The Lies I’ve Told by JL Berg ~ Sarah A’s Review

From USA Today bestselling author J.L. Berg comes a brand new By the Bay stand-alone novel…

Everything was going according to plan…

After years of working my way up the corporate ladder, it was finally my time to shine. I was about to receive the promotion of a lifetime.

But just like that, my life was destroyed with a single career crushing email.

Now, I am headed back home to North Carolina, under the ruse of an extended vacation to help run the family inn while my sister is on maternity leave. After all, what is family for? Plus, a few days at the beach could definitely help uncomplicate this crazy life of mine.

Enter Aiden Fisher.

Aiden is a guest at my sister’s inn. He’s wicked hot, a huge flirt and has one of the sexiest British accents I’ve ever heard. But beyond all that, I see a darkness in his soul, as if he’s carrying a great weight upon his shoulders.

I find myself pushing back my trip home to Florida in hopes that maybe I’ll look into those hazel brown eyes and finally see truth shining back instead of lies. That maybe he’ll stop running and tell me the truth for once.

But you know what they say about liars? It takes one to know one and I’ve been telling the biggest lie of all – I’ve fallen hopelessly in love with Aiden.

And isn’t that the scariest truth of all?

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I’ve loved all the book in this series, and this is not an exception.  They’ve each been packed with stories of overcoming circumstances, healing from life-changing surprises, and heartwarming love stories.  The Lies I’ve Told was an emotional roller coaster from the off, and those rises and falls didn’t slow down until we reached the fabulous finish line of the book.

I was surprised by how fond I was of Millie in this book since she seemed a little too snobbish and aloof in the first two novels for me to care for.   Once she was off and running in The Lies I’ve Told – back in her childhood home – she seemed to be an entirely different person, devoid of the mask she’d had to wear when she was a cog in the fashion machine she’d been in for so long.  That girl, the one who’d been so badly burned, was a thing of beauty.  She was so much stronger, smarter, and caring than I had given her credit for.  She definitely won me over.

Aiden broke my heart.  From the undisclosed bombshell that had been dropped on him just before the story began, to his childhood, to the unmeasurable losses he’d suffered so early in his life, he was broken in a way that called to my soul.  There were a few times when he made some impossibly frustrating choices, but in light of all he was dealing with, it was hard to hate him for those decisions.

The connection between Aiden and Millie jumped off the page.  Their bond was electric, and it sparked and danced with every interaction they had.  They both had been missing something from their lives for so long; it was lovely to get to see how they each filled the missing pieces of the other’s soul.  Witnessing them each begin to realize what they’d been missing, and how much richer and more rewarding life could be with the right person to share it with was moving.

The only wish I had for this story was to have seen more of the first night they spent together.  It seemed like such an important part of the story, but beyond a few little flashbacks we never really got to see how or why it was so monumental to Aiden.  I think it would have reinforced the depth of his feelings for her.

The Lies I’ve Told is the third book in JL Berg’s By the Bay series.  These books are interconnected standalones and, while they do not need to be read in order, the experience is much richer if you read all the book in the order intended.  The Lies I’ve Told is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Millie and Aiden.

JL Berg has done a wonderful job of crafting the world of her By the Bay series.  Each new book adds more layers of love and connection to this series.  I’ve loved each of these books for different reasons.  She packs an emotional punch with her writing and had made me crave each new story she releases.

My eyes bolted open as sunlight from the windows glared down at me. 

Where am I?

I sat up, quietly stretching as if I had all the time in the world. 

Because I did, right? 

No job. No responsibilities.

Responsibilities…

Shit! 

Breakfast for the guests! 

I bolted out of bed, frantically searching for my clothes. Where were my clothes? I tried to think back to the night before, but it was blurry.

Hazy.

And then the hammering in my head began. 

Shit, how much did I drink last night? 

“Where are you running off to so early?” 

The deep British accent had me stopping in my tracks.

Last night…

I turned on my heels, tugging on the short shirt I had on, wishing it were suddenly a dress. Or a robe. 

Or anything longer than a shirt. 

Aiden’s eyes perused my body with a wide grin on his face as he casually tucked his hands behind his head. I tried not to notice the way the muscles in his arms flexed.

Or the fact that, besides a carefully placed sheet, he was basically lying naked before me.

“Oh my God,” I whispered. My fingers raked through my hair as I tried to remember the night before. “We didn’t…did we?” 

