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The Darkest JoyFrom Goodreads: A sexy and poignant new adult novel from New York Times bestseller Marata Eros, about two lost souls who find each other in the wake of tragedy, only to learn that love may not be enough to heal the wounds of a dark and tortured past…

Twenty year-old Brooke Starr has escaped the aftermath of a brutal tragedy by abandoning her music studies and moving north to take a summer position as a part-time deck hand on a deep-sea fishing boat. When her survivor’s guilt becomes unbearable, Brooke realizes there’s only one thing she can do to finally erase the pain.

Deep sea fisherman, Chance Taylor, has just wrapped his guitar set at the local saloon when he sees the silhouette of a young woman in repose, the full moon highlighting her shadow as she plummets from a pier too high for diving… into water too cold to survive. Without thinking, he plunges in after her, saving Brooke from drowning.

As Chance works to save her from her own emotional fragility, Brooke finally begins to learn how to save herself. But when their chemistry begins to consume them, Brooke withdraws. She’s determined to be the master of her own destiny… until the past catches up with her in a cataclysmic plan so dark, so final… it threatens their love and their very lives.

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This is another spectacular novel by the ever talented Marata Eros (aka. Tamara Rose Blodgett), and a must read for fans of the NA genre. Complete with a budding romance, murder, mystery, and mayhem, this novel will glue readers to the page from the very beginning, enticing them onward as the plot unfolds, secrets are divulged, and healing begins, only to be met with the sinister actions of an obsessive and erratic murderer…

I am in awe of the talent Eros possesses. Her previous novels, A Terrible Love and A Brutal Tenderness are already a testament to her amazing skill as an author, but The Darkest Joy may be perhaps my favorite of her novels to date. The perfect love story, surrounded by believable characters, freighting possibilities, and steamy romance, it’s a superb read.

Eros paints a vivid picture of life in Alaska as her story unfolds, setting her characters against a beautiful backdrop, one readers so rarely hear about. It presents a wonderful change, setting itself in the wild, and though not interested in fishing myself, I absolutely adored learning about Chance’s business and watching Brooke and Chance interact, both on and off the ship.

Of course, Eros utilizes my favorite point of view–first person–allowing me to connect with the characters on a deeper level than that of third person, and I love the alternating points of view offset by chapter headings. Many authors use this style, giving readers inside glimpses into their main characters, and when done correctly, as Eros does, it speaks volumes.

Intertwining a talented musician with tragedy and escape was also a beautiful touch, and I loved how music was presented as a healing entity on top of that of love–the age old remedy in helping one heal. It’s a beautiful story, one you must read; you just must. Five stars.

5 stars

I received an ARC of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.  This novel releases on February 18, 2014.

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