BLOG TOUR – The Lies I’ve Told by J.L. Berg

Title: The Lies I’ve Told
Author: J.L. Berg
Series: By the Bay #3
Release Date: June 4, 2018

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?

J.L. Berg delivers another fantastic small-town romance with Millie and Aiden’s story in The Lies I’ve Told! This novel felt somehow different from the previous books in the series, and yet Aiden and Millie fit perfectly within the world J.L. Berg has created. Forced to find refuge By the Bay, this couple comes together just as their respective worlds are falling apart. As Aiden and Millie’s mutual attraction sparks into something more, I found myself immediately invested in the unspoken, yet significant, connection between them.

“Sometimes, it helps to know where one’s heart lies. Or where it’s been.”

I’ve been anxious to get my hands on Millie’s story ever since The Choices I’ve Made. She was enchanting, vibrant, and funny and I was wholly intrigued by the seemingly fearless fashionista who had left small-town life behind. J.L. Berg definitely didn’t disappoint, serving up one seriously sassy and incredibly lovable heroine. Over the course of this story, J.L. Berg carefully unraveled Millie, exposing the woman beneath the designer labels and letting readers see every flaw and vulnerability that made Millie so surprisingly relatable.

“This was my home, right here in this woman’s arms. Forever.”

Aiden was unexpected, to say the least. He was charismatic and polished with a mysterious edge that ensured I was completely captivated. As the story progressed and Aiden opened himself up to Millie, I found myself falling hard and fast for the damaged hero with a big secret. J.L. Berg allowed the pieces of Aiden’s past to fall into place with expert precision, thoughtfully revealing the depth of this character with each passing page. Every bit the artist, Aiden experienced things with an intensity that demanded to be felt by the reader.

“Anything is possible, Aiden, with a little prayer and patience.”

Aiden and Millie’s story is a whirlwind romance, and it was paced to be enjoyed as such. Once I started, I couldn’t help but keep reading, lost in the witty banter, electric chemistry, and inexplicable connection that made this book so special. I adored getting to see more of Jake, Molly, Dean, and Cora as they continued living out their happily ever afters. J.L. Berg brilliantly depicts life By the Bay, her effortless prose and colorful imagery instantly transported me right back to Ocracoke. Brimming with sparkling dialogue, sizzling tension, and heartfelt emotion, The Lies I’ve Told is another can’t-miss-romance from J.L. Berg!


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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Don’t miss the rest of the series:

The Choices I’ve Made (By the Bay #1)

Read our review HERE
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The Scars I Bare (By the Bay #2)

Read our review HERE
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Author Bio

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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BLOG TOUR – The Scars I Bare by J.L. Berg

Title: The Scars I Bare
Author: J.L. Berg
Series: By the Bay #2
Release Date: March 12, 2018

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’ve bared to one another poison their happily ever after, or can love truly heal all?

J.L. Berg delivers a sweet, heart-wrenching romance with Dean and Cora’s story in The Scars I Bare. After meeting this couple in The Choices I’ve Made, I had been anxious to hear their story. Dean deserved a happily ever after and J.L. Berg certainly serves up all the feels for this broken hero. Dean and Cora’s chemistry was palpable and I loved the push and pull between this damaged duo. They made me laugh and swoon and sigh. I was captivated by their journey and fell head over heels alongside them as they healed one another and rediscovered what it meant to live and love. The secondary characters brought this book to life and served up some much-needed levity. I adored seeing Jake and Molly settled into their own happily ever after and Lizzie stole the show more times than I could count.

“I used to know what that felt like. A sense of belonging. But, now, I felt like driftwood lost to the sea. Just coasting from one day to the next until I faded into oblivion.”

After all, Dean had been through in The Choice I’ve Made, I knew this book would break my heart a few times before all was said and done. J.L. Berg did just that, unraveling this character thoroughly before piecing him back together. I adored Dean’s personal transformation, watching him rediscover the world in the wake of tragedy. Cora’s evolution was equally satisfying. Her courage and selflessness left its mark on me and I couldn’t help but root for her to find the kind of happiness she so deserved. Together, Dean and Cora found the strength to face their fears, shed their insecurities, and move forward in love and life. These two definitely made my heart falter and flutter along the way, but their journey was worth every moment of heartache.

“And, if there’s one thing I’ve learned along the way, it’s that the best heroes are made in the face of tragedy.”

