Title – Burying Water
Author – K.A. Tucker
Publication Date – October 7, 2014
Series – Burying Water, #1
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.
Burying Water is one of those books that completely consumes you. From the very first page it reached into my chest and grabbed onto my heart, leaving a permanent mark behind. This is by far one of the best books I have read this year, and it is definitely one of the most exquisite novels I’ve ever read. This story will stick with you. It will tear you apart and put you back together again. Alex and Jesse’s story was completely unexpected. K.A. Tucker took us into the depths of Alex’s personal hell and managed to bring us out feeling powerful and hopeful. This story is complicated and deals with some of life’s more harsh realities, but K.A. Tucker does so with incredible grace and understanding.
“The mind, it can be a deceitful thing. But it is no match for the heart.”
Alex is a stunning character. I loved this character from the start, overwhelmed by her strength and resilience. Her personal transformation over the course of this story was breathtaking. This character came into her own, fighting against the worst of human nature to secure her sense of self. She was empowering and inspiring in her struggle. Jesse on the other hand, won me over with a quieter strength. He planned and plotted and did everything in his power to make things better for Alex. He stole my heart with his willingness to risk everything to fix her and his determination to show her what real love is. He offers her the kind of unwavering love we all hope to deserve and in doing so, he shines light on the incredible darkness that surrounds her.
“For what it’s worth… you saved me. You may not be able to save everyone. But I’m standing here because of you.”
The secondary characters make this story. Burying Water wouldn’t work without Meredith, Amber, Gabe and Ginny. Meredith, Amber and Gabe exemplify the best that humanity has to offer. They were perfectly imperfect, exhibiting flaws of their own. I was moved by their unselfish nature, even if it meant taking huge risks to protect a stranger. The love this family stood for is rare and beautiful and pours off the page. I couldn’t imagine this book without Ginny. She is a key piece of the puzzle, showing Alex how to move forward through her own unwillingness to let go of her demons. Ginny felt like family and the support and empathy she provided is largely responsible for moving this story forward.
“I am lost and yet somehow found. I am afraid and yet somehow comforted. I am drifting and yet somehow… home.”
The emotional journey in Burying Water is unlike any I have ever seen before. This story is equal parts beautiful, thrilling and devastating. I couldn’t tear my eyes from the page, devouring this book completely. K.A. Tucker has written a masterpiece that details a very real, raw, honest, and at times, terrifying journey to love. Every twist and turn of this story brought me to the edge of my seat, waiting to see if this was the moment when everything would unravel. This story gave a voice to a difficult issue, opening our eyes to the darkness and giving us a heart wrenching tale of trust, love, and the lengths we go to in order to protect the integrity of both. Burying Water is an absolute must read!
Burying Water was one of the most unique, breathtaking stories that I have had the privilege of reading. I was utterly immersed in the events unfolding from page to page, leaving me feeling incredibly invested in these characters. The dual points of view, combined with the change in time periods, balanced a necessary line of emotion. It allowed readers to never become overwhelmed with the powerful events, yet kept them intrigued and enthralled.
“I watch and I wonder what makes people who they are. Is it the sum of learned behaviors and experiences? And if they, like me, can’t recall those experiences, would they still do those things in the exact same way? Or would they deviate?”
We are immediately thrown into this high-intensity moment that catches your attention and grips your heart. Jesse has just found Alex, and her life is hanging in the balance. What occurs afterwards is a beautiful journey of strength and discovery. Alex is left with no memory of who she is or where she comes from. Left in the hospital for months with nobody attempting to find her or report her missing, she is literally given a second chance at life. Jessie is left to watch her move on from afar, but never truly able to explain what she means to him. As a reader, I could feel every single emotion through the words on the page; the sorrow, the agony, the heartbreak, but especially the love. The images are painted so vividly and the words come together in such a poetic nature. I felt so moved by every little thing that these characters encountered.
“If you wait long enough, the truth always finds its way. Just like that stream. Just like water.”
Both Jessie and Alex are written impeccably, but I was also incredibly moved by the secondary characters. I loved the relationship dynamics that we encountered – particularly through Alex and Ginny. The way that these two could relate to each other and recognized kindred souls in each other was absolutely touching. When something terrible happens, people can either succeed in spite of what happened, or they can let it overpower you. It was stunning to see the dichotomy of how these two women took tragic events and dealt with them so differently, giving us a concrete picture of what could have happened with Alex.
“He said that 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.”
This is, without a doubt, one of the top reads of 2014 for me. Everything about Burying Water, from the language to the imagery to the character development, was done superbly. K.A. Tucker has a beautiful way with words that allows the reader to experience every feeling portrayed. However, she does it in a way that never left me feeling so overwhelmed that I needed a break. On the contrary, I had to keep reading through the storm to see if I would get the sunshine. Something about this book just struck a chord inside of me and I know that Burying Water will be anything but buried in my heart and mind. These characters will undoubtedly continue to rise to the surface and leave an impression on me. If this is any indication of what K.A. Tucker is capable of, I can’t wait to see what she could possibly come up with next!
