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Refuge at Pine Lake: A Pine Haven Novel

4.56  ·  Rating details ·  576 ratings  ·  70 reviews
" ... a tender story of healing and finding a place to belong. This sweet, Southern romance doesn't disappoint." - Liz Talley Robin Lancaster, a twenty-six-year-old former kindergarten teacher, has her summer and her life all figured out. She's ready to be on her own, writing and illustrating her children's stories at her family's beloved lake house. Once there, she intend ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 6th 2019 by Chanson Books
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Average rating 4.56  · 
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Violet Stone
I've been really thinking about this review and trying to figure out where the book went wrong for me. Why didn't I like it?

And I think it was the lack of passion. All of the characters felt 2D. They didn't jump off the page. They didn't invoke emotion from myself. It was an issue, I think, with lack of showing. Don't tell me the main character felt guilt, describe her symptoms. Make it real.

There was also the issue with the fact that this was a "Christian novel". I'm going to admit I have not r
Ibjoy1953 Hannabass

When Matthew McLaughlin shows up at Pine Lake, never did he think he would be sharing the lake house with someone else. But Robin Lancaster was determined she was spending the summer at the lake house, despite the fact her mother had rented it out. And then there was Caleb Jackson, the heartthrob Robin was sure to snag while she spent the summer at the lake house.

I really enjoyed this story. The beautiful Southern setting makes a peaceful place to call home. Matthew need
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed Refuge at Pine Lake. It is a clean contemporary romance. I was quickly drawn into the story and wanted to keep reading. I loved the main characters. This is the first book I've read by author Rose Chandler Johnson and I will be looking for more of her sweet books!
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'd love to give this 5 stars or more.
Christina Rose Johnson is a new to me author.
A sweet Southern book that will keep you reading and thinking about it long after you finish it.
I think that this would be A great place for healing a broken heart, rebuilding a friendship or just a lazy summer vacation.
I didn't want to leave Matthew and Robin. They were so easy to make friends with and poor Matt I just wanted to put my arms around him and give him a big encouraging hug!!
I'm glad that Robin was th
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-reads, ku
In her sweet Southern romance, Refuge at Pine Lake, Rose Chandler Johnson has written a beautiful story of friendship, healing, and love. Although a bit slow to get into in the beginning, readers will soon come to know the characters in the story, feeling all their emotions (ups and downs) along the way. Throughout the story there’s a bit of a love triangle taking place too, which draws readers into the story even more. A strong theme in this novel is hope. Hope for healing and for life to get b ...more
Kelly (Simply Kelina) C.
I have been in a huge reading slump, and to be honest I was just not excited about this as much as I was when I agreed to review this one. All I can say is THANK YOU, and I am sorry I doubted it (that was a reading slump speaking; nothing against the story or author). This pulled me out of my slump, and I really want to read more from the author.

The story and writing drew in my attention right away. I loved both Matt and Robin from the very beginning. Both are dealing with some chances in their
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robin wants to spend the summer in their family’s lake house to try and capture the attention of Caleb, the area’s top fishing guide. She also wants to spend time working on the picture book she has written. Without her knowledge Robin’s mom has rented the house out to a professor on sabbatical. Fortunately there is a studio apartment on the property where Robin can stay. The professor is also a writer who is recovering from the death of his wife.

The story is slow moving at times for me but the
Emily Yager
Rose Chandler Johnson is a new to me author. I love the peace and calm the cover portrays which is one reason I wanted to give this book a shot. Another reason, is the title, I grew up going fishing on a Pine Lake (not the same lake as in the book though) and the title stirred up a few good memories.

This cozy summer read, while is it slow moving at times it still has a lot going for it. I really enjoyed the little twist on the traditional romance story. The characters, who happen to both be wri
Cathy Cermele
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rose Chandler Johnson is a new to me author but it was the cover that caught my eye and after reading the description, I immediately knew it would be a book that I would enjoy reading. What I thought would be an enjoyable book actually became a book that I loved!