The question had him immediately sitting up in bed, causing that well-placed sheet to shift. 

I gulped as all of him—and I did mean all of him—came into view.

Oh Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. 

I turned around, my cheeks flushing as heat spread through my body. He wasn’t just naked. He was naked and very much awake.

“You don’t remember?” he asked as I listened to the bed groan as he stood. 

“No,” I admitted. “Do you?”

I heard the telltale sign of jeans being zipped, giving me the courage to turn back around. Sure enough, he was decent.

Well, as decent as a shirtless, hot-as-fuck Brit could be. God, I thought his muscles had muscles. 

“Um, no,” he answered, but there was a hint of sadness to his eyes as he reached down to grab his shirt off the floor. 

I let out a tiny whimper of protest as the black T-shirt slid down his body.

He really was beautiful.

I shook my head, trying to keep focused. “Oh, that’s great. Just fucking great. So, what happened here exactly?”

He pointed to the pile of clothes and the mostly empty alcohol bottle on the nightstand, that sadness drying up as he let out a breath and straightened, his features hardening. “I think that’s pretty clear.”

My arms folded across my chest before I realized that only brought my shirt higher up my waist. Aiden didn’t miss the extra peek of flesh either as I watched his grin widen. 

“Nope, I don’t believe you. I don’t do one-night stands. Ever.”

“Ever?” he echoed, surprise written all over his stupid face.

“Yes. Ever. Why is that so hard to believe? Do I look like the one-night-stand kind of girl?”

“Well, right now. Sort of.”

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I’m a California native, who lives in the South – Virginia to be exact. I still prefer sushi to fried chicken, avocados to okra, and I absolutely loathe humidity. I do love watching the seasons change though. My husband and I have been here for over a decade, and I still get giddy like a school girl every time it snows. It’s magical!

I’m married to my high school sweetheart, and we’ve been blessed with two beautiful daughters and two rescue pups I like to call my “coworkers”. I’m obsessed with chocolate, minions, anything Harry Potter and I love to watch re-runs of Friends and Gilmore Girls!

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NOW AVAILABLE!! The Lies I’ve Told by JL Berg

From USA Today bestselling author J.L. Berg comes a brand new By the Bay stand-alone novel…

Everything was going according to plan…

After years of working my way up the corporate ladder, it was finally my time to shine. I was about to receive the promotion of a lifetime.

But just like that, my life was destroyed with a single career crushing email.

Now, I am headed back home to North Carolina, under the ruse of an extended vacation to help run the family inn while my sister is on maternity leave. After all, what is family for? Plus, a few days at the beach could definitely help uncomplicate this crazy life of mine.

Enter Aiden Fisher.

Aiden is a guest at my sister’s inn. He’s wicked hot, a huge flirt and has one of the sexiest British accents I’ve ever heard. But beyond all that, I see a darkness in his soul, as if he’s carrying a great weight upon his shoulders.

I find myself pushing back my trip home to Florida in hopes that maybe I’ll look into those hazel brown eyes and finally see truth shining back instead of lies. That maybe he’ll stop running and tell me the truth for once.

But you know what they say about liars? It takes one to know one and I’ve been telling the biggest lie of all – I’ve fallen hopelessly in love with Aiden.

And isn’t that the scariest truth of all?

Amazon US | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

Amazon US | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | Goodreads

I’m a California native, who lives in the South – Virginia to be exact. I still prefer sushi to fried chicken, avocados to okra, and I absolutely loathe humidity. I do love watching the seasons change though. My husband and I have been here for over a decade, and I still get giddy like a school girl every time it snows. It’s magical!

I’m married to my high school sweetheart, and we’ve been blessed with two beautiful daughters and two rescue pups I like to call my “coworkers”. I’m obsessed with chocolate, minions, anything Harry Potter and I love to watch re-runs of Friends and Gilmore Girls!

Facebook | Website | Twitter | YouTube

 

The Lies I’ve Told by JL Berg ~ COVER REVEAL

From USA Today bestselling author J.L. Berg comes a brand new By the Bay stand-alone novel…

Everything was going according to plan…

After years of working my way up the corporate ladder, it was finally my time to shine. I was about to receive the promotion of a lifetime.

But just like that, my life was destroyed with a single career crushing email.

