Cover Image: A Lakeside Reunion

A Lakeside Reunion

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Member Reviews

Imagine being a driven woman who believes in right/wrong, love but your family only cares about how the outside world views them.

This story is about that woman. Reese, returning to her family’s summer home years later for her sister’s debutante. Prior to leaving the town for college and a career, she was in love with Duncan, who did not deem good enough in her parents’ eyes. But upon her return, she finds out Duncan became a successful business person and has helped build the town up. His next project is to turn her grandmother’s inn into a youth centre. Her relationship with Duncan is reignited.

This is a second chance romance (one of my faves!) and the lake setting is marvelous. It made me long for summer and sun. Its take on racism, classism in the South and family division kept me captivated.

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This book at first gave the notebook vibe. Maybe because we have a elite woman, Charesse, and Duncan, a man who is lower class in a second chance romance. When both characters interact for the first time after not seeing each other, as the reader, you felt the tension. And as the book went on you could tell that these two really had good chemistry. There were sometimes where I was like ok duncan relax, lol, but i get it. These two have some communication issues they needed to work through, but all together ended being a cute romance book.

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This was a new to me author and I really enjoyed this story. I liked that it had family, drama, and a little bit of a second chance love in there! Reese is our FMC who has been away from home for ten years, she’s returning for her sister debutante ball. She also has to deal with her family’s secrets and drama as they have sold their Inn to Duncan. Someone from Reese’s past. Duncan wants to turn the Inn into a youth center but Reese’s family just wants it restored. They think if she monitors Duncan things can work in their favor. This book really had lots of secrets, love, and southern charm!

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This is a good book. The two main characters are Reese and Duncan. When they were teenagers they dated but broke up when Reese moved away. She comes Back for her sister’s party and runs into Duncan. The attraction is still there. They each have issues but together they work them out and fall in love.

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C. Chilove is a new to me author so I was excited to read this book. A Lakeside Reunion is a drama-filled, second chance romance, set in the wealthy lakeside town of Mount Dora in Florida. The story is rich with family drama, long hidden secrets and a rekindling of old friendships.

I enjoyed reading about Mount Dora which felt like the setting in the movie "Jumping the Broom!" Reese proved to be an unreliable character but her love interest Duncan was easily my favorite person in the book. He grew up poor but was determined to be successful so he could take care of family and give back to his community.

On the down side, the storyline was a bit repetitive and the pacing was was off. I also felt like too many issues were introduced and some were left unresolved.

Overall, the book has good bones and makes for a good summer/beach read.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for a complimentary ARC.

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I truly love this story set in Florida. I could picture the places and it was a refreshing read. I was so happy the publisher reached out to me to read it as otherwise I would’ve overlooked it.

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C. Chilove is a new to me author, but when I saw the cover of this book, I went straight to the synopsis to see what it was about. I totally judge books by their covers and this cover is gorgeous!

Lake town of Mount Dora, Florida is the perfect setting for a story. In this book, we meet Reese and Duncan who were once in love but were victims of differing social classes which ultimately pulled them apart. There were parts of this second chance romance, which I really enjoyed. I loved the dynamic between Reese and Duncan, and while I didn’t love the issues they faced concerning her family’s actions towards Duncan, I love that love can conquer all it it’s meant to be!

What I struggled with the most in this book was the writing. It felt unevenly paced and a bit repetitive at times. And unfortunately, it impacted my overall enjoyment of this story. Though I do think that these are issues that can be improved upon in the future!

This looks to be the first in a series and I would be willing to read another in the future, with the hope that the writing has improved!

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Will post on 5/9/23
Chareese "Reese" Devlin left Mount Dora, Florida years ago, but finds herself back home for her sister's debutante ball. Mount Dora is a well-to-do Florida lakeside community filled with only the most successful Black families and a Southern town with a lot of traditions as well as families that have known each other for years. Reese runs into her ex-boyfriend, Duncan McNeal, who is now a successful developer. Her parents didn't approve of their relationship in high school, but now they want her talk to him since he has bought their family's inn, Hill House Bed and Breakfast. The Devlins want to restore it, but Duncan wants to turn it into a youth center as that is a big need in Mount Dora. Reese also finds herself mentoring not only her younger sister, but also Duncan's, during the debutante season. Through all this, she not only still has feelings for Duncan, she also finds out some major family secrets between the McNeals and Devlins. Things aren't as easy as they appear for Reese this time around in Mount Dora. C. Chilove's A Lakeside Reunion is a beach read filled with family drama, romance, and chock full of Southern charm.

