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By the Bay #1

The Choices I've Made

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Death has a way of changing you...

After my mom passed, I couldn't seem to stand still. I couldn't be me anymore. So, with nothing more than a few boxes and a beat up truck, I left behind my old life at the tender age of eighteen.

And I never looked back.

Twelve years later, I find myself traveling back to the sandy shores of that North Carolina town where my late father has left me his medical practice. Coming here means facing my past... My memories... And her--Molly McIntyre.

Growing up, Molly had been my entire world, first as a childhood friend and then so much more. We'd made promises to each other back then. Promises I broke when I walked away. And now that I'm back? Well, let's just say she's not exactly the head of my welcoming committee. But even she can't deny the undeniable spark that still burns so brightly between us and soon, we're tumbling fast and hard into the past.

But I need to keep my eyes set to the future, because mine isn't here in this dead end town. Not anymore.

All Molly has ever known is here, on this small island. Could I really ask her to give it all up? For me? If I walk away again, will she follow?

318 pages, Kindle Edition

First published October 1, 2017

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About the author

J.L. Berg

31 books2,231 followers
J.L. Berg is the USA Today bestselling author of the Ready series, the Walls duet and the Lost & Found 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 cuddled up, watching a movie with her family, obsessing over minions or devouring anything chocolate! J.L. Berg is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, LLC.

VIST MY AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE! http://amzn.to/2plf54L

FIND ME ON FACEBOOK! https://www.facebook.com/authorjlberg/



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Displaying 1 - 30 of 278 reviews
Profile Image for Sentranced Jem.
1,118 reviews581 followers
October 10, 2017
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The Choices I’ve Made is an sweet emotional second chance romance.
Jake and Molly were destined to be together. Everyone who knew them knew that they were meant to be together. But destiny has a fickle mind. After graduating from high school, Jake leaves to fulfill his 'destiny' of being a doctor, leaving behind a piece of his soul , knowing and hoping that one day he'll meet his other half again. Years past. Both Jake and Molly have 'moved' on with their lives but they never forgot about each other and their love didn’t fade during all those years apart.

Second chance books are a guilty pleasure for me.. they Pull the sappy-romantic heartstrings of my heart.
Profile Image for Hanne.
656 reviews68 followers
October 1, 2017
Jake and Molly met each other when they were children. They became best friends and were inseparable. They fell in love. Their love was strong and it should have been forever, until Jake decided to leave the island to go to college and Molly stayed behind.

A few years later, Jake returns to the island when his dad dies and he needs to take over his practice until someone else becomes the owner. Jake doesn’t want to go back, but he hopes to run into Molly while he’s there. Something terrible happens on the way to the island. The accident turns Molly’s life upside down again. Molly isn’t sure what to think about Jake’s return, but their paths cross multiple times and the attraction is still so strong.

I loved Jake and Molly. Jake couldn’t wait to leave the island and leave his past and home behind, but he hated to leave Molly. He studied and worked hard to be where he’s now, but he loves his job. He’s intelligent, genuine and caring. Jake is so happy to see Molly again. He still wants her and he always will.

Molly loves being the owner of the inn that has in the family for generations. She has big plans with it and she’s amazing with the people who stay there. Molly never expected to see Jake again, so she has mixed feelings about his return. She tries to fight her feelings, but she can only fight it for so long. Some part of her will always love and want Jake and in the end, she’s completely and only his.

The Choices I’ve Made is an amazing, emotional second chance romance. Jake and Molly are destined to be together. They had never forgotten each other and their love didn’t fade during all those years apart. But they push each other away for a while, but they have their reasons. They will find their way back to each other and get the happily ever after they should have gotten all those years ago. The ending is beautiful.

-- My honest review is based on an advanced reader copy of this book. --
Profile Image for Jo - •.★Reading Is My Bliss★.•.
2,406 reviews208 followers
October 1, 2017
3.5 stars

Second chance love stories are my book junkie drug of choice, I just love seeing people get their long awaited happy ever after, however long it takes to get there.

Jake and Molly were high school sweethearts, and along with their best friend Dean, the three of them were thick as thieves growing up but love eventually blossomed between Jake and Molly. However, they both had dreams of what their future would look like and eventually they went their separate ways.

