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Waterfall Effect

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From RT Book Reviews New Adult Award Winner, K.K. Allen comes a new and suspenseful small town mountain romance.

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.

489 pages

First published February 28, 2018

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About the author

K.K. Allen

36 books2,980 followers
K.K. Allen is the USA TODAY Bestselling and award-winning contemporary romance author of sweet, sexy, and inspiring stories that evoke emotion at every turn.

K.K.'s debut romance novel, Up in the Treehouse, was named the Best New Adult Book of the Year by RT Book Reviews, an honor beyond belief. And she continues to take reader’s emotions on an epic ride every single time with real, layered, coming of age romance stories that will make you fall in love over and over again.

Born in Hawaii, raised in Washington, and currently residing in Florida, K.K. lives for laughs with her little dude, the great outdoors, watching football, dancing the night away, and her eclectic taste in music.

K.K. also loves connecting with her readers and attends signings when she can! You can find upcoming event dates and other information at: www.kkallen.com.

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5 stars
1,157 (46%)
4 stars
837 (33%)
3 stars
341 (13%)
2 stars
91 (3%)
1 star
37 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 510 reviews
March 6, 2018
Five Massive Stars

THIS. BOOK. 💙 FUUUUKKK!! #CrackBook alert!!! It was phenomenal. I’ve loved all of these author’s books and honestly I can’t pick a favorite since all of them are just so fucking good. I’m a sucker for second chance romance and when you add a bit of suspense & mystery...speechless. Brilliant. 💙💚
Profile Image for Alex ✰ Comets and Comments ✰.
173 reviews2,748 followers
March 10, 2018
"You're my life."


I received an ARC for this a while ago, and because my reading schedule fell back - I couldn't actually get to it as fast as I wanted to. I had high hopes for Waterfall Effect and while it was a good read. It was just that for me. okay. I liked the premise of the story and there were some heavy themes in this book to be dealt with but I couldn't get myself to see anything spectacular about it.


Keeping it short.
What I think really got me was the fact that this has so many amazing reviews saying how fantastic this is. This was such a heavy case of "it's not you, it's me" so I really need to stress that if you are planning on reading this book - make your own opinion of it! Don't take my word about it. I'm a bitch when it comes to ratings.

I promise you go into every single book with an open mind and a desire to rave about it at the end. Some of the time it works. Most of the time, it goes a little something like this:


But I never keep it sweet.
I felt the writing was very amateur and the dual point POV was mediocre in its efforts. There were so many run on paragraphs!! While we saw the character development of Aurora, there was so many flashbacks that I really felt Jaxon was two dimensional.

I think this is just me, but I felt the writer had a lot of 'filler' paragraphs making a lot of the book feel unnecessary. There are some 400+ page novels that I feel could be diluted into a 100+ page novella and this was something like that.


The first chapter was amazing. I wrote "Fucking brilliant start" on my kindle. The first prologue chapter alone got the two stars. Maybe that's why I felt like the rest of the book fell behind because the prologue was so amazing, I thought the rest would be that way too!

There was a severe lack of chemistry in the first 50% of the book, it felt like the old case of - "don't tell me about it, make me feel it!". I loved reading about Aurora and Jaxon's story and I'm genuinely glad I picked this up! I'll be looking out for this authors further novels and I really hope more people read her stuff (even though it wasn't for me)
Profile Image for Missy Ann.
Author 7 books84 followers
March 4, 2018
I need a one-way ticket to Balsam Grove!

I lost count of the number of times my mouth fell open while reading this riveting romance. The best books are the ones that make you feel instead of just reading the story. K.k. Allen doesn’t waste anytime attacking the heart while forcing you to turn the page to find out what direction the story is going. I took longer to read this book than I usually do because I did NOT want it to end. The secondary characters will win your love just as quick as Aurora and Jax. The writing and story are like nothing I have ever read before and I will recommend to everyone. I can tell you right now this will be my favorite book of the year but not only that, this story will forever be in my heart.
Profile Image for Lisa Sylva (The Book Bistro).
182 reviews16 followers
February 27, 2018
I’ve Fallen In Love With My Own Waterfall Eyes!

K.K. Allen leaves me speechless! This story is unbelievable and jaw dropping leaving you wondering the whole time. My brain was in constant “thinking mode” throughout this whole book. I definitely put this book in the Romantic Suspense genre, it’s just so so good. The author gives you so much in this book, she gives you a beautiful love story with a big “are you kidding me” bonus to it. Needless to say, putting down this book to do things in my real life was extremely difficult. I finally waited till all the creatures were stirring, not even a mouse to read the whole book right on through the whole night. Yes, an all nighter! I had too, I was not leaving this book until I read “The End”.

Here you have a young woman who spent her summers in Balsam Grove, a very small town with a magical scenery for all that love to hike and enjoy nature. Her family cottage is in the woods where she learns of all the beauty that surrounds her including one, beautiful male being named Jaxon Mills. The two met very young in life because Jaxon lives with his family close by. The only problem is, the timing was all wrong and there was way too much going on to take what they created and continue. One of course decides to leave after the town ostracized them but years later this person needed to come back for closure. The closure needed is truly essential with all that happened. The “welcome back committee” wasn’t so welcoming and now you have an addictive plot that has grown from the very beginning into this intriguing, emotional story that needs to be told in its entirety.
And it is filled with so much juicy goodness!

