Title: When You’re Ready
Author: J.L. Berg
Series: Ready #1
Release Day: July 18, 2013
Years after suffering the tragic loss of her husband, Ethan, which left her alone to raise their young daughter, Clare Murray still holds the last letter he wrote with the words “When You’re Ready” written in his familiar messy handwriting, unable to break its weathered seal. Ready for what? He was her entire world, and Clare had accepted a life without him, without love. Until years later, fate brings her to an emergency room, and face to face with a stormy-eyed doctor intent on changing her mind.
Son of a billionaire, Logan Matthews has spent his life trying to make his absentee father proud. Without a family to depend on, all he’s ever wanted is a place to call home. After a failed marriage, Logan believes he’s unworthy of love…until he meets a woman who awakens his spirit and transforms his entire life in an instant.
But how far are Clare and Logan willing to go for love? Can his love mend the pieces of her grieving heart?
When their love is tested, is Clare ready to put her whole heart on the line again? Can Logan learn the true meaning of love, even if it means sacrificing his own happiness? When a second chance at love is given, Clare and Logan learn you are never truly ready until you’re ready to risk it all.
J.L. Berg might as well have stomped on my heart with When You’re Ready. This book is an incredibly emotional journey of loss, love, and living that will captivate you from the start. My connection with the characters was instantaneous, allowing me to lose myself in Clare and Logan’s world. The fact that this is a debut novel has my head spinning. J.L. Berg’s talent is evident as she effortlessly pulls me into this story until I’m drowning in all things Clare and Logan. When You’re Ready is an irrefutable testament to true and unconditional love. Clare and Logan’s story has been carefully woven from a multitude of emotions… love at first sight, love lost, and the unwavering love of a child are all key components of this story. When You’re Ready explores the inherent strength of the heart and the human capacity for love in a beautiful and unforgettable way.
“But looking up at those now familiar eyes, I felt the tension ease in my chest, and the ice loosened a bit. Seeing Clare again felt exactly the same. It gave me a deep sense of being connected and tethered.”
Clare and Logan were definitely well developed over the course of this book. Both characters lived behind self-constructed walls meant to guard their feelings and spare themselves the inevitable hurt of letting someone else in. J.L. Berg expertly explored their various defense mechanisms, uncovered their fears, and exposed their flaws, leaving Clare and Logan completely vulnerable to one another. Their vulnerability gave them an authenticity that allowed me to really feel for them. I became invested in their happily ever after and I found myself falling hard for this perfectly damaged couple. Clare and Logan’s inner dialogues provided them with a dimensionality and uniqueness that delivered both humor and heart to their story. When You’re Ready would not be complete without the multitude of secondary characters that color Clare and Logan’s story. Each one a definitive individual, I’m already anxious to hear their stories.
“I may be rusty on dating, but I do remember some things. Telling a woman she looks “fuckable” in the first five minutes? That’s a big don’t.”
J.L. Berg really knows how to tug on those heartstrings. When You’re Ready had me riding the entire spectrum of emotion as I experienced this journey. The chemistry between Clare and Logan was scorching. Once they allowed themselves to give in to the pull between them things instantly heated up. I loved that both of these characters had experienced unexpected loss in entirely different ways, the twists and turns in the story that resulted kept me riveted. The beginning of the book was a little slow, but once the story got rolling, I was hooked. The issues and emotions our characters experienced were incredibly genuine and I applaud J.L. Berg for her honesty and grace. It would have been easy to sugarcoat the heartache and long-term grief associated with this story, but J.L. Berg expertly takes on these complex emotions and complicated relationships. I’m definitely ready for the next book in this series!
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Don’t miss the rest of the Ready series:
Ready to Wed (Ready #1.5)
Never Been Ready (Ready #2)
Ready for You (Ready #3)
Ready or Not (Ready #4)