Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune

Read Time:3 Minute, 7 Second

Fern has been fixated on idealistic artist Will Baxter for far too long. They shared a brief but intense connection years ago, promising to meet again in a year, but he never showed. Now in her 30s, Fern is back home running her mother’s resort and struggling. Out of the blue, Will arrives with an offer to help, but Fern is hesitant to trust him, feeling that he is not the same person she once knew.

Book review of Meet Me at the Lake

Meet Me at the Lake by Rachel L. Fortune is a delightful summer romance novel that offers just the right amount of depth without feeling cheesy. As someone who adored Fortune’s previous novel, Every Summer After, I was excited to dive into this one, and I wasn’t disappointed.

The story follows Fern and Will, who met ten years ago when he painted a mural in the coffee shop where Fern worked. They spent a memorable day together, promising to meet up again the following year at the lake near Fern’s resort. But Will never showed up, and Fern was left heartbroken. Now, a decade later, Will unexpectedly shows up at the resort, but he’s not the same carefree artist Fern remembers. Fern is still drawn to him, but she’s also afraid to let him back into her life.

Fortune does an excellent job of bringing the characters to life and giving them quirks that make their relationship complicated yet ultimately draw them together. Both Fern and Will are loyal and committed, but their personal issues threaten their chance at a happy ever after. The author manages to strike the right balance between funny and tender, and I found myself invested in the story from the first chapter.

One of the things I appreciated about Meet Me at the Lake is how the author tackled the issue of postpartum OCD. It’s a condition that can affect anyone caring for a child, including adoptive parents, and it was refreshing to see it depicted in a romance novel. The author’s note at the end of the book explaining why this was an important topic for her to write about added to the authenticity of the story.

While I enjoyed the book, I didn’t find it as captivating as Every Summer After. However, Meet Me at the Lake still offers a cute and engaging summer romance that is worth reading. I loved the Dirty Dancing-esque lakeside resort setting and the references to the movie throughout the story. The miscommunication between Fern and Will could be frustrating at times, but it was essential for their character growth.

Final verdict

Overall, Meet Me at the Lake is a well-written romance novel that kept me wanting more with every chapter. I highly recommend it to fans of second-chance romances. The author crafts a story that manages to be angsty, tender, and honest all at the same time, making it a satisfying read.

Our Score


  • The author does a great job of creating relatable, three-dimensional characters with unique quirks and personalities.
  • The romance between the two main characters is tender and believable, with a satisfying second-chance plotline.
  • The book tackles important topics such as grief and postpartum OCD in a sensitive and authentic way.


  • The plotline can be predictable at times, lacking in surprises and twists.
  • Some readers may find the book too light and fluffy for their tastes, lacking in deep emotional resonance.
  • The miscommunication between the two main characters can be frustrating and drawn-out at times, leading to a slow pace.
Meet Me at the LakePublisher ‏ : ‎ William Morrow (May 16, 2023)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0063250837
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0063250833
Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1 pounds
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 1.09 x 9 inches

About Article Author

Sophia Martinez

Writer, critic and columnist with more than 20 years of experience, Sophia Martinez has dedicated her entire professional career to the publishing world. She considers herself an amateur cook who always manages to surprise her guests with a dish from her native Costa Rica.
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