Now, I am headed back home to North Carolina, under the ruse of an extended vacation to help run the family inn while my sister is on maternity leave. After all, what is family for? Plus, a few days at the beach could definitely help uncomplicate this crazy life of mine.

Enter Aiden Fisher.

Aiden is a guest at my sister’s inn. He’s wicked hot, a huge flirt and has one of the sexiest British accents I’ve ever heard. But beyond all that, I see a darkness in his soul, as if he’s carrying a great weight upon his shoulders.

I find myself pushing back my trip home to Florida in hopes that maybe I’ll look into those hazel brown eyes and finally see truth shining back instead of lies. That maybe he’ll stop running and tell me the truth for once.

But you know what they say about liars? It takes one to know one and I’ve been telling the biggest lie of all – I’ve fallen hopelessly in love with Aiden.

And isn’t that the scariest truth of all?

***  PREORDER NOW ~ RELEASES JUNE 4, 2018  ***
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TITLE: The Lies I’ve Told
SERIES: By the Bay
AUTHOR: JL Berg
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: June 4, 2018

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

Amazon US | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | Goodreads

I’m a California native, who lives in the South – Virginia to be exact. I still prefer sushi to fried chicken, avocados to okra, and I absolutely loathe humidity. I do love watching the seasons change though. My husband and I have been here for over a decade, and I still get giddy like a school girl every time it snows. It’s magical!

I’m married to my high school sweetheart, and we’ve been blessed with two beautiful daughters and two rescue pups I like to call my “coworkers”. I’m obsessed with chocolate, minions, anything Harry Potter and I love to watch re-runs of Friends and Gilmore Girls!

Facebook | Website | Twitter | YouTube

 

The Scars I Bare by JL Berg ~ Sarah A’s Review

Every scar tells a story…
Some are etched on the skin, for the whole world to see.
Others are buried deep, so deep, only the heart can truly find them.

Dean Sutherland was the quintessential guy next door. Strong and dependable, with a heart of gold, he knew exactly where his life was headed. Until one fateful night at sea ripped away everything. Now he’s adrift, a man without a purpose.

Cora Carpenter thought she had the perfect life. A successful career, an affectionate husband and a daughter who adores her. But soon that perfect world is crashing down around her, and she’s in need of a fresh start. Moving to a remote town on the coast of North Carolina seems like the perfect plan. That is, until she finds herself face to face with a kindred soul from her past.

Dean and Cora have more in common than either are willing to admit. Both deeply rooted in their pain, they can’t help but find hope in each other’s eyes and passion entwined with every touch. But can two broken hearts make a whole?
Will the scars they bare haunt them forever, or can love truly heal all?

Amazon US | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

The Scars I Bare wasn’t what I expected.  I’d hoped for a hugely emotional saga about two people healing and learning how to live again, and that’s not what I got.  It was still a fun story, especially with the addition of Lizzie, but just not as poignant as I’d hoped for.

The Scars I Bare is the second book in JL Berg’s By the Bay series.  Each novel in the series focuses on a different couple so that they could be read as standalones, but Dean had a large part in the first book, The Choices I’ve Made, so reading it would help in the overall understanding of this book.  The Scars I Bare is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Cora and Dean.

Lizzie, Cora’s daughter, was hands down the best part of this book.  She was precocious and quick-witted and did not allow anyone to let their guard down for a second.  I appreciated her thirst for knowledge was endearing.  The way she orchestrated so many things to result in the outcome she wanted was impressive.

I liked how Dean was with Cora, how he let her guide their relationship, how he respected what her past had done to her, how he anticipated her needs and did his best to provide for them.  However, I’m not sure I felt their chemistry.  It seemed to me, the story was so focused on Cora and Dean respecting one another’s past traumas, it didn’t develop the overwhelming desire for one another I’ve come to expect in a romance novel.

My wish for the Scars I Bare is the same as it was for its predecessor, I wish we could have seen more of the healing the characters experienced on page.  It felt like they were both struggling deeply then, all of a sudden, after one interaction they were all whole and healed.  It lacked the emotional depth I was hoping for.  I also wish Ms. Berg would have really gone there in regards to Cora’s ex, sure he got his ass kicked, but since she went halfway there, I would have loved to have seen her go all in with that situation.

