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. Read an exclusive excerpt from the book and you’ll see why Before We Were Strangers stole our hearts and landed in our top 10 books of the year!
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?
Roxie and Jen’s 6++++++++ Review
Every now and then a story just touches you a little bit more, your heart beats a little faster as you read it—enthralling you with its charming beauty.
Before We Were Strangers is an amazing second chance love story of two young lovers who meet again in New York after 15 years apart. This story gave us chills, tears, goose bumps and is in our top 5 reads of the year.
We meet Matt, a Pulitzer winner photographer for National Geographic. He is lost, looking for a path or direction to see where it all went wrong. His ex is pregnant with his friend’s baby, and he is struggling with what’s next for him.
Grace, God we loved her. She was just as lost as Matt. She seems to be missing something in her life. You can’t help but wonder what’s she’s been doing since Matt last saw her.
Suddenly, on a crowded train platform, he feels her, sees her. They lock eyes as the NYC subway takes her away. Gone in a blink. And you just instantly feel the pull and longing between them. This sets all the memories and flashbacks into motion as you travel with Matt and Grace through their epic love story.
“You can’t recreate the first time you promise to love someone or the first time you feel loved by another. You cannot relive the sensation for fear, admiration, self-consciousness, passion, and desire all mixed into one because it never happens twice.”
Or does it? Does fate give second chances?
“The present is our own. The right-this-second, the here-and-now, this moment before the next, is ours for the taking. It’s the only free gift the universe has to offer. The past doesn’t belong to us anymore, and the future is just a fantasy, never guaranteed. But the present is ours to own. The only way we can realize that fantasy is if we embrace the now.”
You can’t help but wonder where it all went wrong. As we travel back in time to learn how it all began, we were captivated and loving this story whole-heartedly. It’s truly unputdownable once you start it. Renee Carlino gave us a story we won’t forget. We loved everything about it. Incredible, heart pounding, beautiful—pure perfection.
About Renee Carlino
Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of romantic women’s novels. 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.