Wish You Were Here by Renee Carlino

Title: Wish You Were Here

Author: Renee Carlino

Publication Date: August 15, 2017



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.

Christina’s 5 Star Review

She’s done it again. She made me cry. That’s two releases in a row that Carlino has made me cry and I’m mad as hell and not going to take it anymore! (Okay, not really, just wanted to use that line). But no, Wish You Were Here is an ugly cry of epic proportions.

Just a quick recap because you truly need to read the book for yourself.

Charlotte is wasting her 20s trying to figure out her place in life. A chance meeting with a stranger (the mysterious Adam), leads to a sensual, intense, one-night stand, but then he disappears, nowhere to be found. She can’t shake that one night but she knows she must move on, that’s when she meets the all-American baseball player Seth. He knows what he wants in life and he sees that happening with Charlotte. Then, as quick as he disappeared, Adam reappears. How can she possibly choose between the two? Especially when Adam reveals his secret?

Charlotte would be an easy character to dislike. She’s apathetic, having lived in the shadow of her more successful younger brother. Both Seth and Adam have an affect on her self-confidence and the answers she’s seeking come to fruition, making her a very strong character in the end. I loved both Seth and Adam and was pulling for them in different ways.

The story is told in the first person from Charlotte’s point of view, with the exception of the epilogue (not telling you whose POV that is!). Wish You Were Here is the epitome of romance. At times it left me breathless, feeling all of the emotions that swirl around Charlotte, answering the question of whether it is possible to have two soul mates. Again, I ugly cried, to the point where my husband offered to punch my kindle for making me cry. If you’re looking for an emotional, skillfully written story of love and acceptance, look no further.


“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.”

About the Author

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

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