I’ve read a few JL Berg novels, and I always find myself appreciating her ability to write about characters with uncommon struggles.  While this isn’t the first book I’ve read about an amputee, it is the first about someone who lost an arm; which does affect everyday life in an entirely different and seemingly more consuming way than losing a leg.  She also does it in a way that makes those struggles part of their story and not their entire story, which is wonderful.  I hope she continues to choose these interesting and varied character traits; they make her books unique.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

I’m a California native, who lives in the South – Virginia to be exact. I still prefer sushi to fried chicken, avocados to okra, and I absolutely loathe humidity. I do love watching the seasons change though. My husband and I have been here for over a decade, and I still get giddy like a school girl every time it snows. It’s magical!

I’m married to my high school sweetheart, and we’ve been blessed with two beautiful daughters and two rescue pups I like to call my “coworkers”. I’m obsessed with chocolate, minions, anything Harry Potter and I love to watch re-runs of Friends and Gilmore Girls!

Facebook | Website | Twitter | YouTube

 

NOW AVAILABLE!! The Scars I Bare by JL Berg

Every scar tells a story…
Some are etched on the skin, for the whole world to see.
Others are buried deep, so deep, only the heart can truly find them.

Dean Sutherland was the quintessential guy next door. Strong and dependable, with a heart of gold, he knew exactly where his life was headed. Until one fateful night at sea ripped away everything. Now he’s adrift, a man without a purpose.

Cora Carpenter thought she had the perfect life. A successful career, an affectionate husband and a daughter who adores her. But soon that perfect world is crashing down around her, and she’s in need of a fresh start. Moving to a remote town on the coast of North Carolina seems like the perfect plan. That is, until she finds herself face to face with a kindred soul from her past.

Dean and Cora have more in common than either are willing to admit. Both deeply rooted in their pain, they can’t help but find hope in each other’s eyes and passion entwined with every touch. But can two broken hearts make a whole?
Will the scars they bare haunt them forever, or can love truly heal all?

Amazon US | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

I’m a California native, who lives in the South – Virginia to be exact. I still prefer sushi to fried chicken, avocados to okra, and I absolutely loathe humidity. I do love watching the seasons change though. My husband and I have been here for over a decade, and I still get giddy like a school girl every time it snows. It’s magical!

I’m married to my high school sweetheart, and we’ve been blessed with two beautiful daughters and two rescue pups I like to call my “coworkers”. I’m obsessed with chocolate, minions, anything Harry Potter and I love to watch re-runs of Friends and Gilmore Girls!

Facebook | Website | Twitter | YouTube

 

The Scars I Bare by JL Berg ~ Cover Reveal

Every scar tells a story…
Some are etched on the skin, for the whole world to see.
Others are buried deep, so deep, only the heart can truly find them.

Dean Sutherland was the quintessential guy next door. Strong and dependable, with a heart of gold, he knew exactly where his life was headed. Until one fateful night at sea ripped away everything. Now he’s adrift, a man without a purpose.

Cora Carpenter thought she had the perfect life. A successful career, an affectionate husband and a daughter who adores her. But soon that perfect world is crashing down around her, and she’s in need of a fresh start. Moving to a remote town on the coast of North Carolina seems like the perfect plan. That is, until she finds herself face to face with a kindred soul from her past.

Dean and Cora have more in common than either are willing to admit. Both deeply rooted in their pain, they can’t help but find hope in each other’s eyes and passion entwined with every touch. But can two broken hearts make a whole?
Will the scars they bare haunt them forever, or can love truly heal all?

**PREORDER NOW ~ The Scars I Bare releases March 12, 2018**
Amazon US | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

I’m a California native, who lives in the South – Virginia to be exact. I still prefer sushi to fried chicken, avocados to okra, and I absolutely loathe humidity. I do love watching the seasons change though. My husband and I have been here for over a decade, and I still get giddy like a school girl every time it snows. It’s magical!

I’m married to my high school sweetheart, and we’ve been blessed with two beautiful daughters and two rescue pups I like to call my “coworkers”. I’m obsessed with chocolate, minions, anything Harry Potter and I love to watch re-runs of Friends and Gilmore Girls!

Facebook | Website | Twitter | YouTube

 

The Choices I’ve Made by J.L. Berg ~ Sarah A’s Review

Death is easy.

Surviving it? That’s the hard part.

Dr. Jake Jameson knows this all too well. Losing his mother at the age of eighteen, he walks away from his small hometown and the painful memories it holds, vowing to never return again.

