Sunday, October 1, 2023

Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune

Title: Meet Me at the Lake
Author: Carley Fortune
Publisher: Viking
Release Date: May 2, 2023

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?

Meet Me at the Lake is a second-chance romance.

Fern Brookbanks is dealing with the loss of her mother after a car accident. Her mother had left the resort she owned to her.  Fern knows she needs help managing the property but she doesn’t know if she wants to do it. Her life is in the big city, of Toronto. She has been living there for the last few years. Then, as if losing her mother was not enough shock, she learns her mother had hired a company to help her stay in the black and the person who shows up is none other than Will Baxter, the man she met ten years before and who broke her heart.

Ten years earlier, Fern had the best day with Will. Will, who is an artist, is painting a mural in the coffee shop where she was working. As soon as they meet, a spark is there. Yet, both have a significant other but they make a pact to see each other a year later at the resort.  A year later, Fern is there but Will never shows up.

In the present, Will is in front of her and she is still furious at him but she knows she needs his help if she wants to keep the business afloat or if she decides to sell.

Meet Me at the Lake had 3 timelines if we count Fern's mom's diary entries and one main POV.

It was easy to like Fern. I understood why she didn’t want to take over the resort after college. She wanted to do her own thing. I like Will except during the conflict. He didn’t act the way I thought he should.

Overall, I did like it and I would read another romance by Carley Fortune.

Cliffhanger: No

3.5/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Viking via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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