by J.L. Berg

Life as a heart surgeon in the great city of Chicago is everything that Jake Jameson had worked so hard to achieve, from the time he arrived he has been totally dedicated to being the best he can be, after all, he had left everything behind in order to achieve just that. Life dealt him a cruel blow when he lost his mother and he wasn’t willing to deal with the emotion that, that loss laid on him, so he packed up his stuff and left, confident in his resolution that he would never return…but life moves on and nothing can stop the march of time and after the passing of his father, he is faced with the reality that, that promise, he made to himself is one that he cannot keep.
So, twelve years on and he is back in town to face not only dealing with everything his father left him but also everyone he left behind again…especially the one woman that he loved all those years ago Molly McIntyre.
I liked Molly, a small-town girl who had worked hard to make the most of the opportunities that her hometown of Ocracoke had for her, which weren’t a lot as I am sure you can imagine but she rolled with the punches and did what it took to forge a future that she hadn’t actually anticipated, after all in high school she dreamt of a life that had one very special boy, Jake Jameson at its core. She never imagined her life not having him in it …right up until the time he left, taking his broken heart away but left her nursing her own broken heart in this wake.
There has barely been a day that either of them has lived apart where they have not thought about the what if’s, so their meeting again was always going to be emotional but the events that actually surround it only succeed in amplifying that to a level that could almost defy description.
The author pulled out all the stops with this one, she didn’t sugar coat their past, she gave root to their pain and allowed it to have its moment in the spotlight as they fought to address it and what it had done to them, but she also made sure that this was a romance that hit bone-deep, that had everything you could ever imagine for people in this situation, it had a totally understandable angst that filtered its way off the pages, Molly had every right to feel the way she did about Jake, the pain he had caused her gave her that right but her attempts to move on were just that…attempts because her heart had always belonged to him and no matter how hard she tried I think she always knew that.
There were issues that demanded resolution but what was never in doubt was the way they felt about each other, despite the time apart and the circumstances surrounding both Jake’s departure and return. This was all about them each allowing their hearts the opportunity to process, to reconcile the reasons and to conclude if what they once had could be rekindled or was it time to emotionally let go?
There are times in the book where the story isn’t one that you can really read, you just have to feel. You have to allow yourself to absorb the words and to process them and to understand their situation. I thought the heartbreak that peppered the story was absolutely on point, no emotion was wasted, there was no attempt to skirt around their issues, this was a romance and future that had to be fought for …the crux of the matter was …Could they?

Topic: CHOICES I'VE MADE by J.L. Berg

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