Who would have known that the things I shut out to survive were the same things that could bring me back to life? Because that’s how I’ve felt since coming back here. Like I’ve been waking up, trading darkness for light.”

Of course I can’t tell you the story because what would be the point? I read this book and I became so involved with it emotionally that I felt as if I was a member of Balsam Grove, living as a fly on the wall to all the action and juicy goodness that takes place.

Love, sadness, mystery, justice, injustice - the adjectives could go on for days. It’s without a shadow of a doubt an addicting read and is 100% recommended by me to get this book. Whether you decide to or not, I really hope you decide to read and if you don’t, rethink your indecision. I am so impressed with the author’s ability to capture your emotions and really awaken them throughout this story. Her words flow in such, that you are always left captivated and spellbound throughout the whole book.


*this review is affiliated with The Book Bistro
February 23, 2018
This book was so beautiful yet dark at times. It’s a masterpiece and I’m so honored to have been chosen to read it.

This is my first book by Ms. Allen and I’m sitting here questioning myself why I waited so long to read her. I could not put this book down. I started it yesterday evening and stayed up until late last night reading until my eyes were too tired. I dreamt about this book. I woke up with it being the first thing on my mind. I couldn’t stop thinking about it until I finished it today and my mind is still so wrapped up in everything that I read.

Aurora consumed my thoughts. She’s the easiest and most likable character I’ve read in awhile. There was no going back and forth between liking her or not. You just did. Her honesty, strength, stubbornness, weakness. I loved every part of her. Jaxon was no different.

Waterfall Effect has so much depth. I could live in its pages, reading each word over and over again like it’s my first time. I love romantic suspense books and K.K. Allen has shown to me why this book is one of my Top 2018 Reads this year!
March 3, 2018
KK Allen’s work never ceases to amaze me, but this book...wow! Waterfall Effect will have your mind spinning, your emotions running wild, and keep you guessing until the very end of the book. This novel is one wild ride you’ll never want to exit.

There’s so much beauty in this novel. KK Allen is immensely descriptive when it comes to where this novel takes place. You literally can visualize the waterfalls, hear the crunch of the leaves, and listen to the wildlife in the woods in the small mountain town nestled in North Carolina where Waterfall Effect takes place. As a person who’s lived in North Carolina for over 20 years, I honestly can say, Ms. Allen hit the nail on the head when it comes to our gorgeous hiking trails, waterfalls, and hidden gems.

The romance was full of angst, forbidden love, secrets, and damn...was it hot! KK Allen can write the best angsty romance novels. The build - up is always slow burning and intense, like a slow burning candle lit on both ends. Once the flames touch—it’s explosive!

The suspense. I swear my knuckles where white due to holding onto my kindle so tightly. Waterfall Effect will keep you asking yourself questions about a few of the characters throughout the story, wondering who can be trusted and who is the snake in the grass. Ms. Allen did an amazing job on the suspense aspect of this story.

I highly recommend this book. It has everything—romance, suspense, injustice, small town gossip, emotional highs and lows, and the most perfect storyline. If I could rate it higher than 5 stars I most definitely would.
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,309 reviews44.1k followers
January 1, 2019
It’s a good start for 2019. I really loved this book. It’s a real captivating and beautifully written emotional book. I loved the development of characters. How they changed in 6 years, how they learned to fight their own battles and how they survived and finally how they lost themselves and found theirselves by finding each other, again.
I’m so happy to meet a new writer and I plan to read her other books on 2019.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Whoo Gives A Hoot.
1,184 reviews100 followers
March 30, 2018
* Read more of my reviews at Whoo Gives A Hoot *
Where do I even begin? I feel as if there are no words to properly describe the abundance of feelings that I experienced while devouring this addictively captivating read. This is the kind of story that will engulf you so deeply that it will be nearly impossible to put down.

Waterfall Effect by K.K. Allen is a beautifully written and hauntingly emotional tale that will capture any reader whole body and soul. This is a story filled with suspense, forgiveness and second chances. I have never read a book quite like this one before and I think that it's a breath of fresh air to experience something so unique and breathtakingly dynamic. My heart is still soaring hours later from the effects of the story. I'm in a trance and I have no clue when it will end.

Aurora and Jaxon's story is one with a lot of heart and soul. No reader will deny the chemistry between these two and the raw emotion that bleeds from the pages. The beauty amongst the tragic horror is an absolute delight and unlike anything I have ever seen before. K.K. Allen has truly outdone herself this time and there is no doubt in my mind that this extraordinary book deserves a THOUSAND star rating. So make sure to ONE-CLICK this story today!
Profile Image for Natasha is a Book Junkie.
682 reviews7,443 followers
March 18, 2018
"I should never have let him let me go."

