This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult Romance
Published by Atria Books
Released on October 7, 2014
Near death, amnesia, a past, a present, but what of the future when memories like water find their way to the surface. The title is weighty and significant all through the book becoming its main theme.
[quote]”My granddad…said the truth is like that water: it doesn’t matter how hard you try to bury it; it’ll always find some way back to the surface. It’s resilient.”
I feel her body relax into my chest. “I really like that story. I want to be like water, too…to go where I’m meant to go.” Loc. 63% Jesse and Alex/Water from Burying Water[/quote]
Gah, it was good stuff. This author became a favorite when I read and loved her Ten Tiny Breaths series. I was keen to see where she would take me with a whole new world and characters. Let me tell you, I ended up in very good hands. This story captivated me from the start and didn’t let go to the very end.
The story is told in alternating points of view and flashbacks. Jesse narrates the flashbacks and Alex/Water narrates the present. It was a unique storytelling style and makes it almost like two stories until the end when they come together.
The story opens with a young woman waking up in a hospital with no idea who she is though it is clear that she barely survived the intentional murderous brutality that was done to her. They call her Jane Doe because there is no clues left to who she is or where she came from and she spends three months recuperating and hoping that the evil monster who attacked her can’t find her. The old woman with her own horrendous past that takes her in when she has no where else to go tells her that she’s fortunate not to remember being attacked and that she should just let it go by choosing a new name and moving forward. So with the help of eccentric Ginny, a quirky shopkeeper, and the supportive family next door, she starts over while secretly attracted to the bad boy son who drives the black, rumbling Barracuda and gives her unreadable looks.
Jesse found Alex near death and he just knows that if he had left her alone this wouldn’t have happened. He recalls it all from the first moment he acted as the Good Samaritan to the woman stranded along the side of the road with the flat tire. She seems bothered by more than the tire as she throws out her incredible statement that she wishes she could start over then she delivers a tender kiss that lingers on long after she leaves him standing there in the rain. Later, he discovers who she is through mutual connections and he figures out just why she wants a do-over on life. The woman in the rain is a trophy wife to a rich, abusive, philandering man who is paying Jesse to rebuild one of his classic cars for something Jesse wants. Now that he is getting to know the real Alex behind the facade of wealthy man’s wife, he wants something else almost as much as that ’69 Barracuda.
I really loved how the author set this story up and the tone it took. It felt like a romantic suspense since Alex’s memories are gone and Jesse’s storytelling slowly reveals the truth of how things came to be as they were. There is a strong tension and danger feeling going in and it’s like waiting under the Sword of Damocles for the inevitable to happen. The burning question for me was always ‘What will happen when she remembers?’ Alex and Jesse had gone through so much that I knew exactly what I wanted from this, but there were no real guarantees especially the way Jesse chose to handle things. Would she ever forgive him?
The two stories were set well against each other. Jesse’s is full of the stronger more vibrant emotions as it deals with the dangerous and heartwrenching side while Alex/Water’s story is more gentle and tender. They even are set against differing backgrounds of big city night life and small town country living. I enjoyed both sides equally well.
One of the other big strengths are the surrounding cast of characters. Whether they were the good guys or the bad, they were drawn well. I was taken with Jesse’s friend, Boone, eccentric Ginny, the whole Welles’ family and Water’s co-worker, Dakota almost as much as the main characters.
Jesse and Alex were so engaging, yet all things being equal I shouldn’t have liked either one of them or their story. But I did.
Jesse is trying to prove to himself and his dad that he isn’t the screw up he was back in high school. Since he left home, he finished college and now is one of the best mechanics and car restorers out there which is what brings him to the attention of rich men who skirt the law. Jesse doesn’t think of himself as a good or noble guy, but yet he desperately wants to be Alex’s knight and he is, many times over. He makes some tough decisions and has to really wrestle with the morals of it all too. He seems to be a magnate for trouble. He got nearly convicted of murder in high school by being in the wrong place at the wrong time and now he ends up falling in love with a married woman that he helps and rescues who is abused and terrified of her own husband. Yep, I not only tolerated, but I enjoyed a story with cheating as an element. For those that are generally like me when it comes to the cheating, I will just say that though it is still wrong, the circumstances weren’t clear cut. They knew they were wrong and acknowledged this and had a clear plan to deal with that situation.
Oddly, I liked Alex too. I say oddly because she is not an overtly strong person and pretty much got herself into the nightmare mess she is in through her own bad choices. She is someone that needed looking after and that is usually not my thing in heroines. But what kept me reading were the hints that there was something more to her. I felt like I was reading a woman in process. She was making her big mistakes and learning so that she would be the better for it when it’s all through. And I knew I was right about that because she does form into someone different with the reset she got on life due to the amnesia. Given the chance to make different choices, she does. I found this thought on her character tantalizing to contemplate after I finished the story b/c usually its a what you see is what you get with a character and here I got to see the same gal live two different lives.
Alrighty, so there you have it. A new series beginning with a bang and utterly engaging my interest and emotions. I suppose this is probably categorized as a New Adult Contemporary Romance because of their ages, but it felt like an adult Romantic Suspense so I’m going to say that it will appeal to a fairly broad range of audience. It has some spicy scenes, but the focus is more on the character development and the development of their relationship and its circumstances. Definitely looking forward to book two.
My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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