Roses & Thorns

Roses & Thorns

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Emerging from Darkness: Seeking Love, Redemption, and Hope by J. M. Maurer

The Plots:

Seeking Love:

One thing I knew: I wasn’t that woman anymore. I wouldn’t be her anymore.

Three years after a bitter divorce, Jessica Winters isn’t sure she’s ready—or capable—to move on. The thought of another relationship terrifies her, but things quickly change when she meets the playfully witty and handsome sex therapist Matthew Moi. At first, she tries to ignore him, but something in the way he levels his sultry gaze on her awakens her soul.

Secretly in love with Jessica, Matthew has been giving her the space she needed to heal. Incapable of waiting any longer and eager to work his way into her broken heart, he seizes an opportunity to have their paths cross. But when her painful past resurfaces, revealing truths that threaten their future, Matthew must prove to Jessica that a shot at true love is worth the risk.

Seeking Love is the first book in the Emerging From Darkness trilogy, and as such, is not intended to be a standalone.

Seeking Redemption:

After surviving a bitter divorce and emerging from a darkness that became all too familiar, Jessica finds herself on top of the world, her soulful awakening allowing her to feel again, trust again, and even love again. Her painful past, however, is relentless, both physically and emotionally, bombarding her daily and not allowing her to overcome the lingering demons that ultimately control her life.

As Matthew lovingly guides her toward a healthy future, his own secrets become known, threatening to destroy the trusting relationship that had quickly grown between them. But despite what life throws her way, Jessica pledges to put the past in the past, accepting that events are often out of her control. She fights for a future with the man who drew her out of the darkness, steering her onto a healing path—seeking redemption.

Seeking Hope:

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.
I couldn’t.

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.

About the Author:

J.M. Maurer is the author of the Emerging From Darkness trilogy. She 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.

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.


Initially, I planned to review each book in this trilogy separately. But they all flowed together so seamlessly, I decided to review them together.

Jessica Winters' life is perfect. She loves her job as an ICU nurse, has a solid marriage, and a plans to show the ultrasound of their baby to her husband that night. The day is marred when she loses a patient. It’s ruined when a woman strides up to the nurses’ station and plunks down an ultrasound of her own, announcing Jessica’s husband is the father and she means to have him for herself. And Jessica’s life is ruined when she loses their baby the day the divorce becomes final. She’s sure she’ll never trust or love a man again.

Enter Dr. Matthew Moi. He falls in love with Jessica when she slams a softball past him in an intra-hospital game. He decides he has to meet her, but when he learns her story, he knows she needs time to heal. Until his sister, who has a rare condition that causes random brain-bleeds needs surgery and is admitted to ICU. Dr. Moi requests Nurse Matthews to be on his sister’s team. Jessica doesn’t recognize the second baseman from the long-distant game. She just knows her patient’s flirtatious visitor brings out feelings she’d long ago buried.

Jessica and Matthew’s story is rich and complex, with a cast of supporting characters who are as deeply drawn as the two main ones. There are Matthew’s partners in his sex-therapy practice, a set of triplets who can give the Weasley twins a run for their money in playful pranks (but with a sexual twist), Jessica’s best friend and fellow ICU nurse, Matthew’s sister, a womanizing brain surgeon, a musician neighbor, Jessica’s father, and of course her ex. The plot is full of twists and turns with an ending that completely blindsided me. Oh, and it doesn't hurt that most of it takes place in my favorite city in the world, Chicago.

While I hate cliff-hanger endings, Ms. Maurer at least warns her readers that Seeking Love, the first book in the Escaping from Darkness trilogy has one. Seeking Redemption, however, can stand alone, as can Seeking Hope. On the other hand, each book flows seamlessly into the next. So I can forgive the first cliff-hanger and give the entire series five roses. I highly recommend you carve out enough time to read all three books at once. It’s a page-burning story.

Author Website:
Warnings:  Explicit Sex, Language
Seeking Love:  354 Pages
Seeking Redemption:  418 Pages
Seeking Hope:  245 Pages
Prices (Each):
Print:  $12.99
Digital:  $2.99
Buy Links:

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