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

Book Review: Five Ways to Fall by K.A. TuckerFive Ways to Fall by K.A. Tucker
Series: Ten Tiny Breaths #5
on 24th June 2014
Pages: 373
Format: Paperback
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…

When Reese McKay finds herself on the wrong side of the law, it is not for the first time. Purpled hair, multiple piercing, more than a few tattoos and a sealed juvenile record -Reese has had a wild, impulsive and somewhat reckless youth. When she finds her husband of six months sleeping with his ex, Reese goes a little wild and finds herself needing the help of her former step father, Jack. He helps her out in exchange for her working for his law firm and staying out of trouble. Should be easy enough except Reese never counted on Ben. She thought he was just a one night stand gone wrong in Mexico. She had not excepted Ben to be good friends with Reese’s step brother Mason or Jack’s newest employee at the law firm…

Reese McKay is one of those characters that probably should come across as impossibly unbearable but there is just something about her I loved. She hasn’t had an easy childhood. Her father left her when she was just five years old and her mother seems to devour men just to spit them out when another candidate comes along. Reese is prickly but at the same time (with the exception of the paint incident) she isn’t on a course of self-destruction. She’s loyal and despite her upbringing she can see the good in others. I had such a great time reading about her. I was on her side almost immediately and wanted her to be able to emerge from her divorce as a stronger, better person despite some of the hurdles she faces on the way. Similarly I thought Ben was more than an appropriate match for Reese. He’s just as flawed as Reese but in a different kind of way. He’s not one for relationships lasting more than one night and his cocky demeanour borders on arrogant fool but manages to stay on the side of endearing most of the time.

Although part of the Ten Tiny Breaths series, Five Ways to Fall works perfectly as a stand alone novel. At the time of reading this book I didn’t know it was a part of a series. Since reading Five Ways to Fall, I’ve read the first book (Ten Tiny Breaths) and whilst the first book does give a little more background to Ben, I think I benefited from having no prior knowledge of who Ben was before reading his and Reese’s story. This is a great novel both fans of the series and want more Ben but also for those who have never read a KA Tucker book before. Don’t be scared off by the fact it is technically part of a series if you haven’t read the previous books.

I’m a fan of dual point of view novels and it was a great choice to have the narration switching perspective each chapter from Reese to Ben and back. Getting to see both of them in their natural environments and seeing just why they are who they are made their relationship that much stronger and made me barrack for them as a couple. The supporting characters are an interesting lot with them being good for Reese/Ben’s story but also they had their own stuff going on. I loved the relationships between family members. There’s Annabelle Lector (Reese’s mother) who marries men and spits them out when their usefulness has worn out who contrasts nicely with Ben’s mum – a lovely woman who married one man and couldn’t imagine not being his wife. The father figures are equally different and they all add together to give a well-rounded and great story.

I think it’s a testament to how much I liked Five Ways to Fall that as soon as I finished I went out and got a copy of Ten Tiny Breaths because I wanted to read more of KA Tucker and the characters she writes so well. This is a book I’d recommend to fans of well written, complicated family drama with a romance that was problematic yet perfect for the characters involved. Five Ways to Fall is New Adult at its best perfect for fans of Tammara Webber, Kasie West or Abbi Glines.


Thanks to Simon and Schuster Australia for the review copy. 


  1. Ten Tiny Breaths was one of my favorite romance novels of 2013, but I never managed to read the companion novels (there are a lot of them, I think, too). I was kind of afraid of they wouldn’t live up to the standard set by the first book, but maybe if I have time I could check out the rest. I feel like you’re not the only one talking about how good the sequels are!

    • There aren’t too many. There’s One Tiny Lie which focuses on Livie (Kacey’s little sister), another one about one of the owners of the strip club and then this one – Five Ways to Fall.

      I’ve read the first two and the fourth and I really enjoyed them. I like that they are different enough from each other to keep me interested and yet they are the same in terms of how they make me feel about the characters and the events. Since you liked the first one – I do recommend the others that I’ve read 🙂

  2. I’ve only read Ten Tiny Breaths from the series, but I’d really like to get the rest of the series someday. I really liked Ben from TTB, so it’d be nice to get his story for once.

    Another great book from Tucker is Burying Water, and that comes out in October. SO GOOD! And it’s the start of a new set of companion novels I think.

  3. Wow, how many books are in this series now? I’ve read the original, but nothing beyind that one. It reminds me of Abbi Globes and her style of writing, but it would be nice to see more of these type NA books as standalones, too often they all connect via a similar storyline and usually spoil others in the series. I might grab a copy of this one, if not just to compare it to the original. Incredible review Kate <3

    • This is the fourth and final book in the Ten Tiny Breaths series and whilst the characters do intersect (at Storm’s wedding) but I don’t think there are any big spoilers. We get to see who Kacey was with but I think normally pairings are pretty clear early in books.
      This book is set a few years after most of the events in Ten Tiny Breaths so it’s not a companion novel in that sort of sense. More another book in the same universe but not too much overlap or spoilage.

  4. Woot woot! I’m so glad you loved this one! I really do need to get a move on with this series. I’ve loved all the other books so I have no idea why I haven’t picked this one up yet. Lovely review Kate!

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