up against me, her low V-neck tank top—a casual shirt, telling me she’s not trying to pick anyone up—giving me a fine view of her cleavage. Whatever it is, my dick is certainly pleased. “You like it?” I ask. An irritated glare flickers to the material. “No.” I can’t help but chuckle at her candor. “Will you at least give me a head start before you gore me?” Those thin lips curl into a condescending smirk. “Bulls don’t see color. That’s a myth.” The only thing I love more than an angry girl is a smart, angry girl. This is going to be fun. “Well, how about I solve the problem for you.” I take a step back from her and swiftly yank my shirt off, exposing six days of suntanned skin and an upper body that I know looks damn appealing because I work my ass off to keep it that way. The random catcalls from the tables around confirm it. And then I simply stand there and grin like the cocky ass that I am as Angry Girl can’t keep her eyes from scanning the muscles I’ve honed since my college football days, her lips parting ever so subtly. I see the shift in her, the moment where she realizes that, though she’d prefer to castrate the entire male species right now, she can’t ignore her attraction to me. At least, that’s what I want to see. “Sir. Excuse me, sir.” A glance over my shoulder finds Angelo, the short Mexican waiter who’s been serving us all week, standing there with a tray of beers for my friends and me. We didn’t even have to ask. Hell, I love Cancún. I could live here forever. “Angelo! Why the fuck are you calling me ‘sir’?” “Uh . . .” He licks his lips as his eyes dart to the tile floor. “Please. Management requests that you wear proper attire in the lounge area. Please.” “No worries, pal.” Poor Angelo is probably ready to shit his pants, as afraid as he is to offend me, the guy who has lined his pockets with a month’s worth of rent in tips. Snagging a beer off his tray, I take my time sucking back a few mouthfuls, feeling her eyes riveted to my throat. Yeah, I’ve got this one in the bag. With an easy smile, I place the bottle down on the table and pull the shirt back over my head. “Though you may have to deal with Angry Girl in front of me, now. She hates my shirt.” Angelo casts a polite smile her way as he hands out beers to my friends, and I know exactly what he’s thinking. He’s seen me walk out of here with a few different women this week. What else can I say but . . . I’m on vacation. I was planning on just hanging low tonight, going to bed solo. Now, though, getting this purple-haired chick naked sounds like more fun. “Angry Girl will try to restrain herself, Angelo,” she purrs, draining the last of her drink and placing it on his tray before scooping up a fresh one. She still has a full one sitting on the table, too. “But only if you come back with another one of these in under five minutes. Otherwise, there’s no telling what she’ll do.” Narrowed eyes glimmer with secret amusement. “Sí, señorita.” I smoothly tuck a twenty into his shirt pocket and pat his shoulder. “For causing you any trouble with management.” Angelo nods and quickly heads off as I stick my hand out. “I’m Ben. And you are . . .” Angry Girl accepts it, the skin of her hand soft and cool within mine. “Jill.” Thumbing to her left, she adds, “Sabrina. And that’s Kelly over there. She’s Korean.” What? My brow furrows as I regard the cute girl-next-door blond sitting across from us, trying to make sense of that strange introduction. A skillful distraction, it would seem, because it gives Jill a chance to slither into her seat, her back to me once again. She props her feet up to rest on the only vacant chair at the table, her long, shapely legs all the more visible thanks to the tiny shorts she’s wearing. “Travis, Kent, Murdock,” I toss out with a lazy gesture toward the guys, three of my roommates from Miami. They can take care of themselves. I’m on a mission. I waste no time seizing an empty lounge chair from the table next to us. Flashing a big smile at the cougar eyeing me, a redhead who is definitely hot enough to fuck should this thing with Jill go sideways, I swing the chair around and take a seat so close that my knee—the one that cost me a guaranteed NFL career and still throbs in damp weather—rests against Jill’s bare leg. She doesn’t shift away. “First night in Cancún?” One of her perfectly shaped brows arches. “You’re persistent.” “A persistent fool,” I correct her with a grin, earning the non-Korean girl’s laughter. “First night in Cancún?” I repeat. “How can you tell?” Finally. An open door for a conversation. I jump through it like a circus dog. “Because you’re way too tense, you’re downing those drinks like you’re on a mission to wake up naked on the beach, and you have no tan lines.” “Huh . . .” She ponders that for a moment while I inhale her perfume. She smells like strawberries and cream. I wonder if she tastes like strawberries and cream. “What are you, a detective?” “Bouncer at a strip club.” Her head falls back and she starts laughing, a deep, throaty laugh that I want to record and play back again at a later date. “Of course you are.” I shrug. “It pays the bills.” I could kill whatever assumptions she’s making about me by telling her why I’m really here in Cancún: to celebrate finishing law school and taking the bar exam. But I don’t. I simply watch her tongue curl around the salty rim of her glass. Dirty thoughts flash through my head and I’m forced to discreetly adjust myself. If she notices, she doesn’t comment. Hell, she probably knows exactly what she’s doing to me. There are no innocent vibes coming off this chick. “And what do you do?” I ask. She purses her lips. “I’m a marine biologist. From Seattle.” “A Doogie Howser marine biologist?” The girl could pass for twenty-three. Twenty-four, tops. “I’m twenty-nine.” “Sure you are.” I jut my chin in her friend’s direction. “And she’s Korean, right?” In response, her friend spews off a string of something that sounds a hell of a lot like Korean, followed by a smug