Series: By the Bay
Author: J.L. Berg
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 10, 2018
Amazon Release Date: September 12, 2018
I was waiting for my life to start…
After forgoing college to help run the family business, I’d given up on the idea of a different life, and finally made peace with something a bit simpler.
That is, until Leilani Hart showed up.
There is nothing simple about about the hotel heiress and the minute our eyes meet, I know my carefree existence is a thing of the past. She has big ideas for our sleepy town and the motel she plans on transforming into a spa destination for the rich and famous.
She’ll have to go through me first.
From our first meeting, we’re like fire and ice and I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to pin her down and melt some of those frigid layers right off.
But, my town comes first. Or, at least, that’s what I keep telling myself. Unfortunately, my heart and head don’t seem to agree and soon, I don’t know where my loyalties lie. I’ve never believed in love, but for her, I just might be willing to risk it all.
Even if it means falling… for the enemy.
The thing that I’ve learned about J.L. Berg’s storytelling since I was introduced to her stories is that each and every one has heart, has powerful emotions, and has lessons to be learned through the characters’ experiences and conflicts. There hasn’t been one that hasn’t resonated in some way with me due to the relatability of the story line or the realistic presentation of her characters’ concerns and/or problems, and in Berg’s newest release, The Mistakes I’ve Made, I’m, once again, struck by how her characters’ struggles speak to me and make me hope against hope that the hero and heroine will find a way through the maelstrom and come out of it changed in ways that allow them to move forward instead of focusing on the past.
Despite the fact that Leilani (Lani) Hart, a hotel heiress, and Taylor Sutherland,
a business man in the small island town of Ocracoke, North Carolina, seemed to have lived very different lives and don’t appear to share a common vision about what’s to be done with the renovation of Ocracoke’s only hotel, they do manage to find common ground as the story progresses, proving that attraction and chemistry can easily overshadow first impressions and preconceived notions.
It’s easy to understand what motivates Lani’s actions and what she hopes to gain by overseeing the hotel’s revamping, but what’s also clear is that her father has never truly seen her as anything other than someone beneath him, and I don’t see that changing despite her best efforts. Readers can’t help but feel for this lonely girl who just wants her father’s love and acceptance, and even though that doesn’t seem to be something that will happen, the fact that Lani finds a new path to take during her time in Ocracoke, we’re hopeful that the connection she seeks can be found in people who see her for the amazing woman that she’s always been.
Taylor may resent the fact that he was never able to leave his small hometown and adventure out on his own, but he’s made the best of it by being a successful businessman and quite the ladies’ man as well, and even though he sees Lani and her father’s company as an enemy of Ocracoke, when he’s chosen to keep an eye on the pretty interloper and be the go between to ensure that Hart International’s intentions meet the wants and needs of the townspeople, these two ‘enemies’ become friends and soon give into the sexual tension that has surrounded them since Lani set foot on the small town island.
The title itself also lends to symbolic meanings, but even after finishing the text, I’m still not quite sure whose mistakes are in question and who deserves the forgiveness that could be obtained…but perhaps that Berg’s intention, which means that all readers are on point in their assessment of who’s to learn and who’s to forgive.
4.5 Poison Apples