Robin Lancaster is a charming character although at first I had my doubts about her when she's determined to move to the family lake house for the summer knowing her mother had rented it to Matthew McLaughlin. I understood why Robin woul
Suzie Waltner
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another summer read that made me want to pack a bag and head for a long week (or month) at the lake, Refuge at Pine Lake welcomes you to the beauty and majesty of Georgia country.

I appreciated that Matthew McLaughlin is not your typical hero from the romance genre. He is drowning in grief and guilt, to the point he is going through the motions of life. And, in fact, it’s the heroine of this book that rescues him.

There’s a bit of a love triangle in this book but I never liked Caleb for Robin. The
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Refuge at Pine Lake is my first introduction to Rose Chandler Johnson’s writing. It definitely will not be the last. This heartwarming tale is a story of hope, grace healing, faith, overcoming and inspiration. I was intrigued from the beginning to the end. It is not a long read and I had no problem having it read in just a few hours. Which was, very well spent.
I highly recommend Refuge at Pine Lake for all readers. I believe so many would find it to relatable. I would love to give it one hundre
Mary Kuefner
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story was difficult at the beginning, but got into it and it ended up to be a great book.
Janice Sisemore
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Refuge at pine lake

Matt is try to get over the death of his wife. He rents a lake house to get away from everything. Robin is the daughter of the one renting it to him. She is staying next door.

Robin is close by where her sister lives. I really enjoyed the interaction with the children her sister has. Also a dog in the book that adds a lot to the story. Also loved the character Mr. Charlie that goes fish with Matt.

I received a complimentary copy of the book from Prism book tours. I was not re
Jun 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robin is determined to have the perfect summer and capture the attention of Caleb. She plans to stay at her family's lake house even though her mother rented it out. Her determination and forcefulness makes her a little hard to like at first. She seems more concerned about her needs without realizing how much she's infringing on the tenant's privacy.

Gradually, her character becomes more likable and I was cheering for her to realize that she should be shifting her attention away from Caleb to Mat
Refuge at Pine Lake is a contemporary romance novel with Christian undertones. Matt is a professor and writer on sabbatical at a lake house; Robin is the owner of the lake house who is staying there to be closer to the local fishing guide, Caleb. The story proceeds exactly as you might expect.

I have mixed feelings about the novel as a whole. I was excited at first because Matt is portrayed as a grumpy, out-of-shape professor and it’s nice to see a male love interest who isn’t Mr. Handsome and Pe
C.E. Hart
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh I love it when a story takes place in the south! I really enjoyed the welcoming community of Pine Haven, Georgia.

Refuge at Pine Lake is a tender and emotive story dealing with loss, healing, friendship, and second chances. I’m in #booklove at the moment, so please forgive me as I gush…

Robin, Caleb, and Matthew make a perfect love triangle. The two men are vastly different, yet I understood Robin’s pull toward both of them (in the beginning, anyway.) Her passions, desires, and struggles felt a
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read a few books (right in a row) about vacation homes especially next to a body of water. They make for really great beach reads and all of them have had some really great lessons and stories. This one just might be my favorite of that genre. This story is about three people. Robin Lancaster who just wants to go back to her family’s summer home on the lake and illustrate and write her children’s books and pursue the man of her dreams. Mathew McLaughlin, a writer, who is severely depresse ...more
Meagan Myhren-bennett
Refuge at Pine Lake
A Pine Haven Novel
By Rose Chandler Johnson

Robin Lancaster has had a crush on Caleb Jackson for years and he never noticed her - until last year. But the romance that promised to be something more fizzled as fall moved in and Robin left Pine Lake behind. But this summer she's determined to once again catch Caleb's attention and wrangle a marriage proposal out of him. There is just one complication to her plans - her mother rented out their lake home to a perfect stranger.

Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Twenty-six-year-old Robin Lancaster had lived with her mom long enough. Having had their condo burn down, it seemed like a nice transition time to living separately. Mom, off to care for her own mother, and Robin to the family's lake house where she could renew her relationship with her hero turned boyfriend from the previous summer. Only, unbeknownst to her, Robin's mother had rented their lake house to a professor on sabbatical. Robin wouldn't let that stop her plan for getting Caleb to put a ...more
After a fire forces Robin Lancaster and her mother to move out of their condo, they decide to reevaluate their living arrangement. Robin decides to use the family's lake house to rearrange her priorities including finding love. Robin is a former kindergarten teacher but, she decides she wants to focus on her artwork. She hopes to rekindle her romance with Caleb Jackson, who is the area's top hunting and fishing guide. However, all of Robin's plans go awry when she finds out the cabin has been re ...more
I've realised this trope doesnt work for me. I like some realism in my romance and there were aspects of this that left me very uncomfortable.

