Book Review: The Last Time by Nicole Baker

5:51 PM

Book Review: The Last Time by Nicole Baker

I had the privilege of beta reading for one of my favorite romance authors. I’m here to share my book review of The Last Time by Nicole Baker.

Book Summary

Sunshine girl Charlotte inherits her childhood lake house, brimming with happy and painful memories. 

She returns after 10 years and plans a quick fix-up, sell-off, and never turning back. But old friends and a sizzling reunion with her teenage crush, Mr. Fix-It-All Asher, throw a wrench in her plans.

Asher, a single dad hardened by grief, didn’t think love was in the cards again. But Charlotte’s sunshine might just melt his icy exterior. 

Can they move on and make a life together if they can’t let go of past hurts?


photo collage representing The Last Time novel by Nicole Baker

The Last Time by Nicole Baker Book Review

This easy read made me smile, laugh, swoon, and cry a little. The Last Time by Nicole Baker is a heartwarming—and spicy—romance novel, but it’s not just about finding love when you least expect it. It’s a journey of forgiveness, acceptance, and the courage to begin again. It’s a touching story about healing, the importance of letting go of the past, and holding on to what brings you joy.



What I like

Nicole’s Writing Style

This book was a breeze to read. The writing is clean and straightforward, with no flowery language or head-scratching sentences to slow you down. 

It’s like the author tells you a story over coffee - easy to follow and keeps you engaged. The pacing is spot-on, not too fast, not too slow. 

You just get sucked into the world, and it feels natural. This author just lets the story shine through, making you want to turn the pages to see what happens next.

Plot Twist

The story throws a surprising curveball about Asher’s past that had me guessing until the reveal. It’s a clever twist that keeps you invested in the unfolding mystery.

didn't see that coming gif

Charlotte’s House/The Setting

I’d love to escape to the idyllic Isle of Hope, a charming small town with a glistening lake as its heart. I can imagine cozy evenings by the water, a book in hand, or watching the sunset with my husband.


Despite a painful family past, her resilience shines through. She’s an inspiration for anyone who’s ever had to pick up the pieces and rebuild.


He may not be likable on the surface, but don’t let Asher’s gruff exterior fool you. Underneath the layers of grief and loss is a devoted father and a kind heart. 

couple hugging in bed gif

House Metaphor

For me, the story beautifully uses the restoration of Charlotte’s childhood home as a metaphor for the emotional healing of both Charlotte and Asher. As they rebuild the house, they rebuild themselves, finding strength and love in the process.

Side Characters

The sparks between Josh and Layla add a sizzling layer of secondary romance to the story. Their playful banter hints at a future love story waiting to unfold. And I’m here for it!

What could be improved?

This first book does a great job establishing the central romance, but I craved a deeper introduction to the supporting characters. A few well-placed hints about their personalities would have left me even more excited to dive into the next installment and explore their potential storylines.

that's just me gif


“One of my gifts was the ability to tune out the world in my emotions. I’m not saying it’s healthy, but it works for me.”

“How do you grieve the loss of someone that you lost a long time ago?”

“Who would have thought that having Charlotte Bates back in my life would cause such a tidal wave of changes in me?”

“Honesty can only take you so far eventually, you have to own up to the fact that you’re just being cruel. One thing I’ve learned over the years, intention matters.”

“It dawns on me that since Charlotte has been here, my life has been filled with smiles and laughs.”

he's so dreamy gif

“Wouldn’t it be nice if we all lived in a world where we weren’t scared s******* to feel our feelings?”

“I hate that I don’t know your favorite yet, so I got one of everything, but I promise I will be spending the rest of my life learning everything you like and spoiling you with it.”

“It was like a fairy tale. A dirty fairy tale where the heroine has very dirty thoughts about the hero.”

“To me, that’s the biggest grand gesture a woman can ask for a man who is willing to work on himself to be the best man he can be for the woman he loves. That’s a real man. I don’t need a flashing moment in front of the crowd; anybody can do that.”

Will I recommend The Last Time by Nicole Baker?

If you love the tropes mentioned, you should definitely read it.

What are you reading next?

Please add The Last Time by Nicole Baker to your reading list. It’s now available in Kindle Unlimited and Paperback.

This post contains affiliate links, so we’d get a commission if you purchase through the links at no additional cost. Thank you!

Check out my top romance novel recommendations categorized by tropes.

Hey, you wanna be book buddies? I share short book reviews, recommendations, funny memes, and relatable reels on my Instagram account @booksandblogs_lux. Follow me there! I also post my reviews on Goodreads.

Wait! I've got more stories for you...


Trouble posting your comment in the box below? Please comment here instead.

  1. I like the sound of this book.

  2. Hi, Lux!

    Thanks for visiting me at Shady's Place today, dear friend! I enjoyed your review of romance author Nicole Baker's The Last Time. One of my guilty pleasures is watching movies and TV series with these same tropes, such as a woman finding romance in a small town and mysteries surrounding the handsome leading man. Along those lines, I recommend the 2022 TV movie The Way To The Heart, the TV series Virgin River (2019 to present) and the 2016 series Heirloom. In the book you read, The Last Time, I appreciate the metaphor of Charlotte and Asher experiencing emotional healing and "rebuilding" themselves as they work together to rebuild her childhood home.

    Thanks for the book review, dear friend Lux. Have a safe and happy May. I look forward to reconnecting with you at the end of the month upon my return to the blog scene.

  3. We would all like a lake house

  4. I'm not a big fan of the brother's best friend trope BUT I love the single dad trope... The 5 star review is really pushing me to read this, though. I love easy-to-read romances with a bit of mystery (about someone's story!) thrown in. So glad you enjoyed, Lux! <3

    aimee @ aimee can read

  5. I like the quote about honesty taking you only so far.

  6. I love a small town romance too! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  7. Wow what a great indepth review here. It sounds like an uplifting read and I guess we could all use a little of that.

    Allie of

  8. Thank you for this detailed, excellent and enticing review.

  9. I love how it's not just a romance novel, but also delves into themes of forgiveness, acceptance, and starting anew. Healing and letting go of the past are such powerful messages, and it's heartening to hear that this book tackles them with depth and sincerity.

  10. Sounds like a great read. I'm on my last time and it's the best of all times.

    Have a fabulous day and week. ♥