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Blog Tour and Giveaway: Ready for You: J.L. Berg

Ready for You (Ready#3)
J.L. Berg
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Expected May 26, 2014

Eight years ago, Garrett Finnegan’s world shattered the day Mia vanished from his life. He’s been struggling to pick up the pieces ever since. Haunted by memories and ghosts of the past, he chooses a solitary existence rather than risk his heart again. 

Mia Emerson has made one wrong decision after another but none worse than walking away from the boy who stole her heart so long ago. When her new life is turned upside down, she finds herself returning to her roots and the hometown she left behind. Maybe now she can find a way to heal from the devastating mistakes of her past.
When a chance encounter brings these former lovers together, passion reignites in a way neither is prepared for. Can Garrett move beyond his anger and find a way to forgive? Will Mia’s insecurities and fears cause her to once again flee the life she’s destined to live?

With our bags loaded, we started to make our way back to the car, weaving through the crowd and enjoying the sounds of people talking and soft music playing. I smiled when I heard a child laughing.  I turned to see a child being thrown over his father’s shoulder. 
“Garrett! Stop it! I’m too old to be carried!” The child laughed.
“You’re never too old to be tackled, Connor! We’ve got to get you ready for football!”
That voice—even after eight years, I would recognize it anywhere. My stomach fell to the concrete, and my feet cemented to the ground. I was frozen, completely frozen. Everything slowed. The street noise melted away, and each and every shopper disappeared until I saw him. He had the boy slung over his shoulder. They were both laughing and breathless from their horseplay. He looked older, but it was still him. He still had the same jet-black hair, emerald eyes, and dazzling smile. A beautiful blonde woman was smiling at the two of them as they joked around. 
My heart finally caught up to my brain, and it felt like a jackhammer was beating hard and fast in my chest. My hands shook, and my knees suddenly felt weak and wobbly. I had no idea how much time had passed since I saw him. 
Minutes? Hours? 
I didn’t know, but it couldn’t have been long since Liv was just now noticing my crazy behavior. 
“Amelia, are you okay? You look like you just saw a ghost,” she said. 
When I didn’t respond, she must have glanced up because I heard her gasp. She’d seen him, too.
“I-I need to get out of here—now,” I gritted through my teeth.
“Are you sure?”
I just nodded and started to turn. I couldn’t face him. He probably hated me. 
He had a kid. That hurt. My hand went to my chest, trying to rub out the pain settling there. He had a child. That meant the blonde standing next to him was probably his wife. Garrett was married. It had been eight years. Of course he would be married. I didn’t know why I was surprised, but he wasn’t supposed to be here. He had moved away. He was supposed to stay away. I couldn’t be here if he was still here. I couldn’t breathe if he was still here. 
“Come on, sweetheart, let’s get to the car,” Liv said gently, grabbing my arm and guiding me toward the car. 
I just gave a brief nod as I let her lead me. 
We hadn’t made it three steps before I heard the words that made my heart come to a screeching halt.
“Mia? Mia, is that you?”


You can't hide from your past--it always eventually finds you.

Garrett and Mia were young, in love, new High School grads, and had their whole lives ahead of them planned out. But she ruined it all and broke both of their hearts and sent both of their lives spiraling in different directions and not in a positive way.

But eight years later, Mia is back in  her hometown and cannot avoid running into Garrett again. They have changed a lot, but still get strong reactions out of each other even if they are not always positive ones. But Garrett is ruled by anger and hurt. And she lives with guilt, regret, and feelings of unworthiness. 

Mia causes a battle to rage within him between his anger at the girl he loved and the pull of the woman he cannot seem to stay away from. And Mia is just as confused. She knows she wants him, but does not think she deserves him after what she did. 

Their reconciliation is full of false starts, misunderstandings, miscommunication, and heartache. They can't seem to stay away from each other even though they know they probably should. Their interactions range from angry, confrontational, comfortable, lustful, and sweet. But their present is still marred by secrets and their past. And if they have any chance of moving forward, they both have to learn to let go. But it is difficult, scary, and makes them vulnerable.

Mia wasn't some teenage crush. She was the one, and I'd spent my entire adult life trying convince my heart otherwise--without any luck. Losing her once had left me a shell of what I had once been. Losing her again would utterly destroy me.

I had adored playful, carefree Garrett. He was always loving and gentle, and he'd dedicated himself to me completely. But grown-up Garrett was full of mystery and angst. I didn't know what he would do from one minute to the next, and I hated myself for liking it....If the past had proven anything, it was that he deserved someone a hell of a lot better than me.

