Meet Me at the Lake (Paperback)
Fern and Will spend one magical day together as strangers in Toronto. They plan to meet at her family hotel at Smoke Lake a year later — but only one person shows up. Ten years later, mourning the recent death of her mom and shouldering the responsibilities of managing the resort that she doesn't want, Fern looks up to see Will checking into the hotel. What? Did it just so happen that he was in the area? As they begin to reconnect and the past questions are answered, the connection they once had is still there. Can they move past the hurt and betrayal? Such a great story about family and love, and an in-depth look at life with anxiety and how it can be debilitating.— Christina
May 2023 Indie Next List
“I was totally invested in Fern and Will’s story. A gorgeous (but struggling) lakeside resort, relationship drama, longing, and great characters make Meet Me at the Lake the perfect summer read. It will be a star on our ‘Beach Read’ table!”
— Susan Kehoe, Browseabout Books, Rehoboth Beach, DE
THE INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
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A random connection sends two strangers on a daylong adventure where they make a promise one keeps and the other breaks, with life-changing effects, in this breathtaking new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Every Summer After.
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 the city. 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 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?
About the Author
Carley Fortune is an award-winning Canadian journalist who’s worked as an editor for Refinery29, The Globe and Mail, Chatelaine, and Toronto Life. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two sons. Every Summer After is her first novel.
"Fortune explores the aftermath of losing a beloved parent and reclaiming a relationship in this unputdownable, witty, soulful and stirring novel."
“This novel, set in Toronto and on a nearby lake, is beautiful, charming, witty, poignant, and all the things you could want in a spring read.”
—Katie Couric Media
"Meet Me at The Lake is a beautiful, heart-tugging, love story about secrets, lies, missed connections and second chances. Set against the idyllic backdrop of a family hotel on a rural lake, this novel brims with the warmth of summertime and the feeling of home. An exquisite, emotional read."
—Jill Santopolo, New York Times bestselling author of Stars in an Italian Sky
“A breathtaking tale of star-crossed lovers that gripped me from page one. Meet Me At The Lake is nostalgia, summer breeze, second chances and pure heart.”
—Elena Armas, New York Times bestselling author of The Spanish Love Deception
“A perfect summery blend of sexy romance and second chances, Meet Me at the Lake is a poignant waltz between evergreen pines and poplars and heartache. I fell in love with Will and Fern over and over and over again.”
—Ashley Poston, New York Times bestselling author of The Dead Romantics
“Meet Me at the Lake is a tender, sweet story that captures the joy and sorrow of growing up. Carley Fortune's latest is a love letter to moms and daughters, as well as second chances.”
—Elissa Sussman, bestselling author of Funny You Should Ask
“Carley Fortune is the master of the love story, tapping into our most primal needs—to be valued and seen for who we really are. Meet Me At The Lake is story telling perfection."
—Annabel Monaghan, author of Nora Goes Off Script
“A completely addicting love story about the ways we find who we are and what we want amidst changing dreams and chances missed. Carley Fortune gives us another perfect summer read brimming with heart, a book to devour in a day, swept away in the nostalgia of young, sexy love. Every Summer After fans, this will not disappoint!"
—Ashley Audrain, New York Times bestselling author of The Push
"Readers experience Carley Fortune's writing with all five senses. In Meet Me At The Lake, that means you'll taste Peter's sourdough. You'll hear the sound of the trees swaying by the lake. You'll smell the gin and the watered-down tonic. You'll see Fern waiting down by the docks. And you'll feel every pulse of electricity from Will. This is a beautiful story of letting go of expectations, growing into who you're meant to become, and letting love in when you don't feel you deserve it. The perfect summer read and an excellent follow-up to Every Summer After. Carley's talent sings on every page."
—Iman Hariri-Kia, author of A Hundred Other Girls
"THE quintessential book of summer. Nestled in the heart of Canada's cottage country, Fortune masterfully crafts yet another enthralling tale of love and second chances that will burrow itself deep into your soul long after the last page."
—Amy Lea, author of Exes and O’s
“Carley Fortune's Every Summer After found TikTok success, and her new romance, Meet Me at the Lake, continues to dazzle.”
"Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune is emotional, fun, and stunningly real."
“There is no summer without a Carley Fortune novel.”
"A perfect beach read to add to your summer TBR list!"
—The Nerd Daily
“Fortune (Every Summer After) shines in this beautiful tale of love, loss, and forgiveness. This searing story of hard-won second chances is not to be missed.”
“This contemporary romance is an immersive second-chance love story that will transport readers with its dual evocative settings of stunning rural Ontario and thrilling Toronto.”
—Library Journal (starred review)