This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Simon and Schuster
Released on August 14, 2018
Kissing a stranger with a blindfold on? Life changing maybe, but life isn’t a fairytale is it? I was pulled into the book immediately and that wasn’t surprising because Renee Carlino always pulls me into her stories.
Romance and happily ever afters aren’t always synonymous with each other. That’s not to say this isn’t an happily ever after but, sometimes it’s a long and winding road to get there. Carlino took me on a journey that made me so frustrated at times, but still managed to make me enjoy the story.
Penny is a dance major in college. She lives, breathes and eats(or not)for dance. She has a friend(Ling)that gets her to participate in a psychology experiment in return for a coffee gift card. Gavin has also been talked into the study-he definitely is all about the gift card. When the two are blindfolded and introduced, they share a kiss that is earth shattering for them both. Problem? Penny isn’t about to let her senior year be hijacked by a romance. Not when her parents are counting on her to not waste their money-especially with a dance major. So the two decide to become best friends. Gavin is reluctant, but gives in because how else can he remain in her life?
Penny is one of those beautiful women with black hair, pale skin and a ballerina’s body. She adores her father, tolerates her mother and still lives at home. The decisions she makes frustrated me, even if she had her reasons. That’s the reason I was talking out loud to my Kindle as I read-which was better than throwing it! Gavin was the gorgeous tattooed, motorcycle riding man that falls head over heels for Penny. Like Penny, he’s also a senior in college with a double major. Unlike Penny, he always has a relationship whether he wants Penny or not. To say that the other women are jealous of Gavin and Penny’s friendship would be an understatement. Gavin was a good guy and my favorite of the two characters, although both have their flaws-Penny in particular.
Told over a period of fourteen years, the author wrote it in a Then and Now fashion. She also told the story from both main character’s point of view, although we get more of Penny’s story which I was fine with. To tell much more of the story would be to give out lots of spoilers. I am glad I went into it without knowing certain things. If I go on telling anything it would take me into spoiler territory, so I won’t. I will say that this story has a lot of angst, but it’s well deserved angst, if that makes sense.
Renee Carlino is a favorite author of mine and I’ve read all her books except two and they’re in my tbr pile. Her stories are always good romances with good back stories. I think they’ve all been in the 5 star range for me, but this book, while still good fell just a tad bit short of that for me. I think that’s totally due to how frustrated I got with some of Penny’s actions. I know that’s what made the story and what made it so real, but I can’t help how I feel. Still at 4 stars, I felt it was well written with good characters and a story that will pull you in quickly. All that being said, I can honestly highly recommend this to adult contemporary romance readers and chic lit readers as well.
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