Review: Blind Kiss by Renee Carlino

Posted August 14, 2018 by Lorna in Reviews / 16 Comments

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Blind Kiss by Renee Carlino
Blind Kiss

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Simon and Schuster
Released on August 14, 2018
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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The Delight

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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I’m a lifetime book addict and currently own nine Kindles, with only six still working. I do tend to wear them out! They pretty much are my favorite technology-well that and my cell phone. Okay, yes and my laptop. I spent most of my life in Kentucky, but moved to Maryland in my attempt to get closer to the the ocean a few years ago. Being retired helps. I have a B.S. degree in law enforcement with a minor in sociology, but never really worked in my major. Instead, I spent my entire adult life working in the medical field in some capacity. After retiring(early), I found my passion in reviewing books for a couple of blogs and I love it. My author favorites include, Dannika Dark, Amber Lynn Natusch, J.T. Geissinger, Colleen Hoover, Samantha Towle, K.A. Tucker, Karina Halle, Sarina Bowen, J.R. Ward, Mariana Zapata, Dianne Duvall, and I could go on and on. I read many different genre’s, but still like a romantic element in most, if not all of them.

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Debbie Haupt
Debbie Haupt
2 years ago

Fantastic review Lorna thanks

2 years ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

Thank you Debbie!

Lover Of Romance
2 years ago

I am glad that you enjoyed this one darling. I have heard so many great things but I know that she writes very high intense emotional books.

2 years ago

Yes, there is quite a bit of angst but she’s just such a good author!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

I’ve only read one of hers and it really gave me the feels. I need to pick up a few of her others ones.

2 years ago
Reply to  Sophia Rose

She’s a favorite of mine for sure. This one did get me frustrated at times though.

2 years ago

I didn’t know about this author or this book. But it looks good and touching

2 years ago
Reply to  Melliane

Oh, she’s s good author and a favorite of mine. This was different than her other books. Though some of hers are pretty unique.

Carole Rae
2 years ago

Mmmm sounds okay…not sure though

2 years ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

It’s certainly different from her other books. A bit frustrating. But I love her writing and actually mostly enjoyed it.

Kimberly Caffeinated Reviewer

Sounds like Penny was a wee bit frustrating, but I love the premise!

2 years ago

Yes, I loved the premise, but she’s one of my auto buys so I’d have read it even if I didn’t. Have you read anything by her?

Crystal @ Lost in Storyland

The part that interests me the most how their relationship progresses (or doesn’t progress) over the course of fourteen years. I would probably (definitely) rage too over Penny’s decisions, but I’m intrigued enough that I’ll add this to my TBR!

2 years ago

Then you will probably enjoy it. If you haven’t read Carlino yet, she’s really good and I’ve always loved her books. This one was a bit frustrating. Still worthy of the read.

AngieElle @ Ba_BAMB
2 years ago

I’m glad you were able to enjoy this one, Lorna. I never made it past the frustrated part.

Great review.

2 years ago

I know what your mean. But in the end it was good. I was frustrated too, I’ll admit. Thanks!