I really liked both of the main characters and could feel their connection, longing, conflict, and feelings. Garrett was bossy, charismatic, loving, but also broken, angry, and unfulfilled. Mia was lost and still searching for what would fill the void in her own life, but too scared to reach out for it and risk being hurt. She felt like she was to blame for everything wrong in their lives. They did both frustrate me at times when they held back, did not share, or fought their feelings, But it all added to the drama of the story and some was understandable due to the pain, guilt, and loss they had buried so deep and had a hard time letting go. 

Can they forgive each other and themselves in order to heal and move forward together?

This was an engaging, emotional story of loss, love, pain, and second chances.  It was told in both points of view with flashbacks providing full access to their thoughts and feelings. But still there were secrets and hidden info that slowly unraveled through the story. I was intrigued throughout wanting to know the full story of their past and absorbing all of the little details piece by piece til it was all finally revealed. It flowed well and the characters were well developed and had good chemistry. This was a story about forgiveness, trust, and a love that transcends time, 

This is part of a series but can easily be read as a stand alone. I actually read this one first and had no trouble following the story or connecting with the characters. But I liked all of these characters and the writing style, so I immediately went back and read the stories of the other couples, Garret's sister Clare and Logan (When You're Ready) and Leah and Declan (Never Been Ready) and enjoyed them as well. The story lines in this series are interesting, the characters are well developed, and  there are secrets and plot twists. And even though they are fast paced, sweet, romantic reads, they also have significant emotional situations, pain, and drama. All of the side characters are fun, quirky, feisty, and add comic relief, support, nosiness, and ass kicking.  I loved Mia's sassy friend Liv and am looking forward to her story in the next book Ready or Not. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.


Love is many things. It’s every raw human emotion all rolled up into one messy four letter word. There’s no rule book and definitely no guarantees.

Ready for You is a great second chance love story. Garrett and Mia were high school sweethearts, until Mia left town with no word and no way for Garrett to find her. 

Garrett has been a workaholic, long since given up enjoying anything in life, except occasional moments with his family, and his family can’t remember the last time they saw him smile a real smile. 

Mia ran eight years ago when she left home. When she finds herself running once again, she runs back to the one place she said she’d never go again. 

As Mia and Garrett’s backstory came out, the source of Garrett’s pain became clear and, oh, did I hurt for him. I also quickly fell in love with Mia. She is one of those characters you can’t help but empathize with because her remorse and grief just pour out of everything she does. But finding her way back after eight years was never going to be an easy feat, and Garrett isn’t the only one who needs to forgive her. 

I thought When You’re Ready had me in tears? This one was right up there emotionally. Garret’s secrets from his family, Mia’s secrets from Garrett: there was so much emotional damage to undo that I went from heartbreak to joy, laughter to tears, over and over. 

As has been established about this series, the extended family is just as important to the story as the main couple. Garrett’s parents play a big role in the story, as well as the extended family of Clare and Logan, and Leah and Declan. I love that Leah is back meddling in the lives of those she loves. She quickly becomes a great friend to Mia, and her support as family-but-not gives Mia a great person to turn to (or hide from, as the case may be). 

What I think I love most about this series as a whole is it’s non-traditional family formations. Just because there isn’t a blood tie between a group of people, doesn’t mean it’s not family. Leah, Logan, Declan, Asher. So many of these characters have no ties to each other beyond what they have formed themselves. At the heart of these books is finding and creating family. And I absolutely love that.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Click covers or link to see series info and links on author's website


Ready to Wed….
a novella from the bestselling Ready series.  
Including in the Pink Shades of Words charity anthology.


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 ten years, and I still get giddy like a school girl every time it snows.
I’m married to my high school sweetheart. We were married young, barely out of high school. Everyone told us we were crazy and stupid. We’ll be celebrating 12 years of marriage this year, and I love him more every single day. We’re living proof that true love knows no age limit.
We’ve been blessed with two beautiful daughters who continue to amaze and inspire me, and are probably making me go a bit insane. I’m obsessed with yoga and pilates and am a complete chocoholic. I apologize in advance for the amount of sweets in my book.
I’m absolutely obsessed with romance novels (duh) and probably could have built a vacation home with the amount of money I’ve invested in them over the years. Romance novels take you to another place, making your heart race, emotions swell, passion run free. After so many years of meeting hundreds of fictional characters and discovering their worlds, I found myself creating my own.
I am represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, LLC.
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6 comments:

  1. I have to read this series I dont know how I missed it

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  2. I haven't read this series but just saw that I have the first two so I will start soon! Thanks for sharing!

    Rafflecopter name: Kat Rellim

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  3. Fantastic series!! Thanks for the awesome giveaway :)

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