I felt badly for Reese from the start as she is reluctantly returning home and is put in a tough spot immediately in A Lakeside Reunion. Her parents pretty much encourage her to use her former relationship with Duncan as a strategy to help her family reclaim their inn. It's awkward, because her parents never approved of Duncan, but now they want Reese to work her magic. They are way too overbearing if you ask me and tend to tell Reese, a grown woman, what to do. But that appears to be the case with may of the elite Black families in Mount Dora.

I did enjoy Reese and Duncan's relationship in A Lakeside Reunion. What can I say? I am a sucker for a second chance romance; however, the path to love is never easy, right? There's some major obstacles for them to get through, including Duncan questioning Reese's motives, as well as a family secret between the two families.

While I am not the biggest fan of debutante balls, I did find it amusing in A Lakeside Reunion. All the traditions and rules seems to be a lot and while I did get tired of reading about "rich people problems" at times, it did make for a very entertaining aspect of the story. A Lakeside Reunion is also full of Southern traditions and charm, which makes it a perfect beach read, as well as the lakeside setting.

So, if you are looking for a light romance this summer, A Lakeside Reunion is a sweet one. Are you a fan of C. Chilove? Is this novel on your TBR list? Let me know in the comments.

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A Lakeside Reunion by C. Chilove is a good beach or poolside summer read. The drama unfolds in the lake town of Mt. Dora, FL which is what another reviewer aptly named as a black version of the Hamptons.
Reese returns to her family's summer home to assist and attend her younger sister's debutante ball. It's the first time Reese has visited in 10 years; she has been desperately trying to forget how her parents tore her away from her long time friend turned love Duncan. Unfortunately - in Reese's parent's mind - Duncan is a "townie" - and a
"have-not" and Reese is just too good for him.

This second chance/star-crossed lovers love story is more than just that. It is filled with family history, long hidden secrets, old friendships and plenty of family and local drama. It is my understanding that this is first in a new series and I am definitely interested in seeing who will be the focus of the next book!

Thank you to NegGalley, C. Chilove, and Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for a copy of this e-book in exchange for an honest review. A Lakeside Reunion was published on 4/3/2023 and is currently available.

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I really enjoyed this second chance romance of a privileged woman being in love with a man from the wrong part of town. Her parents were snobby and her sister. Oy. Lots of miscommunication happens. A good steamy romance.

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A Lakeside Reunion is about a woman returning to her families property ten years later to help with the debutante. I pictured Mount Dora, Florida to as the black version of the Hamptons. The return brings up years of family secrets, old memories, and she reunites her with an old flame. There’s something about the ‘elite’s’ having drama that intrigues me. The story moves pretty fast and kept my attention. I felt there was a lot of unfinished business between the FMC, Chareese, and her former love interest, Duncan and they didn’t have the best communication skills. Duncan bought the families bed and breakfast and has plans to turn it into a youth center. I think Duncan was being petty but I digress. I really liked the main characters, their chemistry couldn’t be missed. They were opposites growing up because Chareese was from an elite family and Duncan was lower class and didn’t meet her families standards. Overall, this was a well written book; the story was easy to follow and the attention to details was well fleshed. There is mention of classism and homophobia.

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The heroine returns to her hometown to attend her sister's debutante ball after ten years away. When she returns, she encounters the hero, who had become a successful real estate developer. The two butt heads when they have different ideas about a family legacy that brings surprising revelations about the heroine's family history, which may bring the hero and the heroine together or tear them apart.

This is my first C. Chilove book and the first book in the SHORES OF DORA series. The author has a nice writing style that enriched the story. This second-chance contemporary romance dealt with some heavy situations like racism and social classes. Yet the romance between the hero and the heroine made such situations palatable, though it would have been nice that there wasn't a third-act breakup in the story. Overall, it was an entertaining read.

** Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the review copy. All opinions and thoughts in the review are my own. **

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Wow! Author C. Chilove sure knows how to bring the romance and steam all with a bit of history and present day relevance thrown in!
I enjoyed the author’s writing style, articulate, descriptive and good flow.
This story of second chance romance, boy makes good in life, forgiveness, family acceptance, interesting twists,etc, is all you need on a cozy day curled up in a reading chair or on blanket by the beach!
Prepare to immerse yourself in this heartwarming, feel good, romance!
I will absolutely look for more written by this author.
Thankyou to author C. Chilove, Forever of Grand Central Publishing, and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book ahead of release date!
Charlene @lastnownext

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This book was a wonderful look into the life of the life of the elite Southern African-Americans that no one gets to see that often. While I don't fall into that category, there were many aspects of Resse's story that I was able to relate to. The need to please your parents and always do better. Resse accurately depicts the things that I have felt and conversations I wish I had had with my parents.

