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The Affair

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There are some paths in your life you’re never meant to take.
Yet, by some twist of fate, you find yourself on the forbidden road all the same.


Those are the words I stumble upon when I unearth a hidden journal that once belonged to my grandmother.

A hidden journal that details a heartbreaking affair with her husband’s brother. It’s a family secret I’m unprepared to deal with, especially when my own life begins to parallel hers.

Sawyer Gallagher was never on my radar. The moment I met his younger brother, I was taken. Done for. Love-drunk.

But, some things aren't meant to last and at the age of thirty-three, I find myself divorced, penniless and living with my parents. When Sawyer stops by our family’s antique store, asking for a job, I figure: Why the heck not? Life can’t get much worse.

It doesn’t take long to realize just how different the Gallagher brothers are. Sawyer is kind, supportive, and, oh, did I mention sexy as hell?

In a small town like ours, I can’t help but ask myself…
Can I fall for my former brother-in-law?
Or is this just history repeating itself?

ebook

First published February 13, 2020

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About the author

J.L. Berg

27 books2,236 followers
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 over minions or devouring anything chocolate! J.L. Berg is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, LLC.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 121 reviews
Profile Image for ❥ KAT ❥ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books.
2,113 reviews7,129 followers
February 5, 2020
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the-affair

'THE AFFAIR' Is a full length romance novel by J.L. Berg.

Thirty-three year old Elle’s life recently has been like riding a rollercoaster leaving her at odds in life, from her divorce, to her father's passing, her mother moving, her becoming the new owner of their families antique store 'Timeless Treasures', to being gifted her childhood home, and through it all she connects with a man who was always in the background, life has been moving at a rapid pace for someone who doesn't take kindly to change. She likes to be in control in all situations.

'🅂🅃🄾🄿 🄱🄴🄸🄽🄶 🅂🄲🄰🅁🄴🄳 🄾🄵 🅆🄷🄰🅃 🄼🄸🄶🄷🅃 🄱🄴 🄰🄽🄳 🄶🄾 🄾🅄🅃 🅃🄷🄴🅁🄴 🄰🄽🄳 🄻🄸🅅🄴. 🄲🄷🄰🄽🄶🄴 🄸🅂🄽'🅃 🄰🄻🅆🄰🅈🅂 🄱🄰🄳, 🄴🄻🄻🄴.'

When her ex husbands brother Sawyer approaches her with a business proposition is when things in her life really start sending her down an unexpected path. They had never been all that close growing up. But he surprises her in many ways.

'🅈🄾🅄 🄰🄽🄳 🄸 🄰🅁🄴 🄻🄸🄺🄴 🄿🅄🅉🅉🄻🄴 🄿🄸🄴🄲🄴🅂 🄴🄻🄻🄴, 🅃🅆🄾 🄷🄰🄻🅅🄴🅂 🄾🄵 🄰 🅆🄷🄾🄻🄴, 🄹🅄🅂🅃 🅆🄰🄸🅃🄸🄽🄶 🅃🄾 🄱🄴 🅁🄴🄲🄾🄽🄽🄴🄲🅃🄴🄳. 🅆🄷🄴🄽 🅆🄴 🄲🄾🄼🄴 🅃🄾🄶🄴🅃🄷🄴🅁, 🄸🅃 🅆🄸🄻🄻 🄱🄴 🄿🄴🅁🄵🄴🄲🅃'

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Going into this I thought the whole entire focus would be centred around ‘The Affair’ but we got more than we bargained for, loss, love, new beginnings, romance, family dynamics, it was raw, it was real, it was refreshing and so damn easy to get into.

This author pulled me in so effortlessly, once started I didn’t put it down. A slow burn romance that threw out all the feels.


Profile Image for  Sonya ♕Chatterbooks book blog♕.
953 reviews1,052 followers
February 10, 2020
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The Affair is a love story with a timeless undertone of being wrapped up in love, the forbidden, and having to succumb to making certain sacrifices. This was a well written complicated story that span generations and gave the present dilemma, insight to family secrets.

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After going through a rough divorce, Eloise now has to deal with the death of her father and taking over the family business. Trying to keep things on track as much as possible, Ella knows that she’s going to need some help. But things get complicated when her ex brother in law walks into her store looking for a job. With the history that that these two shared, will they be able to work side by side and ignore the one the thing that they’ve both wanted?


