Review: The Choices I Made by J.L. Berg (By the Bay #1)


Note: This ARC was provided by the author via Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an honest review.

The Choices I've Made is the first novel in author J.L. Berg's new By the Bay series and it's a story about two people who were each other's first love and how they decide to handle the second chance Fate throws their way. Twelve years ago, Jake Jamison packed his bags and left Ocracoke Island, North Carolina as far behind as possible, even if it cost him his heart. He's made a name for himself as a cardiothoracic surgeon in Chicago, Illinois, and he's never made any effort to keep his ties to his hometown--not to see his father who he blames for the death of his mother, not to catch up with his best friend, Dean Sutherland, and especially not to check on Molly McIntyre, the girl who had dreams of a life with him. When he learns of his father's passing and the fact that his medical practice was left to Jake has him doing his duty and returning to Ocracoke Island. But before he can even step foot on the island, tragedy strikes, and he learns quickly enough that he wasn't the only one who's moved on with his life. Molly is engaged...to Dean. But things change yet again, and this time around, will Jake need to make a new set of choices.

I'm feeling torn with this one. I love second chance romances, but the manner in which Jake and Molly got that second chance of theirs left me disheartened. Not once did Jake make any effort to even see how anyone he left behind was doing. Heck, even his reason for leaving came off as flimsy. Doctors aren't gods. The fate of one's life--whether they live or die--isn't always in their hands, Jake. Everything that happened after the ferry accident left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Dean was a sacrificial lamb of sorts, and the fact that everything seemed to go hunky-dory afterwards was just weird. The teasing about the kiss shared between Molly and Jake and Dean's thing for his nurse had my brow furrowing in confusion. It seemed overly easy and unrealistic. Then there was how Jake and Molly realized that they couldn't live without each other and YET it was as if they would rather squander that second chance of theirs and wait another two years. Like a dozen wasn't long enough. Go figure. So, yeah, The Choices I Made wasn't my favorite Berg read, but here's hoping Dean's story will turn out to be better. Three stars. ♥

Date Read: 01 October 2017

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