Blog Tour: The Scars I Bare by J.L. Berg (By The Bay #2 Review)



The Scars I Bare by J.L. Berg
Publication Date: March 12th, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance


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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’ve bared to one another poison their happily ever after, or can love truly heal all?


The Scars I Bare is book two in the By The Bay series by J.L. Berg. It can be read as a standalone but reading the previous book is recommended. Read my sister’s thoughts on book one HERE.

The Scars I Bare is an empowering story about learning to trust again, growing when you thought there wasn’t any more growing left and learning that new beginnings are forgiving and not to be scared of.

Dean Sutherland almost died. He might have wished he had, some people thought he would, but he didn’t, even if somewhere along the way he stopped truly living. When he lost one arm his world shifted, as anyone’s would, and he had to learn how to be complete again as he missed one whole part. How to get dressed, undressed, drive, eat, live. He’s your perfect, strong, guy next door… who doesn’t really trust in people. Cora’s life recently shifted, she found herself getting a divorce and moving to a small town with her little girl, a small town that would offer help even if she didn’t want it.

This book is so freaking cute. I was on a reading slump until Dean and Cora came to melt my heart. I was honestly scared I would have to hate on the unnecessary drama I might encounter and I really didn’t find myself in that situation, it had the perfect amount of drama for me. It had a little bit of build up and a drama scene that didn’t feel heavy and overly fake which I really enjoyed. It was mostly about their starting over and their romance, which was amazing for me. I was over the moon.

The Scars I Bare is a very cliché, light read, which to me isn’t a bad thing. I actually like that a lot. But I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea so I’m warning y’all about that. But I still think it’s very much worth a try.


4/5 flowers



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By the time I arrived at the inn for dinner, I was a goddamn mess. Sweat was running down my back from the heat, even after changing my shirt twice. I’d changed my mind three times on whether to bring flowers for Cora, doubling back to the house at the last minute to grab them after I firmly decided to leave them at home.

When I finally arrived, I was a solid twenty minutes late and probably looked like a psychopath from all the sweat and the mangled flowers in my hand.

But all of this was forgotten the moment the door opened, and Cora greeted me.

“Jesus,” I cursed, giving her a once-over before she even had the chance to say hi. “You look insane.”

“Insane is good?” she asked, pink staining her cheeks.

I’d never seen her in anything beyond scrubs and shorts. Granted, this woman could wear a paper bag and be the hottest woman in the room. Tonight though, she’d dressed up, wearing a short, strappy number with tiny pink flowers dotting the fabric.

“Insane is really good,” I clarified.


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I’m a California native, who lives in the South – Virginia to be exact. I still prefer sushi to fried chicken, avocados to okra, and I absolutely loathe humidity. I do love watching the seasons change though. My husband and I have been here for over a decade, and I still get giddy like a school girl every time it snows. It’s magical!

I’m married to my high school sweetheart, and we’ve been blessed with two beautiful daughters and two rescue pups I like to call my “coworkers”. I’m obsessed with chocolate, minions, anything Harry Potter and I love to watch re-runs of Friends and Gilmore Girls!




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