The one thing I felt was missing from this book was flashbacks to Dean and Cora’s time in the hospital together. There are fleeting and brief feelings and impressions captured in Dean’s journal and Cora’s blog, but readers don’t get to experience their initial connection and relationship for themselves. Without a real understanding of their foundation of friendship, it left things feeling very fast, especially considering Cora’s recent relationship history. Otherwise, I loved the progression of Dean and Cora’s relationship, how they grew together in an organic and sometimes beautifully imperfect way. J.L. Berg’s writing continues to wow me. This story was the perfect balance of heartfelt emotion, witty dialogue, and electric chemistry. The Scars I Bare is another phenomenal romance from this talented author and I can’t wait for more of this incredible series!


By the time I arrived at the inn for dinner, I was a goddamn mess. Sweat was running down my back from the heat, even after changing my shirt twice. I’d changed my mind three times on whether to bring flowers for Cora, doubling back to the house at the last minute to grab them after I firmly decided to leave them at home.

When I finally arrived, I was a solid twenty minutes late and probably looked like a psychopath from all the sweat and the mangled flowers in my hand.

But all of this was forgotten the moment the door opened, and Cora greeted me.

“Jesus,” I cursed, giving her a once-over before she even had the chance to say hi. “You look insane.”

“Insane is good?” she asked, pink staining her cheeks.

I’d never seen her in anything beyond scrubs and shorts. Granted, this woman could wear a paper bag and be the hottest woman in the room. Tonight though, she’d dressed up, wearing a short, strappy number with tiny pink flowers dotting the fabric.

“Insane is really good,” I clarified.

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Don’t miss the rest of the series:

The Choices I’ve Made (By the Bay #1)

Read our review HERE
Add to Goodreads
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The Lies I’ve Told (By the Bay #3)

Read our review HERE
Add to Goodreads
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Author Bio

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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REVIEW – The Choices I’ve Made by J.L. Berg

Title: The Choices I’ve Made
Author: J.L. Berg
Series: By the Bay #1
Release Date: September 28, 2017

A single choice in life can make a ripple or a wave…
When it comes to love, that choice can cause a tsunami.
Choose wisely.

Dr. Jake Jameson understands 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.

J.L. Berg dives into a new series with Jake and Molly’s second-chance romance in The Choices I’ve Made. Angsty, tragic, and quietly hopeful, this couple took me on a journey I never could have expected. From beginning to end this story continually ripped my heart out. Jake and Molly face more challenges and tragedy then seem fair, but somehow J.L. Berg carried them through. Jake had the whole brooding, wounded hero thing down and Molly was every bit the feisty, brokenhearted heroine. Together they made for plenty of tension and tons of biting dialogue. With all of the fire between them, every sweet moment was that much more impactful and I waited anxiously for those tender respites.

“We’d thought we could fight the whole world as long as we were together, but at the first sign of battle, our shields had fallen, and our walls had crumbled.”

To be honest, this story fell a bit flat for me at times. While I understood Molly’s resentment and animosity towards Jake, I needed there to be an underlying connection and undeniable chemistry that had me holding out hope. The story told me it was there, but I had a hard time feeling anything other than the anger and hurt for most of the book. I also needed more personal growth from Jake and Molly. So much time was spent showing us that they couldn’t stay away from each other that I didn’t get to see them really revealed as individuals until the last 15% of the story. J.L. Berg usually blows me away with her complex characters and emotional depth, but The Choice I’ve Made just didn’t live up to her usual standards.

“And, when morning came, I’d tear out my heart and leave it beside her on my way to work because there wouldn’t be any use for it in the future. She owned it anyway.”

I definitely loved where both Jake and Molly ended up in the end, despite wishing they’d shown more growth along the way. The last part of the book packed quite the punch with a ton of heart and a deeply satisfying resolution. For me, the secondary characters really stole the show here. I can’t wait for Dean and Cora’s book and I hope we’ll be hearing from Molly’s sister eventually as well. Millie has a fantastic energy about her and a distinctive personality that totally intrigues. J.L. Berg brought this small town romance to life with incredible descriptive imagery that had me imagining myself right alongside the characters. I’m definitely ready for more of this beach town. The Choice I’ve Made is a sweet, sizzling second-chance romance that will leave you ready for more of the By the Bay series!


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Don’t miss the rest of the series:

The Scars I Bare (By the Bay #2)

Read our review HERE
Add to Goodreads
Buy on Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | B & N | Kobo | iBooks

The Lies I’ve Told (By the Bay #3)

Read our review HERE
Add to Goodreads
Buy on Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | B & N | Kobo | iBooks

Author Bio

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!

Author Links

Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Amazon | Website | Newsletter

RELEASE DAY BLITZ & GIVEAWAY – Fraud by J.L. Berg

Title: Fraud
Author: J.L. Berg
Release Date: May 1, 2017

It wasn’t just a job.
It was my way back to the top.

