Author: Trisha Wolfe
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Publication Date: August 2013
(Can be read as a stand alone)
(Can be read as a stand alone)
SummaryPressing the boundaries of both the psyche and the heart, Sam and Holden embark on a dangerous journey that will test the limits of love.
Sam Wintry’s life used to be almost perfect. She was engaged to her childhood best friend and high school sweetheart, Tyler Marks, planning an amazing cross-country honeymoon during her college break. But after a hit-and-run leaves her in ruin, she begins seeing Tyler’s fractured, ghostly presence, and her family believes she’s losing her mind. Not until she completes their journey, stopping along the way to scatter Tyler's remains, will Tyler be able cross over. Only...is Sam ready for him to leave her?
When the black sheep of the Marks' family, Holden Marks, returns to check on Tyler's case, Sam convinces him to give her his brother's ashes. Despite their shaky history, she needs him...plus, he owes it to Sam and his brother. What she doesn’t count on is Holden’s relentlessness to go on the trip.
On the road, Holden realizes just how unhinged Sam has become. Dealing with her psychosis forces him to confront his dark past, making it harder to keep secrets hidden that should remain buried. Especially from Sam, the only woman he’s ever loved. And as Sam starts to unravel the truth, she begins to question if the brother she's unwillingly falling for again is in an even darker place than her.
I love how you can see a tree in the title. The living Heartwood series has amazing covers. You can really see the characters with them.
At first, I was wondering how it was only considered contemporary romance if there was a "ghostly presense," but I figured out why. I wasn't expecting the character's journey through self awareness. I wasn't expecting one of those books that give you the ugly cry until you fall asleep.
My favorite part of the book, scratch that, the whole series is that it is made known that the main character isn't perfect. Honestly, I always picture the main character a strong lead heroine role. The Darkest Part really affected me by giving me a character that isn't perfect, isn't trying to save somebody, but dealing with grief and trying to save themselves. Sam is really somebody I can connect with. I felt her grief like it was my own. I can't imagine dealing with the love of your life dying and finding out there is a whole side of them you didn't know about, but the book sure made me feel like I did. I read so much paranormal that I really believed that Sam did see Tyler's ghost. And when she took a picture of him and there was no hint of a ghostly glare on the screen I was like WTF. You mean Sam really does suffer from a disorder? You mean she really isn't perfect like I want her to be? I felt so bad after that because the whole time I was saying to myself don't take your meds Sam! Not only is Sam not perfect, but Holden is just as messed up. They may not be perfect, but they are perfect for each other. I yelled at the book a lot. I mostly yelled at Holden because I felt like he was being a real a**hat. This is the type of book that pulls me along for the ride. I see it so vividly in my head that I bet it would make a great movie. Sam's description of the living heartwood of the tree greatly affected me too. I suddenly see myself in a whole new light.
I strongly recommend this book for everyone who enjoys a good contemporary romance ages 17 and up due to steamy sex scenes. If there ever was a book required to read in this genre, this would be it. I would apologize for your inevitable crying, but I feel like you all will love this cry.
My Final Thought-
Sam & Holden 4eva! Really an ending I never saw coming. I feel very satisfied, but itching to start the second installment right away.
5 out of 5 Haunted Roses