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.
September was a heavy month for rain. It looks like October is competing for a record, too, because it’s pouring again tonight. It’s only a matter of time before the car gives out on me, right here in the middle of this deserted road. Then I’ll be just like the poor sucker on the shoulder up ahead, his hazards flashing.
Even though I’ve already made my mind up to keep moving, when I realize it’s a BMW Z8, my foot eases off the gas pedal. I’ve never seen one in real life before. Probably because there are only a few thousand in the entire country and each one would go for a pretty penny.It’s rare and it’s fucking gorgeous.
And it has a flat tire.
“Nope.” Changing tires in the rain sucks. That rich bastard can wait for roadside assistance to come save him. I’m sold on that plan until my headlights catch long blond hair in the driver’s side. Twenty feet past, my conscience takes over and I can’t help but brake. “Shit,” I mutter, pulling off to the shoulder and slowly backing up.
No one’s getting out, but if she’s alone, she’s probably wary. With a loud groan, I step out into the rain, yanking the hood of my gray sweatshirt up over my head. I jog over to the passenger-side window. Growing up with a sheriff as a father, you learn never to stand on the road, even if there isn’t a car in sight. People get clipped all the time.
I knock against the glass.
“Come on . . .” I mutter, my head hung low, the rain pounding on my back feeling like a cold hose bath. It can’t be more than 40 degrees out here. Another five seconds and I’m leaving her here.
Finally the window cracks open, just enough for me to peer through. She’s alone in the car. It’s dark, but I’m pretty sure I see tears. I definitely see smeared black makeup. And her eyes . . . They glisten with fear. I don’t blame her. She’s driving a high-priced car and she’s sitting alone out here after eleven at night. And now there’s a guy in a hoodie hanging outside her window. I adjust my tone accordingly. “Do you need help?”
I hear her swallow hard before answering, “Yes. I do.” She sounds young, but it’s hard to tell with some women.
“Have you called Triple-A?”
She hesitates and then shakes her head.
Okay . . . not very talkative. She smells incredible, though, based on the flowery perfume wafting out of her car. Incredible and rich. “Your spare’s in the trunk?”
“I . . . think so?”
I sigh. Looks like I’m changing a tire in the pouring rain after all
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.