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.
It’s a tentative kiss at first, her lips lightly sweeping across mine without committing entirely, but it gets my blood rushing all the same. I can’t say that I’ve ever kissed a woman without seeing her face first. It’s both unnerving and strangely liberating. If she looks anything like her lips feel, then I’m kissing a supermodel right now.
Finally she finds her place, her lips slightly parted as they gently work against mine, each one of her ragged breaths like an intoxicating spell as they slip into my mouth alongside her tongue. I don’t even care about the rain or the cold or getting home anymore, too busy fighting the urge to loose my hands on her. But I don’t know why the fuck she’s doing this and I’m a suspicious person by nature. So, I ball my fists and keep my arms to my sides while her mouth slowly teases mine and her hand grasps the side of my face.
Just when I’m ready to give up on my mistrust and pull her into me, she suddenly breaks free, her short, hard pants dispelling her calm. She steps back, taking the shield of her umbrella with her. The cold rain is a semi-effective douse to the heat coursing through my body.
I smile into the darkness. “No big deal. Tires take me no time.”
“I wasn’t talking about the tire.” She’s smiling too. I can hear it in her soft words.
With my mouth hanging open, I watch her silhouette round the car. In one fluid motion, she folds her umbrella up and slides into the driver’s seat.
And I’m left standing here, wondering what the hell just happened. She doesn’t know what I look like either. We could pass each other on the sidewalk and we’d never know.
Maybe that’s the point.
Shaking my head, I dart back to my car, my clothes soaked and my mind thoroughly mystified. She may be sweet but if she goes around kissing strange men on the side of the road, no wonder she has regrets. I hope regrets are the worst thing she ever has to deal with.
True to my word, I tail her for eight miles, my fingers testing my lips as I recall the feel of hers against them, until she signals toward one of Portland’s richer areas. A big part of me wants to turn off and follow her the rest of the way. Just so I know who she is.
I have my hand on the turn signal. But at the last minute, I pull back and keep heading straight. Regrets have a tendency to spread when you tie yourself to the wrong kind of person. I’ve learned that the hard way.
I hope she finds what she’s looking for.
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.