Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Review & Excerpt Blitz - WISH YOU WERE HERE by Renee Carlino



You know when you’re looking at someone and you can’t help but smile at how oblivious they are to their own charm? That’s what was happening to me, and it was making me feel…happy. Euphoric. Something indescribable. It was like we already knew each other, like we had met in a previous life. Memories that didn’t exist began exploding in my mind like fireworks.  Charlotte has spent her twenties adrift, searching for a spark to jump-start her life and give her a sense of purpose. She’s had as many jobs as she’s had bad relationships, and now she’s feeling especially lost in her less-than-glamorous gig at a pie-and-fry joint in Los Angeles, where the uniforms are bad and the tips are even worse. Then she collides—literally—with Adam, an intriguing, handsome, and mysterious painter. Their serendipitous meeting on the street turns into a whirlwind one-night stand that has Charlotte feeling enchanted by Adam’s spontaneity and joy for life. There’s promise in both his words and actions, but in the harsh light of morning, Adam’s tune changes, leaving Charlotte to wonder if her notorious bad luck with men is really just her own bad judgment. Months later, a new relationship with Seth, a charming baseball player, is turning into something more meaningful, but Charlotte’s still having trouble moving past her one enthralling night with Adam. Why? When she searches for answers, she finds the situation with Adam is far more complicated than she ever imagined. Faced with the decision to write a new story with Seth or finish the one started with Adam, Charlotte embarks on a life-altering journey, one that takes her across the world and back again, bringing a lifetime’s worth of pain, joy, and wisdom.   

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    “You’re making love sound tragic,” I said. “No”—he shook his head—“I wouldn’t want it any other way. Tell me about us. What do we like to do?” “Paint and sail and eat and drink. Just simple things.” “Don’t forget about sex,” he said. “Yeah, lots of sex. Before the children were born we "We were practically naked every second of the day.” “I like that.” “When they got older, we’d sneak away for weekends and leave them at my mom’s.” “What are they like? Our children.” “Happy. That’s all we wished for. We put our love first and it just spilled over into them and now they’re happy.” Tears sprang from my eyes and ran down my cheeks. Isn’t that what we all hope for when it comes to our children? His tone suddenly changed. “That’s beautiful, Char- lotte.” It was like he was waking up from the dream. I didn’t want to go back to reality yet, but I knew these fantasies were just to help Adam get his mind off things. “I can imagine a long life with you,” he said. “I can imagine what a great wife you’d be." I pulled my hand out of his. “The story is about you and me.” He didn’t say anything; he just nodded and then continued to stare out the window. I bent and kissed the top of his head again, and whispered, “It’s about us. Don’t take that away from me.”  



Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of contemporary women's novels and new adult fiction. Her books have been featured in national publications, including USA TODAY, Huffington Post, Latina magazine, and Publisher's Weekly. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she's not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate. Learn more at

Reviewed by Sue

5 Sexy Heels

The more books I read by Renee Carlino, the more I love her and her writing. She has a way of making you truly FEEL every single, angsty emotion known to man in every single book.

When I started reading about Charlotte, I really wasn't sure what to make of it. Charlotte wasn't the usual, strong, tough as nails female character you generally find nor was she the total simpering girl you sometimes see. She was a mix of the two and I didn't know if I liked her or disliked her. She seemed way to wishy, washy for me. When she meets Adam, I start to see her in a new light...but it was Adam who intrigued me completely as I guess he did her as well. I could start to see small snippets of what Adam MIGHT be dealing with...and I could start to see the REAL Charlie under the aimless bluster.

When months went by, I started to feel gypped because I wondered if we'd see Adam again. I also felt torn because I loved Seth so much too. When Adam is finally back in her life, we begin to find out what is behind the facade..both Adam's and Charlotte's. You begin to see the strength of character that they both have and what a large part they play in each other's lives and in each other's future.

There were so many highlights in my copy only because there were so many different life lessons in this book. But the biggest one to me is to live every single day as though it were your last. I had a lump in my throat and my heart was pounding through most of this book from trying to hold back tears.

Reviewed by Annie

4 Sexy Heels

This was my first Renee Carlino book so and I didn't read the blurb again. So, I did know what I was in for with book. What a heartbreakingly beautiful story.

For the first half of the book I didn't really care much for Charlotte and I thought her and her best friend were kind of a hot mess and kind of selfish and shallow. But I stuck with it and about halfway through this book it took a turn and things drastically changed. Where I was struggling to keep reading in the first half, now in the second half I didn't want to put the book down.

Sometimes you just need that special someone to help make you a better person and that is exactly what Adam was for Charlotte. And despite all the circumstances with their whirlwind relationship it was just so beautiful. I cried my eyes out for the 2nd half of the book. And I will be honest, I will as worried that their wouldn't be an actual HEA, but there totally is.

So check out this book, I promise you won't be disappointed.

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