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I’m going to be really honest right now and say that when I first read the blurb to this book, I was expecting this all out steamy forbidden romance that was going to be problematic in the family dynamic and just straight up drama and that was not really the case. This story delved into pieces of a past affair with a little bit of drama and the undeniable chemistry that I was hoping to feel between the main characters, were luke warm. I needed more action with them and I really wished that more of the story was focused on their relationship.

Aside from that, I really did enjoy these characters and I liked how everything was wrapped up in the end. They had love, showed grace when it was needed, and they stood together as a family when they needed too.

If you’re looking for a hometown second chance romance with a little bit of drama, then this one is for you.


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Profile Image for Hanne.
654 reviews66 followers
February 16, 2020
J.L. Berg delivers with The Affair an emotional and beautiful love story. It made me smile and brought tear to my eyes. I couldn’t wait to start this story after reading the blurb. I was curious about the letters and how Elle and Sawyer’s relationship would develop. The Affair was everything I hoped it would be and more. Another awesome book by the author. The Affair isn’t about an affair of one of the main characters, but the title still fits the story.

Elle moved home after her divorce. She has been working at the family store and she’s the owner now. One day, her ex-brother-in-law Sawyer comes in and asks for a job. Elle hesitates because she wants nothing to do with her ex-husband’s family. But Sawyer can convince her to give him a chance. Elle and Sawyer work very well together and they get to know each other better.

Elle and Sawyer are loveable characters. Elle is caring, determined, smart and hardworking. She is still hesitant about falling in love again, and even more with Sawyer. She doesn’t want to get hurt again. I understood Elle’s hesitation about Sawyer, but I quickly discovered that Sawyer is a great and genuine man and Elle discovered that too. Sawyer is strong, hardworking, kind and caring. He’s a gentleman. He’s nothing like his brother. Sawyer is perfect for Elle, but he has secrets that could ruin their relationship.

-- My honest review is based on an advanced reader copy of this book. --
Profile Image for Miftahul.
367 reviews145 followers
August 24, 2020


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IG- Miftahul_mslovesreading
ARC WAS KINDLY PROVIDED IN EXCHANGE OF HONEST REVIEW



When I first read the blurb, it was so interesting and it looked suspenseful but the book is the total opposite. It started off great where we get to see Elle's dad died and her mom leaves her to live with her brother. She is recently divorced because her ex cheated on her, so her life goes on where she runs an antique shop and one day her ex brother-in-law asks her for a job. Elle finds her grandmother's letters where she writes about her Affair and then she starts to connect her life with her grandmother's.


This book was really short, I didnt feel the connection between Elle and Sawyer, the beginning of their relationship was fine cuz they became friends first but after 50% the book became really boring. The cover and Blurb makes it looks so fascinating, I thought there will be some suspense, drama, mystery because the whole vibe of the synopsis is like that but the book turned out to be a disappointment.

No marriage in this story is happy, the grandmother cheats, Elle's husband cheats, the hero's mom cheats. Like WUUTTT??? it was like those ehhhh type of books tbh. And the grandmother's letter as I thought will stir some drama or atleast make the book fun and different , but it was nothing like that. It was barely mentioned and when it did, the letter only revealed that she had an affair. It was just so dull.

Every time the plot I thought was thickening, I hoped to read something that will hook me to the book but there was literally nothing. I wanted to dnf it but kept on reading cuz idiot that I am still had hope that the story will take a turn.

I enjoyed till 50% but after that just dragged myself and Elle is really whiny, like get over Reed already. . Sawyer's was shown bubbly and charming, I couldnt connect with him because his character seemed fake, while on the other hand, his relationship with Elle appeared forced. ugh, just a waste of time. AND THE GRANDMOTHER'S LETTER WAS NOTHING BUT UNNECESSARY SHIT, it didnt do anything. ugh
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Profile Image for Carvanz.
2,023 reviews685 followers
February 3, 2020
This is one of the most beautiful, emotional books I’ve read in a long while. The Affair captivated me from the first page and kept me enthralled until the very end.


’But life changes. Priorities change. People change.’


Elle’s life has had a lot of changes in it lately. Changes she’s not in control of. And Elle doesn’t do change well. At all. But when her ex’s brother shows up with a proposition, she starts down a path she never expected to take.


’And I dreamed of love - the messy kind that sent you down long, forbidden pathways.’