Many years have passed and Jake is returning to his hometown, Ocracoke Island, after the death of his father. This will only be temporary visit though, he is now a well respected heart surgeon based in New York, working as GP in a family practice on an island is not even remotely on his list of career plans. In fact he can’t think of anything worse.

The first time he lays eyes on Molly all of the memories and emotions he experienced with her coming flooding back into his mind and heart. She looks incredible. When they were dating she planned on leaving the island one day too but after taking over her parents small homestay business she has no plans to uproot her life away from the island.

Molly is conflicted over what she is feeling for Jake and the timing of his arrival could not be worse. Nonetheless she can’t deny the love that is still there between them and there is not much she can do to stop their inevitable collide. However, once again, neither of them is willing to give up their career/lifestyle to be with each other. This really surprised me but I guess they had to find each other again now to work out what they really wanted the future to look like, whether that meant they were apart or together.

This was quite an easy read for me and not really too angsty.

I have to be completely honest, something happens at the beginning of this story that completely shocked me and even at the end of the book I just couldn’t understand why it even had to happen, it just made me feel really sad. Having said that it is only one part of this story and didn’t make my reading journey a bad one but it just weighed on my mind through the read. This is just likely a reflection of my personality and how I just want good things to happen for everyone ☺
Profile Image for Carvanz.
2,101 reviews747 followers
September 30, 2017
This story absolutely shredded me. It is not a “fairytale” romance. It is real and deep, angsty and gut-wrenching. And incredibly beautiful in its pain.


It was always Molly and Jake from the beginning even as children. They had their whole lives planned and it was perfect. However, when life turns dark, Jake makes a choice that leaves them both shattered.


Fast forward twelve years and he’s returning to the island. A place he never wanted to be again despite the woman he still carries in his heart has remained in its protective bubble. When tragedy strikes, Molly and Jake are forced together again, both of them trying to move forward as though their hearts do not beat for each other when they obviously do.


I loved this couple and all their broken imperfections. Molly has never traveled the world and refuses to accept any help in her professional or personal life. Jake found a caricature of peace off the island and submerged in his medical practice. Together they again find the love they thought had been shelved years ago. But just because you love someone doesn’t mean you automatically find healing.


I wanted to consume this book but found myself taking it slow so I could absorb every nuance in the words. It is not lighthearted and playful but it is real and showcases the struggles of making a relationship work when it is so obvious it cannot. I don’t have a single fingernail left after chewing them while being tormented throughout this story. I never chew my nails! Thank you J.L. Berg for that! *sarcasm*

If you like real life romance with plenty of angst, tender heart rending emotions and a passion that has survived years, this is the book for you.

This is an honest review of an advanced copy provided by the author.

Dual POV
Safety – both characters have relationships during their separation; no OW drama although there is just a tad of OM drama
No apparent triggers
Profile Image for swedishruler B.
320 reviews123 followers
October 1, 2017
What is true love? Do you leave it behind?

Jake left his true love behind. 😒🙄Came back after over a decade only for his father funeral( which he didn’t want to in the first place) finds out his Molly is engaged to his best friend now. So let’s get rid of the obstacle and How do we take Dean out of the picture? we get him to loose his will to live.
Now it’s just Jake to stay and does he ? NO. He leaves again for 2 years now and she goes after him this time.
Boom Epilogue where he shows her he had a wedding ring picked out for her from when he was 18. And that’s that.
Why can’t there be a separation that makes sense and why can’t they both be celibate.
Especially if she/he is your true love.
No EPIC love here to me.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for 1-Click Addict Support Group.
3,749 reviews455 followers
October 5, 2017
Jake buried his past and vowed never to return until he got the call and knew he had to return to his past.

Jake & Molly had it all, young sweet love. Molly thought she had found her forever but Jake's leaving proved her wrong. Seeing Molly go through the motions and moving on broke my heart because no matter how hard she tried Jake was always in the background.

I lost track of how many times I kept saying "Shame on you Jake" & yeah that's what you get because you were an ass"!! But he does eventually redeem himself.