Twelve years later, he finds himself driving back down the coast of North Carolina. When his father leaves him a small medical practice, he has no choice but to heed the call until he can find someone else to take it off his hands.

But coming back home means facing everything he left behind, including the one woman who might make it impossible to leave again.

Molly McIntyre has spent her entire life in one town. Taking over her parents’ small inn, she’s settled into a quiet, happy life. But all of that comes to an abrupt halt when Jake shows up at her door in need of a place to stay.

Molly loathes everything about this man, but she can’t find it in her heart to refuse his request.

After over a decade, these former lovers quickly discover what once burned brightly between them has only grown in their time apart. Soon they must decide if the choices they’ve made have led them back to each other for a second chance or one final goodbye.

Available in Kindle Unlimited
Amazon US | Amazon UK

The Choices I’ve Made was such a beautifully slow burn.  GAH!  I loved this book.  Molly and Jake’s story tugged at my heartstrings, it bruised and damaged my heart in the most wonderful way.  It completely warmed the deepest, coldest corners of my heart as they made the journey from shattered souls to people who were whole and complete in themselves.

This book drew me in from almost the very first page.  After I read the prologue I NEEDED to know why Jake had made the decision he had, when obviously he was so very much in love with the girl he spoke of.  From there each new revelation, each new devastation only served to further entice me into Molly and Jake’s lives.

It was obvious Jake had suffered some pretty devastating losses as a child and Molly was terrified of putting herself in a position to lose everything again.  It was also obvious neither of them realized just how damaged they were, it was an interesting dynamic.  Once they each realized what was going on with the other, and eventually themselves, it warmed my very soul to see them each make the decision to work on healing themselves, for themselves, before they made any promises to one another.  Too often we see characters fix their broken pieces for someone else when that type of healing needs to come from within.

My only wish for this book would have been to see some of that healing journey they each went on in real time.  It was nice to have the recap of what they’d realized and why, but I always hope to see those epiphanies in real time.

JL Berg did a fantastic job writing this book.  Her words drew me in and made me care deeply for each character; well – there was one I just straight up hated, but evoking emotion is the goal here, right?  I also appreciated how she built the story, particularly how she began Molly and Jake’s journey back toward one another in such an unexpected way.  Stepping out of the typical romance structure box was a huge win for me, it made this book stand out in a sea of books where it can be difficult to find individuality.

After two glasses of wine and an hour of feeling sorry for myself, I decided I’d had enough self-pity for one day. Rising from my cozy chair, I took one last look at the sparkling water as the moon rose high in the sky. How one could ever get used to a view like that, I’d never know. I’d been raised in this house, and still, it never ceased to take my breath away.

After a quick stop by the kitchen sink to rinse out my glass, I headed to the large pantry, deciding I needed a little baking therapy to pass the time. Although the Lovells had offered to take care of their own meals since I comped the room, I decided to treat them for their help over the last week.

As much as I hated to admit it, I couldn’t have done it all without them.

Grabbing flour, sugar, and a few more items, I settled on a family favorite recipe—zucchini bread. I’d added my own little flair to it over the years, but the basic recipe was still the same.

There was something almost restorative about the process of mixing ingredients. With no need for a recipe anymore, I found myself humming a song I’d heard on the radio earlier in the day, and my mood began to lift.

That was, until the doorbell rang.

Wiping my hands on a dish towel, I checked my appearance in the hallway mirror, rolling my eyes at the flour that coated my cheeks.

My mom always said I was a messy baker. I guessed some things never changed.

Putting on my best face possible, I prepared myself, morphing into the hostess with the mostest. It didn’t always happen, but every now and again, I’d have unexpected visitors. People who’d missed the last ferry and were in desperate need for a place to stay or others who had just fallen in love and didn’t want to leave.

In every case, I always found a place for them, sometimes even giving up my own rooms to accommodate them. Pulling open the door, I greeted the late-night visitor with a bright smile. But, the moment I saw his face, that familiar rugged jaw and piercing blue eyes, my smile faded into something less than pleasing.

“What are you doing here, Jake?” I nearly snarled.

“Is that any way to greet a guest?” he replied sluggishly. He was clearly drunk.

“Did you drive here in that state?” I asked, looking over his shoulder to make sure a car wasn’t wrapped around the neighbor’s tree.

“No,” he answered. “Waited until I was parked outside before I popped open the bourbon. Did you know, if you park right there”—he pointed behind him, making his sloppy posture even worse—“you can see the backyard? You still like to sit out on the deck, huh?”

