Book 3 of the Emerging From Darkness series
GENRE: contemporary romance 18+
Jessica and Matthew’s captivating love story comes to an epic conclusion in the final installment of J.M. Maurer’s Emerging From Darkness trilogy that began with the novels Seeking Love and Seeking Redemption.
I’d been given promises in the past, all of which were broken.
Inevitably, they broke me.
I wouldn’t let those broken promises stop me from believing in new ones, though.
Matthew Moi was different.
His dimpled smile and witty sexual banter has held me spellbound since day one.
Falling in love with him came easy.
Marrying him—a dream come true.
Now, he wants something I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready for.
As I struggle, he faithfully remains at my side.
Through it all, his protective nature shields me from an evil I didn’t see coming.
Together, we have it all—love, passion, trust.
Apart, the possibilities are endless, even death.
Seeking Hope is the final book in the Emerging From Darkness trilogy, and as such, is not intended to be a standalone. The trilogy reads as: Seeking Love, Seeking Redemption, & Seeking Hope.
Follow Jessica and Matthew’s captivating and steamy love story from the beginning—start the trilogy today!
Finally at ease with his mother, Matthew laughed, realizing that she, too, must have had a hand in teaching Jess how to cook.
“I was happy to help. She’s going to be an excellent cook and mother, for that matter, one day.”
Her words squeezed at Matthew’s heart. He ran a hand through his curly hair, struggling with how to reply. “I’m not sure we’ll have kids. Jess, she’s off. Something’s up.”
“Wedding planning can be stressful,” Marise offered.
“No. It’s not that. At first, I didn’t know what trigger was setting her off. But I finally realized when I mention anything about children or babies, she checks out completely.”
“Any idea why?”
Matthew wasn’t one to speculate. Jess, not being ready to talk about it, wasn’t helping him understand. But he knew history could be painful to overcome. He motioned toward a bench, acting on a strong desire to sit down and reflect. Following his mother, he sat and looked down at the sand, a pensive expression on his face.
How could he tell Marise that Jess had been pregnant when she found out Jake had cheated on her, and that the day of the divorce hearing, she went into preterm labor? Or that a discrepancy in Jess’s mind had her, in retrospect, believing she should have done everything possible to save her baby, but didn’t, opting instead for comfort care in her own arms?
Matthew knew the truth of the matter. He’d seen the dates on the ultrasound, finding it one day as it slipped out from between the pages of a book, and spliced together a corrected timeframe. Jess had been barely twenty weeks along. And as she would have known from nursing school that because the chances of survival were thought to be impossible at twenty weeks, parents were advised to do exactly what she had done.
Whether at twenty-two weeks or twenty, she’d died inside that day. And to this day, Matthew was fairly certain she still harbored a belief that she had made a grave mistake and was endlessly blaming herself for the outcome. It was no wonder she’d fallen into a deep depression. Matthew wanted nothing more than to help her.
After a long moment in thought, he shrugged, still uncertain what, if anything, to say to his mom.
Marise caressed his back, then shifted on the bench to look at him. “Being psychiatrists makes it challenging for us not to want to help, especially when we think we can. It’s what we are trained to do. But sometimes, we are too close or simply aren’t the best option for those we love. Even though they know we love them, they’re not always ready to let us in.”
“You’re right. Jess said she would open up when she’s ready.” Though it made Matthew feel she wasn’t comfortable enough with him to tell him what was truly bothering her. And that hurt him. “I want to talk with her about starting a family, but I don’t think it’s something she wants.”
“Darling, there’s no hurry. Enjoy making memories of the two of you first. In fact, you can start with a trip home. This Christmas.”
Matthew stared out to sea, mulling over his desires, Jess’s fears, and an impromptu trip to France. Marise draped her arm over his shoulders, the sound of the waves the only noise breaking their silence.
“I know it’s been a long time since you’ve had Christmas at home with us, but we’d love to have you. You could make a full holiday of it and take Jess to Paris. You certainly don’t have to stay confined to the guest house.”
“The guest house?” Matthew grimaced, uncertain as to why she hadn’t offered their house to them.
“You’re welcome to stay anywhere you’d like. But if you’re in need of some privacy, I suggest the guest house.”
Privacy. His eyes darting from the ocean to Marise, Matthew pulled his mother to his chest. “You may have just helped me.”
Marise laughed and returned the embrace. “I’m more than happy to help, with anything. You need only to ask.”
Matthew leaned back, this time frowning. “There’s something else going on with Jess you should know about.”
“Someone wants her dead.”
J.M. started working as a registered nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit where she cared for critically ill children, transported them from outlying hospitals, and even picked up overtime hours treating patients of all ages while inside a hyperbaric chamber. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, she loves to write about strong characters and their struggles in life. Her books explore themes of revenge, redemption, and hope along with the intrigue of true love, sex, and marriage.
An incurable romantic with a penchant for dark chocolate and red wine, no matter what trials or tortures her characters face, love will always prevail . . . because, after all, what’s better than a happily-ever-after?
When not writing, you can find her spending time with family and friends, exploring the outdoors, or attempting most any sport. She resides in Chicago with her husband and son.