After losing my position as a journalist for one of the biggest news publications in the world, I knew I’d do anything to get it back.
Even if it meant breaking a few hearts to get there.
She was the hottest author in the country. Known only by a pen name, there wasn’t a person alive who wasn’t dying to discover her true identity.
And I’d figured it out.

Her real name was Kate O’Malley and not only did I plan on finding her, but I fully intended on learning every dirty secret she had and exploiting it for my own gain.
But I underestimated my prey.
I didn’t anticipate how her words would intoxicate me, or how the curves of her body would consume me.
I never meant to fall in love.
And now I had a choice to make.

Do I give up everything for the woman I set out to destroy, or walk away, making me the biggest fraud of all?

J.L. Berg delivers a vibrant, smart and utterly electric novel of self-discovery and learning to let go with Fraud. Fun, sexy and heartfelt, Kate and Killian’s story is entirely addictive and absolutely enchanting. I fell in love with this duo immediately, drawn to their seemingly opposite personalities and intrigued by their undeniably sizzling chemistry. J.L. Berg did a fantastic job at cultivating the connection between these two, quickly getting me hooked on their easy banter, adorable flirtations, sweet honesty and scorching hot interludes. Kate and Killian shared a push and pull that served to not only drive this story forward, but also pushed the characters to grow in truly beautiful ways over the course of their journey.

“She was a crazy enigma that I couldn’t resist. Fire and passion all contained in a pretty little package. And I had just been given the present of a lifetime.”

From the very beginning, Kate completely captivated me. I loved the dichotomy of this character so much – enjoying the sharp contrast between Kate and her author alter ego, Laura Stone. There was something so strange and yet entirely genuine about the way Kate explored her own dimensionality through her writing as Laura. I adored watching Kate let go of her insecurities and fears through Laura and then, with Killian’s encouragement and support, learn to spread her wings in the real world. Where Laura’s world was the stuff of great fiction, Kate’s was easy to relate to and emotionally accessible. I enjoyed experiencing both sides of Kate’s life in parallel, but admittedly, it was the unavoidable collision that totally thrilled me. The way Kate blossomed throughout this novel was simply stunning and I loved seeing this heroine fully come into her own.

“I’d once read somewhere that a person’s eyes were the windows to their soul. I’d seen Killian’s soul and it was dripping with deceit.”

If you’re looking for a swoon-worthy book boyfriend, then Killian certainly fits the bill. To be fair, it took me a few chapters to really warm up to this character. I was worried about his initially selfish behavior and the less than honorable intentions that brought him to Kate, but J.L. Berg easily changed my mind. I found myself melting over the way Killian so effortlessly accepted Kate for who she was and was moved by the restraint he demonstrated in regards to her story. His ability to admit when he was wrong and the respect he gave Kate throughout the book left me with no choice but to fall head over heels for Killian. Though his relationship with his brother and the pieces of his past that were revealed, J.L. Berg managed to humanize Killian in a way that allowed me to understand and even accept his initial conduct. By the time all was said and done, this hero had thoroughly swept me off my feet.

“Sometimes, it takes two broken hearts to make a whole, and that’s what Killian Turner did for me. What we did for each other.”

J.L. Berg’s writing is smart, witty and teeming with emotion – each page of this story evidence of the author’s incredible talent. J.L. Berg’s voice is friendly, familiar and relevant, delivering Kate and Killian’s journey with well-practiced ease and plenty of heart. Fraud was paced to be devoured and I found myself doing just that. I got lost in the colorful imagery, snappy dialogue and delightfully sassy moments that made this book absolutely sparkle. J.L. Berg filled out Kate and Killian’s world with some seriously fascinating (not to mention ball-busting) secondary characters and I can only hope we haven’t seen the last of Liam and Jane. Kate and Killian made for an unforgettable pair and J.L. Berg definitely didn’t disappoint with her newest novel. The perfect balance of sweet romance, fiery passion and an enthralling storyline, Fraud is the total package.


What had started as a fun little game to bring this timid beauty out of her shell somehow turned into a wrestling match.

And I was the one about to lose.

Katelyn O’Malley was nothing like I’d imagined.

What had I imagined?

I wasn’t sure exactly.

I’d diligently done my homework— reading Scandal not once, but twice— before I’d hopped on a plane to Oregon. I’d thought the novel would give me insight to this perplexing woman I was about to meet.

It hadn’t.

Not one bit.

If anything, it’d created a thousand more questions.

At first, cracking her ironclad shell seemed like a daunting task. She had come off dry and dull.

God-awful boring.

But boring women didn’t do tequila shots until two in the morning.