A second chance romance set against the vibrant but treacherous backdrop of the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, and brought to life through K.K. Allen’s stunning, lyrical prose, this book had everything I was looking for in a story—suspense, mystery, love everlasting—and I found myself consumed by every word, every feeling, every single thrill. A tale of small town secrets, of young love lost and found, infused with intense emotion, and speckled with spine-tingling twists and turns, this was truly one of the best books I’ve ever read, and one I only wish I could read for the very first time all over again.

Continue reading this review...

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Profile Image for Jeannine Colette.
Author 39 books1,487 followers
February 28, 2018
I usually become so obsessed with a book that I read in a flash because I need to know what happenes next. Sometimes, this causes me to skip parts of the book because my eyes are flying through the pages.
This was not the case with Waterfall Effect. This book is so rich with imagery, dialogue, internal conflict and PASSION that I needed to take it slow. Every word, every scene, every breath of the characters was felt in KK Allen's gorgeous writing. It was almost like making love. Waterfall Effect wasn't a wham bam thank you, ma'am. It was a sensual night with a lover that I didn't want to end.
So what's it about? Aurora ran from town seven years ago, leaving behind Jaxon Mills, the only man she ever loved. Now, she's back and that soul crushing love between Aurora and Jax never died. Neither did the town's darks secrets....and when they come to light you better be ready for the action!!!!
An angsty, passionate, sinfully addicting, second chance romance with a susupensful twist that will have your heart racing a million beats per minute.
Bravo KK Allen on an outstanding read!
21 reviews126 followers
August 12, 2018
Okay first of all I just wanna take a second and admire that beautiful cover. It's just absolutely stunning, simply just wow...

Though I've gotta admit I was a bit disappointed in the book itself. When I read the blurb I was so excited, a suspense with a touch of romance, what's not to like? And I mean technically yes there was romance and suspense even a couple of humorous parts, but it kinda fell a little flat in my opinion.

I've always been a really fast reader and it took me weeks to finish this which is saying something. To be completely honest it just felt a bit drawn out. That suspense that I was looking for, sorry to say but there was hardly any suspense until like 85% into the book and that's when it started to pick up pace.

And then there's the romance. I mean it was okay, it could be just because I didn't really like the main characters but I just couldn't get into it. Oh and something that really bothered me was that the heroine stayed celibate for their entire eight year separation whilst he dipped his dick here, there and everywhere, I don't get why authors do that and it really just pisses me off. I mean why should he get to have fun whilst she lives like a nun? Seriously ugh...

Well I kinda feel like an asshole now, but don't let my opinion offend you or discourage you from reading this book, everyone is different this is just my opinion.

Profile Image for Hanne.
656 reviews68 followers
March 9, 2018
Wow! Waterfall Effect is a fantastic book! If every book by this author is as fantastic as this one, I’ve been missing out. KK Allen is an author I’ve wanted to try for a long time now. After seeing the gorgeous cover of Waterfall Effect, I had to read this book. I loved it! I loved every chapter, from the cover until ‘The End’. The epilogue was perfect. I was hooked after reading the prologue. Waterfall Effect is a second chance love story that is emotional, beautiful and a little suspenseful.

Women have gone missing in Balsam Grove. Aurora is the only woman that could escape, but she doesn’t remember anything about those days. After the trial, Aurora leaves town. After a couple of years, Aurora returns back to Balsam Grove. People don’t welcome her and they aren’t friendly to her. But Aurora stays, because she is there for a reason.

Aurora and Jaxon are wonderful characters and I loved them! Aurora is sweet, strong, independent and damaged. Her life was turned upside down after being kidnapped and escaping. Aurora needed to leave town, but she’s ready to go back. She hasn’t really been enjoying her life and she needed a change. She hopes to find herself and real happiness again. Aurora has always loved Jaxon and she has never forgotten him all those years, but Jaxon isn’t the same man.

Jaxon is talented, broody, caring, strong and closed off. He can’t believe his eyes when he sees that Aurora is back in town. He was hurt and angry when she left, and those feelings are this there. Jaxon loved Aurora very much. He tried to keep his distant when they met, but the feelings only got stronger. He still loves Aurora, but he’s afraid to get hurt again. Jaxon loves spending time with Aurora and they get closer again. Aurora and Jaxon always belonged together.

I absolutely loved the setting. Balsam Grove is a small town in the mountains. It’s the kind of town where everybody knows everybody, and that’s not good for Aurora. There are some nice people and they are amazing secondary characters. I was happy for Aurora that she quickly made a friend. Balsam Grove has a beautiful environment. The author described everything so beautifully. I loved the hikes in the woods, the waterfalls and the cottages. I understand why the characters love to live there.

-- My honest review is based on a copy provided by the author. --
Profile Image for Jessica *The Lovely Books*.
1,226 reviews628 followers
March 9, 2018
“Even heroes have their weaknesses.”

K. K. Allen has quickly become an author where I don’t even have to read the synopsis to know I’ll fall in love with the beautiful way she has with words. After Up in the Treehouse, I said I’d follow her anywhere. And here we are with Waterfall Effect—a story that’s about forgiveness, redemption, and love. It’s always about love. Then there’s me—the one whose fallen so deeply, I don’t know how to get back up. Do I even want to? Regardless, THIS IS A STORY you mustn’t skip. For so many reasons but the main one being that the writing is simply poetic and beautiful.

