The Scars I Bare by J.L. Berg

The Scars I Bare

By J.L. Berg

  • Release Date: 2018-03-12
  • Genre: Contemporary
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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 bare haunt them forever, or can love truly heal all? 


  • 5 Beautifully Broken STARS

    By Books Dina
    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!).
  • Sweet, Heart-wrenching Romance!

    By B at Prisoners of Print
    4.5 Stars! - J.L. Berg delivers a sweet, heart-wrenching romance with Dean and Cora’s story in The Scars I Bare. After meeting this couple in The Choices I’ve Made, I had been anxious to hear their story. Dean deserved a happily ever after and J.L. Berg certainly serves up all the feels for this broken hero. Dean and Cora’s chemistry was palpable and I loved the push and pull between this damaged duo. They made me laugh and swoon and sigh. I was captivated by their journey and fell head over heels alongside them as they healed one another and rediscovered what it meant to live and love. The secondary characters brought this book to life and served up some much-needed levity. I adored seeing Jake and Molly settled into their own happily ever after and Lizzie stole the show more times than I could count. After all, Dean had been through in The Choice I’ve Made, I knew this book would break my heart a few times before all was said and done. J.L. Berg did just that, unraveling this character thoroughly before piecing him back together. I adored Dean’s personal transformation, watching him rediscover the world in the wake of tragedy. Cora’s evolution was equally satisfying. Her courage and selflessness left its mark on me and I couldn’t help but root for her to find the kind of happiness she so deserved. Together, Dean and Cora found the strength to face their fears, shed their insecurities, and move forward in love and life. These two definitely made my heart falter and flutter along the way, but their journey was worth every moment of heartache. The one thing I felt was missing from this book was flashbacks to Dean and Cora’s time in the hospital together. There are fleeting and brief feelings and impressions captured in Dean’s journal and Cora’s blog, but readers don’t get to experience their initial connection and relationship for themselves. Without a real understanding of their foundation of friendship, it left things feeling very fast, especially considering Cora’s recent relationship history. Otherwise, I loved the progression of Dean and Cora’s relationship, how they grew together in an organic and sometimes beautifully imperfect way. J.L. Berg’s writing continues to wow me. This story was the perfect balance of heartfelt emotion, witty dialogue, and electric chemistry. The Scars I Bare is another phenomenal romance from this talented author and I can’t wait for more of this incredible series!