Boring women didn’t lie to waiters for free wine and dessert.

And boring women definitely didn’t make me feel this way.

Needy. Desperate. And fucking horny as hell.

Even the way she licked the chocolate off her fork was making me shift uncomfortably in my seat.

This was a job.

Get your head in the game.

“You were pretty good at that,” I said, trying not to stare at the way her pink tongue darted out to grab the last bit of mousse from the tip of her finger.

“Good at what?” she asked.

“Lying.” She let out a choking cough, patting her chest with her palm. “I’m not a good liar,” she argued.

“Really? You seemed to have everyone around us fooled, including that charming elderly couple who offered their congratulations on their way out.”

“That really was sweet.” She smiled, a touch of whimsy in her gaze. “Did you see the way they held hands? I’m pretty sure he even grabbed her ass when she walked past him to go to the restroom.”

I laughed. “My kind of guy.”

“I just wonder what it’s like— to be that in love after all that time,” she said, bending forward and resting the curve of her chin on her hand.

“How do you know it has been a long time?” I asked. “Maybe they got married late in life.”

She shook her head. “I don’t think so.”

“Why?” I asked, curious how she’d reached that conclusion.

“There was a familiarity in the way they touched. The way they leaned into one another, the way they walked. It was as if they’d been doing so forever.”

I studied her for a quiet moment, recalling the intensity of her words and the passion in her voice. It was the first time since meeting Katelyn O’Malley, I could actually see a sliver of Laura Stone, the author, somewhere inside.

“I do believe you are a bit of a romantic at heart,” I replied.

She smiled sweetly. “Maybe a hopeless one.”

My hand reached out to hers, a needless gesture since we’d already achieved our goal for the evening and sold everyone on our false marital status.

This time, I touched her because I wanted to.

“Definitely not hopeless,” I said softly, knowing that instant that I was crossing the line between business and pleasure.

And heading straight to the land of hell.

“So, tell me about technical editing,” she said, shifting topics. “How does one get into something like that?”

I suddenly felt like I’d been hit in the face with a bucket of ice water. Here I was, in a dimly lit room, romancing the hell out of a woman I’d just met, and then reality hit.

I was lying to her.

Flat-out lying.

I needed to remember that. “There’s not much to tell,” I said, straightening slightly in my chair. “Rather boring really.”

We continued to chat about our lives. She told me more about her work at the college. I rambled off more lies about mine until the check came around.

I was feeling quite good about myself as I led us outside.

My head was clear.

But then I saw the way the moonlight highlighted her golden-blonde hair. I became mesmerized by the sway of her hips and the soft curves of her body.

Katelyn O’Malley was casting a spell on me, and she didn’t even know it.

And I wasn’t sure I wanted her to stop.

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Author Bio

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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BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY – The Tattered Gloves by J.L. Berg

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Title: The Tattered Gloves
Author: J.L. Berg
Release Date: January 24, 2017

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Synopsis

Head 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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Review

J.L. Berg leaves her mark on Young Adult romance with The Tattered Gloves, her first foray into this genre. Written with all of this author’s signature emotion and brilliant imagery, Willow’s story is a sweet and poignant tale of strength, resilience and unexpected hope that will imprint itself on your heart long after the final page has been turned. From the colorful characters to the heartfelt message, the storyline is bold, beautiful and an absolutely breathtaking look at the power of friendship, family and love. Willow and Sam were a sweet, sassy and absolutely delightful match. They exuded a youthfulness that was full of promise and shared an utterly addictive chemistry. Their stubbornness leant itself to a fantastic push and pull that had sparks flying from the pages and me totally hooked. Alongside a cast of memorable secondary characters, Willow and Sam will take you on one heck of a rollercoaster ride and leave your heart bursting at the seams.

“Maybe it will be nothing more than a crush or a world-class friendship. But maybe… just maybe, it will become one of those epic adventures you read about when no one else is looking.”

Willow and Sam are everything I adore about J.L. Berg’s characters and then some. They possess all of the complexity and charming personality I’ve come to rely on from this author along with plenty of teenage angst to make these two impossible to ignore. Both characters were easy to relate to, bringing me back to my own high school days with their genuine insecurities and inability to escape the attentions of the high school gossipmongers. J.L. Berg also wrote these characters with a knowledge of the world and sense of self that transcended their years – a product of their complicated histories that only made me love them that much more. Willow’s strength absolutely astounded me. I loved the raw emotion we got to experience as her story unfolded and I especially enjoyed watching her come to life with the help of Allison and her Aunt Addy. I would have liked a bit more depth from Sam in terms of his own issues. His past was revealed so quickly and without enough detail to garner the kind of emotional impact I would have expected. It also felt like a lot was left unresolved in regards to his father and sister.

