Blind Kiss by Renee Carlino
Narrator: Rebekkah Ross, Sebastian York
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: August 14, 2018
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 7 hours and 44 minutes
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A powerful story of two people who spend years denying their scientifically-proven chemistry.
Penny spends her afternoons sitting outside a sandwich shop, surrounded by ghosts. Fourteen years ago, this shop was her childhood dance studio... Now she’s a suburban housewife, dreading the moment her son departs for MIT, leaving her with an impeccably decorated McMansion and a failing marriage. She had her chance at wild, stars-in-her-eyes happiness, but that was a lifetime ago. After The Kiss. Before The Decision.
The Kiss was soulful. Magical. Earth-shattering, And it was all for a free gift card. Asked to participate in a psych study that posed the question, “Can you have sexual chemistry without knowing what the other person looks like?” Penny agreed to be blindfolded, make polite conversation with a total stranger, and kiss him. She never expected The Kiss to change her life forever and introduce her to Gavin: tattooed, gorgeous, and spontaneous enough to ask her out seconds after the blindfolds came off.
For a year, they danced between friendship and romance—until Penny made The Decision that forced them to settle for friendship. Now, fourteen years later, both of their lives are about to radically change—and it’s his turn to decide what will become of their once-in-a-lifetime connection."
So…have you ever read a book and you kept thinking to yourself, “I need to stop reading this!” over and over again? I have, and it’s definitely not a fun experience. This book was like that. It was like a car accident that you just couldn’t look away from – horrible, yet you just had to see what was happening.
In this story we start in present day with Penny who is a 35-year-old woman who was once planning on being a dancer. She now sits out in front of her old dance studio that turned into a Subway in hopes of talking to the building manager about renting the space when the lease runs out on the Subway. Her best friend of 14 years, Gavin, comes up and tells her that he’s moving to France with his girlfriend. Thus begins the flashbacks of how Gavin and Penny met and their tumultuous relationship throughout the years.
Penny and Gavin met when they were each talked into doing a blind kiss for a psychology study. Their chemistry is off the charts and almost immediately they are practically inseparable. Penny, however, tells Gavin that she can only be friends with him. Between her studies and her dancing, she can’t concentrate on a romantic relationship and asks him to wait until graduation. He agrees, even though he wants Penny for his own. By the time they graduate, Gavin is dating someone else but longing for Penny, Penny is injured and won’t dance again, and then soon after that she’s pregnant and getting married to someone else.
Fourteen fucking years go by with Gavin and Penny stating they’re just friends but yet acting like a couple in every instance except taking that final step. No, no kissing or screwing, but they spoon and touch and tell each other just about everything, including that they love each other – just as friends, of course. Please – don’t insult my intelligence. The story revolves around their lives and the non-stop angst of their relationship and the changes it goes through.
This story was a mess! I have to hand it to Carlino – she wrote the book in such a way that I felt like I needed to keep reading to find out how the shit show that was Gavin and Penny turned out. That fact actually earned this book an extra star, which is sad, really.
The story was about Penny and Gavin’s lives and families as well so there were a few secondary characters in the book. Unfortunately we didn’t get to know any of them very well so it was mainly focused on Gavin and Penny.
The story is told in a series of flashbacks and I found that annoying. I didn’t really like Penny at all and wasn’t a huge fan of Gavin’s either. I thought he could have grown some balls over the years, but that didn’t happen. On top of not liking the story, I was hoping that I would at least get a great ending with Gavin and Penny getting together. Didn’t happen. They did get together, but the ending was a farce and completely rushed. It actually shouldn’t have surprised me that is was bad, but it did.
Overall I disliked this book, obviously, and don’t recommend it.
Rating: 2 out of 5.