You know when you’re looking at someone and you can’t help but smile at how oblivious they are to their own charm? That’s what was happening to me, and it was making me feel…happy. Euphoric. Something indescribable. It was like we already knew each other, like we had met in a previous life. Memories that didn’t exist began exploding in my mind like fireworks.
Charlotte has spent her twenties adrift, searching for a spark to jump-start her life and give her a sense of purpose. She’s had as many jobs as she’s had bad relationships, and now she’s feeling especially lost in her less-than-glamorous gig at a pie-and-fry joint in Los Angeles, where the uniforms are bad and the tips are even worse.
Then she collides—literally—with Adam, an intriguing, handsome, and mysterious painter. Their serendipitous meeting on the street turns into a whirlwind one-night stand that has Charlotte feeling enchanted by Adam’s spontaneity and joy for life. There’s promise in both his words and actions, but in the harsh light of morning, Adam’s tune changes, leaving Charlotte to wonder if her notorious bad luck with men is really just her own bad judgment.
Months later, a new relationship with Seth, a charming baseball player, is turning into something more meaningful, but Charlotte’s still having trouble moving past her one enthralling night with Adam. Why? When she searches for answers, she finds the situation with Adam is far more complicated than she ever imagined. Faced with the decision to write a new story with Seth or finish the one started with Adam, Charlotte embarks on a life-altering journey, one that takes her across the world and back again, bringing a lifetime’s worth of pain, joy, and wisdom.
“You’re making love sound tragic,” I said.
“No”—he shook his head—“I wouldn’t want it any other way. Tell me about us. What do we like to do?”
“Paint and sail and eat and drink. Just simple things.” “Don’t forget about sex,” he said.
“Yeah, lots of sex. Before the children were born we
“We were practically naked every second of the day.”
“I like that.”
“When they got older, we’d sneak away for weekends and leave them at my mom’s.”
“What are they like? Our children.”
“Happy. That’s all we wished for. We put our love first and it just spilled over into them and now they’re happy.”
Tears sprang from my eyes and ran down my cheeks. Isn’t that what we all hope for when it comes to our children?
His tone suddenly changed. “That’s beautiful, Char- lotte.” It was like he was waking up from the dream. I didn’t want to go back to reality yet, but I knew these fantasies were just to help Adam get his mind off things.
“I can imagine a long life with you,” he said. “I can imagine what a great wife you’d be.”
I pulled my hand out of his. “The story is about you and me.” He didn’t say anything; he just nodded and then continued to stare out the window. I bent and kissed the top of his head again, and whispered, “It’s about us. Don’t take that away from me.”
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 USA TODAY, Huffington Post, Latina magazine, and Publisher’s Weekly. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. 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. Learn more at www.reneecarlino.com
** ARC kindly provided for an honest review. **
My emotions were all over the place. Wish You Were Here is that kind of book that makes you feel a lot. Though ups and downs. I believe in strong connections and when you read it, you understand that you had to seize the day and enjoy what life has to offer, happy times or not.
Charlotte is a bit lost in her life. Working as a waitress in a diner, dreaming for a better life with her best friend. Watching everyone moving on and changing, while she was still stuck.
There was this duality in her personality; always holding back, never putting herself first but having this sparkling and spontaneous side.
The interesting part of the storyline that totally intrigued me was the journey’s heroine. In a sense, some people can identify in that story. Something universal, like be in love, to find his/her soulmate. To finally live for yourself and not for the others.
I went through a range of emotions, the heroine drove me a bit crazy throughout the story, but I loved how she followed her heart, even if her behavior was to me a little unnerving at times. Lost in her life, tearing apart about one night that changed her life forever.
Once I got through the turmoil of emotion that overwhelmed me to an extent, how the author delivers could convey emotions to this level. Straight to the guts.
However, I wished the end was less rushed, it really needed to me more expanding. Something that would make this book so much more, because the connection was so incredible and intense and after all Charlotte went through, I wish I had more of her happily ever after.
This story was really introspective, following Charlotte through the sea of life, when she lived a journey of a lifetime, that love can be found anywhere and definitely in the most unexpected places.