REVIEW by L.E.: At the Water’s Edge by Harper Bliss (@HarperBliss , @AuthorLE)

91ca1bEPylL._SL1500_Sometimes you need to go back to where you came from…

After a traumatic event that has left her in deep need of healing, Ella Goodman returns to her hometown in Oregon. While staying at her family’s cabin at the West Waters lake resort, she finds an unexpected friend in level-headed owner Kay Brody. But Ella’s sole objective is to restore the broken ties with her family, and she has no time for distractions like falling in love. The healing process is confrontational and difficult though, and she is soon forced to realize that people like Kay only come along once in a lifetime.

 

 

At the Water’s Edge was a surprise read for me. I’m a huge fan of Harper Bliss and her female characters, who are by and large hot and ready and pretty badass. These are women you want to meet, regardless of your sexual orientation, so you can marvel at their sexual prowess and allow yourself to get caught up in all that lush, feminine heat.

But this book is different. Yes, it’s a romance, and yes, you will find some badassery, and yes, you will slide into a luxurious pool of ladyheat. But this story is also a homecoming and a rebirth, a confession and an act of bravery so powerful it will take your breath away.

Ella returns home under nebulous circumstances, and it’s clear that home has the potential to heal what ails her soul.

There’s something about the air in this place. It takes me back to a simpler time, a time when it was a given that air was clean and pure, a time when I didn’t worry so much.

Harper Bliss is so clever with her reveal that Ella’s secret is safe throughout a good part of the book, and I became so invested in her that I stopped worrying about what it was and just went along for the ride. Having my revelations as a reader along with the heroine gave this book an intimate feel.

There are some things no one wants to speak of out loud.

And when you understand what’s tearing Ella apart, everything else makes sense – including her arms’ length treatment of sexy, sage Kay.

…my usual M.O. of crash and burn is all I know.

As a reader, you can’t help but root for Ella and Kay as they dance around one another. Both know what’s going to happen, both want it, and both have their own fears about embarking on a relationship together. Their struggles to be honest and build intimacy is one any of us can relate to, especially because one of them is screwing it up spectacularly until nearly the end.

And that’s the most believable bit. I read a lot of romances, and while I love the soothing, squishy world of HEAs, sometimes they are a little too antiseptic. I need some honest-to-god soul-searching, some uncomfortable conversations, some grit and paralyzing fear.

The only thing that stands between this version of yourself you created in your head and the real, accomplished, smart, sensible, gorgeous woman that you are is you.

You’ll want Ella out of her head, and you’ll want it so badly you’ll agree to the whole messy journey to get her there. And that, after all, is every author’s dream: that much interest and trust.

At the Water’s Edge is a must-read for lovers of F/F romance and anyone interested in starting over.

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LE

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