Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Choices I've Made (By The Bay, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Choices I've Made (By The Bay, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Choices I've Made

(By the Bay #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,748 ratings  ·  271 reviews
Death has a way of changing you...

After my mom passed, I couldn't seem to stand still. I couldn't be me anymore. So, with nothing more than a few boxes and a beat up truck, I left behind my old life at the tender age of eighteen.

And I never looked back.

Twelve years later, I find myself traveling back to the sandy shores of that North Carolina town where my late father has
Kindle Edition, 318 pages
Published October 1st 2017 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Choices I've Made, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Choices I've Made

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,748 ratings  ·  271 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Choices I've Made (By The Bay, #1)
Sentranced Jem
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
for reviews

new 3.5 small

The Choices I’ve Made is an sweet emotional second chance romance.
Jake and Molly were destined to be together. Everyone who knew them knew that they were meant to be together. But destiny has a fickle mind. After graduating from high school, Jake leaves to fulfill his 'destiny' of being a doctor, leaving behind a piece of his soul , knowing and hoping that one day he'll meet his other half again. Years past. Both Jake and Molly have 'moved' on with their lives but they never forgot about each o
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jake and Molly met each other when they were children. They became best friends and were inseparable. They fell in love. Their love was strong and it should have been forever, until Jake decided to leave the island to go to college and Molly stayed behind.

A few years later, Jake returns to the island when his dad dies and he needs to take over his practice until someone else becomes the owner. Jake doesn’t want to go back, but he hopes to run into Molly while he’s there. Something terrible happe
Mali Mor ❤️ The Romantic Blogger
DNF 60%

I didn't like the characters 😬
Jo - •.★Reading Is My Bliss★.•
3.5 stars

Second chance love stories are my book junkie drug of choice, I just love seeing people get their long awaited happy ever after, however long it takes to get there.

Jake and Molly were high school sweethearts, and along with their best friend Dean, the three of them were thick as thieves growing up but love eventually blossomed between Jake and Molly. However, they both had dreams of what their future would look like and eventually they went their separate ways.

Many years have passed and
This story absolutely shredded me. It is not a “fairytale” romance. It is real and deep, angsty and gut-wrenching. And incredibly beautiful in its pain.


It was always Molly and Jake from the beginning even as children. They had their whole lives planned and it was perfect. However, when life turns dark, Jake makes a choice that leaves them both shattered.


Fast forward twelve years and he’s returning to the island. A place he never wanted to be again despite the woman he still carries in his heart
1-Click Addict Support Group
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jake buried his past and vowed never to return until he got the call and knew he had to return to his past.

Jake & Molly had it all, young sweet love. Molly thought she had found her forever but Jake's leaving proved her wrong. Seeing Molly go through the motions and moving on broke my heart because no matter how hard she tried Jake was always in the background.

I lost track of how many times I kept saying "Shame on you Jake" & yeah that's what you get because you were an ass"!! But he does event
Nova B
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
J.L. Berg
May 22, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
When doctor Jake Jamison returns home for his father's funeral, he finds he may have more than one reason to stay.

A second chance romance set on the beautiful island of Ocracoke, NC!!
ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review


The Choices I’ve Made by J.L. Berg is a an emotional gripping second chance story that reiterates and conveys the message of choice. Choices. We all have made one. Right ones. Wrongs ones. Regretful ones. Indifferent ones. But regardless of whatever decision, we made a choice.


And in this story, Berg explores the choices made by Jake Jameson and Molly McIntyre. She chose to stay. He chose to leave. But what happens, when Jake returns bac
Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: didi-reviews

WHOA!!! I just got off one heckuva emotional roller-coaster and I really enjoyed it! The Choices I’ve Made by J.L. Berg is a story that takes you on highs, lows and everything in-between, including second chances, third chances, love, heartbreak, chemistry and humor. It is a book that will have you thinking about your own life and how the choices you’ve made have affected it.

Jake, Molly and Dean were friends since elementary school, it was always the three of them. In high school Jake and Molly
✰ Bianca ✰ BJ's Book Blog ✰


That was adorable. And moving. And sad. And exciting. And romantic. And sweet.
I read it because I loved the cover - and hm ... the cover-scene doesn't happen, so I don't know why they chose that cover. I still like it, but it's not really fitting.
The story had a lot of the things I need in my romances - sparks, fun, sweetness, drama, sad pasts, second chances, an amazing location.
But there were also some things I didn't love. I can't really say what it was that I didn't love, but there were some
Anne OK
Oct 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reads
A second chance -- maybe even more -- Jake was a difficult character to tie down. Molly was delightful and I felt a little sorry for her. Then again, she could have used a stronger backbone.