File:Ancient pathway towards Chatsworth Park - geograph.org.uk - 553964.jpg


Oh man, my heart hurt so much for Elle. She’s been put through the wringer in so many ways and is struggling in every aspect of her life. Written, entirely in her point of view, I was totally submerged in her emotional chaos. And when she found happiness, I was rejoicing right along with her.

Usually, having just the heroine’s point of view can make it difficult to connect with the hero, but not so with Sawyer. Ms. Berg has written this in such a way that I could sense what was going on with him. He has a few secrets, but I never felt the loss of his “voice”. I loved how sweet and cute he was. His humor helped to bring Elle out of some the darkness she had been living in and I loved he did that so effortlessly.


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’”What are we doing here, Sawyer?” I breathed out, hoping he’d understand my meaning.

“Dancing around something we’re both too afraid to act on,” he spoke low, and his voice was filled with an intesity that sent sparks up my spine.

“I’m not a very good dancer,” I finally said, meeting his gaze.

I felt his hand tighten around my waist, and his head bent dangerously close to my own.

“Me either, but I’m willing to take a chance on the right partner.”’



While this is definitely romance at it’s finest, it’s so much more. This is the story of a woman who is lost and floundering, questioning her past, her actions in the here and now, and afraid to really face the future. The answers for her do not arrive in a well placed word spoken from a friend, but from various avenues which added to the believability of her struggles.


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I found even the title of this book to be amazing as layer upon layer is peeled back. The writing is so fresh and original, the plot so beautifully interwoven with the past through the present, that I hated to see it end. And just an FYI for anyone who is concerned about cheating, while there is cheating - it was all done in the past and none of it by the hero or heroine.

If you’re looking for an emotion laden read that brims with the sweetest, as well as sexy, of romances, I can’t recommend this book enough.


’And it all started with a leather journal.’

Heroine POV
Safe
Triggers
Profile Image for Elle G. Reads.
1,484 reviews692 followers
February 5, 2020
Release Date: February 13, 2020
Actual Rating: 3.75-4 stars

Forbidden Romance | Complete Standalone
I have to admit, when I first started reading this, I thought it would specifically revolve around an affair. Cheating and love triangles danced in my head and I was excited for all the angst and drama. However, that is NOT this book. This is a story about a woman’s journey who is dealing with the loss of her marriage and father. This is a story about a woman finding herself and reconnecting with a childhood friend who also happens to be her ex-husbands’ brother. This is also a story about finding love in forbidden places and learning that it’s okay to want and need someone who doesn’t appear to be right for you.

J.L. Berg did a wonderdul job at weaving this story. While it didn’t revolve AROUND an affair between the two main characters there was a story within the story about the heroine’s grandmother who DID find love with someone she shouldn’t have been with. Told through letters readers will be able to experience the emotions of her grandmother’s past and see how it affected the future of the present ones.

Overall, I thought this was a good book even though it wasn’t what I expected. I do love a story that surprises me and this one was certainly full of them (even a few small twists).

If you enjoy contemporary romances, I recommend this one.

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Profile Image for Flo.
1,736 reviews
February 2, 2020
Loved Sawyer, he spent all those years just waiting in the wings. His character was perfect.
Good, solid second chance romance!
February 8, 2020
The Affair is a story of heartbreak and healing. It’s a woman’s journey of finding herself and learning to trust again. It’s about finding happiness, grasping it and letting it in.

Elle is going through a lot. Not only is she recently divorced, but she’s also dealing with a family tragedy. She has a lot on her plate, one of those things being trying to keep her family’s antique shop afloat. And she never would’ve thought that Sawyer, he ex husbands brother would be asking her for a job, and that she’d be saying yes.

Sawyer was such a joy. I loved how caring and kind and especially how selfless he was. He was such a good man and he patiently waited until Elle was ready to give them a chance. I loved how sweet he was and he left me a swoony mess.

Elle and Sawyer complimented each other so well. Their chemistry and attraction for one another was undeniable. It was blatantly clear that they were meant for each other. Elle not only had to trust what she was feeling was real towards Sawyer, but also learning to trust Sawyer and especially trust herself. Elle and Sawyer most definitely were each other’s missing half, and together they were complete—whole.

The Affair was an enjoyable read. A beautiful story that gave me the feels.

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book*
Profile Image for 1-Click Addict Support Group.
3,749 reviews441 followers
February 16, 2020
First- that cover is gorgeous. Second- I've been patiently waiting for this story since I read the blurb and J.L. Berg did not disappoint in giving us an emotionally beautiful story.

