Book Review: Finding Hunter by Marcia Meara

In Book 2 of the Riverbend Series, Marcia Meara, author of Wake-Robin Ridge, A Boy Named Rabbit, and Harbinger, takes a look at the devastating effects of a family torn apart by a horrific tragedy, pitting brother against brother, and focusing on battling PTSD with the redemptive power of unwavering love and support.

Finding HunterBefore, I never thought about taking a life.
Not once.
Now, the thought fills my mind day and night,
I wonder how I’ll hide that terrible need,
As an old car swings to the shoulder,
And stops.

~ 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.

Willow soon 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.


My Review:

5.0 out of 5 stars Gut-Wrenching, Heartbreaking, and Soul-Warming

I was looking forward to this book because I enjoyed the first one in the series so much. And now I’m eager to read book three. Marcia Meara has found her groove in the complex-character/Florida-fiction niche.

I love character-driven fiction, and this is the epitome of a character-driven piece. Hunter Painter puts a smile on your face and a tear in your eye from the first page. His story arc had me an emotional wreck, so you can imagine what he and Willow went through. And Willow… so strong, so understanding, so amazing. She is a force to be reckoned with.

These characters and the supporting cast kept me on the edge of my seat. This book depicts the horrors of PTSD from not just the person plagued by it, but also from the POV of the family and friends who so often feel helpless and are relegated to watching their loved one suffer. Meara explored this condition thoroughly and without restraint. It was an eye-opening and heart-wrenching take on the topic.

As I said, I really enjoyed this novel and can’t wait to read the next installment.

Book 1: Swamp Ghosts | Book 2: Finding Hunter | Book 3: That Darkest Place

If you are interested in more information, visit Marcia Meara’s website for purchase, newsletter, and social media links.

Published by Staci Troilo

A writer fascinated with interpersonal relationships, the importance of family, and the relevance of heritage. Learn more at

20 thoughts on “Book Review: Finding Hunter by Marcia Meara

    1. Thank you. I’m glad the review piqued your interest. Finding Hunter is book two of the series, so you might want to read book one first (all the links are at the end of the post). The novel stands alone, but reading the first one helps ground you in the series.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Linda! I was truly pleased to see this here today, and very, very happy with Staci’s kind words. You create a character and send him out in the world with your fingers crossed that readers will get what he’s about, and Staci made me feel like she really did. It doesn’t get better than that! Nice to see you here today, too. Thanks for taking the time to comment and share.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. They don’t get too much angstier than Hunter Painter, Mae. He makes Mac look like a slacker. Hahahahaha. I do hope you enjoy it, when you have time to check it out. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Reblogged this on The Write Stuff and commented:

    Finding Hunter is my personal favorite of all my books, to date, and it was absolutely lovely to discover this beautiful review from Staci Troilo this morning. I’m sharing it with you guys, because 1) I can’t help myself, and 2) Deb told me I could! 😀 Hope you enjoy it, and please pass it along. And if you’ve read FH and haven’t left a review yet, please consider doing so. It would make Hunter feel so good! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a wonderful review, Staci. As my personal favorite of my books, it’s always lovely when somebody “gets” the uber quirky and angsty Hunter Painter. He’s such a gentle soul, struggling to survive in a world that doesn’t have room for him. Thank God for Willow! I’m happy I warmed your soul, and apologize for wrenching your gut and breaking your heart along the way. 😀

    Lovely way to start my day, for sure. And I’m going to share this with folks on The Write Stuff.

    Thank you, Staci!

    Liked by 2 people

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