Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Ready or Not - Review

Author: J.L. Berg
Publication Date: December 2, 2014

Publisher: J.L. Berg, LLC 
Series: The Ready Series, Book 4
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Age Recommendation: 18 and up
Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Born into wealth and privilege, free-spirited Liv Quinn left it all behind when she realized there was more to life than living off of trust funds and barely skating by.  Since then, she’s worked and fought for everything she’s earned and never looked back at the world or the family she left behind. 

Jackson Reid is starting over with a new job in a brand new city.  A single father to his son Noah, he hopes the change will help strengthen the bond that has seemed to suffer since puberty reared its ugly head.  What he hadn’t planned on was Liv—his exotic next-door neighbor who drives him insane with her wild, new age lifestyle, but still manages to leave him aching for more. 

As challenges arise and feelings intensify, will these neighbors be able to look past their differences and find a middle ground?  When love comes knocking, will they be ready, or not? 

My Review:

 I fell head over heals for this book, which I guess is no surprise as I have loved all of J.L. Berg's Ready Series so far.  What is surprising, to me anyway, is that this book, book four, is by far my favorite.  I readily admit to most often having first book syndrome, you know the syndrome that causes you to be unable to get past the love you have for the original couple in a series there by not allowing you to fully enjoy subsequent books.  But, Jackson and Liv have stolen my heart away from Clare and Logan.  There is something so amazing and endearing about this couple that just squeezes my heart and had me rooting for them from the get go.  There is such light to this couple that you can't help but fall in love with them as they fall in love with each other.  

Liv, Mia's best friend (who we first meet in Mia and Garret's story, Ready for You ) is a fun, quirky, loving, free-spirit who walked away from her 'power hungry' family and their wealth when she realizes that neither of those things can bring her true happiness.  She becomes a woman determined to live not by societies rules but her own.  I loved that about her, loved that she is not only a strong female character, she's one that doesn't make excuses for behavior. one that doesn't believe she is any less for living life the way she chooses.  

"One guy - Forever?  It sounded so permanent.  Choosing one would be like picking a favorite piece of jewelry....Isn't it the same with men - the one you're with is like a turquoise pendant until something better comes along?  So, I had just decided a long time ago to have a very large jewelry collection.  I used the same logic on the men I dated - fun and casual while it lasted but nothing permanent.  Life was too short to settle." -Liv

 I love that she is not the beautiful, virginal, naive girl that has to be saved by some bad boy alpha male, whose slept with half the town and couldn't give to cents about the heroine until he ends up sleeping with her and falling under her simple and breathtaking charms,not that there is anything wrong with that...I'll read that book too, but I do like seeing a strong woman come across the pages, I don't think we get enough of them.

Anywhoooo, speaking of alpha males - Jackson!  Yes, I would not classify him as a typical alpha male but I am still going to say he is one because he knows what he wants and he is not afraid to do the work to get it.   I loved that once Jackson decided on Liv he never wavered, he was willing to put everything on the line and fight for her.  

"Olivia Prescott was mine--forever. Convincing my free-spirited hippie girl that she was taken for good might be challenging." -Jackson

I also adored the relationship that Jackson had with his son Noah.  It was refreshing to see the honesty in their relationship, to see how they both had to learn to grow with one another instead of fighting against the inevitable, Noah growing up.  I am starting to see more and more strong parent-child relationships in books and could not be more happy about that.  Noah and Jackson's relationship is not perfect, it is never made out to be, but the fact that Jackson is present for his son and watching him struggle as Noah begins to pull away is beautiful (as well as a bit heartbreaking when I put it in context to my own young children) to see.  

If you have read the other books in this series you will be happy to see all your favorite couples making an appearance.   They are all as fun and loving as ever and lend to the lightness of this book.  Having all of  them around in each other's book is one of my favorite things that J.L. Berg has done with this series.  These couples are a family, they stand by one another, they are there to laugh and cry with each other, and they all grow together.  It is the type of friendships I think we all strive to have in our own personal lives.  

"The Finnegans didn’t define family as a last name or bloodline. Family was being with loved ones, and everyone in this room – whether the last name was Finnegan, James, Matthews, or even Prescott, like me – was considered family." -Liv

This is a fun, (seriously, the relationship between Jackson and Liv had me laughing out loud at times) sweet read about letting go of your past and opening yourself up to love.  Any New Adult fan will love this book and series.  While you don't have to read the first 3.5 books in this series I do recommend it, as I mentioned before you will see all these characters in each others books.  No tissues for this read (although you do need them when you read When You're Ready, just a nice quiet cozy reading nook, a cup of tea (or wine, the girls would totally say wine!), a willingness to smile and laugh and an open heart.  I promise you will fall in love with these two!  

About J.L. Berg
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.

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