“My mind is spinning when I give in to the memories of the boy that made my heart beat against my chest the way the water beats against the boulders.”

Aurora is the center of trauma and scandal from being taken, held captive, and left for dead by the hands of a monster. Resulting in Aurora becoming terribly broken. Leaving behind her home, the only boy she ever loved, Aurora seeks life elsewhere as she tries to pick up the shattered pieces of her heart. Then six years later, she’s back and everything’s remained the same yet everything’s different. But the town wants her out—and they’ll try their damnedest to do just that. Luckily, Aurora’s a strong character and when she arrives in Balsam Grove, idle threats aren’t going to make her back down.

“He’s different than I remember in more ways than one, but the feelings swarming in my chest are all the same.”

Then there is the story of the boy she left behind, Jaxon. The love they had for each other is the kind of love thats one of kind, bone-crushing, and deeply passionate. How could two people who were always meant to be, fall apart the way they did? Even from the prologue, the story between the two was intoxicating. I HAD to know about Jaxon and Aurora and their impending downfall. Told between—past intervals—the present, with the POVs from mainly Aurora and sometimes Jax; we’re presented with a story full of raw pain, heartache, and in the end, hope.

“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.”

I fully recommend this to all readers looking for something deep and meaningful. The story deals with a heroine that suffers from anxiety and panic attacks. I thought Allen did a great job with bringing to light the realistic effects that mental health can have on a person. I too, suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, and depression. At times it can be a complete nuisance. Overall, I’m completely and utterly enchanted by the Waterfall Effect. I think readers will feel the exact same way once they’ve read through the first few pages.

“I just wanted to feel whole again. I thought it was this place that made me feel whole, but now I’m starting to realize it was you.”

*Thank you to the author for providing a copy for an honest and unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Profile Image for K.K. Allen.
Author 36 books2,980 followers
March 10, 2018
AVAILABLE NOW!!! ---> smarturl.it/waterfalleffect

“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.”



Profile Image for Dylan Allen.
Author 38 books2,442 followers
February 25, 2018
The Waterfall Effect is suspenseful, gripping and yet at the same time, romantic and lush. It transcends genre and trope and shows off Ms. Allen's vivid imagination and her beautiful, fluid prose. 5 stars!
Profile Image for Ashley.
501 reviews228 followers
April 2, 2018
Check out my full review and many more at: 5171 Miles Book Blog.

I was lucky enough to meet my birthday buddy, K.K. Allen, in February at Holidays with the Belles in Dallas. At the time I still hadn’t read any of K.K’s books yet, despite her sitting on my TBR list for over two years (sorry!). After meeting and LOVING her, I figured it was time to get it in gear. I really want to read Up in the Treehouse and even got a copy signed by her, but I decided I would change things up and start with her most recent release, Waterfall Effect, first.

I don’t know about you guys, but I can’t get over the cover for this book. It deserves to be framed! I know everyone tells us not to judge books by their covers, but it’s genius to wrap books in a gorgeous outer shell. It’s the first thing readers see, and like moths to a flame, we can’t help but be drawn to something so gorgeous. Smart move, K.K.
Lucky for readers, this book isn’t just beautiful on the outside.

Waterfall Effect was a mash-up of so many things I love in a novel: a great setting, vivid descriptions of nature, a second-chance romance, romantic suspense and more. All of these elements were effortlessly added together to create an exciting and one-of-a-kind story. Aurora June was one of seven women in a string of disappearances in her small North Carolina town, and the only one to make it out alive. Unfortunately for her, she can’t remember all of the details surrounding her own disappearance. After seven years away in Durham, North Carolina, Aurora decides to venture back to her small town and her father’s cottage for a fresh start. When she gets back, she comes face to face with her past, in the form of Jaxon Mills. The only boy who ever truly held her heart…and shattered it.

The chemistry and tension between Jaxon and Aurora was everything and more. I felt the blood rushing to my cheeks with each interaction between these two. I couldn’t get enough of the suspense and anguish of their relationship, along with the mystery of the past mixed in. The brokenness and, at times, the darkness of the characters was done in the way I hope for. It wasn’t overbearing, it wasn’t hard to read, and it didn’t bring me down. I simply wanted to know more!

Though I couldn’t read this one quite as fast as I wanted or hoped to because life was beckoning, I would find my thoughts turning back to the story during my breaks. Sometimes I don’t realize how much I truly love a book until days after I finish and catch my thoughts drifting back to the characters, setting, or story. I still remember the characters names, something that rarely happens when I put a book down, and I keep imagining the scenery the words helped create pictures of in my mind.

