That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3 by Marcia Meara
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
That Darkest Place is book #3 of The Riverbend romantic suspense series set in Florida. It is the story of Forrest and Jackson Painter, and continues from where we left off in book #2, Finding Hunter.
Jackson is the eldest brother of three, and the book opens with a hospital scene. Left with severe memory loss and an amputated leg, it will take a long time for Jackson to recover.
Forrest is the brother who keeps the family together, and runs the family hardware store. He’s supportive to Hunter, from Book #2, in the past—now he needs Hunter’s support as they pull Jackson through his rehabilitation.
As the book title suggests, this novel deals with its characters’ psychologically darkest moments. I thought the author did a great job describing Jackson—his roller-coaster of recovery followed by deep periods of depression. We see the picture from his point of view and from Forrest’s, who becomes his prime carer once he comes home. Both go through periods of guilt, doubt and discomfort, but with the help of family and counsellors they make progress.
The sinister element built the tension well and I didn’t guess the person behind the threats. This series also has an element of romance in each book and the author writes the intimate scenes with grace and care, using enough description for the reader to use their imagination without it being explicit, so will suit readers who prefer their romance with lower heat levels.
I enjoy this author’s writing style and shall look forward to her next book.
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“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.”
The new year is a chance for new beginnings—usually hopeful, positive ones. But when Jackson Painter plows his car into a tree shortly after midnight on January 1, his new beginnings are tragic. His brothers, Forrest and Hunter, take up a grim bedside vigil at the hospital, waiting for Jackson to regain consciousness and anxious over how he’ll take the news that he’s lost a leg and his fiancée is dead. After all, the accident was all his fault.
As the shocking truth emerges, one thing becomes obvious—Jackson will need unconditional love and support from both of his brothers if he is to survive.
Just as he begins the long road to recovery, danger, in the form of a sinister, unsigned note, plunges him back into bleak despair. Scrawled in blood red letters, the accusation—and the threat—is clear. “MURDERER!”
Will the long, harrowing ordeal that lies ahead draw the Painter brothers closer together, or drive them apart forever?
Suspenseful and often heartbreaking, this small-town tale is a testimonial to the redemptive power of love and paints a story filled with humor, romance, and fierce family loyalty.
About the author
Marcia Meara is a native Floridian, living in the Orlando area with her husband of 30 years, two silly little dachshunds and four big, lazy cats. She’s fond of reading, gardening, hiking, canoeing, painting, and writing, not necessarily in that order.
At age 69, Marcia wrote “Wake-Robin Ridge,” her first novel, and “Summer Magic: Poems of Life and Love.” Nine months later, she published her second novel, “Swamp Ghosts,” set alongside the wild and scenic rivers of central Florida. Since then, she’s published, “A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2”, “Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2,” and is hard at work on “Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3.”
Marcia also has work published in five poetry anthologies published by Silver Birch Press: Silver, Green, Summer, Noir Erasure Poetry, and the May Poetry Anthology.
Her philosophy? It’s never too late to follow your dream. Just take that first step, and never look back.