This was a bit of a disappointment. I'm a big fan of J.L. Berg, but this one didn't live up to expectations. Some parts I really loved -- especially the setting and the Inn. Some really fun to meet secondary characters, too.

I liked -- but didn't love -- this latest release.
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a spectacular second chance love story. It wasn’t all puppies and rainbows either, there was a lot of depth to the story and a lot of heartbreak.

When Jake left the island he grew up on he didn’t just leave his old life behind, he took a part of Molly with him that she could never get back. Now several years later he’s returned to the place he vowed he’d never return to settle his dads estate and when he sees Molly again it’s like no time has passed at all. But when the one person you l
Cocktails and Books
This review was originally posted on Cocktails and Books

If you've read this author's books before, you know she can bring the angst-filled storylines and emotional characters.  And if you're a lover of second-chance romances, this is one to consider.

Jake Jameson finds himself heading back to the small North Carolina island he grew up on.  It means dealing with the family ghosts he ran away from and the love he left behind.  But what Jake discovers once he's back on the island is that despite bei
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
A fantastic read by new-to-me author J.L. Berg as she delivered an emotional, heartfelt and nostalgic read about small-town romance and second chances.

I've had my fair share of second chances romance but there's something so heartwarming and liberating about Jake and Molly's story that made them stood out from the rest. It amazes me how the author is able to create such memorable and relatable characters that I feel for them every step of the way - from the nostalgia of their childhood romance t
3.5 stars

This was a really sweet read. A heartfelt and surprising second-chance-romance, and a story of soulmates finding their way back to each other.

Jake Jameson is a doctor who is returning to his small home town – the island of Ocracoke in North Carolina – following the death of his father. They didn’t have the best of relationships, but his father left him the medical practice that he ran on the island, and though he has no intention of staying put in the town that he escaped as a teenager,
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It’s amazing that one split-second choice can/will, at times, have a similar outcome to a conscience decision made with the utmost care. Choices are a part of people’s everyday lives, but they don’t seem to understand, until it’s too late, the repercussions of each and every position they take or line they refuse to cross, and when it comes to matters of the heart, those choices concern more than one person, which means that every judgment made sets multiple lives on a path of love and happiness ...more
When Jake left for college, he left everything behind him, including his best friend & high school sweetheart, Molly, who was absolutely heartbroken when he left. Jake vowed never return to the island where he grew up, but when his father asses away and leaves his medical practice to Jake, he’s forced to return.

Molly never fell out of love with Jake, even though she’s now engaged to their mutual childhood best friend, Dean. Now that Jake is back, Molly’s world is rocked beyond belief. And when
Dilushani Jayalath
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-5-stars
4.5 stars
Jake Jameson left Ocracoke Island, NC behind at eighteen including his girlfriend, memories, family, and friends. He went to school, became a cardiothoracic surgeon, and is doing well in the city. But twelve years later, he is forced to return and deal with his father's estate. He is not looking forward to facing the ghosts from his pasts and the pain of other losses he never dealt with. And he is ready to run at the first opportunity.

Molly McIntyre was devastated when Jake left her, b
Mizz Latte
Oct 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Beware of Spoilers!

Star Ratings:
Heroine (Molly): late 20s?
Hero (Jake): late 20s?
Plot: 3/5
Grovel: kind of
Cheating: none
HEA: yes but no babies
Triggers: none

Average score: 3/5

Best Line: “Because sisters were for life.”

Worst Line: “Were there problems in paradise for Molly and my former best friend?”

Personal Review:
A second chance love story between an innkeeper and a doctor with a strange time jump about 70% into the story

Random Ramblings:
•Please please please don’t turn this into a love triangle
Steph's Romance Book Talk
I have so many mixed feelings about this book....

UGGGGHHHHH, I wanted to love it so hard but it just didn't do it for me. There were a lot of things that were missing and other things that were brought up a little too much to keep me swaying. I did like the hope of the book, second chance love and all but Jake and Molly kept making me want to scream as the story went along. I can't say too much because you'll know I don't do spoilers. So I will leave it at this...take a chance, just because I di
Kim Stone
Jan 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
DNF 30%. No connection to MCs too much forced angst.
J.E. Benoit
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed on behalf of The Book Boyfriend Addict ( A complimentary copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

4.5 Stars

In all my life, this girl—this woman—was always my one weakness, even after a decade apart.

