Next Time I Fall - Barbara Freethy

Next Time I Fall

By Barbara Freethy

  • Release Date: 2023-01-31
  • Genre: Contemporary
Score: 4.5
From 144 Ratings


"I am always ready for a return trip to Whisper Lake. I love the small town and the friendly people who live there. Barbara Freethy is a master of suspense and romance. She makes her characters come to life on the page." NJ - Goodreads

After three years of being a single mom, café owner Chloe Morgan is finally ready to take another chance on love. She's found the perfect man in Joel Bradshaw. He checks all her boxes when it comes to stability, commitment, and accountability. 

And then Joel's best friend, Decker Hayes, comes to town…

Decker is attractive, sexy, and great with her kid, but Decker is a self-avowed wanderer. He doesn't make plans. He doesn't think long-term. He's not someone a woman should count on. Decker is exactly the kind of man Chloe doesn't want. 

And Chloe is exactly the kind of woman Decker doesn't want. He’s not a family man. He isn't even sure what family really means. Chloe is also dating his friend, which makes her off-limits.

But as Chloe and Decker are thrown together during a house remodel and the unraveling of an old family mystery, they find themselves falling for the absolutely wrong person. 

Neither one wants to risk another broken heart, but when love shows up, anything can happen… 

Readers who enjoy books by Robyn Carr, Jill Shalvis, and Susan Mallery willl love this charming small-town romance filled with family secrets! Another irresistibly heartwarming and fun contemporary romance by #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Barbara Freethy!

Also available in the Whisper Lake Series:

Always With Me #1 My Wildest Dream #2 Can't Fight The Moonlight #3 Just One Kiss #4 If We Never Met #5 Tangled Up In You #6 Next Time I Fall #7

What the readers are saying about Whisper Lake… 

"ALWAYS WITH ME is a heartwarming second chance romance, with a captivating mystery, that keeps you reading and wondering what happens next." Doni - Goodreads 

"Tragedy haunts her, regrets shadow him and passion lures them into a mystery as dangerous as their feelings for each other. Freethy captivates with a sensuous game of tainted hearts and tempting romance. MY WILDEST DREAM is a hotbed of intriguing storytelling. Brodie and Chelsea are sure to get under your skin." Isha C – Goodreads 

"I have just finished CAN'T FIGHT THE MOONLIGHT and WOW such an emotional book. The characters of Justin and Lizzie were so well written, with so much depth. There were scenes in this book that gave me a lump in my throat. Absolutely loved this book...and can’t wait for the next one!" Booklovers Anonymous 

"This book has it all—some laughs, some tears, some drama, and, of course, romance. You’re always guaranteed a happy-ever-after from this author, but it’s the emotional journey she takes the characters on that make it well worth the ride." Stacey – Goodreads on CAN'T FIGHT THE MOONLIGHT

"Barbara Freethy never disappoints. This newest installment in her Whisper Lake series, has it all, romance, drama, danger and a little steam. We meet Keira and Dante, who find their HEA in spite of the crazy. Make sure you add this one to your TBR list." Linda – Goodreads on IF WE NEVER MET

"Barbara Freethy has done it again! I absolutely loved Tangled Up in You, it is an incredible love at first sight love story. It is the sixth book in the Whisper Lake series. Each book in the series gets better and better, but I think that Tangled Up in You is my favorite story in the series so far!" Patti – TANGLED UP IN YOU

"If We Never Met is filled with the poignant and bittersweet moments in the story as well as the plot twists, that I have come to love and expect in Barbara Freethy's stories. Highly recommend this incredible love story and am so looking forward to reading the next book in the series." Patti – Goodreads on IF WE NEVER MET


  • Next Time I Fall

    By pudge48
    Barbara’s books as usual are the best. I loved this story.
  • Wonderful Story!

    By cmatinale
    So happy to be back at Whisper Lake! Loved Decker and Chole’s story! Love this series and hope there’s more wonderful stories to come! I just love Barbara Freethy’s books!
  • A story of second chances and hope!

    By Sonnie17
    I like Decker and Chloe’s story. They were an example of how our past experiences can influence the decisions we make in the present. I liked how everything connected and how the story evolved. Of course Leo stole the story. He was such a cute child who just wanted a father in his life. Children are so perceptive. His relationship with Decker was lovely. I received this book from the publisher and the reviews expressed are entirely my own.
  • Love How Mr. Wrong Turns Into Mr. Right

