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.