The Darkest Joy

The Darkest Joy

by Marata Eros


$17.99 $19.99 Save 10% Current price is $17.99, Original price is $19.99. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Friday, March 22

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476752211
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication date: 02/18/2014
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Marata Eros is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of dark, romantic new adult novels, including A Terrible Love and its companion novel A Brutal Tenderness. A passionate writer who loves interacting with her readers, Marata lives in South Dakota with her husband.

Read an Excerpt

The Darkest Joy

  • I cover my nose then cough. A plume of dust rises and I drop my hand.

    What a dump.

    I hear a horn beep and turn around. The taxi driver who gave me the ride from ERA, the local air carrier, waves.

    I give him the thumbs-up and he drives off. My eyes shift back to the run-down log cabin. I keep my eyes on the wide plank door as I climb the thick steps, the deep graining and knots in the wood, loved by age, mellowed to amber, greet me. I look down at the key in my hand, wrapping suddenly cold fingers around brass that’s stolen my warmth. I slide the gift from Milli into the surface lock and the tumblers slide and click apart. I push the heavy door inward and it opens with a whisper of sound.

    The interior is as dismal as I expect.

    Everywhere my eyes land is caked in dirt. Years of dust entomb every surface.

    It’d take an act of goddamned Congress to clean this place up.

    I sigh, trudge out to the cabin’s porch and carry in my suitcases one by one, four in all. I swipe the screen of my smartphone and see that it receives Internet.


    Back on the porch, I scan the forty-acre spread, as open as it is achingly cloistered. The spruce trees scattered on the edge of a huge cliff accentuate the lonely frontier feel. Wild lupine shows green against grass that isn’t awake with the late spring of this northern latitude. Fireweed shoots emerge between patches of snow.

    I exhale sadly and haul the rest of my gear inside and survey the interior again.

    Yup, it’s still shitty.

    I set my phone on the kitchen table, disturbing the dust, and put my things on the floor. I move to a crooked cupboard and open it, then open the rest, one by one. I leave them standing open like gaping, toothless mouths.

    My eye catches something and I stand up straighter. In the vast nothingness of the lower kitchen cupboards I see a spot of color. I move closer.

    It’s a quilt. Large circles intertwine with one another, the patchwork reminiscent of the post-WWII era.

    I know what kind of quilt it is: wedding ring.

    My great-aunt Milli has slept beneath this. When she was younger than I am now.

    A tight burning sensation begins deep in my chest and I know better than to contain it. I let the silent, unstoppable tears come.

    The wildlife of my property doesn’t mind my grief. I stand in the middle of my new home, clutching a quilt my great-aunt made with her own hands, knowing that this cabin is mine through the default of her death.

    I wonder if I’ll ever be right again.

    I don’t deserve happiness. Because they can never have it again.

    After an indefinite time, I lay the quilt over a ratty couch and lie down.

    I fall asleep before my head hits the cushioned armrest.

    My nose twitches at the musty smell.

    My crushed heart still beats.


    I wake with birds chirping outside the window. The pale light showcases things that though neglected were once loved. My eyes scan the scarred surfaces of antique dressers forgotten, mirrors whose silvered surfaces toss the light around the space. Pale green paint, like untouched sherbet, is crazed on the moldings that hold doors that have faded to a light amber. So much potential . . . so much age. So much. I shiver and roll over.

    Potential doesn’t keep me warm. I’m freezing my ass off. I sit up on the couch, the sunlight gray as it filters through the grimy glass of the cabin. Divided light windows settle into the center of enormous old log walls that intersect at the cabin’s corners, the glass rippled, ancient. It looks like water’s running over the panes. It’s not, they’re just that old.

    I look around the interior again and stretch, yawning. My gaze stumbles on an old Toyo heating stove, maybe updated as recently as the 1970s.


    I move to it, arms folded over my chest, hugging my elbows. I crank the knob to on then hit a switch at the back of the old-fashioned stove. My eyes follow the flue as it snakes its way from the main body of the stove and plunges through the tall ceiling. It creaks to miserable life, ticking as it wakes up.

    I realize that I don’t know how it’s being fueled and look to a fireplace, open and dark. Rough-hewn logs flank its sides and a matching log, split in half, acts as a mantel. The spruce has aged to a polished soft gold.

