The Choices I’ve Made by J.L. Berg is LIVE EARLY!
The Choices I’ve Made by J.L. Berg
Release Date: October 1st
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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.
(Free in Kindle Unlimited)
✯ ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯
Reviewed by Emma-Louise on behalf of KFF
‘Death is easy. Surviving it is the hard part.’
The cover and quote for The Choices I’ve Made are so eerily right for the feel and theme of this story. The hip deep water on the front cover reminds me of the regrets Jake daily wades through. Even from the opening sentence of the prologue, the feel of this tale was clouded by the darker colours of the spectrum. No light or colour was allowed into their lives, only delusion and lies.
Molly and Jake had been childhood sweethearts with the belief that their love would last forever. Children at fourteen don’t know that reality often kicks you in the teeth when you least expect it, because four years later, eighteen year old Jake was driving out of Ocracoke and away from Molly, leaving her broken.
Twelve years on, Jake has to return to his childhood home to sort out his recently deceased father’s affairs. Having grown up on a small island, the inevitable meeting of Molly and Jake is as awkward as you would think. A tragedy separated them twelve years ago and another tragic series of events brings them back into the fray. Their love for each other never waned, they denied, they ignored and they tried to bury it underneath the trauma and heartbreak they had caused one another. Jake didn’t want to stay on Ocracoke and Molly had never even considered leaving; two people so different and so in love, hanging on to the fairytale they had first imagined. Two love struck teenagers never see the reality and harshness of life until they grow up or they’re thrust into a situation that makes them see it.
Second chance romances are my go to reads when I need to disappear from the real world for a while. I’m addicted to the toing and froing and the raw emotion. Second chance romances don’t have that instalove theme to them, the characters have pasts together and emotions and misgivings, events and feelings that carry the story forward without the author having to work in the angst and or the emotion. The Choices I’ve Made did not disappoint. Only a handful of books have EVER had me worrying there wouldn’t be a happily ever after and this book fit into that column.
“I tried to forget you. But I never could. I tried to forget this place and all it represented, but the memories never faded. You never faded.”
‘It reminded me of the scared boy I’d once held in my arms as he wept for his mother. It tugged at the few remaining heartstrings I had for this man.’
Jake spends a large portion of the story battling to crawl out of the shadow that was his father. His father was a broken man living two lives in a small town where the residents all had him on a high pedestal. Anybody with this much self-burdened grief who puts themselves under a microscope that close, can never look good.
The Choices I’ve Made was gripping and emotional from front to back. Personal and familial development was created for both Molly and Jake, a way to rebuild their crumbled foundations and move on from who they were to who they want/should be.
About the Author:
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!