Book Review Tuesday: That Darkest Place by @MarciaMeara #bookishtuesday

Welcome to Book Review Tuesday. Today, I’m thrilled to share another five star read. I’d like to clarify that I never publicly review a book unless I’m able to provide a minimum of three stars—which I consider an average read. That’s why you mostly see four and five star reviews on my blog with the occasional three star. Today’s book definitely earns five sparkly stars.

Book cover for Taht Darkest Place by Marcia Meara shows image of man with head bowed in his hand, shattered glass superimposed in backgroundThat Darkest Place
by Marcia Meara

The third book of the Riverbend series focuses primarily on Painter brothers, Jackson and Forrest, though youngest brother Hunter, is still a strong presence in his unique and quiet way. I fell in love with his character in book two.

At the end of Finding Hunter, Jackson was behaving horribly—lashing out at those around him, physically and verbally abusive. He ended up in a car accident believed to be the result of drunk driving. In That Darkest Place, the truth of what really took place and why is quickly revealed. Once brought to light, Jackson’s long road to recovery begins.

Once again, Meara tackles some weighty issues, but the most powerful theme is the unshakable bond of family, specifically brothers. Forrest and Hunter are not about to let Jackson muddle through on his own. Presenting a united front, they eventually have Jackson back to functioning almost normally again. Along the way there are physical and emotional hurdles to overcome, but there are also heartwarming and humorous moments to offset the weightier scenes.

In addition, both Forrest and Jackson meet women who impact their lives. It’s especially fun seeing Forrest—the former ladies’ man of Riverbend—thrown off-kilter in his first serious relationship. If that isn’t enough, Meara tosses in an unidentified stalker who holds a grudge against Jackson and isn’t afraid to act on that bitterness. The thread adds a nice mystery element to the book which culminates in a heart-pounding ending.

As always, the writing is polished with a pace to keep you flipping pages. If you like fiction that engages your heart and is flavored with strong family bonds, romance, mystery, and characters who remain with you long after you turn the final page, don’t miss That Darkest Place. It’s filled with light and love.

Amazon link
Genre:  Psychological Fiction > Romantic Suspense


89 thoughts on “Book Review Tuesday: That Darkest Place by @MarciaMeara #bookishtuesday

  1. Congratulations to Marcia, and Mae, I love your idea about not reviewing books you can’t give three stars or above. I’ve been wrestling with a couple of books I’ve read that have been pretty ordinary but wasn’t sure how to review them. I think I’ll adopt your three stars or above ethos. 🤗

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you, Jessica! And I’m with you and Mae on the review thing. I figured out years ago there were plenty of people out there happy to say negative things about books. They don’t need my help. So I no longer review books I don’t enjoy, period. I feel much better about it, too, than when I was telling people what I didn’t like about some books. Besides, my time is too valuable to me to waste it reading books I don’t like. If I’m not enjoying them, I toss them aside and find a book I DO like.l (And then I review it. 😀 )

      Liked by 3 people

    • That Darkest Place is a fantastic read. I’ve found I love sharing reviews of books I enjoy. It’s a tough call on reviews, but odds are if I can’t give a book at least three stars, I’m going to DNF it anyway. If I were strictly a book blogger and didn’t write as well, I might feel differently, but I plan to stick with the three star rule–especially on my blog!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Good to know, Harmony! Yay! (But do read Finding Hunter first, so you’ll understand the family dynamics and the things that led up to the opening scene in That Darkest Place.) I hope you’ll enjoy both of them when you find time to check them out. Thanks! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I don’t know if you have ever noticed, but I unofficially have a three-star rule as well 🙂 This book sounds like it truly does warm the heart as sibling relationships are like no other relationship you will ever have (being the oldest of six – I know a bit about that). Thank you for another great recommendation and review!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much, Theresa! I agree. That unbreakable bond between brothers is the one that especially moves my heart, and the Painter Brothers are very dear to me. Hope you’ll check out the series when you get a chance, and that you’ll enjoy all three books. (More will be forthcoming, too, as the sleepy little town of Riverbend, Florida boasts a small but very interesting population of characters.)