    Of course, I’m just guessing at the color because everything is vintage beautiful with a layer of gray. And epic dust.

    I sneeze and stand by the stove until it’s too hot for me to tolerate. I move away.

    Well, I guess this answers the question of propane delivery, I think. I move aside a moth-eaten lace curtain, and my eyes immediately peg a rusty old tank in the backyard, peeling paint completing the rustic yard ornament. I let the curtain drop and walk over to the kitchen, which is part of the living room. My eyes move to the pair of doors that line the back wall and I walk over there, my exploring not quite finished. I push open the door to the right, the hinges protest softly and I catch sight of a shower pan with a curtain hanging off of an eye hook of nickel that’s worn thin to reveal brass. A steady drip of water falls, the sound exploding in a dull pop as it lands in the old porcelain cast iron. The commode stands in forlorn silence in the corner, a small window set high above it. To the right, a wall-mounted sink hangs off the log, with a long chrome chain from the center of the taps that holds a rubber stopper at its end. I sigh, stepping back and shutting the door at the lovely vista. I turn in the tiny open hall, with just a partial wall that divides the kitchen from the small rooms. I move through the door at the left of the bathroom and a small bedroom stands before me. A full-size bed, without bed linen, a small nightstand and two tiny windows, one at the north side and one at the east, open casement style round out the spartan room. A lonely glass kerosene lamp sits in a layer of dust on the nightstand. I back out, closing the door and I sigh again.

    This place is nothing like my parents’ six-thousand-square-foot home that I’ve sold. Out in the nothingness of this property, I could be at the end of the earth.

    I feel like I am.

    I walk back into the kitchen. I swallow hard and turn on the faucet above an ancient porcelain farmhouse sink. Cold water pours out from solid nickel taps, the metal frosting.

    I put my hand underneath the rush and snatch it back. It’s so cold it burns.

    I might as well be in a foreign country, I think.

    I shut off the water just as I hear an engine.

    I open the door and quickly shut it behind me; don’t want that precious heat to escape.

    I watch a 1970s Bronco pull up the long winding drive and come to a stop. It’s hauling a trailer with the car I just bought, sight unseen. A burly and disheveled guy exits his red-and-white rig. At least, I think it’s red and white, but it’s hard to tell through the dirt, not to mention the rust that’s eating at the wheel wells and edges of it like cancer.

    “Hi ya!” he says and gives a friendly wave. I give a little wave back and make my way down the broad split-log staircase to meet him in the center of the driveway, the gravel lost to the weeds long ago.

    “I’m Tucker,” he says, sticking out a meaty hand, and I shake it as he vigorously pumps mine. I look at him, trying to reconcile his email correspondence with the face.

    I’ve been raised to be socially gracious. In fact, I’m comfortable around most, but . . . the people of Alaska have proven to be an exception.

    There’s no pretense and I find I miss it. Or maybe it’s what is familiar?

    Tucker ignores my inspection of him as he takes in my great-aunt’s homestead.

    I use this opportunity to look him over, from his strange knee-height brown rubber boots to his camel-colored heavy denim pants that meet a beat-up T-shirt that says Catch More But at Sea.


    When I reach his face, I see his head is partially covered by a cap made of nubby charcoal-colored wool, pulled on haphazardly, strands of dark hair curling around the rolled brim.

    His eyes are warm when they meet mine and I blush as he gives a belly laugh at my perusal. “Like what ya see?” he asks, waggling his brows.

    Dear Lord.

    “Ah . . . I’m . . .” Oh God.

    “It’s okay.” He smiles, letting me off the hook. “I hear you’re old Milli’s niece . . .”

    I nod numbly. Don’t ask, don’t ask . . .

    “Brooke Starr,” I say, my face heating again. I feel certifiably stupid.

    Tucker grins. “How is the old girl doing?”

    He’s asked.

    I give a small squeak and he says in a low voice, “Is she gone, then?”

    I nod again and he reaches out a large hand, the whole of it swallows my shoulder. “It’s all right, Brooke,” he says, his eyes moving to take in the vast property, the sweeping cliffs that hold jagged rocks that meet the sea. “She had a full life, y’know.”

    I breathe out a sigh of relief. I don’t fool Tucker. He studies my expression then inclines his head, not questioning me further.

    Suddenly, he grins. “I guess you want to see her.”


