From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Sweet Thing and Nowhere But Here comes a love story about a Craigslist “missed connection” post that gives two people a second chance at love fifteen years after they were separated in New York City.
To the Green-eyed Lovebird:
We met fifteen years ago, almost to the day, when I moved my stuff into the NYU dorm room next to yours at Senior House.
You called us fast friends. I like to think it was more.
We lived on nothing but the excitement of finding ourselves through music (you were obsessed with Jeff Buckley), photography (I couldn’t stop taking pictures of you), hanging out in Washington Square Park, and all the weird things we did to make money. I learned more about myself that year than any other.
Yet, somehow, it all fell apart. We lost touch the summer after graduation when I went to South America to work for National Geographic. When I came back, you were gone. A part of me still wonders if I pushed you too hard after the wedding…
I didn’t see you again until a month ago. It was a Wednesday. You were rocking back on your heels, balancing on that thick yellow line that runs along the subway platform, waiting for the F train. I didn’t know it was you until it was too late, and then you were gone. Again. You said my name; I saw it on your lips. I tried to will the train to stop, just so I could say hello.
After seeing you, all of the youthful feelings and memories came flooding back to me, and now I’ve spent the better part of a month wondering what your life is like. I might be totally out of my mind, but would you like to get a drink with me and catch up on the last decade and a half?
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
My heart is FULL after reading Before We Were Strangers. It’s quite possible the best book I’ve read all year!
Award winning, photographer, recently divorced, 36 year old Matt is living a monotonous life. One day, by chance he sees his past. And that sight becomes a missed connection. You feel his heart come alive. You feel his heart beat the moment he sees Grace. You are transported to this moment. Time stops. And you FEEL it. Matt tries an unconventional way to reach out to Grace. He left his heart with Grace, and now he’s ready to get it back.
Matt and Grace met in college as they live in the same building. There is an instant connection. While friends, you feel their underlying desire for each other. Once they admit those feelings, sparks fly. Their souls awaken. And you are there for every moment. The author allows you to live within the pages of the story. You breathe the author’s words. The banter is addicting. You will not be able to put this one down. Matt and Grace love with everything. With their entire being. It’s passionate, intense. Their love shatters. You as a reader are told a beautiful, unforgettable love story about two soul mates that time nor circumstance can even touch. Time did not dim the spark between them. If anything it made it more likely to ignite the moment they meet again. This story made my heart BEAT. I am vague in the plot and how its developed as this story needs be experienced. There are no words that can do this story justice. None.
“You can’t create the the first time you promise to love someone or the first time you feel loved by another. You cannot relive the sensation of fear, admiration, self-consciousness, passion, and desire all mixed into one because it never happens twice.”
Love bears all things. Endures all things. Love? Love is everything. And the love between Matt and Grace? It will overwhelm you. Challenge everything you ever believed in about love and all it encompasses. All it is capable of. Their love is magic. Their love saves, it heals. Their love wins. I can easily say there is not one story I can compare this one too. It is in a league of its own. The story is captivating. Compelling. The character development is brilliant. And the execution of the story was well developed. What causes Matt and Grace to be apart is heartbreaking. But their reunion will have you crying sadness and joy. Their souls are forever tethered and their story attests to this.
Before We Were Strangers gave me LIFE. Every moment of this heartfelt, poignant story, moved me. I laughed. I cried. I lived. This story remains in my heart WEEKS later. This is SO much more than a second chance romance. So much DEEPER. If you could put every beautiful love story in one, the words would echo the words of this one. One should be so lucky to ever experience the kind of love that exists between Matt and Grace. Every obstacle and challenge life threw in their way, they overcame. If there was a recipe to write a deep, moving, emotional, beautiful love story this would be it. Even if I could give this story a million stars, even that would never be enough.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review
As I sit here in front of my laptop, I'm having trouble putting words together to express how I really feel about this book. This is a problem I always have when I find that one book that it's so well-written, so beautiful that I cannot put a string of words together to describe all these emotions that I felt while I was reading this book. This book was like no other book I have read before. This book made me feel like I haven't in a while. This book was everything that I love in a book smashed into one.
Matt and Grace met in college. They quickly became fast friends, best friends. Their love for one another began slowly, but also all at once if that makes any sense. But this one was those stories where love just wasn't enough and THAT is what made it so realistic to me. These were characters were their hopes, their dreams pulled them in different directions and I was unsure if they would come together ever. But that day, the day that Matt sees Grace in the subway, is the start of them having that second chance.
What I loved the most (which, to tell you the truth, I usually hate) is the fact that I was not only reading their present story, but I also got to see how Matt and Grace's story began. I fell in love as they fell in love, my heart broke as their heart broke in this character-driven tale. With tears in my eyes, I enjoyed the highs and the lows of this love story.
Once I finished reading it, I just did not want Matt and Grace's story to end. Their journey was a beautiful one and these are characters that I know will forever be in my heart. Renee Carlino, you have found yourself a new fan!
Copyright © 2014 by Renée Carlino
“I have a complaint.” I said.
She climbed up next to me and cuddled her face up to my bare chest, then she used her index finger to trace a line down my happy trail to the belt on my jeans.
“What sort of complaint, Wilbur?” Ah, Mia’s sexy voice.
I reached down and ran my hand up her thigh. “You should not wear these pants around that horny little High School Musical kid.”
She popped up and looked me straight in the face. “He totally looks like Zac Efron, huh?”
“Mia, he practically shot off a load just staring at your ass.”
She punched me in the chest. “That is vulgar, Will Ryan.”
“It’s true. You can’t dress like that around him.” I tackled her back down on the bed and hovered over her.
“I thought you liked these pants.”
“I do.” I began kissing my way down her body. I lifted her shirt and kissed the swell of each breast before moving down the center of her body. “But you know what I like better than you in these pants?”
“Me out of these pants?”
“Am I that predictable?” I said as I quickly peeled them off her body.
“Yes.” She sighed.
I sat back on my heels. “You’re beautiful.”
Holding her leg from behind her knee, I kissed my way up the inside, from her calf to her thigh and all the way up to her panties. I peeled the lace from her hips with my teeth and then down to her ankles as slowly as possible. She lay there naked from the waist down, watching me gaze at her, hungry for her. Her skin was pure white and it contrasted so strikingly against her dark eyes and hair. She was an authentic beauty. I leaned over her body, putting my weight on my hands, which were placed on each side of her head. Her eyes were searching mine. She whimpered and then tried to lift her face up to kiss me.
I drew my head back. “Uh uh, I don’t think so.” I nuzzled my nose into her neck and trailed kisses to her ear. I whispered, “Stay just like this. Don’t go anywhere.” I planted a swift kiss on her lips and jumped off the bed. “I’m goin’ to play B-ball with Tyler. Be back in a few.”
As I left the room, I glanced over my shoulder and saw her lying there completely still, her mouth open in shock. I got halfway down the hallway before she finally yelled, “Asshole!”
I bent in the hallway and patted June’s head. She rolled over and then got back on her feet and trotted off toward our bedroom.
Before walking out the door, I called back to Mia, “Who’s predictable now, sweet thing?”
Renee’s first friends were the imaginary kind and even though her characters haven’t gone away, thankfully the delusions have. She admits she’s a wildly hopeless romantic and she blames 80’s movies staring Molly Ringwald for that. 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 the next book, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.
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