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Ratings and Book Reviews (7 10 star ratings
7 reviews
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    Review: Blind Kiss

    Blind Kiss by Renee Carlino is a second chance romance for the ages. Told in dual POV and spanning from college through adulthood the story is told in a well woven intricate balance of now and then, past and present, Penny and Gavin's first meeting to their current situation and all the drama that unfolds in between is epic. Highly emotional and bittersweet at times, this story will have you flipping the pages faster and faster to finally see what happens when two best friends stop denying fate and allow love and what was meant to be just be. Penny is a dancer. It is her love. Her relationship with her father is strong, but her mother's focus is on her much younger sister and the beauty pageants she is always involved in. In college she is bribed with coffee shop gift cards by a friend to participate in a study - a "Blind Kiss". It is nerve wracking leading up to the experiment but once her lips land on Gavin's she is hooked. She refuses to allow a boy to deter her future goals however and keeps him at arms length. But the chemistry between them is off-the-charts. Gavin is flighty with women but serious about Penny and all the new things she has stirred up inside him. Taking her anyway he can get her, if friends is what she wants, friends is where he'll be but he'll always be ready for more. The bond they build is nearly indestructible until the one tragic accident that splinters their friendship and sets them both on the wrong course, heading away from each other. It takes years, but they always remain friends and eventually the story ends on a happily ever after. Enjoy!
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    Emotional and Enduring Love Story

    So much of life comes down to timing. Being in the right place at the right time. How one moment, one decision, can change the entire trajectory of your life. In Blind Kiss, Renee Carlino gives readers an enduring and emotional love story that spans decades. I'm not going to lie. The angst in this book is off the charts. It will not be everyone's cup of tea and there will be times when your heart cries out and you may want to throw your kindle/book across the room. Penny and Gavin don't share an easy love story and it's not a light and fluffy tale. There is loss, pain, heartache, and grief, but there's also joy, healing, forgiveness, and love. These two characters are both flawed and broken in their own ways. Meeting by chance in a psychology experiment their senior year in college and forging a friendship that blurs the lines over and over again through the years. The story is told in dual POV and switches back and forth between the past and present. I really can't say that I truly loved either Gavin or Penny. Both had so much baggage to work through and mistakes were made on both sides. They hurt and they loved each other repeatedly, but through it all, their chemistry and connection never waned. I honestly don't know who I hurt for more - Gavin, Penny, or Lance. All were selfish and selfless at different times, but I did appreciate that everyone matured throughout the book. I wasn't totally comfortable with Penny's relationship with Gavin over the years. ***** SPOILER ***** She claimed that she was not emotionally cheating on her husband, but it really felt that way to me. I don't know if she justified it to herself since the circumstances surrounding her marriage were murky, but I know that I would have not been able to tolerate that in my own marriage, no matter how good of a friend this person was to my husband. Especially if she very clearly still harbored feelings for my husband. I also lost a lot of respect for both characters when they finally gave into their feelings. Penny may have been free to explore that avenue, but Gavin was in a relationship - no matter how complicated it was at that point. It made what should have been something beautiful and what readers had been waiting the ENTIRE book for, less in my opinion. Again, many readers won't have a problem with any of this, but for me, it was a let down. ***** Though my patience was eventually rewarded in the end, I did feel like the ending was a bit rushed and abrupt. I would have loved a little more after enduring such a heart-stomping journey. This isn't my favorite Renee Carlino book, but readers looking for an angsty and emotional love story will devour Blind Kiss. *I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this book*
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    5 Slow burning angsty stars!

    Blind Kiss..... an epic life-long romance that begins with two college students, Penny and Gavin, participating in a study of kissing a stranger while blindfolded to see if there can be chemistry without seeing or really knowing someone beforehand <---- how can you not want to read how that plays out? I've read and LOVED every book by Renee Carlino and just knew from the title and blurb that this was going to be an amazing book and I was not disappointed. When I started reading this story I was overcome with giddy butterflies for the anticipation of Penny and Gavin's blind kiss and those butterflies immediately took flight with their combustible chemistry, it was perfect romantic bliss YES!!! I could feel the pull between these two, it just sizzled instantly, soul mates brought together in the most unique way!!! But you know it's not going to be that easy with butterflies, hearts, and flowers..... Oh no, no, no, Ms. Carlino pulled my heart strings so tight that I was in fear they were going to snap!! No matter how much chemistry, how strong the attraction, or how connected they were, Penny was determined to keep Gavin in the friend-zone because with college finals and a promising dance career on the line she had no time for falling in love. Gavin is that gorgeous charming guy that will make you melt into a puddle of swooning mush *sigh*, he seems to fall hard and fast quite often but falling for Penny proves to be very different than anything he's experienced before and although he wants to be so much more than friends he quickly realizes that a friend is what Penny needs most *sigh again*. Penny and Gavin have a love that burns bright and strong although for so many years they never really acknowledge it as more than an extraordinary friendship, that soul mate type of love is forced to smolder under the surface until life finally makes it impossible to ignore any longer!! Blind Kiss is an incredible story of love and friendship lasting a lifetime, sometimes that soul soaring love may find you at the wrong time, but if it's truly real and meant to be, it will remain as strong as ever throughout life until the time is perfect!!!!!
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    One hell of a ride!

    4.5 Hearts Holy angst, Batman! I have never wanted to cheat and read the end of a book so bad! But I was a good little reader and didn’t do it. I actually didn’t even read the synopsis so I went in totally blind. This is a story of friendship, family, life, and love. It all started with a kiss. An epic kiss. A kiss that starts a friendship that Penny and Gavin didn’t expect. A friendship that walked the line. That line between friendship and more. Until she had to make a decision that would change their lives. Sorry...I can’t go into it more than that except to say how it made me feel. I felt for Penny and Gavin. I fell for Gavin from the very beginning. He is funny, smart, sexy, and protective. I liked Penny from the beginning. She had a lot to deal with with from beginning to end. I got it. It doesn’t mean that I didn’t want to throw my kindle at her head a few times. The angst, I tell ya, the angst is strong with this one. The anticipation killed me. Their story pulled me in. As much as I wanted to slap them, I want to hug them. Overall...this book is one hell of a ride. I cried. I laughed. I swooned. I cried some more. I was a mess. Quotes: “Yes, Penny. I want to study you . . . I mean with you. I’ll be here.” “I’m looking at you. I always see you, Penny.” His eyes were intense. “Well, Tiny Dancer, I came here to see a show.”
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    Amazing

    I loved it, I was rotating between smiling and crying the entire time.
10

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