    He chuckles at my expression. “Cars are always referred to as females.”

    Not by me, I think. The best I can do is think of my Scion as That Which Runs. A small giggle escapes me and Tucker glances over his shoulder with a cocked brow.

    He moves to the back of the trailer that holds the three thousand dollars’ worth of metal. With a flourish he jerks off the car cover. My eyes widen, roving over the vintage VW bus. The car does me in. The photo he sent me over the Internet looked . . . different. A caption—1967 VW bus, needs body work—had appeared alongside an image of a gunmetal-colored vehicle.

    “What . . . how?” I stutter as I take in the huge rainbow-colored flowers over the deep cerulean blue paint, a low glitter winking as the fog departs the property and the sun edges in. I sigh.

    “Beautiful, ain’t she?” Tucker asks, running his hand over the psychedelic yawn of a paint job.

    I want to blend in, exist unnoticed among the huge influx of migrant fishing workers.

    This Scooby-Doo bus is not going to fucking blend in.

    I open my mouth to rake him over my blazing anger, but his sweet expression stops me. Tucker straightens. “What? Ya don’t like it?” he asks.

    The primer gray would have been perfect. I bite my lip and he waits.

    “It’s okay,” I say.

    “Hell, yeah!” Tucker enthuses and I smile wanly.

    “Okay, just let me unhitch her and you can take a look . . .”

    Tucker backs the bus off the trailer. He gets all four wheels on the bare stretch of pastured driveway and gives it a start while I move to the side of the house, out of the way. It’s then that I catch sight of the outhouse around the back of the small cabin for the first time, and a laugh bursts out of me before I can stop it.

    Tucker exits the bus and walks around to meet me. He gives another smile. “That’s the shitter?”

    I stare at it in disbelief. “The necessary,” I reply primly, and he belly laughs.

    “That too,” he winks.

    I step onto the broad porch as Tucker finishes tinkering with my new bus. It’s half as deep as the interior of the small cabin. Tucker notices me surveying the deep roof that covers the porch.

    “Snow load,” he responds automatically.

    I look above me, thinking about a seven-foot-deep porch and how much snow would accumulate to necessitate the size.

    Only for the summer, only for the summer, I chant in my mind like a mantra. I know the fishing job is temporary. I can figure out later where I’ll go next—who I’ll become.

    Tucker is almost to his Bronco when he turns, his instep on the chrome running board that still clings to the dilapidated body.

    “Heard you’re on Chance Taylor’s crew,” Tucker asks like a statement.

    I nod. “Yes, I’m a part-time deckhand.”

    It’s his turn to look me over. He shuts the door and slowly walks over to where I stand.

    I try not to let anxiety rule me. But I’ve never been the same since my family’s death.

    It’ll change a person. I’m no longer the free-floating and trusting girl of a few months ago.

    Tucker sees my wary expression. “Let me see your hands.”

    “My hands?” I ask, confused.

    He nods solemnly.

    I hold my hands out and he takes them, studying them.

    “What did you say you do?”

    I haven’t.

    I shrug a little, taking my hands back. I stuff them inside my low-rise jeans, shifting my weight on my feet.

    Tucker waits as I stare at the ground.

    “I was a student.”

    “Yup.” He gives me a level stare, waiting.

    I sigh. “I studied the piano.”

    “Ah,” he says, his dark eyes move to my hands, hidden inside the denim. “They look like hands that have worked . . . but . . .”

    I feel my brows rise.

    He gives me a steady look. “You’ll get beat up out there.”

    “I need the job,” I say. Though not for the reasons he’s thinking.

    Tucker looks at me again, shaking his head. “It’s tough work for a woman.”

    My chin kicks up. “Yeah . . . well, the pay’s good.” And the location—the distance. Not to mention that absolute divergence from classical music and everything that defined my life before, I mentally add.

    Tucker nods, saying nothing more.

    “How am I going to get beat up?” I can’t help but ask.

    He’s almost in his car. “If it isn’t the sea, then Chance Taylor will do a stand-up job.”

    Tucker slams his car door as my stomach knots.

    Translation: my new boss is a dick.

    He backs up, turning around in the large part of the driveway. I watch his Bronco jostle over the uneven driveway as his hand pops out the window in a one-wave salute.

    I lift my hand in return then slowly let it drop.

