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The Scars I Bare

(By the Bay #2)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  523 ratings  ·  173 reviews
From USA Today bestselling author J.L. Berg comes a new By the Bay stand-alone novel...

I am a man adrift...

Born the son of a fisherman, I had a predestined purpose. The ocean was my life until one fateful day... it wasn’t. After an accident at sea ripped away my love of the water, I was left with nothing.

Until she arrived in our sleepy town.

Cora Carpenter was my nurse tho
Published March 12th 2018 by JL Berg, LLC
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~**Anna**~ A Romance Reader
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Really liked it!

Dean and Cora first met while he was in the hospital after an accident that would change his life. She was his nurse and during this time he fell in love with her, but his timing was off since she’s married. They meet again 3 years later and this time Cora is divorced.

Dean and Cora are two amazing people that deserve to be happy, and I enjoyed reading their journey to their happily ever after. They both need to face some demons and overcome traumas from their pasts but they do
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Scars I Bare tells us Dean and Cora’s love story. I’ve met both of them in The Choices I've Made. I wanted Dean’s book since reading that book. Something horrible happened to him and it turned his life upside down. He hasn’t found love since and he left the family company to his brother. Dean is still trying to adjust and accept this new life.

Cora needs a change in her life and she accepts a job on Ocracoke Island. She moves there with her little daughter. Cora soon runs into Dean, a man she
Oh my gawd!!! I absolutely loved this book!!! It quite literally caused my heart to hurt and my gut to churn before flinging me up and away in the most amazing freefall of emotions.

Dean lost his arm three years ago in a ferryboat explosion.


During the long and painful days of recovery, he found Cora to be a bright spot of color and hope. Now he’s struggling daily to find some reason as to the purpose of his life. He is rambling throughout his days without any clear destination. The locals consid
Chris  C - A Midlife Wife
Touching and sweet romance.
The Scars I Bare is heartbreaking in many ways and touching in many other ways.

To say that I could identify with the main character, Dean, is an understatement. My husband went through the exact same thing (different body part). However, the author nailed so many of the emotional aspects of this injury. The anxiety, the mood swings. The emotional feelings of losing their worth and their belief in their manhood was depicted so well.

I could iden
ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review


Whether it be physical, emotional or invisible to the naked eye, scars are a part of life that tells a story. A story waiting to be told in the right time. And in JL Berg’s latest release, The Scars I Bare, she tells a heartbreakingly beautiful story that is layered with depth and understanding. A story that is emotionally raw and poignant and yet utterly beautiful as it sheds light on second chances and the power of love as it heals both
Jo - •.★Reading Is My Bliss★.•
Dean Sutherland was first introduced in the first book of this series. He was the victim of a horrendous, tragic accident that changed his whole life. He is not the same person anymore, physically and mentally. His life has been difficult the last few years but he is slowly adjusting to is new life, making steps to the way things will be from now on.

Cora is on the run, well not in the illegal sense, she is escaping her past and trying to put distance between herself and her ex-husband. She has r
Bookgasms Book Blog
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: missy
I’ve been (im)patiently waiting for Dean’s full story since meeting him in The Choices I’ve Made and I knew, I just knew I would absolutely adore this beautiful, broken man.

Dean is trying to live life—one that’s significantly altered after that horrible ferry accident. He knew who he was and what he wanted, but that all changed three years ago and now . . . now, he’s still working his through his injury and trying to figure out his place in the world. He’s feeling a bit adrift. A bit lost. Hopin
Mar 05, 2018 rated it liked it
“Someday, you’re going to realize your life didn’t end … Someday, you’re going to look past those wounds and scars that ripped open your body and realize you have more to give, more to live, and more to love.”

3.5 stars!

I really enjoyed this book. With a gorgeous yet tormented hero, and a heroine who is a strong yet damaged single mother, this is a sweet, heartfelt love story between two broken people, and a gorgeous story of healing from the past and finding happiness

You could easily read this b
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5+ stars
I could not wait for Dean's full story after meeting him in The Choice's I've Made. He broke my heart and continued to do so in this one. One incident took everything from him--some of his abilities, his livelihood, self worth, and nearly his life. Years later he is still lost, lonely, and looking for something...but not really living.

Cora was a nurse to him in the hospital three years ago and made a big impression on each other. But she had her own seemingly perfect life and turned do
Vanessa (nessreads)
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
*ARC kindly provided in exchange of an honest review*

4.5 "Dean Sutherland claimed my heart" Stars!!!

Ever since I read The Choices I've Made I needed more Dean. I needed and wanted more of his story. And I was over the moon ecstatic that I was getting my wish. The Scars I Bare was every bit emotional. It's a story about two broken souls who need guidance. It's a story of growth and finding that light within that has be extinguished, but is still there wanting to burn.

