It’s Sunday again, and time for me to share one of my own favorite reviews, this time for the second book in my Riverbend series, Finding Hunter. Hope you enjoy it, and will consider sharing it all over the place. (Go ahead. Make my day! 😀 ) THANKS!
Following on from Swamp Ghosts, this story brings to life the lives of Willow Greene, close friend of Maggie Devlin, now Maggie Wolfe, and Hunter Painter, best friend of Maggie’s husband, Gunn.
Ever since he could remember Hunter has felt different, separate from his peers. He’s quiet and introspective, enjoying reading and writing, not at all like his older brothers, Forrest and Jackson, who have always been outgoing, taking whatever life offers. Hunter’s sensitivity to people and his surroundings have impacted on his life and psyche steadily over the years.
Willow has been in love with Hunter ever since high school. When she has a surprise phone call from Hunter the day after Maggie and Gunn’s wedding party, she invites him over. Realising, after all these years, they feel the same for each other Willow and Hunter spend as much time together as possible. But Hunter believes happiness is not meant for him. His lot was to look out for his parents since his dad was turning a blind eye to a serious problem, which was obvious to Hunter. His overriding fear that he would take after his mother meant, to his mind, he could never have a lasting relationship.
The insecurities and secret dread Hunter has lived with all his life prove too much for him to cope with as events spiral, his worst fears culminating in a terrible tragedy which shatters him and shocks everyone close to him. Hunter is lost in a desolation and pain so deep it overtakes him totally.
This story has a completely different atmosphere to Swamp Ghosts, in that it’s not as suspenseful or tense in a thriller kind of way. Rather, this focuses quite a bit on mental health issues and how, if left unrecognised, ignored or untreated, can cause untold damage. It’s also about the struggle to find a way back from hopelessness and despair. Willow and Hunter both have a battle on their hands.
In addition, the emphasis is also on relationships and family. And the power of love. Marcia Meara represents all of this extremely well from the perspective of the well defined and sympathetic characters. There’s an impressive depth and interpretation in the vivid portrayals which will stay with me for a while, I think.
The short passages at the start of the chapters are intriguing and add a sense of anticipation, wanting to know who the travelling man is and his role in the story. It makes sense when all is revealed, and it was a surprise.
Before, I never thought about taking a life. Not once.
Now, the thought fills my mind day and night, and
I wonder how I’ll hide that terrible need,
As an old car swings to the shoulder,
~ Traveling Man ~
Hunter Painter’s darkest fears have shaped his offbeat personality since he was a child, crippling him in ways invisible to those unable to see past his quiet exterior. In a sleepy Florida town known for its eccentric inhabitants, he’s always been a mystery to most.
Only one person sees beyond Hunter’s quirky facade. Willow Greene, the new age herbalist who owns the local candle and potpourri shop, has secretly loved him since they were in high school. When, sixteen years later, she discovers Hunter has loved her just as long, Willow hopes her dreams are finally coming true.
Soon, Willow learns that Hunter fears happiness at her side isn’t in the cards for him. With her natural optimism and courage, she almost convinces him he’s wrong—that they can really have that life together they both long for—but even Willow can’t stop what Hunter knows is coming.
One by one, his worst nightmares become reality, culminating in an unthinkable tragedy, which devastates everyone it touches. Willow’s battle begins in earnest as Hunter is plunged into a bleak, guilt-ridden despair, threatening to destroy not only their love, but Hunter, himself.
Finding Hunter is the story of a lost man’s desperate struggle to make his way home again, and one woman’s unshakeable faith in him and the power of their love.
Author Marcia Meara
Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years, four big cats, and two small dachshunds. When not writing or blogging, 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 at age 69, she finally began pursuing that dream. Her belief in the redemptive power of love is a unifying factor in both of her popular series and her poetry. Today, she’s still going strong, and plans to keep on writing until she falls face down on the keyboard, which she figures would be a pretty good way to go!
Buy Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2 HERE
Marcia has published six novels, one novella, and one book of poetry to date, all of which are available on Amazon:
You can reach Marcia via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the following social media sites: