Carlino (Wish You Were Here) impresses and astonishes with this complicated, beautiful contemporary that shifts between past and present with devastating effect. Penny Piper and Gavin Berninger meet at Colorado State University in Fort Collins in a most unusual way: participating in a psych class experiment that has them kissing blindfolded. Little does either realize that kiss will be life-changing. Dance is Penny’s deepest passion, and she refuses to allow herself to fall in love with Gavin, even though she thinks the engineering student is drop-dead sexy. An accident ends Penny’s dancing dreams and leads to both Penny and Gavin making a series of terrible life decisions, and it seems that the two of them will never find their way back to each other, but after almost two decades, they get a second chance. Carlino’s sharp, incisive prose calls the traditional romance novel ending into question throughout. The expert characterizations and a constantly surprising plot are enthralling. Deep and complex, this heartbreaking and heartwarming tale will live in readers’ memories long after the final page is turned. (Aug.)“Blind Kiss beautifully illustrates how destiny prevails over even the best-laid plans. You will love this story."— Tracey Garvis-Graves, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl He Used to Know
“A story of enduring passion, devoted friendship, and the undeniable power of chemistry, Blind Kiss asks the question: Would you wait a lifetime to be with the person you love? Renée Carlino's evocative prose is at once heartbreaking and full of hope, and the palpable spark between Gavin and Penny will touch the depths of your heart.”— Kristin Rockaway, author of The Wild Woman’s Guide to Traveling the World
"Blind Kiss is Renée Carlino at her finest. The tension between Penny and Gavin leaps off the page. This is a romantic, tender, complicated love story. I found it heartfelt, honest and simply wonderful."— Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
"Carlino (Wish You Were Here) impresses and astonishes with this complicated, beautiful contemporary that shifts between past and present with devastating effect . . . [Her] sharp, incisive prose calls the traditional romance novel ending into question throughout. The expert characterizations and a constantly surprising plot are enthralling. Deep and complex, this heartbreaking and heartwarming tale will live in readers’ memories long after the final page is turned."— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Renee Carlino never fails to deliver mature, layered, unique, and emotionally satisfying love stories, and Blind Kiss was all this and even more. Wow! My absolute favorite book of hers to date!"— Mia Sheridan, New York Times bestselling author2018-05-28
A blind date is bad enough. But what about a blind kiss—as in blindfolded, with no idea whom you're kissing?When Penny was in college, she was pressured into participating in a psychology project to see if physical attraction could exist without seeing, or knowing, a person. Participants found the blind kiss rather repulsive—but not Penny and Gavin. Their kiss was hot and sensual, and they were both instantly attracted to each other. But Penny was on a mission to graduate and perfect her ballet, which she needed to devote all her time to. They would remain friends, she determined. And because he wanted her around, Gavin agreed to a hands-off friendship. Fourteen years later we find Penny married with a son. Gavin is still her best friend; neither has broken the hands-off vow, although, understandably, Penny's husband is jealous of their relationship. When Penny's marriage begins to flounder, she is nothing but virtuous with Gavin. Then circumstances change. A girl Penny introduced to Gavin is moving to France...and he's going with her. This might be a realistic stopping point, as readers may find the focus on a friendship that should be more a bit overlong. Fourteen years! Really, you two. Get real! Or move on! But as they say, "It ain't over till it's over."Carlino's (Wish You Were Here, 2017, etc.) tale of a couple who exchange passion for friendship is engaging, but she misses the chance to go more deeply into her characters' motivations, giving the reader little empathy for their decisions.