Dean Sutherland has seen bet
Wow! This was my first book by Ms. Berg and what a book to start!!!!

From the very first page of the Prologue, I was enthralled! Dean (yes, he has been added to my growing list of BBF’s) is such a strong man. He has endured so much pain, I was silently cheering for him in my head.

Cora.....she is a very determined and strong woman to rise about the scars she bares to make a better life for her and her daughter.

The title, The Scars I Bare, is a perfect description of the story of Dean and Cora. I
Michell Hall casper
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am loving this series. I love small town reads. And J.L Berg does a great job at giving you that small town feel. I was so excited when Berg said we were going to get Dean's story. My heart broke for him in the first book. And I wanted him to get his HEA. LOL! He may have to fight for it. And it may come in a package. But it will all be worth it in the end. Berg gives us all the feels in this book. ...more
* A review copy was provided by the author for the Blog Tour *

~ 5 We All Have Scars Stars ~

I knew going into Dean’s story that it was going to be an emotional one. My heart broke for what he endured in the first book (The Choices I’ve Made) when we met him. And I wasn’t wrong. JL Berg brought out all the emotions in this story.

As always with a JL Berg series, I am loving this one!!! I love the characters she has given us and the storylines are unique and emotional. Her writing style always su
J Kiwibooknerd
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 bookies photo: 4 bookies BLI4Bookies.png

Advanced Readers Copy Courtesy of Author....:)

With so many books out on the market place today, we are hardly spoilt for choice. Yet in my opinion the good ones are still far and few between. However this author is definitely one who falls into the wonderful category, as all her books are beautifully written and leave you wanting more even when they are finished.

The Scars I Bare is the second book in the series, and we were introduced to Dean in the previous book. He was on the ferry that fa
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-books-2018
Oh my GOODNESS!!! I absolutely LOVED this book!!! The Scars I Bare by JL Berg was EVERYTHING!!! I loved every single second of it!!!

When Dean lost his arm three years ago in a ferryboat explosion. He went into a deep depression. But... He found some brightness in the form of his nurse, Cora, only problem she is married. Watching Dean struggle was definitely heartbreaking. Watching a man who feels he has no purpose was hard to watch, but watching him open up, watching him love Cora and Lizzie w
Julia Red Hatter Book Blog
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Scars I Bare is a mesmerizing story about two people who believe they are completely broken and how love healed them. Where do I begin with Cora and Dean? They were both so amazing. After a ferry accident that cost Dean his arm, he's not really living anymore. He goes through the daily basics but doesn't truly live life. Cora is escaping an abusive marriage and finds herself in Dean's path. Cora has a gorgeous genius for a daughter, Lizzie, and she is just trying to get her life back on trac ...more
Sarah Dale
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Oh My God! It's been quite a while since I had a book hangover this big after reading a book I absolutely LOVED.

This was such a beautifully powerful written story. I was hooked from beginning to end with the amazing words and gripping and intriguing characters. I loved every single twist and turn. It was filled with angst, heartbreak, redemption and love. It was a phenomenal slow burn that made you feel everything up until that HEA.

Oh how I loved Dean, my heart broke for him with everything he
Nikki Costello ***Crazy Cajun Book Addicts Blog***
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Crazy Cajun Book Addicts for an honest review.

J.L Berg is a brand new author to me and I can now say she has a new life long fan!!
The Scars I Bare is definitely one of my favourite reads this year, its a heartbreakingly beautiful story of two people going through the tribulations of life but being able to love and heal one another.

Dean was in a ferry explosion years ago causing him to lose his arm, he also lost his fiancee to his best friend.
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
* 4 Scars and Healing Stars *

I love angsty romance, the kind of "angsty" that twists your heart and makes you weep and curse the world for being cruel yet also rejoice in the beauty of it all. Those kinds of books are the kind that I binged on and live for, and I normally categorize a romance book on how "angsty" they are based on how much I cried for them.

But, before I mislead you with this piece of information, NOPE. The Scars I Bare wasn't angsty by my definition, in fact I barely cried th
4 Stars

The Scars I Bare is the second book in the series "By the bay" and brings the story of Dean Finally, character were introduced briefly in the first book of this series for those who have read.I was looking forward to his story, I think he deserved your happy ending, and finally here J.L. Berg of him that.