Jake Jameson ran from his small hometown in North Carolina the first chance he got and he’s never looked back, even though he left his heart behind when he left. Twelve years later he’s forced to return to the small island and face everything he turn
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Choices I’ve Made by J.L. Berg is a second chance romance that was emotional and angsty. This was my first read by this author and I was captivated by this story from start to finish.

Jake Jameson and Molly McIntyre were friends that turned to more. They were happy and in love. But as it happens in life, their choices took them in separate directions. One left and one stayed. Years later Jake is a successful doctor and loves his life and career. It was what he always wanted. Molly on the oth
Sarah Dale
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the first book I have read from this author despite me having some of her books on my kindle already. I am kicking myself for waiting this long! if this is her level and style of writing I can see myself becoming a big fan and quick.

JL Berg has written a beautifully raw and gritty storyline, filled with love and loss, hope and redemption mixed in with the pain and heartbreak. This is not the predictable second chance romance as there are some great surprises. I made my husband jump a few
Valeen Robertson (Live Thru Books Blog)
When Jake comes back home to Ocracoke Island for the reading of his father's will, he knows he'll end up seeing his first (and only) love again, Molly. But first, he runs into his old friend, Dean, and the two are soon enjoying some reminiscing. When a tragedy happens and Jake's medical skills are called upon, Molly's back in his orbit, under less than ideal circumstances.

The two realize, even though so many years have passed, that the love they once shared is still there. Can they possibly find
Jan 31, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
🎁 FREE on iBooks today (1/31/2019)! 🎁

Twelve years ago, he drove away with my heart in his hands.
I’ve moved on since then.
Or so I thought.

Growing up in a small town, there weren’t too many options when it came to friends. But, even in a sea of a million, I’d always choose Jake Jameson.

I felt safe with him. Safe with my secrets, my dreams and eventually — my heart. I thought we’d have forever together.

That was a long time ago.

I thought I’d forgotten those piercing blue eyes and the sound o

Eehhhh.... Can’t decide if I like this story or not. The plot was a good one. Both characters had believable reasons for their actions. But.... they both really annoyed me. Must be a personal problem (of mine). :).
Vanessa (nessreads)
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
*ARC kindly provided in exchange for an honest review*

4.5 "Home is where..." Stars

When Jake Jameson leaves his small hometown he vows to never return again. Instead of trying to deal with his pain, he walks away. He walks away from the place that holds many painful memories.

Twelve years later, Jake, now a doctor returns to the one place he never wanted to set foot in again. With his father leaving him his medical practice, Jake has no choice but to go back. He needs to find someone to take over
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Living with Her One-Night Stand (The Loft, #1)
  • Just One Night
  • Our Options Have Changed (On Hold, #1)
  • Burn For Me (Into The Fire, #1)
  • Denied (Southern Alphas, #4)
  • When We Left (Timber Creek, #1)
  • Turn My World Around (Wishful, #6)
  • Mr. Accidental Hero (Jet City Matchmaker, #1)
  • A Tempting Friendship (Clover Park #10)
  • Behind Closed Doors (Daniels Brothers, #1)
  • Colton  (Wild Men, #2)
  • Roses & Rodeo (Rough and Ready, #5)
  • Dream a Little Dream of Me (The Thorntons, #4)
  • Love on a Summer Night (Pine Harbour #4)
  • Heartbreaker (Billionaires of White Oaks, #1)
  • Seducing the Billionaire's Wife
  • Her Sweetheart Brand (Secrets of Cherry Lake #3)
  • Montana Hero (Big Sky Mavericks #6)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
J.L. Berg is the USA Today bestselling author of the Ready series, the Walls duet and the Lost & Found 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 cuddled up, watching a movie with her family, obsessing ove ...more

Other books in the series

By the Bay (4 books)
  • The Scars I Bare (By the Bay, #2)
  • The Lies I've Told (By The Bay, #3)
  • The Mistakes I've Made (By the Bay, #4)

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
31 likes · 7 comments
“I tried, Molly. God, how I tried.”
“Tried what?” I asked, pinching the bridge of my nose.
“I tried to forget you. But I never could. I tried to forget this place and all it represented, but the memories never faded. You never faded.”
“In all my life, this girl—this woman—was always my one weakness, even after a decade apart.” 1 likes
More quotes…