smile, and I’m left with my mouth gaping wide. Okay. Still . . . “Marine biologist? Really?” She takes another long draw of her drink and licks her lips before she announces, “I love me some big fish.” Yeah . . . lying. Fine. I’ll play along. “How long are you here for?” she asks, feigning disinterest, as the guys find chairs and pull her friends’ attention away. I let my eyes skate over her features again, silently counting seven piercings—two in her nose and five in her ear—and wondering how many more she has hidden under those tight little shorts and that tank top of hers. And I suddenly find myself wishing I were just starting my vacation today. “This is my last night.” “Really . . .” An unreadable look passes through her eyes as they quickly flitter over my features, landing on my mouth. “The exorcism needs more time,” she mumbles under her breath. What the fuck? Wouldn’t that just be my luck to land a nut job for my last night. Not that that couldn’t be fun. I’m always up for something different. “Maybe we should start right away then?” The heated look she shoots me with—like she’s deciding between jumping onto my lap or filleting me—makes me give this a moment’s pause. Maybe I should be more careful about who I bring back to my room. I take another look at her frame—she’s probably too small to cause any real damage without weapons—and notice the giant name inked into her arm. As much as I want to trace the letters, I keep my hands to myself. It’s like petting a strange dog; you don’t even reach out until you know it’s not going to lunge at you. So I point at the tattoo instead. “That would suck if it were an ex.” “Yeah, it would.” The bite in her tone is suddenly back, and this time it comes with a sheen just barely glistening in her eyes. She quickly blinks it away, trying to keep the tough act going. Dammit. I groan inwardly as disappointment settles in. She’s not just scorned. She’s still raw. She’s going to be one of those drunk chicks who suddenly erupts in tears. Probably during sex. Nothing worse than a girl crying halfway through sex. A definite limp dick maker. She clears her throat. “I don’t see any tattoos on you.” Okay, at least she’s trying to steer the conversation away from her and her current situation. I can roll with that. “You haven’t seen all of me yet.” I know I sound like a cocky bastard, but it somehow works for me. A tiny sly grin curves her mouth for just a moment before she stifles it, as if she didn’t mean to let it slip out. “Any hidden ones?” “Nope. Hate needles,” I answer truthfully. “Wuss.” I shrug. “You obviously don’t mind them. Any tats or piercings besides the ones I see?” All I get is a taunting smile in return. Fuck. A sudden burst of Rihanna pumps out over the speakers as the regular lights dim down and the dance-floor lights kick in, indicating that the hotel lounge is turning into a club as it does every night at this time. Jill’s cringe tells me she’s not impressed. “Not your kind of music?” My gaze immediately drops to her tank top, a faded Pearl Jam album cover printed on the front of it. She shakes her head. “I’m more into classic rock and nineties alternative.” Seriously? “Were you even alive for that?” “I can play every single Aerosmith song ever recorded on the guitar,” she says, as if that answers my question. Sweet Jesus. Stretching my legs out as I try to picture her rocking out with a guitar strung over her shoulder—naked—I offer, “You know, girls who play the guitar are fucking hot. You any good?” Another cunning smile behind her drink answers me. Yeah, she’s good. And, damn it, so sexy. In a loose-cannon kind of way. The only kind that snags me like a trout on a shark hook. Just like Kacey, one of my best friends, did. That girl had a self-destruct button affixed to her chest for the longest time. I saw it a mile away and I still fell for her hard. Angelo chooses that moment to swoop in and place a drink in her hand and a shot of tequila on the table for everyone. Jill doesn’t even wait. She lifts the glass to her lips and downs it. No salt, no lime. “Am I going to have to carry you home tonight?” I offer with a wide grin. She smacks her lips as she drops the glass onto the table rather loudly. “I think I’m going to aim for waking up naked on the beach.” “I have some experience with that. I can give you a few pointers.” Her hawkish eyes roll over my body slowly before landing on my face, fixing a hard gaze on my mouth. “You’re not my type.” I’ve heard this before and I don’t believe her. Hell, I’m everyone’s type! Eventually. “And what is it exactly about me that you don’t like?” A wicked gleam in her eyes tells me she thinks I’m going to regret asking. Little does she know, I don’t give a shit. I have a thick skin and an easy sense of humor. This should actually be amusing. “The womanizing mama’s-boy football-player part who spreads the charm on like peanut butter and has had a different girl in his hotel room every night this week.” “Not every night.” She rolls her eyes. “Oh, and you’re blond. I’m not into blonds.” “You’re completely wrong about me.” She’s pretty much nailed it, actually. “Really?” As if to prove her point, she taps the ring on my finger. The one I earned taking my team to the national championship. “I don’t play anymore.” “Not good enough?” I chuckle. She’s good at the hits to the ego. “Too good, apparently, because some guy felt the need to wreck my knee.” Between the dislocated joint, the torn ligaments, and the nerve damage, I’m surprised I can even run anymore. Those caramel eyes soften for just a flash, so fast I almost miss it. “I’m still not sleeping with you.” “Well, I don’t know what you had planned, but I’m just here to hang out and make some new friends,” I offer, feigning innocence. This one’s going to be a bit more challenging than I thought. But she’ll change her tune eventually.

Editorial Reviews

"Reese and Ben's story is wickedly fun, refreshingly edgy and irresistibly sexy. You'll fall in love in more ways than one!"