    I have one week before halibut season begins. One week to get this cabin in order and get the tools of the trade and—I look around the dingy space—cleaning supplies.

    And three months to forget, my mind whispers.

    I’m still dragging after the long journey to Alaska. My stomach grumbles, and I’m not surprised to discover that there are barely two crumbs within the four dim corners of the cabin. After Tucker leaves I decide it’s time to make a supply run. I unpack my first suitcase and take out the Garmin, a girl’s best friend. The GPS navigational system will tell me where I’m going.

    I take stock of the cabin. The TP is moldy and lank; a dry sliver of soap sits crumbled inside a cagelike chrome holder screwed above the old sink. My eyes move to the “shower.” I move the curtain aside. A huge showerhead, the chrome worn through to the brass casing, drips about every thirty seconds. Great. Somehow, I’ll have to experiment with how to get wet in there.

    I sigh, adding plumber’s tape to the list.

    I sling my backpacklike purse across my shoulder, head outside, and start up the bus. It zings to life beautifully.

    It’s colder than a witch’s tit on the shady side of an iceberg, I think, stuffing my hands between my knees.

    I let off the clutch and the bus lurches forward. I put it in first gear and crank down the hill.

    I make the solitary trek to town, which, as I live at the very end of East End Road, requires nearly fifteen minutes of winding driving. And though I’m from drippy Seattle where everywhere you look is a tapestry of greenery, I can’t help but notice the majesty this rugged place possesses. I carefully avoid handling the memories of Aunt Milli too intimately but her voice breaks through without my permission.

    The mountains are like jewels made of ice, Milli whispers inside my brain.

    My eyes move to the Kenai Fjords and their glacial peaks rise to my left, the long finger of Homer Spit, the world’s largest natural sand spit, holds its rows of small shops . . . and fishing boats moor to those mountains like an anchor at its feet.

    I tear my eyes away from the same view that’s just outside that dirty cabin I’m now living in and move into the parking area of Safeway.

    I get out of the bus and slam the door. It shrieks as I do, protesting.

    Pulling out my list, I write: W-D 40. Awesome invention, I think.

    I walk toward the glass door and pass some girls who are my age, their long dresses brightly colored with metallic thread picking up the low light of the morning and glittering as they move. Their skirts sweep the ground as they pass by me. One of them turns and looks at me, her deep eyes framed by a vaguely Amish-style cap with thin cotton ties. The girl stares.

    Sees something she knows, maybe.

    She says something in a language I don’t recognize.

    I look away. Sometimes strangers will recognize my sadness intuitively, though I try to hide it.

    I ignore my feelings of uneasy grief, as per usual, going through the automatic glass doors of the grocery store.

    I’ll just grab what I need, then rush back to my lonely little cabin where I can breathe, like an asthmatic without an inhaler. Solitude gives me oxygen.

    Just keep breathing.

    I don’t dwell on the precept that existing is not the same as living.

    I died that night five months ago, along with my family.

  • Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    See All Customer Reviews