This can’t be real . . . This can’t be real . . . This can’t be real . . .
The words cycle round and round in my mind like the wheels on my speeding ’Cuda as its ass-end slips and slides over the gravel and ice. This car is hard to handle on the best of days, built front-heavy and overloaded with horsepower. I’m going to put myself into one of these damn trees if I don’t slow down.
I jam my foot against the gas pedal.
I can’t slow down now.
Not until I know that Boone was wrong about what he claims to have overheard. His Russian is mediocre at best. I’ll giveanything for him to be wrong about this.
My gut clenches as my car skids around another turn,the cone shape of Black Butte looming like a monstrous shadow ahead of me in the pre-dawn light. The snowy tire tracks framed by my headlights might not even be the right ones, but they’re wide like Viktor’s Hummer and they’re sure as hell the only ones down this old, deserted logging road. No one comes out here in January.
The line of trees marking the dead end comes up on me before I expect it. I slam on my brakes, sending my car sliding sideways toward the old totem pole. It’s still sliding when I cut the rumbling engine, throw open the door, and jump out, fumbling with my flashlight. It takes three hard presses with my shaking hands to get the light to hold.
I begin searching the ground. The mess of tread marks tells me that someone pulled a U-turn. The footprints tell me that more than one person got out. And when I see the half-finished cigarette butt with that weird alphabet on the filter, I know Boone wasn’t wrong.
“Alex!” My echo answers once . . . twice . . . before the vast wilderness swallows up my desperate cry. With frantic passes of my flashlight, my knuckles white against its body, I search the area until I spot the sets of footprints that lead off the old, narrow road and into the trees.
Frigid fingers curl around my heart.
Darting back to my car, I snatch the old red-and-blue plaid wool blanket that she loves so much from the backseat. Ice-cold snow packs into the sides of my sneakers as I chase the trail past the line of trees and into the barren field ahead, my blood rushing through my ears the only sound I process.
The only sign of life.
Raw fear numbs my senses, the Pacific Northwest winter numbs my body, but I push forward because if . . .
The beam of light passes over a still form lying facedown in the snow. I’d recognize that pink coat and platinum-blond hair of hers anywhere; the sparkly blue dress that she hates so much looks like a heap of sapphires against a white canvas.
My heart freezes.
“Alex.” It’s barely a whisper. I’m unable to produce more, my lungs giving up on me. I run, stumbling through the foot of snow until I’m on my knees and crawling forward to close the distance. A distance of no more than ten feet and yet one that seems like miles.
There’s no mistaking the spray of crimson freckling the snow around her head. Or that most of her long hair is now dark and matted. Or that her silver stockings are torn and stained red, and a pool of blood has formed where her dress barely covers her thighs. Plenty of footprints mark the ground around her. He must have been here for a while.
I know that there are rules to follow, steps to make sure that I don’t cause her further harm. But I ignore them because the sinking feeling in my stomach tells me I can’t possibly hurt her more than he already has. I nestle her head with one hand while I slide the other under her shoulder. I roll her over.
Cold shock knocks the wind out of me.
I’ve never seen anybody look like this.
I scoop her limp body into my arms, cradling the once beautiful face that I’ve seen in every light—rage to ecstasy and the full gamut in between—yet is now unrecognizable. Placing two blood-coated fingers over her throat, I wait. Nothing.
A light pinch against her lifeless wrist.Nothing.
Maybe a pulse does exist but it’s hidden, masked by my own racing one.
Then again, by the look of her, likely not.
One . . . two . . . three . . . plump, serene snowflakes begin floating down from the unseen sky above. Soon, they will converge and cover the tracks, the blood. The evidence.Mother Nature’s own blanket to hide the unsightly blemish in her yard.
“I’m so sorry.” I don’t try to restrain the hot tears as they roll down my cheeks to land on her mangled lips—lips I had stolen plenty of kisses from, back when I was too stupid to realize how dangerous that really was. This is my fault. She had warned me. If I had just listened, had stayed away from her, had not told her how I felt . . .
. . . had not fallen wildly in love with her.
I lean down to steal a kiss even now, the coppery taste of her blood mixing with my salty tears. “I’m so damn sorry. I should never have even looked your way,” I manage to get out around my sobs, tucking the blanket she loved to curl up in over her.
An almost inaudible gasp slips out. A slight breeze against my mouth more than anything else.
My lungs freeze, my eyes glued to her, afraid to hope. “Alex?” Is it possible?
A moment later, a second gasp—a wet, rattling sound—escapes.
She’s not dead.
Not yet, anyway.
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Don’t miss the rest of the series:
Becoming Rain (Burying Water #2)
Chasing River (Burying Water #3)
Surviving Ice (Burying Water #4)
K.A. Tucker is the author of He Will Be My Ruin and the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series. She currently resides outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and a Chug.