by J.L. Berg
This is the first book in the Ready series.
Years after suffering the tragic loss of her husband, Ethan, which left her alone to raise their young daughter, Clare Murray still holds the last letter he wrote with the words "When You're Ready" written in his familiar messy handwriting, unable to break its weathered seal. Ready for what? He was her entire world, and Clare had accepted a life without him, without love. Until years later, fate brings her to an emergency room, and face to face with a stormy-eyed doctor intent on changing her mind.
Son of a billionaire, Logan Matthews has spent his life trying to make his absentee father proud. Without a family to depend on, all he's ever wanted is a place to call home. After a failed marriage, Logan believes he's unworthy of love...until he meets a woman who awakens his spirit and transforms his entire life in an instant.
But how far are Clare and Logan willing to go for love? Can his love mend the pieces of her grieving heart?
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 are never truly ready until you're ready to risk it all.
“I’d really love to discover some of those hidden talents.”
Oh, hot damn.
What did I just fucking say?
Shit, I should not be allowed in public anymore. I had just dropped the lamest pick-up line ever, in the middle of the home improvement store, right in front of Clare’s daughter, no less. Thank God Colin hadn’t been around to witness that little slice of failure. I would never have lived it down.
Dear God, this woman made me crazy.
I never expected to see her or Maddie again. I tried to make myself forget about that night in the hospital, telling myself she deserved better. And she did. But as hard as I tried, those searing green eyes kept making their way back into my thoughts, reminding me of a woman who had shown me another path. A path that could have been possible if I were a different man. If I were capable of giving myself over to another, but you have to have a whole heart to do that, and I’m pretty sure mine was never fully formed.
But looking up at those now familiar eyes, I felt the tension ease in my chest, and the ice loosened a bit. Seeing Clare again felt exactly the same. It gave me a deep sense of being connected and tethered. Having come from the family I did, it wasn’t something I’d ever felt with anyone, and therefore I was having a difficult time trusting myself around her. I tried returning to my life, resuming my normal routine, only to be haunted by her face; a constant reminder of what I could never have.
After the quiet little pub the other night, I went downtown, finding a spot that was the exact opposite of the one I had just left. I played the part of carefree bachelor, buying rounds of drinks, doing body shots with a few overly eager women. I had every intention of following one of them home. By the end of the night, after most people had made it home, I had a young brunette pushed against the dirty brick wall of the bar, waiting for a cab to take us to her apartment. I didn’t know her name, and I didn’t care. I wouldn’t be around by morning anyway. My hand slid down her bare thigh and pulled it around my hip. She looked at me, seductively licking her lips, her not so subtle way of giving me permission to do whatever I want, wherever I want. It was then that I looked into her eyes and saw...nothing. The brown eyes staring back at me were full of lust, but nothing else. They were the same blank eyes that I had been looking into ever since Melanie. Since her, I’d survived by seeking out women who gave nothing in return. Because it was all I could give back.
Knowing the eyes staring back at me weren’t the ones I wanted, I pushed away from the brunette as the cab pulled up to the curb. Cursing under my breath, I didn’t even give her an explanation, just threw her some cash and walked away.
"Well, we should let you get back to whatever you were doing. I’m sure you are busy," Clare said.
“No, actually. I was mostly done. I just needed a small part for my sink,” I answered, holding up my purchase while nervously wrapping my other hand around the nape of my neck.
All right asshat, stop being creepy. Time to leave.
"I could help you,” I blurted out. “I've been known to be handy on occasion. I could help you shop, and then install it for you.” The words continued to free-fall out of my mouth, without any sign of stopping.
Praise for J.L. Berg and the Ready Series
Fall in love with the Ready Series…from the very beginning.
“This is the most beautifully written, heartfelt romance I have ever read.”
“Do yourself a favor. Get this book.”
“J.L. Berg has done it again… 5+ stars for Mia and Garrett.”
From USA Today bestselling author J.L. Berg comes a series of heartbreak, second chances, and sweeping love stories that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Family, future…forever. It all begins here.
Are you Ready?
J.L. Berg is the USA Today bestselling author of the Ready Series. She is a California native living in the beautiful state of historic Virginia. Married to her high school sweetheart, they have two beautiful girls that drive them batty on a daily basis. When she's not writing, you will find her with her nose stuck in a romance novel, in a yoga studio or devouring anything chocolate. J.L. Berg is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, LLC.