As Jake & Molly dance around their feelings and try to come to terms of what happened in their past and give it another chance or just walk away.

J.L. Berg knows how to pull at your emotions and put them on a wild rollercoaster. I honestly didn't know how this was going to fare for them and that scared the mess out of me!! An emotionally beautiful second chance love story. ~Kara, 4.5 Stars
Profile Image for J.L. Berg.
Author 31 books2,231 followers
May 22, 2017
When doctor Jake Jamison returns home for his father's funeral, he finds he may have more than one reason to stay.

A second chance romance set on the beautiful island of Ocracoke, NC!!
Profile Image for Michelle.
2,101 reviews1,263 followers
October 2, 2017
ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review


The Choices I’ve Made by J.L. Berg is a an emotional gripping second chance story that reiterates and conveys the message of choice. Choices. We all have made one. Right ones. Wrongs ones. Regretful ones. Indifferent ones. But regardless of whatever decision, we made a choice.


And in this story, Berg explores the choices made by Jake Jameson and Molly McIntyre. She chose to stay. He chose to leave. But what happens, when Jake returns back home to his island hometown and is faced with a choice. A choice that can alter and change how he will see and view his life. Twelve years ago, Jake made a choice to walk away from his home and leave behind the woman he loved. This decision was mixed with regret and loss and so when he reunites with Molly, is this his second chance at repairing their broken hearts?

Molly has never left the island. Her life has been focused in running her family’s inn. But what happens when, everything is shifted when Jake comes barreling back into her life. Can their passion and love be enough to heal them? Or is this another choice where they must realize love is not enough?

The Choices I’ve Made is an angsty romance that grips you to the core. It is a romance built on flawed characters who are struggling with real life decisions. So if you are looking for a story that explores the every shade of love, loss, and pain then I highly recommend you to read this book.

 photo MICHELLE1_zps3515xymk.jpg J.L. Berg

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Profile Image for Simply Love Book Reviews.
7,013 reviews835 followers
October 2, 2017

WHOA!!! I just got off one heckuva emotional roller-coaster and I really enjoyed it! The Choices I’ve Made by J.L. Berg is a story that takes you on highs, lows and everything in-between, including second chances, third chances, love, heartbreak, chemistry and humor. It is a book that will have you thinking about your own life and how the choices you’ve made have affected it.

Jake, Molly and Dean were friends since elementary school, it was always the three of them. In high school Jake and Molly realized they were soul mates and each other’s first loves and Dean was their best friend. When things at home get too intense Jake leaves breaking Molly’s heart. Over the course of the years Jake becomes a successful Doctor, while Molly takes over her parents Bed & Breakfast and Dean works in his family’s business. Eventually Molly and Dean start dating and end up engaged, everything seems to be going well for all three of them until Jake is forced to return due to the death of his father. Upon Jakes return he realizes that the love he had for Molly is still as strong as ever and he can tell that Molly still has feelings for him, there’s just one issue his old best friend is Molly’s fiancé. Something happens that shakes up Molly, Jake and Dean and things start to change.

When Jake returns Molly can’t stand him, that’s how bad his leaving her hurt her. She fights the feelings for him that she has suppressed for over ten years but a love like theirs is hard to keep hidden. Jake is all for giving it a try, the problem is Molly knows her heart will be broken again because she won’t leave the island and he won’t stay.

My emotions were all over the place while reading The Choices I’ve Made, I understood why Jake left, I understood why Molly stayed and I still wanted to bop them both on the back of their heads! Their love was palpable and their life choices were keeping them from pursuing it. Jake and Molly’s journey is not easy, it’s messy, emotional and frustrating at times but all the feelings were worth it once I got to the end of the book. While The Choices I’ve Made isn’t your typical hearts and flowers romance, it is a fictional romance with flawed characters and a dose of realism to it, it’s a glimpse at how just one choice we make can alter the path of our lives and that only the lucky few get a chance to get back on that path. Jake and Molly will stay with me for a long time. I hope we get to return to beautiful island of Ocracoke, NC and find out more about Millie (Molly’s sister) and Dean.

