Review – Meet Me At The Lake by Carley Fortune

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Hello Everyone!

Today I’m reviewing my most recent read, Meet Me At the Lake by Carley Fortune!

Book Details

Title: Meet Me At the Lake

Author: Carley Fortune

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Age Category: Adult

Publication Date: May 2, 2023

Number of Pages: 336 Pages

Buy the Book: Amazon

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Meet Me at the Lake


Fern Brookbanks has wasted far too much of her adult life thinking about Will Baxter. She spent just twenty-four hours in her early twenties with the aggravatingly attractive, idealistic artist, a chance encounter that spiraled into a daylong adventure in Toronto. The timing was wrong, but their connection was undeniable: they shared every secret, every dream, and made a pact to meet one year later. Fern showed up. Will didn’t.

At thirty-two, Fern’s life doesn’t look at all how she once imagined it would. Instead of living in the city, Fern’s back home, running her mother’s Muskoka lakeside resort—something she vowed never to do. The place is in disarray, her ex-boyfriend’s the manager, and Fern doesn’t know where to begin.

She needs a plan—a lifeline. To her surprise, it comes in the form of Will, who arrives nine years too late, with a suitcase in tow and an offer to help on his lips. Will may be the only person who understands what Fern’s going through. But how could she possibly trust this expensive-suit wearing mirage who seems nothing like the young man she met all those years ago. Will is hiding something, and Fern’s not sure she wants to know what it is. 

But ten years ago, Will Baxter rescued Fern. Can she do the same for him?


This was the June book of the month for one of the book clubs I’m in. While I enjoyed the book, I was also left a little bit disappointed, likely because my expectations were too high going in.

The first thing I want to talk about is that I wasn’t expecting grief to be such a major plot point in this book. The blurb mentions that the main character, Fern, is running her mother’s Muskoka resort, but it doesn’t give any indication as to why she’s doing that. The book quickly reveals, in the first few pages, that Fern’s mother has passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. I don’t mind books about grief, but I do like a little bit of warning before I pick one up. I will say though that I thought the grief storyline was handled well.

I think my favourite thing about this book was the dual timeline aspect. The book goes back and forth between the present day and the day Fern spent with Will many years ago. I thought the flashback chapters made the book slightly mysterious because I was curious to find out what happened between Fern and Will. I also liked the flashbacks because they provided a glimpse of what Fern was like as a teenager and her relationship with her mother.

I’m not quite sure how I feel about the relationship between Fern and Will. On one hand, I love second chance romances. It might be because I’m currently blissfully happy with my own second chance romance, but this is one of my favourite tropes. I love it when characters evolve and get a second chance with someone. On the other hand, Fern and Will had some communication problems, and I am not a fan of the miscommunication trope. 

I also loved the setting of this book. As someone from Ontario, I enjoy books set in Ontario. I’m not overly familiar with Toronto or Muskoka, but I think that someone who has spent a lot of time in Toronto or the Muskoka area would enjoy reading this book because of the setting. The Muskoka area is beautiful and I think this book did a good job portraying some of that beauty. 

One thing that disappointed me about this book was that at times it felt like nothing was happening. I don’t want to say I was bored because it was an easy and quick read, but it felt like not a lot happened. I think that maybe if some of the storylines were fleshed out a little bit more, especially Fern trying to improve the resort, things would have been a bit more interesting.

Another thing I liked about this book was the life doesn’t always go the way that you plan story line. Both Fern and Will find themselves in vastly different situations than they thought they would be. Life happened and they had to adapt. There wasn’t necessarily anything unique about this story line, but sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that just because things don’t go the way you plan, doesn’t mean you’ve failed.

Overall, this was an enjoyable and easy read, but I don’t think it was very memorable. I’m not going to give up on this author though and I think I’ll give Every Summer After a try at some point. 

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  1. […] Last month I read Meet Me At the Lake and I enjoyed it enough to want to check out Carley Fortune’s debut novel. The premise of this book sounds similar to the premise of Meet Me at the Lake, so I might wait a bit to pick this one up. If you’re interested, here’s my review of Meet Me At the Lake. […]

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