Showing posts with label Renee Carlino. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Renee Carlino. Show all posts

August 15, 2017

Review: Wish You Were Here by Renee Carlino

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.

 Review by April

ARC provided for an honest review '

5+++++ 'You marked my soul.' Stars.

Poignantly raw, tragically beautiful, and slightly quirky, Renee Carlino delivers a powerful blow that knocked the breath out of me and stole every last tear I had to give with Wish You Were Here. I'm in utter awe and shock at the capacity of how much this story was able to affect me; wreck, shatter and ultimately destroy me, all while being such an uplifting and feel-good journey for the soul and spirit. Renee Carlino has outshone herself in this work, showcasing her strength and stellar writing with by far her best work to date! This book is simply EVERYTHING! My newly minted Top #1 fave of Renee Carlino's works. #

When a person is ready to fall in love, it happens fast. There's no looking back or in between to find the empty space where water can put itself or freeze, to crack the two of you apart. There is no void. There's no weighing of options or analysis of pros and cons. Everything is reduced to feelings and emotions and actions that don't need explanations or justifications. I felt it with Adam that first night, if only for a second as we stood outside of my building. It doesn't always feel like this, it doesn't always feel easy or right, so when it does feel this way, you have to seize it. Love is a wordless secret; it's an inside joke. Only the two of you have to understand it.

A bit lost in life, a drift in matters of the heart, and unknowingly exceptional at self-sabotage, Charlotte Martin is in a major rut. Her story is an emotional roller coaster ride from start to finish; one of love, loss, soul mates, and discovering her self worth and just how precious life really is. With an amazing best friend and supportive family at her side every step of the way, she's never alone even when she thinks she is. Many lessons can be learned from her inner will and strength and it was to easy to fall head over heels in love with every single aspect of this story.

So many beautiful things happen between the covers of the unforgettable book, ones that need to be experienced first hand. If you read only one book this year, do yourself a huge favor and dive head first into Wish You Were Here!

'I just wanted to say, I hope you know how lucky you are.'

January 8, 2017

Review: Lucian Devine by Renee Carlino

“My guardian angel is a drunk.”

Evelyn Casey's life is at a standstill. She's in her mid-twenties, struggling with the dating scene in San Francisco. Nothing seems to be working out, and she’s starting to think that she’ll live out her days in her crummy apartment with her overbearing roommate, Brooklyn. It's absurd, but sometimes Evey longs for a guardian angel to show up and save the day.

And then he does. Seriously. His name is Lucian and he's a guardian angel, been on the job for two thousand years. His sudden presence in her life is both good—he's brilliant, witty, and warm—and bad—he's brilliant, witty, warm, and hot as ----. But as perfect as Lucian seems, he’s got problems of his own. He’s taken up drinking and he’s brazenly inserted himself into Evey’s life, going against the greatest cosmic law ever created.

For Evey, the rules are simple: You are not allowed to hook up with your guardian angel. But sometimes fulfilling your destiny requires a leap of faith, a confrontation with God.

Yes, God as in God.

 Review by April

ARC provided for an honest review 

*****Although there is a paranormal element to the story line*****

5 'I've ached for you for so long.' Stars

'I started to think maybe heaven was on Earth. Maybe being an angel was like being in hell.'

Renee Carlino is testing the waters; pushing the boundaries of Contemporary Romance so to speak. I always wonder how she will top her last works with each new release. This go around I only have two words:

Lucian Divine.
*dreamy sigh*

Carlino has a knack for eloquent storytelling, combined with such rich, vivid depiction, providing the reader with a truly ethereal and realistic experience. No questions are left unanswered while merging the celestial and human realms throughout this book. Renee Carlino has generated a refreshing worldliness to her works with the addition of Lucian Divine, in what I like to call paranormal infused contemporary romance. You seriously cannot go wrong by indulging in the heavenly prose within. This is an unforgettable story, one so truly breathtaking, heart warming and soul crushing, with many lessons to be learned. This story will consume and own you. Everything combined makes this hands-down her best work to date!