Profile Image for ✰ Bianca ✰ BJ's Book Blog ✰ .
2,176 reviews1,234 followers
October 12, 2017


That was adorable. And moving. And sad. And exciting. And romantic. And sweet.
I read it because I loved the cover - and hm ... the cover-scene doesn't happen, so I don't know why they chose that cover. I still like it, but it's not really fitting.
The story had a lot of the things I need in my romances - sparks, fun, sweetness, drama, sad pasts, second chances, an amazing location.
But there were also some things I didn't love. I can't really say what it was that I didn't love, but there were some tiny things. Maybe the 12 long years that have gone by. Or the fact that she never left the island to go somewhere for a bit and experience a different kind of life. ... and some other things I can't remember ☺☺☺
But I really liked the book!
Now I'm excited to read Dean's book next!


Smokin Hot Book Blog Email
Profile Image for Anne OK.
3,577 reviews461 followers
October 10, 2017
A second chance -- maybe even more -- Jake was a difficult character to tie down. Molly was delightful and I felt a little sorry for her. Then again, she could have used a stronger backbone.

This was a bit of a disappointment. I'm a big fan of J.L. Berg, but this one didn't live up to expectations. Some parts I really loved -- especially the setting and the Inn. Some really fun to meet secondary characters, too.

I liked -- but didn't love -- this latest release.
Profile Image for Karin.
2,168 reviews
October 2, 2017
This was a spectacular second chance love story. It wasn’t all puppies and rainbows either, there was a lot of depth to the story and a lot of heartbreak.

When Jake left the island he grew up on he didn’t just leave his old life behind, he took a part of Molly with him that she could never get back. Now several years later he’s returned to the place he vowed he’d never return to settle his dads estate and when he sees Molly again it’s like no time has passed at all. But when the one person you loved more then anything and broke your heart all is not easily forgotten.

My favorite part of this story was not only was it beautifully written but, it was flawed and messy and all was not forgiven with a simple I’m sorry.

I voluntarily reviewed a advanced readers copy of this book
Profile Image for Cocktails and Books.
4,093 reviews320 followers
October 9, 2017
This review was originally posted on Cocktails and Books

If you've read this author's books before, you know she can bring the angst-filled storylines and emotional characters.  And if you're a lover of second-chance romances, this is one to consider.

Jake Jameson finds himself heading back to the small North Carolina island he grew up on.  It means dealing with the family ghosts he ran away from and the love he left behind.  But what Jake discovers once he's back on the island is that despite being the one that left, he's not the only one running.

I liked Jake and Molly's story.  I liked how despite what happened to them when they were teenagers, they were somehow able to work around those feelings in the face of an accident that rocked their little island.  

Molly was an interesting character.  She held onto so much anger at Jake that she never looked at herself to see if she was going to hold Jake back from being who he was supposed to be.  It was a little frustrating that it took her so long to figure out that she had to work on herself and realize they was more to life than the little island she surrounded herself with.  To me, Jake was a saint.  I don't think I would have had enough faith that they would get their HEA.

My only problem with the book was with Jake's best friend and Molly's fiance, Dean.  I couldn't understand how the relationship with Molly ended abruptly and then the two of them are chatting about the nurse he has a crush on.  If that was how their relationship was, a true friendship, I can't believe it moved to anything more.  And the fact that Dean ended things moments after Jake came back into town made it more unbelievable.  It probably would have been better to leave them as friends and Molly single when Jake came into town rather than forcing this other relationship.  

Not my favorite JL Berg book, but still a solid way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Profile Image for Natshane.
537 reviews52 followers
September 25, 2017
A fantastic read by new-to-me author J.L. Berg as she delivered an emotional, heartfelt and nostalgic read about small-town romance and second chances.

I've had my fair share of second chances romance but there's something so heartwarming and liberating about Jake and Molly's story that made them stood out from the rest. It amazes me how the author is able to create such memorable and relatable characters that I feel for them every step of the way - from the nostalgia of their childhood romance to the pain and angst of separation, the author perfectly captured the essence of love and lost. The writing was purely captivating!

Growing up on a small island, I know how wonderful it is to be part of a close-knit community, yet also experiencing the excitement and fear of leaving this small town for the big city, therefore I never blamed Jake for leaving, nor Molly for choosing to stay as I was also battling with that choice when I was younger.