My one hope for this is that there is a sequel to this story so that we can see what happens to Hill House, and get a better idea of life for Resse and Duncan. I would also be interested in seeing what happened with Destiny.

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A Lakeside Reunion is a captivating enemies-to-lovers romance that seamlessly blends Southern charm and elegance with real-world commentary. Once you dive into this perfect escape read, you won't want to leave. With its charming setting, relatable characters, and expertly crafted plot, A Lakeside Reunion is a lovely read for anyone who loves a good romance novel.

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This book appears to be the first in a series. I am glad because I would be happy to see this book’s characters again.

A Lakeside Reunion has so many elements that readers of women’s fiction will enjoy. There is an appealing Southern U.S. setting, a wide cast of engaging characters and enough romance and plot to satisfy.

Here is what Goodreads says about this one.

Chareese “Reese” Devlin spent every summer of her childhood in the lake town of Mount Dora, Florida, where her days were filled with fun in the sun. Reese never realized that the idyllic haven hid a deep divide between the town’s haves and have-nots. Not until the summer she turned seventeen and fell for Duncan McNeal, a boy who lacked the pedigree so valued by her parents and their equally well-connected friends. After her family squashed the budding romance, Reese refused to return to the place she lost her heart. Now, ten years later, she’s back to attend her sister’s debutante ball and must come to terms with all she’s missed. But the biggest surprise of all is that Duncan is now a successful real estate developer in Mount Dora—and time hasn’t weakened the connection between them. Behind the multimillion-dollar homes of the Shores lay old grudges and secrets capable of collapsing any family legacy. As the summer progresses, Reese must fix the sins of the past by facing the lines between truth and deception, tradition and breaking free, and family expectations and self-discovery.

This could easily be added to a summer reading list.

Many thanks to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for this title. All opinions are my own.

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Reese was reared with money and privilege. Duncan was not. Pressured by her family, she rejected him years before, but now the shoe is on the other foot and Duncan is no longer the man who will abide by being set aside.
I liked the journey of both Reese and Duncan. The surrounding community was a carousel of characters who added nuance and depth to,the book.
I was glad to see attitudes change and evolve as I read, but my main focus was the relationship between Duncan and Reese. They both wanted each other and were willing to take the heat and pressure to be together.
It’s a good take-me-to-the beach-and-read book.

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Duncan and Reese haven't seen each other for over 10 years. They had a budding relationship, but that was quashed by her family who thought he was not good enough. Now Duncan owns Hill House, which used to belong to Reese's family.

This story brings up issues such as classism, homosexuality, and racism. The author does a great job of describing these issues within the story and how they have affected relationships with the characters. She also gives a great depiction of the classism within the Black race. There is a lot that Reese and Duncan have to work through. Being thrown together when Reese mentor's Duncan's younger sister for the debutante ball sort of forces the issue, but the mentorship also creates tension between Reese and her own sister. Aside from the tough issues throughout the book, Reese and Duncan get a second chance to talk about what happened 10 years ago and explore a relationship with each other. The characters have grown and changed over the years and the ability to delve into everything that happened.

It was interesting to read about Black wealth, the haves and have nots, and the deep-rooted traditions which are all not unlike other races.

I received an advance copy of this book at my request and voluntarily left this review.

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A Lakeside Reunion was a good second chance romance story.
The main characters are, Chareese and Duncan.. The chemistry between the two was fun to explore.
The family dynamics make for some interesting reading. What secrets and drama!
The author does a great job of showing how class, racism and homophobia can effect everyone.
Can the sins of the past be fixed?
A intriguing story of breaking free from family expectations.
Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and author for the opportunity to read this book for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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3.5 Stars. Reese returns to the summer resort town of Mount Dora, FL for her sister’s debutante ball. 10 years ago Reese’s own debutante ball ended in heartbreak when her family forced her away from Duncan who they saw as lower class. Reese is surprised to find that Duncan is now a wealthy real estate broker who has purchased her family’s historic inn and hopes to turn it into a youth center. The two are still deeply attracted to one another but there is a lot of familial and societal drama that still wants to keep them apart.

I’m not usually one for a book surrounding debutant balls and southern tradition but was intrigued by the fact that this book centers Black characters and a Black community. While i did really like Reese and Duncan and their romance, I did find the community dynamics to be the most interesting part of the story. I did find the book to have some pacing issues. The first quarter was a lot of telling rather than showing, but once I got to the middle half the story moved along well and was very interesting. I did think that the end wrapped up to cleanly for how tone of the rest of the book. Overall I enjoyed the book and would be happy to read another one set in this world.

Thank you to NetGalley and Forever for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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