Title: Ready For You
Series: Ready #3
Author: JL Berg
Publication Date: May 26, 2014
A second chance at first love.
Eight years ago, Garrett Finnegan’s world shattered the day Mia vanished from his life. He’s been struggling to pick up the pieces ever since. Haunted by memories and ghosts of the past, he chooses a solitary existence rather than risk his heart again.
Mia Emerson has made one wrong decision after another but none worse than walking away from the boy who stole her heart so long ago. When her new life is turned upside down, she finds herself returning to her roots and the hometown she left behind. Maybe now she can find a way to heal from the devastating mistakes of her past.
When a chance encounter brings these former lovers together, passion reignites in a way neither is prepared for. Can Garrett move beyond his anger and find a way to forgive? Will Mia’s insecurities and fears cause her to once again flee the life she’s destined to live?
Garrett and Mia will soon discover that they must journey into the past to find their way home.
❤ BOOK REVIEW
I have always loved J.L. Berg’s books. I loved Logan and Clare in book 1 of The Ready Series and Declan and Leah in book 2. I was expecting that light hearted romance with a little of touching moments on the side to continue in book 3. Not that I’m disappointed. I just thought that it’s a tad different. The theme is heavier, the story is a bit angst-ier and sadder. I lost count of how many times I shed a tear.
Garrett Finnegan is Clare’s younger brother. Leah, hi sister’s best friend, loves to call him Goober. The book started with a prologue narrating the past. Everything begun in High School where he met Mia Emerson, a new student in his school freshman year. From then on, his eyes never strayed to another girl. Graduation came, they had dreams to continue their romance to college but that night, Mia had run off to nowhere. Eight years had passed; Garrett’s life is still in a standstill. He can’t move on from his hurt and anger and the feeling of betrayal. He still dreams of Mia. And then suddenly, she came back. Having run off from another difficult situation, Mia found herself driving back to Richmond, carrying the guilt of the past and a secret she’s finding hard to divulge to Garrett.
The first part of the book is full of resentments. Garrett finds it hard to forgive what happened in the past but he can’t let go. Mia is like a magnet to him, he just can’t resist her pull. He always find himself at her door, even though, he swore that it will be the last, he just keeps on coming back. First love is so hard to forget and true love truly never dies. But when he’s able to look past with everything that happened, he’s a really sweet boy so in love with his girl. He’s always there for her, even though she was the reason why he got hurt. His possessiveness is swoony. And it does not hurt that he’s the dreamy kind of guy, with an eight pack that he can boast of and a face salesmen so dearly possess.
Love these lines from Garrett, they show the depth of his love for Mia:
Mia hadn’t needed to paint her name on my heart. She already owned it. She always had.
A life with you would never be a waste, no matter where we ended up. You were my dream, nothing else.
“You let me love you, every day, forever,” he whispered.
“I love you, Mia. I loved you when we were barely old enough to know what true love was. I loved you when you left me, and I’ve loved you every day since. No matter what happens in our lives, that will be the one constant. I will always love you.”
“This is what I want, Mia, forever. I don’t care about what you can or cannot give me. You’ll never be broken in my eyes. I just want you—forever. Only you.”
Mia on the other hand, is full of remorse and guilt is really eating her. She can’t forgive herself for what had happened and constantly blame herself for the hurt she had caused Garrett. She was just a teenager carrying a very big responsibility and that one time she went to her family for guidance was the time she does not want to look back for everything changed for her that day. Even her dreams were altered. I was contented that she was brave enough to go back and face Garrett and try to make everything right. I guess the catalyst of the situation is that something needs to happen to push her to admit the truth that she still loves her first boyfriend after all this time.
The story wrapped itself by tying some loose ends. There were no more secrets and relationships had progressed. Everybody is happy and most importantly, Garrett and Mia had their happy ending. They were able to make peace with their history, forgive each other and moved on. Healing is a process and the willingness to move past is a mark of the growing up process.
Even though this book hightails Garrett and Mia’s love story, the characters from the previous books, mainly Logan and Clare and Declan and Leah, are also present in this book. I’m pleased to read that their family is evolving fine. Even though their stories are finished, we can still glimpse some part of their family lives and how they’re progressing. They now have kids and their interactions with one another are engaging. I really love Leah. She’s never afraid to speak what’s on her mind and always inserting on the people she cares. She has a very big part in this book, not only because she’s close to Garrett, but she also became a friend to Mia. Logan Matthews still makes me sigh. That man is just so endearing I can’t help but drool. The kids make me smile especially Maddie. That child just can’t help but steal everyone’s heart.
Moreover, one more factor that I love in this book is the flashbacks. We can take a peek of Garrett and Mia’s love story when they’re still young. Here is one flashback that I love:
“Why do you always kiss me on my forehead?” I asked, feeling a little silly every time he did so.
“I like to remind myself how perfect we are together,” he answered with a shy smile.
“And kissing me on my forehead reminds you of this?”
“When we stand face-to-face and I pull you into my arms, you fit perfectly, like you are meant to be there, and I’ve found my missing puzzle piece. I remember the first time I held you and I bent down to kiss your forehead, I thought, Perfect.”
All in all, this book is a great read. If you’re a fan of second chance romances then this book is for you. Nothing beats a true love having a second chance. Ms. Berg’s romances will leave you wanting for more and looking forward for her next book. I’m already excited for the next installment in this series which is Liv’s story, Mia’s best friend in High School.
❤ About the Author:
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.