Like the title of the book, Jake and Molly's story goes beyond their whirlwind romance. It was about how every choice they made has affected their lives and the people surrounding them and it was as real as it can get.

For a taste of both reality and fiction, you'd definitely want to give Jake and Molly a chance.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Social Butterfly PR and the author. Thank you so much for the reviewing opportunity!
Profile Image for AJ.
2,935 reviews958 followers
February 21, 2018
3.5 stars

This was a really sweet read. A heartfelt and surprising second-chance-romance, and a story of soulmates finding their way back to each other.

Jake Jameson is a doctor who is returning to his small home town – the island of Ocracoke in North Carolina – following the death of his father. They didn’t have the best of relationships, but his father left him the medical practice that he ran on the island, and though he has no intention of staying put in the town that he escaped as a teenager, he is visiting for the funeral and to get things in order so that he can leave again. But returning home means that he is returning to the place where he broke the heart of the only girl he ever loved.

Molly McIntyre is an Ocracoke girl through and through. She grew up on the island, and now runs her family’s inn. She grew up with Jake, and the two of them started dating in high school. They were each other’s first everything, and they fell in deep, all-consuming love, becoming each other’s soul mates and knowing they would be together forever. That was all shattered when Jake left. Molly has tried to move on with her life, and though on the surface she’s done exactly that, the reality is not that simple.

It’s been 12 years since Jake and Molly have seen each other. They are both in completely different stages in their lives from where they once were, but their deep feelings for each other are still very much alive – just buried under grief, guilt, anger and confusion.

“I tried, Molly. God, how I tried.”
“Tried what?” I asked, pinching the bridge of my nose.
“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.”

There’s a whole heap of emotion between Jake and Molly, and their coming together was never going to be easy, but as they wade their way through their complicated feelings, they discover that their feelings for each other were as intense as they ever were, and they blissfully and passionately succumb to the inevitable.

In all my life, this girl—this woman—was always my one weakness, even after a decade apart.

But as Jake finally begins to deal with the demons of his past, and Molly starts to recognise that things in her life aren’t as idyllic as she once believed, they will both need to examine where their life choices have brought them, what they want from the future, and then figure out how to get it.

It’s an emotional ride for Jake and Molly, and I loved the chemistry, the fun moments, the sweet moments, and the swoony romance. And while I figured I knew what to expect going in, there is some is unpredictability about the story – though honestly I’m still unsure how I feel about it. It wasn’t the mega-swoonfest that I was hoping for, but it was still a realistic, heartfelt love story, and I liked how functional Jake and Molly were in sorting through their issues and finding their way forward.

I’m looking forward to reading Dean’s book up next.

3.5 stars.

Profile Image for Rebecca.
2,833 reviews143 followers
October 5, 2017
It’s amazing that one split-second choice can/will, at times, have a similar outcome to a conscience decision made with the utmost care. Choices are a part of people’s everyday lives, but they don’t seem to understand, until it’s too late, the repercussions of each and every position they take or line they refuse to cross, and when it comes to matters of the heart, those choices concern more than one person, which means that every judgment made sets multiple lives on a path of love and happiness or one of anguish and pain.  

Jake Jameson and Molly McIntyre’s choices from 12 years ago, redefined how they saw their lives proceeding, setting them down two very different roads and shredding their hearts in the process. But now Jake’s choices in the present realign their present path in life and it offers them a second chance to make the right decision – the one that works for both of them – but as it was in the past, determining what the best option is, is no easy task because it has the power to cause further pain or set their hearts free to love one another again despite the time spent apart and the scars of the past.

Letting go of a cherished past due to heartbreak is more than difficult to do, so the fact that Molly has to try to endure her blissful memories of Jake by her side when they were young next to the devastating loss she felt when he left is beyond overwhelming, but the past refuses to lay dormant and the present isn’t something she’s prepared to face not only due to Jake’s return but also due to the fact that she doesn’t want to suffer anymore at the hands of the one person who has the power to fracture her even more. Molly’s moved on…at least she think she has, but with every encounter with Jake, old feelings gain strength and as secrets and truths are revealed, decisions from 12 years ago impact the present in striking ways, proving just how much people’s choices affect more than just them in monumental ways.  

