Blog Tour and Giveaway: Forgetting August: J.L. Berg

Forgetting August  (Lost & Found #1)
J.L. Berg
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Expected December 1, 2015

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 . . .

What happens when you wake up after two years with no memories and you learn the man you were before was not someone you could ever imagine being? What do you do with a clean slate to start a new life? And what if your only lifeline to your old life appears to hate you?

August Kincaid is facing this. He is learning how he has hurt and damaged his only connection in this new world, his ex-girlfriend, Everly.

Everly is trying to move on with her life. She has a new man, plans, a life free of the issues she had with August. But the after effects still haunt her.

August has to come to terms with who he was, figure out who he is in the present, and find a new normal. This is about August relearning, rebuilding, and reforming. He lost himself, his preferences, his love and anchor, and everything about his life. August is inquisitive, loving, sweet, and in some ways childlike and in other ways alpha. 

Everly struggles with her fear of the old August and vulnerability of the new one. She is genuinely a nice person, but he makes her worried, anxious and frustrated. No matter how much she thinks she wants him to disappear, he is frequently in her thoughts. She still feels resentment, anger, and fear of the man he used to be, but also sees the differences. She also needs closure to heal so she can truly move on. So she begins spending more time with him to help him revisit his lost past. She has a tendency to be a runner and an avoider. When she gets overwhelmed she needs space to breathe. Sometimes she finds herself running from him and other times to him.

Their dynamic changes to finding forgiveness, reliving memories, and circling back to younger versions of themselves before life got ugly. Their irresistable pull and chemistry is tempting and confusing. And it is hard for her to realize that if she does not hate him, then she has to feel other things. They find themselves rekindling feelings and passion. And when faced with a second chance to make it right, will they take the risk? Will she be able to leave her safe future to take a chance on August again?

I found this book to be intriguing, interesting, and unique. I enjoyed seeing August's changes and their growth. I will admit Everly got on my nerves at times with her erratic, avoiding, running behavior. I did not like how she played the men off each other and did not seem to know her own mind. I understood her motivations for being a bit needy, but sometimes her wishy-washy behavior or snap decisions annoyed me, I felt bad for August a lot...and her fiance Ryan. Ryan seemed very genuine and it was hard not to like him. The changes in the dynamics of all of their relationships were interesting to watch. But I kept waiting for something to shake things up. And then a couple of things really did. It was left in a new jumping off point sure to bring more drama.

But there were underlying mysteries and secrets layered throughout. Some were answered and some things are still coming to light. The story took twists several times, changing the dynamics. There are definitely still some more secrets and hidden agendas lurking under the surface that I am sure will be exposed in the next book. There is still a lot to overcome internally and externally. This was an engrossing read with well developed characters, unique plot, dual POV, and some surprising twists and turns. I am looking forward to seeing how it all plays out in the conclusion Remembering Everly.

ARC provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.
 What if you woke up after a 2 year coma only to find no one around you? No one missing you? And the only connection you do have to that old life hates you.

Emerly Adams has moved on. She has a fiance who adores her and she loves. Her life has brightened since the time she was reduced to a prisoner in her own home by the man who claimed to love her. Now he is awake after 2 years and her life is sent into a tailspin as she adjusts to his presence in her life once again.

August Kinkaid’s disorientation stems from having no memory of the man he once was. And apparently he was a controlling, emotionally abusive man to the only person he has seen from before. He doesn’t like what he learns about himself and seeks to create a new man without the ties to who he was before.

Questions quickly pile up, because though August doesn’t remember anything from his life, it becomes clear that Emerly doesn’t have all the answers either.

There was so much I loved about August’s new persona. He was truly horrified by the things he learned about himself and worked hard to discover a self that he could like. His attempts at finding his “favorites” made me smile, and the friendship that developed with Brick was a great addition to his new life. But in the back of my mind I watched all this goodness developing, wondering when the old poison would sink back in, whatever form it might take.

Everly seemed to be the type of person who is swept up in the drama around her, rather than making purposeful decisions about the course of her life. There were times I really liked her and could excuse her actions based on the strength of the wave she happened to be riding, but there were also times when I wished she would have put her back up and stood up for something, shared her knowledge, or opened up to any of the people in her life.

By the time I reached the end I was at a loss as to what I thought about the story as a whole. I loved the build up and getting to know the man August wanted so much to be. Even Emerly’s tension and anxiety over his return kept my curiosity burning. But the way the end occurred, I felt like the story was back where it started, with no further answers and it was as if those months of re-imagining himself went down the drain for August.

So much was still up in the air I wanted Remembering Emerly as soon as I finished that last page. I felt bad for both Ryan and August as I reached the end. I actually liked both men a lot, but Emerly had her moments where I just wanted to shake her. She knew so many things she should have shared with August, and her reliance on Ryan wasn’t fair to him either.
This was a fascinating look at what happens when one loses all memory of who one is. I was immediately sympathetic towards August. His confusion and loss was absolute. The strength it took to create himself from scratch, discovering his likes and dislikes and finding a purpose for his days, was immense.

ARC provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Remembering Everly (Lost & Found #2)
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Expected March 1, 2016

August and Everly’s story continues in a breathtaking sequel, REMEMBERING EVERLY, on sale March 1:

After a stunning cliffhanger ending in Forgetting August, USA Today bestselling author J.L. Berg delivers the happily ever after that fans have been waiting for in the sequel, REMEMBERING EVERLY.

He's forgotten his past, but it hasn't forgotten him. After losing two years of his life trapped in a coma, August Kincaid will do anything to win back the love of his life. But his past threatens to destroy his second chance at happiness, it's Everly who is in danger of paying for his crimes.

J.L. Berg

J.L. Berg is the USA Today bestselling author of the Ready Series. 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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