Elle thought she had it all, marrying her childhood sweetheart, running the family business and having her family close by. But when she is betrayed by the one that is supposed to be faithful, love and protect her, well it dims her light to almost darkness. Then her father passes away and I can only imagine what she thinks, "What next"? She wanted nothing to do with her ex's family yet there is one that wiggles his way into her life and little did she realize that he would be the one that would help her find her way back because he was almost in the same predicament. This story was like a puzzles that as I read I was slowly able to put the pieces together and at times I couldn't make those pieces snap because despite it looking like they would fit, it was off a bit.

"You and I are like puzzle pieces Elle; two halves of a whole, just wanting to be reconnected. When we come together, it will be perfect."

A beautiful story of letting go the of the past, trusting yourself and others again, allowing yourself to be loved the way you deserved and loving without fear!! Thank you, thank you, thank you Author J.L. Berg!! Kara~ 5 Breathtaking Stars
Profile Image for Anne .
910 reviews
February 7, 2020
5⭐️

This book tore my heart, in all JL Berg fashion. It hit close to home—except the brothers thing, but losing a loved-one, the fear of losing another, the not knowing your place in the world, floundering on how to start over... those hit close to home. It's like some of the words where taken from my mind and my heart and put it into words.

It's not an easy read for it deals with a cheating spouse, a parent's death and loss of your sense of self.

There are parts where I got frustrated... the push and pull got to me, but I understand that it was needed in the book. Depending on your emotional state, I suggest you get your tissues within near reach.

This book is definitely another new favorite of mine...

Profile Image for Michelle.
1,086 reviews66 followers
February 15, 2020
3.5-4 Stars

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that love is a messy sort of thing. There’s no one clear-cut path, and perhaps I took the wrong one. But I chose. And this is the story.

For me this book took off from the very first page. We don’t have to wait long to find out how Elle found out about her husband Reed’s affair.

The timing of this affair couldn’t have come at a worse time. Elle just found out her father was sick. So... Elle had so much on her plate to deal with. I felt so bad for her. Being crushed by your first love and then dealing with the fact that one of your parents is going to die.

She ignored everything and dived head first in taking care of her parents and the family business. She never properly dealt with her own feelings about being cheated on. The fact that trust was going to be hard for her to regain.

Sawyer came into her life Unexpectedly. All her years being married to Reed. She never had a full blown conversation with him. So when he came crashing into her life. She was truly getting to know him. I loved it. He was slowly bringing her back to life again.

I loved the beginning/middle of this book. But...

Wow... talk about a big turn around for me in this book!!! This book was 5 stars for me up until the 78% mark. The BIG reveal, Sawyers big secret was very anticlimactic. And kinda disappointing. I thought it was going to be bigger than what was.

I was done waiting. I was done wondering about the what-ifs. I just wanted him. Here, now, and maybe even forever."

Then you have Elle flip flopping with Sawyer. She was kinda cruel about it. She wasn’t thinking about how Sawyer would feel. You can take time for yourself. But let the other person know you need time and space.

I didn’t like how everything went down so late into the book. I felt certain things should’ve been explained more. It just all felt rushed. And then smoothed out way too fast at the end.
I’m glad it ended the way it. It does leave you satisfied.

*ARC provided for an honest review.*

(This same review is on my blog Goodreads account.)
Profile Image for Amy M..
556 reviews19 followers
March 4, 2020
When I think of a J.L. Berg book, I think of steamy. Honestly I just didn’t get it with this book. I liked it but I had a hard time with the characters. They just felt kind of flat to me. The best part was the ending and how nicely it was wrapped up.
Profile Image for Shelly | VixenReads.
468 reviews80 followers
February 13, 2020
So this was my first J. L. Berg book and I wanted to FLOVE it but in the end I simply liked it.

First, let's talk about the STUNNING cover....drool-worthy for sure. Second, I was anticipating a bit more...angst? drama? steam? But this left me lukewarm at best.

Keep in mind the current story line was to mirror that of a story from the past, and while it did to a degree, the chemistry was not palpable between the two main characters. I needed more from them. I needed more from the h - I felt she was a bit one-dimensional. The H was a great character but I needed more angst from his "revelation" and there just wan't any.

The drama with the ex-husband missed the mark.

This was not a bad book, simply good. So if you want something low on drama and angst, I'd recommend this.