I’m used to the level of angst J.L. Berg brings into all of her emotionally driven stories, so the ups and downs I felt while reading Jake and Molly’s story was not unexpected, and while I admit I’m not the biggest fan of so much emotional drama, when it’s done well, like in The Choices I’ve Made, it’s easy to wade through only slightly shredded because it’s essential to illustrating exactly what the main characters have done to themselves and to each other by their ‘selfish’ decisions.

I’m definitely intrigued by Dean’s story after witnessing what he goes through due to the power of first love and now that I know that his story is next, it will be interesting to see how Berg transforms Dean, not only from his experiences with Jake and Molly but also due to the dynamic man who he is all on his own.

4 Poison Apples (The Fairest of All Book Reviews)
Profile Image for Shelby.
1,122 reviews661 followers
June 14, 2021
When Jake left for college, he left everything behind him, including his best friend & high school sweetheart, Molly, who was absolutely heartbroken when he left. Jake vowed never return to the island where he grew up, but when his father asses away and leaves his medical practice to Jake, he’s forced to return.

Molly never fell out of love with Jake, even though she’s now engaged to their mutual childhood best friend, Dean. Now that Jake is back, Molly’s world is rocked beyond belief. And when tragedy strikes, Molly’s reality is shattered and she questions everything in her life & everything she thought she wanted…

The Choices I’ve Made by JL Berg is book 1 in the By the Bay series. This had several things I love: small town, friends to lovers meets second chance romance, damaged hero. I feel very conflicted over this romance. While I enjoyed the overall premise and I felt connected to the story, it frustrated me and fell flat in other ways. The end threw me for a loop and didn’t feel wholly realistic to me. I did like this enough to continue in the series, though! 3.5/5 stars.
Profile Image for Dilushani Jayalath.
995 reviews162 followers
November 2, 2019
A sweet second chance romance that brings along a lot of heart ache. Normally second chance romances are more full of angst than heart ache but this book actually made me sad reading about it. Yes it was a HEA but the road to it was too bittersweet. A romance that runs for 18 long years would be. Their story was entwined with loss, tragedy, heartbreak, happy and sweet moments. Everything just made me feel so much than I thought it would. Although I was happy with the book the event at the beginning of the book actually made me mad. I felt as if they needed something to happen to Dean to give space for Jake and Molly. This made me quite sad which eventually made me sick one more star from the story but I am happy that Dean would be finding his happily ever after soon. I am looking forward for Dean’s story next.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Kim.
2,549 reviews152 followers
September 27, 2017
4.5 stars
Jake Jameson left Ocracoke Island, NC behind at eighteen including his girlfriend, memories, family, and friends. He went to school, became a cardiothoracic surgeon, and is doing well in the city. But twelve years later, he is forced to return and deal with his father's estate. He is not looking forward to facing the ghosts from his pasts and the pain of other losses he never dealt with. And he is ready to run at the first opportunity.

Molly McIntyre was devastated when Jake left her, but her life is firmly grounded in their small town. She now runs her family inn and has moved on as well as she can. She is sassy, responsible, independent, caring, and stubborn.

Their reunion occurs in unusual circumstances. Molly is dealing with something quite unexpected. And Jake is learning that maybe things did change while he was gone. Jake's whole return is complicated by guilt, anger, and grief from his past. He likes to challenge her, and does not know what to do with all of his conflicting feelings. She is still hurt and angry. Their interactions are antagonistic, fiery, and even childlike at times. But they find themselves in each other's company and dealing with various situations. And that brings them to the point that they realize their chemistry did not disappear. They know their lives still reside in opposite places with her not planning to leave home and him being ready to head back to his career in Chicago as fast as he can.

So what could go wrong with maybe one last night to get closure and get each other out of their systems once and for all? Or will it be the start of a new chapter?

These are two people that survived broken hearts and have their own internal struggles. And although they think they know exactly what they want in life, they have not given other opportunities a fair try. They both have some soul searching to do to figure out the best choices for each of them.