For starters the 'misread' timings (egMatt getting to the airport) didnt seem believable. This is a guy who has had a SERIOUS mental breakdown - Surely Tom, who had arranged to rent the cabin etc to help Matt recover, would not have left his best friend to make his own way to the airport?

And then Robin - having been TOLD the cabin was rented for six mont
Randi Sampson
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Do you ever find yourself watching a movie and talking aloud to the actors on screen? "Don't go in there, this isn't going to end well!" (For me, this is particularly common with horror movies.) You see everything that is going on and cannot help but want to shake the characters and make them see what is right in front of them. I found myself feeling very much the same as I read Rose Chandler Johnson's new novel, 'Refuge at Pine Lake'.

The story jumps back and forth between the two leads characte
Patti Whitson Stephenson She Lives to Read
This is a women’s contemporary fiction story set in a beautiful location in Georgia. I loved the description of Pine Lake, and the author described it so well I felt as if I had visited there. I liked the characters of Matt and Robin. Matt had my sympathy from the very beginning as he recovered from the tragic loss of his wife. It took me a couple of chapters to connect with Robin. The author does a good job of taking her from being somewhat immature to realizing what was truly her heart’s desir ...more
Ruth Hill
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

First of all, this is a Christian romance that is clean and sprinkled with meaningful faith references. From this standpoint, it is a pleasant book with a sweet romantic story.

While I found the story and characters delightful, this story was a little too tame at times for my personal taste. At times, I found myself a little bored. It was not a major issue, but
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had a hard time with "Refuge at Pine Lake". The premise looked promising; alas, this was not the book for me.

Robin came across as self-centered and immature. I actually thought she was in high school until a passing comment alerted me that she was a recent college graduate.

Her mom appeared in the beginning, but quickly disappeared, waved off the scene as Robin "exerted her independence" and insisted on staying at the lake, even with a new tenant.

The plot also felt weak to me. I didn't feel a c
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved so much about this book.

First the setting. What a wonderful place to set a romance. The author did a great job describing the atmosphere and what the characters saw. A great summer setting.

Next I loved the tension between the characters. I knew Caleb would not make things easy and I never really trusted or liked him much and wanted Robin to just forget about him.

Matt had a great character arch, it was wonderful to watch how God changed him throughout the book. And Robin is just sweet and
Jeanie Womack
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Warm and wonderfully inspiring

Robin has planned her summer at the lake all year, looking forward to focusing on her writing and art. Having lived with her wonderful mother since her father's death, she has pictured the summer as a time of work and relaxation, with chance to recharge. Until she learns that her mother has rented out their lake house through a realtor in town and has plans for her to spend the summer in Atlanta with her sister's family. She needs to come up with an idea to save her
Phyllis Saunders
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 Stars

4 stars for the story of Robin and Matt. Although Robin was an adult, she seems a little immature and headed full steam ahead for what she thought she wanted. Enter Matt, a man who is riddled with guilt and grief and watch the slow burn as Robin discovers what she thought she wanted wasn't really right for her and Matt learning to let go of the past and start to dream of a future.
Susan Berry
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heartwarming and Delightful

What a refreshing change! A story of a woman's search for love, the men she is involved with, and the tender complexity of her feelings as she ,during the course of an amazing summer at her lake house, feels love for two men. The characters and setting by a scenic lake in Georgia, are richly drawn. There is emotional pain as Robin and the men in her life work things out. They do....
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Didn't want to leave Pine Haven.

Rose Chandler Johnson is a new author to me. Her writing skills transported me to Pine Haven. I lived in the cozy beach cottage, walked the shores with the delightfully real characters, and laughed and cried with them through their good times and bad. I was sad when the story ended and I had to leave. Looking forward to reading more of her books.
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