“But have you ever considered that you deserve more, Willow?”

I must applaud J.L. Berg for her simple and poignant storyline. It was refreshingly devoid of unnecessary drama and yet relevant in a deeply significant way. As much as pieces of Willow and Sam’s story broke my heart, an overwhelming sense of hope prevailed that ensured this was a feel good read from beginning to end. I loved that Sam and Willow seemed to exist outside of the high school social hierarchy. Despite a rather rocky start and the gossip that inevitably swirled around them, this couple appeared to have created their own little world in the form of Sam’s bookstore. J.L. Berg did a fantastic job at utilizing this safe place to draw out the true nature of her characters, expose their secrets and explore their greatest fears for the readers. When all was said and done, I felt incredibly protective of the bookstore and everything that is represented for Willow and Sam. The Tattered Gloves overflows with genuine emotion, vibrant imagery and heartbreaking honesty making it another hit novel from J.L. Berg and a must read for fans of YA romance.

Rating
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Author Bio

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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BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY – Behind Closed Doors by J.L. Berg

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Title: Behind Closed Doors
Author: J.L. Berg
Release Date: September 13, 2016

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Synopsis

My name is Roman Cavenaugh and I’m kind of an asshole.
Running a company isn’t easy, especially when everyone expects you to fail, so being a jerk? It comes with the territory.
I don’t have time to mess around, and I sure as hell didn’t see her coming.
Cara Hamilton—she was supposed to be off limits…a temporary employee brought in during my assistant’s maternity leave.
But, in the blink of an eye, she became so much more.
An obsession I couldn’t shake.

So yeah, I may be an asshole, but now, I finally had a purpose, and soon, she would be mine.
All’s fair in love and war…

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Review

J.L. Berg delivers a smart, sexy and heartfelt romance with Behind Closed Doors. Bursting with witty banter, lovable characters and raw emotion, this story will sweep you off your feet and leave you wanting more. After meeting Roman in The Walls Duet, I knew his story would be worth waiting for and J.L. Berg certainly didn’t disappoint. Roman and Cara’s journey was the perfect balance of angst, humor and steam, making it absolutely effortless to invest myself in their happily ever after. Not only does this couple share an utterly electric chemistry, but also a carefully crafted connection that hints at something significant and memorable. It was this inexplicable pull between the hero and heroine that got me hooked and kept me flipping the pages, desperate to devour Roman and Cara’s story.

“And, just like that, I’d crossed the line. I’d hit on an employee. And there was no going back from that.”

Despite being in seemingly different places in their lives, Roman and Cara were very much on a shared journey of self-discovery. I adored the way in which J.L. Berg utilized their developing relationship to aid them in growing as individual characters. Roman and Cara both struggled with the life that was expected of them and the one they hadn’t realized they wanted. The resultant emotional turmoil was easy to relate to, allowing me to connect with both characters on a deeper level as I experienced their story alongside them. In addition, J.L. Berg expertly integrated Roman and Cara’s outside relationships throughout the novel, their friends and family adding depth to both characters and giving them a more genuine feel. The brilliant secondary characters not only helped to shape the main couple, but they also brought plenty of heart and humor to the overall storyline.

“When you do, you know, decide to seal the deal… take pictures. Please? ’Cause that man is… damn.”

J.L. Berg captures a myriad of emotions with Behind Closed Doors and I found myself happily riding the rollercoaster that was Roman and Cara’s story. My heart skipped and stuttered with each unexpected feeling conjured by their journey, wholly captivating me with the amusing dialogue, undeniable connection, and delicious tension our couple shared. I absolutely loved the small dose of Jude and Lailah that was included in this book. It gave Roman’s story a comforting feeling of family that had me grinning from start to finish. J.L. Berg’s writing continues to blow me away. Her voice is fresh, feisty, and full of feels, making for a captivating reading experience. The poignant prose and socially relevant humor is just icing on the cake, ensuring that Roman and Cara’s story was charming and memorable. Behind Closed Doors is another phenomenal novel from J.L. Berg – a sweet, sassy and sizzling adventure you won’t want to miss!

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Within These Walls (Walls #1)

Within These Walls

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Beyond These Walls (Walls #2)

Beyond These Walls

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Author Bio

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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BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY – Remembering Everly by J.L. Berg

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Title: Remembering Everly
Author: J.L. Berg
Series: Lost & Found #2
Release Date: April 5, 2016

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Synopsis

After two years in a coma, August Kinkaid has forgotten the darkness in his past. But his past hasn’t forgotten him. His beautiful former fiancée, Everly, remembers every tumultuous moment of their stormy relationship. The sizzling passion. The web of lies. And the terrible secret Everly’s been hiding since her last fateful night with August.