    The Darkest Joy 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This was an OK read but not as good as A Terrible Love and its companion book, A Brutal Tenderness. There are two FBI agents from the previous books in this one too, but there is no other connection. So you can read it as a stand-alone. The story revolts around a serial killer who murders the families of aspiring pianists and follows one of them, Brooke, as she travels to Alaska in an attempt to leave behind the tragedy that left her orphan and without any family all of the sudden. In Alaska she starts to have feelings for one of the natives, Chance, and their romance progresses as new murders occur and the mistery deepens and gets resolved. It was a good premise but the end was quite predictable. There was no guessing who the murderer could be. Half way in you start your suspicions, and they become quite evident. That was a disappointment. I also found the romance too rushed. There was no building up of the characters and their emotions, making it unrelatable. To make things worse the description of some scenes was kind of confusing. There was one chapter in particular describing a kiss and she falls asleep right away. Next chapter comes and she gets all hot thinking about the steamy night they spent and his mouth being 'there'. I actually went back and reread the previous chapter thinking my Nook may have skipped pages, but no, nothing happened but a chaste kiss. It felt as if the author forgot the scene she had written earlier and made it up differently. It also shows bad editing. This happened several times, so it got annoying. So overall OK, but could have been much, much better.
    DYac More than 1 year ago
    It was an intriguing ride from beginning to end! I can't imagine listening to someone being murdered over the phone much less several people I know and love. But, this is how our story begins, and it is this circumstance that catapults our heroine into a situation where she is rescued and in turn rescues her hero. Brooke and Chance are a unlikely couple whose lives blend into and exciting and dangerous love story. I love the fact that it takes place against the lush beauty and stark backdrop of Homer, Alaska and its surrounding bays and inlets. The story is told from the viewpoints of both the hero and heroine, giving us a clear picture of their ideas and emotions. Though I had mixed feelings about the person that turned out to be the murderer, I never would have expected the results. The small town characters ranged from brilliant to peculiar, and some were so much more. Though there were many times I wanted to yell at Brooke to return her phone calls already, I understood her need to make a break from the horrors of her recent past. Once Brooke and Chance decided to cross the line of friendship, the romance truly began and the heat that came with it. This tale is a testament to the strength of the human psyche to not only survive but thrive, to live life to the fullest and to extract the joy necessary to fulfill our dreams. I loved it! The only problem I had with it was that it ended too soon. I'm a sucker for a good love story, and this one was quick paced as it needed to be. It was sweet and entertaining all wrapped up into romance. Ash was the handsome intriguing artist, born into money who falls for the pretty house sitter. To see Lila's eccentricities save the day was the whipped cream on the sundae. I truly enjoyed it. Thank you, Nora Roberts for an informative, fun and stimulating adventure!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    TheBibliophilicBookBlog More than 1 year ago
    Brooke Starr is a piano prodigy poised to go for her dream of Juilliard when, on the way home for Christmas, she hears her whole family being murdered over the phone. Leaving everything behind, including her music, she moves to Alaska and into her Great-Aunt’s old cabin. She takes a position as a deck-hand on a deep sea trawler, but when she gets to Alaska she realizes she might be better off with her family. When she jumps off the pier into the frigid Alaska, Chance Taylor jumps in to save her life. Chance’s only love is the sea but, after saving her life, Brooke gets under his skin and into his heart. When Brooke’s past catches up with her and a killer comes to complete the cycle, Brooke and Chance have to save themselves to save each other. THE DARKEST JOY will take your breath away. The poignant and heartbreaking emotions Brooke experiences are written in a way which will have readers easily empathizing with her. The explosive chemistry between Chance and Brooke is exquisitely hot, hot, hot! I did want to shake the crap out of Brooke for not answering her phone when the FBI kept calling, but I can understand her need to put the past in the past. All of the characters really created a spark, so lively and well-developed. I loved the fact that Brooke found hope when she thought all was lost. THE DARKEST JOY is a truly enthralling read!
    Barb-TRC More than 1 year ago