'The moment you all in love, you become acutely aware of all the different ways the person you love can die. It's sickening. It's morbid and painful and heart-wrenching, and it's all totally, completely worth it.'

This is not a religious book, like at all. It's simply the beautifully tale of a human falling in love with her other-worldly guardian angel. The whole 'what if' plays a huge part in the story of Lucian and Evey. Of course, there are rules that need to be followed. What fun is fiction if you can't break a few? lol

'No one should be punished for giving love and getting it in return, even if others think it's wrong. How can two able-minded adults loving each other ever be wrong? It makes no sense.'

There are so many layers to uncover and be revealed in Lucian Divine. This is a story that will open your heart and expand your mind. Delivered in such a way that you cannot help but fall in love with not only Lucian and Evey, but all the supporting cast of characters. Who knows, that little 'loop-de-loop' might make you fall in love with "the big guy upstairs" as the most heart warming and awe striking finale is played out. Yeah, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor! Gah!! It was just so hauntingly beautiful!!

'I don't know whether I'm alive or dead, in heaven or hell or if any of this is even real. I just know that I love you...'

August 8, 2016

Review: Swear On This Life by Renee Carlino

From USA TODAY bestselling author RenĂ©e Carlino (Before We Were Strangers), a warm and witty novel about a struggling writer who must come to grips with her past, present, and future after she discovers that she’s the inspiration for a pseudonymously published bestselling novel.

When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J. Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.

Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio.

That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending.

The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction?

 Review by April ( ARC received for an honest review)

'If you can surrender to the idea that there might be a plan, instead of reducing every magical moment to a coincidence, then love will find you.'
'It found me.'

Every so often you discover and author, one whose works resonates with you. Time and time again, book after book. Each taking you on a profound journey so poignant and moving that you're lost for words. Your heart will ache, yet by the end of the book your heart will feel so full--as if it's about to burst. Every one of Renee's books has left me reeling and longing for more.

'He was the boy next door, then he became my friend, and then we became more when we got older.'

Swear in THIS Life is unlike anything I've ever read before. Such a unique story line and delivery, rich with characters and ALL.THE.FEELS! So much heart and soul went into this book hangover inducing composition, making it not only one of my top reads of 2016 but one of my all time favourite books. EVER. In my opinion SOTL is Renee's best work to date. This exquisitely captivating read definitely is in a league of it's own!
Literary transcendence.

'Flush is all away. Neeble and the monsters who live here, the stench of death, the drugs, the abuse, the blood and the bodies floating in the river, all if the unloved children. Just flush it all away, god.'

Jase and Emi's story is one of survival, love, friendship and forgiveness. A deep seated bond between two kids, separated for 16 years. Swear of THIS life is a book I'll never forget and will always think of whenever I pass by a dirt road--a dirty, dusty, and muddy dirt road. A road that will -always- lead home.

'There once was a boy and a girl...'

 Review by Jennifer (ARC received for an honest review)

Renee Carlino, you have done it again! You captured my heart and held it in the palm of your hands right up until the final page. You made me cry, you made me laugh, and you simply took my breath away. Your writing in Swear On This Life was beyond exquisite.

This story is so uniquely written. I’ve never read anything like it before. It was really a love story within a love story. It had amazing characters and heartfelt warmth.

Have you ever wondered what your life would have been like had you taken a different road? Ever wondered what happened to the one that got away? What if you could get a glimpse of what your future might hold? If you've ever asked yourself either of these questions, this is the book for you.

Jase and Emiline are just kids when they meet and become best friends. Swear On This Life takes you on a journey throughout their lives and into adulthood. It will enchant you from page to page, you won’t be able to get enough of it. It’s a very powerful, poignant and touching read. Definitely one of my top favorite books of 2016!