**arc provided by Wildfire Marketing Solutions for an honest review**
Profile Image for Hopelessly Addicted To Books .
3,239 reviews100 followers
February 13, 2020
When I read the blurb for this book it sounded like my kind of book and the cover is adorable. I was expecting it to have a steamy forbidden feel to it but for me that wasn't the case. The pace of the story felt quite slow and disjointed at times with some characters difficult to know. The book delves into the past when an affair is unexpectedly revealed and the obvious parallels to the present. I would have liked if the relationship between Elle and Sawyer had been explored more. There wasn't enough passion between them showing the forbidden element of their romance and the connection felt stilted at times.
Profile Image for Katy.
111 reviews
February 17, 2020
An absolutely beautiful story of heartbreak, healing and second chances. This book has ALL the feels... they fairly jump off the page and wrap you up so you feel a part of the story. Sawyer *swoon* is such a... can’t even think of the word. He’s amazing. Elle has been through hell, but with Sawyers help, learns to live again. The two complement each other so well and make a fabulous couple.
I loved every second of this book, start to finish.
Profile Image for Elly.
153 reviews37 followers
February 14, 2020
Sweet story and just what I needed this Valentine’s Day.

h’s ex husband is the cheater not the H/h. Slightly taboo since the H is her ex brother-in-law.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Liz.
3,295 reviews54 followers
February 13, 2020
As soon as I read the blurb for The Affair by J.L. Berg I knew I wanted to read it and I was not disappointed. A story about second chances, loss, grief and fresh starts. Elle is starting over after a difficult divorce, the loss of a parent and taking over the family business. She seemed to be a bit lost and struggling. Sawyer just stole my heart. He was caring and sweet and just what she needed. But will their history always be between them? The Affair by J.L. Berg was emotional, slow burning and touching story.

Read and reviewed for Sultry Sirens Book Blog.
Happy reading!
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,977 reviews82 followers
February 7, 2020
* A review copy was provided by the author *

~ 4 Things Change Stars ~

I am having trouble writing this review because my feelings are all jumbled up. On one hand I really enjoyed this story and the characters, but on the other hand it didn’t WOW me like I was hoping it would after reading the blurb.

This is a book I would definitely recommend to all romance readers. No don’t panic….there is NO cheating in this book. This is an emotional slow burn love story. But it is also a story of forgiveness and moving on.

As I said I loved the storyline and the characters. I was instantly intrigued with this book from the first page. I think why I am having such trouble expressing my feelings is because I felt something was missing. I just don’t know what. I think I was expecting more out of the hidden journals.

This is a standalone novel told solely from Elle’s POV. I thought the flow and pace of the story worked well for this storyline. I loved that Elle and Sawyer stuck up a friendship before expressing any feelings for each other. With their backstory, a friendship first was really the only way their story worked out. I loved the amount of emotion that was built into this story. My heart broke for Elle many times and the struggles she went through. I absolutely LOVED the epilogue of this book!!!!

In this book we follow Elle and Sawyer. Elle has just had her world turned upside down, first by her divorce from her husband and then the passing of her father. Elle has some serious trust issues in this book and it is with good reason. Sawyer is the older brother to Elle’s ex-husband. He also has some trouble trusting. But I loved how he was willing to wait for Elle to make up her mind. I also loved how I thought one thing of their backstory to find out it was more complicated than I thought. I didn’t see that twist coming!!

I liked the secondary characters of the story, with the exception of Reed (the ex) Candace was my favorite. She had such a spirit and I loved the support she added to Elle throughout the story.

Again, I would recommend this story to all romance readers. This was a unique and original story that I was captivated by. If you are a fan of J.L. Berg’s books, then you will want to add this to your TBR list. Don’t miss this story!!!

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Profile Image for Jennifer D..
714 reviews13 followers
February 18, 2020
This was not what I was expecting at all! It was so much more and I loved it! It is an emotionally, heartbreaking story of second chances. I can't even imagine going through everything Elle does and still be able to get up everyday. I truly believe that people come into our lives right when they are needed. That is Sawyer for Elle. I heart him so hard! These characters will stay with you long after the end.
Profile Image for Nicole.
1,280 reviews100 followers
March 29, 2020
Finished my 2nd book of the day. It’ll be nice not balancing 2 books at once. I rarely do that because I usually like to invest into one book at a time.⁣

