- Author: Marcia Meara
- Published: June 2017 by CreateSpace independent Publishing Platform
- Category: Romantic Suspense, Book Review, Books, Reading
“There are dark places in every heart, in every head. Some you turn away from. Some you light a candle within. But there is one place so black, it consumes all light. It will pull you in and swallow you whole. You don’t leave your brother stranded in that darkest place.”
Following straight on from Finding Hunter, we find two of the Painter brothers keeping a harrowing hospital vigil. The fate of the patient is uncertain but his injuries are bound to be life changing. This story focuses mainly on Forrest and Jackson, both of whom have a lot to come to terms with in different ways. Jackson’s New Year begins with a tragedy. He can’t remember how he ended up in hospital and is initially unaware of the result of the devastating crash he was involved in. The knowledge he’s lost a leg comes as a huge shock but his brothers, and Willow, Hunter’s wife, are there to support and help Jackson as much as they can. Between them they decide to keep more terrible news from Jackson until he’s stronger and begins to remember.
He tried to say it. She wanted him to, so he honestly tried, but the words wouldn’t come. Instead, a series of ugly snapshots marched through his memory, one after the other – a slide show of a man heading off the rails. There was Jackson at Willow’s cottage, snarling that Hunter was to blame for the death of their parents. Another image of Jackson confronting him weeks after Hunter disappeared, spewing lies about Willow, and starting the brawl that ended with both of them in jail. Jackson again, savagely beating Hunter bloody, then announcing that both of his brothers were dead to him.
As the shocking reason for Jackson’s behaviour and subsequent accident becomes apparent, the brothers are faced with an alarming scenario, which Forrest has a hard time dealing with. Their family has had so much pain and tragedy and Forrest is afraid he won’t be able to cope, especially if Jackson is left with long term issues. But he has Hunter and Willow and they all unite to support each other and help Jackson through what was turning out to be a very dark time, compounded by escalating threats.
The use of multiple perspectives worked well, getting each of the brothers’ points of view and differing personalities, seeing how they deal with the challenging situations they find themselves in. Jackson especially, being the eldest, had always been the leader, and now he finds himself mostly dependent on Forrest. It’s a role neither of them are used to or initially comfortable with. Forrest has middle child syndrome and has always felt insignificant, but this unfortunate state of affairs is actually the making of him. Hunter still feels the effects of his recent experiences but is also getting stronger and more at ease in company, even though he is happiest at home with Willow. It was fascinating following their progress and seeing them all develop and grow.
Marcia Meara deals with the subject matter sensitively and in a clear-sighted way. The disasters that have befallen the family throughout each book have been approached realistically, without being overly sentimental. This has been an excellent series which includes romance, heartbreak, suspense and family dynamics, in a wonderful setting…and not forgetting those Painter brothers.
About the author
Marcia Meara is a native Floridian, and lives in Sanford, just north of Orlando, with her husband of 30+ years, two large cats, and two small dachshunds. When not working on her books and blogs, she spends her time gardening, and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard.
At the age of five, Marcia declared she wanted to be an author, and is ecstatic that a mere 64 years later, she finally wrote “Wake-Robin Ridge,” her first novel. Making up for lost time, she has published five more novels over the last four years, including:
A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2
Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3
Swamp Ghosts: Riverbend Book 1
Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2
That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3
Marcia has also published a small chapbook of poetry, Summer Magic: Poems of Life and Love, and her work has been included in six Silver Birch Press Anthologies.
Her philosophy? It’s never too late to follow your dream. Just take that first step, and never look back. At age 73, when many people are slowing down, Marcia’s new career is just taking off. She plans to keep on writing until she falls face down on the keyboard, and would, in fact, consider that a pretty good way to go.