Now the truth is out and August remembers everything. As his long-buried memories come flooding back, he begins to understand why Everly would want to move on with her life. Why she would give her heart to another man. And why August should try to forget her once and for all.

But he can’t give up on the only woman he’s ever loved. Even if he has to reopen old wounds–and face the darkest demons of his past–August will do whatever it takes for a second chance with Everly. He let her slip away once. He’s not about to spend the rest of his life remembering Everly when he could be holding her in his arms forever . . .

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Review

J.L. Berg delivers the breathtaking conclusion to August and Everly’s epic story with Remembering Everly. Picking up where Forgetting August left off, Remembering Everly overflows with heartache, regret, and the lingering echoes of fated love. August and Everly face the fight of their lives as they struggle to recover from the revelations at the end of book one and J.L. Berg does not disappoint, breaking my heart and piecing it back together again several times over before all is said and done. Remembering Everly effortlessly captures the unavoidable chemistry and irrevocable connection our couple shares, fortifying my investment in their happily ever after and keeping me utterly captivated by their unconventional journey. J.L. Berg’s writing is phenomenal, bringing this fictional world to life with her vibrant imagery and conjuring up a storm of emotions that demand to be felt. Remembering Everly is J.L. Berg at her best and I can’t wait to see what this author has in store next!

“ ‘I think I’m ready to try again.’ I’d found my center, and it was about time I found some answers.”

As always, J.L. Berg doesn’t hesitate to put her character through the wring. While Everly exhibited a great deal of growth in the first novel, she still had a lot left to figure out. As Everly once again navigated the sudden upending of her world, she finds herself facing the harsh reality of how her decisions affect the lives of the people who love her. I’m so glad we got to see more of her relationships outside of August in this book. Everly’s interactions with the secondary characters really revealed a lot about her true character and I felt like I got to know her on a much deeper level through these evolving relationships. With her life and love still in total upheaval, Everly’s emotions run high and J.L. Berg expertly captures the fear, uncertainty, and anger she struggles with, as well as the fierce and determined woman she quickly grows into.

“Loving him had always been as easy as breathing. Hating him – that had always been difficult.”

So much of this book belonged to August and I found myself connecting with him in the most unexpected ways. His pain was palpable, gripping me hard and fast. I was captivated by August’s extraordinary character growth as he rediscovered pieces of himself and began to build a picture of his life before. My heart broke for him as he realized the mistakes he’d made and experienced the hurt he had caused Everly from the unique perspective of an outsider. If possible I fell even harder for August this time around, reveling in the thorough unraveling of his character and adoring the emotional depth J.L. Berg has so effortlessly crafted over the course of this novel. I definitely enjoyed the protective, hot-blooded side of August that shows itself in Remembering Everly. He and Everly turn up the heat substantially and give this story a steamy and playful edge that was the perfect balance to all the angst.

“A single tree in a meadow wasn’t any match for Mother Nature’s wrath, but give that tree a mate, and together they could wind their branches, combine their roots, and survive even the darkest of storms.”

Remembering Everly was every bit the emotional ending that this fantastic couple deserved and then some. J.L. Berg delivered something truly special with this heartfelt, genuine, and absolutely one-of-a-kind novel. I loved the unique perspective August had on his own life – re-experiencing his personal journey from the outside and realizing the impact his decisions had on his relationship with Everly. There was plenty of tension and a bit of suspense packed into this book. August’s angst-inducing attempts to untangle his memories had me on edge, anxiously awaiting the moment when all of the pieces would fall into place and the truth about what happened between him and Everly would finally reveal itself. Even when I thought I had it all figured out, J.L. Berg still had a few surprises up her sleeve and I found myself giddy with excitement at some of the unexpected twists this book had in store. I devoured this novel in one sitting, unable to get enough of August and Everly. Their journey was enchanting, heart wrenching, and simply unforgettable. Remembering Everly is an absolute must read!

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Forgetting August (Lost & Found #1)

Forgetting August

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Author J.L. Berg is a California native living in the South.  She is the author of the self-pubbed Ready series, which has sold over 100,000 copies.  Married to her high school sweetheart. She and her husband have two beautiful girls that drive them batty on a daily basis. When she’s not writing, you can find her with her nose stuck in a romance book, in a yoga studio or devouring anything chocolate.