The Affair is my 3rd book I’ve read by J.L. Berg. It was released last month and I’m sticking to my rule of reading my preorders quickly after getting them this year. This book follows Eloise Woods. She’s recently divorced, her father died, and her mom is moving in with her brother leaving her family business and home in her hands. She begins to fall for her ex-brother in law Sawyer. One day she discovers her Nana’s journals and realizes that history may just be repeating itself. ⁣

❤️Review❤️⁣

I really enjoy J.L. Berg’s writing. I was easily enraptured and engaged in this book. The pages flew by. I love how the synopsis makes it sound like it might be taboo or uncomfortable, but it was the exact opposite. It was handled in a sweet, charming, and respectful way. It reminded me of how Penelope Douglas handled Birthday Girl. Their sweet romance never made you think it was weird or inappropriate. This book definitely made me cry and had a deeper message than just a romance story. Highly recommend this book! ⁣

4.5 stars ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

How many books do you read at one time?⁣

Like I said I generally like to read one at a time and 2 at the most! If I’m reading 2 they usually have to be in two different formats. This time I had 1 audiobook and 1 physical book.⁣

#booksbooksbooks #booksarefun #romancebooks #project50books #readallthebooks #indiepublishedbooks #readingtoescape #bookcommunity #bookstagram
Profile Image for Donna ~ The Romance Cover.
2,755 reviews312 followers
August 24, 2020
This was a little predictable and cliche and fell a little flat for me. I didn't have that character connection I love with either character, which was a complete and utter shame because the story could have had a lot of legs. I did struggle with my attention span and I felt this was because you are taken out of the story a lot with Grandma's journals. I know this was to show the parallels between our heroine and her grandma, but it just didn't work for me.

It was a cute read though.
Profile Image for Brit.
Author 10 books149 followers
January 16, 2022
3.5 stars. I like it but didn't love it. Needed more character depth
Profile Image for Naadira  Moodley (BookedMercy) .
367 reviews75 followers
February 11, 2020
The Affair is beautiful book for an equally beautiful cover! It is a sweet romance that had me instantly falling in love with the hero. He is one of the sweetest heroes I have had the pleasure of reading about.

Eloise Woods has recently lost her father and has gone through a humiliating divorce. Her life is not at a point she thought it would be at. She is also not the sole owner of her family's antique shop–courtesy of her mother–which she has been working at from the time full time from the time her dad got ill. So much has changed in so little time and she feels all alone until she runs into Sawyer Gallagher outside of her shop. She hasn't been particularly close to Sawyer and never really spent a lot of time with him while she was dating and eventually married to his brother, Reed. He was always in the background and didn't say much so it is quite surprising for her to see this completely other side to him. Soon they are spending so much time together at work and after hours. It so easy and effortless between them and she starts developing feelings for him that she can't seem to ignore anymore.

Sawyer was so freaking sweet and caring. He made my heart insanely happy. He had feelings for Elle that he couldn't deny anymore and was incredibly romantic in his pursuit of her. Elle was also dealing with her grandmother's journals that she recently discovered that painted the woman in a whole new light. Her grandmother also dabbled in a forbidden affair much like her own.

The Affair was not what I was expecting. Although I did enjoy this book, I was expecting something more forbidden and elicit. This book was PG and I missed the steamy scenes. I didn't find the romance between Sawyer and Elle forbidden or even consider it an affair as the title suggests. Maybe it's ignorance on my part. Maybe the title is based solely on her grandmother's relationship. There relationship caused no drama which I wanted and there was hardly a reaction from her ex or anyone when they did get together. I crave the drama people! Especially pertaining to this type of relationship.
But having said that, this is a book worth taking a look at. The writing was gripping and the characters were sweet and endearing.
Profile Image for Amy  Crull.
1,880 reviews27 followers
February 13, 2020
Judging by the blurb I had an idea of how this book was gonna go and I was so completely wrong.. This book is about heartbreak and moving on from past. This book will pull at your heartstrings and make some tears run down your face. You have a family who had their world rocked. Elle is hurt from past mistakes and needs to move on but she hasn't yet. She is heartbroken and trying to make sense of her life right now. She was busy taking care of everyone but herself. When she is thrown into her parents business, she doesn't know how to certain things. It takes a certain man to make her see that this her time to shine. Enter Sawyer.. the misunderstood child and the one who hid in the shadows. He's also the ex brother in law. He makes his an appearance and never lets go. He always thing for Elle and took the back seat until now. This is his chance to show her how she means to him. These two are super sweet together and I fell hard for them. There's a lot of secrets being told and there's healing that happens within the family. It's a beautifully written book with characters you love and hate but will feel their pain at the same time. I devoured this book and stayed up way later then I should have to finish it. It was a great heartfelt book!
Profile Image for The Lusty Literarians.
757 reviews35 followers
February 13, 2020


