Published by Atria Books on August 14, 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
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From the national bestselling author of Before We Were Strangers, Swear on this Life, and Wish You Were Here comes a powerful story of two people who spend years denying their scientifically-proven chemistry.
Penny spends her afternoons sitting outside a sandwich shop, surrounded by ghosts. Fourteen years ago, this shop was her childhood dance studio—and she was a dancer on the rise. Now she’s a suburban housewife, dreading the moment her son departs for MIT, leaving her with an impeccably-decorated McMansion and a failing marriage. She had her chance at wild, stars-in-her-eyes happiness, but that was a lifetime ago. After The Kiss. Before The Decision.
The Kiss was soulful. Magical. Earth-shattering, And it was all for a free gift card. Asked to participate in a psych study that posed the question, “Can you have sexual chemistry without knowing what the other person looks like?” Penny agreed to be blindfolded, make polite conversation with a total stranger, and kiss him. She never expected The Kiss to change her life forever and introduce her to Gavin: tattooed, gorgeous, and spontaneous enough to ask her out seconds after the blindfolds came off.
For a year, they danced between friendship and romance—until Penny made The Decision that forced them to settle for friendship. Now, fourteen years later, both of their lives are about to radically change—and it’s his turn to decide what will become of their once-in-a-lifetime connection.
It’s been several days since I finished Blind Kiss and I’m still all mixed up in my feelings. I was held hostage by own emotions, this book really had me wound up. One minute I would be smiling, the next all angry and defiant. I wanted to throat punch the main characters (and some side characters too) way too many times. But I equally wanted to hug them and tell it was going to be okay. EVEN THOUGH I HAD NO IDEA IF IT WOULD BE OKAY!
This story is…ugh I’m still struggling with the words I need. It was nothing like I expected. I guess part of me was thinking it would be sweet, maybe funny, a little heartwarming. Instead it was a punch in the gut. It was real, and raw, and so beautiful, cause that’s what Renee Carlino does to you. She makes you work for it, makes you feel e v e r y t h i n g till it hurts so much you think you can take anymore.
I can’t remember the last time I’ve felt so conflicted over a friends to lovers romance. I usually fall in love with one or both main characters and I start to formulate what I think will happen. Usually I feel all giddy and happy, sure there’s always some angst, but it’s okay they will overcome. LOVE is worth the fight, it’s worth the hard work, the tears. Then Renee Carlino walks in and shoves all that off the table and says “nope, this is how we’re going to let this play out!” WAIT…WHAT? I know I probably sound off kilter and my thoughts are a bit frazzled. But that’s exactly how I felt reading Blind Kiss and I still feel that way a week later.
I don’t even know how to make any sense over what I’m thinking and feeling. Renee’s writing is always magical. I’m always left feeling some deep emotional connection to the story and the characters. I guess Blind Kiss is no different, I just felt everything at full capacity and it wasn’t always warm and fuzzy. I know this story will resonate with many and I can’t wait for you to experience it. This is definitely one of my favorites for 2018.
* I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader’s Copy of this book *