My cheeks heated with anger as I realized my private moment of sulking had been witnessed by none other than hotshot Jake Jameson. I sighed, noticing the way his eyes followed mine.

“What do you want?” I finally asked, averting his gaze.

“I’m a wayward tourist in need of a place to stay.”

My arms folded across my chest as he made himself at home, breezing past me to stumble into the sitting room. His large body seemed to melt into the couch as I tried not to think about all the things we’d done in this room while my parents were out of the house.

“You have a place to stay, Jake,” I reminded him. “And, no matter how much you try to convince yourself, you’re no tourist. Not even a fancy degree could change that twang in your voice.”

He laughed, a sound that made my spine tingle. “You’re right. I can’t seem to shake it. But it does do me some favors every now and then.” He gave me a quick grin and a wink, causing me to nearly spit fire.

The idea of him using his stupid accent to get women into bed—it shouldn’t have affected me so, but it did.

It really did.

“Look,” I said, feeling my never-ending river of patience suddenly drying up, “it’s late, and I know you’ve had a rough day, but—”

“I tried, Molly. God, how I tried.”

“Tried what?” I asked, pinching the bridge of my nose.

“I tried to forget you. But I never could. I tried to forget this place and all it represented, but the memories never faded. You never faded.”

My heart galloped a little faster, but luckily my anger won the race. “You’ve got to go, Jake. You can’t stay here.”

“But I can’t go back there, Mols. I can’t go back to that house. There are too many ghosts. Too many memories. It hurts.”

The way he’d said it reminded me of the scared boy I’d once held in my arms as he wept for his mother. It tugged at the few remaining heartstrings I had for this man, and suddenly, I found myself caving.

“Fine.”

He instantly perked up, turning his head, as his bright blue eyes found mine again.

“But you will pay double, and don’t expect any special treatment.”

He nodded as he tried to stand, swaying back and forth. I ran forward, keeping him from crashing into my antique coffee table. The generosity I’d felt just moments before was already starting to bite me in the ass.

“Got it,” he said as my hands wrapped around his muscled biceps. That intense stare of his was back as his fingers found mine. “You won’t even know I’m here,” he whispered, the smell of bourbon on his breath.

“Highly unlikely,” I grumbled, pulling my hand from his. The heat of it remained, like a brand against my skin. “Now, you can take the—”

“Yellow room,” he said, finishing my sentence.

It had always been a favorite of his. Mine, too.

“Fine,” I replied, trying to seem unaffected by his demand. “I assume you still remember the way?”

He held up his palm in front of his face. “Like the back of my hand.”

“That’s the front, Doctor.”

He laughed, sounding drunker than I’d ever seen him. “Right.” Taking a few steps forward, his body brushed against mine. “I like it when you call me doctor.”

I took a deep breath, putting some much-needed space between us.

“You would. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have bread to bake.”

“Bread!” he nearly shouted before chuckling under his breath. He said in a hushed tone, “I love bread.”

“Go to bed, Jake.”

“You first.”

Those two words were like a cold bucket of water. His gaze suddenly sharpened as a tingle went down my spine. Both of us knew he wasn’t talking about sleeping, and for a moment, I let him know it.

No eye roll or quick-witted comeback. I just stood there, letting myself indulge in a single moment that signified a lifetime of memories.

And then the jerk threw up on my shoes.

I’m a California native, who lives in the South – Virginia to be exact. I still prefer sushi to fried chicken, avocados to okra, and I absolutely loathe humidity. I do love watching the seasons change though. My husband and I have been here for over a decade, and I still get giddy like a school girl every time it snows. It’s magical!

I’m married to my high school sweetheart, and we’ve been blessed with two beautiful daughters and two rescue pups I like to call my “coworkers”. I’m obsessed with chocolate, minions, anything Harry Potter and I love to watch re-runs of Friends and Gilmore Girls!

Facebook | Website | Twitter | YouTube

NOW LIVE!! The Choices I’ve Made by JL Berg

Death is easy.

Surviving it? That’s the hard part.

Dr. Jake Jameson knows this all too well. Losing his mother at the age of eighteen, he walks away from his small hometown and the painful memories it holds, vowing to never return again.

Twelve years later, he finds himself driving back down the coast of North Carolina. When his father leaves him a small medical practice, he has no choice but to heed the call until he can find someone else to take it off his hands.

