The Darkest Part (Living Heartwood ) by Trisha Wolfe
Pressing 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.
Publishes in US: August 6th 2013 by Trisha Wolfe
Genre: NA contemporary
Series? yes. the first in Living Heartwood
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I have said it before and will say it again, I love Trisha Wolfe. She is an amazing writer who creates these characters that I adore, and never want for them to leave my heart. Her stories leave me breathless, panting, and seriously rooting for the main characters despite the circumstances because they are relatable, they feel and express powerful emotions, and the romances are sizzling. The Darkest Part is no exception to any of this and only increases my level of love for Trish and her writing.
Sam is seeing her dead boyfriend and I can't decide how much it was contemporary or if is should be classified as more of a paranormal, because I believe her and don't think that she is crazy. I think that she is legitimately seeing his spirit and that she is on a mission to help him cross over and find peace instead of fading into the dark.
This book is written in dual perspective and it flashes back to Sam and Tyler's life so that we get a picture of their love and relationship, but we also see Sam and Holden, the other main character, and this is where things get really complicated in the most juicy way possible. Holden and Tyler and brothers and Tyler and Sam grew up best friends, but Sam and Holden also have a romantic past, but it doesn't end well. And I yearned for the moment where I found out Holden's side because from Sam's perspective he just seems like a big jerk, but I knew that something more.
Because I fell for Holden too. Being in his head I got to see his intentions and his love for Sam, and it never really seemed like it ended, but the only reason I could figure (writing this at 20%) and of course I won't tell you because it would be a big spoiler all leads back to Tyler.
The psychological element seemed really well done and researched. As one who suffers from depression, I can relate with what Sam was going through. As a daughter and seeing my mom going through losing my dad, the love of her life, I also can really vouch and relate to the paralyzing grief and feeling of being lost, and tell you that Trisha really nails it. It was a mystery in the sense that I didn't know if she was really seeing Tyler or if it was really a psychosis.
The road trip aspect was also a lot of fun. It brought Holden and Sam together and they bonded over their love for Tyler and on the way found themselves healing. They also build on that friendship they used to have, and I loved every single conversation, deep, light and even the fights because so much truth comes out. Things that shouldn't be hidden.
I felt for Sam, but also saw her strength and was proud of herself wanting to heal and taking steps to stand up for herself, and still wanting to honor Tyler's memory. I fell in love with Holden, because even though he has a rough past, and has mistakes, he loved his brother, and made unbelievable sacrifices for him. He is sexy, confident, but will help those he loves and give them the shirt off his back.
We also find out that Tyler had secrets, and it was painful to find out the darker side of him. It also made me begin to question some of the things I thought were facts. Some of it was a great surprise and twist in the story as well.
This is realistic, emotional and powerful. Beautifully written and it touched my heart. I will read anything Trisha writes and definitely can't wait for the next book in the Living Heartwood series.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Have you ever seen or sensed a spirit?