BLOG TOUR: Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino


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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?


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Melanie’s 5-I AM FOREVER RUINED Stars Review:

I am breathless, dizzy with utter satisfaction and words escape me. Renee Carlino has completely ruined me in the best possible way with her latest work, Before We Were Strangers. This book has rocked me, tilted my world from its stable axis it was downright scary. I sit here shell shocked and in awe of just how much Matt and Grace’s story resonated with me. Renee spoke from the heart, her words causing heart stopping effects. “ I looked for you inside of everyone else.” My heart just about failed to beat at that point. A simple sentence that can cause such confounding and conflicting feelings. This is the kind of book that will take you back, the sort that will have you scrolling through old song lists; an homage to the past.

It was easy to fall in love with Matt and Grace and the love they shared for one another. The fluidity in which their story was told almost like a hypnotizing dance. There was never a need to exert your energy to try and connect with them. It was a seamless, an almost unconscious draw that had my mind swirling and my heart wanting to burst with too much emotion. I found myself smiling, enjoying them falling in love in such a careless, innocent way but also wanting to weep with desperation all at the same time knowing of the misfortune and grief they were about to experience and my goodness did that toy with my already fragile heart. The honesty in which the author captured their love story so unbelievably well done, it makes me want to sing to the rooftops, my arms wide open.

Before We Were Strangers is beautifully told primarily in 3 agonizingly heartwarming and heart breaking stages of a once in a lifetime love found then lost and then found again set in NYC which is a city unlike any in the world. A perfect harmony of dizzying romance and witty and quirky characters, Renee Carlino has just set a precedence for herself. This book to me, is her best work yet; One that I will continually go back to for as long as my eyes allow me to read. I cannot express how much this book means to me and I cannot recommend it enough. This book deserves a place on everyone’s book shelves.If you’re in the market for romance, heart ache, nostalgia, and smart writing then this one is for you.

We Like It Big Tunes:

The Scientist- Tyler Ward & Kinna Grannis

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About the Author:


Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of New Adult and contemporary women’s novels. Her books have been featured in national publications, including USA TODAY and Latina magazine. 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


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