Some authors blow it out of the water with their first book including Carley Fortune. That’s why I was more than nervous to pick up Meet Me at the Lake.
When an author has such a beloved debut, it’s hard to separate things when it comes to the next book. The dreaded next book is something both authors and readers experience, but thankfully for me, I hadn’t read her debut.
That’s why going into Meet Me at the Lake with fresh eyes was a must. I wanted to experience this author’s writing and storytelling without all the preconceived notions. For the most part, I feel like I achieved that and honestly, it made me enjoy this book so much.
If you’re looking for a summer read, then Meet Me at the Lake needs to be in your beach bag before you head out.
Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune is emotional, fun, and stunningly real.
Meet Me at the Lake follows Fern who at thirty-two is back at the resort she claimed to hate and is now in charge amidst the death of her mother. The resort was her mother’s life and Fern came to resent the place. Things got even tenser when Fern’s former fling doesn’t show upon their agreed meeting date.
As fate would have it though, these two end up meeting again and Carley Fortune gives us everything piece by piece. We follow their meeting a decade ago versus now and how the two timelines end up intersecting. Additionally, we’re reading diary entries from Fern’s mother before she took over the resort along with finding out she’s pregnant with Fern.
It might seem like Meet Me at the Lake has a bit too much going on, but Fortune balances everything perfectly. We learn enough about Fern and Will in the past to enjoy who they are now and realize why they made the choice they did. That doesn’t mean the book isn’t heartbreakingly sad at times.
The sheer amount of tough choices these characters had to make was unbelievable. While the romance was amazing, I feel like the character growth of both Fern and Will was everything. I immediately fell in love with these two and wanted them to get their happy ending. It did take some work but we eventually got there.
While this book is fun and sexy at times, it’s surprisingly emotional. Fern is dealing with the grief of losing her mother while Will is juggling the responsibilities of being the breadwinner in his household. Additionally, Will has some mental health struggles, and seeing that represented on the page was refreshing.
Honestly, I don’t have much I’d change about this book or any complaints really. It was everything I was hoping for from a summer read. Meet Me at the Lake had me hooked from page one and I couldn’t put it down. If you’re looking for a solid romance with flashbacks and don’t mind some emotional topics, then this needs to be your next summer read.
Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune is out wherever books are sold.
Will Meet M at the Lake be in your beach bag this summer? Share with us in the comments.