K.K. Allen won me over, not only in person but with her incredible storytelling as well. I can’t wait to start Up in the Treehouse this month. I have heard nothing but rave reviews for years and can’t wait to hopefully add my own to the mix!
Profile Image for Sarah.
766 reviews
February 17, 2018
I was so excited to receive an ARC of this book! K.K. Allen is one of my favorite authors and this suspenseful romance did not disappoint. This story is set in a small mountain town over several years time. The depth of the main characters is a slow unraveling that is both wonderful and unnerving to uncover. The connection and history between Jaxon & Aurora was beautifully written even amidst the tragic and horrific past events involving Aurora, her father and their quaint small mountain town. When they reunite after several years time you can feel all of the passion, love, hurt, regret, and hope between them. You can't help but fall in love with their love, and hope that the secrets of their past will only reveal the truth and allow them to rediscover each other and their dreams. I love Aurora's strength and courage despite all that she has survived, and when she must face a small town who turned their back on her. She portrays the ideal strong, independent woman fighting to figure out just exactly who she is and where she belongs.
Profile Image for Ari.
338 reviews224 followers
March 2, 2018
3 stars

Brief Review:
I honestly found this book to be very okay-ish. Being a first time reader of Allen, I can't say I'm impressed much by her writing, and I spent half the ending skimming through it. So definitely nothing brilliant or eye catching.

OK let me get back to being myself
When I say that I did not enjoy this book, I really meant it. I picked this book up because of the cover- that cover is really fucking gorgeous, and I'm not even going to disagree if you call me shallow. But then the story just couldn't hold up.

I understand that Aurora had mental issues but the way she treated people was just so annoying, plus the rapid mood swings- gosh, I'm on my periods with a broken leg, and even I'm not that bitchy on the regular. And I'm pretty bitchy right now if you couldn't tell. The way she treated Scott, you'd think that he was the bane of her existence or some shit. Ugh that alone put me off the story. And then the whole thing with Jaxon wasn't all that interesting either. I picked this book up because of the "romantic suspense" in the categorized genres, but if this is suspense, then I guess I've been doing it wrong all my life.

God, I'm on a stump I feel like. Someone please recommend me some good books at this point *sighs*
Profile Image for Just Josie.
1,012 reviews166 followers
November 10, 2022
Even though the blurb didn’t really pull me in, I decided to give this book a try. The cover is stunning, and Allen was a new to me author, I have been wanting to try for a while and sometimes you gotta take a leap.
So I did. 🌼

I had my reservations when I started it, and it was clear to me very soon why this type of book isn’t something I dabble in to often.

The story was beautifully written, but I am personally not a fan of getting the entire story told in memories. And this was one memory after the other, and then Aurora analysing what it meant. Over and over again. I find that excessively boring, because I felt like we dealt with the same issues, and we never moved forward.
I missed action. I missed connection. I missed moving forward.
Another thing that was grating my nerves was the constant use of the word “waterfall”. It felt like it was on every page, and it got tiring. Again, with the constant mention of waterfalls, the story moved in a circle. It felt a tad bit depressing.

I know the story represent healing, finding yourself and taking your power back, and Aurora wasn’t by any means a weak character, the story was just told too much from her thoughts. I wasn’t shown what happened. I wasn’t a part of her story. The most connected I felt reading this book was when the dog was hurt. That was the only time I felt a deep stirring emotion. (I was MAD- nobody should hurt an animal !) All the other time the story was bland and predictive.

But I tried. Even if it was not for me I can appreciate where the author is coming from and what type of message she tried to convey.
Because hope is an important message. A light in the dark.
And one should never give up hope. Even in the most trying times. 🔆

Read: 25/02/2021
1st rating: 2 stars
Genre/tropes: Small town/second chance/suspense
Cover: 5 stars
POV’s: Dual -1st person (Aurora & Jaxon)
Will I recommend: No
Profile Image for Anne OK.
3,577 reviews461 followers
March 15, 2018
Who would have known that the things I shut out to survive were the same things that could bring me back to life? Because that’s how I’ve felt since coming back here. Like I’ve been waking up, trading darkness for light.

I’ve read several books by this author, among them the Stolen Melody duet and Up In the Treehouse, enjoying the uniqueness of each one. When I saw the stunning cover for Waterfall Effect and realized the author was K.K. Allen, I felt certain that I was in for another great treat.

With her latest release, Allen quite literally rousted me out of my romantic suspense slump and took me on an unforgettable adventure to the picturesque small town of Balsam Grove in the Appalachian Mountains. I’m both a visual and an imaginative reader. This book was a perfect match to start my mental projector rolling. I think readers will agree that's it is easy to place themselves into the settings vibrant with precise detailing. The woods and wildlife come to life on the pages. The sigh of the wind touched my cheeks. And the sound of rushing water filled my ears and soon the falls would come into view.

The combination of a second chance romance and suspense was an immediate grab for me. In my opinion, a successful romantic suspense is driven equally and simultaneously by the threat of danger and the promise of romance, along with an enticing plot with a twisty ride. A title that truly demonstrates its significance with ties to the storyline is essential, as well. And, without a doubt, this author excelled with dazzling and first-rate examples.

AURORA JUNE IS BACK -- after a 6-year absence -- met by a less-than-warm welcome!

I just wanted to feel whole again. I thought it was this place that made me feel whole, but now I’m starting to realize it was you.