The Affair is a sweet contemporary romance about finding love in the most unexpected place. The relationship between Sawyer and Elle simmers with a wonderful slow burn intensity. Their relationship is simple despite their complicated history. Sawyer is brothers with Elle's ex-husband, Reed. Growing up together in a small town in North Carolina the three of them have decades worth of history. I liked the small town aspect to the book and the intricacies of each familial relationship. One small complaint would be that the sex scenes are "fade to black". It wasn't too upsetting and I think that style actually fit in really well with the way the book was written overall. Lastly, while the book is called "The Affair", there is no cheating between Elle and Sawyer. I know that could be a no-no for some readers so I wanted to point that out.

Profile Image for Melena.
2,427 reviews50 followers
February 13, 2020
An emotional story about Elle who had her heart broken by her ex-husband's infidelity and her chance to move forward and find love and happiness again. Things are complicated by the fact that the man who has come into her life and business is her ex-husband's brother Sawyer.

Elle's struggles with trust, loss, and sadness felt authentic. In a short time she lost her marriage and her father passed away. Elle's journey was both sad and uplifting and I thought the author did a great job with her story. The one thing I do wish is that we had gotten to see a bit more build up to her attraction to Sawyer. It felt like one second she was tentatively letting him in and being friendly and the next she was talking about her intense attraction. That did not detract from the story, though, and I loved Sawyer. He was there for Elle however she needed him. He had a big heart and his love for her was wonderfully portrayed.

Thank you to the author for providing an ARC for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kari Hansen.
8,747 reviews52 followers
February 15, 2020
Ellie finds herself floundering as not only is still dealing with the after effects of her divorce from her cheating husband but the death of her father and her mother moving to be near her brother has left her feeling alone surrounded by people she knows. The only thing that is keeping her grounded and focused on the future is the family business she is now managing.

Just when she thinks things can’t become any more complicated she finds herself professionally involved with Sawyer, her ex-husband’s brother, but it is the personal feelings she is developing for him that have her questioning both herself and her decisions.

This is an emotional story about love, loss and healing. It is about making the best decisions that you can with the obstacles that life throws at you and what you are willing to risk for love.

2,096 reviews30 followers
February 13, 2020
This is The Affair I will forever remember. My heart is full. My emotions have been challenged and I loved every minute of it. I have found true bliss after a journey through tragedy, lies, secrets and a true love.

The Affair took me on a journey of a lifetime. An affair and her father's death crushed Elle. Her mom leaving and moving in with her brother took her purpose. She was alone in a small town where everyone knows your business. She was missing her other half, the puzzle piece the would make her whole.

Sawyer knew Elle needed help running the shop. Sawyer knew it was time to find his real family. He needed to reach out and grab the life he wanted. It wouldn't be easy. It wouldn't be fast. Truths will be exposed changing everything.

Sawyer and Elle are two pieces of a puzzle, two halves of a whole. Together they are perfect. Together they make the most fantastic love story, The Affair.
Profile Image for Karin.
2,049 reviews
February 14, 2020
This book was so incredibly good that you can't help but get emotional and fall in love with the H & h. Very few books I still think about after they end, this one is still in my head. Elle’s life has been turned inside out on every level imaginable and she is still dealing with the tremendous hurt and aftershocks and on top of all that she’s now taking the family business and is beyond overwhelmed until her ex brother in law, Sawyer, makes her a proposition she can’t refuse. These two are both dealing with there own issues but they somehow feel better in each other presence. I thought Elle was a perfect heroine, no matter what was thrown at her (and it was a lot) she was determined not to give up and Sawyer was incredible on every level.
Profile Image for K.  Ramjohn.
1,861 reviews
February 13, 2020
There has never been a book by JL Berg I did not enjoy and The Affair was no exception. From the start this novel was an emotional one that will tug at your heartstrings and you will be unable to put it down. It's a story about heartbreak and healing and moving on. The characters were flawed and complex yet very likable and relatable. I loved Sawyer and his persistence where Elle was concerned just made me swoon. You could feel the intensity of the chemistry between them and it was fascinating watching their story unfold. Although the ending felt a bit rushed, I enjoyed this story and would highly recommend it to all lovers of contemporary romance.
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