Standalone story of soulmate love and second chances.
Charlotte has spent her twenties adrift, floating from interest to interest, job to job, and guy to guy, searching for a spark but never quite finding it. All she knows is that she won’t discover it working as a waitress at a pies-and-fries joint in Los Angeles or living with her fun but aimless best friend in a tiny apartment in the Arts District.
Then Charlotte collides with Adam, a gorgeous and soulful painter who seems just as lost as she feels. Their instant connection turns into a midnight drink… and a whirlwind night of champagne, Chinese food, and the kind of conversation that only happens in romantic comedies. But the next morning, Adam gives Charlotte the cold shoulder, leaving her confused and hurt—and wondering if the few odd moments between them the night before were red flags in disguise.
Months later, Charlotte hasn’t been able to shake Adam, so she decides to find out what happened the morning after their magical night together. This fateful decision rewrites their wild love story, but what Charlotte doesn’t know yet is that the ending has already been written.
WISH YOU WERE HERE is available to purchase below
Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte
“Love is a wordless secret; It’s an inside joke. Only the two of you have to understand it.”
Beautiful and heartfelt, and once again, Renee Carlino has delivered the touching prose she does so well! Wish You Were Here is a thought provoking, poignant, and remarkable story about self-discovery and love. At its essence, this is a story about love. Whilst this isn’t a gut wrenching sob your heart out story, there were certainly times we read through tears, courtesy of some very moving moments in Renee Carlino’s latest romance.
“Do you believe in soul mates, Charlotte?”
“I think so.”
This author cemented our belief that people come into our lives for a reason, that each person we meet, be it good or bad, becomes part of our fabric. Each person we give our hearts to leaves a footprint on our lives, responsible for how we live and love, and for Charlotte Martin, this couldn’t be more accurate when she meets Adam. Charlotte could never imagine the impact this man would have on her.
‘You broke his damn heart.’
There are those who will arrive in a blaze of glory, unsettling our foundations, forcing us to see inside ourselves, and for Charlotte, that person was Adam, and it was because of Adam that Wish You Were Here had us hooked from the outset. Adam was such an intriguing character and the way Renee Carlino set up this story, dangling those little emotional carrots, preparing our hearts, repairing our hearts, left us breathless.
“Different people connect to different parts of our souls.”
Adam and Charlotte had a true connection and we felt it. It was as though they’d crossed paths in a previous life and found each other again. That sort of soulmate love, but the planets weren’t aligned and Adam and Charlotte part ways, though Charlotte never forgot the man who impacted her so deeply.
Time goes by and Charlotte meets a soulful and beautiful man named Seth Taylor, and oh boy did this man steal our hearts. Seth is the sort of man a girl dreams of and we loved him deeply.
And here is where Wish You Were Here lost us in some ways. Charlotte’s treatment of Seth was awful. Seth was such a sweet character, that Charlotte’s actions towards him incensed us. There were times we felt as though Seth was merely a distraction for Charlotte. A means to while away the time while she secretly hoped her path would once again cross with Adams, and Seth didn’t deserve that. We felt Charlotte was insincere to Seth and it was as though Charlotte was continually on the defensive. Always quick with a hurtful jibe or bratty pout, not only towards Seth, but towards her friend Helen also. When reading, we always put ourselves in the heroines shoes, to try and relate to her, to understand he feelings and action; sadly in this case, we couldn’t.
Now, that being said, we did love this book. We did become swept up in this story, which in itself was heartfelt. The two men in Charlotte’s life were divine, and there’s no doubt Renee Carlino kept us on our toes wondering how this story would play out. The writing was stunning, with Renee Carlino delivering a love story with warmth and honesty and two men our hearts ached for . And each made moved us for very different reasons.
“Your art, our memories, the memories people have of us. It makes us immortal. When you love someone, whether it be your family, friends, partners, whatever, it’s like planting a little seedling of yourself inside of their hearts.”
Renee Carlino certainly tugged at our heartstrings, but she also provided light relief courtesy of some fabulously witty secondary characters. The insulting banter and witty sibling rivalry between Charlotte and her brother Charles was priceless! Chuck needs his own book! So whilst we did have issues with the heroine, there’s no doubt the story itself and the characters reminded us why we continue to pick up this authors books time and time again, and why we always will.
TBB RENEE CARLINO RECOMMENDED READS
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SWEAR ON THIS LIFE – 5 STAR STANDALONE
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When we say that every single emotion came into play, we mean Every. Single. Emotion. It was utterly captivating and stunningly beautiful. This is without question one of the most intense and complicated second chance romances we’ve ever read.
‘She sat there holding her smooth legs to her chest, staring out the window, popping her gum, bored, and saying inconsequential things. But still…she was the center of the universe. She could make the whole world go around without even breaking a sweat.’
BEFORE WE WERE STRANGERS – 5 STAR STANDALONE
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What an utterly beautiful story! A breathtakingly moving story of an intense first love, of searing second chance love, and one of missed connections, miscommunication and wasted opportunities that spanned fifteen years with a love between two people we felt deep in our hearts.
‘You can’t recreate the first time you promise to love someone or the first time you feel loved by another. You cannot relive the sensation of fear, admiration, self-consciousness, passion, and desire all mixed into one because it never happens twice. You chase it like the first high for the rest of your life.’
SWEET THING (Book #1) and SWEET LITTLE THING (#1.5 Novella) – 4.5 STAR STANDALONE
A beautiful, angsty romance with a music theme
A story of love, friendship and self discovery. We shared every heart-breaking moment and you will live every warm, tender, angry and funny exchange. The author brings the world of music into this story in such a way it almost sings to you and offers you the ability that makes you feel you can almost reach out and touch it.
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LUCIEN DIVINE – 4 STAR STANDALONE PARANORMAL
Lucian, our guardian Angel is not only super swoony, he’s funny, caring and a ‘man’ with a big heart. He loves and loves hard to the point of no return. He looks controversy and rules straight in the eye and shows it his middle finger, because he wants and craves Evey. The connection was strong and believable and we swooned alongside our beautiful and sweet heroine who’s had a run of bad luck in boyfriends….until her Angel.
“Did I not make it clear? I’m in love with her. The crazy kind of love that you and I have seen over and over…in them, not us. It’s the rip-your-bleeding-heart-out-and-step-in-front-of-a-speeding-train kind of love.”