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RELEASE DAY REVIEW – Forgetting August by J.L. Berg

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Title: Forgetting August
Author: J.L. Berg
Series: Lost & Found #1
Release Date: December 1, 2015

Forgetting August

Synopsis

She can forgive, but can she forget?

Some days, Everly still thinks she sees him. In the food court at the mall, or in a car speeding past as the light changes. It only lasts a second, but when it happens, she slips back to a time when she was ruled-and nearly ruined-by August Kincaid. And it doesn’t matter that she’s moved on, that she’s about to marry another man. In those moments the only thing she can do to regain control is take a deep breath and remind herself that August can’t hurt her-because he’s in a coma. Except that he’s not anymore.

August is awake. With no memories, he sets out to solve the mystery of his lost life. He unearths a photograph of a beautiful redhead named Everly and knows instinctively that she’s the key. But when he finds her, the August she describes is more monster than man.

Tortured by the thought of having hurt her, August wants only to become the man Everly deserves. As the new August emerges, Everly glimpses the person she first fell in love with. But can she trust that this August is real? When the final secret of their shared past is revealed, one of them will make a choice that changes their future forever . . .

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Review

J.L. Berg has written something incredibly beautiful with Forgetting August. While August and Everly’s story is certainly unconventional, there is something about them that is unexpectedly familiar. Their problems and lifestyle may have been far more dramatic than my own, but their emotional turmoil was an unquestionably basic human experience. How do you reconcile the worst and best parts of the people we love? How do we accept the darkness and light in ourselves? After two years of bandaging up her past, Everly’s wounds are exposed and broken wide open when August re-enters her life. The incredible upheaval and unavoidable self-reflection that follows was haunting, leaving me feeling as if J.L. Berg had physically torn my heart in two. This talented author has certainly outdone herself, her growth as a writer pouring off the pages of this heart-wrenching story. J.L. Berg’s vibrant characters and lyrical prose paint a stunning tale of love, forgiveness, and the secrets that we keep.

“If I gave my heart over to a man who then turned into my worst nightmare…? Who would be there to pick up the broken pieces? No one, because there would be nothing left to find.”

The characters in this story consumed me completely. Both so beautifully broken and scarred by the pain they’d inflicted upon one another, August and Everly were more than a little complicated. August’s inability to remember his former life has him experiencing life all over again under the dark cloud of who he was before. The emotional turbulence this dichotomous existence ensured had me feeling deeply for him. I hurt for this character, overwhelmed by the sheer weight of everything he’d lost and anxious at the possibility of his memory returning. J.L. Berg has written this character so carefully, balancing the aspects of his personality that were innate and those he would need to rediscover. Everything about him from his appearance, behavior, and lifestyle to his favorite flavor of ice cream was meticulously pieced together to create this conflicted man. I loved him and hated him, caught between the old August and the new and obviously deeply invested in his journey. I found myself simultaneously rooting for him and wanting to slap him, concrete evidence of J.L. Berg’s exemplary craftsmanship of August Kincaid.

“Maybe sometimes love isn’t pure. Maybe something it’s toxic – so toxic it consumes a person until they would do anything to have it. Like a drug. If I loved her now, would it be the same as before? Would I consume her?”

As conflicted as I found myself about August, I was maybe even more so conflicted by Everly. There were moments where I wanted to scream at her to stop playing such a dangerous game with August and Ryan. Yet there were just as many instances where my heart absolutely broke for her. Her loss was simply devastating and the position she found herself in so unexpected that I couldn’t help but connect with the emotional uproar she was facing. Through all of the ups and downs, J.L. Berg orchestrated an impressive amount of growth with this character. Forced to face the pain she’d never really dealt with, we get to see Everly really struggle. As she moves through her fear and finds the strength to face August and eventually herself, this character comes to life in a beautiful way. Everly has a long way to go in the next book and I was still frustrated with where she was at by the end of Forgetting August, but with the secret Everly has been keeping finally revealed, I know J.L. Berg is just getting started with this character.

“You and I are the same. Both too scared to admit the cold, hard truth – moving on isn’t an option for us because we’re still stuck right damn here.”

Forgetting August is a rollercoaster from start to finish. The concept of this story has been well executed, sucking me in and holding me captive in August and Everly’s world. The plot was well paced and exciting, the perfect balance of angst, mystery, and joyful remembrance. August and Everly’s obvious connection and undeniable chemistry made for an easy acceptance of their convoluted relationship, allowing me to wholly invest myself in their happily ever after. As always, J.L. Berg has rounded out this couple’s journey with lovable secondary characters that are already proving vital to the story. Sarah, Ryan, and Brick have caught my eye and I enjoyed the way they added to my understanding of who Everly and August really are. I’m excited to see the role they’ll play in the grand scheme of things. This unforgettable story will make you feel, make you think, and make you question everything. As August and Everly’s past and present collide, J.L. Berg takes readers through a whirlwind of emotions, leaving me feeling raw, wounded, and against all odds – hopeful.

