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Before We Were Strangers: A Love Story by…
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Before We Were Strangers: A Love Story

by Renee Carlino

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Beautiful sweet second chance live story. ( )
  laura.w.douglas | Mar 9, 2017 |
Renee Carlino is a an epic story teller that captures the essence of a beautiful, aw inspiring romance. She never disappoints and that is why she is one of my go-to Authors.

Before We Were Strangers was nothing short of amazing. It was a one of kind story that circled around a missing connections ad on craigslist. The couple met in college and embarked on a whirlwind adventure of friendship and all consuming love. As time passed though, the inevitable happened. Life tore them apart and it took 15 years for them to reunite. The connection is still there, but the love is deep seeded. Together they have to uncover secrets to find the truth in their second chance at forever.

Like all other stories by Renee... This one was rich in beauty and vivid in color. Each scene pulled me in and I could literally feel the emotion seeping from the pages. The characters were well developed and being the bohemian fanatic that I am, they were perfect. It wasn't your typical college age romance, it was unique with some crazy a$$ dates. The playful banter made me smile and the lengths the characters went for one another made me swoon. I mean... It's the love story that every girl dreams of... The modern day fairytale.

However, with beauty comes struggle. There were some gut wrenching and frustrating parts. There was one character in particular that I wanted to reach through the book and shake a bit. Then I remembered that without her, the story wouldn't have had that "real feel". She brought the bitter to the better if that makes any sense at all. She was the added spice that kicked up the angst and pushed Matt to go digging for missing information. I never expected the huge twist he found, but the product was genius! I loved how it was the missing link that tied the characters together like two shoe laces to form a belt.

Overall, I LOVED this story. It was fast paced and kept me interested... While, it was packed with romance, there was just enough emotion to dilute some of the sweetness. It felt real and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough! HIGHLY RECOMMEND! ( )
  ReadersCandyb | Oct 7, 2016 |
This novel was immensely recommended by a few blogs that I follow on the gram. The cover itself caught my eye. Yes, I do judge a book by its cover. Guilty as charged. The story behind these two lovebirds is angelic, captivating, And none the less hypnotizing. There are about a million copies of romance novels on earth so for you to drain me in your black hole to have me reading for 6 hours straight you have to have a way with words. I wanted to hug, kiss, cry, bitch with the humans in this story. Actually, I consider them one of my long lost friends to be exact. This novel has a very peculiar way in convincing you that if you have to choose a path between love and work… You'll probably think about it twice after reading this lol. So I truly recommend this read and hats off to Renée Carlino such a stunning author. ( )
  Etherealbooking | Jan 24, 2016 |
A special thank you to Atria and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Talented Rene Carlino delivers a breathtaking contemporary love story BEFORE WE WERE STRANGERS, one of missed connections, and fifteen years later, a second chance---from time, distance, and life. Can these two find their way back? A moving story of love that spans fifteen years of separation.

“Life goes not backward, nor tarries with yesterday--Khalil Gibran

Matt and Grace met at NYU over fifteen years earlier. They start out as friends and their newfound relationship falls into love. Barely making it with little money, they found their happiness with small little things, being carefree and spontaneous.

However, when they finish school, Matt, a photographer receives an opportunity with National Geographic, taking him away from Grace. Grace has majored in music, she also has an opportunity travel with an orchestra for a year and a half.

As most couples, they think they can make it work and stay together long distance. They lost touch in the summer Matt went to South America. When he came back, she was gone; to travel and see the world.

"Time passes, life goes on, places change, people change.”

Matt cannot get Grace off his mind after seeing her on the subway one day. A Wednesday, waiting for the F train. He did not know it was Grace until it was too late, and she was gone. He knows she said his name, he saw it on her lips. He tried to stop the train; so he could reach out.

Five weeks after seeing her, in a quick glance on the subway, he found himself looking for Grace, going to their old haunts in the east Village and even hung around the NYU dorm rooms where they had lived. What was her life, like now?

With all the technology, web, and social media out today he decided to pull up a Craigslist on his computer. Something called “missed connections.” You can post about an experience and hope they find it. You write where it happened, and what you were wearing, so the other person knows it’s you. He does so and leaves his phone number.

Flashing back and forth from today to fifteen years ago, we learn about when Grace and Matt met. We hear from both, and how each changed one another. The, what ifs? Does everything seem better in a memory? The past does not belong to them anymore and the future is just a fantasy, never guaranteed. But the present is theirs, to own. They have to embrace it. They have to re-create what they once had. They met at the wrong time.

The Green-eyed Lovebird. Grace’s student tells her about a post on Criagslist. She knows it has to be Matt, meant for her. Matt is now working for a magazine and Grace teaching high school music classes in the same city, living close to one another. However, there are complications, secrets, betrayal and shocking news. Can they forgive one another and find their way back?

A beautifully written, poignant love story with well-developed characters drawing you into a world of young love, lost love, reconnected and adult love—with all the flaws, loss, heartbreak, insecurity, passion, jealously, fears, and emotions.

In the theme of Jennifer Weiner’s, Who Do You Love, second chances for love lost. Chick-lit and romance fans will be glued to the pages of talented Carlino’s contemporary look at love from both sides. Sometimes you can go back and possibly it may just be sweeter, the second time around, if you are lucky enough.

A “love, interrupted” story inspired by a real Craigslist missed connections post about a guy who sees the “girl who got away” on an NYC subway after fifteen years. ( )
  JudithDCollins | Aug 21, 2015 |
5 "Missed Connections" Stars!

Lovers of first love and "the one that almost got away" themed romances will not want to miss Before We Were Strangers! This book blew me away, and transported me back to long ago college days and impossible choices between true love and career goals. I was so enthralled in this touching heart wrenching story, and the incredibly well developed characters, that I even found the time to binge read this page turner during a very busy vacation.

Grace was a struggling music student at NYU when she met her next door dorm mate, Matt, a photography transfer student from USC. Although Matt came from a rich family (well at least his father's side, who also were generally disappointed he hadn't followed in the lucrative footsteps of his lawyer father), Grace and Matt bonded over unconventional ways to scrimp and save to make a few bucks while earning their degrees--among other unique friendship overtures. They spent many days with Matt taking pictures of Grace, his first muse, and Grace serenading Matt while she practiced her cello.

Theirs was necessarily a relationship that emerged out of friendship, even as they each wanted more. But what could their future hold following graduation as they pursued their dreams? Perhaps it's just a case of meeting the right person at the wrong time?

Nonetheless their separation was unexpected and as life continued around them a frequent unsettling question presented itself from time to time: what if? A chance encounter 15 years later may allow them to explore that question. But can you ever go back to that incredible feeling of experiencing love for the first time or are you just doomed to continue failing to recreate that exceptional feeling?

This was my first read by Renee Carlino. Now I can't wait to go back and explore some of her backlist titles! ( )
  B.J.O. | Aug 16, 2015 |
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