This is an engaging and emotional second chance love story of love, loss, hope, and redemption. This makes you think about things like living in the now, balance in life, and what home truly means.I enjoyed getting their dual points of view. There are some surprises and unique situations going on. There is some mystery as to their pasts. The story itself is not predictable and has plenty of challenges. There were times I wanted to shake sense into characters and yelled out at my kindle a couple of times.

The small island atmosphere and close knit community of quirky characters really added to the story. Some of the older characters really made me smile. Her sister, Millie was a firecracker. I liked the character of Dean and found his story heartbreaking and intriguing. I hope we see more of him.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Profile Image for Mizz.
1,074 reviews351 followers
October 22, 2017
Beware of Spoilers!

Star Ratings:
Heroine (Molly): late 20s?
Hero (Jake): late 20s?
Plot: 3/5
Grovel: kind of
Cheating: none
HEA: yes but no babies
Triggers: none

Average score: 3/5

Best Line: “Because sisters were for life.”

Worst Line: “Were there problems in paradise for Molly and my former best friend?”

Personal Review:
A second chance love story between an innkeeper and a doctor with a strange time jump about 70% into the story

Random Ramblings:
•Please please please don’t turn this into a love triangle – I just want a good old fashioned second-chance love story between TWO people
•Wow that was good timing
•A lot of pushing and pulling
•I was pleased she said no to him for having ‘one night’ together…at the beginning anyway
•I wonder whether Dean will get his own book

Overall Feeling:

Profile Image for Steph's Romance Book Talk.
2,712 reviews1,288 followers
October 29, 2017
I have so many mixed feelings about this book....

UGGGGHHHHH, I wanted to love it so hard but it just didn't do it for me. There were a lot of things that were missing and other things that were brought up a little too much to keep me swaying. I did like the hope of the book, second chance love and all but Jake and Molly kept making me want to scream as the story went along. I can't say too much because you'll know I don't do spoilers. So I will leave it at this...take a chance, just because I didn't connect with the story doesn't mean that you won't, and as I said I did like it but not love it.

Provided as an ARC for an honest and voluntary review.

This specific video review: https://youtu.be/wbvzfEconkE
For other video book reviews check out my YouTube Channel: Steph's Rom Book Talk
Profile Image for J.E. Benoit.
Author 2 books30 followers
October 2, 2017
Reviewed on behalf of The Book Boyfriend Addict (www.bookboyfriendaddict.com). A complimentary copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

4.5 Stars

In all my life, this girl—this woman—was always my one weakness, even after a decade apart.

Jake Jameson ran from his small hometown in North Carolina the first chance he got and he’s never looked back, even though he left his heart behind when he left. Twelve years later he’s forced to return to the small island and face everything he turned his back on all those years ago, including her. Molly McIntyre was left heartbroken when her teenage love took off so long ago and even though she’s done her best to move on, she’s never forgotten him. When he shows up on her doorstep looking for a place to stay, Molly can’t find it in her to turn him away. It doesn’t take long for them to realize that the feelings they once had for each other are still alive and well, despite the years and the distance that kept them apart. But will love be enough to give them their second chance or will it just afford them the chance to finally get the goodbye they missed all those years ago?

I always love a good second chance love story and I thought this was one done so well! J.L. Berg is so good at bringing the feels and this book certainly did that. I was able to experience all the ups and down, the pain and the joy, right along with Jake and Molly. Theirs was a hard road, love was never the problem for them, but timing and choice and just life, in general, proved to be a great challenge throughout their journey. The struggles make it all the more heart-wrenching because it’s clear right from the start how much these two loved each other, they may have been separated by more than a decade and a thousand miles but the love they shared as teens was always there. The circumstances that bring them back together were hard and unexpected but seeing them finally giving into their feelings was very sweet. But what I really appreciated, as much as it hurt my heart, was the realistic path that they ended up taking. They didn’t just ride off into the sunset, there were still very real obstacles in their way and even though I was still sweating it out with only a few pages left, I thought it was great and so believable. The ending was perfect and I loved the epilogue so much! Overall this is another fantastic read from J.L. Berg, it’ll wring out all the feels and leave you so satisfied by the end! And I can’t wait for the next book about a certain someone from this book who my heart still hurts over!! I’m so excited for his story!

