Genre: Contemporary, NA, Romance
Publication date: October 7th 2014
by Simon & Schuster Audio
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.
-A copy was provided by Simon & Schuster Audio for review-
Books about loss of memory are always intriguing to me. I also love a contemporary that sounds like it will be all sorts of emotional. This book delivered well for the most part. The thing that turned me off was the infidelity. I don’t ever think it’s okay no matter what. Yes, her husband was a cheating bastard first, but it doesn’t make it okay for her to do it too. Anyways, putting all of that aside, I really enjoyed this book. I loved how the past is told by Jesse, and the present told by Water and how they finally converge. I did wish for a bit more of an emotional impact, but I think because I was put off by certain things it made it harder for me to really connect and feel for the characters.
We start off the book in Jesse’s POV which is actually kind of the present, but that is the only present we get from him until things all come together. He seems like a decent guy, but man does he make a lot of mistakes and stupid decisions. Of course without some of his stupid decisions, we wouldn’t be getting this story. His mother is a great surgeon, and his father is the Sheriff of the small town he grew up in. He is now in Portland working at a garage and has somehow gotten in with some really bad people. He’s smart enough to not get in too deep with that circle, but not smart enough to stay away from the girl. He really has a heart of gold though and that somewhat redeemed him for me. He is pretty no nonsense as well and will just say it as it is most of the time. I loved how we got to hear his story leading up to how we got to the first scene in the book and learned about the events slowly.
Water wakes up in the hospital with no memory of who she is. She chooses the name Water after being sick of not having a name and knowing it could be a while until she remembers her own. She somehow ends up staying with Ginny who is a crochety old woman. She ends up really finding herself and helping Ginny to let down her steel walls as well. I liked Water. I don’t know that I liked her as who she was before the accident, though I did feel bad for her and everything she was going through. She is kind and compassionate. She has no clue about who she was before, just that someone obviously wanted to kill her. She wants to make a new life for herself, but still feels frustrated by not knowing anything about her past. She settles in, and she starts to become part of a family with Ginny and also Jesse’s family. She also is falling for Jesse. I thought that her POV was very sad, but also hopeful. I didn’t want her to remember the awfulness of her past, but almost felt like I needed her to so she would know who she was.
Besides Jesse and Water, I really liked some of the secondary characters. I also despised some of them. Ginny was probably my favorite character in the whole book. She has a very deep background and when we learn of it, it’s absolutely heartbreaking. She is a grumpy old woman who it totally paranoid, but we know that there is a reason. We know a little about what has made her the way she is, and seeing her start to loosen up a bit and let others in was amazing. I really think she was such a strong presence in the story and I loved her part in it. I hated Victor. He got me feeling all stabby pretty much any time there was a scene with him. I felt very strong emotions towards a lot of the characters, just maybe not along with them most of the time.
This was a fantastic audiobook. I loved that Jesse and Water were both different narrators. I thought that they both did a great job at bringing the characters to life. They were able to make me believe that this was a really story being told by the characters. I felt that I was able to get sucked into the story well listening to it. The emotion that they put into all of the characters was fantastic. Overall this was a really good book. The things that bothered me about it might not bother others. I thought the flow of it and how it all came together was really great. It had some heart racing moments, but mostly just a slow build up. There was no huge climax, but it was still dramatic. For anyone who loves a good NA contemporary, this is definitely a good one.