Twenty-something Charlotte has never settled down, trying out a number of career paths and is currently working as a waitress in a dump of a restaurant. One night, she bumps into Adam and they form an immediate connection. She loves that he seems such a free spirit after quitting as a lawyer to pursue painting. But after an intense night together, he blanks her and she thinks he just wasn't into her. But as months go by and her life moves on, Charlotte can't seem to forget Adam.Carlino always creates the most wonderful, emotionally charged relationships, reeling you in until you are so invested in what happens that you keep turning the pages into the night. She totally had me in her thrall but then the second half arrived. While heart-wrenching and romantic (and makes me seem heartless for not loving it), it did seem a somewhat forced plotline and I was cheering on a completely different relationship.
Wish You Were Here, by Renee Carlino, is about a woman whose one-night stand takes her on a life-changing journey. The synopsis says: "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." Wish You Were Here is out in August 2017.