Told in dual narratives from Jax and Aurora, which adds a deeper and more meaningful touch to their experiences, as well as depth to the story from past and present points in time.

The attraction to both our main characters comes without much effort, and I quickly became invested in their relationship and begged to go deeper into their lives, but more so to learn what lies ahead for them. Aurora is a beautiful heroine who has suffered unimaginable tragedy in her young life, and readers will watch her evolve as her thoughts and feelings are unlocked throughout the story. Only a minor nitpick with her is that sometimes she came across a bit immature and unknowing. Jaxon Mills (Jax) is a true hero -- and the man who has loved Aurora for most of his life. He's a talented artist, brooding, caring, and reserved -- and most of all, afraid of being hurt once again by Aurora.

As each new character is introduced and you start to wonder whether you can trust someone or not, that is when you already know you don't. I was intrigued with the cast of characters and by the undercurrent of danger that follows the progression of the story. I felt the mystery that surrounded the town and its inhabitants -- but most of all that cloud of suspicious tension that's always hanging overhead. When it comes to solving the whodunit, the answer doesn't come until very near the end. I thought I had pulled the monster out of the closet on several occasions, but I was wrong.

The character development is crucial and should provide readers psychological insight. Allen is capable throughout the book as she tackles the dark elements of mental disorders when left untreated. The plot here comes to life with vibrant, unique and well-thought-out characters that are memorable and real in so many ways. This author accomplished the extraordinary with this cast full circle. If characters remain unchanged, readers are rarely interested and soon grow bored. I promise that won't happen.

Hope springs eternal in a fast-paced story and, with the inclusion of a near-perfect epilogue, I was very happy and satisfied with the resolutions where everyone got their just rewards. And as an added surprise, the author noted at the end of the book that an extended epilogue will be available on March 15th. Can't wait to see what else is going on with Jax and Aurora!

K.K. Allen is an author on the rise. Her writing is inspiring, her storytelling is exceptional. For readers looking for something remarkable, deep and meaningful, as well as a joy to read, I fully recommend diving into this story of two hearts in desperate need of repair and a happily-ever-after to their love story.
Profile Image for Philomena Callan Cheekypee.
3,907 reviews397 followers
February 28, 2018
This is my first read by this author and it certainly won’t be my last as I loved this story.

After an unbelievable ordeal Aurora June left everything she knew to try and move on. However years later she’s back in town to deal with her past. Unfortunately the town isn’t very welcoming.
Jaxon loved Aurora and then she left. Now she’s back. His feelings for her didn’t go away so can they be rekindled.

The story is told in the past and present with two points of view. Aurora and Jaxon are two great characters. I loved the secondary characters too as they added so much to the story.

This is a brilliant well written story. The author has a great way with words. If you enjoy romantic suspense with lots of feels then I definitely recommend this read.
I’m looking forward to reading more from this author.
Profile Image for talon smith.
709 reviews117 followers
February 19, 2018
I wasn’t completely sure what to expect going into this book. I didn’t read the blurb but the cover was so alluring to me I just had to have it. I needed it. Plus, I have enjoyed many of Allen’s other books, so I knew I would at least like this one. But when I finished the book I was completely satisfied, way more satisfied than I even thought I would be. And by saying that I have to add this: Not knowing what this book was about- intensified my experience in the greatest way.

“Jaxon has always been the wild rush of the creek barreling by, a force powerful enough to alter even the sturdiest of landscapes. And he halts me with his eyes- icy gray orbs with a stormy finish. Cold, dark, mysterious- alluring.”

This is not just a romance. And for that- I was very thankful. Not that it wouldn’t have been a bad thing, as a reader I have just been wanting more than that here lately. I was so surprised to know that there was so much suspense and even a well thought out twist within this book. I was happy to know that K.K. Allen branched out into something and wrapped it up so neatly. No plot holes to be found. I was a happy reader.

“You came into my life like the fastest river, unsure of where you would end up. And then you leapt- from that rock at Hollow Falls when you were fifteen years old. You leapt and you crashed into my world. Even then, I saw you. I didn’t realize what it meant- I wouldn’t allow myself to figure it out- but I could feel it.”

K.K. Allen’s writing in Waterfall Effect is electrifying and piercing. That is the only way I can put it. When she writes, whether from Jax’s POV or Aurora’s- you feel. You feel so much. Not only was the writing completely engrossing, I loved the metaphors within this story and the way they all related.

When you read this book, you will see what I’m talking about. It’s hard to miss.
Waterfall Effect was a meaningful read on so many more levels than just romance. I was hooked from the beginning and all of that alone sets this book apart from most of the others that are currently out there.
Profile Image for Antonella.
3,466 reviews472 followers
May 23, 2019
I was meaning to read KK Allen's books for some time now...I really don't know why I choose this one as first one...maybe it's beautiful cover or maybe I wanted to check out what is about and then just got hooked...

This is certainly emotional second chance read with some unexpected twist.
Interesting plot line & amazing writing
But I didn't really fall in love with characters
3,5 stars
Profile Image for Rohina .
591 reviews132 followers
February 28, 2018

descriptionYou came into my life like the fastest river, unsure of where you would end up. And then you leapt- from that rock at Hollow Falls when you were fifteen years old. You leapt and you crashed into my world. Even then, I saw you. I didn’t realize what it meant- I wouldn’t allow myself to figure it out- but I could feel it.

