Title: Waterfall Effect
Author: K.K. Allen
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: February 28, 2018
Lost in the shadows of a tragedy that stripped Aurora June of everything she once loved, sheâs back in the small town of Balsam Grove, North Carolina, ready to face all sheâs kept locked away for seven years. Or so she thinks.
As one of the victims of a string of mysterious disappearances in the small, picturesque Appalachian Mountain town, darkness has become her homeâher safe blanket when the world reveals its true colors. But as the walls of darkness start to move in on her, she knows the only way to free herself from her past is to face it, head-on. She just needs to figure out how.
Upon arrival, Aurora isnât expecting her first collision to be with the boy she left all those years ago. The boy who betrayed her trust with no regrets. The boy who is no longer a boy, but a man with the same stormy eyes that swept her into his current before she ever learned to swim.
Sheâd thought he was safe. Heâd thought their path was mapped out. Turns out neither of them was ready for the crash at the bottom of the cascade.
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As I approach the edge of the winding river less than a minuteâs walk from my cottage, itâs like someone has injected me with life. With a lift of my chin, I close my eyes and inhale until Iâm no longer dulled and disoriented. Everything becomes clear. In Balsam Grove, I breathe the air with new lungs, feel the breeze with new skin, and see the land through new eyes.
I donât try to navigate my way. I hike beside the river, around every curve and bend, uphill and against the current. Itâs a familiar path, but my focus isnât on the destination. Every now and then I stop to take a drink from the stream, pluck a fiery pink flower, and tune into a wild animal scampering across fallen leaves. But itâs not until I reach a steeper incline that I take a moment to assess where Iâm headed.
The river has significantly increased in speed since I began walking a few minutes ago. A steeper incline forces me to distance myself from the waterâs edge, onto a more manageable path through the woods. My thighs burn from the steady climb, and my throat aches from dehydration. I never planned to journey this far, but I could have at least thought to bring water. Iâm ready to turn back, find the river, and drink from it when I spot the top of a familiar red house peeking over the hill. Hummingbirds unleash in my chest as I inch forward.
Mere seconds later, Iâm standing on flat land again, taking in the two-story home that overlooks a waterfall, an old millhouse beside it. Itâs like it came out of nowhere, but this houseâitâs home to some of my best memories, my biggest dreams, and the beginning of the horrible nightmare that ended life as I knew it.
âAh, thatâs my girl,â a voice booms in the distance. âBring it here, Lacey.â
My eyes sweep left, to the source of the river. Two waterfalls coming from different directions spill into one body of water where Jaxon treads. Heâs patting the water as Lacey paddles over with a stick in her mouth.
Jaxon takes the stick, then rubs her head before she continues paddling to the edge of the river. After she climbs out and does a full body shake to dry off, he tosses the stick to the side and turns back to the water, swimming lap after lap until Iâve lost count. Every powerful stroke reveals inches of well-cut muscle and betrays his familiarity with the water.
Jaxon always loved everything about the water. Diving, swimming, fishingâ¦sex. I shiver at the memory of how well our slick bodies fit together. Of his delicate fingers stripping me of my bikini top so he could see all of me as he inched his way into my body, my heart. Of his hot mouth wrapping around my pebbled nipple just to hear my whispered cry. Of the way he watched me with hooded eyes as I came for him, my back pressed against a boulder and the plunging falls above us swallowing my cries.
He took everything good from me, but it was me that handed it over for the taking.
Heâs still mesmerizing, and I canât take my eyes off him now. With every stroke, I imagine him swimming away from me, away from our past and deeper into the rushing swell of the stream. How long has he been swimming? How far?
I swallow my anxiety as he finally breaks from his exercise to catch his breath. When he does, Iâm as breathless as he is.
Iâm not sure how long Iâve been staring when he uses the slick rocks to pull himself from the water, but Iâm completely captivated by the droplets coursing down his naked back and arms. Heâs all strength and agility, effortlessly pulling himself to his feet. I should turn away, but I donât. Instead, I watch as water glides from his long hair, down his narrow waist, and then over the most beautiful ass Iâve ever seen.
I gasp, my hand clapping over my mouth. But itâs too late. One slip of my breath is all it takes for Laceyâs snout to jerk in my direction and sound off the first menacing growl.
K.K. Allen is an award-winning author and Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences graduate from the University of Washington who writes heartfelt and inspirational Contemporary Romance stories mainly about âCapturing the Edge of Innocence.â K.K. currently resides in central Florida, works full time as a Digital Producer for a leading online educational institution, and is the mother to a ridiculously handsome little dude who owns her heart.
K.K.âs publishing journey began in June 2014 with the YA Contemporary Fantasy trilogy, The Summer Solstice. In 2016, K.K. published her first Contemporary Romance, Up in the Treehouse, which went on to win the Romantic Times 2016 Reviewersâ Choice Award for Best New Adult Book of the Year. With K.K.'s love for inspirational and coming of age stories involving heartfelt narratives and honest emotions, you can be assured to always be surprised by what K.K. releases next.