Remembering Everly by J.L. Berg – BECKY’S REVIEW

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WHY I READ IT

Forgetting August was my top read of 2015 and I had to find out what happens to August and Everly

WHAT I RATED IT

5 stars

WHAT IT’S ABOUT

After two years in a coma, August Kinkaid has forgotten the darkness in his past. But his past hasn’t forgotten him. His beautiful former fiancée, Everly, remembers every tumultuous moment of their stormy relationship. The sizzling passion. The web of lies. And the terrible secret Everly’s been hiding since her last fateful night with August.

Now the truth is out and August remembers everything. As his long-buried memories come flooding back, he begins to understand why Everly would want to move on with her life. Why she would give her heart to another man. And why August should try to forget her once and for all.

But he can’t give up on the only woman he’s ever loved. Even if he has to reopen old wounds–and face the darkest demons of his past–August will do whatever it takes for a second chance with Everly. He let her slip away once. He’s not about to spend the rest of his life remembering Everly when he could be holding her in his arms forever . . .

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BECKY’S REVIEW

When J.L. Berg announced that advanced reader copies of Remembering Everly were available on Netgalley, I didn’t wait for the tour or PR companies to email us with a widget. Instead, I logged into our account and requested my copy. I was that impatient. Forgetting August was my top read of 2015 and I was eager to find out if Everly and August would get the closure they needed. Would they move on? What was going to happen now that August had regained his memories? So many questions!

Forgetting August was about second chances; a second chance at love and a second chance at life. Remembering Everly is all about the courage to be yourself. Who are you when you’re in a relationship? How do you change? Can you still be yourself? Who are you after a relationship ends? J.L. Berg addresses all of this and more. Now that August’s  memories have returned, Everly must figure out who she is and where she belongs. Her guilt sends her back to Jason, a place where she feels she belongs but August is a constant reminder of who she used to be and who she was becoming. Everly’s struggle to regain her identity is central to the plot of this story and emphasizes the story’s title – Remembering Everly. Before Everly can be with anyone – Jason, August, someone new – she has to be herself first, and I love that message. How many times do we lose ourself in a relationship, only to have it end and then we’re left to figure out who we are?

August struggles with identity too. In Forgetting August, he was learning about himself and becoming someone new. Now that his memories are back, he has to figure out if he’s still the old August, the cruel man who locked Everly away, or if he’s the new August, who likes plain vanilla ice cream and wants to be a photographer. He reluctantly seems to return to his old life but it’s clear that he’s struggling with that identity. He also can’t move on until he figures out who he wants to be. Watching August and Everly’s separate struggles with identity is beautiful and heartbreaking. While I wanted them to get back together, I wanted them to be happy too. If that wasn’t with each other, then so be it.  

J.L. Berg is proof that you don’t need a complex plot or copious amounts of explicit sex scenes to write a five-star book. She takes her time to really develop a simple plot and to give her readers something well-written and fully developed. She really focuses on themes in her books, making sure we understand why it’s so important to remember who you are or to get that second chance. I love her stories for their beautiful simplicity. She is truly one of the most underrated writers in the romance genre. She feels like a well-kept secret. Even though I want to keep J.L. Berg and her stories all to myself, I implore you to pick up these two books and forget but then remember.

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