    By BBQ griller
    Barbara Freethy has done it again! I absolutely loved Next Time I Fall, it is an incredible love at first sight love story. It is the seventh book in the Whisper Lake series. Each book in the series gets better and better, but I think that Next Time I Fall is my favorite story in the series so far. Barbara Freethy has once again shown that she is an amazing storyteller. It was impossible to put it down. I loved every moment on every page. I really enjoy how the book is told from the perspective of the main characters. I love getting the insight and feelings from the different characters. Next Time I Fall is a love at first sight love story and is filled with heartbreaking and heartwarming moments. I love the lighter moments where I find myself smiling and laughing out loud. My favorite moments are the ones that pull at my heartstrings that cause me to sigh, as I read the heartbreaking moments. Next Time I Fall is filled with such moments, and with so much emotion. It is filled with all those things that we have come to love and expect in a Barbara Freethy love story, especially the poignant and bittersweet moments that filled this page turner. I love how Barbara Freethy always manages to create the "perfect" heroine, who is a strong, sassy woman on her own, to balance out the sexy, swoon worthy man. Next Time I Fall is the story of Decker Hayes, construction contractor and Chloe Morgan, single mother to a four-year-old son, Leo, and manages the Blue Sky Cafe for her former in-laws. Decker is the friend of Joel Bradshaw, Chloe’s current boyfriend. At Joel’s request, Decker comes to Whisper Lake, a place he remembers visiting as a child, to renovate Chloe’s parents’ rental property so they can put it on the market since their last tenant Eleanor Johnson, recently died. Decker is currently between jobs and is willing to help Chloe with the renovations. Upon her death Chloe discovered that Eleanor was a hoarder and as they go through Eleanor’s belongings, vague secrets regarding Decker’s past are revealed. As Chloe and Decker work on cleaning out Eleanor’s belongings things change between them. Conversation between Chloe and Decker flows so easily, I love that both Chloe and Decker share secrets with one another that they have not shared with anyone before, especially his feelings about relationship with his father and their nomadic lives. Chloe is confused about her relationship with Joel and her feelings for Decker. Chloe wants someone who will put her and Leo first, and she is not sure if that is Joel since he is constantly changing plans because of work. She also knows that Decker does not want to stay in one place for long. An unexpected plot twist changes their relationship, because of a simple question by Leo. I love that both Chloe and Decker were both so vulnerable and that they both change because they are willing to take the risk to have a relationship, something neither one of them wanted to do in the past. I love all the changes that Decker willing make in his life, because he wants a future with Chloe. I loved the multiple plot twists in the story, and how they are all so wonderfully resolved in this incredible love story. I loved that Next Time I Fall is a more than just a romance, there are dilemmas that both Chloe and Decker are facing that need to be resolved. I love that there were multiple storylines: Decker’s fear of staying in one place, Chloe’s relationship with Joel, the mystery behind Eleanor Johnson, but most importantly Chloe and Decker’s love story. I love how all the storylines get so beautifully resolved. Love Chloe’s heart-to-heart with one of her best friends, Hannah. I love all the descriptions of the Whisper Lake setting that Barbara Freethy detailed, it makes me want to visit. Next Time I Fall is filled with the poignant and bittersweet moments in the story as well as the plot twists, that I have come to love and expect in Barbara Freethy's stories. I love the cast of characters in Next Time I Fall , and I am looking forward to reading the other books in the series. Who does not love family and friends that always have each other’s backs? One of my favorite part of the book is Decker’s interactions and relationship with Leo. Reading Next Time I Fall felt like a family reunion, because the reader was able to catch up with the other characters in the series. I love Chloe’s interactions Hannah, Gianna, and Keira, they felt like real friends, but my favorite part was Decker’s exchanges with Hannah. My favorite part was the epilogue and how it went above the happily ever after. My favorite line comes after Chloe talks to Marian and realizes that Mr. Wrong has definitely turned into Mr. Right. I thoroughly enjoyed Next Time I Fall, who does not love a love at first sight love story. Highly recommend this incredible love story and am so looking forward to reading the next book in the series. 
  • Great read!

    By ledoss
    Another Whisper Lake top read. At this time my new favorite of this series. Chloe and Decker are an interesting and fun couple. With opposite ideas of family and how to address their issues. They make this story a great read. A definite addition to your TBR List.
  • Chloe’s Beautiful Story!

    By Grinandstampit
    Wow. This was quite a book. Chloe finally gets her story and it is perfect. But of course it is not without some twists and turns as well as a mystery. Chloe has just started dating Joel. She also has to deal with her parents house that needs to be put on the market after the long time tenant passes away. Joel invites his contractor friend Decker to visit and help Chloe with the remodeling. And the adventure begins…. Barbara Freethy is a master at weaving tales, romance and mystery and Next Time I Fall is filled with all. I read with anticipation for the other shoe to drop from beginning to end as I could not put it down. A well deserved 5 star rating from me.
  • Next Time I Fall

    By Jen G F
    A*R*C for honest review with no compensation Next Time I Fall is book 7 in the Whisper Lake series by Barbara Freethy and as she writes each book they get better and better! Chloe a divorced mom to an adorable 4 year old son named Leo, thinks she has met the man who checks off all her boxes…Joel…but maybe not as he reminds her to much like her ex. At the same time getting a contractor signed up to renovate her grandmother’s home after her renter of 19 yrs has passed and getting the house ready for sale. Except it seems there is a mystery surrounding the renter and her belongings… Decker has come to visit his friend, Joel, has taken on the job of renovating Chloe’s grandmother’s home and comes to find the former renter may have ties to his past…but will he stick around to solve the mystery, show Chloe how good Mr. Right would be for her but knowing he can’t be that man… Well written, easy flowing storyline, secrets, twists, turns, never looking back, attraction, finding that sometimes Mr. Wrong really is Mr. Right!
  • Next Time I Fall

    By ewhite2003
    The tenant had passed. It was a family home, now seeing the state it was in was devastating to say the least. A friend at loose ends was going to do the work. He didn’t check her boxes for what she wanted this time in a husband, she couldn’t denied the attraction. Was love going to get what it wanted and he wanted to stay. We are drawn once again to Whisper Lake the people we know and learning about the new that have come for a quieter life style. Readers will enjoy Given ARC for my voluntary review