Tuesday, December 1, 2015

review || FORGETTING AUGUST { release day } by J.L. Berg

Berg_Forgetting August_E-Book

Forever | December 1, 2015 | New Adult Romantic Suspense
Lost & Found, book 1


Some days, Everly still thinks she sees him. In the food court at the mall, or in a car speeding past as the light changes. It only lasts a second, but when it happens, she slips back to a time when she was ruled-and nearly ruined-by August Kincaid. And it doesn't matter that she's moved on, that she's about to marry another man. In those moments the only thing she can do to regain control is take a deep breath and remind herself that August can't hurt her-because he's in a coma. Except that he's not anymore.

August is awake. With no memories, he sets out to solve the mystery of his lost life. He unearths a photograph of a beautiful redhead named Everly and knows instinctively that she's the key. But when he finds her, the August she describes is more monster than man.

Tortured by the thought of having hurt her, August wants only to become the man Everly deserves. As the new August emerges, Everly glimpses the person she first fell in love with. But can she trust that this August is real? When the final secret of their shared past is revealed, one of them will make a choice that changes their future forever . . .
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{ about j.l. berg } .

Author J.L. Berg is a California native living in the South. She is the author of the self-pubbed Ready series, which has sold over 100,000 copies. Married to her high school sweetheart. She and her husband have two beautiful girls that drive them batty on a daily basis. When she's not writing, you can find her with her nose stuck in a romance book, in a yoga studio or devouring anything chocolate.

{ excerpt } .

My hand shook as I pulled the box into my lap, preparing myself for what may lay hidden within. I felt nervous and sick with anticipation. I suddenly wanted to flee, but where would I go? And how would I get there? Moving my leg took more concentration than I was willing to admit and I was still attached to what looked to be a hundred monitoring devices.

The box stared back at me, waiting...wondering when I would crack its lip and finally divulge the secrets it had been keeping for so long.

What if I didn't like what I found? What if I did?

Taking a deep breath, I placed my hand on the lip and pulled, knowing there was only one way to find out.

All neatly arranged inside, I found clothes, a wallet and a scattering of other personal belongings. I immediately went for the wallet, knowing it would hold the most information. Everything else forgotten, my fingers traced the smooth edges of the soft leather as I bent it open.

There staring back at me was a picture of my own face. Because of the mirror across the room near the sink, I'd managed to catch a glimpse of my reflection a time or two since awaking here hours earlier.

The man looking up at me on the California driver’s license photo was a stark contrast to the person I was today.

Cold empty green eyes looked through me, as if the world and everything in it were beneath him. With a crisp white shirt and flawless green tie and jacket, there was no smile permeating through the lens--not even a hint of emotion was showing. My now long, unkempt hair had been trimmed short and neat, matching the impeccable persona that could be seen even through the tiny picture.

My attention turned towards the address.

1023 Sea Cliff Lane, San Francisco.

I looked out the window, trying to see if anything beyond its paned glass brought back any hints or memories of a life I once led.

San Francisco.

Even though the driver’s license confirmed what the nurse had already told me, I still felt no connection with the city below. Nothing called out to me, nothing held my attention.

Was there anyone down there that would remember my name?

I dug further through the wallet, finding a couple hundred dollars in cash, as well as several credit cards and a few membership cards to places I'd never heard of, but apparently belonged to.

Or had belonged to.

What happened to your life when you went into a coma? Did you disappear? Cease to exist or did life carry on? I looked at the address on my driver’s license and wondered if I still had a home...a bank account? I wasn't dead, but who had been paying my bills for the last two?

Did I have money to pay the bills?


Suddenly, all I wanted was to slip back into that coma and never wake up again.

And then I saw her.

It was just a glimpse at first, the edge of a picture sticking out from inside the wallet--a wisp of hair that had me pulling at it to see it properly.

With the golden gate bridge as our backdrop, a much younger, carefree version of myself held a girl in my arms and suddenly the world didn't feel so lonely anymore. Copper red hair tumbled down her back like a fiery mane. Her bright blue eyes sparkled as if she held untold secrets waiting to be revealed. In my own eyes, I didn't see harshness or the rigid void of nothing. I saw her, reflecting back in spades, the love radiating between us.

I flipped the photo over, hoping for something...anything that would tell me who this girl was.

There was nothing but a date and a name.

August and Everly - 2005


She had a name.

Now all I had to do was find her.

{ trailer } .

{ review } .

After a childhood in the foster system, Everly finally found her forever home in the form of August Kincaid. The love he had for her was all-encompassing -- and her love for him the same. But when his business world starts booming and the money starts coming in, everything changed. They had the pretty house, but on top of that, August became, in a word, psychologically abusive -- but how much was control, and how much was the need to keep her safe?

A mugging put August in a coma; Everly eventually moved on. With the help of new friend, Sarah, she started over. Soon she met Ryan and while she was upfront with him about never being able to give him 100%, he still loved her. Now they're getting married, but one phone call shatters everything Everly has built up.

Few things.

I liked Ryan... but he definitely is the definition of "nice guys finish last". As the story moves through the paces, his love for Everly never wavers, but he's definitely jerked around.

I really liked August. He didn't have a clue who he was before the coma, but from the bits and pieces he's picked up, from the words that Everly eventually tells him, he doesn't like the person he was. The one thing that he does know, though, is that his heart belongs to Everly. When all he had was questions, the one thing that always gave him pause was Everly and her emotions, her expressions... everything. The heart knows what it wants, and in August's case, that was definitely Everly.

I appreciated Everly. I liked that she was upfront with Ryan from the very beginning. I liked that she talked about things with Ryan, but I didn't care for her initial mistrust of August. When he first wakes up, she can't believe he doesn't have a clue what happened, and she makes some bold accusations -- a characteristic that didn't quite jive for me. In memories she appeared timid and all of a sudden she has a backbone -- as if whatever terrified her two years ago could be forgotten about in the safety of a hospital room.

This story definitely puts the reader through the ringer. There's a lot of up and down, back and forth. While there isn't a love triangle, and there isn't cheating, there's a lot of personal growth and decision making. The story flows well and is written just as well -- and then there's the end; it ends in quite the cliffhanger. There are still a number of questions to be answered, we meet new players that definitely were the reason for all the bad pre-accident. Everly's secrets are starting to be blasted open, too. We get to see a different side to August at the end, but it doesn't quite change the way I feel about the man.

...and if you have the time, be sure to read the sneak prologue and chapter one for REMEMBERING EVERLY. It definitely has me wanting the conclusion yesterday.

{ release party } !

Forever Romance and J.L. Berg invite readers to join them for a Facebook party on December 9 from 7 – 10 PM EST to celebrate FORGETTING AUGUST, on sale December 1. In addition to fun guests and giveaways, there will be a great discussion about the book as J.L. Berg takes fan questions.

{ giveaway } .

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