There are some books that keep you awake until the wee hours of the morning and when you turn the last page of the book the first thought that comes to your mind is — "This was worth it."
Being my first 5 Star of 2018 this is one of those books where losing sleep is so worth it.

Cover to cover, Waterfall Effect is a poetic prose that is meaningful, captivating, thrilling and above all breathtaking that left me in awe of this story as I turned the last page.

To be very honest, I hadn't read the blurb nor had I seen the cover when I signed up. I just saw the title of the book and the name of the author and I just knew I had to get it simply because of the fact that K.K. Allen is an immensely talented writer who goes not deep not only in her characters and their psyche but all the psyche of the setting and the way it plays with the story which adds to the reading experience.

descriptionShe was four years younger, and her feelings for me weren’t subtle. Around my friends, that was dangerous. That night haunted me for two damn years—until I saw her again and could finally make up for everything we’d lost. Can we do it again? Yet another tragedy has brought her back to me—first her mother’s death, and now her father’s. But will she stay this time?

This is the story about a girl who is the centre of a tragedy that has left her in pieces. Leaving behind her home and the only boy she ever truly loved with all her heart and soul, Aurora sought a new life that allowed her to pick up her shattered pieces.
Six years later, Aurora is back in the mountains — still trying to piece her heart and her life back together — in the same town where everything was destroyed.

The quaint little town that she once called home looks the same but its history and its people are marred by the spine-chilling tragedy and one thing is clear — Aurora June is not welcome.

description My mind is spinning when I give in to the memories of the boy that made my heart beat against my chest the way the water beats against the boulders.

This is the story about a boy who was left behind in the aftermath. Jaxon Mills' love for Aurora June trespassed any and all tragedies. It was the kind of passionate love that seeps into your bones and never let's go.
Six years later, he is standing face-to-face with the shell of a girl he once loved.

Told in between the past and the present, mainly from Aurora's point of view and a few times from Jaxon's; Allen gives us a story that is raw and painful but shines with a glimmer of hope for everything to get better.

description 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 is not typical romance, it's more than that. It is about fighting with yourself and learning to stand up. It's about finding strength in the face of a tragedy. Add into all of this a well-plotted suspense and twist this book will keep you hooked.

As I've already said — cover to cover I am in complete awe of this book and I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for something "more" in their books.

5 Stars!

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*ARC gifted by author in exchange for an honest review.*
Profile Image for Yvette (Booksandbandanas).
485 reviews108 followers
February 28, 2018
Another KK Allen hit. But come on, we already knew that. This book is a massive, suspenseful, love story. K.K. Allen brings this story and these characters alive with her beautifully crafted words. Words that make you feel so many emotions on so many levels. The suspense in this story, the kind that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. The kind that makes you question who can you trust. It all comes together perfectly with this authors need to craft a perfect story.

This is a second chance or maybe we never had a chance love story. The past and the present blend together to showcase all the loose ends that will somehow fit tigger at some point.

If you are looking for a love story set around a mysterious town with waterfalls catching all the firsts, and lasts, open these pages. This author never seizes to blow me away.

 photo F78B706C-BFAF-4847-91A5-BD0320D99177_zpsdd6fgxda.jpg
Profile Image for Vivi Chatzikiriakou.
263 reviews26 followers
February 22, 2018
"When a storyline takes the reader's mind along with its flow then it's a great story to be read! Waterfall Effect by K.K. Allen is like a strong current drifting the reader into its deeply emotional havoc."

"I received a complimentary copy of this book and have volunteered to leave a review."

Book rates: 5+stars
Plot: 5+stars
Characters: 5+starts
Writing: 5+stars
Pacing: 5+stars
Cover: 5+stars

(I'm in a loss of the right words and I feel this review is going to be a disaster...)
K.K. Allen is an author who I've been introduced recently and have the honor to read her current upcoming book. She became immediately one of my favorite by only reading Waterfall Effect. That fast!!! The main reason? Her writing. Ethereal with its poetic lines. Riveting with the mixed feels and the mystery it delivers; Furthermore, her extremely charismatic narrative which helped me easily visualize and be transferred to the breathtaking landscapes of Balsam Grove. It was magical!! For me, Waterfall Effect is a phenomenal story which no one should miss reading.

Years ago, in the lands of Balsam Grove, a calf love started to bloom. Every summer Aurora June was under the spell of Jaxon's Mills presence, waiting for him to finally notice her. Six year ago, Aurora and Jax spent their summer tangled to each other and dreaming their future together. And then, abruptly everything around them fell apart. She was abducted, held captive and found in the hands of a schizophrenic monster. Now, Aurora is back to Balsam Grove, in an attempt to deal with the darkness of her past and to pick up the shattered pieces of the heart she left behind. Her only goal, to find the redemption her soul desperate needs. What she finds is strength, hope and the infinity love of Jaxon's Mills.

