The top-selling, beloved indie author of Ten Tiny Breaths returns with a new romance about a young woman who loses her memory—and the man who knows that the only way to protect her is to stay away.
Left for dead in the fields of rural Oregon, a young woman defies all odds and survives—but she awakens with no idea who she is, or what happened to her. Refusing to answer to “Jane Doe” for another day, the woman renames herself “Water” for the tiny, hidden marking on her body—the only clue to her past. Taken in by old Ginny Fitzgerald, a crotchety but kind lady living on a nearby horse farm, Water slowly begins building a new life. But as she attempts to piece together the fleeting slivers of her memory, more questions emerge: Who is the next-door neighbor, quietly toiling under the hood of his Barracuda? Why won’t Ginny let him step foot on her property? And why does Water feel she recognizes him?
Twenty-four-year-old Jesse Welles doesn’t know how long it will be before Water gets her memory back. For her sake, Jesse hopes the answer is never. He knows that she’ll stay so much safer—and happier—that way. And that’s why, as hard as it is, he needs to keep his distance. Because getting too close could flood her with realities better left buried.
The trouble is, water always seems to find its way to the surface.
“Do you have far to go? These aren’t meant for long distances.”
“About ten miles.”
“Good. I can stay behind you until you get off the highway, if that makes you feel better,” I offer, wiping my wet, dirty hands against my jeans. “I’m headed that way anyway.”
“That’s very kind of you.” She doesn’t make a move to leave, though. She just stands there, her face hidden by the darkness and that giant umbrella.
And then I hear the stifled sob.
Ah, shit. I don’t know what to do with a rich girl crying on the side of the road. Or crying girls in general. I’ve made plenty of them do it, unintentionally, and felt bad about it after. But other than saying, “I’m sorry,” I’m at a loss. I hesitate before asking, “Is everything okay? I mean, do you have someone you can call? You can use my phone if you want. I’ll grab it from the car.”
“No, I don’t have anyone.”
A long, lingering silence hangs over us.
“Well . . .” I really just want to get home and catch The Late Show, but I didn’t get soaked so I could leave her standing out here.
“Are you happy?” Her question cuts through the quiet night like a rude interruption.
“Uh . . .” What? I shift nervously on my feet.
“In your life. Are you happy? Or do you ever wish you could just start over?”
I frown into the darkness. “Right now I wish I wasn’t freezing my ass off in the rain,” I admit. What the hell else do I say to that? I wasn’t ready for deep, thought-provoking questions. I generally avoid those, and God knows the idiots I hang out with don’t toss them around. Is this chick out of her mind?
She steps in closer, lifting her umbrella to shield me, granting me part of my wish. “I mean, if you could just start over fresh . . . free yourself from all the bad decisions you’ve made . . . would you do it?”
Obviously this woman’s shitty day started long before the flat tire. “Sounds like you have some regrets,” I finally offer. It’s not really an answer to her question but, honestly, I don’t know how to respond to that.
“Yeah. I think I do.” It’s so soft, I barely hear her over the rain hitting asphalt and the low rumble of her idling engine. I startle as cool fingers suddenly slide over my cheek, my nose, my jaw—covered in fresh stubble—until they find my mouth, where they rest in a strangely intimate way. I feel like she’s testing me. What’s going on in this woman’s head right now?
Though I can’t stop the steady climb of my heartbeat, I don’t move a single muscle, more curious than anything. Very slowly, the shadow in front of me shifts closer and closer, until her mouth is hovering over mine and her breathing is shaky.
And then she kisses me.
**My 5-star Review**
I can't stop gushing about this story. It's so gripping and unique, that there is no way one couldn't be addicted to this story! I wanted to skip to the end, yet I didn't want it to end!
Right from the start you are pulled into this story. The story of a woman who cannot remember her life. A woman who was destined to die in the snowy woods. A woman who is desperate to make a connection that will bring her memory back. A woman drawn to this mysterious man, Jesse.
You are thrown back and forth from the events leading up to Water's horrific "accident" to her currently struggling to hang on and remember.
Jesse has wanted Water since the first time he laid eyes on her. He has always wanted nothing but to protect her. Now he needs to protect her from her memories. At the same time, he fights his feelings for her and keeps their past from her.
The relationship building in this book is freaking awesome! It's slow yet instant. All of the characters in the book are so well developed they seem to take over the story on their own. They are natural and real. I loved the way Water is able to connect with those around her despite not knowing who she really is.
With the secrets looming over Jesse and his family. The fear that Water will remember and push them away for deceiving her for so long hangs heavy in the air. At the same time, remembering everything could be all that Water needs to finally feel like she belongs.
I was up and down throughout the whole book. I went from watery eyes to a goofy grin and back the entire time.
Would I recommend this book? Of coarse. I would recommend this book to anyone who reads and even to some that don't. K.A. Tucker has never disappointed in her story telling.
Born in small-town Ontario, K.A. Tucker published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader, and currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.