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Blog Tour: The Scars I Bare: J.L. Berg

The Scars I Bare (By The Bay #2)
J.L. Berg
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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 bare haunt them forever, or can love truly heal all?

I could not wait for Dean's full story after meeting him in The Choice's I've Made. He broke my heart and continued to do so in this one. One incident took everything from him--some of his abilities, his livelihood, self worth, and nearly his life. Years later he is still lost, lonely, and looking for something...but not really living.

Cora was a nurse to him in the hospital three years ago and made a big impression on each other. But she had her own seemingly perfect life and turned down his advances. He went back to his old life on the small island of Ocracoke, but felt like he did not have a place anymore.

But now Cora has moved to his hometown to work for his best friend. All of a sudden she is back in his life with her smart, sweet, daughter and he is in danger of losing his heart again. But Cora is now as broken as he is and skittish, guarded untrusting, and fearful.

Dean used to be the funny, easy going guy until he lost his way and became broody and bitter. He wasn't sure what he was looking for, but she starts bringing him back to life. Cora has been living a lie and camouflaging her problems for a long time. She feels like an empty shell. She and her daughter were in need of a new start and she has some issues she needs to finally face. She is a bit unorganized and scattered, but she has a big heart and lives for her daughter.

They are two lonely, broken people just trying to find their way. The old attraction and connection flares. They give each other things that both had lost and feared they would not find again...hope...and trust...and a chance at a better life. They are starting to find themselves again, find purpose, empowerment, a sense of family, and the potential to move forward. 

But there will be challenges. They've both got issues, and they have things that could interfere. They'll have to be brave, to overcome their fears, and be ready to fight for a future if they really want a chance.

I loved this story, this couple, this kid, getting more of Molly and Jake, and this whole small town island setting. I connected emotionally with the characters especially through their journal and blog entries. And I loved how they perceived the perfectness of each other despite their flaws and scars. Their backstories were difficult and heartbreaking, and their issues were complex. But despite the intense feelings and painful situations, it was also funny, sweet, and romantic. It makes you believe that there really are people put in your life for a reason and that timing is everything. This was captivating, heartfelt, emotional, inspiring, and I devoured every page. I am looking forward to returning to this island for Millie's story next. 

I was gifted a copy.
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. 

The Choices I've Made
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Kim's 4.5 star 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. 


Upcoming:


The Lies I've Told (By The Bay #3)
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Release Date June 4, 2018

A lie is told for many reasons. 
To protect.
To cause harm. 
To garner something in return.
But in the end, a lie has one purpose. 
To deceive. 

Aiden Fisher had finally conquered the art industry, making a name for himself as a world-class sculptor. Nothing could stop him. Nothing but a single afternoon with his doctor, delivering devastating news. Trying to escape his fate, he decides to hide out in a small inn off the coast of North Carolina. 

There, he can lick his wounds and plan his future. That or drink himself into the next decade. Whichever comes first.

Millie McIntyre’s life was going places. With a successful career in one of the top fashion houses in the world, she was headed straight to the top. That is until it all came crashing down around her in a single career ending email. 

Hoping to disappear, she heads home under the ruse of an extended vacation to help run the family inn while her sister is out on maternity leave. After all, what is family for? 

There she finds herself playing hostess to Aiden, a rude, overbearing sort of man who makes her question everything, including the burning desire she feels whenever he is near. Neither has plans for love in their life, but it happens just the same. But can love alone be enough? When the lies they’ve told are finally exposed, will it bring them closer or tear them apart?
J.L. Berg

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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