Dean is a character I want to hug from the previous book, and here my love, affection and twisted for him only increased. Dean suffered a serious accident in the past, what did he lose o
Paula D
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-favs
Well writing this review I’m a crying mess. What a amazing book that makes your heart flutter and soar. Dean has scars from a accident that is holding him back in life. Cora is searching for herself again after a horrible marriage. Faint brings Dean and Cora together once again. I loved all the different characters in this book the author made you feel like you were there family too. Lizzie is such a amazing sweet, energy filled kid that made me laugh so many times with her silliness. Cora’s cha ...more
Paula  Phillips
Mar 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Three years ago Dean Sutherland had everything going for him. He had a fiancee Molly, he was a business owner, and life was going great. That was until an accident occurred - a ferry explosion. People died, and others like Dean were scarred. Dean had to get his arm amputated, and a prosthetic fitted. He lost all hope and pushed people away. His fiancee ended up with the person she truly loved - Jake, and I loved how the three of them remained great friends, and his business was handed over to hi ...more
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, 2018reads
I've been waiting for Dean and Cora's story that started in the previous book. Now we get to see more of it, Cora's past and how she came to Ocracoke, Dean after the accident. I tried to recall what happened in the last book more but it seems this takes places years after they first met with flashbacks in between. The more you get to know Dean's inner thoughts, the more you felt awful for him reading his journal, feeling adrift and lost seeing the struggle within him with his prosthetic and ever ...more
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

So many feels! JL Berg stole my heart with this book! This beautiful story is raw, honest, emotional and uplifting. The characters are the highlight of this book, they have been going through a lot. Their story felt raw and deeply moving. Both Cora and Dean are individuals with pasts that have scarred them. They are very good at hiding the struggles they face, they are vulnerable and yet so strong.

Cora is running from her past, she wants to start a new life as the only nurse on a pictur
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you haven’t read J.L. Berg before, I am here to offer you a bit of reassurance. Although ‘The Scars I Bare’ is the second book in the By the Bay series, it is easily read as a stand alone novel. Please don’t let that #2 scare you away from giving this second chance romance your immediate attention.

This is the story of Dean Sutherland and Cora Carpenter, two people who are struggling to adapt to all that life has thrown at them. Dean meets Cora after a harrowing ferryboat disaster. He is hospi
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a great, soul mate reunited again/second chance romance, with minimal angst.
Dean has had a terrible accident that left him terribly scared, wounded and missing limbs. Throughout his struggles, he comes to rely on his nurse, Cora, for everything. She becomes the light that chases his darkest despair and his nightmares. Eventually, as he is recovered enough, he leaves the hospital but r never quite forgets her...
Cora is a nurse,who decided to relocate to a remote-ish island town with her
Cierra McCauley (Cierra's Corner)
This story was not what I was expecting! It packs a powerful punch! This books was very emotional from start to finish. My heart ached for Dean and Cora. They both have been through so much physically and emotionally. Dean is man who is emotionally damaged and he has the scars to remind him of his tragedy everyday. His sliver lining that helped heal him after his accident was nurse Cora. Cora had lots of painful secrets that she keeps hidden with lies. These two's souls called to each other. Can ...more
Steph's Romance Book Talk
This book is very special in that it speaks of love, loss, grief, healing, and finding yourself after trauma. Cora and Dean are two very special characters that both have remarkable journeys and issues to overcome. As with the other J. L. Berg books I have read; these characters have unique and different paths to find that thing they are looking for. It was such a special ride and I look forward to learning about some of the secondary characters in this series of standalones.

This specific video
Sasha Says
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
What a sweet and touching romance! Although it can be read as a standalone, it features characters from The Choices I've Made, and I truly think you'll be missing out if you don't read that first. We were introduced to Dean in the first book, and I was so curious to see how his story would play out and was so glad to have the chance to read this book. Dean and Cora were both well-developed characters, and I enjoyed reading Dean's journal and Cora's blog posts throughout the book. Cora's daughter ...more
Julie Healey
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
****Received an advanced copy from the author for an honest review****

A beautiful story of two people who find each other at wrong time in their lives but a second chance at finding that one person who touches your soul and steals your heart is not something you can walk away from or ignore no matter how frightening it may be.

Two lives recovering from tragic events that turned their lives upside down and left deep ugly scars in its path. Can they accept a second chance at happiness or will they
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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 Choices I've Made (By The Bay, #1)
  • The Lies I've Told (By The Bay, #3)
  • The Mistakes I've Made (By the Bay, #4)

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“Someday, you’re going to realize your life didn’t end out there on that boat, Dean … Someday, you’re going to look past those wounds and scars that ripped open your body and realize you have more to give, more to live, and more to love.” 2 likes
“Lizzie organised her backpack for the tenth time. There were literally three things in there, but she was convinced it was necessary to know exactly where they were at all times.
How I’d managed to give birth to the female version of Sheldon Cooper was beyond me.”
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