J. L. Berg's debut novel
Release date: August 1, 2013
~ Blurb ~
When Clare Murray suffers the tragic loss of her husband Ethan, leaving her alone to raise their infant daughter, she feels the grief overwhelming her, seeping into her soul. Weeks later, she stumbles upon an envelope with the words "When You're Ready" written in Ethan's familiar messy handwriting, but can't bring herself to breach the seal. Ready for what? He was her entire world, and Clare has accepted life without him, without love. Until, years later, fate brings her to an emergency room, and face to face with stormy eyed doctor intent on changing her mind.
Logan Matthews is the son of a billionaire who has spent his entire life trying to make his absent father proud. years of living up to a man who is more ghost than father, and a public failed marriage has left Logan cold and emotionless until he walks into an exam room to discover a woman who stops his heart, makes his body burn with desire and leaves his entire world altered.
But how far are Clare and Logan willing to go for love? When their love is tested, is Clare ready to put her whole heart on the line again? Can Logan learn the true meaning of love , even if it means sacrificing his own happiness? When a second chance at love is given, Clare and Logan learn you never known you are truly ready until you're ready to risk it all.
~ Teaser ~
knock on the door marks the entrance of yet another person. As I turn my head, I find myself face to face with the real-life version of Dr. McSteamy entering the exam room.
Holy Hell, I think I just whimpered a little. Tall and built like a swimmer, he's the sexiest thing I've ever seen in pair of scrubs. Like the sky right before a summer storm, his eyes border between grey and blue, and I can't help staring into their thunderous intensity. His hair, dark brown that edges near black, has that "just fucked" look to it. The kind of hair that makes you constantly want to run your hands through it. How do guys do that? Do they spend time creating that look in a mirror, or is it really a product of being fucked? I suddenly wanted to know?
Oh shit, was I drooling? Did he say something?
He's looking right at me, waiting.
"Are you the mother?", he asks. His eyebrow arched, forming a question. A really hot question.
Seriously, Clare...get your mind out of the gutter.
"Uh, yes. I'm Clare Murray. This is my daughter Madilyn, uh, Maddie." I was trying to cover up the fact that I had probably been standing there for an ungodly amount of time, lamely staring at him and forming my own mini puddle of drool, while he tried to get my attention back on my sick daughter.
Yup, best mother ever.
"Nice to meet you Ms. Murray, I'm Dr. Matthews." Turning to Maddie, he says "And this, must be the Princess."
Calling Maddie a Princess earns him major brownie points, and I think I even hear a faint giggle. She immediately looks up, her big brown eyes connecting with his as he begins the examination.
Dr. Matthews bends down, leaning over her tiny frame, and runs his hand over Maddie's head. I know he's checking for any bumps or abnormalities, but his gesture seems protective and my heart does a little flip flop seeing my daughter in the arms of another man.
He settles himself at the end of the hospital bed and motions for me to take a seat in the chair positioned next to Maddie. It's a small room, making us all very cozy. I can feel the heat radiating off his body. His really, really hot body. His eyes linger on mine briefly, and I can feel the blush starting to creep up on my cheeks. I see a quick smirk flash across his face before he begins speaking.
"Well, your nurse already gave me some of the details on what lead to Maddie's injury this afternoon. Sounds like you had an eventful day." he says, giving Maddie a gentle smile. She looks up at him like he's the king of the world, which surprises me. Maddie's generally not a fan of men, having never been around many.
"But it looks like a classic concussion. Her skull feels normal, and I don't see any signs of swelling or bleeding. But I'm going to go ahead and order a CT just to rule out anything major and make sure we've covered all of our bases. But more than likely she'll be back to her old self in a few days." he says reassuringly. I nod absently, those stark white walls starting to feel tighter around me. It's not the fact that he wants to a CT that sends me into an instant panic attack. I understand the precaution. I'm glad Dr. Matthew's taking the time to do so, and appreciate his thoroughness. It was the way in which he said it. The exact phrasing. One sentence, and the memory comes back to haunt me, flooding my mind and taking over my senses.
Ethan sits down next to me on the bed. He looks at me with those dark brown eyes and concerned, loving look on his face. He knows I always worry about everything.
"Baby, I don't need any more tests. The doctor says they're only migraines." he says. "The CT came back normal which rules out anything major. I don't want to fight with the insurance company to get an MRI. You know they aren't going to pay for it, so why bother?" He pulls me down onto the bed so we are both laying side by side, his hand gripping my waist. "It's going to be fine. So, please. Stop worrying." He grins, leaning in to kiss me slowly, desperately trying to change the subject. He pulls away, looking at me with a devious grin plastered on his face.
"Besides, we have more important things to think about right now." he whispers, looking down my body slowly and appreciatively. "Oh, yeah? I can't think of anything." I fake a yawn. "I think I'm going to go to sleep. Night!" I try and keep my face steady, but I can't help the grin that escapes, and before I can cover my mouth to hide it, he attacks and I'm squealing with laughter. He straddles my body, pinning me to the bed with his knees, trapping my wrists above my head in his tight grasp. "Shhh! This is the first night in weeks the baby has been asleep for more than an hour at a time, and you're going to ruin it with your squealing horse laugh!" he says, leaning down to kiss me, chuckling. "I do not laugh like a horse!" I pout. The annoyance in my voice is already melting away, as he leans down and kisses my neck , making his way to my shoulder, taking the strap of my nightgown with him. He pulls my body firmly against his and slowly makes his way back to my mouth and finally, he kisses me, and I forget all about tests and headaches.
If only I had been more persistent, more demanding...taken him to more specialists...
"Are you sure the CT will be enough? Nothing will be overlooked? I ask, as I pull myself out of the memory. The fear is evident in my voice. I know everything is fine, and what happened with Ethan was rare, but the irrational panic is there nonetheless.
Maddie is not Ethan. Maddie is not going to die. I silently chant, slowly beginning to feel myself calm.
I look up at Dr. Matthews, and he's watching me, with corner and confusion painted all over his face.
Good job, Clare.
Now the hot doctor thinks you're crazy.
~ Author Spotlight ~
I'm a California native, who lives in the South - Virginia to be exact. I still prefer sushi to fried chicken, avocado to okra, and I absolutely loathe humidity, but I love watching the seasons change. My husband and I have been here for ten years, and I still get giddy like a school girl every time it snows.
I'm married to my high school sweetheart. We were married young, barely out of high school, when everyone told us we were crazy and stupid. We'll be celebrating 12 years of marriage this year, and I love him more every single day. We're living proof that true love knows no age limit.
We've been blessed with two beautiful daughters who continue to amaze and inspire me, and are probably making me go a bit insane. I'm obsessed with yoga and pilates and am a complete chocoholic. I apologize in advance for the amount of sweets in my book.
I'm absolutely obsessed with romance novels (duh) and probably could have built a vacation home with the amount of money I've invested in them over the years. Romance novels take you to another place, making your heart race, emotions swell, passion run free. After so many years of meeting hundreds of fictional characters and discovering their worlds, I found myself creating my own.
My debut novel, When You're Ready, a novel about finding love after loss, will be released August 1st!
~ Connect with J.L. Berg ~
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