“I tried, Molly. God, how I tried.”
“Tried what?” I asked, pinching the bridge of my nose.
“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.”

Profile Image for Liz.
3,419 reviews58 followers
October 4, 2017
The Choices I’ve Made by J.L. Berg is a second chance romance that was emotional and angsty. This was my first read by this author and I was captivated by this story from start to finish.

Jake Jameson and Molly McIntyre were friends that turned to more. They were happy and in love. But as it happens in life, their choices took them in separate directions. One left and one stayed. Years later Jake is a successful doctor and loves his life and career. It was what he always wanted. Molly on the other hand has never left and never wanted too. Running her family inn makes her happy.

When Jake’s father dies, he returns home temporarily to take care of his father’s estate. But when he sees Molly, all the old feelings return. But both Jake and Molly struggle to give in to what they have always felt. Jake wants to return to his new home and Molly has no intention of leaving. Can they find a way to be together or are the choices they have made enough to keep them apart?

The Choices I’ve Made by J.L. Berg was an emotional journey of two people meant to be together, but choices were made that kept them apart. It was emotional and heartfelt. I was captivated by their story, even as my heart hurt. A second chance romance that has all the feels.

Read and reviewed for Sultry Sirens Book Blog.
Profile Image for Sarah Dale.
2,813 reviews69 followers
October 1, 2017
This is the first book I have read from this author despite me having some of her books on my kindle already. I am kicking myself for waiting this long! if this is her level and style of writing I can see myself becoming a big fan and quick.

JL Berg has written a beautifully raw and gritty storyline, filled with love and loss, hope and redemption mixed in with the pain and heartbreak. This is not the predictable second chance romance as there are some great surprises. I made my husband jump a few times yelling at my kindle!

Told in a dual POV that I love this is a story of 2 people that have survived their hearts being broken and have been thrown back together twelve years later. They have both grown and moved on but the familiar feelings are still there along with the blend of pain, anger and betrayal. They both have some souls searching to do.

Can't wait to read more from this author!

I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from the Author and Social Butterfly

Profile Image for Valeen Robertson (Live Thru Books Blog).
5,169 reviews175 followers
July 5, 2018
When Jake comes back home to Ocracoke Island for the reading of his father's will, he knows he'll end up seeing his first (and only) love again, Molly. But first, he runs into his old friend, Dean, and the two are soon enjoying some reminiscing. When a tragedy happens and Jake's medical skills are called upon, Molly's back in his orbit, under less than ideal circumstances.

The two realize, even though so many years have passed, that the love they once shared is still there. Can they possibly find love and happiness again? Can Jake redeem himself after having left Molly behind? Can Molly possibly fit into his high stress life as a top notch surgeon, or can he be content with the life as a small town family physician, as his father had wanted?

Second chance love is one of my favorite tropes, and J.L. Berg has done it so well here. Jake and Molly's journey back to each other is highly readable, a little bit melancholy, and the two make for a pretty amazing couple, once they work everything out.

I received an ARC via NetGalley for an honest review.
Profile Image for Coco.V.
50k reviews4 followers
Want to read
January 31, 2019
🎁 FREE on iBooks today (1/31/2019)! 🎁

Twelve years ago, he drove away with my heart in his hands.
I’ve moved on since then.
Or so I thought.

Growing up in a small town, there weren’t too many options when it came to friends. But, even in a sea of a million, I’d always choose Jake Jameson.

I felt safe with him. Safe with my secrets, my dreams and eventually — my heart. I thought we’d have forever together.

That was a long time ago.

I thought I’d forgotten those piercing blue eyes and the sound of his laugh. I tried to obliterate the memory of his touch from my mind.

But, one single glance, as he stands at my door, twelve years later, and I’m suddenly transported back to a simpler time when love was easy, and my heart was whole.

The problem?

I’m marrying his best friend.
Profile Image for TJ.
2,785 reviews168 followers
October 2, 2020

Eehhhh.... Can’t decide if I like this story or not. The plot was a good one. Both characters had believable reasons for their actions. But.... they both really annoyed me. Must be a personal problem (of mine). :).
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