Release Day + Review: BLIND KISS by Renée Carlino

7:00 AM

Title: Blind Kiss 
Author: Renée Carlino 
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Release Date: August 14th, 2018 

From the national bestselling author of Before We Were StrangersSwear 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.

Renée Carlino is one of my all time favorite authors. She never fails to deliver an epic punch of emotions. I always have some chocolate stashed somewhere or some wine, some tissues because I know I'm going to need some back up. But her words and her ability to tell a story always move me. She's one of the best contemporary romance authors there are. 

Blind Kiss follows the story of Penny and Gavin. Gah, can I just say that these two are a whirlwind of emotions. They gave me whiplash half of this book and had me yelling at how stupid they were. But I love to feel all the emotions while reading and this one definitely packs a punch. 

Penny meets Gavin in college during a test that her friend is doing. If you can really be attracted to someone with kissing them blindfolded and that's exactly what happens... they have a "blind kiss". Gavin and Penny become best friends almost instantly. Penny is too focused on her dancing and finals, she puts him in the friend zone. But their friendship is something special. They are always there for each other and love each other something fierce. Nobody really gets their friendship but they don't need people to understand it, they do. My heart aches for these characters and how the timing was never right for them to be more than just friends.

And now fourteen years later, they are still best friends but Penny is married and has a kid. And Gavin is moving to France. Their world is about to be rocked on it's axis and they aren't ready. Could Gavin and Penny finally face their feelings for each other or will the fear of getting hurt keep them apart? 

I found their relationship to be amazing. I loved how much they loved each other but they pushed all my buttons. Haha. I wanted them to be together so badly but I know sometimes life is hard and things don't always work out as planned. And Penny and Gavin find out the hard way, just how much life can push back. But what happens when they push back? 

I finished this book in one sitting. No matter what I did, I couldn't put this book down and couldn't stop thinking about them. Penny and Gavin overwhelmed my thoughts and I never wanted them to leave. I was captivated by this story up until the very last page. 

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 Cosmopolitan Magazine, InStyle Magazine, USA TODAY, Huffington Post, Latina magazine, Publisher's Weekly, Redbook, Sunset Magazine, Coastal Living and the Union Tribune. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet puppy, John Snow Cash. 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. 

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