My Review: Waterfall Effect by K.K. Allen

My Review:  Waterfall Effect by K.K. AllenWaterfall Effect by K. K. Allen
Publication Date: February 28, 2018
Genres: angst, Romance, standalone, Suspense
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Synopsis

Lost in the shadows of a tragedy that stripped Aurora June of everything she once loved, she’s back in the small town of Balsam Grove, North Carolina, ready to face all she’s 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 home—her 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 isn’t 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.

She’d thought he was safe. He’d thought their path was mapped out. Turns out neither of them was ready for the crash at the bottom of the cascade.

My Review

Waterfall Effect by Author K. K. Allen is a standalone, romantic suspense novel.

“I wanted to fall. To let his rapids carry me and take me over the edge. I wanted to live in his waterfall. Not drown in his cascade.”

Aurora can’t escape her past. Too much pain. Too much unknown. She made a life for herself, but never really felt like she was living. So she went back to where it all started. Where she knew her greatest victories and finalizing defeats. Back to him. Back to her one true love.

“…I was the riverbed, trying to hold steady in the roughest water. Time was the river, and it continued to move over me, fast and furious on its way to the plunge. He said that every boulder I set up was me trying to stop time—stemming from a fear of moving forward and a fear of returning to where I came from.”

Waterfall Effect was an agonizingly slow burn of love and emotional upheaval. The fear, pain, and unease that Aurora felt was so real. She could no longer see herself as an artist, but her words colored her story. Black, white, and gray seemed to be her go-to’s. However, when Jaxon was present, we could see intense swirls of reds, blues, greens, yellows, and so many more. I love how he was her teacher of sorts. His unchanging heart being the constant of inspiration for her well-being and future.

“How does she do this to me? After seven years, she’s still my everything. Despite the pain, the loss, and the agony of being apart, my love for her has only grown.”

The vivid scenery and small town feel added to the ambience and atmosphere of the story. One of my favorite places to visit are mountainous areas with falls. While they are beautiful and can be serene, there is also an unmistakable powerful force that cannot be denied. The symbolism utilized in the story definitely reflected this thought, and fueled the uncertainty that increased with every turned page.

“I don’t know why you decided to come back,” he murmurs lowly. “All I know is that you’re here now.” My heart squeezes. “You may feel like you’ve lost yourself, Aurora. That you’ve grown distant from the things you once loved. But it’s not too late to reclaim your life. Let me help you.”

This second chance at love novel was sweetly redeeming and one to cherish.

4 Stars

Excerpt

As I approach the edge of the winding river less than a minute’s walk from my cottage, it’s like someone has injected me with life. With a lift of my chin, I close my eyes and inhale until I’m 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 don’t try to navigate my way. I hike beside the river, around every curve and bend, uphill and against the current. It’s a familiar path, but my focus isn’t 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 it’s not until I reach a steeper incline that I take a moment to assess where I’m 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 water’s 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. I’m 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, I’m standing on flat land again, taking in the two-story home that overlooks a waterfall, an old millhouse beside it. It’s like it came out of nowhere, but this house—it’s home to some of my best memories, my biggest dreams, and the beginning of the horrible nightmare that ended life as I knew it.

“Ah, that’s my girl,” a voice booms in the distance. “Bring it here, Lacey.”

Shit. Jaxon?

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. He’s 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 I’ve 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, fishing…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.

He’s still mesmerizing, and I can’t 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, I’m as breathless as he is.

I’m not sure how long I’ve been staring when he uses the slick rocks to pull himself from the water, but I’m completely captivated by the droplets coursing down his naked back and arms. He’s all strength and agility, effortlessly pulling himself to his feet. I should turn away, but I don’t. Instead, I watch as water glides from his long hair, down his narrow waist, and then over the most beautiful ass I’ve ever seen.

Is he…?

I gasp, my hand clapping over my mouth. But it’s too late. One slip of my breath is all it takes for Lacey’s snout to jerk in my direction and sound off the first menacing growl.

About K. K. Allen

K.K. Allen is the author of Contemporary Fantasy and New Adult Romance stories. She loves manatees, learned to swim for the mere purpose of pretending she was a mermaid, and adores the beach so much she promises to one day live on one (in a tent if she has to) in Hawaii and serve shaved ice on the side of the road.

More from K. K. Allen

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