Review + Excerpt: Wish You Were Here - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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.

Book Type:

NA romance

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Wish You Were Here
By Renée Carlino

Review + Excerpt: Wish You Were Here

A girl adrift finds the spark she never knew she needed with a boy who forever changed her life.

With WISH YOU WERE HERE, Renee Carlino delivers her singular style of boho romance—funny yet moving with an undercurrent of free spiritedness and vivacity. This latest imparts the story of Charlotte—a girl in her twenties who year after year finds herself stuck in a less-than-ideal job at a diner in Los Angeles. Stuck in a life without aim.

One night, however, she bumps into Adam, a handsome, intriguing painter who seems to be living his best life. Charlotte is caught up in everything that is him—his joy, spirit, humor and charm. In a single night, shaped by late-night promises and deeply longed for fantasies, Charlotte falls hard for Adam, envisioning a future together.

In the harsh light of morning, however, everything is different—Adam is different—and she leaves heartbroken.

For months she tries to piece her life back together, not quite able to erase the memory of that night, of Adam. She starts dating someone new (Seth), and just as she’s about to take the leap with him, Adam is back in her life, turning it upside down in a way she never expected.

Charlotte must find her own way, figure out how she feels and finally get her life on track… whether that be with Adam or Seth. The journey she goes on will change her life forever.

WISH YOU WERE HERE took me on a journey too. In the beginning, as I learned about Charlotte, I felt adrift myself, not quite connecting with her. But as her story continued, things began to snap into place and I began to understand her as she found determination and aim. The book brims with emotion and heart leading up to an end that is wonderfully satisfying.

“Do you believe in reincarnation?” he asked.

“I’m not sure,” I said. “I guess I believe that our energy is everywhere, even after we leave the physical world. Like our souls leave some residual imprint on the people we knew, or something.”

“Explain.”

I turned toward him, propping my head up on my hand. “Your art, our memories, the memories people have of us . . . it makes us immortal. When you love someone, whether it be your family, friends, partners, whatever, it’s like planting a little seedling of yourself inside of their hearts.”

“I like that,” he said. “Tell me about us. How’d we meet?”

I searched his eyes. “I can’t believe you don’t remember.”

He smiled as if to say, you know I do. “I just want to hear you tell it again. I love the way you tell it.”

“We met at a museum . . . the Getty.” I had to think on my pudgy toes, but I was getting a chance to describe exactly what I wanted. My fantasy.

“The Getty . . . right. Go on,” he said.

“We were both completely mesmerized by that Edvard Munch painting. What is it?”

The Scream?”

“No, Starry Night,” I said.

“That’s Van Gogh, kitten.”

I reached across him for my phone on the bedside table. “I swear to god, Munch also painted a Starry Night and it’s at the Getty. We met in front of that exact painting.” I Googled it and handed him the phone. He stared at the screen.

“Yes, I remember now. What were you wearing?”

“A red dress. I had my hair up, Audrey Hepburn style.”

“That’s right. And you were staring at the painting for a long time.” He closed his eyes. “I wanted to kiss the back of your neck.”

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