But coming back home means facing everything he left behind, including the one woman who might make it impossible to leave again.

Molly McIntyre has spent her entire life in one town. Taking over her parents’ small inn, she’s settled into a quiet, happy life. But all of that comes to an abrupt halt when Jake shows up at her door in need of a place to stay.

Molly loathes everything about this man, but she can’t find it in her heart to refuse his request.

After over a decade, these former lovers quickly discover what once burned brightly between them has only grown in their time apart. Soon they must decide if the choices they’ve made have led them back to each other for a second chance or one final goodbye.

The Choices I’ve Made is available in Kindle Unlimited
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I’m a California native, who lives in the South – Virginia to be exact. I still prefer sushi to fried chicken, avocados to okra, and I absolutely loathe humidity. I do love watching the seasons change though. My husband and I have been here for over a decade, and I still get giddy like a school girl every time it snows. It’s magical!

I’m married to my high school sweetheart, and we’ve been blessed with two beautiful daughters and two rescue pups I like to call my “coworkers”. I’m obsessed with chocolate, minions, anything Harry Potter and I love to watch re-runs of Friends and Gilmore Girls!

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GIVEAWAY & Review Tour ~ The Tattered Gloves by JL Berg

ttg-blogtour

ttg-amazonHead down.
Don’t look up.
Never make eye contact.

Those were the words I lived by growing up, the words that protected me in an unsafe home. But words are only letters and eventually even they couldn’t keep his hands off me.

Hoping to leave behind the shattered life of my past, I find myself in a boring, small town, with an aunt I’ve never met and at a school I loathe.

But soon I learn, not everything in this world is as black and white as I’ve determined. Sometimes those we are so quick to judge often need a second, third or even fourth time to make a first impression.

And often, there are friendships and even love waiting just around the corner, if we are brave enough to take the first step.

Am I brave? Or will I hide behind these tattered gloves of mine forever?

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The Tattered Gloves had the potential to be a truly powerful and moving piece about the horrors that can befall a child in a home where there is little care for their well-being.  It could have been an inspiring message of hope and healing but it fell short of that, for me.

I am a big fan of the journey characters take within a book and if their growth and story arc is healing, the ending doesn’t necessarily have to be happily ever after, it just needs to be the thing that is best for the characters.  I didn’t quite get that from this book.  Everything ended up tied up in a nice little bow and I just didn’t quite feel like it was a realistic ending for the characters involved.  At about 2/3 of the way through the book, I had an inclination this was going to be the case, as there just wasn’t enough book left to properly resolve all of the things that were going on with the characters.  There was also a point where it where the aunt alluded to going through something similar to what Willow had and that ball was totally dropped in favor of a much less horrific back story.

It is because of the expectations I formed while reading this book that I was left wanting.  There was just so much potential to tell such an important story, a story bigger than a girl falling in love with a boy, and I wanted THAT story.  The story The Tattered Gloved ended up being was a lovely story, it held an important message and told of the dangers of judging people without getting to know them first.  It demonstrated, wonderfully, the differences of living in a home filled with love and acceptance to one filled with indifference and distrust.  While I had thought, this was going to be a gritty story about the worst things that can happen to a person with a dash of love and romance thrown in, it was actually more about the different types of love a person can experience and how important each of them are, with a dash of how the residual effects of past trauma color those relationships.

Letting The Tattered Gloves stand on its own, leaving all of my expectations and hopes for the story aside, it was a very touching story.  The relationships between each of the characters was wholly unique and beautiful.  I came to love each of them, for different reasons, and the all brought their own messages about love and life to the book.  It was well-written and help my attention, the words made me care deeply for the characters and their futures, the plot, while not as fleshed-out as I’d have preferred, was riveting.  For a person looking to dip their toe into deeper subject matter without going headlong into the darkest reaches of those subjects, this is an amazing place to start.

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Watch the Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LM82Egr7Rck

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J.L. Berg is the USA Today bestselling author of the Ready Series, The Walls Duet, and the Lost & Found Duet. She is a California native living in the beautiful state of historic Virginia. Married to her high school sweetheart, they have two beautiful girls that drive them batty on a daily basis. When she’s not writing, you will find her with her nose stuck in a romance novel, in a yoga studio or devouring anything chocolate. J.L. Berg is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, LLC.

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