    The Darkest Joy by Marata Eros blows you away with a beginning that by the time I was on page 2, I was already hooked. Our heroine, Brooke, who is a young pianist prodigy awaiting to be admitted to Julliard. She is on her way home from school for Christmas, when she gets a call from her mom, who is worried about her travelling home. What follows is a few minutes of hell, as Brooke while talking to her mom, hears the doorbell ring and then begins to hear the terrifying sounds of her family being brutally murdered. Having lost her mother, father, brother and aunt, Brooke goes into shock, with anxiety attacks when she thinks about it. She has a hard time dealing with it, and decides to sell her home and go to Alaska for a few months to get away from every one. The aunt who was also murdered, left her a cabin in Alaska. Chance Taylor is a fisherman, who runs his own business, and is our hero. Chance is a hottie, who also plays the guitar. When Brooke arrives in Alaska, she is befriended by Evan and Tucker, and she is invited to the local tavern that night. It is here that she sees the gorgeous guitar player, not knowing he will be her boss, since she starts the next morning working as a deckhand. But before that, listening to Chance play a certain song, brings on an anxiety attack and she runs away. Brooke, thinking she doesn’t deserve to live, then attempts to kill herself, as she jumps off the bridge. Chance comes upon her when she jumps, and he saves her life. What follows is a fascinating story of Brooke trying to accept her loss, handle her anxiety, and move on with her life. She falls hard for Chance, as he does her. Slowly Brooke realizes that her family would not want to her give up on life, and with the help of Chance, she begins to live again. She enjoys the different type of life in Alaska, and they friends she makes. Her best friend from home, Lacey, constantly calls her to give her updates. Just when Brooke is getting a handle on things, there are more murders of families from other upcoming pianist prodigies. The FBI tries to warn Brooke that the killer is probably coming after her. Since I do not want to give spoilers, this is a great story that has everything, tragedy, romance, sex, emotional turmoil, danger, brutality, excitement, and suspense. The first half of the book, Eros pulls all your emotions, and the second half you are on the edge of your seat. There are some twists, surprise at the wild ending as we reached the climax. Besides loving Brooke and Chance together, I thought Marata Eros has created a wonderful group of secondary characters from Evan, Tucker, Jake, Clearwater, and Lacey. She has also created a terrible villain. This story was told in both Brooke and Chance’s POV. I usually don’t like that, but it was good to see things from both perspectives. Amidst all this tense emotions, Eros managed to give us a wonderful couple, who fall in love and find the joy from within the darkness. The Darkest Joy was a terrific read and one of the best books I have read this year. Marata Eros has put herself on my list to make sure I read more of in the future.
    Sarah_UK1 More than 1 year ago
    (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Simon and Schuster and Edelweiss.) Brooke is heading home for the holidays when her entire family is brutally murdered. Needing to get away, Brooke heads to her dead aunts house in Alaska, intending to get a job, and get away from her old life. In Alaska Brooke meets Chase, and they are instantly attracted to each other. Who killed Brooke’s family? And are they finished murdering people or not? This was an okay story with some steamy love scenes. Brooke was an okay character, although surprisingly I didn’t really feel all that sorry for her. I did wonder if she was running away from her feelings a bit when she moved to Alaska, but I could also see why she might want a break. The storyline in this was okay, but I thought the ‘romantic’ moments were much better than the rest of the storyline. While this may sound awful I wanted more details about the murder of Brooke’s family. I felt like we were only given a really small amount of information where that was concerned, and it bugged me that we weren’t told more. I really wanted to know exactly what had happened, but it seems we will never find out. The romance in this was good, and while I didn’t really get the instant attraction Brooke and Chance felt, I liked the flirting and the way this pair were together. We did get some ‘love’ scenes, and they were pretty steamy, and the best part of the book for me. The ending was okay, and I didn’t manage to guess who the killer was. Most things were wrapped up nicely, so I’m not sure if the next book will be about these same characters or not. I will probably read the next book, but it will be for the romance rather than the mystery. Overall; an okay story, with a steamy romance. 7 out of 10.
    reececo331 More than 1 year ago
    Banqueted by violence this love story, and the ability of the characters of dramatic and climatic fate find that love is more then sharing a chemical reaction but finding the ability to to trust your story to another person. Connected in ways they did not know Brooke, and Chance find love and passion in a re-connection of past connections of familiar relations. 
    Sailon More than 1 year ago
    Brooke Starr is a piano prodigy. On her way home for Christmas break from her sophomore year at college, she gets a phone call from her mother...a phone call that will tragically change her life forever.  Chance Taylor is a halibut fisherman in need of a part time summer deck crew. He highers Brooke Starr sight unseen never knowing how much he is going to want to put a smile on her sad face. Brooke runs to Alaska, consumed by survivors guilt. Anyone who meets her can help but notice her sorrow but she feels broken inside. Consumed by her loss, Brooke jumps into the ocean only to be saved by Chance. Given a second chance, Brooke slowly emerges through the swamping emotions that nearly drowned her. Chance and Brooke connect through their love for music but ignite from the passion they can't seem to avoid. Just when Brooke starts to really live again, the tragedy of her past re-emerges with new victims...threatening to break the fragile hold she has on life. Chance is a wonderfully sexy Alaskan native, a reluctant hero you can't help but love. There is also a marvelous cast of supporting characters like Clearwater, Jake, Tucker and Evan...all there to make Brooke's journey an absolutely enriching story of her slowly rejoining the living.  The Darkest Joy is a heart rending emotional sucker punch to the gut. Don't get me wrong it is not all sorrow, there is laughter, Eros's signature snark, joy, friendship, love and even obsession. Yes, you will go through the gambit of emotions while immersed in this fabulous, memorizing, shocking plot. Marata Eros vividly captures the agony of profound loss but brilliantly depicts the beautiful and painful transformation that takes place after dealing with these life altering emotional scars. The Darkest Joy is a dark, beautiful, pulse pounding, suspense filled story that will keep you riveted till the end. I received this FANTASTIC ARC galley copy of The Darkest Joy from Marata Eros aka Tamara Rose Blodgett in exchange for a honest review. This book is set for publication February 18, 2014.