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5 ++ beautiful, heart wrenching stars!

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Don’t miss the conclusion to the Lost & Found Series:

Remembering Everly (Lost & Found #2)

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REVIEW – Never Been Ready by J.L. Berg

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Title: Never Been Ready
Author: J.L. Berg
Series: Ready #2
Release Day: February 4, 2014

Never Been Ready

Synopsis

Leah Morgan was done with men. After barely surviving a horrendous childhood, and a boyfriend who bailed when things got rough, Leah had given up on love. Then she met him, Hollywood’s new golden boy who suddenly had eyes only for her. She tried to convince herself that one night couldn’t hurt, but after six months, the memories of his mesmerizing gaze and searing touch still invaded her every thought.

Declan James had just one rule when it came to women. Keep it simple, and never linger. That all changed the moment he met Leah. Even across a crowded bar, he could tell she was different. Sweet, with just the right amount of sass, she made him break his golden rule and now he couldn’t walk away.

When casual becomes anything but, and emotions run deep, will Leah and Declan fight their fears, or let old insecurities tear them apart? When Declan’s past comes roaring back in a way neither of them could have expected, will they stand united or be torn apart by the challenges that lie ahead?

It was only supposed to be one night, but only forever will do.

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Review

When I heard that J.L. Berg was writing Never Been Ready and we’d soon have Leah and Declan’s story, I was so excited to explore their brief, yet intense connection. We got just enough of a taste of these two in When You’re Ready, to leave me desperate for more. Never Been Ready was totally worth the wait! The moment these two are thrown back together things start to sizzle. Leah and Declan are able to pick right back up where they left off with things burning just as hot as before they went their separate ways. As I enjoyed the tension and dodged some serious sparks, I was hit with the unexpected emotional aspect of this story. J.L. Berg takes Leah and Declan to a whole new level and the result is a story that is fun, feisty, and surprisingly profound. J.L. Berg had me totally invested in these two; my heart ached and soared for this fantastic couple.

“Rendering you speechless and flustered has become my new life calling, I think.”

As I joined their journey, Leah and Declan were exposed, layer-by-layer, until I felt like I knew the very heart and soul of these two characters. J.L. Berg has written two beautifully broken souls with Leah and Declan, allowing them to develop and grow significantly over the course of the story. Learning about Leah’s past just about broke my heart only to be made better by the incredible strength and courage she developed in response. Exploring the many ways in which Leah takes care of other people, I found myself totally endeared to her. Her big heart and kind soul made Leah a character you couldn’t help but absolutely adore. Declan surprised me with his underlying sweetness that began to outshine his Hollywood-playboy persona. I thoroughly enjoyed watching him squirm as he tried to reconcile his feelings for Leah with the life he’d resigned himself to.

“You are so much more than you think you are, and I see you – all of you. You can push all you want, but I’m not going anywhere. I want every piece of you.”

J.L. Berg kept me totally enthralled with the many facets of this story. Leah’s personal life, Declan’s acting responsibilities, and their not-so-casual relationship kept their story constantly moving. In true J.L. Berg fashion, she had to drop a bomb or two on us to keep us on our toes and holy wow, it was not something I could have seen coming. Unlike the first book in the series, Leah and Declan’s story had an immediate physical tension left over from their previous encounter. Knowing their brief history, things between them simmered from the start, waiting for the right moment to boil over. Their chemistry and connection was incredibly tangible, eliciting an almost visceral reaction sometimes. Leah and Declan’s story also came packed with humor, wit, sarcasm, and innuendo due to their similarly stubborn natures and snarky personalities. Never Been Ready is a funny and hot novel that will give you all the feels. This series just keeps getting better!

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Don’t miss the rest of the Ready series:

When You’re Ready (Ready #1)

When You're Ready

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Ready to Wed (Ready #1.5)

Ready to Wed

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Ready for You (Ready #3)

Ready For You

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Ready or Not (Ready #4)

Ready or Not

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REVIEW – When You’re Ready by J.L. Berg

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Title: When You’re Ready
Author: J.L. Berg
Series: Ready #1
Release Day: July 18, 2013

When You're Ready

Synopsis

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.

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Review

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)

Ready to Wed

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Never Been Ready (Ready #2)

Never Been Ready

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Ready for You (Ready #3)

Ready For You

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Ready or Not (Ready #4)

Ready or Not

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