August 6, 2015

Review: Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Sweet Thing and Nowhere But Here comes a love story about a Craigslist “missed connection” post that gives two people a second chance at love fifteen years after they were separated in New York City.

To the Green-eyed Lovebird:

We met fifteen years ago, almost to the day, when I moved my stuff into the NYU dorm room next to yours at Senior House.

You called us fast friends. I like to think it was more.

We lived on nothing but the excitement of finding ourselves through music (you were obsessed with Jeff Buckley), photography (I couldn’t stop taking pictures of you), hanging out in Washington Square Park, and all the weird things we did to make money. I learned more about myself that year than any other.

Yet, somehow, it all fell apart. We lost touch the summer after graduation when I went to South America to work for National Geographic. When I came back, you were gone. A part of me still wonders if I pushed you too hard after the wedding…

I didn’t see you again until a month ago. It was a Wednesday. You were rocking back on your heels, balancing on that thick yellow line that runs along the subway platform, waiting for the F train. I didn’t know it was you until it was too late, and then you were gone. Again. You said my name; I saw it on your lips. I tried to will the train to stop, just so I could say hello.

After seeing you, all of the youthful feelings and memories came flooding back to me, and now I’ve spent the better part of a month wondering what your life is like. I might be totally out of my mind, but would you like to get a drink with me and catch up on the last decade and a half?


Review by April

5 Just the Ash Stars

ARC provided by NetGalley for an honest review

OMG!! OMG!! Wow!! Renee Carlino outdid herself with this gem! Before We Were Strangers is definitely in my top 5 books of 2015. It's such an AMAZING book with an original and unique concept that made me fall in love with this second chance romance.  It was refreshing and definitely stuck out amongst the books I've read this year. This story owns a piece of my heart, I'm so in love with everything about this book!!

From the cover (which I absolutely love), to the title and the all intriguing blurb, this book is certainly out to grab your attention. Before we were strangers was written in such a way that I felt as if I was living the pages of Matt and Grace's life. With a back drop of NYC and having traveled there myself, the book became just that much more realistic and relate-able for me.

"Time is the currency of life" -- "time passes, life goes on, places change, people change.."

Matt and Grace's story is one that I'll soon not forget. From their friendship, to the love they have for each other, the highs and lows, past, present and future- they have a connection/bond of sorts that's simply unbreakable even after a decade and a half. The myriad of emotions their story evoked was an experience in itself. I laughed, I cried, swooned, had my heart ripped to shreds, broke out in chills and in the end-- my heart melted into a sweet mushy pile of HEAness.


You can't go wrong when you pick up a Renee Carlino book to read. Each of her stories takes on a life of its own and will consume you to the very end, leaving you with one heck of a book hangover and begging for more.

This is one book I wish I could go back and read again for the first time.

Review by Jennifer

ARC provided by NetGalley for an honest review

Before We Were Strangers is an incredible love story. It is beautifully written and in my opinion flawless. These two characters were just so loveable.

Matt & Grace’s story spans several years. It starts when they are in college and finishes up when they are adults. From the moment they met I had butterflies in my stomach. You could just feel the pull they had to one another and I loved their flirty, fun, sarcastic friendship that was full of unexpected things.

As the years pass by there is a lot that happens between these two and to these two characters. There is some heartbreak and manipulation along the way that will affect both of their lives but the one thing that doesn’t change over the years is their love for one another. That never goes away and years later when their friendship renews all the butterflies come back.

I loved that this was a friends to lovers and a second chance romance story all tied into one book. Both of those are my favorite kind of books to read and this one was a treasure with both. I really could not have asked for a better combination. The characters were very well developed and had real problems going on in their lives. This book was just a breath of fresh air for me to get lost in.

Renee Carlino was a new Author to me prior to reading this book and I can honestly say she now has a new fan. You will want to make sure you don’t miss out on getting this book, It will definitely be on my top reads list of 2015.