The Scars I Bare by J.L. Berg
Publication Date: March 12th, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance

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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?


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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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5 Beautifully Broken STARS

This book was amazing! The second book in the By The Bay Series, but can definitely be read as a standalone, focuses on Dean and Cora.  Remember them from The Choices I’ve Made?  Dean and Cora met in the first book while Dean was recovering from the ferry accident and sparks flew, but the timing was not even close to right for either of them.

So….a few years later, Cora is divorced and looking for a fresh start.  Dean, on the other hand is still an emotional train-wreck from his accident.  But, as they find their way to each other, they both heal and learn to trust again.  This is a heart-warming, but gut-wrenching, love story of 2 people looking for a second chance to get life right.

This is another expertly told story that has all the feels.  I may or may not have read this emotionally charged book in one day (don’t judge me!).

Meet 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!

Connect with J. L. Berg:




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