Amazon calculates a product’s star ratings using a machine learned model instead of a raw data average. The machine learned model takes into account factors including: the age of a review, helpfulness votes by customers and whether the reviews are from verified purchases.
They were the Three Amigos. Jake, Molly and Dean. Inseparable through childhood. But, twelve years ago Jake left. He walked away from Molly, the girl he had loved all of his life. Now, a Chicago-based surgeon, Jake returns to Ocracoke Island, North Carolina to attend his father's funeral. Preparing to take the ferry, Jake meets up with his old friend, Dean and they travel together, catching up on old times. Out of the blue, there is an explosion. The lives of Jake, Dean and Molly will never be the same again Molly has tried to leave the heartbreak behind her. She is running the family inn and has been engaged to Dean for two years. When she hears of the accident, Molly rushes to Dean's bedside. But, nothing will ever be the same again. Meanwhile, Jake's reconnection with Molly has been a revelation and Jake wonders how life will work out with his life in Chicago and Molly's in North Carolina. A very emotional read. The choices that this couple had to make took a long time to come to fruition, but eventually, a HEA.
This is the first book I have read of JL Berg and I thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so I could not put it down. Jake and Mollys story is not your typical romance. I loved JL Berg writting there was just enough drama, heartache and romance. I was really connected to the characters. I loved it so much I'm now reading the next in the series - the Scars I Bare.
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.
Jake & Molly were everything to each other, however his mothers death had a profound effect on him. Instead of living their dream on the small island town, Jake up & left everything behind, not having to return until his fathers death. His return dredges old memories between the two of them but this is compounded by a tragic incident on way over. Jake doesn't want to take over his fathers medical practice & feel confined with no way of escape. Molly on the other hand knows nothing different & loves the B & B she has taken over from her parents. So this is the stalemate between them. Love is not enough for either to give in & change their ways. Due to the impasse they part ways again. It's a constant battle between them dredging up many memories even though everyone can see how perfect they are together. This is full of angst, indecision with some good secondary characters. It's not a light read or a warm & fuzzy one. Perhaps it's a bit more realistic & life like without the fluff or sugar coating a relationship. You'll need to read it to find out who wins in the end as their is a thing callled compromise.
I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Jennifer L Berg you was again delivered a fabulous book.... the choices I’ve made is such a great read... how Jake Molly and Dean come full circle from when they were younger till now and how true love and friendship survives everything never give up on hope it’s always there.... I thoroughly loved this book... I voluntarily reviewed and advanced readers copy