    DiiMI More than 1 year ago
    In the blink of an eye, the cruel hand of a murderer has left piano prodigy Brook Starr utterly alone, her family dead and her will to live sorely tested. On impulse, twenty-year-old Brooke abandons her life and her music and flees to her late, Great-Aunt’s run-down cabin in a fishing village in Alaska, riddled with survivor’s guilt and vacillating between ending her own life and starting a new one, far removed from the memories and the future that will never be that haunts her. Welcomed by this small town, Brooke still finds little to live for, until at her darkest moment, Chance enters her life. Chance Taylor, a sexy, yet aloof fisherman has hired Brooke as a temporary deckhand aboard his fishing boat. Something vulnerable in this beautiful, yet sad young woman strikes at Chance’s heart and forces him to care. Will the magic of the re-awakening of life and love in both Brooke and Chance heal the pains of the past? There is more to her family’s deaths than meets the eye and others connected to Brooke’s past also become victims. Is it hate that drives this murderer? Will Chance or Brooke be next? The Darkest Joy by Marata Eros is a testament to her ability to morph into a slightly softer author while maintaining her signature style, which is upfront and filled with engaging and wickedly realistic dialogue and sensual steam. She manages to toss a few twists that keeps the reader guessing until the end, and when it hit me, I can definitely say, “I didn’t see that one coming!” She keeps her supporting cast on point with their own distinct personalities and even brought back a name that many fan/readers will recognize, the venerable FBI Agent Clearwater! The Darkest Joy is a journey of loss, hopeless darkness and the gradual rise into the light of love, hope and a future to live to the fullest. For fans, this is a Marata Eros MUST READ, for those who have yet to enjoy her unique gift of a strong writing style, The Darkest Joy is a wonderful place to start! I received an ARC edition from Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books in exchange for my honest review.
    Erica_Pillera More than 1 year ago
    Strong connection amazing characters Fabulous story A different take on the New Adult genre. OMG I love Marata Eros this tale is delicious and fishy, Marata Eros tries to sway you from figuring out who the killer is while expertly giving you an awesome ride on the romance wheel. Brooke is devastated and heart sore from the murder of her family and in return goes to Alaska to disappear, her emotions through the beginning to middle of the story are understandable and you go on the wavy rolling ride of despair, anger and grief. Marata Eros' depictions of her grief are very descriptive and you cant help but put yourself in her place. Brooke's thoughts are thorough and entirely sad. When she decides to end the pain in the Alaskan Sea's she is rescued by the gorgeous Chance Taylor. Chance is wonderful although he originally is the playboy type all inked and strong and pretty but Brook changes his ways and makes him fall for her quickly. Chance is interesting as a character he makes it alot about Brooke and her feelings and goes with what he can work with. I love that he doesn't give up on Brooke. Chance has the incredible ability to make Brooke love again, he takes her away from herself and her grief to start living again. The connection between Chance and Brooke is beautiful and their attraction feels more natural and there is the whole love at first sight, meant for each other feeling, even though Brooke feels she must deny it that she isn't worthy. I liked the back and forth between the characters you get both sides and their reactions. The sexy scenes and the lead up to them are blissfully tension filled and enjoyable, although not as spicy as some of her other stories, however still hot enough to singe your lashes. Towards the end the sexy times are more intimate and love fuelled. YAY!!! Decatur Clearwater is back as a cameo guest the FBI lead in the case although we don't get a lot of him it is still nice to see an awesome character from another story, I think he needs his own. (News Just in he is supposed to be getting his own story - Happy dance) Marata Ero's incredible whit is depicted throughout this story in random bursts of humour. “Its colder than a witch's tit on the shady side of an iceberg” this is why I love this lady she has some funny lines. All up a Fabulous story with a new mix of characters to love and adore, and some excellent twists and turns to make your head spin, and a sweet sweet ending.
    ABookVacation More than 1 year ago
    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. I received an ARC of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review. This novel releases on February 18, 2014.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I wasted money on this book. The whole story was unrealistic. The love at first sight thing....unbelievable. I don't have anything good to say about this book.