Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Book Review: A Lakeside Reunion by C. Chilove

Pages: 320
Genre: Romance
Pub. Date: April 4, 2023
Publisher: Forever
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "This summer, escape to the Shores­--a Southern lake town full of elegance and glamour in a story about family traditions, friendship, and a love that can’t be denied. 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."

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.   



  1. Ugh, meddling, overbearing parents are the worst! But I do like the Southern setting.

    1. The Southern setting was my favorite part! Thanks for visiting, Angela!


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