Burying Water

Burying Water

4.5 34
by K. A. Tucker

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The highly anticipated start of a new romantic suspense series from the beloved, USA Today bestselling author of Ten Tiny Breaths.

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

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The highly anticipated start of a new romantic suspense series from the beloved, USA Today bestselling author of Ten Tiny Breaths.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Globe and Mail
"Another addictive triumph for the impressively prosaic Tucker."
#1 New York Times bestselling author - Rachel Van Dyken
"Unique, engrossing, and heartbreaking. Burying Water is a mesmerizing read that will keep you captivated until the very last page."
#1 New York Times bestselling author on Five Ways to Fall - Jennifer L. Armentrout
"You'll only need one reason to fall in love with K.A.Tucker."
New York Times bestselling author - Laura Kaye
"Dark, ominous, and sexy...compelling from beginning to end."
New York Times bestselling author on Five Ways to Fall - Jay Crownover
"This is a fun, flirty, super sexy love story that offers all of the best of opposites attracting. K.A. Tucker's writing is engaging, witty, and endearing just like her characters."
author of Before You on Five Ways to Fall - Amber Hart
"Lush, atmospheric, and addictive, with a romance that sizzles. Guard your heart."
Vilma's Book Blog
"Emotionally haunting. Richly evocative. Dangerously sexy. A stirring story of resilience, courage and the healing power of love."
Kirkus Reviews
Beaten, raped, left for dead—a young woman slowly repairs her body, but her mind refuses to tell her the awful truth of what really happened. The woman was found in an isolated field by Jesse Welles, a prodigiously talented car mechanic. The local doctor and sheriff understandably take an interest in the case, but they're also Jesse's parents and are strangely eager to keep him away from her. Even aside from finding the woman in the field, Jesse's the kind of guy who stops in a storm to help a woman stranded on the side of the road, and she rewards him with a powerful kiss. She's out of his league, so Jesse is startled to see her again at a nightclub, where the powerful Viktor Petrova makes him a deal that's hard to resist: Rebuild Viktor's Aston Martin DB5 in exchange for Jesse's dream car, a '69 Barracuda. Viktor's business dealings are probably illegal, and his abused wife looks a lot like the mysterious woman who kissed Jesse. Nonetheless, Jesse finds himself at the Petrovas' house every day, getting to know Viktor's wife very well indeed. Meanwhile, Jesse's mother cares for the anonymous woman. Balking at the label "Jane Doe," which only emphasizes her ghost of an existence, she chooses a new name based on a small tattoo balanced on her hip: Water. With the help of Jesse's mother, she finds a home with Ginny Fitzgerald. The woman, her memories, her emotional wreckage—all, like water, must inevitably surface. As Water does rise, she finds herself increasingly wondering about Jesse. Why is he so skittish around her? Why is she so drawn to him? Tucker (Five Ways to Fall, 2014, etc.) deftly steers the damsel-in-(serious, nearly fatal, possibly mob-related)-distress-rescued-by-a-knight-in-shining-armor storyline, making these star-crossed lovers compelling. A sexy, romantic, gangster-tinged page-turner.

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Product Details

Atria Books
Publication date:
Burying Water Series, #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.90(d)

Read an Excerpt

Burying Water




    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 give anything 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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