      Liked by 2 people

    • You’re the oldest of six? I can picture a full house at holidays, LOL. My husband is one of six siblings, although he’s second youngest. I do love stories that deal with brothers or sisters. Any siblings. Even father/son and mother/daughter relationships suck me in.I love how Marcia handled her brothers in That Darkest Place.

      I think the three-star rule is a good one. Every now and then, I like to repost that philosophy because the bulk of my reviews are 4 and 5 stars. I will mention if I DNF a book, but even then I don’t mention the title. If I can’t give it three stars, it’s definitely going to be a DNF for me. There are far too many other books waiting to be read!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I do hope you enjoy #2, Finding Hunter, Joan, and then you’ll be all set to read That Darkest Place. I sort of gave readers a push at the end of FH that I hope makes it impossible not to see what else is about to happen. Not a cliffhanger, though, which I don’t much like. But a set-up to the next story, which I do. 😀 Can’t wait to see what you think of Hunter Painter when you meet him. He’s my favorite character. So far. 😀 Thanks for stopping by today! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      • I actually agree, Mae. While I loved writing Swamp Ghosts, and creating those characters, and it’s done well for me, it was only the second book I’d ever produced. I’d like to think that my writing grows stronger with each following one. (Of course, just because I’d LIKE to think that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true, but that’s my goal, anyway.) 😀

        Plus, the more I move away from RomSupense, the more I like psychological drama, and family conflicts. I VERY much enjoyed writing Books 2 and 3 in this series, and hope to do others in that vein.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Mae, both for this absolutely wonderful review of That Darkest Place, and for sharing it here on your blog today. I love that YOU loved these brothers, because they are so very special to me.

    When we breathe life into our characters and set them loose in the world, nothing is better than finding out they’ve touched other people! It’s the greatest feeling in the universe and the main reason we gather up all these words and spread them out on paper for readers to pore over. I love that I’m finally doing that, and most of all, I love when others tell me they’ve enjoyed reading my tales. I’ll be reblogging this on The Write Stuff later today, after my #ShareAReviewDay guests have had their time in the spotlight. Can’t wait to share it with the Immediate World!

    Thank you once again for reminding me why I’m toiling away every day at this stage of my life, when I could be relaxing in a rocking chair on the porch, drinking iced tea, and gossiping about the neighbors. (Eeeek.) 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t imagine you rocking away and gossiping about the neighbors–no way! There are too many books to write, characters to breathe life into, and presentations to give. I’m so glad you discovered your passion for writing because your stories certainly touch hearts. I hope the Painter boys will show up in the succeeding Riverbend stories, much like Maggie and Gunn do.

      And I just remembered Team Loki from the book, as I was typing this LOL! That was a treat for this Loki fan 🙂

      So glad you liked my review. It’s my pleasure to share it with others!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hahahahaha. I totally forgot to ask you about Team Loki! Me, I’m Team Thor, as evidenced by Gunnar Wolfe, BUT, I’ve heard it rumored there are actually folks out there who prefer Loki. Imagine! *snort*

        And don’t worry. If all goes well, I’ll be writing books from now until I fall face down on the keyboard. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s my idea of the perfect way to go! 🙂 Thanks for this great review and post today. I’m still doing the Snoopy Happy Dance, but I may have to bring that to a close. My feet are killing me! 😀 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • LOL! Well, there’s room for Team Thor and Team Loki. I wouldn’t have a problem hopping into the other camp –just for a day or two, and then it would be back to where I belong…with a Snoopy dance! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Teri! It’s such a great review, and from someone who really “gets” why I love telling this type of story. I’m so happy she enjoyed the book this much! And yeah, I’d never leave less than three stars, because a two-star book isn’t something I’d likely finish, anyway. My reading time is way too precious to spend on books that aren’t working for me, especially when there are so many excellent ones out there. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by today, and hope you’ll have a chance to meet the Painter Brothers at some point. I know how you are with those brotherly bonds! 😀

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Craig. It was such a wonderful treat to read her thoughts on That Darkest Place! And I agree on the reviews. Besides, there’s enough negativity in the world at large, as it is. No need to add more.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Yep. I’m sure I’d feel different if I was a book blogger and not a writer. Then again, odds are I wouldn’t stick with a book that I couldn’t shower with at least three stars.