Aurora's story collides with Jaxon's. Both tell their POVs, either revealing the past or the present, and that is tremendously helpful and enlightening. Is unfathomable the love they shared back then and right now. The intensity of emotions and how the relationship between Aurora and Jax unfolds was written perfectly, lulling me into the hedonistic haze they create. I adored every word, every line they shared together. And then, there is the mystery; The author does a great job of encompassing mystery, agony and suspense with the love story. I was hooked and I honestly couldn't put it down. Each chapter a teaser to keep reading more. I was frustrated, anxious and nervous for them. And then, the author hits me hard taking my breath away. It was a heartbreaking moment and at the same time a revolution. I'm so glad I came across this book. I'm so honored I came across K.K. Allen...

I hope I intrigued your imagination a little and make you grab the book, finding out what's really happening because there is no way to tell you myself.

Until next time, enjoy your free time reading great books with the most unforgettable stories.

Profile Image for Stephanie Rose.
Author 28 books2,820 followers
February 28, 2018
My heart was in my throat for most of Waterfall Effect for so many different reasons. The love Aurora and Jaxon shared was palpable even after so many years apart and my heart broke for them both. I flipped the pages on the edge of my seat, not knowing where the story would go next and worried and suspicious of everyone. When I thought I had it figured out, I totally didn’t and I’m in awe of KK Allen’s beautiful writing and and storytelling. Five “waterfall eyes” stars!
Profile Image for Kellen Rhodes.
39 reviews
February 24, 2018
This book grips you. Thrills you. And makes you anticipate every move.

As a contemporary romance, the pulls of first time love turns this thriller into a book well written and packed with so many emotions. The angst draws you in, making you want the happily ever after for the characters as well as the town the story is placed in.

The details throughout the entire story made it feel as if you were a part of the scene. Either as the character who’s speaking, or as a bystander watching from the outside. You could smell the same smells, taste the same tastes, and visualize each setting as if you had been there before, familiarity rushing through you.

The fear, the love, the hate, and the happy; all emotions course through you. Making you scream “just kiss already” or “what happens next.” Waterfall Effect is one of those stories that sends you to the edge of your seat at every of the page. It’s one of those stories you won’t be able to put down, even when you have to wake up early for work the next day. You’ll be loosing sleep, and it’s a million times worth it.

A must read for any genre lover, or a person of any age. You’ll be contemplating every persons intentions, every sentence someone speaks, and will shock you to keep turning those pages. It’s a definite five-star read that will leave you reading.

Jaxon and Aurora are stripped apart by circumstances of their past, bound by their passion of art and forbidden love. Their story is one for the ages. With six-seven years between the time they have separated those old feelings with crush them, and make them contemplate the truth of what their wicked past had confirmed.

I can’t stress this enough, this is the story of 2018. A must read for everyone! You will not be disappointed.
Profile Image for Reading with 2 book lovers Sarah P -.
3,154 reviews43 followers
February 28, 2018
this is such an amazing read, I've waited so long that I did a little dance when I seen it was live!
this second chance romance is well written, gives you so many emotions, has a heap of passion and is intriguing right till the end, ideas hooked from the first chapter to the last.
"My Aurora. No Distractions. Just us."
Aurora and Jaxon make such an amazing couple in this small town mountain book.
If you love waterfalls you will love this book.
Ms Allen kept me on the edge of my seat with suspense to find out what happened in the past and what's going to happen in the present!
I volunteered to read a copy of this book
Profile Image for Book Maniac Forever.
929 reviews344 followers
February 19, 2018

⭐️ 5 "Waterfall Eyes" Stars ⭐️
K.K. Allen completely mesmerized me with this phenomenal story. Waterfall Effect is an emotional second chance romance where the passion and intrigue kept me riveted to my book all read long.

“To have truth, one must find courage to seek light in the darkness.”

With the Appalachian Mountains as a backdrop, this story describes beauty, the blossoming of first love and second chance in a spectacular way. I really loved the main couple so much. It’s clear from their first meeting after six years apart that Aurora and Jaxon have unresolved feelings for each other. Seriously, every scene with these two is charged with an intense magnetism, but also sadness and hurt.

“You are a gift, the most beautiful gift in this cruel fucking world.”

Aurora and Jaxon have a lot of heartbreak to surpass to trust each other with their hearts again. The past is still foggy for Aurora, as she tries to remember the events that took place years ago and started the collapse of their relationship.

The balance between romance and intrigue is absolutely amazing. There’s sweetness, heartbreak, love, heat, suspense and all the in between. As the romance rekindles between Aurora and Jax, the level of suspicious events is growing and growing. The last few chapters, everything unfolds in a maelstrom of revelations that had me transfixed.

“I was chained in darkness, starved from the truth, gutted and heartbroken by events I never quite understood, and robbed of a future for too damn long. But not anymore.”

K.K. Allen proved once again with this magnificent romantic suspense her immense talent. The writing style, but also the emotions delivered through her words are sublime. If you haven’t read her books yet, she’s a must read author and this Waterfall Effect is so far her best work in my opinion.

** ARC received in exchange for an honest review **
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