      Marcia told an excellent story and earned every one of those glittery, sparkly stars for That Darkest Place. Thanks for visiting, Craig!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Fabulous review of Marcia’s book. I like the way she goes deep into the emotional bonds that underscore her stories. And you write such tantalizing reviews, Mae, that I can’t help but get sucked in. Thanks for the recommendation and congrats to Marcia. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Diana. I write about the kinds of people I grew up around and still live among today, and I hope that lets me connect with them on a deep level. That’s what I try to share in my books, and it does my heart good to think I may have succeeded with the Painter brothers.

      And Mae’s reviews positively rock! This one touched my heart, because I could tell she “got it.” *happy sigh* Thanks for stopping by today, and I hope you’ll enjoy these books if you get a chance to read them. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    • So cool to hear that about my reviews, Diana! 🙂

      I completely agree with you about Marcia’s books. Characters are what make a book worth reading for me. I love the emotional attachments I form. And that’s all the more likely to happen when I see and feel the attachments between them unfold on the page. That Darkest Place is a gem of a story.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I know a thing or two about complicated family relationships, for sure, having been through some, myself. And I HOPE I’m doing a decent job of translating tricky issues to the written word. I’m learning more about writing every day, but in the meantime, getting a review like this just makes me happier than I can describe! Mae’s words touched my heart and left me doing her favorite Snoopy Happy Dance all around the room. (Only slower, and more clumsily than Mae would, being as how I have a LOT of years on her! 😀 )

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Judi, and I hope you get a chance to meet the Painter Brothers & the rest of the denizens of Riverbend yourself one day!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Judi. That Darkest Place is such a wonderful story, it’s my hope others will be tempted to read it. The whole series is fantastic but books 2 (Finding Hunter) and 3 (TDP) are my favorites. I really became smitten with all three brothers.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Great to know, Mae, because yes, they will pop up here and there throughout the entire series, I’m sure. It’s a small town. Everybody knows everybody else, and cross paths often. Besides, I don’t want to let them go, myself. 😀 Aren’t we writers funny birds? We fall in love with our characters and can’t bear to part with them!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on The Write Stuff and commented:
    It’s a great day, indeed, when you wake up to Mae Clair sharing a 5-star review of one of your books! I hope you’ll read what she has to say about my 3rd Riverbend book, That Darkest Place. Because of circumstances beyond my control, I didn’t get any marketing done on this one, and a review like this really does my heart good. I hope you’ll share it far and wide, thanks. And my heartfelt thanks to Mae, too! This made my day, my week, and probably the rest of my month, as well! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. If I hadn’t already read the book I’d be doing so now – a briilliant review that captures the essence of the book. I’ve read all of Marcia’s works now (the poetry’s amazing, too) and am eagerly awaiting the next Rabbit book.
    As for 3* reviews, I’m the same. I do sometimes contact the author, tell them what worked for me, what didn’t, and do they want me to put up a 3* review that says that. Giving every review the full 5 devalues the currency. I have, occasionally, given a low rating to a much-hyped book that doesn’t seem to live up to the praise from the netGalley crew…
    That Darkest Place fully deserves its 5 ‘sparkly’ stars!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Trish. I’m glad you like my review. I’ve read all of Marcia’s books, including her poetry, and like you am eagerly awaiting the next Rabbit book. She tells so many good tales, it’s hard to choose a favorite.

      I will put up a three star review, saying what I liked and didn’t like, but nothing lower than three stars. I think I once published a two-star review on GR for a book that was overhyped and already had in excess of a thousand reviews. I figured my two star wasn’t going to bring the rating down. I can’t remember what the book was, so clearly it didn’t leave much of an impression on me, LOL.

      Thanks for stopping by today to check out my review, I’m glad you feel those sparkly stars are well deserved!

      Liked by 1 person

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